Deep Creek State Recreation Area
The halibut and king salmon runs at Deep Creek are legendary, making the campsites in the park very much in demand. Bald eagles are visible year-round. In the month of May, sandhill cranes and other shore birds inhabit the saltwater marsh. Whales, seals and otters can be seen offshore.
Deep Creek Beach is located at mile 137.3 of the Sterling Highway near Ninilchik. It is adjacent to the shores of Cook Inlet with excellent scenic views of Mt. Iliamna and Mt. Redoubt. A campground and day use area are located along the beach where Deep Creek enters the ocean. The park also offers fishing access to Deep Creek.
Marine Services LLC, is a private company that provides tractor assisted boat launching services at Deep Creek beach under a permit issued by Alaska State Parks. This service allows recreational boaters and charter operators to launch boats into Cook Inlet. Cost is $68.00 per launch and retrieval. During 2014, this service will be provided at the following times:
May 1 - May 10
7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
May 11 - May 22
6:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
May 23 - July 8
4:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
July 9 - August 2
5:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
August 3 - August 9
6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
August 10 - August 15
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
August 16 - September 1
7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Deep Creek North Scenic Overlook is located at mile 137 of the Sterling Hwy. and has access to salmon fishing along Deep Creek.
Deep Creek South Scenic Overlook is located at mile 136.9 of the Sterling Hwy. It is used for day use only.
The beaches from Clam Gulch to Ninilchik are the most popular areas for digging razor clams in Alaska. The razor clam, a filter feeder, relies on plankton for food. The life cycle of the razor clam is simple and unique. Razor clams usually reproduce first at age four to five, and live about 14 to 18 years. Reproduction is triggered when Cook Inlet waters reach a temperature of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, usually between late July and early August.
Eggs and sperm are released simultaneously into the surf, where fertilization occurs by chance. Although this method of reproduction is not very efficient, the female clam compensates by releasing an estimated 5 to 15 million eggs. After floating in the larval stage for 4 to 6 weeks, the clams form a small shell and settle into the sandy tidal beach. The clams are ready to harvest in about four years.
Clams may be dug during any minus tide, but a tide of minus two feet or lower is recommended for best results. State law requires that all clams dug be kept regardless of size or condition. Anyone 16 years or older must have a valid Alaska sport fishing license to dig clams. Review the Department of Fish and Game regulations for the daily limit of clams per person. WARNING: Each clam tide, clam diggers may be stranded. The incoming tides flood the area between the beach and the sandbar before the sandbar itself is flooded, stranding unwary diggers. Watch the tide levels carefully and return before the rapidly rising tide returns. Rescue assistance is not always available or possible. Stranded diggers risk hypothermia or drowning in the cold waters of Cook Inlet. Stay alert to tide levels, come in early, and be safe!
Obeying these regulations assures you and others of a better camping experience. Additional information on State Parks may be found on campground bulletin boards.
ATV's may only be operated on saltwater beaches. Children under the age of 14 must be directly supervised by an adult over the age of 21.
Quiet hours: 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.. All generators must be off by 11:00 p.m.
Pets must be leashed not to exceed nine feet, and under control at all times.
No cutting of any standing trees, living or dead. Firewood is for sale within the park. Please do not burn coal as it is very unhealthy for the rest of the visitors in the park.
Do not discharge gray water (i.e. dish water, etc.) on the ground. Water may be disposed of in the toilets in the campground. Sewage tanks must be taken to a sanitary dump station for disposal. A dump station is located at Ninilchik View SRA approximately 2 miles north of Deep Creek.
Please clean salmon at the river, throwing the remains into the river current. Halibut remains should be thrown at the low tide line on saltwater beaches. Discard clam shells on the beach, not in the dumpster.
Please dispose of all garbage generated in the park, in the dumpster provided. Do not put garbage in the fire rings!
For more information:
Alaska State Parks