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Painted Desert Ranger Cabin

98%
·
· Holbrook, Arizona
40 acres
1 site
1 Lodging
ATTENTION: If you do not have a lifted, high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle with locking differentials, and prepared for self-rescue with a winch, shovel, and rigging DO NOT BOOK THIS CABIN. The cabin sits at the end of an unmaintained, unimproved, dirt road that becomes impassible during winter snow events and summer monsoon rains! 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. The ranger cabin is a rustic off grid cabin that offers 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 ranger cabin sits on the border of the north wilderness area of the Petrified Forest National Park. There are great hiking and exploration opportunities right out the back door of the cabin.
Activities
Hiking
Horseback riding
Wildlife watching
Natural features
Desert
Available sites
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Location
Holbrook, Arizona, United StatesTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
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Hosted by Ross T.Joined in July 2019
98%
208 ratings · 171 reviews
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Tyler A.recommends
December 11, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Great spot!
Miles from anywhere, this cabin is a great spot to get your wilderness on. Wood pellet stove, running water, functional kitchen – – far exceeded expectations. When Ross says to bring a very capable vehicle, he is not joking. Be ready to bring it.
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Alexis A.recommends
December 4, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
This was a beautiful remote little cabin with an amazing view of the stars 🤩 We were able to keep warm at night, thanks to the provided pellets, and the firepit under the stars. One night was not enough! We were just outside the Petrified Forest and were able to have a couple adventures with our fur babies.
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C C.recommends
November 20, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Absolute gem
The Rangers Cabin has everything you need for a great stay. Very comfortable with clear cool November mornings, warm sunny afternoons followed by stunning sunsets. Warm and cozy the pellet stove does the job. If late nights are your thing consider bringing a LED lantern. Very accurate listing as in the consumables are up to you. As we were warned the road in can be a challenge. For reference only our Tacoma 4 wheel drive did fine at this date and time. Heed the previous review and consider packing in the last 500 ft.
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Victoria L.recommends
November 2, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Beautiful place!
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Morgan W.recommends
October 11, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
The cabin is really functional and the little extras at the cabin were useful to account for anything we forgot. The roads weren't too bad with a Jeep Wrangler, but we stopped before the very large gorge/gap in the road which is only a tenth of a mile from the cabin. If you're worried, stop at Walmart on the way and pick up an all terrain wagon. We packed our things between two backpacking packs and 2 bins + 1 cooler so it only took us 2 trips and less than 15 minutes to get our things to the cabin from there. Us and our dogs really enjoyed our adventure into the Devil's Playground from the cabin and the landscape was insanely beautiful. Recommend bringing a reliable means of offline GPS tracking so you can follow the maze of the Devil's Playground without worrying about getting lost. We mostly followed the loop, but deviated down openings and washes which revealed some really cool places. We would stay again!
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Feliz P.recommends
September 12, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Such a unique experience! The stars and scenery were amazing, and we loved being so close to the petrified Forrest. Ross had a lot of helpful supplies in the cabin which was great for any of the odds and ends we may have forgotten.
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Bethany B.recommends
September 6, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Most excellent stay
It was our first time staying in an off the grid cabin and it was AWESOME. Lovely sunset/sunrise view, the bed was comfortable (we got the best night of sleep out of our 10 - day trip to the SW in the cabin), and just an overall rad setup. SUV definitely needed.
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Lindsey R.recommends
August 29, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
We were road tripping for our honeymoon! We made it to the cabin an hour or so before sunset. Made dinner and let the stars light up the sky and We spent hours gazing and basking in the beauty that exists here, hoping to carry that peace into our upcoming school year. We were continuing on to New Mexico but wishing we could have stayed longer. Truly a special place that we will hold on to. Thank you! Do not hesitate to book and book for a lengthy visit, it is hard to leave this FULLY equipped remote haven.
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Kayti S.recommends
August 28, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Absolutely beautiful!
