Important COVID-19 Update [as of September 11, 2021]
Due to COVID-19, the Alaska Public Lands Information Centers have reduced hours and programming for 2021. The Anchorage APLIC is open Monday through Thursday from 10AM - 5PM, closed 12 noon - 1PM, and closed for federal holidays. The Fairbanks APLIC is open Monday through Saturday from 8 AM - 5 PM. The Ketchikan Southeast Discovery Center is open Thursday through Sunday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM until October 2021.
Consistent with CDC guidance regarding areas of substantial or high transmission, visitors to some Alaska Public Lands Information Centers, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask inside all park buildings. Please call ahead if planning to visit and continue to check back for updated information.
Float trips on the Fortymile Wild and Scenic River offer scenic beauty, solitude and glimpses of gold-mining dredges, turn-of-the-century trapper cabins and abandoned townsites. Threading through this rugged landscape, the twisty and picturesque Taylor Highway leads motorists into the heart of the Fortymile and over American Summit to the historic town of Eagle on the Yukon River.
222 University Avenue
Eastern Interior Field Office
Fairbanks, AK 99709
Located at the head of Kachemak Bay, Fox River Flats Critical Habitat Area encompasses expansive intertidal mud flats and a complex of low-lying marshlands in the lower Fox River Valley. Each fall, waterfowl and moose are hunted on the flats. A few bear may also be taken each year. Residents of Kachemak Selo and other non-road communities at the head of Kachemak Bay, as well as cattlemen with grazing leases in the Fox River Valley, are the most frequent visitors to the area year-round
This vast landscape does not contain any roads or human-made trails. Visitors discover intact ecosystems where people have lived with the land for thousands of years. Wild rivers meander through glacier-carved valleys, caribou migrate along age-old trails, endless summer light fades into aurora-lit night skies of winter. Gates of the Arctic remains virtually unchanged except by the forces of nature.
Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines, and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site—one of the world’s largest protected areas. From sea to summit, Glacier Bay offers limitless opportunities for adventure, inspiration, and awe.
Goose Bay wetlands provide an important spring and fall resting and feeding area for waterfowl on their way to and from northern nesting grounds. Over twenty thousand geese stop to rest and feed in the refuge in the spring (mid-April to mid-May). Canada geese are most numerous, with several thousand snow geese and an occasional white-fronted goose sighted as well. Several thousand trumpeter and tundra swans can also be observed in the area during spring migration. Waterbird species known to nest in the wetlands include mallards, green-winged teal, pintails, northern shovelers, snipe, and yellowlegs. Frequently, sandhill cranes can be viewed in the refuge. In the fall, many of these same species stop once again on their way south.
Division of Wildlife Conservation
1800 Glenn Highway #4
Palmer, AK 99645
The Gulkana is one of the most popular sportfishing rivers in Alaska, providing rich habitat for rainbow trout, arctic grayling, king salmon, red salmon, whitefish, longnose suckers, and lamprey. A poplular river for fisherman and boaters in the summer, this river has also played an important role in the lives of the Ahtna, providing access to subsistence resoucres throughout history and pre-history. The most popular Gulkana River float trip begins at BLM's Paxson Lake Campground boat launch located at mp 175 of the Richardson Highway. This 47 river mile float meanders 20 river miles before reaching the Class III/IV Canyon Rapids.
Mile 186.5 Glenn Highway
BLM Glennallen Field Office P.O. Box 147
Glennallen, AK 99588
Located in a transition zone between the wet coastal climate and the dry, cold Interior, the Forest provides suitable conditions for a diversity of plants and wildlife. The Forest is composed mostly of two forest types; western hemlock/Sitka spruce, and black cottonwood/willow. Backcountry logging roads, rivers, and hiking trails provide access to remote areas and abundant recreational opportunities.
The Hatcher Pass Management Area primarily consists of mountainous terrain in the Talkeetna Mountain Range that climb from the 1000 ft. valley floor to summits higher than 6,000 ft. The area includes more than 30 prominent summits and associated glaciers. It can be accessed on paved roads and is only an hour and 20 minutes away from Anchorage, and 20 minutes from either Palmer or Wasilla. Hatcher Pass offers access to extraordinary mountaineering terrain, beautiful mountain scenery, gold panning, berry picking, hiking, biking and horseback riding in the summer. It also offers mountain skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the winter.
The Critical Habitat Area is located within the City of Homer and provides important habitat for over a hundred species of birds and provides critical winter habitat for the local moose population. Recreational activities, including wildlife viewing sites, are easily accessed and can be enjoyed in all seasons. A wildlife-viewing platform is located across the street from the Homer Airport passenger terminal at the end of FAA Drive.
