Peterson Lake Cabin was built in the 1980s and named after John Peterson, who started a placer gold mine in this area in 1900. The Peterson Lake Trail that accesses the cabin follows a former tram route for the first 2 miles, and remnants of the tram can still be seen. The cabin is open year-round and is one of Juneau Ranger District's most popular backcountry rentals. This secluded retreat offers the chance to enjoy beautiful scenery and a variety of recreational activities. The site can be accessed by float plane or by hiking, snowshoeing or skiing 4.5 miles from the Peterson Lake Trailhead on Glacier Highway. The trail has an elevation gain of 800 feet. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.
This 12 ft. by 14 ft. cabin is pan-abode style and sleeps six people with two single and two double bunks. The cabin also has a table and benches, a broom, a propane furnace, wood stove and splitting maul. Propane is provided for the furnace. The facility offers an accessible ramp to the cabin, a wider hardened trail connecting the cabin to the new vault toilet and float dock. A picnic table is provided on the front deck, and a cooler box for food storage is attached to the side of the cabin. A fire ring is located outside. A dock is available for float planes and boats. Water, firewood and electricity are not provided. Water is available from a nearby stream, but visitors should be sure to treat water before drinking or cooking with it ( water safety tips ). It is recommended that visitors bring their own water supply. Visitors must provide their own sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cooking stove, lanterns or flashlights, cookware, plates, utensils, food, toilet paper, garbage bags, a fire extinguisher and fire starter. Visitors are also expected to pack out trash, empty the cabinets and clean the cabin before leaving ( click here for more cabin details).
The cabin sits on relatively flat land covered in tall grass. The front deck of the cabin offers views of the lily pad-covered lake and the surrounding forest-covered slopes. Peterson Lake is narrow and almost a mile long. The surrounding landscape is marsh and a forest of hemlock and spruce. Distant ice-capped mountain peaks can be seen from the lake. Deer and black bear are common to the area ( bear safety information ). A variety of waterfowl can be seen on the lake.
The Peterson Lake Trail is partially planked. Hikers can use this trail in warmer weather, but snowshoes and skis are ideal in winter. The trail winds through muskeg and old-growth forest, taking hikers past waterfalls. Cross-country skiing is good in winter, with an undeveloped trail to John Muir cabin (map and compass are recommended). Anglers can fish for steelhead, trout, coho and pink salmon in Peterson Creek below the falls. Visitors can use the cabin's skiff with oars, but they must bring their own flotation devices.
Juneau Ranger District, 8510 Mendenhall Loop Road JUNEAU AK 99801
Peterson Lake Cabin is located 15 miles northwest of Juneau, Alaska. Year-round access is by 4.5-mile trail from Mile Marker 23.5 on Glacier Highway. Cabin can be accessed by float plane depending on conditions. A marked skiing trail connects John Muir Cabin to Peterson Lake Cabin in the winter. A GPS or map and compass are recommended.