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Created: 2010/09/18 08:51 AM        Last Updated: 2010/09/18 08:51 AM

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Camp Details Camp Name: KADING CABIN (MT)
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Camp Type: Public / Goverment

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Kading cabin is a one-room cabin that is primitive and rustic in nature. Located near the Little Blackfoot River just 16 miles south of Elliston, Montana. Although it is not as isolated in the summer months, due to the adjacent campground, one can still escape the fast pace of town. There is plenty of hiking, fishing, wildlife and wildflower viewing to be had along the numerous trails and roads that can be accessed within a short distance from the cabin. For mining history buffs, there are plenty of historic mines, including Charter Oak Mine and Mill and the Monarch Mine.

History of the Cabin:Located in an area of the Helena Forest that was a part of the original Helena Forest Reserve established in 1906. The original reserve extended from the Little Prickly Pear Valley, west of Canyon Creek, southward almost to Dillon, Montana. In 1907 the portion of the Helena Forest southward from the Boulder River drainage was transferred to the Deerlodge forest. The Little Blackfoot area has historically been administered by the Elliston District Ranger that was first headquartered at a ranger station near the Lions Sunshine Camp and later from the ranger station in Elliston.

The present Kading Cabin has served the Forest Service since the early days of the Helena National Forest. In a letter dated April 13, 1912 from the Forest Supervisor to Assistant Ranger Mizner at Elliston it was requested that Mizner select a site for a ranger station in the vicinity of Kading Cabin. Kading Cabin at that time was an abandoned cow camp belonging to C.J. Kading of Deerlodge.

A report dated August 1913 mentions that this is a good location for an intermediate station and when improved would be used as summer headquarters. Reasons for this being a good location were its central location, "from the Kading Administrative Site the Blackfoot Ranger Station (near the Lions Sunshine Camp) is approximately 8 miles distant; the Burnt Hollow Ranger Station (now part of the Deerlodge Forest) is approximately 13 miles distant."

It goes on to state that "the proposed station; being on the Blackfoot telephone line and already equipped with a telephone instrument and situated at point from which all of the headwaters of the Little Blackfoot, as well as Baggs, Fred Burr, dog, Trout, Hat, Slate and Ontario Creeks are accessible by either trail or wagon road; would be most valuable for both administrative and protective work."

A report from the mid 1930's mentions that "a new cabin and a small barn is needed very badly at Kading". Apparently the present cabin was built shortly after this by the Civilian Conservation Corps and renovations and repairs were made in the 1960's and again in the early 1990's.


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Located 40 miles southeast of Helena, Montana in the Little Blackfoot drainage, the cabin can be reached via US Highway 12, turning south onto the Little Blackfoot Road just east of Elliston. From this intersection, it will be approximately 16 miles to the cabin. It is located on the North or right side of the road, directly across from the entrance to Kading Campground.

During the winter months, the Little Blackfoot River Road is only plowed on a regular basis as far as Hat Creek. Normally, the county plows the road to this point and makes a turn-around for parking. Approximately 7 more miles of unplowed road remain to traverse to the cabin. This section of road is closed to vehicles but open to those who like to ski, snowmobile or use dog sleds.

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Phone: 406-449-5490

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