Have you ever wanted to spend time in a trapper’s shack deep in the Alaska Bush? A place where you might see the outline of a loon’s head against slate water with Denali gleaming above the trees and no other movement? Nestled on a peninsula on a lake deep inside the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area, Lynx Lake Cabin 1 is private, snug and cozy. An early-to-bed, early-to-rise retreat with a weathered, lived-in vibe.
On the shore in the quiet corner of a busy lake, Nancy Lake 1 may be one of the most versatile public use cabins in Alaska. One minute you’re in deep woods beneath a towering canopy, and then, like stepping through the looking glass, you descend a hill to find a storybook log cabin with a panoramic view of boating and fishing, or skiing and snowmobiling.
Located about four miles south on the western shore of Eklutna Lake inside Chugach State Park, the new, spacious Kokanee Cabin offers backcountry paddling and skiing with a strong wilderness vibe. Off the trail system and reachable only by traveling across the lake, the cabin is surrounded by forest that’s seen almost no human use. With this isolation, it’s a place that asks for self-sufficiency and gives solitude, plus a taste of what it might feel like to be a pioneer on a remote lake.
Centered on a park-like island with winding trails through the brush, Red Shirt Lake Cabin 1 is a big cabin that’s an easy paddle from the launch point at end of the three-mile Red Shirt Lake Trail. From its sprawling front porch, you can glimpse water on two sides, but no major vistas. Situated in the mouth of the lake’s protected northwestern lobe, the cabin is a great launch point for exploration by canoe when the main lake becomes windy and choppy.
Ideal for those paddling, boating, fishing, hiking as well as those looking for seclusion away from the lake’s more popular routes for skiing and snowmobiling. The cabin faces the sunset and may be the perfect locale to string a hammock for long summer afternoons listening to forest birds.
Located on an isthmus between a sheltered cove and the main body of a vast backcountry lake, Red Shirt Lake Cabin 2 offers a basic, easy-to-heat base for exploring 1,186-acre Red Shirt Lake regardless of weather. It gives a small party no-fuss access to water, fuel and ski trails — a cozy space to relax when the day is done and the light begins its dying slant.
“Cabin” may be the wrong word for this sprawling, comfortable cottage fronted by an ample floating dock ready for all kinds of lake fun. With a covered front porch large enough to keep an extended family reunion dry during a late summer downpour, this facility is really a one-room house, nearly 600 square feet of living space compete with a semi-private sleeping bay, a closet, plus gobs of room to cook, lounge and play.
If you want a convenient no-frills outpost close to your boat or airplane — and just off the winter trail — Nancy Lake Cabin 3 will fit the bill. What this well-used, old-style public use cabin lacks in amenities or architectural wonder may be compensated by its simplicity and ease of heating on frigid winter nights. Cozy is the word — a warm, dry refuge after a long day outside.
A place for people who want to experience the serenity of deep woods but maintain the option of boating or skiing on a 761-acre water playground with plenty of action. Situated on a hillside beneath a mature stand of spruce and birch, this new log cabin is the most isolated PUC near Nancy Lake proper.
These two almost identical cabins (only 200 feet apart) are aimed toward adventurers and families who want to include both paddling and hiking in their daily adventures. They offer direct access to two lakes as well as the park’s trail system. Though relatively close, each cabin is colored by a slightly different atmosphere. Lynx 2’s porch faces the sunset, with good afternoon sun and a view of Lynx Lake. It feels open, more exposed. Lynx 3 faces east, the sunrise choice, and is closer to dense forest with a view of Baines Lakes. Yes, there is some traffic on the road, but it passes quickly and doesn’t seem to intrude. If you are using only one cabin, the distance is just far enough to ensure privacy from the other.
Red Shirt Cabin 3 celebrates the ancient spirit of Red Shirt Lake as a gathering place. The lake once featured large salmon runs and summer camps for Dena’ina Native groups, and still hosts private cabins on its southern half. The cabin may be perfect for large parties in quest of lake action, a platform for those who want strenuous days of paddling, fishing, swimming, and motoring followed by rousing evening campfires.
With exceptionally easy access for families, Yuditna Creek cabin may be one of the most versatile backcountry cabins in the state, whether cycling, skiing or hiking. Located at the end of a three-mile trip down a mostly flat trail along Eklutna Lake into the heart of Chugach State Park, the cabin offers a perfect base for all-day adventures in a spectacular mountain valley.