Alaska Public Use Cabins with Good Fishing

You rise early, roll out of your sleeping bag, grab your fishing pole, and stroll only a few yards to cast your line into a stream or lake all your own. The forest is fragrant and morning mist hovers over the water—but you are on a mission to catch fresh fish for breakfast from pristine waters. If you are up for a no-frills adventure in a rustic cabin in the wilds of Alaska, this dream can come true for a fraction of the cost of staying at a full-service fishing lodge. All you need to do is rent one of these remarkable public use cabins.

Hook point cabin and woodshed 16 a6633 nrs0pw

Pink salmon, coho salmon and cutthroat trout are found in a creek about a mile east of Hook Point Cabin in Prince William Sound.

Many PUC’s offer an off-the-beaten-path solitude that’s missing from popular fishing holes on the road system. Often these cabins are situated on lakes or sloughs, where the cry of a loon might accompany the casting of your lure. Some of them even provide boats, or an easy chance to rent a canoe. It’s a best of all worlds deal—a private backcountry fishing expedition with the security and comfort of four solid walls and a heat source.

Just remember: Public use cabins near fishing are not lodges with services. Think of the experience as comfortable camping where you handle the logistics. You’ll be the guide—and the cook and firewood chopper. You usually sleep in sleeping bags with pads on a hard bench, and probably need to travel at least some distance off road.

Tips:

  • Read through the most recent fishing advice from Alaska Department of Fish & Game before you go so that you bring the correct tackle. For instance, some cabin locales feature Northern pike, others Dolly Varden char or rainbow trout. Some offer a shot at landing a salmon or a marine fish. Many lakes and streams are stocked, too—search the ADFG stocked lake database for the water body near your cabin.
  • What if you find yourself in Alaska without the right gear for your PUC fishing adventure—or any tackle at all? No problem! If near Anchorage, call The Bait Shack for a gear package catered to the type of fishing and type of fish you’re after. You can take these rentals with you on all of your Alaska adventures. Just return them to Anchorage when you’re finished.

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Public Use Cabins

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

12′ x 28′ road acces­si­ble cab­in that sleeps up to 6

12′ x 16′ cab­in on shore of Byers Lake. Sleeps 6

14′ x 16′ Cab­in on Byers Lake that sleeps up to 6.

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The cab­in is locat­ed on the north shore of Engi­neer Lake. The cab­in is south fac­ing over­look­ing the lake sur­round­ed by spruce and birch trees. Two bunk beds, table with bench­es, wood stove, broom, shov­el, water buck­et, fire extin­guish­er, estab­lished camp­fire ring, and outhouse.

A two-sto­ry log cab­in with a loft sleeps eight with bunk space for sev­en. It has counter space table, bench­es and a wood stove for heat. Oth­er fea­tures include split­ting maul and hand saw, an out­house — and a row­boat with oars. Check Availability 

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A‑frame cab­in rebuilt in 2005 – 2006. 18 air miles (29 km) from Peters­burg. Float plane when lake is open. Heli­copter when lake is frozen.

Mile 8.6 Russ­ian Lakes Trail. Rus­tic cab­in with bunks for six and sleep­ing space for eight. Fish­ing for Dol­ly Var­den and rain­bow trout in the near­by Russ­ian Riv­er. Fea­tures counter space, table, bench­es, a wood stove, split­ting maul and hand­saw, and out­house. Check Availability  ...more

Mile 29.2 Res­ur­rec­tion Pass Trail. This cab­in sits at the south end of Juneau Lake. A rus­tic cab­in with counter space, a table, bench­es and a wood stove for heat. Sleeps eight with bunks for six. Oth­er fea­tures include a split­ting maul and saw, an out­house — and a canoe with pad­dles for explor­ing the lake. Check Availability  ...more

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Mile 11.9 Russ­ian Lakes Trail.Handsome 12×14 trapper’s style log cab­in that over­looks the lake and a stun­ning view. With bunk space for six and sleep­ing for eight. (The For­est Ser­vice rec­om­mends space for 4, so expect close quar­ters.) Check Availability  ...more

