Inside Passage Hotels
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Lodging choices along the Inside Passage range from remote Forest Service cabins to top-end hotels. In general, the latter are a pricey option, but rates drop in the off-season (mid-September to mid-May).
Budget travelers will find hostels in many of the larger towns. Fine hotels are found in Ketchikan and Juneau, and luxurious fishing lodges attract anglers on Prince of Wales Island and in other places in Southeast. Bed-and-breakfasts are also popular in the Inside Passage.
U.S. Forest Service Cabins. Tongass National Forest has more than 150 rustic sites with cabins. The cabins make for a charming and cheap escape (up to $45 per night per cabin). Popular with local Alaskans and return visitors, many cabins are booked long before summer arrives. Reserve in person, by mail, or online—up to six months in advance of your planned arrival date—with the National Recreation Reservation System; in some cases nominal service fees may be charged for cancellations. If you haven't arranged a cabin before hitting town, check at the local Forest Service office; there's a good chance of finding something, although it may not be in one of the most popular locations. Still, every view in Alaska is great. Most are reached by floatplane or boat, but some are accessible by road. They offer bunks for six to eight occupants, tables, stoves, and outdoor privies—but no electricity or running water. You provide your own sleeping bag, food, and cooking utensils. Bedside reading in most cabins includes a diary kept by visitors—add your own adventure. AK. 877/444–6777 reservations. www.recreation.gov.
But the U.S. Forest Service isn't the only cabin rental game in Southeast.
Alaska State Parks. Near Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska State Parks has a small number of cabins. Again, reservations can be made up to six months in advance. Cabins vary in size, with sleeping capacity ranging from 3 to 10 people. For more information or to reserve a cabin online, contact the Department of Natural Resources Public Information Center in Anchorage. AK. www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/cabins/index.htm.
A few local outfitters rent cabin supplies, including cooking utensils, to travelers. Annahootz Alaskan Adventures in Sitka can outfit you with cabin supplies from lighters and matches to pots and pans. Alaska Wilderness Outfitting in Ketchikan rents cabin supplies like cooking utensils, Coleman stoves, coolers, knives, and hot pads.
Annahootz Alaskan Adventures (Sitka, AK, 99835. 907/747–2608. www.annahootz.com/gear.php.)
Alaska Wilderness Outfitting (3857 Fairview Ave., Ketchikan, AK, 99901. 907/225–7335. www.latitude56.com/camping/index.html.)
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