Public-Use Cabins

Most people who travel Alaska's back-country camp out in tents, however some prefer the security of a cabin. Cabins offer a dry, comfortable place to rest, prepare and serve meals, and just relax with friends or family. Alaska has literally hundreds of public-use cabins that are available by advance reservation at a modest nightly fee.

float house on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska

 

The comfort and security of a sturdy cabin adds tremendously to one's enjoyment of the wilderness. Cabins are built in various styles, from simple A-frame designs to traditonal log structures and variations in between. Most include built-in plywood bunks (with no mattresses or bedding), cupboards (with no food, cooking equipment or utensils), a table and chairs, and a wood-fired or oil-fired stove for heat. Most cabins are situated near recreational opportunities like fishing, hunting, or hiking.

In short, most of Alaska's recreational cabins are intended to provide nothing more than shelter, a heat source, and sometimes a fresh water source. Anything beyond that is up to you. Therefore it's important that you go in self-contained. Have a look at our Gear Pages for recommendations on sleeping bags, pads, cots and the like.

Cabin Styles and Capacities

Some public-use cabins were built with public funds, while others were built by private individuals and through various processes ended up in public hands. In the former case, most follow certain design patterns. In the latter case, designs will vary.

A-Frame Cabins

Pan-Abode Cabins

Pan-Abode cabins usually include a loft area and a main floor equipped with countertop space for cooking, a table, chairs or benches and a wood or oil stove. In most cases these stoves are designed to take #1 fuel oil or kerosene only. Pay particular care to the instructions concerning the stove's fuel requirements and never substitute other fuels. Other cabins use woodstoves for a heat source. Either way, fuel oil or firewood is not provided. Users are expected to provide what they need. Wood may be scarce near the cabin, so be prepared to work for it.

Shelters

A variation on the cabin theme are the various types of public-use shelters situated in various parts of Alaska. Although there are some variations, most have a wooden floor, three walls and a roof. You will need a tarp to cover the open end. In some cases shelters do not include amenities such as cabinets, tables or chairs.

Tent Platforms

Some areas, particularly where the ground is marshy, tent platforms are used. They are generally designed to accommodate one tent, and provide additional space for a cooking area. In some cases, a bear-proof food locker of some kind is provided.


Region 1 (Southeast Panhandle)Alaska Region 1 Map

The Tongass National Forest is found in Region 1 and it contains a number of cabins that are available for public use. Reservations must be made well in advance, and there may be a fee involved (Alaska has hundreds of such cabins and the rules for reservations, user fees, etc, depend on the location of the cabins and which state or federal agency owns it.

Region 1 South: Southeast Panhandle  |  Region 1 North: Yakutat / Cordova Area


Region 2 (North Gulf Coast, Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak / Afognak Archipelago)Alaska Region 2 Map

Chugach National Forest Cabins

The Chugach National Forest is 5.4 million acres in size, and contains all of the shoreline of Prince William Sound from Cape St. Elias to Cape Resurrection. It also extends inland and encompasses the Kenai Lake area to the shores of Cook Inlet's Turnagain Arm, and across the Inlet to the Girdwood area. If you are traveling within the Chugach National Forest, be advised that there are several private inholdings within the National Forest. It is your responsibility to know where private property is, and to avoid trespassing. Contact the Department of National Resources Public Lands Information Office in Anchorage for maps and details.

cnf

Number of available cabins: 40

Reservations:

Cordova Area

Several cabins are available in the Cordova area, few of which are available from the road system.

  • McKinley Trail Cabin. 12'X14', sleeps 6, woodstove (bring your own or cut your own wood). Located on the road system on the Copper River Highway, about 20 miles out of Cordova. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.
  • McKinley Lake Cabin. 16'X20', sleeps 6, woodstove (bring or cut your own firewood), rainwater catchment barrel. Located on McKinley Lake, 2.25 miles from the McKinley trailhead. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.
  • Power Creek Cabin. 12'X20', sleeps 8, wood stove, rainwater catchment barrel. Bring or cut your own firewood. Accessed via a 4.2 mile hike on Power Creek Trail near Cordova. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.
  • Tideman Slough Cabin. 12'X14', sleeps 6, oil stove, rainwater catchment barrel. Bring your own heating oil. Located on the east bank of Tideman Slough, and is accessible only by boat from the Alaganik boat ramp. Must be accessed at high tide. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.

Hinchinbrook Island

Three cabins are located on Hinchinbrook Island, all of which are popular with hunters.

