Eklutna Lake Kokanee Cabin Review

Planning a trip to Kokanee Cabin in Eklutna? This public use cabin can be found along the southwest shores of Eklunta Lake in Eklutna, Alaska.

The trail to the cabin is 3.75 miles one way and will take you two hours to reach by kayak or canoe during the summer and can be accessed by foot, bike, or ski during the winter months when the lake is frozen.

Eklutna Lake is not open to gas-powered outboard motors or float planes. Only non-motorized watercraft or electric trolling motors are permitted.

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

How to get to Eklutna from Anchorage:

The Kokanee Cabin can be found on the southwest shores of Eklutna Lake. Eklutna is located 1 hour north of Anchorage. As you head north on the Glenn Highway, you will take the exit at Eklutna. Turn right onto Eklutna Village Road. Turn right onto Old Glenn Hwy. Turn left onto Eklutna Lake Road for 14.5 miles. You will reach a large parking lot at the end of the road.

Eklutna Lake Map

Find the Eklutna Lake Map here.

Kokanee Cabin Review

The Kokanee Cabin can be found on the southwest shores of Eklunta Lake and is available to reserve year-round, although it may be inaccessible during certain times of the year.

Cabin Amenities

  • Wooden sleeping platforms
  • Wood heating stove
  • Wood table
  • Pit latrine
  • Fire ring
  • Picnic table
  • Covered porch

Kokanee Cabin is spacious and sleeps 8 people on wooden sleeping platforms. The cabin is in great condition.

The cabin is equipped with a wood heating stove that’ll get the cabin nice and cozy. There is also a fire ring just outside the front, next to a picnic table.

When we arrived, there was plenty of cut wood stored under the cabin but we mostly gathered the dried-up driftwood found along the beach to have a little bonfire.

There is NO running water 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.

There is a water source near the cabin but we just made sure to bring enough for the entire trip. Make sure to purify your water before using it.

kokanee cabin inside view
alaska public use cabin interior

Kokanee Cabin Location

You can reach Eklutna Lake within a 1-hour drive from Anchorage. Driving Eklunta Road definitely takes a while as the road curves through the mountains.

Parking is included in the cost of the cabin. You are allowed 2 vehicles for your group. Make sure to print out your Alaska State Parks parking permit and fill in your registration number to avoid getting a ticket.

The cabin is located 3.75 miles from the Eklutna Lake parking lot. You can access the cabin by kayak or canoe during the summer, and skis or snowshoes during winter.

One of my favorite things about the cabin is the location. From the beach, there are great views of Twin Peaks, Pepper Peak, and Bold Peak.

You’ll also feel like you have the entire lake to yourselves since there is no real trail on this side of the lake unlike the Eklunta Lakeside Trail which is always bust with hikers, bikers, and ATVs.

There is a small airstrip at the south end of Eklutna Lake, so you’ll definitely see and hear a lot of planes flying above.

eklutna lake beach southwest shores

Trail Difficulty

From the parking lot, you will have to hand-carry your kayak or canoe to put it in the water. It can be quite exhausting carrying your boat all the way from the unloading area to the water, especially if the water level is low. The distance to the water is usually longest in early summer.

Paddling across Eklutna Lake can be challenging and is not recommended for beginners. Eklutna Lake is full of glacier-fed water and it’s freezing cold!

During the summer, winds can change drastically and if you don’t know how to handle your boat during these difficult conditions, it could become fatal – accidents have happened on this lake.

During the winter, you will need to be able to assess ice safety since you will have to walk across the frozen lake to reach the cabin.

The cabin is located at N 61 23.465′, W 149 03.557′. Its a 3.75-mile paddle during the summer and will take you less than two hours to get there.

Here are some tips for kayaking on Eklutna Lake:

  • Contact Chugach State Park for the latest conditions
  • Always wear a life jacket
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Check the wind forecast and plan your trip around low winds
  • Start early, 8am-10am starts usually give you the best conditions
  • Paddle along the shoreline and avoid being in the middle of the lake
  • Use a sea kayak instead of a recreational kayak

Nearby Activities

If you have enough time, you can kayak to the other side of the lake and hike Bold Peak or kayak to the south end of the lake and hike to Serenity Falls or hike along the East Fork Trail.

There’s also plenty of beach area to hang out, take a dip in Eklutna Lake on a hot summer day, or go for an evening paddle.

During the winter, you can sometimes ice skate on the lake.

How to Reserve Kokanee Public Use Cabin

To reserve the Kokanee cabin, you will need to visit the Alaska State Parks reservation site here. The cabin costs $105 per night.

Check-in/Check-out Times

  • Check-in time: 12:00 p.m.
  • Check-out time: 12:00 p.m.
eklutna lake kokanee cabin

Conclusion: Here’s What I Really Think…

If you’re looking for an overnight kayaking adventure in Southcentral Alaska, then I recommend staying at Kokanee Cabin on Eklutna Lake. However, this is not a trip for beginners.

The cost of the cabin is also on the high side for Alaska public use cabins but it sleeps 8 people and if you split the costs between all guests then it’s very affordable.

The location of this cabin is really what sets it apart. It’s very isolated and feels secluded outside of the noise from airplanes and ATVs across the way.

I also loved being able to take a dip in the lake since it was 68 degrees F! We lucked out on weather but I think this trip would be a little miserable if it was raining the entire time.


Read More

How to Reserve Public Use Cabins in Alaska

Serenity Falls Cabin Review

How to Practice Leave No Trace in Alaska

Alaska Travel Guide

5 Best Ice Cream Shops Near Anchorage


Pin This Post For Later

Stay at this public use cabin in Eklutna Alaska. Kokanee Cabin is a cabin that you can rent and is accessed after a 3.75 mile paddle on a beautiful glacier lake. If you want to add some adventure travel to your Alaska vacation then add this to your list. #alaska #hiking #kayaking #eklutnalake #cabinreview

Do you have any questions about the Kokanee Cabin in Eklutna? Leave them in the comments.

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