Cabin Descriptions - Mat-Su Area




Denali State Park (near Trapper Creek)

Denali State Park borders the southeast corner of Denali National Park, providing wonderful views of the south side of Mt. McKinley, otherwise known as "Denali". The George Parks Highway bisects the state park. Byers Lake, located at Mile 147 of the Parks Highway, has a number of park facilities, including cabins, a campground and Kesugi Ridge Trailhead. The entrance to Denali National Park is approximately 90 miles north of the Denali State Park Byers Lake cabins and campground facilities.

Byers Lake Cabin #2

Temperatures in the summer are usually in the 60's, with rare highs in the 80's. However, have warm clothes and quality rain gear, as inclement weather can set in quickly and last for days. Average winter highs range from zero to 30°F, while on extremely cold days the low may reach minus 40°F. Snow begins to accumulate in October and frequently reaches depths of six feet or more. Ice depth on Byers Lake can be quite variable and should be checked before assumed safe.

Summer activities include hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, and boating (gas-powered motors are not allowed on Byers Lake). Winter activities include skiing, snowshoeing, dog mushing, and snowmachining. The road into Byers Lake Campground is not plowed in the winter. Visitors and cabin renters must park their vehicles at the Alaska Veterans Memorial and follow the winter trail down to the lake.

Byers Lake Cabin #3

Maximum stay in the public use cabins is 5 consecutive nights. Each cabin has a wood heating stove, bunks, tables, and benches. In the summer, water is supplied by the campground pump or purifying lake water; in the winter, renters must bring their own, or purify lake water or snow. In winter make sure the chimney is free of snow before starting a fire. If you would like to bring in a small generator, Byers Lake Cabin #3 is wired for electricity. Please bring spare lightbulbs. 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.

Byers Lake Cabin Fact Sheet
Note: You must have Acrobat Reader 3.0 or greater to open these pdf files. Go to the Adobe Acrobat website to download this free software.

  • Byers Lake Cabin #1 (12' X 16')

    Sleeps 6 (maximum 6) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $45 non-peak / $60 peak per night. Summer access: gravel road for one mile from highway. Winter access: Park at the Alaska Veteran's Memorial, milepost 147.1, Parks Highway, and follow the marked winter trail with snow vehicle, skis, dog sled, or on foot. At the bottom of the hill near the lake, take the left hand fork - total distance is one mile. This hand-crafted, sod-roofed log cabin is a true example of a traditional Alaskan bush cabin.

  • Byers Lake Cabin #2 (12' X 16')

    Sleeps 6 (maximum 6) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $45 non-peak / $60 peak per night. Summer access: one-half mile walk from gate in the campground, or canoe one-half mile from boat launch. Winter access: Park at the Alaska Veteran's Memorial, milepost 147.1, Parks Highway, and follow the marked winter trail with snow vehicle, skis, dog sled, or on foot. At the bottom of the hill near the lake, take the right hand fork - total distance is 1.7 mile.

  • Byers Lake Cabin #3 (14' X 20')

    Sleeps 6 (maximum 6) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $45 non-peak / $60 peak per night. Summer access: one-half mile walk from gate in the campground, or canoe one-half mile from boat launch. Winter access: Park at the Alaska Veteran's Memorial, milepost 147.1, Parks Highway, and follow the marked winter trail with snow vehicle, skis, dog sled, or on foot. At the bottom of the hill near the lake, take the right hand fork. The Cabin is about 70 yd's. south from public cabin #2.

Click here for more information on Denali State Park.

Matanuska Glacier

Matanuska Glacier PUC

The Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site, managed by Long Rifle Lodge, is located one mile south of the Lodge at Mile 101 on the Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway. The recreation site has 12 campsites on a gravel loop road, water pump, toilets, fire pits, and picnic tables. The Edge Nature Trail begins at the rest area and provides a 20-minute walk through the forest to glacier viewing platforms. Summer activities include hiking, glacier trekking and river rafting. Winter activities include skiing, snowshoeing and snowmachining.

  • Matanuska Glacier Cabin(16'x20' with a 6' porch) Sleeps 4 ( 4 person maximum) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $50 non-peak & peak per night. This log cabin has outstanding views overlooking the Matanuska Glacier, the valley below the glacier and the Chugach Mountains. The cabin has electric lights, double beds (no linens), a woodstove, table and chairs. Outdoors are the toilet, a picnic table and fire-ring. The cabin is road accessible year-round. Water is available in summer at the well in the campground nearby; renters need to bring their own water in the winter. Key must be picked up before 8 p.m. on the rental day. Checkout time is noon. There is a steep cliff near the cabin. Families with small children are not recommended. For more information, rates and reservations go to http://longriflelodge.co/ or call (907) 745-5151.


