Park Condition Reports
Last Update: July 23, 2016
Portions of Chugach State Park closed to due to McHugh Creek fire
July 19, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) – Due to the ongoing response to the McHugh Creek fire, state park officials have closed Chugach State Park trails and adjacent park lands to public use between the Potter Creek and Rainbow trailheads (inside the pink boundary line shown on the image below), including all of the McHugh Creek and Rainbow Creek drainages. Closures specifically include the Turnagain Arm Trail between Potter and Rainbow, the McHugh Creek Trail, and the Rainbow Peak Trail as well as the McHugh Creek wayside, Beluga Point pullout and Rainbow trailhead.
CONTACT: Tom Harrison, Chugach/Southwest Region Superintendent, 907-345-5014, email@example.com
Chugach State Park Volunteer Trail Work Event July 16th
July 11, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) –
Public invited to comment on statewide outdoor recreation plan
June 24, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) – Interested in giving input on how federal funds are prioritized for outdoor recreation grants in Alaska?
The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is seeking public comments on the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, which is updated periodically to maintain statewide eligibility for federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grants. The revised draft plan is available at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/scorp and comments will be accepted through August 5, 2016.
Land and Water Conservation Fund grants are administered by the division to provide matching federal dollars for outdoor recreation projects developed by eligible local, regional and state governments. For more information about the program, go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/grants/lwcf.htm.
The plan helps to establish funding priorities for Land and Water Conservation grants through the next five years by measuring the supply and demand for public outdoor recreation resources throughout Alaska.
CONTACT: Jean Ayers, Grants Administrator, 907-269-8694, firstname.lastname@example.org
Crow Pass Trail reopened between Heidi’s Knob and Eagle River
June 24, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) – A one-and-a-half-mile section of the popular Crow Pass Trail in Chugach State Park has reopened after its closure on June 10 due to a bear feeding on a moose carcass next to the trail. The closed section was about midway between the Girdwood and Eagle River ends of the trail. Sufficient time has elapsed to substantially reduce the probability of the bear still actively feeding on the carcass.
Hikers should always stay vigilant whenever traveling in bear country. Anyone using an Alaska trail should take appropriate precautionary measures, be prepared to encounter a bear, and be knowledgeable in recognizing bear behavior and how to respond to an encounter.
CONTACT: Tom Harrison, Superintendent Chugach/Southwest Region, (907) 345-5014,email@example.com
New members sought for Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council
June 1, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) – The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is inviting interested individuals to apply for three openings on the seven-member Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council (SnowTRAC). Two of the open seats represent the Mat-Su Valley/ Copper River Basin and the third represents the Fairbanks area.
SnowTRAC assists the division director by providing funding recommendations for the Snowmobile Trails Grant Program. This statewide grant program provides reimbursable, matching grant funds for trail easement acquisition, 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. Appointees to these seats will serve a three-year term expiring March 1, 2019, and participate in meetings or teleconferences a minimum of once a year. The annual meeting is typically held in late August in Anchorage.
Applicants should 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or standard mail at 550 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 1380, Anchorage, AK 99501, no later than July 1, 2016 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, email@example.com
Public invited to National Trails Day activities in Kachemak Bay State Park
May 31, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) – The public is invited to celebrate National Trails Day by volunteering on a local trail project or participating in an outdoor family event this coming weekend in Kachemak Bay State Park.
Alaska State Parks and Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park will host multiple all-day and/or overnight events on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 3-5, including trail clearing and improvements, a beach cleanup and family walk, and a family-fun hike to Grewingk Glacier. Meeting times and locations will vary for the different events. Details on each event is available when participants sign up at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor’s Center in Homer, located at 95 Sterling Hwy, prior to June 3. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Alaska State Parks will provide hand tools. Participants need to bring lunch, water, work gloves, snacks, small hand tools if desired, and camping gear if necessary, but no power tools or four-legged friends please. Contact Hannah Bradley at 907-226-4689 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CONTACT: Darcy Harris, 907-269-8699, email@example.com
Public invited to Donnelly Dome hike on June 4 in honor of National Trails Day
May 31, 2016 (Fairbanks, AK) – The public is invited to join Alaska State Parks and the Delta Junction Trails Association in celebrating National Trails Day with a hike up Donnelly Dome on Saturday, June 4.
