Crescent Saddle Cabin Review

Planning a trip to Crescent Saddle Cabin in Moose Pass? This public use cabin sits above Crescent Lake in Moose Pass, Alaska.

The trail to the cabin is a 6.9-mile one-way hike from the Carter Lake trailhead or a 10-mile one-way hike from the Crescent Creek trailhead.

In this post, I’m going to review the Crescent Saddle public use cabin.

How to get to Carter Lake Trail from Anchorage:

Crescent Saddle Cabin can be found along the Primitive Trail in Moose Pass. Moose Pass is located 1 hour and 45 minutes south of Anchorage.

Head south on the Seward Highway towards Seward. Continue to mile 34 on the Seward Highway and you will find the Carter Lake Trail parking lot. Carter Lake Trailhead parking is free.

Crescent Saddle Cabin Review

Crescent Saddle Cabin is a 12×14-foot cabin that overlooks Crescent Lake in the Kenai Mountains near Moose Pass. It’s available to reserve year-round, although it may be inaccessible during certain times of the year due to avalanche conditions.

Cabin Amenities

  • Wooden sleeping platforms
  • Wood heating stove
  • Wood table with bench seating
  • Small deck
  • Pit latrine
  • Fire ring
  • Rowboat with oars

The cabin is equipped with a wood heating stove. Cabin users are responsible for supplying their own wood, but you may find some that the previous guest left behind.

Crescent Saddle Cabin is small and sleeps 6 people on two wooden sleeping platforms. The cabin is rustic but it’s also clean.

A fire ring can be found right outside the front and it also has some wood stumps for seating around it.

There is NO running water, electricity, or trash service in the cabin. You will have to pack out what you pack in. You may want to bring some cleaning wipes so you can tidy up before and after your stay.

Crescent Lake is near the cabin which you can use as a water source. Make sure to purify your water before using it.

crescent saddle public use cabin review alaska
crescent saddle cabin alaska

Crescent Saddle Cabin Location

The trail to the cabin starts from the Carter Lake Trail in Moose Pass is about a 1 hour and 45-minute drive from Anchorage.

I wanted to do the entire traverse, but since I reserved the cabin in August, I knew the trail was going to be overgrown. I decided it would be better to hike to the cabin as an out-and-back.

The cabin overlooks Crescent Lake and it’s a very short walk down to the lake. In August, the grass was quite tall and obscured some of the views of the lake.

You’ll also find a rowboat down but the shoreline that you can take out on the lake.

Parking is included in the cost of the cabin. Make sure to print out your Alaska State Parks parking permit and fill in your registration number to avoid getting a ticket.

crescent lake alaska

Trail Difficulty

Carter Lake to Primitive Trail – 6.9 miles one-way

Carter Lake Trail to Crescent Saddle Cabin is 6.9 miles one-way and follows the Primitive Trail. The Primitive Trail is NOT maintained and gets VERY overgrown during the late summer months. There are also a few large stream crossings that will most likely result in wet feet.

It takes about 3.5 hours to reach the cabin this way, which makes it the quickest route.

Crescent Creek to Primitive Trail – 10 miles one-way

Crescent Creek Trail to Crescent Saddle Cabin is 10 miles one-way and follows the Primitive Trail. The Primitive Trail is NOT maintained and gets VERY overgrown during the late summer months. You may also get your feet wet on this side.

Crescent Creek to Carter Lake Traverse – 17 miles

You can also hike to the cabin on a thru-hike via Crescent Creek to Carter Lake Traverse. It’s 17 miles long and you will need to shuttle vehicles.

You can also reserve Crescent Lake Cabin if you want to add another night to your trip.

carter lake primitive trail alaska

Winter Access

Due to avalanche danger, winter travel along the Crescent Creek Trail is not recommended. The primitive trail is also not recommended as the trail crosses several avalanche chutes.

For winter access, use Carter Lake Trail and traverse across the south side of Crescent Lake, if it’s frozen. You can hike or ski across.

Nearby Activities

If you have enough time, you can take the rowboat out on Crescent Lake. Bring your fishing license, if you want to fish for grayling in the lake.

How to Reserve Crescent Saddle Public Use Cabin

To reserve the Crescent Saddle cabin, you will need to visit the Alaska State Parks reservation site here. The cabin costs $60 per night.

Check-in/Check-out Times

  • Check-in time: 12:00 p.m.
  • Check-out time: 12:00 p.m.

Conclusion: Here’s What I Really Think…

If you’re looking for an overnight backpacking adventure near Moose Pass, Alaska, then I recommend staying at Crescent Saddle Cabin.

However, hiking this trail is not ideal in late summer and it could be very miserable for some as you bushwack your way through the tall grass, Devils Club, and alders that line the trail.

The cabin is also not directly on the lake, which was a little disappointing. But, it’s still a very beautiful area and makes a fun overnighter.

crescent lake rowboat

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Pin This Post For Later

Stay at this public use cabin in Moose Pass Alaska. Crescent Saddle Cabin is a cabin that you can rent and overlooks Crescent Lake in the Kenai Mountains. If you want to add some adventure travel to your Alaska vacation then add this to your list. #alaska #hiking #publicusecabin #moosepass #cabinreview

Do you have any questions about the Crescent Saddle Cabin in Moose Pass? Leave them in the comments.

About Andrea Kuuipo

I was born and raised in Anchorage and have been able to travel to many places around Alaska. As an Alaska Travel Blogger, I love sharing my favorite things to see and do in my home state to help others plan an incredible trip!

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