  • Double Bay Cabin. 12'X14', sleeps 6, oil stove (bring your own fuel), wood stove (bring or cut your own firewood), rainwater catchment barrel. Located on the east side of Double Bay (north shore of Hinchinbrook Island). Access via floatplane or powerboat out of Cordova at high tide. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.
  • Hook Point Cabin. 16'X16', sleeps 6, oil stove (bring your own fuel), wood stove (bring or cut your own firewood), rainwater catchment barrel. Located 25 air miles southwest of Cordova, 1.5 miles west of Hook Point along the south side of Hinchinbrook Island. Can be accessed via wheel plane at low tide. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.
  • Shelter Bay Cabin. 12'X20', sleeps 6, oil stove (bring your own fuel), wood stove (bring or cut your own firewood), rainwater catchment barrel. Located on the southwest shore of Shelter Bay (north shore of Hinchinbrook Island). Access viat floatplane or boat at high tide, or via wheelplane at low tide. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.

Valdez Area

  • Jack Bay Cabin. 12'X14', sleeps 6, oil stove (bring your own fuel), rainwater catchment barrel. Located at the east end of Jack Bay (via Valdez Narrows). Access at high tide via floatplane or boat out of Valdez. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.
Shoup Bay State Marine Park (Valdez area)

Kittiwake Cabin, Prince William Sound, AlaskaShoup Bay Marine Park is located 8.5 miles north of Valdez, and is accessible by boat, water taxi out of Valdez, floatplane, or by hiking an 11-mile trail from Valdez. Several cabins are located there. The Shoup Bay State Marine Park cabins are administered by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Be sure to read their Fact Sheet on these cabins.

  • McAllister Creek Cabin. 16'X16', sleeps 8, located on the west side of the outer bay, at the outflow of McAllister Creek. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.
  • Kittiwake Cabin. 16'X16', sleeps 8, located along the inner lagoon. Wheelchair accessible. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.
  • Moraine Cabin. 16'X16', sleeps 8, located on the east side of the inner lagoon. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.

Whittier / Kenai Peninsula Cabins

Region 2 (east) contains dozens of cabins that are available for use by the general public. These cabins are controlled by either the state or federal government, and most require advance reservations and user fees are usually charged by the night. Amenities are spartan; expect to find an outhouse, bunks with no bedding or mattresses, no food, no dishes or cookstove, and no power or running water. Some include the use of a boat, but you will probably have to bring an outboard if one is needed. Most have wood-fired or oil-fired stoves for heat.

Decision Point State Marine Park (Whittier area)

These facilities are located about eight miles east of Whittier, on the south side of Passage Canal. These cabins are accessible by private boat, water taxi out of Whittier, floatplane, or kayak. There is no sheltering anchorage, and these cabins are popular with kayakers. The Decision Point State Marine Park cabins are administered by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Be sure to read their Fact Sheet on these cabins.

  • Decision Point Cabin. 16'X16', sleeps 8, oil stove provided (uses No. 1 fuel oil or Kerosene only). No freshwater source, so you need to haul your own water. Located along the west side of Squirrel Cove. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.
  • Tent Platforms. Four tent platforms are accessible via a boardwalk from the Decision Point Cabin. Each platform can accommodate one tent. A cooking area and bear-proof food locker is provided. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.

Kodiak / Afognak Area Cabins

Region 2 (west) contains many cabins that are available for use by the general public. Most require advance reservations and user fees are usually charged by the night. Amenities are spartan; expect to find an outhouse, bunks with no bedding or mattresses, no food, no dishes or cookstove, and no power or running water. Most have wood-fired or oil-fired stoves for heat.

Shuyak Island State Park Cabins

Shuyak Island is about 50 air miles north of the town of Kodiak. The state park contains four cabins, as follows:

Afognak Island State Park Cabins

lauralakecabinAfognak Island is accessible by either boat or floatplane from the town of Kodiak. Each cabin is equipped with bunks, a table and a woodstove. Firewood is provided, but you must split it yourself.

  • Pillar Lake Cabin. 12'X14', sleeps 6, located at the south end of Pillar Lake. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.
  • Laura Lake Cabin (pictured here). 12'X14', sleeps 6, located east of Penenosa Bay and 2.5 miles from the head of Pauls Lake. CLICK HERE for availability, rates and reservations.

CLICK HERE to read more about these cabins, or to make reservations.

 Region 2 East: North Gulf Coast / Kenai Peninsula  |  Region 2 West: Kodiak / Afognak Archipelago


Region 3 (Interior, central & eastern Brooks Range)Alaska Region 3 Map

Game Management Units: GMU 12, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26B, 26C

Region 3 East: Eastern Arctic / Eastern Interior  |  Region 3 West: Central Interior 


Region 4 (Southcentral, Alaska Peninsula, Aleutians)

Alaska Region 4 Map

Game Management Units: GMU 9, 10, 11, 13, 14A, 14B, 16, 17

Region 4 East: Southern Interior, Anchorage, Susitna Valley  |  Region 4 West: Bristol Bay and the Alaska Peninsula


Region 5 (Western Brooks Range, west coast to Bristol Bay)

Alaska Region 5 Map

Game Management Units: GMU 18, 22, 23, 26A

Region 5 North: Western Arctic  | Region 5 South: Yukon / Kuskokwim Delta

 

 

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