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Thread: Winter Hike/Cabin Suggestions

  1. #1
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    Default Winter Hike/Cabin Suggestions

    I'm looking for some ideas for a fairly easy weekender type hike with an overnight cabin within an hour or two drive from Anchorage. My wife and I had our first little one about a month ago, so I don't want anything too long (> 5 miles one way) or anything with avy danger. I'd also like to steer clear of lake crossings as well. We both are pretty experienced in outdoor travel/trekking in Alaska but we haven't done a lot of winter trips.

    Basically just looking to get out in a secluded area for a weekend, with a nice hike and a cabin. I thought about Barber Cabin on the Kenai, but don't like the idea of the avy danger (I've stayed there before in summer months and seen the broken trees on the way in). I also thought about the ER Nature Center as I've heard they have some cabins. I've never used anything but public use cabins, but I suppose there may be private cabins for rent as well.

    Any ideas are very much appreciated. I've been absent from the forums for a while but plan to check back more often. I've always thought this site was a terrific site for obtaining/sharing info on all things outdoor in Alaska.

    Thanks!

    Matt

  2. #2

    Default Nancy Lake Area

    The Nancy Lake system has a number of public us cabins. I've snowmachined into Redshirt a couple of times and stayed in their cabins, primitive but nice. There are a couple cabins pretty close to the road system which should be an easy hike. You'll have to bring in firewood though.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The ER Nature Center cabins and yurts are the option I would use. The hikes are not long, the surrounding area is beautiful for hiking around if weather allows, and they come fully stocked with firewood. It'll be nice being able to spend time with your wife and kid instead of worrying about finding enough wood. That alone is worth the rental price for such an outing.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. I'll check into both. The ER option does sound nice becuase of the firewood. Their site shows that the cabin is booked every weekend for the next few months but I'll call them and check on one of the yurts.

  5. #5
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    How bad is Barber if you head down the trail towards the falls then cross the lake, seems like most danger is the last bit that could be avoided. Thought I read this access as the preferred winter route in the cabin log a few years back.

  6. #6
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    I think this is the best way to access in the winter. With the warm temps and a 2 month old I was hoping to avoid a large lake crossing. It would probably be fine, but I watched a buddy of mine fall through a lake on Elmedorf last winter where the ice was atleast a foot thick and we'd had minus temps for weeks. It was weird, we couldn't figure out why the ice was so thin in one particular spot, and we couldn't tell by looking at it to determine how far the thin area stretched. Maybe an underwater spring? Who knows? So anyway, I spook easy with lake crossings now.

  7. #7
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    Default Seward Cabin

    We recently took a group of boy scouts to the Clemens Cabin in the Lost Lake area near Seward. The winter trail is only about two miles but is a steep climb. We pulled plastic sleds up and then rode the sleds back to the parking lot. The climb up took 3-4 hours and the trip down was less than an hour. The cabin has a beautiful view of Seward and Resurrection Bay. The cabin has a propane furnace and four bunks with padding, and the bunks fold into couches. From the cabin you can ski, snowboard, snowshoe, go sledding or just hike around. You do have to watch out for snowmobiles on the trail. If you go you will need some traction on your feet. We used microspikes, yaktracks, ...etc. You will need to bring a stove, lantern, and fuel. The forest service provides the propane for the furnace. If you have a good snowmachine you could probably ride up to the cabin in 15 minutes. The trail is very icey and sometimes snowmobiles can't make it up due to the ice.

  8. #8
    Member ksaye's Avatar
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    may be the Crescent Lake cabin; don't know of snow or trail conditions or avalanche risk. Made the trip in July before.

  9. #9

    Default Crescent Lake

    Quote Originally Posted by ksaye View Post
    may be the Crescent Lake cabin; don't know of snow or trail conditions or avalanche risk. Made the trip in July before.
    The Crescent Lake Cabin is awesome, however the avalanche danger in this area is hight so be careful if you choose it.

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