Alaskan Family Adventures

Eagle River Public Use Cabin

The Eagle River Public Use Cabin is roughly 1.5 miles away from the Eagle River Nature Center (ERNC).  The cabin is an adorable one room log cabin with a wood stove, bunks for six, a table and benches that can sleep two more.  There is an outhouse, and volunteers keep firewood chopped for use by the occupants.

The trail to the cabin is groomed and well marked.  We had a recent rain and the trail was iced over, so slip-over cleats on our boots came in very handy.  We also picked up some robust sleds to pull our gear, and of course the kids 🙂

If you are lucky the cabin will be warm from the last visitors keeping the wood stove going for you, and the wood will be stocked.  In our case the cabin was freezing and there was no firewood stocked, so we had some work to do.

There is a bonfire pit with benches, but the volunteers ask that you not use the provided firewood for the bonfire pit.  We found plenty of dead fall off of the main trail to feed a bonfire and you can too – please respect the request and leave the split wood for the wood stove.

There is plenty to explore close to the cabin; we spent time exploring the nearby wetlands and river bed, or climbing on the many large boulders in the area, while ducking inside every once in a while for cocoa and snacks.

Coming back to the Eagle River Nature Center is just as easy as finding the cabin.  The last section of trail is all uphill and makes getting to the parking lot worthy of a celebration!

In all the Public Use cabin is one of our family’s favorite Alaskan getaways.  We give it a high recommendation for families due to the ease of access.

  • Cost: $65/night ($55 for members)
  • Firewood: provided by volunteers
  • Water: bring your own or filter from the river
  • Warnings: Be aware of small children in the river bed, especially in the winter when ‘false banks’ may appear due to snow overhanging the water’s edge.

The cabin is typically booked a year in advance for weekends, so don’t wait on making your reservations!

Useful Links:


The trail is well marked all the way to the cabin


The kids love chilling out in the cabin


Stocking the cabin with split wood and leaving the wood stove going when you leave will bring good karma


Sleds make pulling the gear – and the kids – much easier


A sure sign you are there and the cabin is ready


Wood is provided and split by volunteers. Please only use it in the wood stove


Beautiful wetlands just yards away from the cabin


Plenty of room for a birthday celebration!


Cabin view from the river


The river is a great place for the kids to explore, but watch for snowy overhangs that make ‘false banks’


The cabin from the river with a bench to enjoy the view


There are plenty of boulders for the kids to climb


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