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Solo Mountain Shelter Cabin

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c. 1913. 1926, rehabilitated. Goat Trail
  • Solo Mountain Shelter Cabin (Jet Lowe)

With a gold strike in Chisana attracting some two thousand stampeders in the summer of 1913, several trails were used. Some miners attempted to travel by steamboat up the Tanana and White rivers from Dawson and Fairbanks, others overland from Whitehorse. Most, however, set out on one of two routes from the head of rail service at McCarthy, both crossing 80 miles of extremely rugged country. The winter route was over the Nizina and Chisana glaciers on a trail flagged by George Hazelet, while the summer one was by the Goat Trail through the Skolai Pass and Chitistone Gorge.

Along these trails, private individuals operated roadhouses and the Alaska Road Commission built shelter cabins—essentially empty cabins for the convenience of travelers. The Solo Mountain Shelter Cabin was constructed about 15 miles south of Chisana on the Goat Trail, probably in 1913. The Alaska Road Commission hired Harry Boyden—who had the mail contract along this route—to rehabilitate or perhaps rebuild the cabin in 1926. The cabin, which measures 9 feet 8 inches by 11 feet 11 inches, is constructed of round logs, saddle notched at the corners. The gable roof has a split log sheathing, partially covered with corrugated metal. The isolation of the site and the simplicity of the small log cabin evoke the hardships of the journey.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland



Alison K. Hoagland, "Solo Mountain Shelter Cabin", [Chisana, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 152-152.

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