Step into the home of one of Alaska's foremost wilderness icons, Richard L. Proenneke, who built his cabin by hand using his own clever innovations. Located on the south shore of Upper Twin Lake, Proenneke's wilderness home showcases his remarkable craftsmanship and reflects his unshakeable wilderness ethic. This page provides the information you need to plan your trip.
Getting to Richard Proenneke's Cabin
Flying to the Proenneke Cabin
Dick Proenneke's cabin is located in a roadless wilderness, so unless they are backpacking from other locations in the park, visitors arrive by small planes that land on Upper Twin Lake. There are no suitable beaches or runways for wheeled planes, so visitors traveling in the summer will need a plane that operates on floats. Winter landings can take place on wheels, skis, or wheeled-skis depending on the snow and ice conditions. The flight from Anchorage is just over an hour. The flight from Port Alsworth is typically 30 minutes. Site staff have air to ground radios on the local area frequency 122.9.
Air taxi prices depend on group size, type of airplane, length of flight, and where the flight originates. Contact each air taxi operator directly to determine availability and the cost for your trip.
Approximately 60° 38' 54.64"N 153° 48' 47.195''W
Located on Upper Twin's south shore immediately up-lake of the Hope Creek delta, the Proenneke cabin is easy to spot from the air, as it is the only cabin on the lake flying an American flag.
Operating Hours and Seasons
Late May - Late September
The Proenneke Cabin is open to the public daily during the summer months.
Late September - Late May
The Proenneke Cabin is locked during the winter months. You may explore the area year round, but may only enter the cabin in the summer months. The spring opening date of the historic cabin is tentative due to ice melt.
April 15 - September 30
The Twin Lakes area is one of the busiest camping and backpacking areas in the park. For this reason, between April 15 and September 30 camping within two miles of Upper or Lower Twin Lakes is limited to a total of 21 days and camping at Hope Creek Campsite is limited to a total of 14 days. There are no time restrictions October 1 - April 14.
Backpacking and Camping
Extend your stay by venturing further into the wilderness surrounding Twin Lakes. There are options for several backpacking trips that begin or end at the cabin. Please followLeave No Trace ethicswhen choosing a campsite and be aware of the following regulations.
Camping within two miles of Upper or Lower Twin Lakes is limited to a total of 21 days.
Camping within the National Historic Register boundaries and sleeping in or occupying the cabin, cache, or woodshed is prohibited by law.
Bear resistant food containers (BRCs) are required when camping within half a mile of the shoreline along Upper and Lower Twin Lake or in any location where food cannot be hung at least ten feet above the ground and four feet horizontally from a post, tree trunk, or other object on a line or branch that will not support a bear’s weight. Trees large enough to properly hang food are rare in this area; therefore, we highly recommend that all campers not staying at Hope Creek campsite bring enough BRCs to store all food, garbage, harvested fish, and other scented items. BRCs may be borrowed from the visitor center in Port Alsworth or rented from a variety of outdoor gear shops in Anchorage.
Camp at the Hope Creek Campsite
A few hardened tent sites are available for overnight camping on a first come, first served basis across Hope Creek from the Proenneke cabin. The area is intended for sharing with other groups. Camping at the Hope Creek campsite is limited to a total of 14 days. To prevent public health hazards, campers should utilize the "outcan" provided at the site instead of digging cat holes nearby. All food, garbage, harvested fish, and other scented items must be stored in the bear-proof food lockers provided on site. Be prepared for a creek crossing to access the Proenneke cabin from the camping area. As with any river, Hope Creek may not be passable if flooding due to heavy rainfall or at the peak of spring breakup.
Lodging and Guided Trips
Windsong Wilderness Retreat rents a private cabin on the opposite shore of Upper Twin Lake. Several licensed commercial outfitters rent backpacking, kayaking, and other outdoor equipment and/or specialize in guiding day-long and overnight trips to the Twin Lakes area.
Click the link above to see a list of all the companies that are permitted to operate in the park. Contact each company directly to determine the cost for your trip.
Staying Safe at Proenneke's Cabin
Staying Safe in Bear Country
It is possible that you will encounter either brown or American black bears during your trip to Twin Lakes. Learn how to stay safe in this setting.
Fishing in Bear Country
Many people want to fish in the same streams and bays Proenneke frequented during his time at Twin Lakes. While exciting, keep in mind you are responsible for your own safety and for keeping bears wild. Become familiar with the responsibilities that come with fishing in bear country prior to your trip to Twin Lakes.
In Addition to All Other Park Rules and Regulations
There are a few amenities and regulations at the Proenneke site designed for your safety.
Attend your food. If you have any food with you, you must keep it packed out of site and in your possession at all times or stored in an approved bear-resistant food container. Bear-proof food lockers are located near the Proenneke cabin and at the Hope Creek Campsite for your convenience.
Secure your fish in an approved bear-resistant container as soon as you catch it.
A pit toilet is available down a trail behind the Proenneke cabin. Follow the fork to the left. In addition, there is an "outcan" located at the Hope Creek campsite across Hope Creek. To avoid public health hazards, please utilize these facilities when visiting the National Historic Site instead of digging cat holes.
Rangers and Volunteers are housed nearby late May to late September. Staff have air to ground radios on the local area frequency 122.9.
Help us protect Dick Proenneke's cabin so that generations of visitors will be able to experience what it has to offer.
Leave everything you find behind. Removal of artifacts from public land is prohibited by law.
Please stay on the trails. The tundra is fragile. Even Dick Proenneke admonished his guests to stay on his trails to protect the vegetation.
Be gentle with the door. The handcrafted door mechanisms are fragile and have been repaired.
Camp at the Hope Creek campsite or on other durable surfaces in the Twin Lakes area so that others may also enjoy the cabin. Camping within the National Historic Register boundaries and sleeping in or occupying the cabin, cache, or woodshed is prohibited by law (36CFR13.126).
Build fires in the fire ring at the Hope Creek campsite or use personal camp cook stove outside. Fires are not allowed in the stove, fireplace, or any other location within cabin or other historic structures.
Eat and prepare food outside. In order to maintain the integrity of the historical items in the cabin and other structures, we ask that you please cook and eat outside. Many visitors enjoy the view from the beach in front of Proenneke's cabin during their lunch break.
Report any damage or suspected violation to the National Park Service at (907) 781-2218. Damage to the site including the structures, furnishings, and fixtures is prohibited by law (36CFR2.1).