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Thread: Public cabins on the Kenai Peninsula

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    Default Public cabins on the Kenai Peninsula

    This is about the time of year I start thinking about next summers hikes and trips I want to go on. Its the planning season... and I got to thinking that maybe everyone isn't aware of the public cabins that are available to rent on the Kenai Peninsula so I decided to share how to find them.

    Chugach National Forest (you need to type in Chugach in the Park or Facility Name box and hit enter)
    http://www.recreation.gov/welcome.do?topTabIndex=Home

    Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
    http://kenai.fws.gov/cabin.htm

    Alaska State Parks
    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/cabins/index.htm

    this last summer i booked several nice places to stay at such as Crescent Lake cabin, Barber cabin, Juneau Lake Cabin, Cariboo Creek cabin, and Fox Creek cabin on the Russian River trail, Crescent Lake Trail, and Ressurection Pass Trail systems. I think these are a good deal and that is why I am mentioning them for those that did not know.

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    I think I've hammered out my cabin stay hikes for next summer.

    Crescent Lake is a for sure. If you've never been there you're missing out on some outstanding grayling fishing as well as being a really cool place and good hike or mountain bike ride.

    We did Resurrection Pass trail summer of 2010 so next year it will be Devils Pass Trail to that cabin which intersects that trail. A good place to see hundreds of marmots and Alaska wildflowers. I figure 3 days on top will be about right.

    And lastly I want to do a Russian Lakes hike to Seward. So its the Barber Cabin to Upper Russian Lake Cabin to Resurrection River Cabin (if it opens) supposed to be closed at the moment but that may change. If not a under a tree somewhere should do.

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    If you have a boat you should book Pipe Creek cabin up on Tustumena Lake. There is always a sow with cubs on this creek in the summer, every summer so it makes for a nice bear viewing stop in July.

    Travel the lake early in the morning and be where you want to be before noon as the winds pick up around then.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Got any pics from Crescent? If so, shoot me a pm if you find time or interest. I am thinking about taking the wife there sometime soon. Heard lots about it. Also Upper Paradise Lake. Don't know much about either, but would like to cross them off my list soon.


    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    the seastar cabin in tutka bay is really nice, usually books early and all summer, so that' s saying something....
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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    http://www.nps.gov/kefj/planyourvisit/lodging.htm

    Summer and winter cabins are available at Kenai Fjords National Park, too. The Exit cabin can be reached in winter by skis or snowmachine; the summer coastal cabins require boat access.

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Got any pics from Crescent? If so, shoot me a pm if you find time or interest. I am thinking about taking the wife there sometime soon. Heard lots about it. Also Upper Paradise Lake. Don't know much about either, but would like to cross them off my list soon.


    -Dan
    She'll love it there. Two nights should be about right.

    cl13.JPGcl12.JPG

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toofewweekends View Post
    http://www.nps.gov/kefj/planyourvisit/lodging.htm

    Summer and winter cabins are available at Kenai Fjords National Park, too. The Exit cabin can be reached in winter by skis or snowmachine; the summer coastal cabins require boat access.
    Thanks for sharing about those. I wasn't aware they were there.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pics man. Looks like a nice place to hang out for a few days.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Thanks for the pics man. Looks like a nice place to hang out for a few days.
    You'll definitely LOVE Crescent Lake. Every year I want to go back, but the wife is not too fond of hiking any length of trail! I have heaven on earth -fond memories of that place. Lots of wildlife too!

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    I agree that crescent is the bomb, especially if you know where the "hot spot" is. There are probably a couple hundred forest service cabins in Alaska, most of which are not shown on the websites, you just have to know, or know someone else that knows where they are, many are well off the grid.

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    ok i give, wheres the hot spot ? are you talking about the saddle cabin or something else ?

    i was remembering taking my daughter up to crescent lake 25 years ago...she was ten years old and gave out on me on the trail after about 4 miles. i had to keep on telling her its just around the corner for 2 1/2 more miles to keep her going, even though I knew better. the kid was plum tuckered out when we got there.

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    you know kenairmk, you're right about a lot of old cabins and remains on public lands. By far most of them are no longer useable since they were built a hundred years ago. for years i was a cabin and remains hunter in the woods because i got a kick out of finding them and taking photos and thinking about who built them and why and the old days. many people told me there secrets. i was told about many old cabins and remains that had been bumped into accidentally through the years. tustumena lake area was my main place to go looking but other places too. next summer i've got 4 trips planned just to go see old cabins around the peninsula and remains. 3 of them known, one of them known by only one person as far as I know. at one time i reckon there were about 35-40 cabins built around tustumena lake and back up into the woods around it. most of them built before anchorage existed. only a handful of the old historic cabins exist now that are usuable. it was common for trappers to build a shoreline cabin and then one or two line cabins up a trail further off the lake. or mining or hunting cabins. if a cabin was built in the 1920's or 30's theres a slight chance its still good enough to use but thats pushing it. you get older than that and the sill logs or roof are rotted out and it then it goes pretty fast. many nights....i stayed in a tiny 10 X 12 cabin built back in the 40's on indian creek only a handful of people knew about but nobody went to but me. it wasn't anything fancy...just a secret getaway where i could spend time 30 miles from the nearest road with only the sounds of the rushing stream. no noise of other people at all. i guess it was about 8 years or so ago we had lots of rain in the fall...anyway i had hiked back into the mountains one spring and dropped down off the main trail down into indian creek to stay at the place but it was gone. the hillside the fall before had sluffed off from all the rain and came down and took that old cabin out. all that remained was the roof of the place upside down in the creek. it broke my heart to see that old place go.

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    I saw a hiking story recently about the route (no longer a trail) from the Russian Lakes area down to Exit Glacier. From the piece I read, it sounds like a really rough hike- I know the bridges over the creeks were wiped out years ago and never rebuilt. I wish I could remember where I saw that- if I come across it I'll link it here. You might want to give the folks at the Seward Ranger District a call to see what they know about the route. Good luck!

    ninja edit: here's the link: http://www.alaskahikesearch.com/Hike...Pass.htm#scott
    There's a section near the end about the route. Good luck.

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