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The Jackson Guard Station at Silver Jack Reservoir

New Years Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, December 30-31, 2023

For the final weekend of 2023 Diane and I headed over to the northern end of the San Juan Mountains near the edge of the Uncompahgre Wilderness so we could snowshoe the road along the Cimarron River and spend a night at the Jackson Guard Station, which is located near the popular Silver Jack Reservoir. This historic cabin was originally used as a Forest Service Guard Station and housed Forest Service work crews. We left home on Saturday morning, drove south to Montrose then east over the Cerro Summit and soon arrived at the trailhead where we started hiking up the snow-covered road. Although we were planning for this to be a snowshoe trip, there really wasn’t very much snow on the ground yet and there were snowmobile tracks on the road to follow, so we ended up not needing to use our snowshoes for the hike.

Following the snowmobile tracks up the road on our way to the Silver Jack Reservoir.

Following Tracks

Even though we didn’t need snowshoes for this trek, I did drag our pulk along to help carry some of our winter gear.

Dragging the Pulk

The spires of High Mesa dominated our views to the east- when we weren’t in the trees.

High Mesa View

Hiking along the Cimarron River and Silver Jack Reservoir.

Along the Cimarron

After about four miles of hiking we arrived at the cabin.

Nearing the Cabin

Jackson Station Sign

Welcome to the Jackson Guard Station- our home for the night.

Arriving at the Cabin

Welcome to the Cabin

After getting a fire going in the cast iron stove and getting settled into the cabin, it was already starting to get get close to sunset, so I headed out with my camera to take a few photos of the last light on the surrounding ridges.

Pinnacle Ridge

Sheep Mountain

Sheep Mountain

Following the road back to the cabin.

Evening Road

Winter Cabin

Winter Cabin

Jackson Guard Station at Dusk

Jackson Guard Station

Jackson Guard Station at Dusk

We spent the rest of the evening reading and relaxing in the cabin which stayed surprisingly warm as long as we kept on top of the fire. We went to bed early and got a lot of sleep overnight.

On Sunday morning I headed out before sunrise for a short walk at dawn near the cabin.

Cimarron Dawn

Cimarron Dawn II

When I returned from my morning hike Diane was hard at work replenishing the firewood we had used overnight.


Chopping Firewood

After we were done restocking the firewood, we cleaned the cabin, packed up our gear and then started our hike back out.

Silver Jack Morning

Cimarron Ridge

Cimarron Ridge

Hiking out with the pulk.

Hiking Out

Overlooking the upper end of the Silver Jack Reservoir.

Silver Jack

Following the road back to the trailhead…

Headed Down

>> Jackson Guard Station Photo Gallery

One Comment

  1. SteveR
    SteveR January 11, 2024

    Very nice! The terrain is quite reminiscent of the Alberta foothills, and- to my skiers eye-well suited to touring around on cross country skis. Just sayin’. Happy New Year!

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