Alder Guard Station is located 2 miles north of the town of South Fork along Alder Creek in the Rio Grande National Forest. The guard station was constructed in 1910 and was the residence and office for the local ranger district. Today the historic cabin is a comfortable getaway for guests seeking relaxation and recreation in south central Colorado. Visitors may reserve the cabin for a maximum of five nights to allow others the opportunity to rent the cabin.
The two story cabin is furnished with two bunkbeds and one single bed in the upstairs bedroom, and a couch on the first floor. The kitchen is equipped with a table and chairs, electric stove, refrigerator, cooking utensils and some pots and pans. The bathroom has hot water and a flush toilet. A wood stove is the only source of heat for the guard station. Picnic tables and firewood are also on site. Although the cabin has several amenities, guests do need to provide their own sleeping bags, linens, towels, dish soap, matches, cooking gear, first aid kit, toilet paper and garbage bags. Lighting is available, however guests are advised to bring an additional light source in case of emergency.
The Rio Grande National Forest encompasses of a myriad of ecosystems ranging from high elevation desert to the craggy peaks of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The Alder Guard Station, located in the Divide Ranger District, is surrounded by mixed conifer forests, aspen groves, and wilderness areas, though its immediate vicinity is manicured, with a fenced lawn.
The Alder Bench trailhead is located north of the guard station on Forest Road 610. In the past, this trail was used by stockmen taking livestock up to the high country towards Blue Park and Long Park. In the fall, visitors use this trail to hunt elk and deer as this area is considered winter range for both. The 6.5 mile trail is also open for off-road single track riding, horse and foot travel, and mountain biking, but can be very rocky and steep in places. Anglers will enjoy the scenic backdrop of Alder Creek when casting lines for a variety of trout.
Forest Road 610, South Fork, Colorado 81154