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Late winter to early spring is the perfect time for a family adventure trip to Byers Lake Alaska. We booked one of the three public use cabins available at Byers Lake Alaska for our stay. This recreational wilderness area is located at the base of Denali in Denali State Park. Clear night skies are perfect for star gazing and also mean you have a great chance to see the Northern Lights.
Planning What To Bring For Your Visit.
You’ve got to be prepared for a rustic cabin stay. The winter road to the lake is not plowed, so you need to park at the Alaska Veterans Memorial and follow the winter trail down to the lake and cabins. Ski, snowshoe or snowmobile in bringing with you all your supplies, including food, water and firewood. Bring sleeping bags and extra blankets because the cabin accommodations are minimal. Each cabin does have a wood heating stove, bunk beds, table, and benches. As for bathroom facilities, the latrine is a short walk from the cabin. There is no running water.
You’ll want to bring lanterns because there’s no electricity. We used lanterns and headlamps both inside and outside when it was dark. Although the Alaska daylight hours are getting longer as spring approaches, it still gets dark by early evening.
By the way, most Alaskans call snowmobiles “snowmachines.” So if you want to rent a snowmobile, rest assured that a snowmachine rental place is what you need to find.
Although the winter temperatures are still cold enough to make sure the lake stays frozen, never assume it is safe to go out on it. Check first. Personal aside, I think it will always freak me out to drive on the ice even when I know it is several feet thick. On this trip, I convinced myself that I could drive a snowmobile on the lake and be safe. I love it when my vacations help me overcome my fears, one by one.
We attached a sled to the back of our snowmachine loaded down with our supplies. We brought board games and toys to keep the kids entertained indoors. The trail from the parking lot to the public use cabin isn’t very long, but having a snowmachine to haul supplies makes it a lot easier. We also used a pulk to help us pull supplies in on cross-country skis.
Expect the weather to be cold (obviously – this is Alaska in winter!). Temperatures on our trip hovered around negative twenty degrees overnight to positive ten degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Everyone will want to dress as warmly as possible. Be sure the kids are bundled up!
Spend the daylight hours exploring the area on skis, snowshoes or by snowmobile. Be sure to check the ice levels of the lake should you decide to go out on it. If you are in doubt how to do this, ask the locals. You may even see people ice fishing and dog mushing on the lake! At night, bundle up and head outside to watch for Northern Lights to appear.
I think it is so much fun to stay at public cabins in Alaska. Byers Lake is such an awesome place to spend time. My family loves it here. We are outdoorsy, used to roughing it on camping trips, and we don’t need luxury accommodations to have the vacation of a lifetime. So if that sounds like your family, Byers Lake could be a great match!
Once your stay is over, be sure that whatever got packed in gets packed out. This definitely includes all supplies and any garbage. Be sure to leave the cabin clean for the next guests.
Feeling up for a winter adventure? Travel to Byers Lake, Alaska. If the weather cooperates, you will enjoy awesome views of North America’s tallest mountain, Denali, rising up from the snow-covered Alaskan wilderness.
Have you ever visited Alaska in winter? Did you see the Northern Lights? Let me know your favorite things about Alaska in the comments below.