Sweet Water Lake Cabin

Tongass National Forest

Sweet water Lake Cabin offers visitors recreation, relaxation and a unique lodging experience on Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska. The remote site provides a scenic setting for fishing, hunting, boating and wildlife viewing, all within the vicinity of the cabin. The site can be accessed by vehicle and a 1/2 mile boat paddle, float plane, or canoeing. Visitors are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

The cabin is a 12 x 14 foot primitive, pre-cut cedar log cabin (pan-abode style) furnished with wooden bunkbeds (without mattresses) that sleep up to six guests.

The cabin is equipped with a table, benches, a wood stove for heat and an outside toilet. Other amenities include a cooking counter, shelving, cupboards, an axe, splitting maul, fire extinguisher and a broom. Firewood may be available, but the supply cannot be guaranteed. Visitors are asked to be conservative with wood and use their cook stoves for cooking.

The cabin does not have running water or electricity. Visitors must bring their own food, water, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cook stove, stove-wood, fire starter, cooking gear/utensils, light source (lantern), toilet paper, first aid kit and garbage bags. Water is available from the lake, but must be filtered, boiled or chemically treated before drinking.

Visitors are welcome to use the aluminum skiff with oars available at the cabin, and may choose to bring a long shaft motor. Visitors are responsible for bringing and using their own personal floatation devices. Click here for more cabin details.

Need to Know

Natural Features

The cabin sits on a large gravelly beach on the eastern shore of Sweet water Lake in the Tongass National Forest. The shoreline is surrounded by a temperate rainforest of old-growth spruce, hemlock and cedar.

Wildlife in the area abounds, including a variety of waterfowl, mink, otter, beaver, bald eagles, Sitka black-tailed deer and black bears. Seals are often seen in the lake as well. Learn more about bear safety in the Tongass National Forest.


Anglers will find good fishing for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden, as well as coho, sockeye, and pink salmon in Sweet water Lake. Bird watchers are also drawn to the area because of its wide array of waterfowl.

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

Visitors might enjoy a day of scenic boating on Sweet water Lake or Barnes Lake, although navigating the Gold and Galligan Lagoon to get to Barnes Lake can be very dangerous. Guests should always use caution and be aware that navigation of the lagoon should only occur during high, slack tide. Click here for tide reports for Barnes Lake area.

Contact Information



Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

Sweet water Lake Cabin is accessible by either vehicle, 200 foot trail and a short boat trip, or by float plane.

The cabin is located 10 road miles from Coffman Cove. From Ketchikan, take Forest Service Road 20 to Forest Road 3030 approximately 2 hours from Hollis. Guests will then hike a 200 foot trail to a boat, provided by the Forest Service. The cabin is approximately a half-mile boat paddle from the trail. Refer to USGS map Craig D-3.

The cabin is also accessible by float plane, 68 air miles from Ketchikan. However, in fall, winter, and early spring, the cabin may be inaccessible as float planes cannot land on the frozen lake surface. 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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