Park Condition Reports

Last Update: May 24, 2017line2
 

PARK OPENING DATES

Park Opening Dates

TRAIL REPORTS & PARK CONDITIONS

Chugach State Park - April 23 

Chena River State Recreation Area - March 30

Denali State Park - May 22

Hatcher Pass East Mgmt. Area & Summit Lake SRS - May 22

Kachemak Bay State Park - May 15

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area - May 22

Hatcher Pass Recreational Conflict Report

News Releases


Alaskans invited to participate in Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day

May 24, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) – The public is invited to get outdoors and help Alaska State Parks and local organizations celebrate National Trails Day by participating in the following guided hikes and trail projects over the weekend of June 2-4. Unless otherwise specified, bring lunch and snacks, water, appropriate clothing, sturdy footwear, sun or safety glasses, gloves, and bug spray.

Volunteer projects in Kachemak Bay State Park, June 2-4
Sign up by Friday, May 26 to work and play across the bay with Alaska State Parks and Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park. Activities include a hike to Grewingk Glacier, camping at Kayak Beach, building a new outhouse, brushing a section of the Sadie Knob Trail, rerouting the South Grace Ridge trail and cleaning the Glacier Spit beach. Alternately, volunteers can remain on the Homer side of the bay and help the Homer Cycling Club expand their Diamond Creek bike trail. For the activities across the bay, there is a charge of $20/person. Tools and water taxi are provided, no skills necessary, fun guaranteed! You must pre-register by May 26. Stop by the Alaska State Park offices on the 2nd floor of the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center in Homer, fill out your volunteer form and make payment, or email kbayvolunteer@gmail.com to have the form emailed to you. For more information call Christina at 435-7969. Can’t get enough? Trail work parties and guided Second Saturday hikes on the Homer side of the bay, and Last Saturday hikes across the bay are also planned throughout the summer.

Volunteer work on Middle Fork Trail, Chugach State Park, June 3
Join Alaska State Parks and Alaska Trails at 9 a.m. on June 3 at the Glen Alps parking lot to help reroute a portion of the Middle Fork of Campbell Creek Trail. The trail is being rerouted to bypass a long, muddy, and dilapidated section of the trail. Volunteers will work on cutting in a new sustainable trail on a slope where they can, and installing boardwalks and turnpikes through boggy sections. Most of the work will be done with Pulaskis and shovels and entail some simple carpentry. Guidance and training will be provided by state park trail specialists. For registration and information, go to http://www.alaska-trails.org/middle-fork-trail.html.

Guided Donnelly Dome Hike near Delta Junction, June 3
Join the Delta Junction Trails Association with support from Alaska State Parks at 11 a.m. on June 3 for a guided hike of Donnelly Dome. This hike also celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Alaska Highway. Meet at the pullout 2.5 miles up the Dome Road off Mile 248 of the Richardson Highway. Bring a Recreation Access Permit which can be obtained at the Fort Greeley Visitor’s Center during regular business hours or at https://usartrak.isportsman.net. Check on the status of Donnelly East Area 531 by calling 907-873-3181 or by going to the website. This will tell you if the area is open for recreation or if it has been temporarily closed for military training. If closed to training, the backup meeting location will be the pullout on Coal Mine Road at the same time. Please contact Ellen Clark for more information at 907-895-5155.

Volunteer work on Curry Ridge Trail, Denali State Park, near Trapper Creek, June 3
Join Alaska State Parks for hiking and trail work along the Curry Ridge Trail. Meet at 10:30 a.m. at the new Kesugi-Ken Interpretive Center located at Mile 134.5 of the George Parks Highway. Parking is in the day-use lot. Volunteers will hike 4-5 miles and participate in trail work throughout the day, including cutting brush, moving materials and rocks, and compacting soils. Afterward join us for a cookout at the interpretive center. Potluck items are welcome. Please contact Carter Forney at 907-354-5890 (cell) or 907-733-5123 (office) for more information.

Fairbanks multi-agency trail volunteer training, June 3
Join the Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation Department at 10 a.m. at the Fairbanks REI store at 19 College Road, Unit A, for a morning trail volunteer training session and an afternoon fieldwork session. Trainings will be led by Christine Byl of Interior Trails. Hosts and sponsors include REI, Interior Trails, Alaska Trails, and the Bureau of Land Management. For more information contact Bryant Wright at bwright@fnsb.us or 907-459-7401. Register for the morning session at https://www.rei.com/events/national-trails-day-sustainable-trails-volunteer-workshop/fairbanks/177532 or the afternoon session at https://www.rei.com/events/national-trails-day-afternoon-trail-work-session/fairbanks/177537.