16-x-16 log cab­in in an alpine val­ley nes­tled amid steep moun­tain slopes. Sleeps 6, with table, oil stove, and out­house. Note: You must bring #1 stove oil if you want heat. One gal­lon lasts about one hour. Devil’s Creek Trail inter­sects here, a 10-mile descent to the Seward High­way trail­head. Devi’s Pass Lake is about one mile down the trail. Check Availability  ...more

This cab­in is sit­u­at­ed along east shore of Juneau Lake. A rus­tic cab­in with counter space, a table, bench­es and a wood stove for heat. Sleeps eight with bunks for six. Oth­er fea­tures include a split­ting maul and saw, an out­house — and a canoe with pad­dles for explor­ing the lake.

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On the south­west shore of Coghill Lake, on a lagoon just before the Coghill Riv­er, on the east side of Col­lege Fiord in Prince William Sound. Trail is 3 miles.

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Although it takes some get­ting to, this wilder­ness, lake­side pub­lic use cab­in offers great sport­fish­ing and a skiff to pad­dle around in. This new cab­in is a 7 – 10 mile hike and four-mile pad­dle or skiff ride across Wrangell Nar­rows from down­town Peters­burg. It sleeps six.

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This is a very small enclosed CCC Adiron­dack shel­ter. It has a con­crete floor, and a 1930s fire­place. 2 sin­gle wood­en bunks, wood stove, table and bench­es, Cook­ing counter, broom, fire­place, axe and maul, wood, out­house, skiff with oars. The cab­in is in the cen­tral part of the island on the south­ern end of Has­sel­borg Lake at an ele­va­tion of 300ft (91 m).

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This hand­some, well-sea­soned log cab­in is the post­card for your pub­lic use cab­in dreams. If they filmed Alas­ka Pub­lic Use Cab­ins — The Movie,” the pro­duc­ers would have a hard time find­ing a bet­ter place than James Lake for the setting.

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.

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  ...more

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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  ...more

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.

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.

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.

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16ft x 12ft Pan Abode style cab­in with 4 sin­gle wood­en bunks, Table, Wood stove, Food cup­board, Axe, Cook­ing counter and shelves, Log book, Broom and dust­pan, Out­house, Wood sup­ply (rounds), 12-foot skiff with oars. Water is avail­able from the lake. Treat all water before using.

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This U.S. For­est Ser­vice rental cab­in is accessed only by boat or float­plane and lies about 20 miles south­west of Hoonah on Fred­er­ick Sound. Locat­ed on a sun­ny patch of beach­front, the 15 by 17-foot cedar log struc­ture sleeps up to eight peo­ple and is heat­ed by a wood stove.

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Nes­tled just off the Seward High­way near Bird Creek, these two new, spa­cious cab­ins might allow you to ful­fill almost any fam­i­ly-friend­ly Alaskan recre­ation fan­ta­sy in a sin­gle week­end. They offer unmatched options for all kinds of activ­i­ties — bik­ing, fish­ing, hik­ing, wildlife view­ing — with excep­tion­al­ly easy access by car.

The yurt is removed from the state park camp­ground and very pri­vate. Drop off is to the right of the game mark­er about 300 yards to the left of the Humpy Creek trail head and campground.

Locat­ed 39 miles north of Juneau. Access by foot or boat in the sum­mer. Beach-comb, fish, look for wildlife, and more.

The Sea Star Cove pub­lic-use cab­in is locat­ed in Tut­ka Bay, about three-quar­ters of the way in, on your right, on the south side. The cab­in is sur­round­ed by large, old-growth Sit­ka spruce. By far, this is the best Pub­lic Use Cab­in in the park, and it has many hik­ing and kayak­ing options if used as a base.