Ellen Clark of the Delta Junction Trails Association describes the hike as an opportunity to, “experience the challenge and beauty of the Dome in June, alpine wildflowers blooming, and the 360-degree view from the top.”
To join the hike, meet at 11 a.m. at the pullout located 2.5 miles up the Dome Road, accessed from Mile 248 of the Richardson Highway. Please bring water, appropriate clothing including sturdy shoes, a snack, and a Recreation Access Permit (RAP). RAPs are available 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. Here you can find out if the area is open for recreation or if it has been temporarily closed for military training. br />
If the area is closed due to military training, the backup meeting location will be at the pullout on Coal Mine Road.
CONTACT: Ellen Clark, 907-895-5155
New fees implemented at Lower Chatanika and Big Delta park units
May 19, 2016 (Fairbanks, AK) – Effective May 26, Alaska State Parks will implement a $5 per vehicle day-use fee at the Lower Chatanika State Recreation Area and Big Delta State Historical Park. In addition, overnight camping at the Whitefish and Olnes Pond campgrounds will be $15 per night and use of the boat launch near the Whitefish campground will be $10 per day.
Fees for the use of improved boat launches and campsites at Alaska state parks began in 1987. The day-use parking fee program began in 1994 and has been implemented at most road-accessible access points and trailheads. However, until now, parking fees have never been charged at the Lower Chatanika and Big Delta units, and camping and boat launch fees at Lower Chatanika have not been charged since 2002.
The fees for parking, camping and using the boat launch can be paid at the self-serve payment stations located at the two park units. In lieu of paying the $5 per vehicle per day fee, visitors may purchase a $50 annual decal with an option to purchase a second decal for $25 for an additional vehicle registered at the same residence. These decals may be used at any state park unit in Alaska and can be purchased at the Fairbanks state park office , the Anchorage and Fairbanks DNR Public Information Centers (via mail or e-mail), or online at https://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/Passes.cfm.
The Lower Chatanika State Recreation Area is located between mile 10 and 11 of the Elliott Highway and Big Delta State Historical Park is located at Mile 274.5 of the Richardson Highway.
CONTACT: Brooks Ludwig, 907-451-2698, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alaska State Parks seeking information on Angel Rocks vandalism
May 19, 2016 (Fairbanks, AK) – Alaska State Parks is seeking information about vandalism on the Angel Rocks Trail in the Chena River State Recreation Area. Angel Rocks is a popular trail located at mile 49 of the Chena Hot Spring Road. The trail consists of a 3-mile loop that leads up to several unique rock outcroppings. The trail is one of the most popular day hikes in the Fairbanks area.
Some of the rock outcroppings were recently vandalized. The vandalism consists of graffiti on the rock outcroppings and a significant amount of litter.
It is illegal to disturb, damage, deface, or remove natural objects including trees, plants, moss, rocks, gravel, or minerals within Alaska state parks. It is also illegal to litter in the state parks.
If you have any information about the vandalism, or if you witness a park violation during normal business hours, please report it to Alaska State Parks Fairbanks office by calling 451-2695. If you witness a park violation at night or on weekends, please report it to Alaska State Trooper Post in Fairbanks at 907-451-5100; the dispatcher will forward the information to park rangers.
CONTACT: Brooks Ludwig, 907-451-2698, email@example.com
Celebrate Safe Boating Week with “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day”
May 19, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) – The Alaska Office of Boating Safety invites all Alaskans to celebrate Safe Boating Week, May 21-27, by participating in “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day” on Wednesday, May 25. The goal of “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day” is to increase awareness of the versatility and comfort of today’s modern life jacket designs.
“Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day” participants are encouraged to post pictures on the Alaska Boating Safety Program Facebook page or post them to Instagram with the hashtags #lifejackets and #wearit. Anchorage participants are invited to wear their life jackets and join the Office of Boating Safety from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, in the Atwood building courtyard located at 7th and E Street, for a group photo and the annual life jacket fashion show.
Governor Walker’s proclamation of Safe Boating Week issued on May 17 encourages all Alaskans to be safe while enjoying boating this season.