A truly unique experience to “glamping.” While yes the road in is rough, if it hasn’t rained recently it’s totally do-able. That being said, we do drive a rubicon, but we only decided to switch into 4WD for the last 1000ft ish. We also have street tires on and are currently weighed down with a insane roof rack that really limits what we can do. The worst part of the road is easily within walkable distance to the cabin (the big wash out pictured). It was cloudy for our last minute one night booking, but even then the stars were phenomenal. I’ve traveled a lot of places and been stargazing in some of America’s best recommended spots and can’t even begin to imagine how breathtaking that place would be on a clear night. If we’re ever back in the area, we will definitely plan a longer stay just for this cabin. Thank you Ranger Ross for sharing such a beautiful piece of you with Hipcamp for us to enjoy.
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Christi C.doesn't recommend
August 22, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
5 Towed Cars
The cabin is super well stocked, comfortable and more than expected. However, the road clearly has not been maintained. 4 cars prior to our lifted and off road ready Jeep Wrangler got stuck in a 2 week span of time. We also were a victim of the road. I would be prepared to hike in from 300 ft. Monsoon season is apparently a thing Arizonans just think the rest of the country knows about, which is incorrect. I wouldn't travel here in August due to that.
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Anna C.recommends
August 22, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Amazing Desert Experience
We had a blast! We were lucky our rental car was a Tacoma! The road was a bit washed out from the rains , but we made it most of the way to the cabin. We had so much fun taking photos in the desert. It was a great experience! The cabin itself was very cool! I would love to learn to build something that self sufficient. Thank you!
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Marissa G.recommends
August 14, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
We loved staying here! Most scenic camping! Very unique and remote.
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Jowi E.doesn't recommend
August 13, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Don’t bother without a pickup truck
The drive out to the ranger station was beautiful. Unfortunately I never made it to the location and I’m deeply disappointed in the communication from Ranger Ross. About 1/4 mile down the road from the station a deep gorge had been carved out by the rain and someone had just stacked up pallets in front of it to stop people from going through. I was in an SUV (a smallish one but I had driven through all of the other roughage along the several miles of dirt road out to the station with no issue), but it was so deep that if I tried to go through the nose I’d my car would’ve gone straight into the ground. I called Ranger Ross and he was pretty condescending when I told him the situation. “It’s clear on the listing that you need a 4 wheel drive vehicle “, assuming that I didn’t. He then suggested that I walk the remaining distance, and told me there was nothing he could do. Sir, I’m a woman traveling alone with a blind dog and a car full of equipment from camping across the country AND I can literally SEE the monsoon rolling in as I’m standing out here 5 miles from the nearest road. And you want me to abandon my car next to this muddy pit 1/4 mile from where I’m staying? I’m sorry but that sounds like the plot of a movie where I get kidnapped at the end. If I was able to hike out to my lodgings I would’ve booked hike out lodgings. I turned around and drove to the KOA. Ranger Ross eventually apologized and offered a refund.
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Alexandra R.recommends
July 25, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
It was great! The cabin was nice and cozy and the desert was beautiful 😍
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Michelle F.recommends
July 13, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Totally off the grid
This was a one of a kind experience. Thank you for creating this little gem and sharing it with others. I’m truly amazed.
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Anna R.recommends
July 9, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Perfect Desert Getaway
My husband and I LOVED Ranger Ross’s cabin! Beautiful, rustic stay in the heart of the Painted Desert and convenient to Petrified Forest NP. So quiet and secluded, spectacular sunset, and a huge sky full of stars!! The road was definitely sketchy for our non-4WD vehicle, but it was dry so we made it because of my husband’s driving skills Lol! I recommend paying attention to the weather a couple days before your stay. An SUV should be fine, but I wouldn’t trust a sedan or smaller car to get there. Totally worth it for those who are seeking a truly off-grid experience.
