Alaska State Parks Public Use Cabins
Gulf Coast Area (near Yakataga)
between Cape Suckling and Cape Yakataga
Through a permit from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and with funding by the University of Alaska, Alaska State Parks is renting two cabins in the Yakataga area. One cabin is in the Yakataga State Game Refuge, the second, a short distance outside the refuge.
Maximum stay is 7 consecutive nights in either cabin. The cabin heat source is an oil stove. Please use Number One fuel oil or kerosene. Trails connect the cabins, the coast and a natural landing strip near a USGS research camp. The trail from the beach along the Gulf Coast to the landing strip is 7.3 miles.
The Gulf Coast Environment: Perhaps one of the more wild and remote locations within the Alaska Public Use Cabin System, these two cedar-constructed cabins are located in a thin strip of land bordered by Cape Suckling to the west and Cape Yakataga to the east, the immense Bering Glacier to the north and the dynamic Gulf of Alaska to the south. The grand landscape of the broad face of the Bering Glacier, with giant icebergs floating in Vitus lake and the seemingly endless strand of sandy beach along the coast make this area a scenic wonderland. The heavily mineralized rocks of the region line the glacial shores while glass floats and tons of other flotsam of every kind from across the ocean lie hidden among the bleached and weathered logs of the Gulfs beaches.
Weather in this region is subject to extreme and rapid changes. Storm systems developing in the Gulf of Alaska tend to make this an exciting area to experience their full effect.
Preparation is the key to enjoying this area in spite of whatever weather or other conditions may present. All surface water needs to be treated prior to drinking. Be aware that the waters of Vitus Lake may be untreatable at certain times of the year due to salt water intruding up the Seal River and causing brackish conditions. Midtimber Lake may have the same brackish conditions due to storm surges, but as of now, the water can be treated.
In preparing for any stay on the Gulf Coast, it will be important to have alternative plans should weather prohibit normal charter flights from being able to land and retrieve passengers. Visitors in this area will need to thoroughly brief their charter flight service regarding what they will do in the event of delays.
Access: Primarily by Commercial Charter. Both Fishing and Flying and Cordova Air fly regularly in the area and are familiar with landing sites. Float plane landing are possible on Midtimber lake and Vitus Lake, depending on ice and weather conditions. The natural airstrip adjacent to the USGS Field camp (known locally as Moose International) is accessible by tundra-tired planes as conditions allow.
Communications: No cell phone coverage in this area. Satellite phones would be highly desirable for those needing to reach emergency services. Charter aircraft regularly monitor Channel 10 Marine VHF.
Bear Care: Bear, both brown and black, inhabit the area along with a variety of wildlife. Precautions should be taken while hiking and staying in the area to avoid an encounter. Mid-summer foliage obscures views along the trail and the possibility of surprising a bear or other wildlife is very likely. Making noise and carrying some method of personal protection against bears is advisable.
Pack out what you pack in.
When latrines are not available, bury human waste away from trails and sources of water, both fresh and salt.
Open fires are permitted only on ocean beaches, preferably below mean high tide. Fires elsewhere must be in a portable stove, metal-bottomed container or designated fire site.
Fishing and hunting regulations may be obtained from the Department of Fish and Game. Check out their web site.
Discharge of firearms is prohibited within 1/2 mile of developed facilities. Target shooting is prohibited in all areas of the recreation area.
Topographic maps: USGS 1:250,000 Bering Glacier, Alaska. USGS Quad 1:63,360 Bering Glacier A-7.
Midtimber Lake Cabin: LAT: 60°04'47.67" N. LON: 143°21'08.75" W.
Vitus Lake Cabin: LAT: 60°07'26.81" N. LON: 143°18'29.50" W.
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