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This airy and hand­some 1620 cab­in with a sleep­ing loft stands in a pop­u­lar camp­ground next to an 800-acre fish­ing and boat­ing lake about 59 miles south­east of Fair­banks. The cab­in may be unavail­able for pub­lic reser­va­tions May 1 through Sept. 30 because it is used to house camp­ground hosts.

This large 2024 cab­in with a broad, cov­ered front porch sup­port­ed by burled posts looks out over the Chena Riv­er and fea­tures excep­tion­al access with wheel­chair suit­able ramps. Locat­ed about 37 miles from Fair­banks in the Chena Riv­er State Recre­ation Area, the cab­in nes­tles in a hand­some spruce-birch for­est on the riv­er inside the 254,000-acre recre­ation area.

Very strik­ing at the 2,973-foot lev­el of the Alas­ka Range, this sim­ple, 12×14 log cab­in can anchor your alpine adven­ture — with sweep­ing views of sur­round­ing tun­dra foothills only a few miles north of Pax­son off the Richard­son High­way. The 605-acre state recre­ation site fea­tures a boat launch and pic­nic sites, with berry pick­ing and ATV trails in sum­mer, and a vast realm for snow sports in win­ter. Note: The 1.5‑mile access road is not plowed in  ...more

A his­toric 1520 log cab­in that resem­bles a Gold Rush Sourdough’s retreat hun­kers in the for­est on the shore of Quartz Lake. It’s acces­si­ble from the lake, too, by boat in sum­mer or ski/​snowmobile in win­ter. The lake is 86 miles south­east of Fair­banks, inside a 556-acre recre­ation area with some of the best road-acces­si­ble fish­ing in Alaska’s Interior.

This cozy 10×16 cab­in inside a camp­ground about 22 miles up the Elliott High­way from Fair­banks offers great access to the 400-acre Chatani­ka State Recre­ation Area with near­by sled and ATV trails, and boat­ing on the Chatani­ka Riv­er. Wired for elec­tric­i­ty, the cab­in may be unavail­able for pub­lic reser­va­tions May 1 through Sept. 30.

This 1620 log cab­in is sit­u­at­ed inside the park-like Delta State Recre­ation Site a half mile north of Delta Junc­tion and the junc­tion of the Alas­ka and Richard­son high­ways. The braid­ed Tanana Riv­er is just across the high­way, offer­ing stun­ning views of the Alas­ka Range dur­ing clear weather.

This rus­tic, 2024 log cab­in with a cov­ered porch sits in the for­est close to the Chena Riv­er about 53 miles from Fair­banks inside the Chena Riv­er State Recre­ation Area. It has the vibe of an old-time trapper’s cab­in, with great riv­er access.

This large log cab­in sits adja­cent to the park­ing lot at Quartz Lake, with a rep­u­ta­tion for some of the best road-acces­si­ble fish­ing in Alaska’s Inte­ri­or and hik­ing trails with strik­ing views of the Tanana Riv­er Val­ley. Dur­ing win­ter, ice fish­ing is pop­u­lar, with four huts avail­able for rent. The cab­in may be unavail­able for pub­lic reser­va­tions May 1 through Sept. 30.

A cozy 1412 log cab­in inside a 61-acre park with a boat launch site on the Salcha Riv­er about 40 miles south­east of Fair­banks in the Tanana Riv­er Val­ley. The site is known for its grayling fish­ing, with a July salmon run. With ski­ing and snow­ma­chin­ing in win­ter. The cab­in may be unavail­able for pub­lic reser­va­tions mid-May through mid-September.

The only state pub­lic use cab­in on the Ketchikan-area road sys­tem, this pop­u­lar 1216 cab­in fea­tures one of the region’s few acces­si­ble sandy beach­es. Hik­ing trails, salmon view­ing, sports fish­ing, excel­lent kayak­ing and wildlife view­ing all con­tribute to the cabin’s rep­u­ta­tion as a remark­able base for recre­ation in a serene coastal rain for­est setting.

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