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Alaska Department of Natural Resources

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Interior of Public-Use Cabin

Chena River State Recreation Area

Nugget Creek Cabin

Nugget Creek Cabin Exterior
Nugget Creek Cabin Interior

Cabin Specifications

★ Minimum Occupancy: 1 Guest
★ Maximum Occupancy: 3 Guests
★ Site Access Method: Summer - Hiking, Biking; Winter - Ski, Snowshoe, Snowmachine, Dog Team
★ Stay Limit: 5 Nights
★ Check-in/out Time: 12:00pm
★ Pets Allowed: Yes**
★ Fees: (see fee page)
★ Cabin Dimensions: 10' x 12'
★ Heating Method: Wood Stove (Bring your own)

Useful Information

Mastodon Trailhead Map


★ Fire Ring
★ Picnic Table
★ Wood Stove
★ Table and Seats
★ Broom and Ash Scoop
★ Saw and Axe

Check out the virtual tour of the Nugget Creek Cabin!

Nugget Creek cabin is one of five backcountry cabins located in the Chena Recreation area. This cozy log cabin offers 3 platform bunks and sits above the South Fork of the Chena River. Formerly a miner's cabin, Nugget Creek has that "authentic" Alaskan cabin appeal.

Summer Access: Mastodon Trailhead is at mile 38.6 Chena Hot Springs Road. The trail is 13.5 miles long. The first half mile winds through a spruce forest before entering an old forest fire burn from 2004. The next 2.5 miles wind along the east side of the Mastodon drainage before dropping down into Mastodon Creek at mile 3. From the creek you enter the 2019 fire scar that burned across much of the next 10 miles of trail. From the creek crossing the trail climbs 700 feet over the next two miles. A bench greets people at mile 6.5 where they can enjoy the panoramic view. From the bench the trail crosses over into the Nugget creek drainage where it circles high on the ridge. The last two miles descend to the Public-Use Cabin on the south Fork of the Chena River. Winter access is strenuous due to deep snow at higher elevations and should only be attempted by the most physically fit and prepared outdoor enthusiast.

Winter Access: by snowmachine, dog team, skis, or snowshoes. The 7 mile trail is marked with green diamonds starting at the Chena River. As you enter onto the river, travel west (right) approximately 1/4 mile on the far bank the trail is marked with a green trail marker. The trail winds back along the bank upstream before leaving the river. There is often thin ice or open water, even in late winter, so use caution.

GPS: W 146°30.829' N 64°50.506'

Special Notes:

WINTER ACCESS ALERT: Most years, the Chena River does not freeze well enough to cross until mid December. Call the parks office at 451-2695 for current river conditions or check alaskastateparks.org for a trail report for the Chena River State Recreation Area.

** 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 reservation call center at 1-844-351-9733 9am-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
  • 9-volt battery for smoke detectors
  • First aid items
  • Plastic trash bags
  • Jug of water
  • Saw or ax, 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
DNR Public Information Center:
(907) 269-8400
DPOR Director's Office:
(907) 269-8700