Aitiligauraq Shelter Cabin, Cape Krusenstern

Aitiligauraq Shelter Cabin, Cape Krusenstern

by | Dec 16, 2020

The Aitiligauraq Shelter Cabin is on the south bank of an unnamed creek that flows west for 5 miles (8 km) from Eigaloruk Mountain to a coastal lagoon, about 110 miles (177 km) southeast of Point Hope and 40 miles (65 km) northwest of Kotzebue, Alaska. Eigaloruk Mountain has an elevation of 757 feet (231 m) and is in Cape Krusenstern National Monument. The name Eigaloruk is from the Iñupiat meaning “little window” according to the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1950.

From 1905 to 1932, the Alaska Road Commission developed an elaborate system of trails and sled roads in Alaska totaling more than 10,000 miles. This system was designed to serve military needs as well as those of the largely itinerant population of fishermen, trappers, and miners. The early labor consisted largely of cutting brush and flagging winter trails. The commission eventually abandoned the system of trails and sled roads and instead built airfields.

The winter trail along the Chukchi Sea coast continued to be used and maintained by miners who worked the creeks and by people from coastal villages who would use the trail with dogs and later with snowmachines to camp at Aitiligauraq and other lagoons. Several shelter cabins remain today in Cape Krusenstern National Monument as a testament to this history, although many of the cabins have deteriorated and there are no current plans to preserve or reconstruct them. Read more here and here. Explore more of Aitiligauraq here:

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