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part ofTongass National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates


Swan Lake Cabin is located on mainland Alaska along the southeast shore of Swan Lake. It is available for reservation year-round and provides access to a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, fishing, hunting and viewing wildlife. The cabin also provides spectacular scenic views of the surrounding area.

The cabin can be accessed only by float plane or helicopter. The adjacent lake is normally frozen from November through early June, further limiting access. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety and must bring several of their own amenities.

Natural Features:

The cabin is situated on the alpine Swan Lake, east of Thomas Bay, at an elevation of 1,524 feet. It is surrounded by the steep peaks of the Cosmos Range. Swan Lake offers some of the most spectacular scenery and photographic opportunities in the region.

The steep talus slopes are home to mountain goats, and rainbow trout are plentiful in the lake. Alpine wildflowers are abundant in the area. The region is also home to a variety of wildlife. Click here to learn more about bear safety.


Favorable rock, ice and glacier climbing conditions are found throughout the area. The Cascade Creek Trail can be reached by boat from the cabin. Beginning at the west end of the lake, it leads to Falls Lake and a three-sided shelter about a mile away. The trail terminates at the Cascade Creek Cabin, 5 miles out, in Thomas Bay.

Fishing and boating are also popular activities. Two rowboats with oars are available at the cabin, however, life jackets are not provided and guests must supply their own. Guests may also wish to bring a small outboard motor. Anglers may find rainbow trout in the lake.

A sand bar for tent camping or picnicking is also available. Wildlife viewing and hunting are also popular pastimes. Hunting is available as per state or federal hunting regulations; click here for more information from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.


The A-frame cabin was rebuilt in 2005-06 and has two wooden bunks and a sleeping loft to accommodate up to seven people. It is equipped with a table and benches and a clean-burning oil heater. An outhouse with pit toilets is provided.

Water for drinking, cooking and cleaning purposes is not provided at the cabin. Water taken from the lake and the nearby stream should be treated or boiled before consumption. Guests are encouraged to bring their own drinking water if possible.

Guests will need to bring their own sleeping bags and pads, cook stove and cooking gear, towels, food and clothing, fire starter and garbage bags, among other necessities. Guests are advised to bring enough kerosene or No. 1 heating oil for the oil heater. It burns at a rate of approximately one gallon per day. Oil is not supplied at the cabin.

Click here for more cabin details and maps.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Bunkbed(s)
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Climbing
  • Fishing
  • Heater
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Lake Access
  • Picnic Area
  • Pit Toilets
  • Table & Chairs
  • Tent sites
  • Trailheads
  • Wildlife Viewing
Know Before You Go
  • This facility is located in an extremely remote and wild area; before making a reservation, become aware of bear, water, and weather safety (including cold)
  • Recreating in Alaska can present both obvious and hidden dangers; please be aware of your surroundings and be prepared for extended stays due to occasionally poor weather
  • This is the Swan Lake Cabin near Petersburg, in the Tongass National Forest of southeast Alaska, not the Swan Lake Cabin near the Resurrection Pass Trail on the Chugach National Forest
  • Poor weather (fog and high winds) can cause travel delays; cabin guests should be prepared with extra food and clothing for a potential extended stay
  • In fall, winter and early spring, the cabin may be inaccessible due to frozen lake surface (float planes cannot land); contact the Petersburg Ranger District office for information prior to making a reservation during these periods
  • Firewood at the cabin is supplied only for heating the cabin, it is not for outdoor campfires; collect dead and down wood from the forest for your outdoor campfire
  • Use of this cabin by a commercial operator, such as an outfitter or guide, is not allowed
  • All garbage and food must be packed out
  • Learn more about Tongass National Forest
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by purchasing firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
57.03056, -132.69194
57°1'50"N, 132°41'31"W

The cabin is accessible only by float plane or helicopter, 18 miles from Petersburg. Refer to USGS topographic map Sumdum A3. Sumdum A2 may also be useful. Maps are available online or by calling the Petersburg Ranger District at (907) 772-3871.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

PO BOX 1328

Phone Number:

Information:  (907)772-3871
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