One look at the view from Susan Doherty's cottage in Kennicott, Alaska, and it's easy to forget the lack of electricity and running water. Her cottage, which overlooks a glacier and a 16,000-foot peak in the Wrangell Mountains, is in America's largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias. The area was once inhabited by more than 250 copper miners. Doherty's street was named Silk Stocking Row because the managers lived there. She has owned her 1918 cottage since 1976, when she moved to Anchorage to work for a nonprofit group. She moved to Minneapolis in 2000 and now spends about a month every summer at her cottage (and rents it out, too: www.17silkstockingrow.com).

Distance: Doherty flies to Anchorage, then drives more than 300 miles (the last 60 on an old railroad bed, now a one-lane road) to Kennicott.

Unique feature: The cottage is on the historic register.

Furnishings: Furnishings are simple, but the cabin sleeps eight. The refrigerator, stove, water heater and lights are powered by propane. Water is piped in from a nearby stream and filtered for drinking.

Summer fun: Depends on the weather. It could be 50 degrees and rainy or 80 degrees and sunny. "On sunny days I make coffee and sit in the sun, reading, go hiking or river rafting. At night it's a very sociable place. I might have 20 friends for dinner. Everybody brings something. We've been family for 30 years now," she said.

Area must-see: On a clear day a flight-seeing trip (about $125) is a don't-miss.

Wildlife encounters: Grizzly and black bears and mountain sheep are common. Doherty burns her trash to avoid attracting bears.