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Alaska Department of Natural Resources

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Interior of Public Use Cabin

Caines Head State Recreation Area

Tonsina Cabin

ATTENTION: Road repairs are currently taking place on Lowell Point Road through at least February, 2020. Please be advised that travel via Lowell Point Road may be slowed or completely closed during this time. Leave plenty of time for travel if you plan to use this road.

Cabin Specifications

★ Minimum Occupancy: 1 Guest
★ Maximum Occupancy: 6 Guests
★ Site Access Method: Hike in, boat in
★ Stay Limit: 7 Nights
★ Check-in/out Time: 12:00pm
★ Pets Allowed: Yes**
★ Fees: (see fee page)
★ Cabin Dimensions: 14' x 18'
★ Heating Method: Oil Stove (Kerosene or Diesel Fuel - Bring your own fuel)


★ Outhouse
★ Fire Ring
★ Wooden Bunks
★ Benches

Map of Chugach State Park

The Tonsina Cabin is the newest cabin at Caines Head State Recreation Site.

he Tonsia Public Use Cabin is located in the Caines Head State Recreation area, approximately two miles from the Lowell Point State Recreation Area parking lot. The cabin can also be accessed via boat, but boaters should use caution during negative tides as the landing can be very shallow and muddy.

Hike in: Follow the Tonsina Point trail from the upper parking area at Lowell Point State Recreation Area to the first bridge at the north fork of Tonsina creek (1.7mi.). After crossing the bridge, the trail veers right and enters a large forested tidal/flood plain crossing a series of boardwalks that lead to the second large bridge, which spans the south fork of Tonsina creek. Continue across the second bridge passing the day-use area on the right and follow the trail out onto Tonsina beach (.3mi).

Head south on the beach to the extreme southern end of the greater Tonsina creek alluvial fan (.1mi). If you are approaching the cabin from the north at or near high tide one may have to navigate around several "ghost trees" (remnants of the 1964 earthquake) that litter the tidal zone in this area.

As the ghost trees end, the steep mountainside to the west will begin to pinch the beach down and a large cut-bank begins to form on the right. The cabin is perched on a small forested hill atop this cut-bank. There is a "Public-Use Cabin" sign along with an orange buoy attached to an old growth tree where the cut-bank begins and the short trail to the cabin starts.

GPS: 60.02'27" N 149.26'41"W

Special Notes:
* The most reliable water source near the cabin is the south fork Tonsina creek. A seasonal spring near the cabin may be available. Be sure to filter or boil water.

In addition, the "Coastal Trail" leading south to Derby Cove begins when one enters the beach south of the day-use area. The "trail" is the beach from here until Derby Cove and is only navigable at or near low tide, a tide of 3 ft. or less is recommended. The trail does not continue south in anyway through the forested area in front of or beyond the Tonsina cabin.

** Pets must be under control at all times and you are responsible for cleaning up your pet’s waste.

Pack out everything you pack in.

Check Availablility on Reserve America

Important Info

Once you make a reservation, you will receive a confirmation e-mail from Reserve America with important information about the cabin. Print out this confirmation e-mail and bring it with you to the cabin. If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail within 24 hours of making the reservation, please contact the DNR Public Information Center at (907) 269-8400 Mon - Fri 10am-5pm.

Remember that these cabins are not hotels. Always be prepared! Be sure to bring:

  • Sleeping bag and pad or air mattress
  • Food
  • Cookware, dishes, utensils
  • Cooking stove and fuel
  • Matches, lighters, paper fire starter
  • AA batteries for smoke detectors
  • First aid items
  • Plastic trash bags
  • Jug of water
  • Saw or axe, just in case
  • Firewood
  • Flashlight
  • Lantern and fuel

Mission Statement

"The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation provides outdoor recreation opportunities and conserves and interprets natural, cultural, and historic resources for the use, enjoyment, and welfare of the people."

Accessibility Notice

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Atwood Building
550 West 7th Avenue
Suite 1380
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-8700
Fax: (907) 269-8907