Park Condition Reports

Last Update: February 15, 2019
Tors Trail

News Releases


New Director's Orders Regarding Various State Park Fees

Parking, Camping, Boat Launch, Historic Site Access, Programs, Sanitation, and Firewood
Fees for Public Use Cabins
Fees for Reserved Use of Park Facilities
Fees for Special Use Permits


Alaska State Parks welcomes first "Park Ambassador"

February 11, 2019 (Anchorage, AK) – In an effort to grow family-friendly opportunities and encourage more visitors to Alaska State Parks, the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is introducing its first State Parks Ambassador program and volunteer Park Ambassador, Erin Kirkland of "AKontheGo."

As Park Ambassador, Kirkland will partner with Alaska State Parks in planning and promoting kid-friendly events and activities, showcasing the State Park system’s resources for families and kids, and encouraging families to get outdoors.

"A partnership like this allows us to highlight all that our park areas hold for kids and families," said Matt Wedeking, operations manager of the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. "I'm excited to see where this new partnership leads."

Kirkland is a freelance journalist, publishing the well-known family travel and outdoor website AKontheGO.com. She is the author of the “Alaska On the Go” guidebook series, and an avid supporter of Alaska’s State Parks, especially for families.

“I’m thrilled to be working with State Park leadership to help more kids and parents discover what’s possible in Alaska’s State Park system,” she said.

Kirkland and Alaska State Parks are currently planning a “Kids to Parks” event for May 18, 2019 and a Family Adventure Day in August. Follow “AKontheGO” and Alaska State Parks on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on these events and more.

For more information on Alaska State Parks, visit our website: alaskastateparks.org or find us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

CONTACT: Wendy Sailors, (907) 269-8738, wendy.sailors@alaska.gov


Proposed Concession Contract for Arctic Valley Ski Area

January 10, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) –
Public Comment Period Extended:
Comment Period Ends 5:00 PM, Friday, February 15, 2019


The public is invited to review and comment on a proposed concession contract to operate Arctic Valley Ski Area within Chugach State Park. The proposed concession contract includes maintenance of the parking area, trails, and facilities in the area. The Arctic Valley Ski Area is currently operated by the Anchorage Ski Club (ASC), a non-profit. The proposed concession contract would allow ASC to continue to operate the ski area, and to continue to maintain the parking area, trails, and other facilities.

The proposed concession contract is being offered under Alaska Statutes (AS) 41.21.027. The preliminary finding required by this statute as well as the proposed contract are available on the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation (DPOR) website at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/.

Comments on the preliminary finding and proposed contract may be sent to:
Dan Beutel
dan.beutel@alaska.gov
907-269-8692
550 W 7th Ave, Suite 1380
Anchorage, AK 99501

The comment period was originally scheduled to end on December 28, 2018. DPOR has decided to extend the comment period based on public requests for additional time.

An additional public meeting has been scheduled for February 5, at which State Parks and Anchorage Ski Club representatives will discuss the proposed contract and answer questions.

Arctic Valley Proposed Concession Contract
Tuesday, February 5, at 6:00 pm
Atwood Building, room 102
550 W 7th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501


Comments must be submitted by 5:00 PM, Friday, February 15, 2019 to be considered timely. DPOR will consider all timely written comments received. If analysis of the comments indicates the need for significant changes to this Preliminary Decision, additional public notice will be given. If this Preliminary Decision and proposed contract are approved without significant changes, a Final Finding & Decision will be issued without further public notice. Upon issuance of the Final Finding & Decision, a copy of the final decision will be posted on the DPOR website and sent to anyone who comments along with an explanation of the appeal process.

Original Public Notice
Arctic Valley Proposed Contract
Arctic Valley Preliminary Decision


First Day Hikes planned in Anchorage, Big Delta, Homer, Southeast

December 26, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) – Alaska State Parks encourages Alaskans to celebrate the New Year by enjoying the great outdoors in one of six hike/ski excursions hosted by Parks staff and local volunteer groups in Anchorage, Big Delta, Homer, Sitka, Ketchikan and Juneau, on or around New Year’s Day.

