Frequently Asked Questions
⚫ 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?
⚫ Where can I camp in Hatcher Pass?
⚫ 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:
Reservations can be made on line at ReserveAmerica.com. Reservations can be made exactly 12:00AM AKST (UTC-9:00), 7 months in advance. You can find a cabin on our Cabins page, which can take you directly to the Reserve America reservation page by clicking the 'See Cabin Availability' button below the cabin listing.
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.
Changes or cancellations must be made through your Reserve America account. Cancellation must be made at least three calendar days prior to your first night stay as cancellations cannot be made within two calendar days from the reservation's arrival date. If you have problems making a cancellation through Reserve America's website, you can also call the reservation call center at 1 (844) 351-9733 to cancel your reservation. Please have your reservation number available when changing or cancelling 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.
At the majority of campgrounds in the Alaska State Parks system, no, you cannot reserve campsites. However, there are a few campgrounds reservable using Reserve America. As a general rule, though, unless the campsite specifically says that online reservations are available, all campsites are first come, first served. Additionally, some of our contracted park concessionaires do have reservations for a limited number of individual campgrounds.
Overnight camping fees range from $20 to $35 a night. For a full list of prices see the full fee list page.
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.
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.alaska.gov/parks/units/campsitelist.htm.
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.
Campgrounds are rustic. Water is generally available from a hand pump. Showers and flushing bathroom facilities are not available. Outhouses are provided.
Please check the campsite at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/campsitelist.htm. Click on the area and find the campsite. Each campsite with tell you the RV size limit.
The use of a recreational vehicle holding tank dump station at the below listed locations is $10. Visitors camping overnight and paying the nightly camping fee at Harding Lake SRA may dump their vehicle holding tank at the dump station facility at that campground for no charge.
Big Delta SHP
Byers Lake Campground
Eagle River Campground
Harding Lake SRA
Q. Where can I camp in Hatcher Pass?
Camping is allowed in the Hatcher Pass East Management Area at officially designated and marked areas at Government Peak Campground, Gold Mint Trailhead, and Fishhook Trailhead as authorized by the director under 11 AAC 12.335 or at a distance of one half mile or more from a road or developed facility. Camping is not allowed on roadsides or pull-offs.
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:
You may camp in the backcountry in designated areas or at least 1/2 mile from any facilities. There is no minimum distance you must maintain from a water body.
Yes, walk-in camping and backcountry camping are allowed.
Regulations can be found in 11 AAC.20. Some park units or special management areas may have specific rules not found in regulation.
No, but it is advisable to let people know where you will be and when you are expected back.
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:
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.
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 personal use fires in State Parks. You should bring your own saw or hatchet for collecting dead and down firewood for personal use at campgrounds or state cabins.
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.
11 AAC 12.130 (a) - ... "a person may not have a dog or other pet in a developed facility of a state park unless the dog or other pet is on a leash not exceeding nine feet in length, and is under control by a person at all times."
Horses are allowed on a limited number of trails. The regulations are listed in 11 AAC 20.
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.
Yes, in accordance with Department of Fish and Game rules for that Game Management Unit. For hunting regulation information, please visit the ADF&G Regulations Website. Please note that discharge of firearms within 1/4 mile of any developed park facility is prohibited (a developed facility as defined by 11 AAC 12.990 (11): "developed facility" includes a building, boat ramp, campground, picnic area, rest area, visitor information center, swim beach, trailhead, parking area, and a developed ski area; (B) does not include trails or latrines more than one quarter mile from a road;). Target shooting and firearms sighting is prohibited.
Yes, however, no discharge of firearms allowed within a 1/2 mile of a developed facility (a developed facility as defined by 11 AAC 12.340 (15): "developed facility" includes a building, boat ramp, campground, picnic area, rest area, visitor information center, swim beach, trailhead, parking area, and a developed ski area;). Some parks are closed to the discharge of firearms. The use of explosive devices, such as fireworks, is strictly prohibited within all 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
You are prohibited from taking rocks, flowers, plants, fossils, horns, antlers, bones, and historical artifacts from Alaska State Parks.
11 AAC 12.170 (Disturbance of Natural Objects) prohibits removal or disturbance of natural objects.
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.
No, you may not use a metal detector in a state park.
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.
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.
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 PARKING AND BOAT LAUNCH PASSES:
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 $60.00 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 at Recreational Equipment Inc.(REI). The pass is good for one calendar year.
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 five calendar years. Veterans may renew their camping passes once the pass in their possession expires. If you are a disabled veteran, you can apply for a Disabled Veteran's Camping Pass online.
The permit is $150.00 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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
You will need a permit to commercially film or take pictures in Alaska State Parks. See the permit page for most current fee information.
See "How do I reserve a shelter or get a permit for a family, business or church outing?"
VOLUNTEERING AND CONTACT INFORMATION:
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.
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.
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