While boating is an important part of the Alaska lifestyle, every year some people lose their lives in boating accidents. Five out of six Alaska boating fatalities are a cold water immersion-related drowning, following a sudden vessel capsizing, swamping or fall overboard. Nine out of ten who died were not wearing a life jacket or were never found. For more information, visit PledgeToLive.org
“Most victims are adult males. Many could have survived if they had simply been wearing a life jacket. Even on calm, sunny, clear blue sky days, Alaska boaters of all experience levels should commit to always wearing a life jacket when in an open boat or on deck,” said Jeff Johnson, State Boating Law Administrator.
The Alaska Office of Boating Safety, located within the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, works to promote safe, enjoyable boating, with an emphasis on education. Resources for boaters can be found at www.alaskaboatingsafety.org
CONTACT: Kelli Toth, 907-240-6314, Kelli.Toth@alaska.gov
Kenai River state park advisory board recruiting members
May 12, 2016 (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, fill out the Alaska State Park Advisory Board Application posted at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/boards.htm. Applications are being accepted through May 31.
For more information, please contact the Kenai/Prince William Sound Area state park office at 907-262-5581.
CONTACT: Jack Blackwell, 262-5581, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Let’s Camp America!” events planned at Eagle Beach State Recreation Area and Chugach State Park
May 3, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) - Alaska State Parks is joining with other state park systems throughout the country to participate in the National Association of State Park Directors’ LET’S CAMP AMERICA! Initiative. LET’S CAMP AMERICA! is about promoting the vitality, affordability and accessibility of camping in the nearly 230,000 camping sites (2,500 of them in Alaska) across America’s State Parks. The initiative will launch Saturday, May 7 when state parks throughout the country plan to hold special events at select camping areas.
On May 7, campers can meet up with state park rangers at the Eklutna Lake and Bird Creek Campgrounds located in Chugach State Park between 2 and 4 p.m. or with park staff at Eagle Beach State Recreation Area north of Juneau between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. In both locations park staff will welcome campers and answer questions about the recreation opportunities in their areas.
“LET’S CAMP AMERICA! presents an ideal way for Alaska State Parks to showcase our vast array of camping and outdoor recreation resources. Alaska State Parks is issuing an all-inclusive invitation to first time campers and camping enthusiasts to create their own ‘camping moments’ and then to come back often,” said Alaska State Parks Director Ben Ellis. “We want to grow a camping nation where unplugged family and friend time is the norm and where going online means baiting a hook.”
CONTACT:Claire Holland LeClair, 907-269-8702, email@example.com
10 artists picked for state park residency program at Ernest Gruening Cabin
May 3, 2016 (Anchorage, AK) - Ten talented artists have been selected for the 2016 summer Alaska State Parks artist-in-residence program, which runs from May through September at the Ernest Gruening State Historical Park. This year’s artists are Joan Pardes, Patti Jouppi, Bruce Sink, Christine Fortner, Glenda Field, Rob Roys, Naona Wallin, Bob Winfree, Sandy Winfree, and Keren Lowell.
Participating artists stay for up to two weeks at the scenic and historic Ernest Gruening Cabin, near Amalga Harbor approximately 24 miles north of Juneau. Artists are asked to donate an original work of art inspired by their time at the cabin and to host a workshop or other community engagement. The first artist to participate in the 2016 program is Joan Pardes, an artist and writer from the Juneau area who began her residence on May 1.
Now in its second 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 Jim Leach, an artist during the 2015 program, explained, “The experience of the Artist in Residence Program was a highlight of our summer. The historic aspects of the cabin and surrounding area were wonderful. The surrounding scenery and the chance to meet (by chance) many locals from the surrounding area was interesting, enjoyable and enlightening. Everyone we met was inquisitive about the program and seemed happy we were there.”
More information about workshops and other events hosted by the participating artists will be announced over the course of the summer. Stay informed about this program and the many other exciting things happening at Alaska State Parks by visiting www.alaskastateparks.org or by following us on Facebook @AlaskaStateParks, on Instagram @akstateparks, and on Twitter @AlaskaStParks.
CONTACT: Ryan Thomas, 269-8692, firstname.lastname@example.org
Seasonal trail restrictions planned for Chena River State Recreation Area
April 13, 2016 (Fairbanks, AK) - On Monday, April 18, the Angel Creek Valley, Angel Creek Hillside, Compeau, Stiles, Colorado Creek, East Fork, Yukon Quest Winter, and South Fork trails in the 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 inconveniences 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, email@example.com, (907) 451-2698