Hipcamp host Ross T.,
Hosted by
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The Painted Desert Ranger Cabin is a backcountry, off grid cabin built by Ranger Ross in 2011. Ranger Ross lived in the cabin while he worked as a resource protection ranger at the Petrified Forest National Park until 2015 when he transferred to the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. Ranger Ross now allows backcountry hikers to enjoy the cabin by renting it out by t


The Painted Desert Ranger Cabin is a backcountry, off grid cabin built by Ranger Ross in 2011. Ranger Ross lived in the cabin while he worked as a resource protection ranger at the Petrified Forest National Park until 2015 when he transferred to the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. Ranger Ross now allows backcountry hikers to enjoy the cabin by renting it out by the night or the week.

The ranger cabin is a rustic off grid cabin that offers almost no amenities. There is no concierge, room service, or continental breakfast. There is no linen service or fancy little bottles of shampoo. It does however, offer beautiful views of the Painted Dessert wilderness, quiet serenity, and amazing star gazing opportunities. All from the comfort of a cozy one room cabin with a queen size bed and a flush toilet.

The cabin is not easily accessible by passenger vehicles. However, visitors can hike to it through the Petrified Forest National Park if they do not have an off-road capable vehicle. If you are driving please remember it is only accessible by dirt road. A high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended, the cabin is about 4 miles off the pavement.

This is a remote, back-country, cabin. Guests should plan to bring everything they will need including food, sleeping bags (or) linens for the queen size bed, fire wood, toilet paper and drinking water. Please clean up after your stay and leave the cabin ready for the next visitor.

Lodging provided
1 site
Up to 8 guests per site
Park at listing
No ADA access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Kitchen available
Showers available
Picnic table available
No potable water
No wifi
Pack it out
Have a question? Send Ross a message!
  • Check in: After 12PM
  • Check out: Before 12PM
  • Cancellation policy: Flexible
  • On arrival: Go straight to camp
  • Minimum nights: 1 night
  • Accepts bookings: 9 months out


Offered on the Host's property or nearby.


The Petrified Forest National Park provides lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy the fresh air. If you want to see the pa...Read more

Horseback riding

Horses are allowed in Petrified Forest Wilderness, and your welcome to use the cabin as your base camp. There is an old corral ...Read more

Wildlife watching


Natural features you'll find at Painted Desert Ranger Cabin in Arizona.


There is no valet parking, and certainly no need for advanced parking reservations. There are no public transportation options ...Read more

Places to see near Painted Desert Ranger Cabin

100 Reviews

This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper David

Telescoping perfect!

David W.
recommends this listing.
August 5th, 2019

This place is awesome .. It's everything stated and more. I booked it for star gazing with my telescope but unfortunately it was mostly cloudy at night because of the August Pm monsoons. The cabin can get quite warm during the day in August but it opens up nicely with the large overhead door and it has a working swamp cooler the cools it down comfortably. The temperature drops down quickly at night by 7pm to the mid 70s. We slept with the doors wide open all night with hardy any bugs as long as you didn't have any lights on to attract them.
This will be my go to place for star gazing... What's funny I could do it in my underwear and no one is around to care🤗

Painted Desert Ranger CabinPainted Desert Ranger CabinPainted Desert Ranger CabinPainted Desert Ranger Cabin
Hipcamper Dan

Desert perfection...

Dan F.
recommends this listing.
August 27th, 2019

Some friends and I stayed here while driving across the country, so only for one night. However! This was easily one of the most memorable stops of the trip.
Off the grid but hotel comfort, in remote beauty. We arrived to a stunning sunset and a bottle of wine. It turned overcast at night, but through the gaps in the clouds you could see every single star. I love dark sky areas! You're also a stone's throw from a national park/petrified forest with petroglyphs. For the cheesy roadside attraction, there's a fossil store with hilariously kitch dinosaur sculptures all over.
Short version, I absolutely loved staying here, and have been recommending it to friends since.

