Mcdonald Lake Cabin

Saxman, Alaska

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Overview

McDonald Lake Cabin sits on Wolverine Island near the outlet of McDonald Lake 50 miles from Ketchikan, Alaska. The cabin is available year-round and makes an excellent base for experiencing this corner of Alaska with its many recreational options and abundant wildlife.

The cabin is remote and accessible only by boat or float plane, depending on conditions. Visitors arriving by boat must anchor at Yes Bay and walk the 1.5-mile McDonald Lake Trail to get to the cabin.

This primitive cabin has no electricity, indoor plumbing or cell phone coverage. Visitors are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety, and must bring several of their own amenities.

Recreation

Boating, hiking, fishing and hunting are popular activities at this cabin. The McDonald Lake Trail features a 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) 3-sided shelter.

A skiff with oars is provided for rowing around the lake, but visitors must provide their own life jackets. The skiff can use a short-shaft motor, which is not provided.

Steelhead and salmon runs occur up to Wolverine Creek. The lake offers resident trout and Dolly Varden. For information about fishing and hunting permits and seasons, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website.

Facilities

The 12x14-ft. (pan-abode style) cabin accommodates 6 people with 2 double bunks and 2 single bunks. Other amenities include a table and benches, a cooking counter, a broom with dust pan, outhouse, splitting maul, and woodstove. NOTE: Firewood may be available, but visitors are encouraged to contact the Ketchikan Misty Fjords Ranger District to check the status of the woodshed. Drinking water is not available at the cabin. It is recommended that visitors bring their own water supply, but water is available from a small stream near the cabin and should be treated before drinking or cooking with it (water safety tips). Visitors should bring sleeping bags, sleeping pads, a cooking stove and cooking gear, lanterns or flashlights, toilet paper, garbage bags, fire extinguisher and a fire starter. Rain gear and boots are recommended. Visitors are expected to pack out all their trash, gear and food and clean the cabin before leaving (more cabin details).

Natural Features

The cabin is backed by old-growth cedar, Sitka spruce and Western hemlock rainforest. From the front deck, visitors can gaze out over the lake and its forested shoreline, as well as admire the surrounding mountain peaks.

Wildlife in the area includes Sitka black-tailed deer, black and brown bear, wolf, beaver, marten, mink and otter (bear safety and precautions). A variety of birds may be spotted in and around the lake.

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