Rhein Lake Cabin overlooks a large, pristine lake with great paddling and decent fishing for rainbow trout in the forest of Nancy Lake State Recreation Area near Willow. This handsome (brand-new in 2018) log cabin offers something special in a vast park known for its backcountry outposts
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.
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.
“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.
Bald Lake Cabin is a great choice for people who want to stay at an Alaska wilderness cabin on a pristine lake, but don’t want to travel far to get there. On the hillside overlooking isolated Bald Lake, the cabin offers seclusion and privacy only a short walk from your vehicle. It’s a “best of both worlds” kind of place — where you can spend the day exploring a virtually private lake with interesting bays, or quickly dash back to your vehicle to explore or fish other lakes along the Nancy Lake Parkway.
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.
New in 2016, Dolly Varden Cabin offers the same recreation opportunities that you’d find while car camping in the Eklutna Campground, but you sleep inside an insulated, propane-heated cabin with loads of space. Aimed at people who might want to experience the paddling, biking, hiking and climbing possibilities of the stunning Eklutna Valley, but don’t want to “rough it” or chop wood for heating.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.