Seward area self-led hikes and community celebration, June 3-4
Join the Seward Trail Blazers and Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance by planning your own hikes on Saturday and participating in a community celebration on Sunday. On Saturday, The Trail Blazers are encouraging people to get out and walk the trails around town and all over the Kenai Peninsula. In town, there are the bike path/Iditarod Trail and the Two Lakes Trail, as well as the climb up Mt. Marathon. The bike path extends to mile 5, where you can access the Lost Lake trail and the Iditarod Trail can be accessed at Bear Lake or Saw Mill Creek. On June 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Seward Trail Blazers and the Iditarod Historic Alliance will host a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the building of the Seward bike path, which is recognized as the first miles of the Iditarod National Historic Trail. Refreshments will be available. For more information contact sitblazers@gmail.com.

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


Alaskans invited to participate in Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day

May 3, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) – Alaskans are invited to join the Office of Boating Safety in promoting safe boating behavior by wearing their life jackets to work on Friday, May 19, and sharing their photos on social media.

The annual “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day” event is the public kickoff for Safe Boating Week in Alaska, which runs from May 20-26. Participants in this event can post their photos on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/akboatsafety/ or Instagram using #AKBoat and #SafeBoating.

The goal of this event is to raise awareness of the versatility and comfort of modern life jackets. Boating is a way of life in Alaska but every year, several people die in boating accidents. Five out of six boating fatalities in Alaska are cold-water immersion related drownings, following a vessel capsizing or swamping, being ejected, or a fall overboard. Nine out of ten who died were not wearing a life jacket. Wearing a life jacket is the simplest way to prevent drowning in a boat accident.

Safe Boating Week focuses on the importance of boaters being “rescue-ready” during the boating season: 1.) Wear a life jacket when in an open boat or on deck, 2.) Carry emergency communication and distress signaling devices on their person, 3.) Attach an engine cut-off switch if equipped, and 4.) All boaters have a means to re-board their boats.

“Alaska waters are cold. Even on calm, sunny, warm, clear blue sky days, a cold-water immersion event can be deadly. While it is the law for persons under the age of 13, everyone should commit to always wearing a life jacket regardless of experience or swimming ability when in an open boat or on deck,” said State Boating Law Administrator Jeff Johnson.

The Office of Boating Safety works to promote safe, and enjoyable boating. Additional resources for boaters can be found at www.alaskaboatingsafety.org

CONTACT: Kelli Toth, 907-240-6314, kelli.toth@alaska.gov


Seasonal trail restrictions planned for Chena River State Recreation Area

April 21, 2017 (Fairbanks, AK) – Starting in May, the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation will begin charging day-use fees at 14 state park sites in the Fairbanks area as well as entrance fees at 3 state historical parks located in Hatcher Pass, Ketchikan and Delta Junction. The division charges the same $5-per-vehicle day-use fee at other state park sites throughout Alaska. Adding these new fee sites will further the division’s goal of making park operations more self-sustaining and less reliant on the State of Alaska’s general fund. Please note that visitors can purchase the Alaska State Parks’ $50 annual parking decal in lieu of paying day-use fees.

Additional state park fee information is available at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/fees.htm. The new fees are as follows:

LocationDay Use FeeEntrance Fee
Independence Mine State Historical Park$5/vehicle$3/person; will only be charged in summer months for access to mine site
Totem Bight State Historical Park$5/vehicle; waived when entrance fee is paid$5/person
Big Delta State Historical Park$5/vehicle; waived when entrance fee is paid$5/person; gives access to roadhouse, museum, barn & telegraph buildings
Chena River State Recreation Area  
Rosehip Campground$5/vehicleN/A
Mile 28 Boat Launch$5/vehicleN/A
Stiles/Colorado Creek Trailhead$5/vehicleN/A
Mile 36.5 Shooting Range$5/vehicleN/A
Mile 37.7 Bridge River Access$5/vehicleN/A
Mile 39.6 Bridge River Access$5/vehicleN/A
Red Squirrel Campground$5/vehicleN/A
Mile 44 Boat Launch$5/vehicleN/A
Mile 48 Pond$5/vehicleN/A
Lower Chena Dome Trailhead$5/vehicleN/A
Upper Chena Dome Trailhead$5/vehicleN/A
Salcha River State Recreation Site$5/vehicleN/A
Clearwater State Recreation Site$5/vehicleN/A
Delta State Recreation Site$5/vehicleN/A



