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Camping at Joe Thompson Cabin Campground

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General Information

Joe Thompson Cabin Campground is a rustic camping experience situated within Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska. The preserve, known for its stunning beauty, offers a glimpse into the untouched wilderness. Joe Thompson Cabin itself adds a layer of historic charm, as it is an old cabin repurposed as a public use cabin.


The cabin is remotely located within Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, which is not accessible by road. It's typically accessed by small aircraft, such as floatplanes, which are the primary mode of transportation into the park. The park itself is situated 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska.


Access to Joe Thompson Cabin Campground can be challenging. It requires proper planning for transportation since it relies on either air or boat access. The weather can also be a major factor in accessibility, especially given the potential for sudden changes in the remote Alaskan wilderness.


Joe Thompson Cabin provides basic accommodations. It usually includes:

  • Rustic cabin shelter
  • Sleeping quarters (users must bring their own sleeping gear)
  • A wood stove for heating

Note: There is no running water or electricity. Visitors must be prepared to be self-sufficient during their stay.


The area around Joe Thompson Cabin provides numerous opportunities for outdoor activities such as:

  • Fishing: The lakes and rivers are known for salmon and other fish varieties.
  • Hiking and Backpacking: There are ample trails and backcountry areas to explore.
  • Wildlife Viewing: This region is inhabited by bears, moose, and a plethora of bird species.
  • Photography: The scenic vistas of mountains, lakes, and wildlife make for excellent photography opportunities.

Camping Regulations

  • Permits: As of the knowledge cutoff date, it is always best to check with the National Park Service for any required permits or reservations.
  • Leave No Trace: Visitors are expected to follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize their impact on the environment.
  • Bear Safety: Proper food storage and bear safety precautions are a must in this bear-rich region.
  • Fire Safety: Understand fire regulations, including where and when campfires are allowed, to prevent wildfires.

Safety Considerations

Camping in this remote area requires a high level of preparedness. Visitors should:

  • Carry a detailed map and compass or GPS.
  • Have experience with backcountry survival skills.
  • Be equipped with first aid knowledge and a well-stocked kit.
  • Prepare for the variety of weather conditions, including rain, cold, and potentially snow.
  • Communicate their travel plans to someone not on the trip.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit largely depends on the desired activities and tolerance for harsh weather. Summer offers warmer temperatures and easier access, while winter presents a much more challenging experience.


Joe Thompson Cabin Campground provides a true wilderness escape for those seeking a deep connection with nature and a desire for solitude. Plan thoroughly and respect the environment to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to this remote Alaskan gem. Always contact the National Park Service for the most current information before planning your trip.

Location of Joe Thompson Cabin Campground
Other Campgrounds in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
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