Salmon Lake Cabin Thorne Bay

Tongass National Forest

Salmon Lake Cabin offers guests recreation, relaxation and a unique lodging experience on Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska. The remote site offers a scenic wilderness setting for fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing, all within the vicinity of the cabin.

The site can either be accessed by float plane or a combination of boating and hiking in. Visitors are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

The cabin is a 15 x 20 foot single story, one-room structure with a gabled roof, built entirely of cedar. Hand hewn beams, wooden door hinges, and a shake floor combine to make a uniquely attractive wilderness cabin.

The structure is furnished with wooden bunkbeds (without mattresses) that can sleep up to four people. The cabin is equipped with a table, benches, a wood stove for heat and an outside toilet. Other amenities include a cooking counter, shelves, cupboard space, axe, splitting maul, fire extinguisher and a broom.

The cabin does not have running water or electricity. Guests must bring their own food, water, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cook stove, stove fuel, fire starter, cooking gear/utensils, light source (lantern), toilet paper, first aid kit and garbage bags.

Firewood may be available, but the supply cannot be guaranteed. Guests are asked to be conservative with wood. Water is available from the lake, but must be filtered, boiled or chemically treated before drinking.

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Need to Know

Natural Features

The cabin sits on the northern shore of Salmon Lake in the Karta River Wilderness area on east-central Prince of Wales Island.

The Karta River Wilderness is best known for large salmon runs and the scenic quality of the large river drainage system. Wildlife fills the area, including wolves, black bears, Sitka black-tailed deer, beavers, otters, minks, martens, and weasels. Trumpeter swans and various other waterfowl are commonly seen on the lakes and rivers in the area. Learn more about bear safety in the Tongass National Forest.

Native Alaskans, particularly the Haida, historically lived around the bay and utilized the rich food sources of this area.


Anglers will find the forested shoreline and sandy beach extending from the front of the cabin to be quite scenic while fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden, pink, silver and sockeye salmon. Guests should contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for fishing regulations as catch and release orders may be in effect.

Swimming and beachcombing at the large sandy beach outside the cabin during the warmer summer months is popular among visitors. An aluminum skiff with oars available for use, however, guests are responsible for bringing and using their own personal floatation devices.

Hikers may enjoy the 5-mile Karta River Trail, which follows the Karta River up from Karta Bay to Salmon Lake, allowing excellent access to the river for steelhead, sockeye and coho salmon runs. Hiking to McGilvery Creek and Anderson Creek is possible as well, but there are no developed trails. Hikers should be well prepared with maps and developed orienteering skills.

Contact Information



Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

Salmon Lake Cabin is accessible by float plane, or by boating 10 miles from Hollis to Karta Bay, and hiking 5 miles on difficult terrain to reach the cabin. Click here for local tide reports prior to arrival.

By plane, the cabin is located approximately 42 air miles from Ketchikan and 14 air miles from Thorne Bay. However, guests should be aware that in fall, winter, and early spring, the cabin may be inaccessible to float planes due to a frozen lake surface. This cabin is in a designated Wilderness area, and access by helicopter is illegal. Refer to USGS map Craig C-2 and C-3.

Click here for information about reaching Forest Service Cabins.

Inclement weather conditions may cause an extension of your trip during any time of the year and winter access can be difficult due to snow and ice conditions. Guests should bring extra supplies to last 2-5 days Please contact the Thorne Bay Ranger District at 907-828-3304 prior to arrival for more detailed information about safety precautions.

Available Campsites

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