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Camping at Eight Fathom Cabin Campground

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Location and Accessibility

Eight Fathom Cabin is situated in Tongass National Forest, which spans across the southeast region of Alaska. It is a remote cabin that typically requires a floatplane or boat to access. The exact location is on the mainland about 40 miles from Yakutat, in a secluded spot that garners appreciation from adventure-seekers and those looking for a true wilderness experience.

Facilities and Amenities

The cabin, like many Forest Service cabins in Alaska, offers basic amenities. You can expect to find:

  • Bunks: Space for sleeping that typically requires you to bring your own bedding or sleeping bags.
  • Table and Benches: A simple setup for indoor dining and seating.
  • Cooking Facilities: Usually a stove and sometimes cookware, but it's advisable to bring your own cooking equipment.
  • Heating: Typically, there’s a wood or oil stove for heating. Be prepared to either bring your own wood, oil, or to gather wood in the surroundings, following any guidelines provided.
  • No Running Water: You will need to purify your water from nearby sources or bring your own.

What to Bring

Since services are minimal, you need to come prepared. Here is a list of essentials:

  • Food and Water: All necessary rations for the duration of the stay plus emergency supplies.
  • Cooking Gear: Unless specified, bring all you need for preparing and eating meals.
  • Sleeping Gear: Sleeping bags, inflatable mattresses or sleeping pads.
  • Warm Clothing: Weather can change rapidly, so layers are crucial.
  • Rain Gear: Being in a rainforest, expect wet conditions.
  • Boots: Sturdy hiking or rubber boots.
  • Safety Items: First aid kit, compass, map, bear spray or other wildlife deterrents.
  • Lighting: Flashlights or headlamps with extra batteries.
  • Matches and Fire Starter: Even if the cabin has a stove, you’ll need to start the fire.

Availability and Reservations

The cabins are usually available for use year-round, but access can be more challenging during the fall and winter months due to the weather and ocean conditions. Reservations can be made six months in advance through the Recreation.gov website or by calling their reservation system. It is often advised to book early as these cabins can fill up quickly, especially during peak travel months in the summer.


Visitors to the cabin can engage in various recreational activities such as:

  • Fishing: The streams and lakes near Eight Fathom Cabin are known for salmon and trout fishing during the appropriate seasons.
  • Wildlife Observation: The Tongass National Forest is home to a rich variety of wildlife including bears, bald eagles, and Sitka black-tailed deer.
  • Hiking and Exploring: The vastness of the forest offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and immersing yourself in nature.
  • Boating and Kayaking: If you have access to a boat or kayak, the surrounding waters provide an excellent way to explore the coastline.

Wildlife and Safety Precautions

The Tongass National Forest is bear country, so proper food storage and disposal, using bear-proof containers, and following the Forest Service guidelines are absolutely necessary to minimize attractants. Always be bear-aware, make noise while moving through the woods to avoid surprising wildlife, and know what to do in case of an encounter.

Environmental Stewardship

Being in a remote, natural setting like the Tongass National Forest, it's crucial to adhere to Leave No Trace principles. This means packing out everything you brought in, minimizing campfire impacts, respecting wildlife, and leaving the cabin and surrounding area in good condition for the next visitors.

Before heading out to any remote cabin or campground, always check for the most current information and any alerts or advisories from the U.S. Forest Service. Conditions can vary, and staying informed will help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Location of Eight Fathom Cabin Campground
Other Campgrounds in Tongass National Forest
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