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Camping at Barnes Lake Cabin Campground

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Barnes Lake Cabin Campground is a part of the vast Tongass National Forest in Alaska, which is the largest national forest in the United States. This remote retreat offers a unique outdoor experience, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in nature, with ample opportunities for fishing, wildlife viewing, and relaxation. Before setting out for Barnes Lake Cabin, it's essential to know some key details about the location, accessibility, and what to expect when you're there. Please note, my knowledge is current as of early 2023, and for the most accurate and up-to-date information, it's always best to check with the local forest service.

Location and Accessibility

Barnes Lake Cabin is located near Thorne Bay on Prince of Wales Island, which is part of the Alexander Archipelago in Southeast Alaska. Accessibility is typically by floatplane or boat as the cabin is remote. Depending on weather conditions and the season, accessing the cabin can be more challenging, so planning and checking with local agencies before your trip is essential.

Reservations and Permits

Reservations for the cabin are required and can usually be made up to six months in advance through the Recreation.gov website or by calling the National Recreation Reservation Service. A stay typically has a nightly fee, and the maximum length of stay may be limited to allow for fair use by all visitors. Permits may be needed for certain activities within the forest, like fishing, so ensure you have the correct licenses and understand the local regulations.

Facilities and Amenities

The cabin itself is rustic, generally featuring bunks that accommodate multiple people, a wood stove for heating, a table, benches, and sometimes an outside toilet. Do not expect running water or electricity, as these are wilderness cabins.

Water is an essential consideration, and you may need to treat lake or stream water before consumption. Be prepared with water purification tablets or a filter.

Cooking facilities are minimal, and you will need to bring your own cooking equipment, food, and possibly fuel if the cabin doesn't come with a propane stove.

What to Bring

  • Bedding: Sleeping bags or blankets, even though bunks are provided, no linens or mattresses are.
  • Food: Non-perishable food that's easy to cook or ready to eat.
  • Clothing: Weather-appropriate clothing, including rain gear and extra layers.
  • Safety Gear: First aid kit, compass, maps, bear deterrents, and a means to signal for help.
  • Navigation Equipment: GPS devices or maps and a compass.
  • Lighting: Flashlights, lanterns, and plenty of batteries or an alternative source of light.
  • Cooking Supplies: Pots, pans, utensils, stove, matches, and fuel.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Trash bags, biodegradable soap, and towels or sponges.
  • Personal Items: Toiletries, including toilet paper, and any necessary medications.

Wildlife and Safety

The Tongass National Forest is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including brown and black bears. Safety measures should include knowledge of how to store food and manage waste to avoid attracting animals to your camp. Also, be knowledgeable about wildlife behavior and carry bear spray as a precaution.

Leave No Trace Principles

As with any outdoor activity, practicing Leave No Trace principles is important to minimize your impact on the environment. Pack out all trash, leave what you find, and respect wildlife are just a few of the principles to abide by.

Emergency Preparation

Due to the remote nature of Barnes Lake Cabin, it's necessary to be prepared for emergencies. This includes having a communication plan and possibly carrying a satellite phone or an emergency locator beacon. It's also advisable to inform someone of your itinerary and expected return time.

Final Tips

Remember that this information is a general guide and you should verify the details specific to Barnes Lake Cabin with the U.S. Forest Service to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Conditions can change and it's always best to have the most current information before making the journey to a remote wilderness cabin like the one at Barnes Lake. Enjoy your adventure in the beauty of the Tongass National Forest!

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