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

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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 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
Cabin
1 site
Up to 8 guests per site
Park at listing
No wheelchair access
Essentials
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Amenities
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

Activities

Offered on the Host's property or nearby.

Hiking

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

Terrain

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

Desert

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

122 Reviews

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

Cool off grid experience!

Gucci F.
recommends this listing.
October 14th, 2021

Such a beautiful location! The isolation and bumpy drive in takes a little getting used to but it is so worth it. Cabin was warm and had everything I needed, and the hikes were unreal. Would love to come back in the future.

Hipcamper Hannah
Hannah R.
recommends this listing.
October 8th, 2021

The cabin was absolutely amazing! Super unique stay if you're looking for something remote with stunning vista views. The drive was a little tricky at times, but Ranger Ross did a good job of fortifying some areas with sandbags. The cabin had everything we needed for a two-night stay! Definitely not the amenities that I'm used to with camping, so it was a nice reprieve from the rest of our trip.

I would also recommend saving any hikes you want to do offline. We didn't bring a satellite GPS and probably would've felt more comfortable with longer hikes if we had.

All in all, this was a highlight of our trip and I can't wait to come back in the future!

Hipcamper Stefanie

Secluded desert haven

Stefanie K.
recommends this listing.
September 28th, 2021

Absolutely stunning! We had an amazing stay. This cabin is the coziest and most efficient place! Incredible sunset with even more incredible stars! It did not disappoint. Beware that if it does become a wet and rainy you will absolutely need a vehicle built for mud as this is the kind of mud that sticks to the treads of your tires. Lovely stay and we will definitely be back!

Painted Desert Ranger CabinPainted Desert Ranger CabinPainted Desert Ranger CabinPainted Desert Ranger Cabin
Hipcamper Daphne

Beautiful and secluded

Daphne C.
recommends this listing.
September 11th, 2021

LOVED our stay here. The view day or night was amazing. I’ve never seen so many stars in the sky before. It is very secluded. Didn’t see a single person.
The only CON was right before you get to the cabin there is a bad dip in the road. We had a 4wd GMC Terrain and barely made it. Rubbed the front of the car. Even a truck would have to be cautious going thru this. A regular car or 2wd veh will not make it back there. Hopefully with time that spot can be fixed. Overall, it is awesome and our favorite spot we have stayed this far. We will for sure be back!!!

Painted Desert Ranger CabinPainted Desert Ranger Cabin
Hipcamper Leanne

Magical place

Leanne S.
recommends this listing.
September 8th, 2021

This was my 2nd stay here at the cabin. If you enjoy solitude and peace and quiet this is for you. It has propane stove and small fridge. The swampcooler works great just start it before dark to cool the inside down. The milky way was incredible and i even saw a couple shooting stars! Magical place. Highly recommend!!!

Painted desertDrive backBeautiful scenery Painted desert
Hipcamper Egan
Egan S.
recommends this listing.
September 4th, 2021

Our communication with the hosts was very pleasant; however, we were unable to access the shelter due to an impassable road. Even in a large, high-clearance, rugged vehicle, we could not make it through and ended up spending the night in our vehicle, since we couldn’t make the trek on foot with our belongings and children. The host requested that we leave a review and photos accurately depicting the impassable road. The washed out area in the road was deep enough for my three year old to stand in and be completely obscured, and there was no way around. If you have a way of accessing the shelter, I would recommend it!

Host requested we post photographs of impassable road, so that future Hipcampers would be aware of the need for an off-road vehicle. High clearance and 4WD was not sufficient.Host requested we post photographs of impassable road, so that future Hipcampers would be aware of the need for an off-road vehicle. High clearance and 4WD was not sufficient.Host requested we post photographs of impassable road, so that future Hipcampers would be aware of the need for an off-road vehicle. High clearance and 4WD was not sufficient.
Hipcamper Ross
Response from Ross, the Host, on September 10th, 2021

Egan- Thank you for uploading these photos! This will definitely help other Hipcampers understand what they are in for. Monsoon season is a natural part of desert life, visitors should expect the dirt road to be difficult and treacherous. A high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle and good off-road driving skills are required!

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Hipcamper Jamie
Jamie H.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
September 2nd, 2021

It is an absolutely beautiful place to stay. A perfect quiet place for a getaway, and plenty of opportunity to explore. Just please consider two things before booking- first, can you handle sleeping in a hot room at night in the desert with no AC (the fan is only able to be operated during daylight hours). I didn’t feel comfortable leaving the garage door open for air while sleeping because I was alone and well, animals. I used ice from the freezer to cool myself off throughout the night. Second, do you really have a vehicle capable of handling rough terrain? The road is VERY rough, especially the last little bit before you reach the cabin due to the monsoon season. The host did warn me, which was very courteous, but I was indeed a bit timid going over this particular spot, even with my Jeep- and there was no other way around it. Be prepared to walk the last two minutes or so if you do not want to risk it. If those two things are not an issue for you, I see no reason you should not stay. You will thoroughly enjoy all the wide open space. 😁

Hipcamper Ross
Response from Ross, the Host, on September 10th, 2021

Thank you Jamie, your review will help others understand the Painted Desert Ranger Cabin is not a chalet in the woods. The term cabin is used loosely here... the Painted Desert Ranger Cabin is rugged, secluded, and surrounded by wilderness. Visitors who are uncomfortable sleeping outside with wild animals should reconsider. The off-grid power system is not designed for visitors to have the conveniences and comforts of suburban life, it is only intended to operate a couple lights at night, and pump water from the ground during the day so visitors can have a shower and a toilet. I hope overall you had a positive experience!

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Hipcamper Patrick
Patrick R.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
August 30th, 2021

Beautiful location and the cabin is fully stocked with everything you'll need (including a flushing toilet and running water), but there's a few things you should know:

- 4x4 is necessary to drive directly to the cabin, there is a massive hole in the road right at the end that we needed 4LO to get through.
- Bring earplugs, the solar powered water pump is loud (enough to occasionally shake the roof), and runs through the night.
- Ventilation is an issue, especially in summer. Hot air gets easily trapped inside and there's no fan/roof vent to let the air escape. I'd suggest bringing a box fan but the outlets are turned off at night. We had to leave the garage door open all night, otherwise it was too hot to sleep.

All in all it was a nice stay but we ended up cutting the trip short due to the issues above.

Hipcamper Ross
Response from Ross, the Host, on September 10th, 2021

Thank you for visiting Patrick. I'm sorry the cabin was not quite what you had expected. One wall of the cabin opens all the way up... I can't imagine any better ventilation option than having an entire wall that opens. As the listing explains, the cabin is 5 miles off the pavement via a rugged and unmaintained dirt road. Monsoon season happens annually and is a natural part of the desert.

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Hipcamper Natasha

Mind blown

Natasha M.
recommends this listing.
August 19th, 2021

This was an amazing experience. I will come back and stay longer!

Awards

Best in 2021 Arizona
Finalist
Best in 2021 Cabin
Finalist
Property
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
State
Arizona
Country
United States
$43/night
1 Site

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