Roughing It: Cabins, Camping and RVs
Getting off the beaten path
The U.S. Forest Service has five public-use cabins in the Juneau area. They range in size and can sleep up to 16 people. Cabins are outfitted with a propane stove and bunks. The stoves cannot be used for cooking, so pack a camp stove.
Cabins may be reserved for about $35 per night by calling the National Recreation Reservation Service, (877) 444-6777 or going to its website at www.recreation.gov.
The state of Alaska maintains seven public-use cabins in the Juneau area. Each cabin sleeps six to eight people and ranges in price from $25 to $45 per night. The Cowee Meadow, Blue Mussel and Camping Cove cabins are at Point Bridget State Park, 39 miles north of Juneau. The Bob Hinman Memorial Cabin is 35 miles northwest of Juneau in St. James Bay State Marine Park, and the Seymour Canal Cabin at Oliver Inlet State Marine Park is 23 miles south of Juneau at Seymour Canal. Both are only accessible by boat or plane, as are the Rupe Andrews Cabin at Handtrollers Cove and the Tiger Olsen Cabin at Taku Harbor.
Call (907) 269-8400 for state parks cabin information or access it here.
The area around Juneau is a mix of city, state and Tongass National Forest lands. There are a few designated campgrounds, best for recreational vehicles and car-campers, but backpackers also have another option. Camping is allowed on undeveloped forest lands one-quarter mile off roads. Check with the U.S. Forest Service at (907) 586-8800. Juneau Parks and Recreation, at (907) 586-5226, can also provide information on off-road camping for a maximum of 48 hours.
Two U.S. Forest Service campgrounds are open for the summer, starting in 2008. The Mendenhall Lake Campground off Back Loop Road is open May 15 to Sept. 15. Of the 69 campsites, nine are full-service RV sites with electricity, water and sewer hookups, and another nine have water and electricity. Remaining sites have parking pads and tent sites with picnic tables and fireplaces. Seven sites are located in a separate walk-in backpacker area.
The Auke Village Campground, located about 1.5 miles past the ferry terminal, has 11 tent sites with picnic tables and fireplaces, potable water and restrooms. Open May 1 to Sept. 30.
Eagle Beach State Recreation Area is just south of the Eagle Beach Picnic Area about 28 Mile Glacier Highway. One-half mile of paved trail leads to several viewpoints and picnic areas, some of which are sheltered. The area also offers fire pits, drinking fountains and pit toilets, all ADA accessible. Call (907) 586-2506.
Spruce Meadow RV Park hosts 64 sites with full, partial or no services. Weekly and monthly rates are also available. Showers, restrooms, laundry, Wi-Fi/internet connections and cable television are available. From the ferry parking lot, turn right onto Glacier Highway and travel 1.6 miles. Turn left onto Mendenhall Loop Road and travel 2.1 miles. For more details, call (907) 789-1990.
Auke Bay RV Park is a 33-space privately owned park. Turn right from the ferry terminal onto Glacier Highway and drive less than one mile. Restrooms, showers and laundry facilities are available. Additional spaces have no hookups. Call (907) 789-9467.
Savikko Park on Douglas Island has four parking spaces for RVs only, but with no hookups. Water, a dump station and a dumpster are at the park's maintenance shop across the street. Visitors must obtain a permit. Contact the Harbormaster's Office, 1600 Harbor Way. (907) 586-5255. M-F 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sat 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (summer only).
Another dump station is located at the Tesoro service station across from the Mendenhall Mall.