Park Condition Reports

Last Update: December 15, 2017

News Releases


Denali State Park opens to snowmobiles

December 7, 2017 (Wasilla, AK) – Alaska State Parks has opened Denali State Park to snowmobiles after staff determined there is now sufficient snow to protect the underlying vegetation in the park.

Riders are cautioned that ice conditions vary throughout the park and open water still exists on creeks and rivers. All other state parks in Southcentral Alaska remain closed to snowmobiles, including Nancy Lake State Recreation Area and the Hatcher Pass-East Management Area. For current snow conditions, go to: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/curevnts.htm.

CONTACT: Superintendent Wayne Biessel, 907-745-8935, wayne.biessel@alaska.gov


Mat-Su/Copper Basin Area Citizens Advisory Board Vacancies

November 30, 2017 (Wasilla, AK) – Alaska State Parks Citizen Advisory Boards assist park staff with management and development issues. The size of an advisory board varies between 7 and 15. Appointments are made by the Director of Alaska State Parks for up to three year terms. If you would like to serve on a board please fill out the Alaska State Park Advisory Board Application, and mail or email it to the Mat-Su Area Headquarters at dnr.matsuparks@alaska.gov. Meetings are open to the public and are usually held at 7pm in Palmer on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, October through May.

The opinions expressed through the regular meetings help State Parks to serve the public better. The next regular meeting will be held at 7:00pm on Tuesday, December 5 at the Palmer State Forestry Conference Room. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend.

CONTACT: Superintendent Wayne Biessel, 907-745-8935, wayne.biessel@alaska.gov


Alaska State Parks will waive parking fees for day after Thanksgiving

November 16, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) – Vehicle parking will be free for the day at Alaska state parks on Friday, Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving, in conjunction with the national #OptOutside campaign. Park visitors are encouraged to share their outdoor adventures on that day, and throughout the winter holiday season, on social media with the hashtags #OptOutside and #AKStateParks.

Debuted two years ago by REI, #OptOutside occurs on Black Friday and encourages people across the country to get outdoors during the holidays. State parks systems are among the hundreds of organizations that have joined in support.

Ideas for opting outside include skiing the groomed Nordic trails in Hatcher Pass, snowmachining in the Chena River State Recreation Area, visiting the public use cabins at Eagle Beach in Juneau, or showing off Chugach State Park to visiting friends and relatives. These are just a few ideas – there are so many ways to enjoy your state parks throughout the holidays. To plan an adventure, go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/.

State park fees help keep Alaska State Parks running. For information about these fees, go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/unitfees.htm.

CONTACT: Ethan Tyler, 907-269-8701, ethan.tyler@alaska.gov


Albert Loop Trail reopened at Eagle River Nature Center

November 3, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) – Effective today, the Albert Loop Trail located near the Eagle River Nature Center in Chugach State Park is reopened for public use. The trail is closed between late summer and winter freeze-up to reduce the potential for human-bear encounters.

Even though the trail has been reopened, bear encounters are still possible and trail users should take appropriate precautions. Be prepared to encounter a bear and be knowledgeable in recognizing bear behavior and responding to an encounter.

CONTACT: Kurt Hensel, Chugach State Park, 907-345-5014, csp@alaska.gov


Alaska Office of Boating Safety receives national recognition

September 18, 2017 (Anchorage, AK) – The Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation’s Office of Boating Safety was recently recognized with three awards at the 2017 conference of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

Education Specialist Kelli Toth was named the 2017 National Boating Safety Educator of the Year. This award symbolizes the highest level of achievement among boating safety educators in the U.S. Among her many accomplishments since Toth joined the Office of Boating Safety in 2011, the total number of students attending Kids Don’t Float education program classes has swelled to over 75,761.

“In a profession where outstanding work is the standard, Kelli’s passion and dedication are above exemplary,” said Alaska State Parks Director Ethan Tyler.

The Office of Boating Safety also won the NASBLA Innovations Award, presented to a program or initiative that demonstrates the highest level of innovation leading to advances in boating safety. The annual award was established to bring greater visibility to exemplary state, corporate or public-private partnership programs and to encourage the sharing of these initiatives with other agencies and recreational boating safety stakeholders.

Boating Law Administrator Jeff Johnson was inducted into the National Boating Safety Council’s National Boating Safety Hall of Fame. Inductees are chosen from among those who have demonstrated vital leadership and support through many years of service to boating safety.

“Jeff was the State of Alaska’s first official Boating Law Administrator in 1998. Credit is due to Jeff for the establishment and the many successes of the Alaska Boating Safety Program to date,” Tyler said.

“These awards from NASBLA are the result of years of tireless work and amazing passion for protecting and educating Alaskans. This state is so very fortunate to have people like Jeff and Kelli with such commitment to boating safety in Alaska, and I am proud to be on their team,” Tyler said.

CONTACT: Jeff Johnson, 907-269-8705, jeff.johnson@alaska.gov