The open interior!The shiny metal cabin!You're also in wide open space. Since we had a few guests I also set up the tent. Soft flat ground, great views.Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Hipcamper Katie
Katie C.
recommends this listing.
August 30th, 2019

Really rad place on the outskirts of the Painted Desert. We drove our minivan in at night (I'd suggest only bringing your minivan if you frequently go off-road in it and know how to do off-road maneuvering in it... not everyone is skilled at this. I'm not but my husband is, so don't just go for it if you don't have experience.)

There is a 5 star bathroom on site - a nice warm shower, toilet, sink. CLEAN!! Toilet paper in the bathroom in case you run out too.

There is a stocked kitchen with a sink and stove. You can make coffee here. You can cook - there are pots and pans. There are plates, mugs, wine glasses. Even a grill you can roll outside to cook on. Or just cook over one of the fire pits if you are feeling it! The ranger has really prepared a haven for you out here.

There are books and games to play/read in the cabin. Also, sheets, bed pillows, etc. I think I even saw an emergency pair of socks hahah. Those may just be his, so bring extra socks. Hahah

THE DARK SKY + MILKY WAY - This was the coolest thing about the cabin. We stayed up late watching meteors and shooting stars. The milky way was brighter than I've seen it in any area in Arizona. Amazing.

It's an hour from the south entrance and about an hour to the north entrance too. You can hike into the devil's playground from the cabin. The cabin has a notebook with all the backcountry trails too - the ranger in the park mentioned if you do these backcountry trails, you need to fill out a permit - they're free. Just go in the morning and get it taken care of.

view from the backdoorMilky way view from cabinstars at nightView from cabin
Hipcamper Nicole
Nicole N.
recommends this listing.
September 19th, 2019

We had a great stay! It was an awesome place with an even better location. Very close to national park but secluded enough to feel like an adventure. The host clearly takes a lot of pride in his cabin and it’s well-stocked in case you forget something like firewood or matches. The property was well-taken care of and the dirt road was easily accessible. There was dirty laundry and garbage left from the previous guest but we just packed out theirs with ours, and didn’t need towels since we were only staying a night. We would love to stay again. You should add it to your bucket list, for sure!

Hipcamper McKenzie

Can’t forget the homemade wine

Mc Kenzie M.
recommends this listing.
September 27th, 2019

Such a great place to stay if you’re looking for a mini getaway isolated with the nature. Took our pup with us, and had a great time. Follow all instructions, and you won’t have to worry about anything. Also, try the peach wine-it’s fantastic, just don’t break a glass like I did. Lol. We’ll be donating a set to the camp

Hipcamper Elaine

Better than we can describe.

Elaine F.
recommends this listing.
October 9th, 2019

This was our first Hipcamp stay and the Painted Desert Ranger Cabin has set the bar high. Everything was better than expected. The stars literally enveloped us at night and we were lucky enough to see a meteor!

My time out chairPainted Desert Ranger CabinPainted Desert Ranger CabinPainted Desert Ranger Cabin
Hipcamper Ashley

Amazing setting

Ashley B.
recommends this listing.
August 12th, 2019

One of the most unique places I have ever stayed! So remote yet close to the highway and National Forest. Great accommodations! We all had an amazing stay and I will be back for sure.

Hipcamper Ariana
Ariana G.
recommends this listing.
October 3rd, 2019

This cabin is off the beaten path and does not disappoint. Though minimalistic in appearance, it is stocked with all the amenities you might need. I can’t recommend this place enough to anyone who likes feeling a little off the grid but without the massive ‘setup’. If you happen to roll in at sunset, you won’t forget this sweet spot, I can guarantee it. Also, the shower!!!

Hipcamper Megan
Megan M.
recommends this listing.
October 13th, 2019

Very secluded and beautiful area! We were able to have a relaxing time, do some hiking nearby and hang out by the fire pit at night. Nice to be so out in nature but have so many amenities as well! Great spot!


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