Want to feel like you’ve ventured deep into the mountains without walking all day? The spacious Rapids Camp Yurt is located about 1.7 miles up the Iditarod Trail above a bend in wild Eagle River with Class IV and V whitewater. The Rapids Camp Yurt grabs some of the best views in the Eagle River Valley. The yurt and its viewing deck are perched high, giving their inhabitants a feeling they are standing among the peaks around them. In summer, the sound of the river running provides a soothing white noise. It is also only about a hundred yards from the Rapids Camp with sites for backpackers, so you have the potential to rendezvous with other groups.

This yurt is close to trails maintained by the Nature Center itself, giving families with small children the option of combining short hikes with education. The facilities can also be used as a first-night stop for people doing the Cross Pass Crossing to Girdwood. The area will be quiet: no motorized recreation allowed.

Amenities

Inside the yurt offers a double plywood bunk bed that sleeps four, with room for two more on the floor. It features two chairs and a table, a woodstove with firewood stacked in a shed. If you intend to gather wood in the forest, bringing a camp saw will be helpful. Although firewood should be provided at each facility, it’s a good idea to bring a camp ax to chop kindling. Each facility features a latrine, but you will need to bring your own toilet paper. Food should be stored in the bear-proof locker. The closest water source is Eagle River: use a stairway to the shore at the Rapids Camp. Pond, stream and river water should be purified for drinking. The entry is not keyed but can be locked on the inside. Dogs are welcome. The trails are non-motorized — hiking, skiing, snowshoeing. No bikes.

What Can You Do At Rapids Camp Yurt?

  • Take a nature walk. The Eagle River Nature Center is known for its educational programs and well appointed trail displays.
  • Explore Eagle River’s shore. The cabins are close to this wilderness river, with views of mountains and wildlife.
  • Hike. The 21-mile trail connects the nature center with Girdwood over Crow Pass. Do it in one long day or make it a multi-day trip. Along the way, there are countless options for exploration.

Getting There

Coordinates
Latitude: 61.20974
Longitude: -149.267387

Here is a PDF map showing trails and cabin locations.

Take Eagle River Road about 13 miles into the Chugach Mountains to Eagle River Nature Center. The yurts and cabin are 1.5 to 2 miles further on mostly flat, easy trails.

The yurts and cabins can be reached all year. Sometimes certain trails will be closed due to bear activity. Check with the Nature Center for current status.

Photos

Rapids Camp Yurt