Coghill has an outstanding A-frame cabin and the view from the front porch is one of the best I have seen in visits to over 20 different USFS cabins in Alaska. The view included 3,000-4,000 ft peaks covered with glaciers, and a beautiful lagoon right in front of the cabin. The flight there and back from Anchorage was incredible, we saw hundreds of glaciers, several massive ones. The area around Coghill is very swampy, and it was very buggy when we were there in the middle of Sept., all biting black flies, no mosquitos.
the trail that supposedly exists to the estuary is overgrown, criss-crossed with bear trails, hard to find, and very brushy where you do find it. We wondered why nobody has placed any trail markers on the trail from the cabin to College Fiord? I realize the USFS does not have the resources to maintain or improve the trail, but if it was marked regular use would help maintain the trail somewhat. But it also seems like the vegetation grows so fast there that nature is doing its best to obliterate any trail, and the many bear trails make it hard to figure out which trail is which.
When it rains the river downstream of the cabin is too large to cross, so you become very restricted in where you can fish downstream. We brought a 2.5 HP kicker motor, so we were able to explore all of the tribs that feed into the upper end of the the lake.
we were fishing for silvers and our group caught very few during a week. The place is very well known for sockeye, but they run in July and we were there in Sept. the lagoon in front of the cabin and lake had about 20 harbor seals that were on constant prowl for silvers. The harbor seals were also in the river down below the cabin. with so many seals it is hard to imagine that the silvers ever have a chance to stack up anywhere without being scattered. The cabin log book mentions the seals being there more than 20 years back, so they just seem to be a feature of this lake/lagoon system.
The Coghill cabin was in excellent shape when we visited, and very clean thanks to the preceding group (the “Igloo Boys”). the area around the lake is incredibly beautiful!! the stove worked well but only has one heat setting (but that was not a problem).
THE ROWBOAT IS MISSING AN OAR, and really needs a new set of oars and oar locks so that the remaining oar can serve as a back up. The Igloo Boys improvised a shovel as a replacement for the missing oar, but it is only a matter of time before somebody drops the oar/shovel to the bottom of the lake and then they will have to row their way back to the cabin with only a single oar. If you visit this cabin make arrangements with the USFS to get a new set of oars, or bring your own. Without oars you will be very limited in where you can get to at this cabin.