The free, guided events listed below are part of the national “First Day Hikes” initiative (http://www.stateparks.org/initiatives-special-programs/first-day-hikes/) sponsored by state park systems throughout the United States.

Two-mile guided interpretive hike in Chugach State Park, Anchorage
Date/time: Saturday, Jan. 5, 10 a.m.
Location: Glen Alps Trailhead
Difficulty: Easy Minimum Age: All ages are welcome
Restrictions: Please leave your dogs at home for this hike
What to bring: hiking gear including ice-grippers, and plenty of warm layers. Hot chocolate in the parking lot afterwards!
Cancellation Information: Joe, at 907-748-4751

One-mile roundtrip hike, ski or snowshoe in the Quartz Lake State Recreation Area, Big Delta
Date/time: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 12 p.m.
Location: Meet and sign in at the Quartz Lake cabin. The Quartz Lake State Recreation Area is 10 miles north of Delta Junction and is reached by a three-mile road at Mile 277.8 of the Richardson Highway. Follow the signs to the boat ramp and park in the parking lot adjacent to the Glatfelder Trailhead. From there the group will ski, hike, or snowshoe to the historic Glatfelder log cabin.
Difficulty: Easy Minimum age: All ages are welcome
Restrictions: Well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome
What to bring: Water, a snack to share afterward, snowshoes/skis/warm hiking boots and appropriate clothing
Cancellation information: Northern Region State Parks Office, at 907-451-2698

Three-mile roundtrip hike, ski or snowshoe in the Eveline State Recreation Site, Homer
Date/time: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 12 p.m.
Location: Meet at the Eveline State Recreation Area parking lot. From the intersection of East End Road and Lake Street in Homer, travel east along East End Road for 13.4 miles, where you will turn left onto Alpine Meadows Drive (1.1 miles past McNeil Canyon School). Travel north along Alpine Meadows Drive for 0.4 miles to Eveline State Recreation Area trailhead on the left.
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum Age: All ages are welcome
Restrictions: Please leave your dogs at home for this hike
What to bring: Skis/snowshoes/warm hiking boots (depending on conditions), water bottle
Cancellation Information: Willy, at 907-299-6226

One-and-a-half to three-mile loop hike on Mosquito Cove trail in Old Sitka State Historical Park, Sitka
Date/time: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 9:30 a.m.
Location: Meet at the Mosquito Cove trailhead parking lot in Old Sitka State Historical Park. Drive north out the road past the ferry terminal. Five miles from town, stop at the sign that says “End” - as that is the end of the road. Just before that sign, take a left into the Bay Side campground, take an immediate right, then go halfway around the loop. On the right, the first parking space with a trailhead sign is the beginning of the Mosquito Cove loop trail.
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum Age: All ages are welcome
Restrictions: None
What to bring: Weather appropriate gear, water bottle
Cancellation Information: Jeff, at 907-747-4821

Half-mile loop hike on Lunch Falls Loop Trail in the Settlers Cove State Recreation Site, Ketchikan
Date/time: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 11 a.m.
Location: Meet at the parking area at Campground Picnic Shelter on Lunch Falls Loop trailhead. Hike will end at the Settlers Cove Public Use Cabin where there will be refreshments, S’mores for kids and a campfire to warm you up after your winter hike. Please park in the upper day-use parking lot and walk down to meeting location.
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum Age: All ages are welcome
Restrictions: Well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome
What to bring: Dress for weather. Bring binoculars if interested in birding – local bird expert will be there to answer questions. Naturalist will be available to answer questions and State Park staff will be on hand to talk about current and future improvements to Settlers Cove State Recreation Site. If snow prevents access to Settlers Cove, the alternate location will be Refuge Cove State Recreation Site.
Cancellation Information: Aaron, at 907-247-8574

