Backpacking: Pioneer Outpost at Cutter Scout Reservation

The Hike

Not especially well-marked if you want to make it a loop, but easy to follow on a fire road if you make it an out-and-back. This campsite is a couple of miles from the main part of Cutter, past the COPE course, down into a small valley. When you hit a decent-sized meadow on the downhill side of the road, you’re there.

If you know a Scouter who’s taken the High Adventure Training (HAT) course at Cutter, they have probably hiked the whole loop. GPS tracks are available, if you ask nicely.

Why Go Here?

Who knew there was a backcountry campsite at Cutter? It won’t be booked up by tourists from the midwest, that’s for sure. Give it a try.

There are a couple of small campsites just off of Butano Fire Road, McKie and the ESAR Outpost. I’d choose McKie, which is on top of a ridge and has nice views, but it only has room for a few tents. The Pioneer outpost is a meadow big enough for a few patrols.

Reservations and Planning

The backcountry campsites are $6 per person per night.

The water source is South Fork Butano Creek, a bit up the road towards the main camp area from the campsite. You’ll be carrying water back to the campsite and purifying it.

Cutter Scout Reservation was damaged in the 2020 CZU Complex wildfires. It may be a while before the camp is rebuilt and can reopen.

Links and Resources

Fees and reservation form: Cutter fee schedule


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