Mormon Lake Guard Station, AZ 2021
Mormon Lake Guard Station, AZ 2021

Mormon Lake Guard Station, AZ 2021

Mormon Lake Guard Station, near completion of the 2018 project work

Mormon Lake Guard Station, AZ 2021 – Phase III

Third time’s a charm at this volunteer favorite! Mormon Lake is located just south of beautiful Flagstaff, AZ on the Coconino National Forest. 

PROJECT PARTNER: Coconino National Forest

SESSION DATES: May 2-7, May 23-28, and May 30 – June 4

Project Site Description & History

The Coconino National Forest has invited volunteers to come back for the third year in a row to continue rehabilitating this historic guard station! In 2018, volunteer crews installed a new roof and replaced deteriorated siding on the building (see the transformation in the photos to the right!). In 2019, crews worked on the guard station’s floors and other interior elements. This popular project often fills up quick – and we’re excited to return in 2021!

Mormon Lake, Arizona: the sometimes-largest natural lake in the state. Its water level rises and falls with the seasons, sometimes becoming deep enough to boat in and other times drying up almost entirely. For most of the year though, it exists as a riparian marsh, a unique environment in this part of the country. Volunteers will be treated to a special camping spot that is not open to the general public and offered great views of the lake and surrounding landscape.

For over 100 years, the Mormon Lake Guard Station Residence Building served the US Forest Service in managing the pine dominated plateau country surrounding the shallow, periodically dry, basin of Mormon Lake. Constructed as early as 1908 and named, without flair, as the Mormon Lake Ranger Station, the building served for decades as both a ranger station and modest residence for rangers and their families. Operating out if this building, rangers managed timber sales, grazing permits, homestead entries, and strategized the suppression of wildfires.

By the 1970s, the a new modern Ranger Station building was constructed closer to Flagstaff, and old station grounds were repurposed as the Mormon Lake Guard Station. This guard station functioned as a staging area compound for wildland fire-fighters, and the old residence building was used to house seasonal crew members, including the fledgling Mormon Lake Hotshot crew.

Over time, the Ranger Residence building, was referred to by the fire crews as the ‘Cook Shack’ and was used as a communal location for crews to convene and prepare meals. A new modular crew building was constructed nearby in 2002, and the Ranger Residence fell into disrepair. As it once served as home to hundreds of wildland firefighters and forest service employees, this place still holds a strong connection to many people who live and work in the area and on the Coconino National Forest. It is hoped that the repair and preservation work on the building will eventually lead to its inclusion into the ‘Rooms with a View’ Arizona Cabin Rental Program sponsored by the US Forest Service. This program offers historic buildings to the public for daily/nightly rental.

A proud (and maybe just a bit tired!) volunteer crew at the end of the 2018 Mormon Lake Guard Station project work.

Mormon Lake Guard Station, at the beginning of the 2018 project work. What a difference this project’s volunteer crews made! 

View of the San Francisco peaks as seen from Mormon Lake

Location and Logistics

PROJECT PARTNERCoconino National Forest

DATES: May 2-7, May 23-28, and May 30-June 4

LOCATION: Mormon Lake is approximately 30 mintues south of Flagstaff. Volunteers will camp onsite near Mormon Lake Guard Station.

SITE INFORMATION: Tent camping onlySite is RV/trailer accessibleshowers available
*Note: Pay showers are available (Covid restrictions pending) at the nearby Mormon Lake Lodge – bring quarters to operate them! No hookups available but small RVs/trailers can be accommodated.

ABOUT VOLUNTEERING: HistoriCorps projects are free for volunteers! HistoriCorps will provide all meals, tools, training, and equipment, and a campsite. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the campsite, sleeping equipment, work clothes and boots, and other personal gear.

Scope of Work



Interior: 65%

  • Stripping paint off of wood floors – 10%
  • Painting walls and ceilings – 25%
  • Repairing drywall – 5%
  • Minor carpentry including installing tongue and groove wallboard – 15%
  • Window and door repair and reconstruction – 10%
Exterior: 35%
  • Siding installation and painting – 10%
  • Scraping and painting existing peeling paint from siding – 10%
  • Gutter installation – 5%
  • Re-stain deck – 10%

Sign Up!

We’re thrilled this project has inspired you to volunteer! Choose your session and register below:

You will know your registration was successful when you receive a confirmation email. Contact for assistance.

HistoriCorps does not charge for its volunteering projects. HistoriCorps relies on donations to continue engaging volunteers to save significant historical sites across America for generations to come. Your donation of any amount will make an incredible difference! Learn more here.

Volunteer FAQ, Policies, and Advice

We’re so glad you’re interested in joining this project! If you’re new to our community, review the Volunteer FAQ first! Please note the following logistics and policies:

  • Review our COVID protocols here
  • Volunteering with HistoriCorps is free! We will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite or shared indoor lodging. Dinner is not provided on the first night.
  • Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own gear, sturdy work clothes and boots, and appropriate sleeping equipment. Check the average temperatures before you start packing – the nights and mornings may be colder than you anticipate! Then, read this advice about how to stay warm when tent camping in colder places.
  • Campsite accessibility varies by project. Some projects can accommodate tents only; others can accommodate small RVs. Please review the project site description above for more information, and if you’re still not sure, email for help.
  • If this project does not offer showers, you might want to consider bringing a solar shower or research other methods to clean up after the work day.
  • Volunteer crew sizes generally range from 4-8 volunteers, with two HistoriCorps staff that lead and train volunteers in the work.
  • Safety is one of HistoriCorps’ top priorities, and volunteers can contribute to a safe working environment by ensuring their physical fitness is adequate for the work. See above for this project’s scope of work and difficulty level. Please, call us if you are not quite sure if a project is a good fit for your skills or fitness level. We may be able to suggest a project more suitable and enjoyable for you.
  • Dogs are generally allowed to accompany their humans in project campsites (actually, we love having dogs join us around the campfire!). Dogs are not permitted on the job site for everyone's safety. HOWEVER: HistoriCorps also follows the rules and regulations of our project partner. If the project partner does not permit dogs onsite then HistoriCorps is no exception. Please ask HistoriCorps or the project partner directly if you have any questions about whether Fido is welcome.