One-mile loop hike/ski in the Eagle Beach State Recreation Area, Juneau
Date/time: Saturday Dec. 29, 2 p.m.
Location: Meet at the main parking lot of Eagle Beach State Recreation Area next to the ranger station
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum Age: All ages are welcome
Restrictions: Well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome
What to bring: Snacks, water, weather-appropriate clothing
Cancellation Information: Brad, at 907-465-2483

MEDIA CONTACT: Darcy Harris, 907-269-8699, darcy.harris@alaska.gov


Ice fishing huts now available in Interior Alaska

December 19, 2018 (Fairbanks, AK) – Alaska State Parks announces the opening of nine ice fishing huts in the Northern Region. Alaska State Parks has opened five huts at Birch Lake near Mile 305.5 Richardson Highway and four at Quartz Lake near Mile 277.8 Richardson Highway.

The ice huts are constructed by the Department of Fish and Game and managed by the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Reservations are accepted on-line only, at http://reserveamerica.com. The $28 daily cost includes an $8 reservation fee, and a separate reservation and $28 fee is required for each day.

The ice fishing huts measure eight feet by twelve feet. They have a wood-burning stove and four fishing holes. All other equipment and supplies must be provided by the user. Suggested items to bring include an ice auger and/or spud bar, stools or seats, a lantern or flashlight, a shovel, firewood (12-inch lengths), matches, fishing tackle and bait.

For more information on ice huts or public use cabins call the Department of Natural Resources Public Information Center at 451-2705, or visit our web site at http://www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/cabins/icehuts.htm

CONTACT: Brooks Ludwig, 451-2698, brooks.ludwig@alaska.gov


Ketchikan Citizens Advisory Board seeking applicants to fill vacancy

November 29, 2018 (Ketchikan, AK) – The Ketchikan Area State Parks Citizens Advisory Board is seeking applicants to fill one vacancy on the board. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to provide a forum to collect and express opinions and recommendations on State Park management and resource protection issues for the parks and facilities; including scenic, natural, cultural and historic features, park characteristics, recreational opportunities, and user conflicts. Ketchikan Area State Park units include: Totem Bight State Historical Park, Settler's Cove State Recreation Site, Refuge Cove State Recreation Site, Grindall Island Public Use Cabin & State Marine Park, Black Sands Beach & Blank Islands State Marine Park, Betton Island State Marine Park, Grant Island State Marine Park and Dall Bay State Marine Park.

The Board is comprised of 9 members selected to represent the broad spectrum of public interests involved with or affected by the area parks. The nomination process is designed to ensure that no single viewpoint dominates the Board. In addition, our bylaws call upon each board member to represent the broad public interest rather than advocate on behalf of one specific group.

As a member of the Board; you would be expected to actively serve on committees appointed by the Board, participate in events and attend the monthly Board meetings that are generally on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from September through May beginning at 5:15pm. Committee specialized meetings are scheduled by the committee chairs and vary in frequency depending upon project needs and deadlines.

Board members serve for three-year terms with a re-appointment option. Please submit your application to Natural Resource Specialist Aaron Ostby (aaron.ostby@alaska.gov) at the Totem Bight office or via email for your application to be considered for the term beginning in January 2019. Applications are available at: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/advisboardapp.pdf. The State Park Director has final approval authority to make the board appointment, if you are not selected, we will keep your application on file for one calendar year in case a vacancy occurs.

CONTACT: Aaron Ostby, (907) 247-8574, aaron.ostby@alaska.gov


Albert Loop Trail Reopened at Eagle River Nature Center

November 7, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) – Effective today, the Albert Loop Trail located near the Eagle River Nature Center in Chugach State Park has reopened for public use. The trail is closed between late summer and winter freeze-up to reduce the potential for human-bear encounters.

