Welcome to the main page for Alaska State Parks. This page is designed to provide information related to the many state parks located in the state of Alaska. Below you will a list of all the state parks in Alaska along with the address of the parks. Click on the links below for the individual state parks where you can find detailed information specific to that park.
The State of Alaska Park Quick Facts: 34 State Parks | 23 National Wildlife Refuges | 6 Wildlife Management Areas | 5 Nation Preserves | 3 State Forests | 2 National Parks | 2 National Forests | 2 National Historic Sites | 2 National Historic Park So many beautiful resources in one State; Priceless
Chugach State Park Highlight Video
Check out this highlight video for Chugach State Park in Alaska.
Alaska State Parks Activities
Camping in the largest national park in the United States is certainly an experience like no other! The primitive sites at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve are highly coveted, perfect for those who want a rustic adventure with stunning
views of the surrounding nature.
Those who prefer another sort of view – one of the rock faces, waterfalls, and the gentle waves of the bay – would do well to reserve a spot in the camping sites at Thumb Cove State Marine Park. As one of the most scenic and popular anchorages in Resurrection Bay, the park’s numerous campgrounds are always in demand. Some cabins may also be rented – Porcupine Glacier and Spruce Glacier, which are equipped with two bunk beds, a wood stove, and some basic furniture. Where ever you decide to go camping, follow our camping checklist to make sure you don’t forget any camping gear you need for your trip.
Chugach State Park in south-central Alaska is home to some of the best hiking trails in the state. The Lost Lake Trail at approximately 13.8 miles is a scenic and breathtaking hike that begins at the rainforest and passes through numerous lakes and meadows.
The hike to Flattop Mountain, the state’s most visited peak, is also a popular trail with its easy climb and panoramic views of Anchorage, Chugach Range, Cook Inlet, and the Alaska Range.
On the other hand, history buffs will enjoy the park’s Crow Pass Trail, which follows part of the Historic Iditarod Trail used in the past by Alaska’s indigenous people. The full trail is over 21 miles long and takes a couple of days to finish, albeit the scenery of its surroundings, which include the Raven Gorge and Crystal Lake, make up for its length. However, an option to hike only part of the trail is also available.
Before we get started, first things first. When you go backpacking in Alaska, make sure you bring bear spray to help you avoid a bear attack. Many backpackers love to explore the expansive tundras of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve although these low wetlands can be a challenge for those inexperienced in such environments. Those longing for adventure will love this National Preserve as it also features Lava Fields with jagged terrain and tough River Crossings without bridges or rope crossings.
The Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is also a favored destination among backpackers. The park’s mountain ridges, vistas, dense vegetation, and a multitude of the stream and river crossings attract only the daring and the bold! It can be pretty cold at times in Alaska so it may be a good idea to bring a thermometer with you in your pack. We reviewed some of the best backpacking thermometer for your trek.
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve boasts of a great many pristine fishery habits where anglers have the chance to catch King Salmons, Arctic Graylings, Northern Pikes, and more. The peak season of July and August with its salmon runs is considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for anglers across the United States.
Many unique fishing opportunities may also be found in Katmai National Park & Preserve, situated in the Katmai region whose tourism history is tightly woven with the art and intricacies of sport fishing. Many of the area’s tourist facilities were initially built to develop its fishing spots. However, those fishing in this park, especially during its annual salmon runs, should take extra care and precaution as brown bears are frequently seen around the streams.
There are plenty of Geocaching opportunities in Denali State Park. In fact, one of the hidden caches within the park is described to be a 6×6-inch lock by lock and requires a little bushwacking to be uncovered.
Wood-Tikchik State Park in southwestern Alaska is known for the many hunting opportunities that it offers to visitors. Their Brown Bear and Wolf hunts have proven to be very popular although experienced hunters may want to opt for their self-guided Moose hunts instead. While the park’s hunting fees include lodging, meals, transportation, and the use of a snowmobile, be advised that it does not cover your hunting licenses, tags, and shipping costs.
Day Use Areas
For an unforgettable picnic, Chugach State Park is the place to be! Work up an appetite by hiking the approximately 4.5 miles to Rabbit Lake where you can eat your meal while taking in the view of the lake’s peaceful waters and towering
On the other hand, Nabesna Road at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is a favorite picnic spot among residents. It is recommended to drive down this stretch slowly to better take in the surrounding landscapes. From your picnic table, the sight of lush forests, the Slana River, and snowy mountain peaks await.
Bikers unafraid of a challenge will love the trails that sweep through the Matanuska State Recreation Area. The views of beautiful lakes and rolling fields make up for the track’s tight and twisty turns! Bikers love to explore the park’s vast trails and claim that looping through the same one is an impossible feat.
Boat rentals are available at Big Lake North State Recreation Site, famous for its tranquil waters and stunning surroundings. It is especially popular in the summer season when hordes of visitors come to enjoy the site’s many recreational opportunities.
King Mountain Recreation Site is also another hotspot when it comes to boating. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the waters of the mighty Matanuska River, shielded from the sun in the shadows of King Mountain.
Denali State Park is a Birder’s paradise! The park’s thick forests, groves, and river valleys are home to hundreds of bird species, a sight of which thrills Bird-watchers of all ages. Commonly-observed ones include the American Robin, the Arctic Warbler, and the Black-billed Magpie.
