Tongass National Forest

Camping & Lodging

There are 11 campgrounds in the Forest. Most have running water, picnic tables, pit toilets, and parking spaces for cars and spaces for tents or trailers. Drinking water and trash collection are provided in most campgrounds. In addition, there are a number of day-use areas in the Tongass. Many have covered shelters and fire rings, pit toilets, and parking spaces. Some are wheelchair accessible. Campground spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis with no advance reservations.

Public use cabins are managed by the Forest Service. There are about 160 cabins in the Tongass National Forest. They are located in scenic and often remote areas. Many of the cabins may be reached only by boat or airplane. Rowboats are available at many of the cabins located on lakes. Some cabins are accessible to those in wheelchairs. Permits are required for cabin use, and cabins may be reserved at Forest Service offices.

Cabins are some of the most popular recreation facilities at Tongass National Forest. Reservations are required and can be made by mail or in person by reservation form. The primary cabin reservation contact point is the Southeast Alaska Visitor Center, but district offices also make reservations. During some times of the year, certain cabins become very popular. In these instances, we are now using a special drawing to determine who will receive a permit. Contact any of our offices for further details.

The cabins are rustica true Alaskan experience! Facilities you can expect include: plywood bunks (bring a pad!), wood or oil stoves, cooking counter and table, shelves and cupboard space, and an outhouse toilet. If the cabin you are planning on using has an oil stove, plan on bringing your own #1 stove oil (oil use varies from 5 to 10 gallons per week). Cabins near water frequently have moor bouys.

If you are finding the cabin you want is already reserved, consider some of the "hidden jewels"the cabins that are often overlooked. These cabins are easier to reserve on short notice, and still provide a top quality cabin experience in a variety of beautiful Southeast Alaska settings. Hidden jewels you might like to explore this year include: K12 Plenty Cutthroat Cabin; M7 Hugh Smith Lake Cabin and M11 Wilson Narrows Cabin at Misty Fiords National Monument; T4 Honker Lake Cabin and T12 Shipley Bay Cabin (Thorpe Bay Ranger District); C2 Essowah Lake Cabin (Craig Ranger District).

Recreation cabins provide some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities anywhere in Alaska. Some of the wildlife you can expect to see include: Bald eagles, Sitka blacktail deer, mountain goat (near mainland mountains), black bear, brown bear (on mainland), trumpeter swans (from lake cabins), wolf, beaver, marten, mink and otter. Both Humpback and killer whales can also be seen from certain salt water cabins.


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