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Hannah G.recommends
June 29, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
I enjoyed my stay at the ranger house! It feels very remote and peaceful. I didn't know about monsoon season so the road got a little soft but my 4WD truck handled no problem. The house has everything you need and nothing you don't! Loved the garage door, though I did sleep in because it's completely dark with it closed. Would stay again!
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Serenity D.recommends
June 20, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
It was amazing!! Truly feel rebirthed after staying here. Had such an amazing experience and the perfect place to really dig into the friendships you have with those who join!
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Karen C.recommends
June 16, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
We had a fun time! Very remote. Beautiful location. Sunset was amazing! True off grid experience and adventure!
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Ryan R.recommends
June 13, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
A very uniue camping experience. Cabin was well-stocked. A good value.
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Shaylyn Q.recommends
June 13, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Beware of the heat
This place was great! You definitely do need 4WD to get to the cabin. The only negative to our trip was the heat which is out of the control of the cabin of course! In addition to what we packed, there were lots of thoughtful necessities in the cabin. Great sunsets and morning coffee views. Because of the heat, we ended up sleeping in our car the first night. The cabin felt stuffy without windows and we didn't feel comfortable sleeping with the entire garage door open. The second night, we chose to sleep with the door open anyways to prevent another night in the car. Otherwise, wonderful stay and would definitely recommend to others in cooler temperatures! Only about 15 minutes to Petrified for a nice day trip.
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Lorian T.recommends
June 5, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin was magical! It had amazing views in a secluded area! All the amenities were very helpful. Very close to Petrified Forest! Thanks Ranger Ross!
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Kameron I.recommends
June 4, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
What a fantastic location. If anything, you need a vehicle with good ground clearance. We visited in May, so the road was dry and easily drivable without 4 wheel or AWD, but there are distinct areas where the water washes through and you might need the assitance during the rainy months. Another thing to be aware of, the structure is off grid so it receives its power through solar and small wind turbines located on the roof. During our visit the winds were very strong activating the wind turbines which can be heard while inside. If you are a light sleeper this might be a problem. Overall, this is a gem of a find. and would highly recommend for an extended stay. Loved It!! We will be returning to this site again in the future.
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Claudia M.recommends
June 3, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Amazing :)
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Aleta H.recommends
May 25, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Beautiful location with stunning sunsets. The cabin was perfect for our needs and let us be close to Petrified Forest while also feeling like we were in our own world. The road is rough and while we did not have AWD we did have a higher clearance vehicle which was good as some of those bumps were big.
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Dustin S.recommends
May 18, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Convenient to the Petrified Forest
Great place, and really convenient to Devil's Playground if you manage to snag a permit. Beautiful views. The road is rough but most cars should make it if you go slow and steady. Unless it rains, then you'll definitely need a 4x4.
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Lauren M.recommends
May 16, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
We absolutely loved ranger Ross’s cabin and so wish we could have stayed much longer than one night. Solitude, beautiful scenery, cool plants and wildlife, and the cabin experience was great. All you could need for even an extended stay. We enjoyed using the campfire and rocking swing during our stay as our first camping trip as a couple. The cabin is so well thought out and well built, and it was even a little hard to leave to go visit the very close by petrified forest national park that morning. The yuccas were in full bloom and absolutely covered in yucca moths. Definitely recommend the high clearance vehicle to get to this gem. Wanna return soon!
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Michelle D.recommends
April 29, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Perfectly remote
What an amazing, secluded space! Exactly what I was looking for.
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Aurelie R.recommends
April 21, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
One of the Best experience for us as a family. We are avid campers and backpackers and having three opportunity to stay in the middle of PF was an extraordinary opportunity. Thank you Rangers Kip and Ross. As others said, thank you for sharing this gem with others.
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Daniel F.recommends
April 18, 2022
Painted Desert Ranger Cabin
Best camping experience
It literally had everything you can imagine. I pretty sure I could live there forever. That place was amazing and well worth the drive. Recommend staying more than 2 nights.
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