The Iditarod National Historic Trail commemorates a 2,300-mile system of winter trails that first connected ancient Alaska Native villages, opened up Alaska for the last great American gold rush, and now plays a vital role for travel and recreation in modern day Alaska. Over 1,500 miles of the historic winter trail system are open today for public use across state and federal lands. The Bureau of Land Management, under the National Trails Act, is the designated Trail Administrator, and works to coordinate efforts by federal and state agencies on behalf of the entire trail. BLM maintains about 150 miles of the trail, including five public shelter cabins.
4700 BLM Road
Anchorage Field Office
Anchorage, AK 99507
What is now called Independence Mine was once two mines: The Alaska Free Gold (Martin) Mine on Skyscraper Mountain, and Independence Mine on Granite Mountain. In 1938 the two were bought together under one company, the Alaska-Pacific Consolidated Mining Company (APC). With a block of 83 mining claims, APC became the largest producer in the Willow Creek Mining District. In 1974, Independence Mine was entered into the National Register of Historic Places, a list of cultural resources significant to American history. Today you can walk around the old structures in summer or ski the area's groomed trails in the winter.
23264 Gold Cord Rd
Independence Mine State Historical Park
Palmer, AK 99645
The Innoko National Wildlife Refuge typifies wilderness. With no inhabited human settlements, no roads, and a lack of easy access to the Refuge, human visitors are few and far between. However, an abundance of summer migrant and year-round resident wildlife call the Innoko Refuge home. Recreational opportunities abound and difficult access ensures a chance to experience unparalleled solitude.
101 Front St.
Po Box 287 MS 525
Galena, AK 99741-0287
On the rooftop of the world, the Iñupiat Heritage Center in Utqiagvik, Alaska, tells the story of the Iñupiat people who have thrived for thousands of years in one of the harshest climates on Earth, hunting the bowhead whale. In the 19th century, these lonely seas swarmed with commercial whalemen from New England, who also sought the bowhead for its valuable baleen and blubber.
5421 North Star Street
P.O Box 69
Barrow, AK 99723
The Izembek National Wildlife Refuge is the smallest and one of the most ecologically unique of Alaska's refuges. This diverse wilderness protects a wide variety of fish and wildlife species and their habitats. These include five species of salmon; furbearers such as wolf, fox and wolverine; large mammals such as caribou, moose and brown bears; shorebirds; seabirds; and an incredible array of waterfowl, to name just a few.
Izembek State Game Refuge serves as a major migratory staging area for most of the world's population of black brant, emperor geese and Steller's eiders, and plays host to thousands of northern pintails, mallards, long-tailed ducks, and multiple species of scoters. The area has received worldwide recognition as a "Wetland of International Importance." After the geese and dabbling ducks depart for southern wintering grounds, Steller's, king, and common eiders, black and white-winged scoters, and red-breasted mergansers remain to winter in the ice-free waters of the lagoon. Shorebirds are most numerous in the fall when they probe vast intertidal expanses of mud and sand for food at low tide. Rock sandpipers are among the most common and can be seen year-round. Bald eagles are also regularly viewed along the shore.
Easy access, outstanding recreational opportunities, and a diverse and productive environment make Kachemak Bay important to residents and visitors alike. Fish and shellfish populations abound year-round, supporting several significant fisheries. In the spring, summer, and fall, the bay hosts tens of thousands of feeding waterfowl, shorebirds, and seabirds. In the winter, marine mammals and waterbirds remain in the bay's protected waters.
Alaska's first state park, and only wilderness park, contains roughly 400,000 acres of mountains, glaciers, forests and ocean. The bay's twisted rock formations are evidence of the movement of the earth's crust. Highlighted by constantly changing weather patterns, the park's outstanding scenery is a backdrop for high quality recreation. Opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and camping are prime!
Located on Kalgin Island in Lower Cook Inlet east of Redoubt Bay and approximately 20 miles southwest of Kenai, Kalgin Island Critical Habitat Area is a flat green expanse of wetlands surrounding Swamp Creek. The critical habitat area provides spring and fall resting and feeding habitat for swans, geese, ducks, and shorebirds and is an important alternative habitat used each year by a portion of the thousands of waterfowl that use nearby Redoubt Bay wetlands.
At 1.637 million acres, Kanuti Refuge is about the size of the state of Delaware. The Refuge straddles the Arctic Circle, with approximately a third of the Refuge above the Circle and two-thirds below. Kanuti Refuge is a prime example of Alaska's boreal ecosystem, in which the forests are dominated by black and white spruces with Alaskan birch, aspen, and poplar trees occurring less commonly.
