Notch Cabin is about 62 miles from Ennis, Montana. The final 28 miles are gravel, dirt or primitive two-track. From Ennis, take Montana Highway 287 west for 23 miles to Alder. At Alder, turn south toward Ruby Reservoir (County 248) and travel 21 miles. Turn right on Ledford Creek Road (County 50) and travel southwest for 3 miles to signed junction. Turn right and after about 4.5 miles, you’ll enter the Robb-Ledford WMA. Continue for 0.5 mile to junction, turn right and travel for 5 miles. This stretch of the road will split, with the option of going around or over a hill, then reconnecting a short distance later. After the 5 miles, the Springbrook road joins in from the west. Continue south toward the mountains and cross Ledford Creek after about 3.5 miles. Go 0.5 mile farther, and you’ll reach the Forest Boundary. The cabin lies 1 mile beyond the boundary. The route is signed. You’ll see the cabin straight ahead just as the road turns left across the creek. Driving time from Ennis is nearly 3 hours, with the last 9 miles taking over an hour. Cabin may also be accessed via Sweetwater Creek Road, then Springbrook road. This route is not signed. See map for details. Maps (Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest-South) may be purchased by calling the Madison Ranger District at 406-682-4253.
CAMPING, HIKING, HUNTING, WILDLIFE VIEWING
NOTC,NOTCH,BEAVERHEAD-DEERLODGE NF -FS
Notch Cabin is located in a remote part of southwestern Montana, within proposed wilderness, and is open from July 1 through November. It is somewhat difficult to access, but worth the trouble for outdoor enthusiasts. The cabin is used by big game hunters during hunting season. Hiking is available in the summer and fall. The cabin was built by a miner in the early 1900s. The surrounding landscape is thick with sage and grasslands, transitioning to timbered slopes that are full of wildlife. A high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle is required to access the cabin, which is located near the end of a very rough road. The cabin offers some basic amenities. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring most of their own supplies and gear.
In addition to big game hunting, visitors can enjoy hiking, backpacking and horseback riding in the area. While no Forest Service trails are within the immediate vicinity of the cabin, the Snowcrest Trail is within a mile. It covers the entire range, providing panoramic views of the area. The 40-mile trail can serve as a hearty horseback riding adventure, a lengthy backpacking trip, or make for several day trips. The nearby seasonal mountain streams offer access to fishing. Anglers can enjoy a possible catch of brook trout, among other species. The wildlife management area is also good for hunting, but offers a perfect opportunity for visitors to catch a glimpse of wildlife in their natural habitat. Due to the high elevation and short growing season, recreational livestock is allowed only if supplemental feed (certified weed-free) is brought in. No pasture or corral is available. The final two miles of the access road to the cabin are not suitable for horse trailers.
You must call the Madison Ranger District at 406-682-4253 Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm for the cabin combination. The office is NOT open on Federal Holidays. The tiny, low-roofed cabin is equipped with a set of bunk beds with foam pads that sleep up to two people, a propane cook stove, basic cooking utensils, a propane lantern, wood heat stove, broom, dustpan and basic cleaning supplies. Firewood is provided, stacked under the trees behind the cabin. A primitive outhouse is located 100 feet northwest of the cabin. Water is available only from the stream and must be properly filtered, treated or boiled for drinking or cooking purposes. It is recommended that guests bring their own water supply for drinking, cooking and washing. Fuel is not provided for the cook stove or lantern. Guests must bring small propane canisters. Other items to bring include sleeping bags, pillows, flashlights, matches, food, toilet paper and garbage bags. There is no cell phone service available in the area. Guests should replenish the supply of split wood and kindling, pack out all trash and food, and clean the cabin before leaving.
The cabin is situated at an elevation of 8,470 feet in a notch between Olson Peak and Hogback Mountain on the Snowcrest Range. A small stream runs about 100 feet in front of the cabin.
The Robb-Ledford Wildlife Management Area is nearby, which is an important elk and big game winter range that spans more than 28,000 acres in southwestern Montana. In addition to elk, the range is home to mule deer, upland birds and a growing population of grizzly bears (learn more about bear safety).