Frequently Asked Questions
CABINS:How do I reserve a cabin?
What time can I check-in, When do I need to check-out?
What if I need to cancel my cabin reservation?
Do the cabins have bathrooms, electricity?
CAMPING:Can I reserve a campsite?
How much does it cost to camp in Alaska State Parks?
When do parks open for the summer season?
How long can I stay in a campsite?
Does Alaska State Parks have full hookups at their campsites?
Is there running water and showers at the campsites?
Will my RV fit in your campsite?
What campgrounds have Sanitary Dump Stations?
What does the red envelope mean?
BACKCOUNTRY AND WINTER CAMPING:Where can I go camping and how far from a trail or running water must I camp?
Can I camp in the parks in winter?
Where would I find Alaska state policy on back-country camping?
Is a permit required?
May I build a campfire in a state park?
IN THE PARK:What are the rules pertaining to alcohol in the state park?
Can I collect firewood in a state park?
Can I bring my dog to the park?
What is required to bring horses into the parks?
Is geocaching allowed in Alaska State Parks?
Is hunting permitted in state parks?
May I carry a gun into a state park when traveling?
Can I Ride my ATV in Alaska State Parks?
Can I take rocks, plants or flowers from a park? What about fossils?
Can I use a metal detector in state parks? What about a gold pan or sluice box?
Where can I use my mountain bike?
Where can I rock climb?
Where can I ride my snowmobile in Alaska State Parks?
PARK PASSES AND LICENSES:Is an annual pass available for frequent state park visitors?
Do you have discounts for senior citizens or veterans?
Where can I get a boat launch decal?
What facilities in State Parks do not accept annual parking decals?
Do I need to license a boat in Alaska?
Do I need to pay for a boat launch pass if I'm using a canoe, raft, or other hand-launched craft?
Do canoes need to be registered?
Do I need a fishing license to fish in Alaska State Parks?
GENERAL PARK INFORMATION:How do I reserve a shelter or get a permit for a family, business or church outing?
Are there facilities accessible for persons using wheelchairs?
Do you have trail maps?
Can I film a movie in a State Park?
Can I have my wedding, business meeting or family reunion at a state park in Alaska?
VOLUNTEERING AND CONTACT INFORMATION:How can I become involved as a volunteer at Alaska State Parks?
Who can I contact about job opportunities at state parks? How can I become a park ranger?
How do I contact a state park?
Q. How do I reserve a cabin?
Reservations can be made on line at www.alaskastateparks.org, in person at our Public Information Center offices located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau or at the nearest State Park office. Alaska residents can make reservations 7 months to the day in advance of the first night stay and non-residents 6 months to the day in advance, Monday through Friday beginning at 10:00 a.m. Alaska time. Advance reservations cannot be made on weekends or State holidays, but can be made the next business day. All other cabin reservations can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Reservations are from noon to noon.
Reservation requests can also be mailed or faxed. Credit cards (MasterCard/Visa/Discover) are accepted for payment when making reservations on line, mailing or faxing reservation requests or when paying in person at our Anchorage, Fairbanks or Juneau offices.
Reservations are not accepted over the phone. However, changes or cancellation can be done by phone or in person. A change to or cancellation of a reservation for a Public Use Cabin must be done at least 48 hours in advance of the start of the reservation in order for the customer to receive a credit. If making a change or cancellation by phone, the cabin reservation number must be provided. If done in person, the original reservation must be presented. If the cancellation or change of a cabin reservation is due to a family emergency or severe weather conditions, the 48 hour notification requirement may be waived. Otherwise, without the 48 hour notification, a reservation cannot be cancelled or changed and a credit issued. Cabin credits are good for one year from date of issue. Refunds are not issued.
Q. What time can I check-in, When do I need to check-out?
The earliest you may check-in to all cabins is 12:00 noon. Check-out time is 12:00 noon the following day or last day of reservation. Ice hut rental check-in is 12:01 am to 11:59 pm the day of the rental. No overnight camping.
Q. What if I need to cancel my cabin reservation?
Changes or cancellations must be made through the Public Information Center at 269-8400 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Cancellation must be made 48 hours prior to your first night stay. Please have your reservation number available when changing a reservation.
Q. Do the cabins have bathrooms, electricity?
No, our cabins do not have electricity or bathrooms. Water is available nearby and outhouses are provided. Water obtained from the pumps is potable, water from creeks should be boiled or filtered.
Q. Can I reserve a campsite?
No, Alaska State Park does not have a campground reservation system. Some of our contracted park concessionaires do have reservations for a limited number of individual campgrounds. Contact information for these concessionaires is provided in the campground charts at www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspbro/index.htm.