Another Birding hotspot in Alaska is the Kenai Fjords National Park where plenty
of unique birds can be seen in the little caves nestled at the tip of the cape. From the Kenai River Viewing Platform, try to catch a glimpse of owls with your binoculars, as well as of other wildlife animals including beluga whales and harbor seals.
Alaska may not be the first state you think of when it comes to swimming but the state has a variety of swimming holes that are perfect for cooling off in the summertime. Many love to swim in the blue, spring-fed waters of Eagle Lake within Chugach State Park. However, the park also has another popular swimming spot – Symphony Lake, whose unique turquoise color stems from the glacier silt deposited in it. If you have never tried a full face snorkel mask, they are great, especially for kids.
The hikes to these swimming holes may be long and tiring, but their cool waters and the surrounding views are definitely worth it!
Within Denali State Park lies Mount Denali, the highest mountain in North America. With plenty of different routes of varying heights and difficulties, climbing the mountain is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many. One of the more well-known routes is Cassin Ridge on the South Face of the mountain. It is a challenging, icy climb that only experienced climbers should take on. If you are looking to find the best rock climbing shoes for beginners we have a few suggestions for you here.
Many climbers also love to take on the challenge of glacier travel at Harding Icefield,
located at Kenai Fjords National Park. With deep crevasses concealed all over the route, groups exploring the icefield are required to be good skiers, well-versed in crevasse rescue techniques, and must be roped to each other.
One of the best ATV trails in Alaska can be found at White Mountains National Recreation Area whose routes take you through stunning views of interior Alaska.
Gallop through the beautiful scenery of Chugach State Park! With its lush forests, broad meadows, and the occasional glimpse of moose, the park’s horseback riding
trail is considered to be the best in Alaska. As the trails can go from sea level to an elevation of 2500ft, it is extremely popular with accomplished equestrians wishing to improve their skills.
The horseback riding excursion at Denali State Park may appeal to those who desire a more rustic and old-timey experience. Two draft horses pull a large covered wagon through the Alaskan tundra as guides explain the state’s history, culture, and national treasures. This blast from the past is fun for the entire family!
Recreational Equipment Rentals
Adventurous visitors may want to visit Big Lake North State Recreation Site where jet skis and water skis may be rented. These recreational activities are extremely popular during the long summer months when visitors from all over the state come to cool off in the lake’s still waters.
On the other hand, those who prefer to explore Alaska’s wilderness more memorably can do so at Sunny Cove State Marine Park where one can kayak in
clear blue waters teeming with whales, puffins, and alpine glaciers. The park also offers guided tours where professionals guide the kayaks along several marine habitats. Take in the stunning view of humpback whales breaching in glacial fjords and orcas silently gliding by your kayak in search of salmon.
Restaurants and Dining
The Cabin Nite Dinner Theater at Denali State Park is perfect for those looking to enjoy a night of fun, festivity, and food! Set inside a log cabin in the park’s Mining Plaza, diners enjoy their meal while watching a hilarious performance set during the Klondike Gold Rush in early 1900s Alaska. The all-you-can-eat meal also features traditional dishes with local ingredients including Alaskan Salmon, Barbecue Ribs, Berry Cobbler, and more.
Within the park lies another unique dining experience – the 229 Parks Restaurant and Tavern whose food reflects the state’s bounty of sustainable and seasonal ingredients. The restaurant’s menu changes daily, ensuring that your meal tomorrow will not be the same as the one tonight.
Many foodies also enjoy eating at the historic Gustavus Inn in Glacier Bay National Park. The inn, which has been run by the Lesh family for over three generations, is situated in the middle of a grassy meadow and overlooks the Icy Strait. Meals are served family-style with homemade granola for breakfast and freshly-caught salmon for dessert.
Learn and experience history with the sizable museum collection at Denali State Park, which features more than 370,000 artifacts, specimens, journals, fossils, and more. These valuable pieces of the past showcase the rich and colorful history of the region.
Naturally, Alaska’s state parks and recreation sites offer a ton of activities for winter sports fanatics. Denali State Park is popular with skiers who find the park’s hiking trails great for cross-country skiing. Additionally, the park also offers visitors snowshoeing, winter biking, and excursions following sled dog trails. Chugach State Park is also a bucket-list destination for skiers hoping to
accomplish the Arctic to Indian traverse. This 21-mile route takes you across ice bridges, cottonwood groves, tundra valleys, and snow-laced peaks, – definitely an experience to remember! Alaska can be a pretty cold place. You may want to consider a heated jacket for your outdoor adventures to keep you nice and warm.
Those with a more tranquil approach to winter sports will want to take a trip to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve where ice fishing is a beloved activity among locals and tourists alike.
Majestic purple mountains, beautifully spacious skies stretching over amber-colored grain waving in the wind, and great plains laden with fruit—all bookended by great seas that shine in the sun; the poem that became the song [...]
Explore America’s State Parks From Coast To Coast
Below is a table for the 50 States in the US, with a link to the state parks pages for each state. Each state park page has a list of state parks, along with the address. You can link to the individual parks from there.