Outdoor Recreation - Upper Lake Cabin


Please use this calendar link to view current cabin availability. Email your requested dates as well as a completed the Upper Lake Cabin Rental Agreement to reccenter@skagway.org, our staff processes Cabin Requests Sunday – Thursday 10:00am-5:00pm. Confirmed reservations and pick-up/drop off the cabin key during our office hours

    • Rental Agreements must be received prior to, or at the same time as, payment.
    • Payment can be made in person or by calling: 907-983-2679 during business hours.
    • Reservation requests are held for 7 days without rental agreement & payment.
    • All rentals require a $50 pre-authorized key & security deposit due at the time of key pick up, no exceptions.
    • Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance 

Cancellation Policy: No shows, early departures, & cancellations within 2 days of your scheduled check in time or any time after your scheduled arrival date will not receive a refund. Cancellations within a 3–5-day period before the scheduled arrival time will be offered credit towards a future booking that must be used within 365 days. Cancellations before 5 or more days of the scheduled arrival date for single night use will be issued a refund.

Please note that low impact Leave No Trace camping is allowed at Upper Lake Cabin.  Please email reccenter@skagway.org or call us at 907-983-2679 for proper authorization to camp.


The Trail to the Cabin – Upper Dewey Lake

Time: All day (5-6 hours roundtrip)- This hike is potentially longer in winter conditions.
Distance: 6 miles (9.7 km) roundtrip
Rating: Strenuous
Elevation Gain: 3,100 feet (945 meters)

The hike to Upper Lake Cabin begins at the base of the Lower Dewey Lake System.  This trail system is easily accessible from downtown Skagway by following 2nd Ave. east past the railroad depot. The trailhead is located 120 meters north of 2nd Ave. along the railroad tracks. Where the railroad tracks cross the road turn left and follow the tracks 120 meters north to the trailhead (beware of trains when crossing the tracks!) A short distance up the hill the trail branches off to the right (continuing straight up the hill is a steep power company maintenance road). Descend the wooden staircase, duck under the water pipe, and continue up the hill. The trail jogs left and crosses a short footbridge. Here the trail continues on a steep main uphill for about 100 meters. There is a clearing and rock bench at the top of this incline with a view of town and the harbor. Continue up the steep switchback trail staying generally to the right at intersections. Notice where the trail appears to be going straight ahead but actually turns sharply right. Going straight here leads to a reservoir and the north end of the lake. It is advised to take the sharp right toward Lower Dewey Lake and go left at the junction sign.  Follow the trail north across several wooden footbridges to the Upper Dewey Lake trail junction sign and turn right up the trail. The route climbs steeply through a series of switchbacks. About 800 feet above Lower Dewey Lake there is a view of town. Near the trail’s end, the climb eases, and the route follows Dewey Creek closely for a short way. It finally emerges from the trees into a muskeg meadow, where there are views of Mt. Harding and the inlet below.  Day hikers should be prepared for weather and altitude changes and carry proper clothing, water, and essentials.

What’s the Cabin like

The 16ft by 12ft A-Frame cabin is located on the dike overlooking the lake. It comes complete with a covered wrap-around porch, comfortably sleeping 4 in bunks on the main floor and 2-4 in the spacious loft. Several windows provide lighting throughout the day, offering scenic views of the lake and surrounding mountain ridges.   Be sure to bring a headlamp for evenings.  Renters will also need to provide their own cook stove, utensils, bedding, and a sufficient supply of heating oil depending on time of year. An oil-fired stove provides heat consuming approximately one gallon of #1 heating oil in 24 hours of continuous operation at mid-range settings.  In very cold temperatures expect the cabin to take 6-12 hours to warm up and expect to use two gallons per day.  Lake and stream water should be boiled prior to cooking or drinking. An outhouse is located nearby. 

A very rustic log cabin dating back to the 1920’s also sits by the lake and is open to the public on a first come first serve basis.  It has gone through a number of improvements throughout the years but retains the trapper style roots of its original builders. Plywood bunks sleep 5 maximum. A wood stove generates sufficient heat to cook and warm the cabin even during winter months. Wood is at a premium and can be scarce at times, though resourceful campers can generally gather enough for their stay. Cutting of standing trees is strictly prohibited. Outside open pit fires are discouraged. The cabin is, for the most part, unregulated and receives no regular maintenance. Volunteer crews generally ensure it is prepared for occupancy in the spring and rely on users to keep it clean and report damage or requests for repairs. As with the rental cabin, users need to provide their own cook stove, utensils, and bedding. Lake and stream water should be boiled prior to cooking or drinking. Users are responsible for leaving the area free of garbage upon departure. Pack it in, pack it out!

Reservations and user fees

Reservations are required for this cabin. The renter is responsible for leaving the area clean and garbage free upon departure. Rental fees are:

  • $25 US per day from October 1st to April 30th
  • $35 US per day from May 1st  to September 30th
  • $50 US refundable key and security deposit – due at the time of key pick up.

Renters must complete and sign a Upper Lake Cabin Rental Agreement prior to utilizing the cabin.  These documents must be returned in order to reserve your dates and prior to, or at the same time as, accepting payment. You can drop off the paperwork in person or email the rental agreement to reccenter@skagway.org

Email:  reccenter@skagway.org

Text Message:  907-612-0446

Please make checks payable to:  The Municipality of Skagway

Devil’s Punchbowl

From Upper Dewey Lake you can hike to Devil’s Punchbowl. Just follow the narrow footpath south from the primitive cabin up the alpine ridge to a spectacular overlook. Watch for rock cairns where the trail crosses boulder fields. Devil’s Punchbowl is a tarn nestled in a deep, rocky bowl, but it is not a recommended camping spot.

Time: 2 hours roundtrip from Upper Dewey Lake
Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km) round trip from Upper Dewey Lake
Rating: Strenuous
Elevation Gain: 600 feet (180 meters) from Upper Dewey Lake

Overnight camping is permissible on all trails. Permits are required for the Chilkoot Trail and can be obtained at the Trail Center located at 2nd & Broadway. A free permit must be obtained at the Skagway City Police station located at 1st and State St. for camping at Yakutania Point, Smuggler’s Cove, AB Mountain, in Dyea and along the Dewey Lake Trail System.  Skagway offers a diverse selection of day and overnight hikes.  Detailed descriptions and map are included in the Skagway-Trail-Map.  Complete visitor information can be found at www.skagway.com.