About Alaska State Parks

About Alaska State Parks
Vacationing and adventuring in Alaska sometimes is a more crowded affair than visitors might expect. Silly as it sounds, though this northern behemoth is America's second least populated state, it becomes a bit congested and crowded during the peak summer tourism season, especially in the National Parks like Denali, Kenai Fjords or the Chilkoot Trail section of Klondike Gold Rush National Park. The Alaska State Park system is a less utilized alternative often overlooked by visitors and a great option for crowd-free adventuring.

Denali State Park

Denali State Park abuts the better known Denali National Park. Occupying 325,240 acres and about half the size of Rhode Island, Denali State Park features ridge hiking, public use cabins for nightly rent and views of Denali--the tallest mountain in North America. There is no entrance fee to head out onto its trails or the backcountry. Hiking trails around the Byers Lake region bring you up into the high country where visitors can go ridge hiking dozens of miles through alpine tundra. Backcountry camping is allowed anywhere you wish. Denali State Park has public use cabins available by the night. Reservations are made through the ranger district phone number or online at reservationusa.com. The park is home to grizzly and black bear, moose, caribou, wolves, fox, wolverine, Dall sheep, mountain goats, trumpeter and tundra swans, golden and bald eagles and many other bird species.

Denali State Park
Mile 135 to Mile 164
George Parks Highway, AK 99683
907-269-8400
dnr.alaska.gov

Wood Tikchik State Park

Wood Tikchik State Park is a fly-in park located northwest of Anchorage. The remote nature of the park lends itself to a crowd-free wilderness experience. Camping is allowed anywhere you like, unless the area is posted for fisheries or habitat restoration by the state park rangers. Fishing throughout the park is of particular interest as all five species of Pacific salmon run through the park each year. Sockeye, chum, king, silver and pink salmon traverse the lakes and rivers of this area. Grizzly bear, black bear, moose, wolves, fox, eagles and wolverine are among the many species of bird and animal that call the region home. There is no fee to use the park. Air charters are available in Anchorage or Dillingham.

Wood Tikchik State Park
P.O. Box 1822
Dillingham, AK 99576
907-842-2641
dnr.alaska.gov

Mosquito Lake State Recreational Site

Mosquito Lake State Recreational Site presents a quiet getaway in southeast Alaska. During summer, national parks like Glacier Bay, over the ridge from Mosquito Lake, are crowded with cruise ships. The small lakes around towns like Haines or Skagway are usually filled with day hikers and tourists and can become crowded. The Alaska State Park/Recreational Site at Mosquito Lake offers a refuge from the crowds. Fishing, camping, boating, bird-watching, wildlife viewing and climbing in the park are all available, often without crowds. There is no fee to use the park.

Mosquito Lake State Recreational Site
2.5 mile Mosquito Lake Rd.
Haines, AK 99864
907-269-8400
dnr.alaska.gov

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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