Nancy Lake State Recreation Area (Willow)

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is one of Alaska's few flat, lake-studded landscapes preserved in its natural state for recreation. Lakes, streams, and swamps make up just over half of this 22,685 acre area which lies between the Susitna River on the west and the Talkeetna Mountains on the east. The setting is great for canoeing, hiking, fishing, and camping. In winter, the rolling topography is ideal for cross-country skiing, dog-mushing, and snowmachining.

Nancy Lake PUC 2

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is a 75 minute drive north of Anchorage. The community of Willow lies just north of the recreation area entrance at Mile 67.3 of the Parks Highway, and has a full range of services nearby for the traveler. The Nancy Lake Public Use Cabins are located on four of the larger lakes in the recreation area and are accessible by canoe, foot, or floatplane, in the summer, and skis, dog sled, snow vehicles, or airplane in winter. Planes can land on Nancy, Lynx, and Red Shirt lakes year round. In the winter, check ice thickness reports with the local state park office.

The weather in southcentral Alaska during the summer is mild. Temperatures rise into the 70's with occasional highs in the 80's. Nighttime readings, even in July, may dip into the 40's. Winter temperatures can fall to -40F and seldom rise above freezing until mid-March. Come prepared for the outdoors and rapid weather changes. Bring warm clothing, rain gear, appropriate footwear, extra food, and emergency gear.

In the recreation area's combination of lakes, one can find an abundance of wildlife. Fish include rainbow and lake trout, whitefish, northern pike (especially at Red Shirt and Lynx Lakes) and Dolly Varden. Common loons, Pacific loons, grebes, and Arctic terns also make their home in the recreation area. Please give all nesting sites of these birds a wide berth when canoeing or hiking. Beaver, moose, and bears are also common in this area so keep a lookout and follow the bear safety tips.

Please report any bear sightings to the park staff.

Canoes are available for rent from Tippecanoe Rentals in Willow. Call to have one waiting for you at one of the trailheads or lakes (907-495-6688 or 907-355-6687).

Cabins within the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area are rustic. Most are insulated frame buildings and are equipped with wooden sleeping platforms, shelves, tables, a wood-burning stove (for heating only), and chairs or benches. All cabins have a latrine and outdoor fire pit. It is highly recommended that you bring your own firewood, dead and down trees are scarce in the area. Cutting live trees in illegal within the park. The water supply is from the lakes. Please be sure to purify the water before using it. The cabins are generally the same, except for size and location.

To assist in cabin rentals, click here for a Nancy Lake Recreation Area brochure. The map in the brochure includes cabin locations plus winter and summer access routes.

Nancy Lake Cabin Fact Sheet and Map
Note: You must have Acrobat Reader 3.0 or greater to open these pdf files. Go to the Adobe Acrobat website to download this free software.

Access for the cabins on Nancy Lake is the same except for Cabin #3 (see below for access to Nancy Lake Cabin #3 ). In Summer there is a half-mile walking trail to reach the cabins. The trailhead is at mile 1.8 of the Nancy Lake Parkway. These cabins can also be reached by boat or floatplane. In Winter, use the winter trail on the lake (one mile) or the summer trail (one-half mile) by registered snowmobile, skis, snowshoes, or dog sled. ATVs prohibited. An airplane may be used on the lake when the ice is thick enough.

  • Nancy Lake Cabin #1 (16' X 16')

    Sleeps 6 (maximum 6) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $30 non-peak / $45 peak per night. GPS 61 41 572N, 150 01 239W.

  • Nancy Lake Cabin #2 (12' X 24')

    Sleeps 6 (maximum 6) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $30 non-peak / $45 peak per night. GPS 61 41 387N, 150 01 150W.

  • Nancy Lake Cabin #3 (16' X 16')

    Sleeps 6 (maximum 6) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $30 non-peak / $45 peak per night. Summer access: this cabin is surrounded by private property and can only be reached by boat or floatplane. Winter access: use the winter trail on the lake (one mile) by snow vehicle, airplane, skis, snowshoes, or dog sled. GPS 61 41 284N, 150 00 895W.

  • Nancy Lake Cabin #4 (24' X 24')

    Sleeps 8 (maximum 8) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $30 non-peak / $45 peak per night. This cabin has a large covered front porch and is great for families. GPS 61 41 248N, 150 01 286W.

