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.
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.
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.
The Don Sheldon Mountain House may be the world’s most spectacularly situated cabin. Perched on a 4.9 acre rock and ice covered outcrop located at the 5,800 foot level, in the middle of the Don Sheldon Amphitheater just above the Ruth Gorge, it is surrounded on all sides by towering granite walls and glaciers flowing off the flanks of Denali, less than 10 miles away. It’s used primarily from March through October by photographers, skiiers, mountaineers, and anyone who wants to get far away from the world, “resting in the hand of G-d as one journal entry put it.”
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.
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.