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.

Easy Access And Stunning Views

It is popular with families taking kids on their first bike-packing or ski-packing outing. (A baby-jog cart or ski pull works well.) But, depending upon season and conditions, just about any mode of travel can be used to reach the cabin — from motorized, to ski or hike or bike, to paddling along the shore, to riding a horse. Sometimes you could even ice skate. Once there, you will be stunned by a mountain view shed that would adorn the license plate of a lesser state.

Amenities

Rustic 12-by-16 cabin overlooking Eklutna Lake with a stunning view. Sleeping space for six on bunks and benches, with two more allowed on the floor. (That option would make things quite cozy.) Wood stove, cooking bench and table. Outside are fire ring, picnic table and outhouse.

This extremely popular cabin is easy to supply using the easy-to-navigate lakeside trail. (Note: the route periodically splits into two trails — a wider and more rolling route suitable for ATVs and the narrower non-motorized path closer to the lake shore.) Although tenting is not allowed adjacent to the cabin, a beach suitable for tents is located couple hundred yards further south, making a multi-party outing possible.

Common wildlife includes moose, black and brown bear, and bald eagles. Watch for Dall sheep grazing on the open slopes to the east.

Firewood may be sparse close to the cabin, but downed wood can be found on the beaches and in the forest. (The Park recommends hauling in your own wood.) Lake water must be purified.

Here is a fact sheet about the cabin.

What Can You Do At Yuditna Creek Cabin?

  • Spend the day on epic hikes into the valley’s mountains above the cabin — the western-facing slopes that dry out first and often have low snow cover in winter.
  • Cast for the lake’s small-but-feisty Dolly Varden in the mouth of the creek.
  • Paddle around the eight-mile-long glacier-fed lake.
  • Bike on the 12-mile trail system, offering a mostly flat family-friendly route deep within Chugach State Park, within sight of the terminus of Eklutna Glacier.
  • Hike Bold Peak and East Fork trails.
  • Use ATVs or snowmobiles when the road is opened to their use.

Getting There

Coordinates
Latitude: 61.391083
Longitude: -149.059283

To Eklutna Lake Recreation Area

To reach Eklutna Lake campground, picnic areas, trailhead and boat launching beaches, exit the Glenn Highway at Mile 26 and take Eklutna Lake Road about 10 miles into the mountains.

Here is a PDF guide to the Eluktna Trail System.

Summer

Take the lakeside trail down the eastern shore of Eklutna Lake about 3 miles toward the head of the lake. If non-motorized, stick to the lakeshore branch. (It’s flatter.) You’ll cross a bridge and merge with the other trail just before Milepost 2. Look for a sign indicating the turnoff leading to the cabin. You can also paddle to the cabin about three miles down the shore using a hand-carried boat. A concessionaire often has boats and bikes for rent.

ATVs are allowed Sunday through Wednesday between April 1 and November 30.

If paddling to the cabin, be cautious. Lake levels vary a lot by season owing to rainfall, snowmelt, and subsequent drawdown by the Eklutna Power Plant. Landing and unloading a boat could be difficult at certain levels. The lake is notorious for cold water and sudden white-capping waves.

Winter

Depending on snow cover, you can walk, snow-bike, ski, snowshoe, dog-sled or use snowmobiles to reach the cabin down the lakeside trail. Check the conditions report. Once the lake has frozen solid, you can travel on the lake surface. Be cautious early in the season. Snow vehicles may be allowed depending on cover.

Break Up / Freeze Up

Yuditna Creek Cabin can be reached during almost any conditions via the lakeside trail.

Photos

Yuditna Creek Cabin