News Releases

Last Update: September 12, 2014


Park Closing Dates


Caines Head Trail Conditions - March 6

Chena River Trail Conditions - June 28

Denali State Park Conditions - September 17

Hatcher Pass Trail Conditions - September 16

Kachemak Bay Trail Conditions - August 27

Nancy Lake Park Conditions - September 12

Hatcher Pass Recreational Conflict Report

Chugach Trail Maps


Kenai River state park advisory board seeking new members

(Soldotna, AK) – Applications are currently being accepted for positions on the Kenai River Special Management Area Citizens Advisory Board.

This state park advisory board provides state park managers with recommendations on the management of the Kenai River SMA. Members serve a three year term and typically meet once a month between September and May.

To apply for a position on this advisory board, go to or

Applications are being accepted through Sept. 15th.

For more information, please contact the Kenai/Prince William Sound Area state park office at 907-262-5581.

CONTACT: Jack Blackwell, 907-262-5581/



Writing workshops and poetry dedications in state parks August 30 and September 6 Events scheduled at Independence Mine State Historical Park and Aleknagik State Recreation Site

(Anchorage, AK) – Signs bearing poems written by Alaskans will be installed and dedicated at Independence Mine State Historical Park at 2 p.m. on August 30, and the Aleknagik State Recreation Site at 2 p.m. on Sept. 6, as part of the Poems in Place project. The public is invited to attend the dedications as well as writing workshops that will be held at the two parks in conjunction with the dedications.

The poem to be installed at Independence Mine State Historical Park is “Independence Mine, August,” by Tom Sexton. Sexton, who served as the state’s poet laureate from 1994 through 2000, will host a talk titled “The Poetry of Place” at Independence Mine State Historical Park on Saturday, August 30, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The talk with a discussion to follow is free and open to anyone age 18 or older. Preregistration is encouraged because space is limited.

The poem to be installed at the Aleknagik State Recreation Site is “The Wisdom of the Old Ones,” by Tim Troll. Troll, Molly Chythlook and Wendy Erd will lead a creative writing workshop titled “Yupik Names and The Poetry of Place” on Saturday, September 6 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the School House Inn located in Aleknagik. The workshop is free and open to the public.

To register for either the Independence Mine or Aleknagik workshops, or for more information about the dedication of the two poems, email:

Alaska State Parks, the Alaska Center for the Book, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and a steering committee of Alaskan writers and poets began the Poems in Place project in 2011 to celebrate the connection many Alaskans have with the natural beauty of Alaska’s state parks. Their first project was the 2011 installation of the poem “What Whales and Infants Know,” by the late Kim Cornwall at Beluga Point in Chugach State Park. In 2013, poems by Ernestine Hayes and Emily Wall were placed in Totem Bight State Historical Park near Ketchikan, and poems by John Haines and Frank Soos were placed at the Chena River State Recreation Area near Fairbanks. More information about the project, including pictures, is available on the state parks’ website:

Earlier this year the Alaska Center for the Book launched a statewide contest for Alaskans to submit poems to install at Independence Mine State Historical Park and Aleknagik State Recreation Site. “The Poems in Place steering committee selected the two entries from a generous and diverse outpouring of poems received from Alaskans,” said Wendy Erd, Poems in Place coordinator.

The Poems in Place project will again be seeking poems by Alaskans in 2015 for installation in the Kenai/Prince William Sound and Kodiak state park regions. Information about the new round of poetry submissions will be posted later this year at

The Poems in Place project is supported by the Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Usibelli Foundation, the Alaska Poetry League, Alaska Center for the Book, and numerous generous individuals.

CONTACT: Claire Holland LeClair, 269-8702, and Wendy Erd phone number 907-235-8891, (8/20/14)


Trails Grant Program Increases Limit for Motorized Projects

(Anchorage, AK) –The Alaska Trails Program announces that the limit for Recreational Trails Program motorized trail projects has been raised to $100,000 from $50,000. Increasing the motorized trail project grant amount will help the program attain the required expenditure ratio of 30% motorized, 30% non-motorized and 40% diversified, and allow for more work to be done or trail equipment to be purchased for a motorized trail project. The limit for non-motorized and diversified trail projects will remain at $50,000.

New application documents and instructions will be on the website August 15 for the new grant cycle. The grant application deadline is November 15. For more information please visit the State Trails Program website or call the program manager at 269-8699.