Although the trail has been reopened, bear encounters are still possible and trail users should take appropriate precautions. Be prepared for a bear encounter and be knowledgeable in recognizing bear behavior and responding to an encounter. Visit our website for more information on bear safety: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/safety/bears.htm

CONTACT: Kurt Hensel, Chugach State Park, 907-345-5014, csp@alaska.gov


Alaska State Parks will waive parking fees for day after Thanksgiving

November 20, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) – Vehicle parking fees are waived for the day at all parks managed by Alaska State Parks on Friday, November 23. Park visitors are encouraged to get outside and share their outdoor adventures on social media, and throughout the holiday season, by hashtagging: #OptOutside, #alaskastateparks and #akstateparks.

In Anchorage, Alaska State Parks will host an #OptOutside event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 23 at Glen Alps trailhead with Heather’s Choice, a backpacking food company that makes healthy adventure meals and snacks. Heathers’ Choice will have free samples of Packaroons and complimentary coffee from SteamDot and Alaska State Parks will be selling 2019 Day Use parking passes ($50/vehicle, credit card purchase only).

Take your friends and family outdoors to Alaska State Parks for a ski, walk or hike and #OptOutside this holiday season. State park fees help keep our state parks running. For more information about these fees, go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/fees.htm.

Contact: Wendy Sailors, 907-269-8738, wendy.sailors@alaska.gov.


State Parks soliciting proposals for operation of Big Delta State Historical Park

November 16, 2018 (Delta Junction, AK) – The Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation is seeking proposals from qualified offerors for operation and management of the Big Delta State Historical Park located near Delta Junction, Alaska.

Proposals must be received no later than 4 p.m., Alaska Standard Time, on December 5, 2018. Interested parties can download the Request for Proposal by going to the State of Alaska’s Online Public Notice System at https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=192104.

Prospective offerors must register with Alaska Department of Natural Resources procurement officer, Marlys Hagen, to receive subsequent amendments to the RFP. Failure to contact the procurement officer may result in rejection of your proposal.

DPOR will host a pre-proposal conference on November 20, 2018 at Big Delta State Historical Park to give potential offerors an opportunity to tour the facility and ask questions. The park is located eight miles north of Delta Junction at Milepost 274.5 of the Richardson Highway.

Interested parties with questions about the concession contract should contact Marlys Hagen at (907) 269-8666, marlys.hagen@alaska.gov.


2019 Alaska State Parks Annual Parking Passes available for sale

November 14, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) – The Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation’s 2019 Day Use Parking Passes will be available for sale starting Thursday, Nov. 15. Day use pass decals are $50 and can be purchased at most regional state parks offices and the Public Information Centers in Anchorage and Fairbanks. To order your pass online, go to https://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/passes.

The 2019 passes will be honored at all locations managed by DPOR, effective Nov. 15.

Also available for sale are the 2019 Boat Launch pass ($100 each) and the 2019 Disabled Veteran Camping Pass available to Disabled Veterans with appropriate documentation.

In addition to state park offices in regional offices and ranger stations, passes will be available at the DNR Public Information Centers in Anchorage and Fairbanks, visitor centers in Kenai, Soldotna and Homer, the Seward Chamber of Commerce, REI in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and 24 Mile Java on Chena Hot Springs Road. An updated list of all locations to buy passes will be maintained on the state parks website.

Day use parking decals should be placed on the driver side corner of your vehicle windshield for easy identification by Park staff. In the case of a windshield replacement, please keep your receipt or the scrapings from the windshield you are replacing, and a Public Information Center will replace it for a $10 fee.

Annual passes make great holiday gifts! For information on ordering a bulk amount (25 or more), contact Wendy Sailors at 907-269-8738 or wendy.sailors@alaska.gov.

CONTACT: Public Information Center, Anchorage 907-269-8400, dnr.pic@alaska.gov


Albert Loop Trail Reopened at Eagle River Nature Center

November 7, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) – Effective today, the Albert Loop Trail located near the Eagle River Nature Center in Chugach State Park has reopened for public use. The trail is closed between late summer and winter freeze-up to reduce the potential for human-bear encounters.