Access for the Bald Lake cabin is a quarter-mile walking trail. The trailhead is at mile 2.5 of the Nancy Lake Parkway. There is a well marked trail and signs that lead you to the cabin, located on the north end of the lake. In the winter, park at the Winter Trailhead parking lot (mile 2.2 of the Nancy Lake Parkway). Using registered snowmobiles, skis, snowshoes, or dog sled, travel the unplowed portion of the parkway 0.3 miles. ATVs prohibited. Take a left at the summer parking area and follow the trail and signs leading to the cabin. There is also a trail leading from the cabin to the lake.

  • Bald Lake Cabin (16' X 24')

    Sleeps 6 (maximum 6) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $45 non-peak / $60 peak per night. This cabin has a six foot porch and is the only building on the lake. GPS 61 40 915N, 150 02 093W.

James Lake Cabin

Summer access for the cabins on Lynx Lake and James Lake is via the canoe trail system. The canoe trail involves crossing several lakes and portages between lakes for about 3-4 miles to reach the cabins and takes approximately half a day. Lynx Lake cabins are also accessible by floatplane in the summer. Winter access is by registered snowmobile, skis, snowshoe, or dog sled using the winter trail. ATVs prohibited. Distance varies between 3.5 to 6.0 miles, depending on route and cabin. Lynx Lake cabins can also be reached by plane in the winter. No planes are allowed on James Lake. None of the cabins on Lynx or James Lakes are reachable during freeze up or break up when the ice is too thin to support weight.

  • James Lake Cabin (16' X 24')

    Sleeps 6 (maximum 6) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $30 non-peak / $45 peak per night. No planes are allowed on James Lake. This is a true log cabin. It is also the most isolated, secluded cabin in the Nancy Lake recreation system. GPS 61 38 107N, 150 05 700W.

  • Lynx Lake Cabin #1 (12' X 12')

    Sleeps 4 (maximum 4) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $25 non-peak / $35 peak per night. This cabin is very cozy for two and has a view of  Denali and MT. Foraker across the lake. GPS 61 38 365N, 150 02 985W.

  • Lynx Lake Cabin #2 (12' X 12')

    Sleeps 4 (maximum 4) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $25 non-peak / $35 peak per night. This cabin is fairly close to and shares a latrine with Lynx Lake Cabin #3. GPS 61 37 947N, 150 03 113W.

  • Lynx Lake Cabin #3 (12' X 12')

    Sleeps 4 (maximum 4) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $25 non-peak / $35 peak per night. This cabin is fairly close to and shares a latrine with Lynx Lake Cabin #2. GPS 61 37 911N, 150 03 145W.

Red Shirt Cabin #2

Access for the cabins on Red Shirt Lake is similar to Lynx Lake. Summer access: by floatplane or by a combination of hiking and canoeing. It is a 3 mile hike to Red Shirt Lake from the summer Red Shirt Lake trailhead at the end of Nancy Lake Parkway, followed by crossing the lake to reach a cabin. A canoe must be carried to Red Shirt or rent one from Tippecanoe Rentals (907-495-6688) prior to departure and they will have a canoe at the lake for you. Winter access: by plane or the winter trail for 7.5 to 8 miles, using registered snowmobile, skis, snowshoes, or dog sled. ATVs prohibited. None of the cabins on Red Shirt Lake are reachable during freeze up or break up when the ice is too thin to support weight.

  • Red Shirt Lake Cabin #1 (20' X 24')

    Sleeps 7 (maximum 7) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $30 non-peak / $45 peak per night. This cabin is on an island a short distance from the shore near the trail end at Red Shirt Lake. GPS 61 38 286N, 150 10 161W.

  • Red Shirt Lake Cabin #2 (12' X 12')

    Sleeps 6 (maximum 6) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $30 non-peak / $45 peak per night. The cabin sits on the lake shore. There is no trail connecting the cabin to the trail system, so access is by the lake. GPS 61 38 161N, 150 09 658W.

  • Red Shirt Lake Cabin #3 (16' X 24')

    Sleeps 8 (maximum 8) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $30 non-peak / $45 peak per night. This cabin is on an island in the middle of the lake - a different island from cabin #1. It is elevated, and has a good view of the lake. GPS 61 38 186N, 150 09 543W.

  • Red Shirt Lake Cabin #4 (12' X 28')

    Sleeps 8 (maximum 8) with a maximum stay of 5 consecutive nights. $30 non-peak / $45 peak per night. There is no trail connecting the cabin to the trail system, so access is by the lake. The cabin sits on the opposite shore of the lake from the trail access. GPS 60 37 962N, 150 09 193W.

Click here for more information on Nancy Lake State Recreation Area.

Return to Main Cabin Page