Reservations possible?
RV Hookups
Potable water
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Sitting around 5,300 feet on the north edge of Timpanogas Lake, the Timpanogas Shelter has amazing views of the water and Sawtooth Mountain. It is ideally situated for both summer and winter activities, and it becomes a wonderful base camp for day hikes to Indigo, June, and Opal lakes as well as other trail systems such as the Middle Fork Willamette Trail. Because of the high elevation, nights can be chilly even during the summer months. 

The 15-foot by 18-foot rustic shelter was constructed in 1991 in a collaborative effort between the Forest Service, the University of Oregon, and the Walker Rim Snowmobile Club. The shelter is accessible by car, but during the winter months snow may make the road impassable. Hiking or snowshoeing in is possible. 

Amenities include a wood burning stove, a sleeping loft, and a picnic table and benches. It can comfortably accommodate about six people, and there is room outside for additional tents. A fire ring, picnic table, and vault toilet are all located nearby. Potable water can be found at the Timpanogas Campground on the other side of the lake, about a mile from the shelter, during the summer months. Firewood is generously provided during the winter months by the volunteers with the Walker Rim Riders. 

Reservations are required from June through November, but the shelter is first-come, first-served during the winter months. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass

Not Required


Wood burning stove. Great views. Lake access. No fee during winter season.


Mosquitoes during summer.

Pets allowed


Managed by

Forest Service

Reservation phone number



Vault toilet
Swimming holes


Nearby Lodging + Camping


Went here in early July. Definitely not the best time of year to go due to mosquitoes and still snow on trails. The mosquitoes were some of the worst I've experienced outside of Alaska. The plus side is we were some of the only ones crazy enough to be out there so it was pretty quiet. Unfortunately the snow put a damper on hiking to some locations since the trails got lost in the snow. Being unfamiliar with the area and not prepared to go off trail I had to turn back on some. I guess all the rain/snowfall this past winter is taking quite a while to melt.

The sleeping loft is about 17'x4.5' so you can easily sleep 4-6 people on the platform, no need to bring an extra cot if you're a small enough group. There was also quite a bit of firewood stocked at the shelter as well.
For my birthday this year we decided head to this little shelter cabin with our two dogs Sookie and Sonya, and it couldn't have worked out better. We drove up on Nov 10th which turned into a beautiful sunny day by the time we arrived in the afternoon. We followed the directions off of this page and it got us there with no trouble at all. There was a bit of snow up there but no more than a few inches covering the road for the last 4 miles or so. The trees were beautiful with increasing snow accumulation as we gained elevation. We drive a 2010 Forester and it handled it just fine. We stayed 2 nights and left Thursday, the sun was shinning and the snow was melting by then. The road back did have some deeper snow in spots, felt like we were floating, but we didn't loose traction and made it out just fine.
This spot was beyond beautiful with fresh snowfall, a lake with a mountain view, secluded all to ourselves. I could not have asked for a better birthday outdoor adventure! It snowed pretty much all day on Wednesday the 11th. The dogs had a blast playing in the snow and then being able to cuddle up in a warm bed, they get a little grumpy tent camping in the winter so this was a welcomed change. We hiked to Indigo Lake and back in the snow showers and enjoyed a warm fire in the stove on our return. We brought 3 bundles of store bought fire wood intended to restock what we used from the woodshed but there wasn't very much wood when we arrived and burned through most of ours. We moved some larger logs under the roof outside, getting snowed on, into the shed to dry out. Not sure how much use this thing sees in the winter but there is not enough wood to keep the stove hot for too many more days. I definitely would come back here again for even longer it was such a relaxing getaway, just enough "luxury" for me while camping.
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