CONTACT: Darcy Harris, 907-269-8699, (August 2014)


Canyon Road Access to Chugach State Park Closed for Construction

(Anchorage, AK) – Vehicle access into Chugach State Park from Canyon Road will be restricted until approximately August 9 while the road and parking areas are refurbished.

For more information contact: Kirk Louthan, Project Engineer by phone at 269-8542 or email at or Chugach State Park Headquarters at 345-5014 or email (August 2014)


Finger Lake State Recreation Site construction closure update

(Palmer, AK) – Effective immediately, the Finger Lake State Recreation Site Campground in Wasilla is closed for the rest of the summer due to campground renovations. The boat launch and day-use area will remain open, but no overnight camping will be allowed.

For more information, please call 745-8950.

CONTACT: Wayne Biessel, Park Superintendent, 907-745-8935,


SnowTRAC annual meeting scheduled for Aug. 28

(Anchorage, AK) – The Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council (SnowTRAC) will hold its annual advisory meeting on August 28 in Anchorage. The meeting will be held, 8-5 p.m., in Suite 1270 of the Atwood Building, located at 550 W 7th Ave. The agenda will include discussion of various SnowTRAC issues as well as review of grant applications and trail grooming requests.

SnowTRAC consists of 11 members who are regionally selected from areas across Alaska. The primary purpose of the group is to advise the ddirector of the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation on funding for eligible grant projects under the Snowmobile Trails Grant Program. The Snowmobile Trails Grant Program is funded through legislative authorization to receive funds from snowmobile point-of-sale registration fees. These funds are used to support snowmobile trail development and maintenance, as well as snowmobile safety and education programs.

The public is invited to participate in person or via teleconference. If you are a person requiring special accommodations, auxiliary aid, or other special services to participate, or would like to reserve a free teleconference phone line, please contact Darcy Harris at 907-269-8699 or Justin Wholey at 907-269-8698 at least one week prior to the event in order to make the necessary arrangements.

CONTACT: Darcy Harris, Trails Program Coordinator, 907-269-8699, (August 2014)


Fees for State Park Public Use Cabins to Increase

(Anchorage, AK) – Effective May 15, 2014, the fee for reserved use of state park public use cabins will be increased by between $5 and $10/per night, depending on the location and demand.

The fees for reserved use of state park cabins have not changed since 2005 while Alaska State Park operational costs during that period have increased by over twenty per cent. 

Reservations for state park cabins made prior to May 15, 2014 will not be affected by this fee increase.  A complete list of the new fees for state park public use cabins can be found at:

For more information contact Claire LeClair at 269-8702 or call the Department of Natural Resources Public Information Center in Anchorage at 269-8400. (5/9/2014)


Alaska Boating Safely Handbook available

Anchorage, Alaska - The new addition of the Alaska Boater's Handbook is available online through the Alaska Office of Boating Safety Office or at the Department of Natural Resources Public Information centers in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

In a state where capsizing and falls overboard into cold water continues to account for the majority of boating deaths, the handbook provides practical and relevant information for Alaska's boaters on legal requirements, safe practices and how to prepare for, avoid, and survive a cold water immersion event. In addition to the two Public Information centers, copies of the handbook are available online at or by contacting the Alaska Office of Boating Safety at (907) 269-8706.

The Alaska Office of Boating Safety reminds boaters that by practicing the following safety points they can help ensure everyone has a safe and memorable adventure on the water.

  •  Wearing a life jacket is KEY to surviving a cold water immersion event. ALWAYS wear a life jacket when in an

      open boat or on an open deck

  •  Carrying both communication and signaling devices on your person

  •  Completing a thorough pre-departure check before each trip

  •  Taking boating courses

  •  Avoiding alcohol when boating

Alaska State Parks begins planning for lower Kasilof River boat retrieval project

(Kasilof, AK) - The Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation (DPOR), has received project money to develop a public drift boat takeout on the lower Kasilof River to address increasing demand for such a facility on the popular drift-only fishing portion of the river. Currently, most boaters access the Kasilof at the Alaska State Parks public boat launch at mile 109.4 of the Sterling Highway; however, there is no publicly-owned exit point for boaters on the lower portion of the river.

In the first phase of this project, DPOR is distributing a short questionnaire to gain public input on where a retrieval site should be located, what criteria should be used to evaluate potential locations, and what type of facilities should be constructed. The questionnaire and additional project information is available at: