Alaska State Parks offers more than 66 recreational cabins for use by the public. The cabins are located along trails and near remote lakes, streams, and saltwater beaches. Some cabins are accessible via highway vehicle. Most cabins are accessible year 'round, by either float plane, wheel plane, boat, or trail. Hikers should prepare for back country travel and to provide emergency shelter if they are unable to reach their cabin.
State park cabins sleep from three to eight persons and are equipped with wooden sleeping platforms, a table, chairs or benches, and a nearby latrine. Designs vary.
Renters should take insect repellent (in spring and summer), an air mattress or pad as well as a sleeping bag, gas or propane stove for cooking, and some way to purify water. Most public use cabins have a nearby water source, although the water will need purifying.
Visitors should be prepared to gather firewood in the vicinity of the cabins, or bring their own firewood. Only dead and down wood can be used. Because of the scarcity of wood, please limit wood use in the stove to heat the cabin, and not for outdoor campfires. Occasionally, firewood is supplied at a cabin by state parks, and is intended for use in the cabin's wood stove. Please leave a supply of firewood for the next cabin user, if you can. Some of the newer cabins have oil or gas stoves instead of wood stoves for heat. Be sure to know what kind of stove a cabin has, so you can bring appropriate fuel.
Charter aircraft services are available in almost all communities near cabin sites, including Anchorage, Willow, Homer, Kodiak, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Aircraft services are generally listed in the yellow pages of local telephone books. Check individual cabins for aircraft accessibility.
Many cabins are located near excellent hunting and fishing areas. Copies of hunting and fishing regulations are available from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 333 Raspberry Rd., Anchorage, Alaska 99518, phone (907) 344-0541, or see their web site for information.
Variable year-round weather in Alaska requires warm clothing, which should include durable rain gear or good cold weather gear, and good boots. Layering is a good way to be prepared for weather variations. Bring clothing appropriate for the season. Back-country weather forecasts are not provided by State Parks. Snow can occur any time of the year in some parts of the state. Please consult a current newspaper or call the weather service for updates on weather conditions.
Bears - Bears are common around many recreation cabins. Please do not feed the bears; it is dangerous and illegal. Burn your trash or take it with you so that bears are not attracted by food odors. Do not bury garbage or leave trash in the stove or firepit. Keep food and cooking items neat and clean. Warn bears of your presence by making noise when in dense cover. Bears can be unpredictable and dangerous.
The publication "Bear Facts" is available at the Department of Natural Resources Public Information Center (PIC) and gives information about avoiding bear encounters. See the section called Reservation Information for the address and phone number of the PIC.
Other Wildlife - Wildlife should never be approached or fed; animals are unpredictable and should always be considered dangerous. Do not approach nesting waterfowl; they are very sensitive to human intrusion and may abandon their nests if disturbed.
Giardia - Although the water may look clean and pure, it may still contain the microscopic organism, Giardia Lamblia. Ingestion of this nasty parasite causes an intestinal disorder which will surely ruin your visit and could be a continuing health problem. Purify all water before drinking.
Overflow - During winter months, overflow, the presence of water on top of frozen lakes, ponds, and streams is a winter travel hazard, particularly for snowmachiners. To avoid overflow, stay on or near packed trails while crossing lakes, ponds, and streams.
Hypothermia - Hypothermia can strike in any season! Be aware of its dangers. It is caused by exposure to cold and is aggravated by wetness, wind, and exhaustion. Hypothermia can occur on a sunny, warm, late winter day or a cool, summer day with temperatures in the 40's and 50's.
Be Courteous - Litter is an eyesore and detracts from the enjoyment of others. Put all refuse, including cigarette butts, in waste containers or take it with you when you leave. Please leave the cabin in the same or better condition than you found it, so that the next users will also enjoy their stay.
Vandalism - Damaging, defacing, or removing natural objects such as wildflowers, tree bark, or rocks is prohibited. Edibles, such as berries and mushrooms may be picked for personal consumption only. Please report vandalism or other violations to State Park rangers or the nearest State Park office.
Winter - Two additional winter precautions: Make sure the chimney is free of snow before starting a fire, preventing asphyxiation. Firewood is not provided at most cabins. Either bring your own, or arrive at the cabin with enough daylight to find firewood. Wood must be dead and down.
There are a number of regulations governing the use of state parks. Here are some that are particularly important to cabin users.
It is unlawful to use a public use cabin or its facilities without a permit. Each day of unauthorized use of a public use cabin is a separate offense, subject to a $50 fine.
Smoking (in any form including "vaping") is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN in the cabins. Cabin users are responsible for any damages to the cabins, associated facilities, or park resources. Please report any damages you may find to the local park office or the DNR Public Information Center.
The use of explosive devices, such as fireworks, is strictly prohibited within all state parks.
Dogs and other pets must be on a leash around developed facilities and under control at all times. Pet owners, please clean up after your pet. Sled dogs and horses should not be tied within 100' of a cabin.
No discharge of firearms allowed within a 1/2 mile of a developed facility. Some parks are closed to the discharge of firearms.
It is unlawful to cut standing or live trees.
Littering is illegal. Please pack out what you pack in.
Only dead and down wood can be used for fires and only during your stay in the park.
Camping near a cabin is not allowed. A person may not camp, pitch a tent, or stay overnight within 300 feet of a public use cabin.
To report an emergency, call 911.