Barnes Lake Cabin

Tongass National Forest

Barnes Lake Cabin allows for a true outdoor adventure on Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska. Situated on the western shore of Barnes Lake, the cabin offers year-round relaxation and recreation. Boating, kayaking, crabbing, fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing are just steps away.

The site can be accessed by float plane, boat or kayak, depending on conditions. Visitors are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own supplies.

The 12-by-12 cabin is a primitive, pre-cut cedar log structure (pan-abode style) equipped with wooden bunks that sleep four to six people. It has a table, benches, a wood stove for heat and an outside vault toilet. Other amenities include a cooking bench, shelves, cupboard space, a broom, and an axe, maul and splitting wedges for cutting firewood.

The cabin does not have mattresses or cooking utensils and users must bring their own water for drinking, cooking and cleaning purposes. There is no freshwater source near the cabin.

Guests must bring their own sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cook stoves, matches, cooking gear, food, lanterns and flashlights, toilet paper and garbage bags. Wood may be available, but the supply cannot be guaranteed. Guests are asked to be conservative wood and use their cook stoves for cooking.

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Need to Know

Natural Features

The cabin sits on the shore of Barnes Lake, a tidal saltwater lagoon. At low tide, a 50- to 100-foot tidal flat emerges in front of the cabin. The shoreline is surrounded by a thick temperate rainforest of old-growth spruce and hemlock trees, shrubs, ferns and grasses. The area is home to abundant wildlife, including migratory waterfowl, Sitka black-tailed deer and black bears ( learn more about bear safety ).


The location is prime for anglers, as summer runs for coho (silver) and pink (humpy) salmon occur in the coastal waters. The nearby ocean also offers a chance for crabbing throughout the warmer months.

Hunters can take advantage of a long hunting season in the surrounding national forest. Bear season occurs during spring and fall, while deer season begins in late summer and lasts through late fall.

Visitors might also enjoy a day of scenic boating through Gold and Galligan Lagoon to Sweetwater Lake. Navigation of the lagoon should only occur during high, slack tide. Boaters are welcome to use the 14-foot aluminum skiff with oars, available at the cabin. Flotation devices and long shaft motor are not provided.

Contact Information



Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

Barnes Lake Cabin is only accessible by motorboat, plane or kayak. The cabin is located on the west shore of Barnes Lake, 70 air miles from Ketchikan and 38 air miles from the city of Craig, on Prince of Wales Island. Refer to U.S. Geological Survey topographic map Petersburg A3. Maps are available online or by calling the Thorne Bay Ranger District at (907) 828-3304.

Float plane or boat access can only occur at certain stages of the tide. Use extreme care boating through Indian Creek Rapids and Lake Bay Creek, as these areas can be extremely dangerous and should not be attempted except at high slack tide รข?? about 1.5 hours after high tide (local tide tables).

Available Campsites

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