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
Operated by the non-profit Alaska Mountain and Wilderness Huts Association, Manitoba Cabin is intended to promote wilderness experience and camaraderie in the spirit of European-style trekking huts. While very popular among backcountry skiers during winter weekends, the facility often has openings during weekdays. During the summer, you might have the entire place to yourself.
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.
Located at the back of Eklutna Lake, Serenity Falls is one of Alaska’s largest huts. With an enormous bank of windows facing the falls and a mountain so high as to nearly block the sky, the place feels as though you have crossed into the alpine realm. Yet it’s a relatively easy 12-mile hike or bike along the wide, flat Eklutna Lakeside Trail, making it a great choice for families with kids or large groups.
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.