Find Sites

Find your spot

Find other facilities on map

For more information on Forest
Safety click here



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


Upper Russian Lake Cabin is a rustic, remote facility that was recently refurbished to provide added safety to campers, however it kept the old-fashioned charm of the 1950s, when it was originally built. Its location provides ample fishing and boating opportunities. Visitors enjoy exploring surrounding trails and viewing wildlife.

The cabin can be accessed via a trek up to 12 miles or by floatplane. Visitors are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

Natural Features:

The cabin is located south of Sterling Highway, set back from the north shore of Upper Russian Lake. It is surrounded by an open grove of giant cottonwood trees with views of the lake and mountains beyond. A mountain stream runs alongside the cabin, down to the lake.

For more information on access and regulations pertaining to this cabin, trail conditions, safety precautions and outdoor safety and ethics, please contact the Seward District office.


Visitors enjoy boating and fishing for Dolly Varden, rainbow trout and red salmon during mid-June and mid-July runs in Upper Russian Lake. A rowboat with oars is provided at the cabin. Fishing equipment is not provided and permits are required to fish or hunt in the state, click here to learn more about Alaska Department of Fish & Game regulations.

In season, visitors hunt for moose, black and brown bears and wolves in the surrounding forest. Hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling (during open seasons only) are also popular in the area.


The 12x14-ft log cabin has wooden bunks to sleep up to eight people, but four will fit comfortably. It is equipped with a table, benches and a wood stove for heat. An outdoor toilet is provided. Firewood can also be cut in the area, using the splitting maul and crosscut saw supplied at the cabin.

Visitors will need to bring their own water for drinking, cooking and cleaning purposes. Water taken from the lake must be treated or boiled prior to consumption. Visitors will also need to bring their own bedding and sleeping pads, flashlights, cooking gear, food, clothing and cooking utensils, among other necessities. All garbage and food must be packed out.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Bunkbed(s)
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Firewood
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Ice Fishing
  • Lake Access
  • Mountain Biking
  • Non-Motorized Boating
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • Table & Chairs
  • Trailheads
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wood Stove
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
  • Winter access is via a trek of up to 12 miles
  • There is no source of fresh water near the cabin; visitors must bring their own
  • 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 Chugach 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):
60.35472, -149.88361
60°21'17"N, 149°53'1"W

Access to the cabin is via the Russian Lakes Trail, 10 miles from the East Trailhead. The East Trailhead is located on the Snug Harbor Road, 12 miles from the Sterling Highway out of Cooper Landing. Or access the cabin via trail 12 miles from the North Trailhead located within the Russian River Campground, milepost 52.6 of the Sterling Highway.

Winter parking for Upper Russian Trailhead is located at mile 9 of Snug Harbor Road. The last 3 miles of Snug Harbor Road are not plowed in the winter. Winter parking for Lower Russian Lakes Trailhead is 1 mile back on the campground road and the last mile of the campground road is not plowed. Access the cabin via Russian Lakes Trail (12 miles from Russian River Campground parking area and 9 miles from the Cooper Lake Trailhead). Maps are available online or by calling the Seward Ranger District at (907) 224-3374.

Winter travelers need to be able to evaluate avalanche and over-ice travel conditions. For more current travel conditions call the Seward Ranger District at (907)224-3374. Motorized access is prohibited in the winter and summer. The trail is closed to horse/pack stock from April 1 to June 30.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

SEWARD  AK  99664

Phone Number:

Project Office: (907)224-3374
Discover and reserve camping, lodging, permits, tours and more at America's parks, forests, monuments and other public lands with Recreation.gov. Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration