Park Condition Reports

Last Update: March 30, 2017line2


Park Closing Dates


Chugach State Park - March 23 

Chena River State Recreation Area - March 30

Denali State Park - March 24

Hatcher Pass East Mgmt. Area & Summit Lake SRS -
March 21

Kachemak Bay State Park - September 22

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area - March 23

Hatcher Pass Recreational Conflict Report

News Releases

Alaska Historical Commission to meet April 24 in Anchorage

March 24, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) – The Alaska Historical Commission will meet in Anchorage and via teleconference on Monday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The meeting is open to the public and the teleconference center is the Spruce Room of the BP Energy Center in Anchorage located at 900 East Benson Blvd.

The commission will discuss the Fourth Avenue Theatre in Anchorage, an endangered historic property, and options for its preservation. The preliminary agenda is posted at

Any person or group wishing to address the commission on the theatre is invited to participate in the public comment session starting at 9:45 a.m. To comment by phone, arrangements must be made in advance by calling 907-269-8714.

A printed copy of the meeting agenda can be requested by calling 907-269-8721, emailing, or writing to the Office of History and Archaeology, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, 550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1310, Anchorage, AK 99501-3565.

The Alaska Historical Commission is the review board for the state’s historic preservation program and for naming geographic features in Alaska. More information about the commission is available at

CONTACT: Joan Antonson, 907-269-8714,

Alaska State Parks to launch new public use cabin reservation system

March 14, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) – A new online reservation system for Alaska State Parks public use cabins will debut on April 1 – the first step in a process of enabling reservations for Alaska State Park facilities on the nationwide Reserve America website.

Between March 20 and April 1, Alaska State Parks will be transitioning to the system and the public will be unable to make new reservations for state park cabins during this period. For those who have cancelled a cabin reservation and have unused credits toward a new cabin reservation, refunds will be provided. is used by 31 state park systems as well as two federal agencies – the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – to provide reservations for cabins, campgrounds and other facilities. Alaska State Parks anticipates that its campgrounds and other facilities will be added to later this year.

The Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation’s current system for cabin reservations was developed in 1990. Since that time, the number of cabins and the revenue generated from cabin rentals has grown but the reservation technology has not kept pace. For example, the existing state-run system does not provide access via mobile devices, cannot process refunds, and does not allow rental rates to be lowered during periods of high vacancy. The division decided it was more cost effective to outsource its reservation system than to retool its existing system.

To learn more about Reserve America, go to Customers with questions about cabin reservations during the transition period should call the DNR Public Information Center at 907-269-8400.

CONTACT: Matthew Wedeking, 269-8702,

Alaska State Parks seeks artists for 2017 residency program

February 14, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) – Alaska State Parks is inviting artists to apply for the summer 2017 Artist-In-Residence Program at the Ernest Gruening State Historical Park in Southeast Alaska.

The program is open to emerging or established artists working in all types of media. Selected artists will spend up to two weeks at the scenic and historic Ernest Gruening Cabin from May through September. The cabin, nestled along the coastline of Amalga Harbor, was the territorial governor’s summer retreat and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The deadline to submit applications for the program is March 15, 2017. Artists who participate in the program will be asked to donate an original artwork inspired by their time at the cabin and to host a community outreach event, such as a workshop, talk, or other presentation. Travel to Juneau and transportation to the cabin will be the artist’s responsibility. Artists must also provide their own food, supplies and art materials for their stay.

Now in its third year, the purpose of the artist-in-residence program is to encourage artists to create work inspired by Alaska’s state parks. It also offers visitors and the general public an opportunity to see state parks through the eyes of contributing artists. As Constance Baltuck, one of the first artists to participate in the inaugural year of the program, explained, “It’s so exciting to be part of this great new program. It’s a wonderful opportunity for an immersion experience, not just in the creation of art, but also in the appreciation of a beautiful natural landscape.”

The Ernest Gruening State Historical Park is located approximately 24 miles north of downtown Juneau and the cabin is a major feature of the 13-acre park, which provides spectacular views of Lynn Canal and the Peterson Creek Salt Chuck, as well as fishing and wildlife-watching opportunities.

For more information on this program or to download a copy of the application form, please visit

CONTACT: Mike Eberhardt, 907-465-2481,

New members sought for Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council

January 23, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) – The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is inviting interested individuals to apply for four upcoming vacancies on the seven-member Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council (SnowTRAC).

SnowTRAC members assist the division director by providing funding recommendations for the Snowmobile Trails Grant Program. This statewide grant program provides reimbursable, matching grant funds for trail development, and maintenance of trails and trail-related facilities for snowmobile use. The division is seeking individuals with special knowledge, experience, and interest in snowmobile trails and in grant-funded programs.

Applicants will be considered for a three-year term beginning on March 1. Two of the positions will represent the Mat-Su Valley/ Copper River Basin and two will represent the Anchorage area. Board members are expected to participate in meetings or teleconferences a minimum of once a year at their own expense. The annual meeting is typically held in late August in Anchorage.

Applicants must submit a letter of interest that describes their professional background and snowmobile interests, experience, and knowledge, and three professional references to Darcy Harris, the State Trails Program Coordinator, via email at, or standard mail at 550 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 1380, Anchorage, AK 99501, no later than February 20 at 5 p.m. Faxed materials can be sent to 907-269-8907. For additional information regarding the SnowTRAC or the Snowmobile Trails Grant Program, please contact Darcy or visit

CONTACT: Darcy Harris, 907-269-8699,

Nancy Lake, Willow Creek state recreation areas and Denali State Park open to snowmobiles

January 18, 2017 (Palmer, AK) – The Alaska State Parks Mat-Su Area Office has opened the Nancy Lake and Willow Creek State Recreation Areas and Denali State Park to the use of snowmobiles as of Wednesday, January 18. Park staff determined that sufficient snow cover now exists to protect underlying vegetation in the parks.

Caution is advised in all areas as lake ice is variable. Thin ice and open water exists in streams and river ice is unstable or flowing. More details on current park conditions are available at

Remember that all snowmobiles must be registered with the Division of Motor Vehicles to legally operate on public land.

CONTACT:Wayne Biessel, 907-745-8935,

Kenai River state park advisory board recruiting members

January 9, 2017 (Soldotna, AK) – Applications are currently being accepted for three upcoming vacancies on the Kenai River Special Management Area Citizens Advisory Board.

This advisory board provides state park managers with recommendations on the management of the special management area. The people selected will serve from July 2017 through June 2020 and the board typically meets once a month between September and May.

To apply for a position on this advisory board, fill out the Alaska State Park Advisory Board Application provided at Applications are being accepted through March 31.

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

CONTACT:Jack Blackwell, 907-262-5581,

Requests for Proposals now available for private operation in Mat-Su Area park sites

January 6, 2017 (Wasilla, AK) – Alaska State Parks has issued a request for proposals for commercial operation in eight Mat-Su Area Park Sites:

• Big Lake North State Recreation Site
• Big Lake South State Recreation Site
• Rocky Lake State Recreation Site
• Montana Creek State Recreation Site
• Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site
• Dry Creek State Recreation Site
• Squirrel Creek State Recreation Site
• Liberty Falls State Recreation Site

The full announcement can be found at:

All applications must be received at the issuing office no later than January 27, 2017, at 5:00 PM. Copies of the individual applications can be found here:

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

Trails advisory board to meet Jan. 11-12 in Anchorage

January 3, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) – The Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board will meet Jan. 11-12 in Anchorage to consider grant applications. The public is welcome to attend the meeting which will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days in Room 106 of the Atwood Building, located at 550 West 7th Ave in Anchorage.

During the meeting, the ORTAB will evaluate grant proposals for trail-related projects through the Recreational Trails Program. The board will provide recommendations to the director of the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation who will make decisions on funding for those applications.

To join the meeting via teleconference, please dial 866-918- 8374, conference code 5569714090. For special accommodations, auxiliary aid or services, and/or an alternative communication format to participate in this meeting, please contact Darcy Harris at 907-269-8699 or at least three week days in advance of the meeting to make the necessary arrangements.

For more information about the meeting or the Recreational Trails Program, go to

CONTACT: Darcy Harris, 907-269-8699,

First Day outings scheduled in Homer, Sitka and Delta Junction state parks

December 20, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) – Alaska State Parks encourages Alaskans to celebrate the New Year by enjoying the great outdoors in their local state parks. Local volunteer groups will host three hike/ski excursions in Delta Junction, Sitka, and Homer on New Year’s Day. These free, guided events listed below are part of the national First Day Hikes initiative ( sponsored by state park systems throughout the United States.

1.5-mile roundtrip hike, ski or snowshoe in the Quartz Lake State Recreation Area
Date/time: Jan. 1, 12 p.m.
Location: Meet at the Glatfelder Trailhead. The Quartz Lake State Recreation Area is ten miles north of Delta Junction and is reached by a three-mile road at mile 277.8 of the Richardson Hwy. 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 for children: All ages are welcome
Restrictions: None
Bring: water, a snack to share afterward, snowshoes/skis/ warm hiking boots and weather appropriate clothing
Cancellation information: 907-451-2698

3-mile roundtrip hike, ski or snowshoe in the Eveline State Recreation Area: Date/time: Jan. 1, 12 p.m.
Location: Meet at the Eveline State Recreation Area parking lot. Take East End Road for 13.8 miles past the McNeil Canyon School, take the left onto Alpine Meadow Drive and go .3 miles to the trailhead.
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum Age for Children: All ages welcome
Restrictions: Please leave your dogs at home for this hike
Things to bring: Skis/Snowshoes/warm hiking boots (depending on conditions)
Cancellation Information: 907-235-7042

1.5 -3-mile loop hike on Mosquito Cove trail Date/time: Jan. 1, 9 a.m.
Location: Meet at the Mosquito Cove trail head parking lot. Drive north out the road past the ferry terminal, five miles from town, stop at the sign indicating the end of the road. Just before that sign, take a left into the Bay Side campground, take an immediate right and go half way around the loop and on the right the first parking space with a trail head sign is the beginning of the Mosquito Cove loop trail.
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum Age for Children: All are welcome
Restrictions: None
Things to bring: Weather appropriate gear, water
Cancellation Information: 907-747-4821

CONTACT: Darcy Harris, 907-269-8699,

Ice fishing huts now available to rent on Interior lakes

December 8, 2016 (Fairbanks, AK) – Chill out and catch fish at an Alaska State Parks-managed ice hut this winter!

The Alaska State Parks Fairbanks area office has eight ice fishing huts available for rent. Five huts are at Birch Lake near mile 305.5 of the Richardson Highway and three huts are at Quartz Lake near mile 277.8 of the Richardson Highway. They rent for $20 per day and can be reserved online at To make reservations in person or phone, visit the DNR Public Information Center at 3700 Airport Way in Fairbanks or call the center at 451-2705.

The ice fishing huts, constructed by the Department of Fish and Game, measure eight feet by twelve feet. They each 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 (one-foot lengths), matches, fishing tackle and bait.

CONTACT: Brooks Ludwig, (907) 451-2698,

Public meetings planned on proposed Lower Kasilof drift boat takeout

November 29, 2016 (Soldotna, AK) – The Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation will hold open house meetings on Dec. 14 and 15 in Kasilof and Anchorage to review and discuss conceptual plans for developing a public drift boat takeout on the lower Kasilof River.

The conceptual plans are posted at and the division is accepting public comment until Jan. 27. The open house meetings listed below will include a history of the project and participants will break into small groups to provide park staff with their input.

  • 6-8 p.m., Dec. 14, Tustemena Elementary School, 58231 Sterling Hwy, Kasilof

  • 6-8 p.m., Dec. 15, Atwood Building, Room 102, 550 W. 7th Avenue, Anchorage

The division’s conceptual plans entail a traditional boat ramp. However, every year between June 15 and August 15, the use of the ramp would be restricted to drift boat retrieval.

The division received legislative funding for this project in 2011 and 2012. Two top alternative locations for the boat takeout were identified subsequently through a public process. These locations are adjacent to the Old Kasilof Landing, a historic boat landing, and the division recently purchased the land necessary for building at either location.

CONTACT: Jack Blackwell, 907-262-5581,

Albert Loop Trail reopened at Eagle River Nature Center

November 4, 2016 (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.

Even though the trail has been reopened, bear encounters are still possible and trail users should take appropriate precautions. Be prepared to encounter a bear and be knowledgeable in recognizing bear behavior and responding to an encounter.

CONTACT: Tom Harrison, Chugach State Park Superintendent, 907-345-5014,

Recruits sought for Chugach State Park Citizens Advisory Board

October 19, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) – The Chugach State Park Citizens Advisory Board is seeking applications to fill upcoming vacancies on the 15-member board. The role of the advisory board is to advise the Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation on matters involving Chugach State Park, to promote protection of the park’s natural and cultural resources, and to facilitate communication between the public and the park managers. The board meets monthly and each member is expected to serve on two committees.

Board members serve for three years and terms are staggered so that seats open each year. Applicants will be considered for the term beginning in January 2017. The application deadline is November 23. An application form is available at:

Board members represent a broad spectrum of public interests and the nomination process is designed to ensure that no single viewpoint dominates the board. In addition, the board’s bylaws call upon each member to represent all-encompassing public interests that are consistent with park purposes rather than advocate for a specific group.

Board meetings are held the second Monday of the month starting at 6 p.m. Committee meetings are scheduled by the committee chairs and vary in frequency depending on project needs and deadlines. Current committees include: Access, Budget, Nominations, Trails, Planning, Seward Highway Design and Wildlife.

CONTACT: Tom Harrison, 907-345-5014,

Bank restoration project gets underway in Chena River State Recreation Area

October 6, 2016 (Fairbanks, AK) – Several hundred feet of eroded riverbank at the Rosehip Campground in the Chena River State Recreation Area will be restored this fall during a project involving Alaska State Parks, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The project will reduce a public safety hazard, stabilize the bank, and provide fish rearing habitat. The contractor, Moore’s Landscaping LLC, will install 350 feet of root wads, brush layers, and vegetated mat harvested from two trailheads where future construction is planned.

Alaska State Parks plans to close the Compeau and Mastodon trailheads Oct. 10 and 11 to allow material to be harvested for the project. The Rosehip Campground is already shut down for the season and its gate will be closed during the bank stabilization project, which could be completed as soon as late October.

CONTACT: Brooks Ludwig, 451-2698,