Virginia Lake Cabin is a short floatplane ride from Wrangell, Alaska, making it a popular destination for a remote getaway on a scenic lake. It is located 10 miles east of Wrangell on the mainland above Eastern Passage. The area around Virginia Lake provides opportunities for fishing, hunting, paddling and hiking.
The site can be accessed by float plane, depending on conditions, or by portaging and paddling watercraft. Visitors are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety and must bring several of their own amenities.
Anglers can fish for cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden from May to October and sockeye salmon in August and September. A 14' skiff with oars is provided at the cabin, but visitors must supply their own flotation devices and ensure that the skiff is secured before leaving. Hunting is possible in the area with the proper permits.
The .9-mile Mill Creek Trail can be accessed by cabin users by paddling across the lake to the outlet. Trail users can see evidence of past mining and an old sawmill, and can access fishing opportunities in Mill Creek. Alternate access to the cabin from the saltwater at Eastern Passage is by portaging watercraft over this trail. There is no developed trail from the end of Mill Creek Trail at the Virginia Lake outlet to the cabin.
The original (pan-abode style) cabin was built in 1965 and is 12-by-14, but it was modified in the mid 1990's to make it wheelchair accessible and add a 10-by-8 addition. It features a wheelchair-friendly deck that wraps around two sides of the cabin and a walkway between the cabin and the outhouse. The cabin sleeps eight people with three single bunks and two double bunks with trundles. It also has a table and benches, broom, both a wood stove and oil stove (No. 1 oil required) for heat, and a campfire ring. Note: the cabin is only wheelchair accessible when the seasonal floatplane dock is in the lake; contact the Wrangell Ranger District at 907-874-2323 to check on the status of the dock.
Water and electricity are not provided. Water is available from a stream behind the cabin, but guests should be sure to treat water before drinking or cooking with it ( water safety tips ). It is recommended that visitors bring their own water supply. Cooking facilities are not available. Visitors should provide their own firewood or #1 stove oil, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, a cooking stove, lanterns or flashlights, cookware, plates, utensils, food, toilet paper, garbage bags, a fire extinguisher and fire starter. Visitors are expected to pack out trash and clean the cabin before leaving ( click here for more cabin details).
The cabin sits on relatively flat land with some large meadows near Porterfield Creek, which is about a quarter-mile away. The surrounding rainforest is primarily Sitka spruce and western hemlock with some cedar. Steep mountains surround portions of the lake. A sandy beach is located in front of the cabin.
This area is home to brown and black bears ( bear safety information ). Moose also make their home here.