Fees - Frequently Asked Questions
Can I reserve a campsite?
Most campsites are available on a first come, first served basis and cannot be reserved in advance, with exception of four campgrounds (see below for more information). These campgrounds are run by Lifetime Adventures. The sites located within these four parks are available to reserve but must be reserved a minimum of 7 days in advance up to a year in advance. To reserve a site or contact Lifetime Adventures please click here
- Eagle River Campground, near Anchorage: One-half of the campsites are available by reservation. The campground itself is usually only open from May through September, depending on the weather.
- Matanuska Lakes State Recreation Area (formerly Kepler-Bradley Lake State Recreation Area), near Palmer: the campground has 6 sites for tent camping only. Reservations are accepted year round and up to one year in advance, but must be made at least seven days in advance. Exclusive camping for groups is available.
- Finger Lake SRA, near Wasilla: has 36 Lakeside campsites available. Reservations are accepted year round and up to one year in advance, but must be made at least 7 days in advance.
- King Mountain SRS, located at mile 75 on the Glenn Highway: has a total of 32 campsites. The King Mountain SRS is located on the Matanuska River and is near fishing, hiking and ATV trails.
How large a group can stay in one campsite?
Generally the limit is 12 people. However, a different limit can be set by the local park officer under the authority of 11 AAC 12.210 for a specific campground. For vehicles, if the campground fees are paid on a per site basis, rather than a per vehicle basis, the usual vehicle limit is two. Campers should check the campground information kiosk, consult campground hosts or other park staff, or check for postings of campsite occupancy limits. Groups larger then the designated limit will need to use more than one campsite, or get a permit to use a group site if one is available.
What are annual passes?
Annual passes are available for daily parking or boat launching. Passes are good for the calendar year and are honored in most state parks. The parking passes are decals that attach to the front windshield on the driver's side of a vehicle. The boat launch pass attaches to the tongue of the boat trailer. Passes cannot be transferred and can be used on only one vehicle or trailer. The Disabled Alaskan Veteran's pass has different limitations - please click here for more information.
Where can I buy an annual pass?
An annual pass can be purchased on-line or send a check or money order, payable to the State of Alaska, to the address below. 2012 On-line order form
Anchorage Public Information Center
Fairbanks Public Information Center
Passes are also available at state park
offices, most campgrounds, and Alaska Public Lands Information Centers
Can I use my annual pass in a campground that is not in a state park?
State park passes cannot be used in federal, municipal, private or other state agency campgrounds or related facilities. Also, passes issued by other agencies are not honored in state parks.
Are fees charged for all campsites?
Fees are charged only for developed campsites with access to fireplaces, tables, water and restrooms.
Is there a fee for a second vehicle at a campsite?
Check signs and bulletin boards in the campground. If the fee is per site and the second vehicle fits within a designated parking space without hindering traffic, there is no additional fee. If the fee is per vehicle, all vehicles are subject to the fee.
If I pay for a campsite at a campground with a dump station, is there an extra charge to dump?
At two locations, Chena River SRS in Fairbanks and Eagle River Campground near Anchorage, you may dump for free if you pay the camping fee or have a pass. At all other dump stations located in state parks, the dumping fee is separate from the camping fee.
Do I pay for boat launching if I camp overnight?
Yes, the fee for the campsite and the cost for boat launching is separate. This applies to the DAV camping and boat launch passes as well.
Do I pay a daily parking fee if I also camp overnight?
Only if you park in the daily parking area. If you intended to camp overnight and park at a campsite, you do not need to pay the daily parking fee.
Do I pay a daily parking fee for my boat trailer?
If you paid the boat launch fee or have a boat launch pass, you do not need to pay a daily parking fee for your car and trailer while you use your boat. If you park in a day use area and are not using your boat, you will need to pay the daily parking fee.
Are fees charged for all parking areas?
The daily parking fee is charged at a few select sites. Additional state park and recreation areas will have daily parking charges in the future. Contact your local park office for more information. For a listing of fees by facility, click here.
How are fees collected?
Fees are collected either by an "iron ranger", a metal canister, or an entrance booth attendant. If the entrance station is not staffed at the time you check in, use the iron ranger. Signs at the fee station explain how to pay using the iron ranger. Many campgrounds will only have an iron ranger at the campground entrance. State park rangers regularly patrol campgrounds and parking areas to answer visitors' questions and to check for compliance with the fee regulations. There are volunteer hosts in many campgrounds to help visitors, but they do not collect fees.
Where does the money go?
Revenue from park users fees is used to operate, maintain and improve park facilities in the area where it is collected.
What are special (non-commercial) use permits?
These permits are for activities such as competitive or promotional events, constructing or placing structures on park land or water, research projects, motorized access across closed areas, or incompatible activities. Permit fees will vary, depending upon the activity. Contact the park office managing the park you want to use for more information. For a complete list of non-commercial activity fees, please read the current Director's Order on State Park Fees.
What are commercial use permits?
These permits are required for those who, for a charge, offer a service to the public inside a state park unit. Some of these activities include rafting or horse riding tours, sport fish or hunt guiding, canoe or equipment rentals, and shuttle services. For a complete list of commercial activity fees, please read the current Director's Order on State Park Fees.
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