If you want to get away to a wilderness cabin, state and federal agencies in Alaska give you more than 200 opportunities. Cabins are located throughout Alaska on trails, lakes, streams, ocean shorelines, and in alpine areas. They are managed by different public agencies, each with its own guidelines for rental. Cabins have "rugged" accommodations: usually a heating stove, bunks/sleeping platforms, table and chairs, and an outhouse. You are responsible for providing your own food, cook stove and cooking utensils, water, and bedding.
Access to cabins is by plane, boat, trail, or a combination of these. You are on your own for arranging transportation to and from the cabins. Usually a list of operators permitted to provide services within the public land unit can be obtained from the managing agency.
Most cabins are used year round although usage may be strongly discouraged during certain times of the year. Alaska's weather can delay your trip at any time of year, so plan accordingly in regards to extra food, provisions, and pick-up plans. For any travel in Alaska's backcountry, you are responsible for your own safety; be prepared with survival skills and proper equipment.
Generally, cabin permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis for noncommercial purposes to anyone over 18 years old. However, because of high demand, agencies may incorporate a lottery system.
Yukon-Charley Rivers has seven public use cabins, which are available at no-cost on a first-come, first-serve basis. Be aware that if others arrive, you may have company, particularly in emergency situations.
Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve has fourteen public use cabins. These rustic cabins are primarily accessible by air-taxi or snowmachine. Only the Esker Cabin requires a reservation and a fee of $25 per night. Call (907)-784-3295 to reserve this cabin. All other cabins are first-come, first-serve.
Location/Access- Tongass National Forest is in Southeast Alaska and has over 175 cabins. The majority of these cabins are accessed by plane or boat. Those accessible by trail tend to be more popular and are reserved months in advance. It is best to plan well and make cabin reservations early.
Reservations/Cost- Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance. Reservations can be done via phone at (877)-444-6777 or online at recreation.gov. User fees vary from $25 to $45 per night. Maximum length varies from three to seven nights during the summer season. A permit or confirmation number is requires while occupying a public recreation cabin.
Location/Access- The Refuge has nine public use cabins, each cabin has its own unique wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting and, sightseeing opportunities. You must take a float plane or boat to all of the cabins because there is no road access.
Location/Access- Located in southcentral Alaska and the Prince William Sound the Chugach National Forest has just over 40 different cabins available for rent.
Reservations/Cost- Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance of the first night of occupancy. Reservations can be done by phone at (877)-444-6777 or online at recreation.gov. Fees vary from $25 to $45 per night. Maximum length of stay varies from three to seven nights during the summer season. A permit or confirmation number is required for occupying a public recreation cabin.
Location/Access- Situated near Seward, Kenai Fjords National Park has two costal cabins open only during the summer months at Aialik bay and Holgate Arm. These Cabins are Accessible by float plane and private or charter boat. The park also has one cabin at Exit Glacier open for use only in the winter when Exit Glacier Road is closed (late december through march, depending on snowfall). The Exit Glacier cabin can be reached in the winter by skis, dogsleds, and snowmachines. Call park headquarters at (907)-422-0573 to reserve a cabin
Reservations/cost- A special recreation permit is required in advance and is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. No reservations will be awarded before Janurary 1 of the year in which you want the permit. You may apply by phone, main or in-person. Cabin fees are currently $50 per cabin per night. Because of the high demand, cabin ue is limited to a maximum of three consecutive days per cabin per year. A permit day goes from noon on the assigned day and ends at noon on the next. individuals in the same party may not make sequential application in an effort to exceed the limit.
Location/Access- Cabins are located throughout the refuge, Swanson Lakes to Lake Tustemena. A few of these cabins are accessible by road.
Restervations/Cost- The refuge has 14 cabins to choose from, reservations can be made 180 days in advance. Stays can be no longer than seven consecutive days. Cabins can cost between $35 to $45* per night.
Location/Access- State park cabins are located throughout the state of Alaska. Many are located through favorite recreation areas like Kachemak Bay, Nancy Lakes, and Denali State Park. The cabins range in size and can sleep 3 to 10 people. Cost ranges from $25 to $65 per cabin per night.
Reservations/cost- The cabins can be rented from the nearest state park office or from the DNR public Information Center. You can reserve up to seven months in advance if you are an Alaskan Resident, Six months if you are from out of state. Reservations can be made in person or by mail and are not confirmed until paid in the full amount.
Did You Know? Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve lies entirely north of the Arctic Circle and includes the scenic headland of the Brooks Range, the northernmost extension of the Rocky Mountains. Park & Preserve combined are four times the size of Yellowstone National Park. It is the ultimate wilderness.