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Axolotl Cabin

View of Axolotl Cabin
Inside of Axolotl Cabin

The cabin is located approximately 14 miles southwest of Ennis, Montana, in the foothills of the Gravelly Range. The cabin provides access to a variety of outdoor recreational activities on adjacent public lands. The cabin and surrounding lands are managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the State of Montana. The cabin is available from the Thursday prior to Memorial Day through Columbus Day in October, for a maximum stay of 7 nights. The rental fee is $75 per night. Permits for the cabin are issued to anyone 18 years or older and are good until noon on the day following the last night of stay. Reservations can be made by going to www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

The cabin sleeps a maximum of 7 people on a queen bed, queen-size fold out futon, and three bunks.  Bedding is not provided. The cabin is equipped with a propane stove/oven, lights, small refrigerator, wood stove, fireplace, accessible vault toilet, BBQ grill, and basic cooking and eating utensils. Non-potable water is available from an outdoor year-round hydrant. Firewood and propane are provided. Guests should bring their own drinking water with them to the cabin.

Access to the cabin is via 6 miles of primitive road and requires a high-clearance vehicle. Parking is available at the cabin for up to 3 vehicles. Overflow parking is available at the gate approximately ¼ mile from the cabin. Motorized access is not always possible. Because your permit is non-refundable, we suggest you be prepared to access the cabin on foot if necessary.

Two small corrals are provided near the cabin and can accommodate 4 horses. You are required to bring your own certified weed-free feed. Grazing is not allowed. For reservations or more information please contact the BLM at (406) 683-8000.

Fees: Cabin rents for $75/night; fees are non-refundable and you cannot reschedule. Sleeps seven people (queen size bed, futon, and three bunks).

Activities: See the Axolotl Lakes WSA webpage.

Location/Access: 4-Wheel-Drive is recommended from State Highway 287 between Virginia City and Ennis. Drive a 1/4-mile east of mile marker 11 (or 3/4 of a mile west of mile marker 10); turn south into the paved parking area near the top of the hill. Pass through the gate with the cattle guard at the west end of the parking area. Proceed 3 miles on the two-track dirt road; the road will descend a steep hill and intersect with another road. Go left (east) 3/4 of a mile, and the cabin will be on the right hand (south) side of the road.

Best access route for non-4-Wheel-Drive vehicles: State Highway 287 North between Virginia City and Ennis.

If coming from Virginia City, turn right (south) just after mile marker 2. If coming from Ennis, turn left (south) just before mile marker 2. There is a fishing access sign for Burnt Tree Hole, Eight Mile Ford, and Varney Bridge at this intersection. Travel south 6.1 miles on the pavement to the Shining Mountains Loop Road. At this intersection, turn right (west) and go 1.6 miles. Shining Mountains Loop Road will intersect with Dry Creek Trail. At this junction turn left (southeast) to continue on Shining Mountains Loop Road. Travel 0.1 miles and turn right (southwest) onto Axolotl Lake Road. Drive one mile to a 4-way intersection; go right to stay on Axolotl Lake Road. One mile after the intersection, at the crest of a hill, the road splits; veer right to go to the cabin. Eight-tenths of a mile after the crest of the hill, there is a driveway for a private residence on the right, veer left to continue to the cabin. One and one-half miles after the private residence, you will arrive at the Axolotl Cabin, which is visible from the road.

An alternate route is to turn west from US Highway 287 between Ennis and West Yellowstone towards the Varney Bridge Recreation Area. Once you cross the Madison River, turn north a short distance until you reach the Shining Mountains Loop Road. From here the directions are the same as above. There are no developed parking areas, but there are some commonly used pull-out areas.

*** The county roads in the mountains are extremely susceptible to changing weather conditions at all times of the year. In wet, snowy, or icy conditions, they are impassable! ***

Season/Hours: Available Thursday prior to Memorial Day through Columbus Day in October, depending on weather and road conditions.

Maps: Central section of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Map.

Dillon Field Office
1005 Selway Drive
Dillon, MT 59725

Last updated: 03-25-2015