Q. How much does it cost to camp in Alaska State Parks?
Overnight camping fees range from $5 to $20 a night. Chena River SRS and Eagle River Campground are $15 to $30 dollars a night and offer full hookups. For a full list of prices see http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/alaskastateparkfees.pdf
Q. When do parks open for the summer season?
Most parks open around the fifteenth of May and Close between September first and fifteenth. Opening dates will be posted at www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/curevnts.htm in the spring.
Q. How long can I stay in a campsite?
Camping limits range from 4 to 15 nights depending on the campground. The limits that apply to each campground are listed on the campground charts at www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspbro/index.htm and at www.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/index.htm.
Q. Does Alaska State Parks have full hookups at their campsites?
No, only a few campgrounds have full hookup. Most are dry. Please call the Public Information Center in Fairbanks at 907-451-2770 or Anchorage 907-269-8400 for more information or check online at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspbro/index.htm for park amenities
Q. Is there running water and showers at the campsites?
Campgrounds are rustic. Water is generally available from a hand pump. Showers and flushing bathroom facilities are not available. Outhouses are provided.
Q. Will my RV fit in your campsite?
Please check the campsite at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspbro/index.htm. Click on the area and find the campsite. Each campsite with tell you the RV size limit.
Q. What campgrounds have Sanitary Dump Stations?
The use of a recreational vehicle holding tank dump station at the below listed locations is $5. Visitors camping overnight and paying the nightly camping fee at Chena River SRS and Harding Lake SRA may dump their vehicle holding tank at the dump station facilities in those campgrounds for no charge.
Big Delta SHP
Byers Lake Campground
Chena River SRS
Eagle River Campground
Harding Lake SRA
The red envelope is a reminder that this is a fee area. Please deposit your fee in the envelope and place in the iron ranger.
BACKCOUNTRY AND WINTER CAMPING:
Q. Where can I go camping and how far from a trail or running water must I camp?
You may camp in the backcountry in designated areas or at least ½ mile from any facilities, including trails. There is no minimum distance you must maintain from a water body.
Q. Can I camp in the parks in winter?
Yes, walk-in camping and backcountry camping are allowed.
Q. Where would I find Alaska state policy on back-country camping?
Regulations can be found in 11 AAC.20. Some park units or special management areas may have specific rules not found in regulation.
Q. Is a permit required?
No, but it is advisable to let people know where you will be and when you are expected back.
Q. May I build a campfire in a state park?
You may build a campfire in designated fire rings only. Back country fires are prohibited. Please bring a camp stove for backcountry use.
IN THE PARK:
Q. What are the rules pertaining to alcohol in the state park?
Alcohol may be consumed in most state parks under the same state laws that pertain elsewhere. There are a number of state parks where the consumption of alcohol is prohibited. They are listed in 11 AAC 20.905.
Under both state (AS 28.35.030) and federal law, operating a boat while intoxicated is illegal and can have an effect on the operator’s driver’s license. State and federal law defines intoxication for recreational vessel operators as having a 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC) or a behavior that meets a defined standard. According to statistics, 30% of all boating fatalities involve alcohol. Alcohol is the leading cause of nighttime boating mishaps.
• Decreases balance—Most alcohol related boating deaths involve a slip or fall overboard.
• Affects vision—Alcohol can seriously affect peripheral vision, night vision and ability to focus.
• Affects judgment—Operators under the influence are more likely to take risks they normally wouldn’t take and are more likely to make the wrong decisions in a life-threatening situation.
• Slows reaction time—In an emergency, sharp reflexes and quick, appropriate action can save the day. Even without alcohol, a boater’s reaction time is affected by exposure to constant motion, sun, wind and noise. Add alcohol and the effects are multiplied.
• Increases heat loss.
• Is just as dangerous for passengers—Having a designated driver is certainly a good idea on the water, but don’t let the passengers be “designated drowners.”
The Alaska Office of Boating Safety strongly encourages boaters and passengers to refrain from consuming alcohol when boating.
Q. Can I collect firewood in a state park?
Visitors should be prepared to bring their own firewood for campfires. Some parks sell firewood for $8 per bundle, but not all. Only dead and down wood can be used for fires in State Parks. You should bring your own saw or hatchet for collecting dead and down firewood at campgrounds or state cabins.
Q. Can I bring my dog to the park?
Yes, Pets are welcome at state parks and campgrounds if leashed and accompanied by the owner at all times; unleashed dogs are allowed in the backcountry but must be within voice command. Please clean up after your pet. Sled dogs and horses should not be tied within 100' of a cabin.
Q. What is required to bring horses into the parks?
Horses are allowed on a limited number of trails. The regulations are listed in 11 AAC 20.