CONTACT: Brooks Ludwig, 451-2698, brooks.ludwig@alaska.gov for Northern Region State Parks, Wayne Biessel at 907-745-8935, wayne.biessel@alaska.gov for Independence Mine, and Mike Eberhardt at 907-465-2481, mike.eberhardt@alaska.gov for Southeast Alaska State Parks


Seasonal trail restrictions planned for Chena River State Recreation Area

April 17, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) – On Thursday, April 26, the Angel Creek Valley, Angel Creek Hillside, Compeau, Stiles, Colorado Creek, East Fork, Yukon Quest Winter, and South Fork trails in Chena River State Recreation Area will close to all uses except walking. These closures will allow the trails to thaw and water to disperse without disturbance.

Alaska State Parks is reluctant to restrict any uses unless there are no other viable management alternatives. In this case, the benefits of protecting the state-maintained trails from degradation outweigh the inconvenience of seasonal restrictions.

The Angel Creek Hillside, Compeau and Stiles trails will reopen May 26 or sooner depending on conditions. The South Fork, Colorado Creek, East Fork, Yukon Quest Winter and Angel Creek Valley Trails are winter trails and will remain closed to motorized use during the summer. By design, winter trails cannot sustain use during unfrozen periods. After adequate snowpack is reached, the winter trails as well as all other motorized areas of the Chena River Recreation Area will be reopened to snowmachine use by director’s designation.

Gates at the trailheads will be locked and posted with signs during the trail closures. Alaska State Parks encourages trail users to respect the integrity of the trails so others may continue to enjoy them. It is illegal to tamper with or attempt to drive around locked gates.

Violations of the trail closures can be reported to Alaska State Parks during business hours at 451-2695. On evenings and weekends, contact Alaska State Troopers and they will contact Alaska State Park rangers.

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


Historical Commission to discuss Fourth Avenue Theatre at April 24 meeting

April 13, 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 will be held in the Spruce Room of the BP Energy Center 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 agenda is posted at www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha.

Any person or group wishing to address the commission on this topic is invited to participate in the public comment session starting at 9:45 a.m. To comment by phone, arrangements should 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 dnr.oha@alaska.gov, 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 www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha.

CONTACT: Joan Antonson, 907-269-8714, jo.antonson@alaska.gov


Big Delta State Historical Park launches project to protect historic properties

April 6, 2017 (Fairbanks, AK) – After receiving contributions from organizations and individuals, Alaska State Parks will move forward this spring with a river bank stabilization project to protect historic properties at Big Delta State Historical Park.

The park located in Delta Junction was a significant crossroads for travelers, traders and the military during the early 20th century. Several historic properties in the park are threatened by erosion along the Tanana River.

“Thanks to generous donations from 14 local businesses and more than 100 individuals, Alaska’s cultural resources will be preserved and these historic structures will remain in place,” said Northern Region State Park Superintendent Brooks Ludwig.

The division has issued a contract to Arctic Terra LLC to harden approximately 200 feet of riverbank using a bioengineered approach that protects historic structures and provides fish-friendly habitat. The contractor will start staging equipment next week and work is expected to begin in early May.

Alaska State Parks received $48,000 in donations for this project during a September 2016 “Fund Your Park” crowdfunding campaign. In addition to those funds, the state Office of History and Archaeology provided $100,000 in unobligated grant monies to the erosion control project.

CONTACT: Brooks Ludwig, 907-451-2698, brooks.ludwig@alaska.gov


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 http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha.

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 dnr.oha@alaska.gov, 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 http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha.

CONTACT: Joan Antonson, 907-269-8714, jo.antonson@alaska.gov


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 ReserveAmerica.com 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.

ReserveAmerica.com 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 ReserveAmerica.com 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 https://www.reserveamerica.com. 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, matthew.wedeking@alaska.gov


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
http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/artistinresidence.htm.

CONTACT: Mike Eberhardt, 907-465-2481, mike.eberhardt@alaska.gov


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 darcy.harris@alaska.gov, 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 http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/grants/snowmotr.htm.

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


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 http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/curevnts.htm.

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, wayne.biessel@alaska.gov


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 http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/boards.htm. 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, jack.blackwell@alaska.gov


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:
http://dnr.alaska.gov/Assets/uploads/DNRPublic/parks/misc/rfp/Mat-SuCampgroundRFP2017Cover.doc.pdf

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:
http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/currentrfp.htm

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