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Camping at Helm Creek Cabin Campground

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Overview of Helm Creek Cabin Campground

Helm Creek Cabin is situated within the Tongass National Forest, which spans across much of Southeast Alaska and is renowned as the largest national forest in the United States. This remote cabin offers a rustic wilderness experience for visitors interested in hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and simply enjoying the solitude of the Alaskan wild.

Location and Access

Helm Creek Cabin is accessed typically by floatplane or boat, as are many cabins in the Tongass National Forest. It is located on the Cleveland Peninsula, northwest of Ketchikan. Specific location details and directions should be acquired from the Forest Service or a local guide, as routes and access points can vary seasonally and are weather dependent.

Facilities and Amenities

Cabin Features:

  • The cabin is a traditional A-frame or Pan Abode style, common for forest service cabins in Alaska.
  • It usually contains wooden bunks or platforms, a table, benches, and a wood stove for heating. Occupants should be prepared to chop their own wood from available sources.
  • A pit toilet is generally situated near the cabin.

Amenities Not Provided:

  • Running water: You'll need to purify water from nearby sources.
  • Electricity: There is no power; flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns are essential.
  • Bedding: You must bring your own sleeping bags and pads.
  • Cooking supplies: A stove, utensils, and cookware are necessary.


Fishing: The streams and lakes around Helm Creek Cabin offer opportunities for fishing, with species like trout and salmon being likely catches.

Wildlife Viewing: The Tongass National Forest is rich in wildlife. Be on the lookout for bears, bald eagles, and various marine animals.

Hiking: Trails may not be well-marked like in more developed areas, so map and compass skills are important for exploring the surrounding wilderness.

Reservation and Usage

It's important to reserve the cabin in advance through the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS) or another authorized service. Be aware that the cabin is often booked months in advance, especially during the peak summer months.

Considerations and Regulations

  • Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles, including packing out all garbage and minimizing your impact on the natural environment.
  • Bear Awareness: Proper food storage is a must, as this reduces the risk of attracting bears and other wildlife to your camp.
  • Weather Preparedness: The weather can be unpredictable, so make sure to bring appropriate gear for rain, cold, and any potential inclement conditions.
  • Permits: Check beforehand if any permits are needed for activities such as fishing or for your stay at the cabin.

Safety Tips

  • Always inform someone of your itinerary and expected return.
  • Be prepared for changing conditions and potential emergencies.
  • Carry a first aid kit, bear spray, and know how to use them.

Contact Information

Before heading to Helm Creek Cabin, contact the Tongass National Forest's local ranger district office for the latest information, necessary permits, and condition updates:

Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District

  • Address: 3031 Tongass Avenue, Ketchikan, AK 99901
  • Phone: (907) 225-2148
Location of Helm Creek Cabin Campground
Other Campgrounds in Tongass National Forest
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