Although the trail has been reopened, bear encounters are still possible and trail users should take appropriate precautions. Be prepared for a bear encounter and be knowledgeable in recognizing bear behavior and responding to an encounter. Visit our website for more information on bear safety: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/safety/bears.htm

CONTACT: Kurt Hensel, Chugach State Park, 907-345-5014, csp@alaska.gov


Mat-Su/Copper Basin Area Citizens Advisory Board Vacancies

October 3, 2018 (Wasilla, AK) – Alaska State Parks Citizen Advisory Boards assist park staff with management and development issues. The size of an advisory board varies between 7 and 15. Appointments are made by the Director of Alaska State Parks for up to three year terms. If you would like to serve on a board please fill out the Alaska State Park Advisory Board Application, and mail or email it to the Mat-Su Area Headquarters at dnr.matsuparks@alaska.gov. Meetings are open to the public and are usually held at 7pm in Palmer on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, October through May. More board information is posted here:
https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/Browse.aspx.

The opinions expressed through the regular meetings help Alaska State Parks to serve the public better. The next regular meeting will be held at 7:00pm on Tuesday, October 9 at the Palmer State Forestry Conference Room, at 101 Airport Road in Palmer. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend.

CONTACT: Superintendent Wayne Biessel, 907-745-8935, wayne.biessel@alaska.gov


Public comment period lengthened for Kachemak Bay management plan

October 2, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) – The Department of Natural Resources has extended the comment period for the public to provide input on a draft revision of the Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park Management Plan. The department also has scheduled a public meeting in Homer to discuss the draft plan. The comment period previously set to end on October 19 will now end on November 16, and an open house meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 29 at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, located at 95 Sterling Highway in Homer.

The draft plan includes management guidance and facility recommendations for the state park and wilderness park, as well as guidance for Diamond Creek State Recreation Site, Eveline State Recreation Site, and Overlook Park State Recreation Site.

Since the last management plan was adopted in 1995, park uses have increased and changed as the result of changes to the economy, area infrastructure, and tourism trends. The goal of this plan revision is to address these changes, address management challenges, and update recommendations for long‐term facility development. Additionally, the draft plan includes a trail management plan that provides trail sustainability recommendations, trail design and management criteria within the park units.

Written comments are encouraged during the public comment period. To facilitate the public’s review of the public review draft, reference copies in print format are available at the Homer public library and the Islands and Oceans Visitor Center. The public review draft is also available on DVD by request and online at: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/plans/kbay/kbayplan.htm.

To receive full consideration, comments must be received no later than November 16, 2018. Comments can be submitted by mail, fax or email to:

Kachemak Bay State Planning
550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1050
Anchorage, AK 99501
Fax: (907)269-8915
Email: monica.alvarez@alaska.gov

CONTACT: Monica Alvarez, 907-269-8145, monica.alvarez@alaska.gov


Alaska State Parks honored with history award

September 7, 2018 (Anchorage, AK) – The National Association of State Park Directors this week honored Alaska State Parks’ Office of History and Archaeology with the 2018 Ney Landrum Park History Award for its commemoration of last year’s 150th anniversary of the Alaska Treaty of Cession – the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States.

The award is one of several awards announced by the association on Thursday, Sept. 6 during its annual meeting in Sedona, Arizona. The awards program honors contributions and support of state parks and state park systems across the United States.

Throughout 2017, the Office of History and Archaeology worked with local, state, and federal partners to develop a better understanding of the history and significance of the treaty. The office assisted with events throughout the state to engage Alaskans in conversations about the treaty and its impacts, including at the Baranof Castle State Historic Site in Sitka, where the 1867 ceremonial transfer occurred and is annually re-enacted on Alaska Day. This site is significant in Tlingit, Russian, and U.S. history. The office worked with Alaska State Parks interpretive staff to develop a traveling exhibit and book on the treaty and administered grants for historical projects related to the treaty.

A list of the full range of activities for the treaty’s 150th anniversary and educational materials are available at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha/designations/150Anniversary.

CONTACT: Ethan Tyler, 907-269-8701, ethan.tyler@alaska.gov