Roadtrippin’: Hitting the road for cabin living and Alaska dinners

The Hopkins family on Roadtrippin 2020
The Hopkins family on Roadtrippin 2020(Rebecca Palsha)
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 12:43 PM AKDT
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Because of the coronavirus pandemic many of us have found our vacation plans canceled, or at least changed dramatically.

So, here's my idea: public use cabins.

The state's Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation has more than 80 recreation cabins that anybody can use. I booked Byers Lake Cabin 2 in Denali State Park for a little more than $80. It's about a three hour drive from Anchorage.

You can find public use cabins along trails, remote lakes, streams and beaches. A few of the cabins are only accessible by boat or floatplane, but most can be accessed after a quick walk along a trail.

Keep in mind these are not hotels so you'll need to pack in the supplies you need to be comfortable. For my family of four that meant carrying sleeping and pads and bags, snacks, bug and bear spray, enough food for two meals and squirt guns. We didn't have cell service (yay!) so I also recommend bringing books and games.

The walk to our cabin was extremely buggy. Luckily I had bug nets that we wore over hats. The walk was easy, about a half mile, but I got the impression that many people canoe out to Byers Lake Cabin 2.

My girls Poppy, 8, and Alice, 10, spent most of the day playing in the lake that's in front of the cabin. On the way to there I bought them squirt guns at a gas station and their stocked factor was high.

The cabin was adorable and our first day there Denali was out in all its glory.

"There's like more than 100 trees I'm seeing right now over there, it's really pretty," Poppy told us about the view.

The cabin has a loft, which the girls claimed as their own.

"I like that we get to sleep high up, it's kind of nice. I like the view over there," Alice said about the view of Denali.

In the middle of the cabin is a little wood burning stove, which would be lovely to use in the winter. There is also an outhouse a few feet away and a fire pit that we loved especially late at night.

This particular cabin is very popular. There's a guest book where people write about their experiences, which included an engagement.

Life is pretty stressful and this was a really lovely way to get away from it all.

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