Q. Is geocaching allowed in Alaska State Parks?
Because this activity has the potential to cause damage to park resources and create a public safety risk for park visitors, it is necessary that the Division issue Special Park Use permits for geocaches that include stipulations that control where they may be placed, how they may be placed, and what may be contained in them.
Special stipulations for geocache permits include, but are not limited to:
No food items may be placed or left in the cache.
No items with strong odors such as toothpaste, scented sunblocks and similar items.
The cache may not be buried.
The Permittee may not disturb natural materials when hiding the cache.
The cache must be bear-proof (Ex: surplus ammo cans or bear-proof food storage containers).
The Permittee shall visit the cache at least once per year to ensure that the stipulations are followed. The Permittee shall notify the issuing office when the annual visit is done.
The Permittee shall notify the issuing office if the cache is removed and the permit no longer valid.
State park staff may remove the cache if any of the special stipulations are violated.
Q. Is hunting permitted in state parks?
Yes, in accordance with Department of Fish and Game rules for that Game Management Unit. Discharge of firearms within ½ mile of any developed park facility is prohibited. Target shooting and firearms sighting is prohibited. For more information contact the Department of Fish and Game (Anchorage) 267-2257 or (Fairbanks) 459-7200
Q. May I carry a gun into a state park when traveling?
Yes, however, no discharge of firearms allowed within a 1/2 mile of a developed facility. Some parks are closed to the discharge of firearms. The use of explosive devices, such as fireworks, is strictly prohibited within all state parks.
Q. Can I Ride my ATV in Alaska State Parks?
At this time ATV use is allowed in Chugach State Park, on the Bird Creek trail below 500 feet in elevation, and on the Eklutna Lakeside trail Sunday through Wednesday, except while the trail is snow-covered. Chena Recreation Area allows ATV's on designated trails. For more information see Snowmachine and Off-Road Vehicle Use in Chena River State Recreation Area
Q. Can I take rocks, plants or flowers from a park? What about fossils?
You are prohibited from taking rocks, flowers, plants, fossils, and historical artifacts from Alaska State Parks. For more information on historical artifacts on state land see http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha/archsurv/permitinvestigate.htm and Laws and Regulations to Archaeology and Historic Preservation in Alaska
You may pick berries or mushrooms for personal use. Contact the Public Information Center at 269-8400 for more information.
Q. Can I use a metal detector in state parks?
Yes, you may use a metal detector in a state park.
Q. Where can I use my mountain bike?
Bike use is allowed on a limited number of park trails, which is indicated within individual park trail maps (found here; will be listed under 'Allowable Uses' within each trail map). Bikes may also be used on the roads within campgrounds.
Q. Where can I rock climb?
You may rock climb anywhere. If you climb near a road use proper caution to ensure your vehicle is completely off the road and your activities will not endanger vehicles traveling on the road.
Q. Where can I ride my snowmobile in Alaska State Parks?
Alaska State Parks allows snow machines in areas of Chugach, Denali, and Nancy Lake State Parks as well as Hatchers Pass Management Area and Chena Recreation Area. Snow mobiles are only allowed if snow levels are sufficient to protect underlying vegetation. Please check current news (http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/curevnts.htm) or twitter (http://twitter.com/AlaskaStParks ) for current snow conditions. A $5 day-use fee or an annual parking pass are required at most trailheads throughout the park.
Back country users: Chugach State Park and Hatcher Pass are AVALANCHE HAZARD AREAS. Be knowledgeable of the avalanche conditions and be sure and take your beacons, shovels, and probes and be knowledgeable of their use. BE PREPARED!!! The weather can change quickly and threaten your life. Remember hypothermia is a life-threatening problem. Safe traveling can prevent backcountry emergencies and costly search and rescues. Always let someone know where you’re going. Know the hazards of the country you’re traveling in. Travel with a pack containing safety gear and emergency provisions.
ANNUAL PASS AND BOAT LICENSE:
Q. Is an annual pass available for frequent state park visitors?
Yes, we have a parking pass which allows you to park in any day use area without paying the daily user fee. The pass is $50.00 and is available at both the Fairbanks and Anchorage Public Information Centers, on-line at https://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/Passes.cfm, from Ranger stations, and in Anchorage from Paramount Cycle and Recreational Equipment Inc.(REI). The pass is good for one calendar year.
Q. Do you have discounts for senior citizens or veterans?
Alaska State Parks does not offer discounts to senior citizens. We do offer a free camping pass for disabled (service connected disability) veterans. Each pass is good for two calendar years. Veterans may renew their camping passes once the pass in their possession expires. The veteran must have proof of a service connected disability (ex. Red, white, and blue card with service connected under the photo or a current year letter from the VA) and be at least a one year resident of Alaska.