Katmai National Monument was established in 1918 to protect the volcanically devastated region surrounding Mount Katmai and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Today, Katmai National Park and Preserve remains an active volcanic landscape, but it also protects important habitat for salmon, thousands of brown bears, and 9,000 years of human history.
PO Box 7
1000 Silver St., Bldg. 603
King Salmon, AK 99613
At the edge of the Kenai Peninsula lies a land where the ice age lingers. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords' crowning feature. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. Native Alutiiq peoples relied on these resources to nurture a life entwined with the sea. Today, shrinking glaciers bear witness to the effects of our changing climate.
1212 4th Avenue (summer)
411 Washington Street (winter)
Seward, AK 99664
At the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge your opportunities for outdoor adventures extend year-round and include world-class fishing, hunting, hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, and camping. Whether you choose to fish or float the emerald waters of the Kenai River or experience wilderness solitude canoeing in lowland lakes or hiking high into the alpine tundra, you are sure to create life-long and indelible memories.
P.O. Box 2139
Ski Hill Rd.
Soldotna, AK 99669-2139
Kenai River Special Management Area is Alaska’s largest sport fishery, world renowned for its record-sized Chinook salmon. The Kenai River is an angler’s paradise, boasting all five species of Pacific salmon and large rainbow trout. All in all, 36 different species of fish, call the mighty Kenai River home. Fish and anglers aren’t the only ones who benefit from the remarkable Kenai; bald eagles, caribou, trumpeter swans, moose, and bears are just a few of the inhabitants that make the Kenai River a prime location for watchable wildlife.
35850 Lou Morgan Road
P.O. Box 1247
Soldotna, AK 99669
Headlines screamed "Gold!" The dream of a better life catapulted thousands of people to Alaska and the Yukon Territory. While their journey shaped them, it also changed the north and it’s people forever. Today, the park welcomes visitors to relive the trails, boomtowns, and stories of the Klondike Gold Rush.
Caribou, sand dunes, the Kobuk River, Onion Portage - just some of the many features of Kobuk Valley National Park. The Kobuk River is an ancient and current path for people and wildlife. For 9000 years, people have come to Onion Portage to harvest caribou from herds half a million strong, as the animals swim the river and crisscross sculpted dunes.
Kodiak: the “Island of the Great Bear.” In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in order to protect the genetically distinct Kodiak bears and their habitat. Today, the refuge has a global conservation role - to instill regard for bears, salmon, and other wildlife; to protect interdependent species of fish, wildlife and plants within the largest intact, pristine island ecosystem in North America; and to ensure compatible management of wildlife, subsistence, recreation, and economic uses of refuge resources.
Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge was established to conserve waterfowl, other migratory birds, moose, caribou, furbearers, and salmon; to fulfill treaty obligations; to provide for continued subsistence uses, and to ensure necessary water quality and quantity. Headquarters for the Koyukuk Refuge are located in Galena, Alaska and in 1990, staffs of the Koyukuk and Nowitna Refuges were joined to create the Koyukuk/Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which also includes the Northern Unit of the Innoko Refuge.
101 Front Street
P.O. Box 287 MS 525
Galena, AK 99741-0287
Lake Clark National Park is a land of stunning beauty where volcanoes steam, salmon run, bears forage, craggy mountains reflect in shimmering turquoise lakes, and local people and their culture still depend on the land and water. Solitude is found around every bend in the river and shoulder of a mountain. Venture into the park to become part of the wilderness.
1 Park Place
Port Alsworth, AK 99653
Nestled in the southern foothills of the Talkeetna Mountains east of the Little Susitna River lies the 130,000 acre Matanuska Valley Moose Range. The lands within the Range support abundant fish and wildlife populations, contain marketable timber products and high-valued coal reserves and provide a variety of outdoor recreational and cultural opportunities. The area also has abundant water resources and can provide for limited grazing opportunities.
The Alaska State Legislature designated the McNeil River area as a wildlife sanctuary in 1967 (and enlarged it in 1993) to protect the world's largest concentration of wild brown bears. As many as 144 individual bears have been observed at McNeil River through the summer with as many as 74 bears observed at one time! The sanctuary protects about 200 square miles of wildlife habitat and is located approximately 250 air miles (400 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage and 100 air miles (160 kilometers) west of Homer.
At the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge, land and sea meet and intermingle in saltwater wetlands. When fresh water flows into this mixture, the result is a diverse habitat that supports varied plant and animal life. The Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge is enjoyed year-round by residents and visitors alike. Waterfowl hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing and photography, boating, fishing, scientific and educational studies, and general sightseeing are popular activities.
