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Camping at Baranof Lake Cabin Campground

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Overview of Baranof Lake Cabin Campground

Baranof Lake Cabin Campground is a remote recreational site located within the Tongass National Forest, which spans across the southeast region of Alaska. The Tongass is the largest national forest in the United States, known for its temperate rainforest ecosystem, abundant wildlife, and unique recreational opportunities. The Baranof Lake Cabin offers a chance to experience the striking beauty and tranquility of Alaska's natural landscapes.

Location and Access

The cabin is situated on Baranof Island, near the eastern shore of Baranof Lake. Access to Baranof Lake Cabin is generally by floatplane or by trail, with the latter often being a strenuous hike that may require crossing through challenging terrain. The floatplane trip offers incredible views of the forest and the waterways below but is subject to weather conditions.

Cabin Features and Amenities

  • Size: Typically, cabins like Baranof Lake Cabin can accommodate between 4 to 6 people.
  • Furnishings: Guests may expect basic amenities such as wooden bunks, a table, benches, and a wood stove for heating.
  • Utilities: These cabins often do not have running water, electricity, or indoor plumbing. They are equipped with an outside toilet, usually a pit latrine.
  • Cooking: A cooking area with a propane or wood stove may be available; however, visitors must generally bring their own cooking equipment and supplies.

What to Bring

Since this is a rustic and remote cabin, visitors need to be self-sufficient. Here is a list of essentials:

  • Drinking water (or a means to purify lake water)
  • Food and cooking utensils
  • Bedding (sleeping bags, pillows)
  • Lighting (headlamps, lanterns)
  • Firewood (if not provided at the site)
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency signaling devices
  • Bear-resistant food containers or bags
  • Personal flotation devices (if planning to use a boat on the lake)


  • Hiking: There are trails surrounding the area that allow for exploration of the Tongass National Forest.
  • Fishing: Baranof Lake is known for trout and salmon fishing. (Check for licenses and regulations.)
  • Wildlife Viewing: There are opportunities to sight bears, eagles, and other Alaskan wildlife in their natural habitat.
  • Boating: Canoeing or kayaking on Baranof Lake is a popular activity.

Reservations and Fees

Reservations for Baranof Lake Cabin Campground are typically required and can be made through the USDA Forest Service's reservation system. Fees vary depending on the season and length of stay. It is advisable to book well in advance due to the popularity of the cabins.

Safety Considerations

  • Be bear aware: Proper food storage is crucial to avoid attracting bears.
  • Weather can change rapidly in Southeast Alaska; visitors must be prepared for rain, cold, and other adverse conditions.
  • Communicating from the wilderness can be difficult; it's wise to have a satellite phone or another means of emergency communication.


Staying at Baranof Lake Cabin Campground offers a rare opportunity to immerse oneself in the wilds of Southeast Alaska's Tongass National Forest. Preparation is key to a safe and enjoyable visit, as the remote setting requires self-reliance and a good understanding of backcountry skills. Always check the latest information provided by the USDA Forest Service when planning your trip to ensure an up-to-date understanding of the amenities, access, and regulations.

Location of Baranof Lake Cabin Campground
Other Campgrounds in Tongass National Forest
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