Q. Where can I get a boat launch decal?
The permit is $100.00 and is available at both the Fairbanks and Anchorage Public Information Centers or on-line at https://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/Passes.cfm. The pass is good for one calendar year.
Q. What facilities in State Parks do not accept annual parking decals?
There are a few areas with separate management that do not accept the annual decals, they are listed here:
The Pillars SRS, Kenai River Special Management Area
The Eagle River Nature Center, Chugach State Park (Separate parking fees apply)
Arctic Valley Ski Area, Chugach State Park (Separate parking fees apply)
Little Su Public Use Facility, except that DAV camping passes are honored
Q. Do I need to license a boat in Alaska?
Under federal law, all boats equipped with propulsion motors must be registered by the state in which principal use occurs. Once issued by the state, this registration cannot be reassigned or transferred to another boat. Registration is valid for a three-year period.
Registration forms are available at any Alaska DMV office. Forms and additional information are also available on the internet through the Alaska Boating Safety Program’s web page at www.alaskaboatingsafety.org or the DMV web page at www.state.ak.us/dmv/reg/boat.htm.
If a boat is required to be registered, then the “AK” number assigned to the boat by the Certificate of Number must be painted on or otherwise permanently attached to each side of the forward half of the boat. Boats not required to be registered are also not required to display the number, but doing so speeds identification in the event of an emergency or theft.
Q. Do I need to pay for a boat launch pass if I’m using a canoe, raft, or other hand-launched craft?
You do not need a boat launch pass on your small craft if you don’t use a launch facility (ramp).You may park your vehicle in the launch parking area if you have an annual parking decal or pay the $5 per day fee.
Q. Do canoes need to be registered?
See above; any water craft with a motor (even electric) must be registered with the State of Alaska DMV. Non-motorized craft do not need to be registered.
Q. Do I need a fishing license to fish in Alaska State Parks?
Yes, you must adhere to all Department of Fish and Game rules and regulations, including possession of a fishing license. For more information contact the Department of Fish and Game(Anchorage) 267-2218 or (Fairbanks) 459-7200
GENERAL PARK INFORMATION:
Q. How do I reserve a shelter or get a permit for a family, business or church outing?
A special use permit is not required for regular recreation activities. All others need a permit including:
• Groups of 20 or more people. Example - company picnic or family reunion.
• Organized athletic events or competitive recreational events. Example - trail race or ski event.
• Other organized events. Example - weddings.
• Guided Tours. Example - guided hunting, fishing and hiking trips.
• Conducting scientific research. Example - collecting plants for scientific study, collection, or educational purposes.
• Camping longer than 15 days in a developed campsite. Example - have friends or family visiting in their own RV for three weeks.
• Additional vehicles at a campsite. Example - family visiting from Outside, so let's go camping.
• Camping within the upper Wood-Tikchik Management Area. (Tikchik River, Nishlik Lake, Slate Lake, Upnuk Lake and Chikuminuk Lake)
With a special use permit, some park facilities can be reserved for exclusive use, such as picnic shelters and group use sites. For events such as a trail race or plant gathering, where a specific facility is not needed, a permit must still be issued and the area of the park used must be shared with other park visitors.State park facilities that can be reserved and their associated fees list
With the application is a list of standard, general stipulations. When you are issued a permit, it may include additional stipulations customized to your situation.Special Use Permit Application and General Stipulations
Q. Are there facilities accessible for persons using wheelchairs?
A list of ADA facilities can be found at www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/access.htm
Q. Do you have trail maps?
Q. Can I film a movie in a State Park?
You will need a permit to commercially film or take pictures in Alaska State Parks. See the permit page for most current fee information.
Q. Can I have my wedding, business meeting or family reunion at a state park in Alaska?
See “How do I reserve a shelter or get a permit for a family, business or church outing?”
VOLUNTEERING AND CONTACT INFORMATION:
Q. How can I become involved as a volunteer at Alaska State Parks?
Volunteer information can be found on our website at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/vip/geninfo.htm
You must be a United States citizen and over the age of 18 to volunteer in our program. If you are a church group, Boy Scout or other community organization who would like to volunteer one time, please call the Area office (http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/moreinfo.htm) nearest you.
Q. Who can I contact about job opportunities at state parks? How can I become a park ranger?
All full-time and part-time positions are recruited from the state’s recruitment website, Workplace Alaska, www.workplace.alaska.gov. This site will also give the job requirements for positions including the park rangers. There are also volunteer opportunities that can be viewed at www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/vip/index.htm and opportunities through the Alaska Conservation Corps at www.dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/accinstr.htm.
Q. How do I contact a state park?
If you need more information, contact the state park office nearest to your area of interest. The DNR Public Information Centers can also be of service. http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/moreinfo.htm