The Minto Flats State Game Refuge encompasses approximately 500,000 acres and is located about 35 miles west of Fairbanks between the communities of Minto and Nenana. The refuge was established by the Alaska Legislature in 1988 to ensure the protection and enhancement of habitat, the conservation of fish and wildlife, and to guarantee the continuation of hunting, fishing, trapping, and other compatible public uses within the Minto Flats area.
1300 College Road
Division of Wildlife Conservation
Fairbanks, AK 99701-1551
Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is different from most Alaskan park areas. It is one of the few flat, lake-studded landscapes in Alaska preserved for recreation purposes. The recreation area's clear waters are ringed with unspoiled forests, and provide tranquil settings for canoeing, fishing, hiking and camping. In winter, the rolling topography is ideal for cross-country skiing, dog mushing and snowmachining.
Nancy Lake Ranger Station Mile 1.3 Nancy Lake Pkwy.
P.O. Box 10
Willow, AK 99688
Formerly known as the Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4,the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is now a vast 22.8-million acre area on Alaska's North Slope. In 1923, mindful of the land's conceivable petroleum value, President Harding set aside this area as an emergency oil supply for the U.S. Navy. In 1976, in accordance with the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act, the administration of the reserve was transferred to the Department of the Interior, more specifically the Bureau of Land Management, and was renamed to what is now known as the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
Barrow Field Station
P.O. Box 250
Barrow, AK 99723
As one of North America's largest mountain-ringed river basins with an intact ecosystem, the Noatak River environs features some of the Arctic's finest arrays of plants and animals. The river is classified as a national wild and scenic river, and offers stunning wilderness float-trip opportunities - from deep in the Brooks Range to the tidewater of the Chukchi Sea.
Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge was established to conserve trumpeter swans, other waterfowl and migratory birds, moose, caribou, martens, other furbearers, salmon, sheefish, and northern pike; to fulfill treaty obligations; to provide for continued subsistence uses; and to ensure necessary water quality and quantity. In 1990, staffs of the Koyukuk and Nowitna Refuges were joined to create the Koyukuk/Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which also includes the Northern Unit of the Innoko Refuge.
101 Front Street
P.O. Box 287 MS 525
Galena, AK 99741-0287
In the early 1800s, Russians built a settlement at this site along Starrigavan Bay. Today, the site is designated as Old Sitka State Historical Park. Located 7 miles north of downtown Sitka, this park offers a variety of recreational opportunities. This site has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and interpretive panels provide information about the history of this site. A public use boat launch and dock allow boaters to access ocean waters north of Sitka. The Forest Muskegs trail is a 1.25 mile barrier free trail with a self guiding brochure that has information about the natural and cultural history of this area. The Mosquito Cove trail (1.5 miles long) provides an opportunity to hike along Starrigavan Bay and Mosquito Cove in the coastal spruce and hemlock forest. Old Sitka State Historical Park is located within walking distance of the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry Terminal and the US Forest Service Starrigavan Campground.
Created in 1975, this Upper Cook Inlet refuge located near Wasilla protects 28,800 acres of coastal and freshwater wetlands, tidal sloughs and mudflats, lakes and streams, as well as upland birch forests. Today, easy access and proximity to over half of Alaska's population has made the Palmer Hay Flats refuge one of the most important year-round wildlife and outdoor recreational areas in the state. While the refuge is mostly undeveloped, several sites provide parking and access to marked trails, streams and lakes. Waterfowl hunting, bird dog (retriever) training, trapping, bird watching, nature study, hiking, sport fishing, canoeing and winter snow machining and cross-country skiing provide diverse opportunities for those wishing to enjoy the refuge.
In the fall, Pilot Point Critical Habitat Area is a particularly important feeding and staging area for the world's population of cackling Canada geese. No public access to the areas has been developed, and public use facilities do not exist in these critical habitat areas. Access is by small plane or boat.
Located 100 miles (161 km) northeast of Fairbanks, this 27-mile (44 km) trail traverses a series of alpine ridge tops entirely above timberline. The Pinnell Mountain Trail is marked with rock cairns as it crosses open tundra with views north to the Yukon River and south to the Alaska Range. Wooden posts along the trail show the mileage from the start at Eagle Summit (milepost 107 on the Steese Highway) to the trail’s end at Twelvemile Summit (milepost 85.5, Steese Highway). Two emergency shelters provide refuge from storms, but hikers should come prepared for unpredictable, dramatic weather. Sections of the trail are the farthest south, accessible points in Alaska where you can see the dip low near the horizon but not set in mid-summer - the 'midnight sun.'
222 University Avenue
Eastern Interior Field Office
Fairbanks, AK 99709-3488