Home  »  Military Base   »   Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center

Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center

Surrounded by the Toiyabe National Forest, the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in California offers the Marines Corps an ideal setting to test and develop cold weather equipment and specially train service members to work in extreme weather.

Located in a remote area, most will have to visit nearby Gardnerville or Carson City, Nevada, areas for shopping, non-routine health care, and recreation. Learn more about the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center below, including important contact numbers, child care, education, and housing.

Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center History

The need for intense extreme weather training created the emphasis behind the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center when it was first founded in 1951 as a Cold Weather Battalion.

The mission was to serve and train service members on their way to Korea. The site was so pivotal in this mission that it was then changed to the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in 1963. Since then, it has supported other wars and has continued to be essential for training soldiers for severe altitude, weather, and rescue missions.

Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Surrounding Area

About an hour and a half south of Reno, Nevada on California Highway 108, lies the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center. With an elevation of almost 7,000 feet above sea level and reaching to over 10,000, this marks both a scenic and challenging area to conduct training. Spanning 46,000 acres of the Toiyabe National Forest, this site serves to help recruits learn to survive extreme conditions.

However, when not training, there are many options for outdoor recreation nearby with breathtaking views. Hiking and swimming are part of life at the nearby Emigrant Wilderness National Forest and Leavitt Meadows to Secret Lake.

Visitors can also breathe fresh air at the Centennial Bluffs Archaeological Site, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Mountain, Yosemite National Park and Sonora Pass Walker Road. In the nearby cities of Carson City, Lake Tahoe, and Reno, people who prefer urban life can shop, stroll, and dine at the area’s finest.

Mission and Units

The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center is strategically located to aid service members in specialized training for intense summer and winter situations, providing them with cold weather and mountain equipment and areas to train for avalanches, high altitudes, and other extreme conditions.

  • Marine corps Combat Development Command
  • Training and Education Command
  • Marine Corps Systems Command

In-Processing and Check-In

When arriving at base, take orders and identification information to the gaining unit’s support staff for subsequent instructions and details.

Child Care

The Mountain Warfare Training Center has a Child Development Center (CDC) located in the base housing area in Coleville, California. The CDC offers full-day care for children six weeks to 5 years old, before and after-school care for school-aged children, and a summer program for school-aged care children.

The CDC Phone number is (530) 495-2644. Waiting lists may apply, contact the CDC as early as possible for information in registering and waiting list times.

Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Housing

Due to its specialized nature and location, there is only one family housing unit at the MCMWTC. The base Child Development Unit and Commissary are within its borders to ensure convenience. Applications are done easiest in person at the Military Housing Office at the LMH Community Center in Colville, California during normal business hours.

Required Documents for Military Housing Assignment

  • Housing Application DD-1746
  • Privacy Act Release
  • Contact form
  • Orders
  • Pet Information if Applicable

Related: Basic Allowance for Housing Calculator


The commissary for this facility is located at:

1003 Champagne Ave
Coleville, CA 96107
(530) 495-1272

Commissary hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11:00-5:00 pm and Saturdays from  9:00-5:00 p.m. The commissary is closed on Sunday and Monday. The commissary is not found on the actual base but nearly a half-hour drive from the facility from the main gate, in the housing area toward Reno. Make sure to account for travel time when needing access to the commissary.

PCS and TDY Lodging

The Pathfinder Inn, also referred to as Transient Quarters at 5016 Sierra Street, is the closest and sometimes only option for temporary lodging for this facility due to the remote location. Reservations and details can be secured by calling (760) 932-1487. Pets must be approved in advance to stay at the Pathfinder Inn.


Because some essentials are a drive away in the nearest cities of Carson City and Gardnerville, Nevada, having a personal vehicle can be necessary at this site. Keeping in mind that a valid California driver’s license, sufficient insurance, and obedience of local laws and regulations are necessary for everyday use of a vehicle, special conditions apply here.

Located at over 6,000 feet above sea level, during intense weather, CA Hwy 108 and U.S. Hwy 395 may see snowfall high enough to block roads and precaution should be used at all times.

Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License

Newcomers to California should register their vehicles at the DMV in person and bring the official vehicle title under their own name or application for title for new vehicles or vehicles being transferred to a new owner. If the vehicle is not new, bring the out-of-state title. Registrants should also bring a passing smog certification, declaration of vehicle weight and registration fees.

To register the vehicle for base use, visit the site at building 4060 during regular business hours with sufficient insurance, drivers license and vehicle title as well as orders.

Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Schools

Young learners living at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center housing can consider the nearby school districts of Colville and Douglas County. To register, bring the following documents:

  • Address
  • Student Contact information
  • Birth Certificate
  • Immunization Record
  • Proof of Residence
  • Any exemption documentation that applies

Schools in these districts include but are not limited to:

Colville School District

  • Hofstetter Elementary
  • Fort Colville Elementary
  • Fort Colville Junior High
  • Fort Colville High

Douglas County School District

  • Gardnerville Elementary
  • Minden Elementary
  • Jacks Valley Elementary
  • Carson Valley Middle
  • George Whittell High

Colleges and Universities

Although there are no universities or colleges on-site at this base, several are within a reasonable distance from the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center. They include but are not limited to:

  • Lake Tahoe Community College
  • Western Nevada College
  • Columbia College
  • Sierra College
  • University of Nevada Reno
  • Sierra Nevada University

Related: Ultimate GI Bill Guide


Installation Address

4048 Hwy 108
Bridgeport, CA 93517
(760) 932-1401

  • Barracks/Single Service Member Housing (760) 932-1449
  • Child Development Center (530) 495-2640
  • Housing Referral Office/Housing Prioritization (530) 495-2607
  • School Liaison (530) 495-2186
  • Temporary Lodging/Billeting (760) 932-1487

Related: Ultimate Military Benefits Guide

About the author

Website | + posts

Kena Sosa is an award-winning author, filmmaker and percussionist. She
earned her BA from OLLU and her MBEGT from SMU. She published two
award-winning children’s books. Kena has written for CBS/DFW Local and
Multicultural Review Magazine. She was the Guest Editor for the Fall/Winter
2023 ChildArt Magazine issue. Kena has written for Recon Media since 2023.