Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
About Ibex Cabin

Ibex Cabin was constructed in 1939 as a shelter for Forest Service rangers working within the Shields Ranger District of the Gallatin National Forest of south-central Montana. It is available for summer and winter recreational use, and provides a peaceful, remote mountain retreat.

Guests can drive to the cabin from June until the snow flies. The cabin is closed April and May due to road and wildlife protection. High clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles are strongly recommended. The access road to the cabin may get muddy in the rain, so guests may want to call ahead for road conditions. In the winter, the cabin is only accessible by a 5.5-mile ski, snowshoe or snowmobile trip. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety.

This cabin offers very rustic accommodations with limited amenities, so guests should be
prepared to bring most of their own supplies and gear to make their stay an enjoyable experience.


There are a number of trails in the area for hikers, equestrians and snowmobilers. Tresspass Trail and Cottonwood Lake Trail are good trails in the area to explore. Trails in the area may cross private property,so guests MUST stay on the trail.

Winter recreation includes snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Big game hunting is also a popular activity in this area.


The cabin has bunk beds with mattresses to accommodate up to four people. Other amenities include a wood stove for heat, a propane lantern ( bring propane cannisters), table, chairs, axe, splitting maul, bucket, broom, mop and shovel. An outhouse with vault toilet is located outside. FIREWOOD IS NOT AVAILABLE FROM JUNE 1ST THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30TH. PLEASE BRING FIREWOOD OR GATHER FROM FOREST DURING SUMMER. DO NOT BURN PROVIDED FIREWOOD FOR OUTDOOR FIRES, EVER, AS IT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO REPLACE. Firewood is available during winter months as long as supplies last. A campfire ring is located outside, (collect wood in forest nearby or bring firewood for outside fires). Electricity and water are not available. Guests must bring their own water supply, as well as cooking gear, propane canisters for the lantern, bedding, matches, newspaper, first aid kit, dishes and utensils, toilet paper and other necessities. The cabin will need to be cleaned and all trash carried out, prior to leaving.

Natural Features

The rustic cabin is nestled at the edge of a meadow in the foothills of the Crazy Mountains, at an elevation of 6,600 feet. A forest of Lodgepole pine grows behind the cabin, and views from the front reveal the 7,354-foot peak of Ibex Mountain. The surrounding meadow bursts with color from wildflowers in the summer. Mule deer, porcupine and elk may be spotted around the cabin. Several bird species that inhabit this area include bald eagles, owls, jays, western meadowlarks and mountain bluebirds.

ADA Access: N

Fee Info
Request for refunds or cancellations must be made through the National Recreation Reservation Service, in accordance with their policy. Changes to online reservations can only be made via the NRRS Contact Center: 1-877-444-6777. Within the Yellowstone Ranger District, refunds for weather or accessibility issues on the day of arrival or later will not be considered. Refunds will also not be considered for conditions resulting from poor housekeeping by previous visitors.
USDA Forest Service
Drive In
Fires Allowed
No Phone Service
Picnic Table
+ More
Ibex Cabin is located in Montana
46.0031 N
-110.4414 W
Get Directions
From Livingston, travel north on U.S. Highway 89 just past Clyde Park. Turn right onto Cottonwood Bench Road and continue 3 miles. Turn right onto Cottonwood Road and proceed for about 7 miles, to the intersection of Upper Cottonwood Creek Road and Lower Cottonwood Road. Turn left on Upper Cottonwood Creek Road. Take the next right, continuing on Upper Cottonwood Creek Road. Continue approximately 4.5 miles to an intersection and bear left onto Ibex Road, following the signs for the next 2.5 miles to the cabin. (High clearance four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended due to the rough road conditions). In the winter, park at the winter parking area at the intersection of Briggs Lane and Upper Cottonwood Creek Road, which is approximately 9 miles from U.S. Highway 89. Ski, snowshoe or snowmobile the remaining 5.5 miles to the cabin. The Cottonwood area can be extremely windblown during the winter months. Roads drift in with snow quickly during high winds and may not be plowed for 24 to 48 hours. It is recommended that winter guests carry topographic maps and compasses for navigation since the route may be windblown and difficult to find. The signs might be down due to weather conditions or vandalism.
1 Review of Ibex Cabin
First to Review
Great view, nice open space, good sized cabin

We rented the Ibex cabin the first week of June. The cabin was in great shape. The area is nice and open, however a few more trees closer to the cabin for hammock use would have been nice. If you want to hammock there are a couple trees behind the cabin that would work but it’s kind of away from everyone if they’re hanging out up front. The open field was perfect for letting the kiddos run around while being able to keep a close eye on them. The fields were covered in wildflowers, which is always awesome! Despite that, the views were lovely and there’s a nice babbling stream right behind the campfire pit which added a nice ambiance. Fire pit was in great shape, nice solid grate for grilling. The cabin porch had a few notches where we had the pleasure of bird watching some pretty cool wood peckers come and go. Picnic table was in good condition, solid and layed flat which is always convenient. Sometimes you get picnic tables which are kind of wobbly, but this one was great. The pit toilet was fairly clean, most likely because the road had recently opened to vehicles so it was probably cleaned fairly close to when we were there. There’s also a trailhead right before the gate that connects to the neighboring Porcupine Cabin which is cool to have so close. There were quite a bit of flies inside the cabin when we arrived but luckily there was a fly swatter hanging on the wall so that took care of that problem. Nice big table inside, good for playing cards/board games. The bunk beds were slightly questionable. Two of us slept on the bottom bunks and the other two slept on ground pads on the floor just because the wobbliness of the top bunks made us a wee bit nervous. The wood burning stove was pretty small. We lit it for heat about a half hour before bed, had to restart it about five hours later, but it wasn’t too chilly outside so it wasn’t uncomfortable when it cooled off. If it had been colder outside, one would maybe have to keep waking up to relight it. All in all, great area to get away for the weekend. Highly recommend!