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Logo bar of the Alaska Public Lands Information Centers which are located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Tok and Ketchikan
Smoke rises from a volcanic caldera in Katmai National Park and Preserve.
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Outdoor FAQ's
 
 
Flattop Mountain on a sunny day in the background with a well-maintained trail leading to it.
Alaska DNR
Flattop Mountain trail in the Chugach State Park.

Where can we go hiking that is not far from Anchorage?

The Chugach State Park contains approximately 495,000 acres of land and is situated right around Anchorage. The Hillside Trail System is one of the most heavily used systems in all of Alaska, due to its close location to Anchorage. The Glenn Alps Webcam is a great way to check out the current parking and weather situations at one of the trailheads. The Municipality of Anchorage Parks and Recreation offers 250 miles of trails and greenbelts right in Anchorage, like Kincaid Park.



Two backpackers rest while trekking in Denali's vast backcountry.
NPS
Alaska has many scenic, well marked trails, perfect for long and short backpacking excursions.

Where can I go backpacking in Alaska?

While backpacking in Alaska, you can either stick to the trails or go off-trail and navigate your own expedition. All public land agencies in Alaska (including state and federal,) maintain many designated on-trail as well as off-trail backpacking opportunities. You may need a back country permit for some areas, so once you figure out where you want to go, contact the managing agency for more information and to get the latest updates/reports.

For more information about backpacking in Denali, visit the Denali National Park & Preserve Backcountry Information page. 



A mountain biker flys down a trail in the lush greenery.
Alyeska Resort
Just 40 minutes south of Anchorage, Alyeska Resort offers exceptional views and steep trails for the adventurous mountain biker.

Are there mountain biking opportunities in Alaska?

Alaska is home to many multi-use trails on which mountain biking is acceptable. In Anchorage, the very popular Hillside Trail System in Chugach State Park offers spectacular trails, as well as the municipal Kincaid Park. 

Most state and federal land management agencies in Alaska offer mountain biking/multi-use trails. Once you decide where you want to go, be sure to contact the agency to find trail specifics, the latest updates, and reports. 



A small log cabin sits in front of snow capped mountains and tall Spruce trees.
NPS
A typical public use cabin is constructed from log, like this one in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Where are the public use cabins?

Both state and federal public land agencies have public use wilderness cabins. Cabins are located all throughout Alaska on trails, lakes, streams, ocean shorelines and in alpine areas. Since these cabins are managed by different agencies, each agency has their own guidelines for rental. It is best to first decide where you want to go - north towards Fairbanks, or south towards Seward, for example - and then find out which agency or agencies are in the area and finally, where the cabins are located. Find out more on our Public Use Cabins page.



A distant shot of a fisherman in a red, hooded rain coat and tan fishing waders, standing on a rock while casting a line into a beautiful, teal green river. Lush green bushes are on the far shore.
Catching an Alaskan Salmon is a dream come true for most visitors.

Where can I sport fish in Alaska?

Fishing opportunities are everywhere in Alaska. The most popular areas are going to be the areas that are connected along the road system, but many places like the Bristol Bay area are not along the road system and are world class fishing spots. The Department of Fish and Game has Sport Fishing Regulations for every part of Alaska. It very important that you pick up the regulations to educate yourself on what you can and can not do, also the regulations tend to change during the summer and keeping up to date with public notices is a must. Some public land agencies may also have specific regulations for the particular park/area so it is essential to contact the agency for the latest updates and reports. Don't forget about getting a fishing license too.



To the left, a blue, tidewater glacier meets a calm ocean surface. A large, rocky mountain peak takes up much of the frame. Small ice chunks float in the foreground.
Kayaking up to one of Alaska's tidewater glaciers is a phenomenal experience.

Where can you kayak/canoe in Alaska?

Many people go down south to the Kenai Peninsula to kayak around Resurrection Bay by the seaside community of Seward. With over 3 million lakes in Alaska there are endless opportunities for canoeing/kayaking. Finding a area that you would like to explore first is always the best start to planning your trip.



An older woman with furry earmuffs and a heavy purple coat stands next to a young girl in a matching blue coat and hat, who is looking though binoculars. They are surrounded by snow-covered trees.
Bird watching is a little more relaxing in winter, when one doesn't need to worry as much about bears.

What safety concerns do I need to know about the wildlife of Alaska?

Alaska is unique with its abundance of wildlife that strive in the Last Frontier. Some wildlife safety tips:

To avoid the bears make sure to: 

  • Make noise while hiking to alert bears of your presence.
  • Use bear Resistant Food Containers and store them 100 yards from cooking areas and tent sites.
  • Be alert for bears and alter your activity to avoid them.
  • Never run from a bear.
  • Pepper spray can be carried as an added precaution. However, it is useful only as a last resort in the event of an emergency, and should not be viewed as substitute for proper backcountry behavior.
  • Also check out our Bear Safety page at https://www.alaskacenters.gov/bear-safety.cfm
Tips for all other wildlife:
  • Do not feed or allow wildlife to obtain human foods.
  • Maintain a minimum of 300 yards distance from bears.
  • Do not approach or follow wildlife. Maintain a minimum of 25 yards distance from all other animals, dens, and nests.
  • If your presence alters an animal's behavior, you are too close.
  • Also check out our Wildlife Etiquette page at https://www.alaskacenters.gov/wildlife-etiquette.cfm


Distant profile shot of a caribou with a very large rack standing on green tundra. A stream and an overcast sky are in the background.
Caribou are popular quarry for subsistence and game hunters alike in Alaska.

Where can I find information on hunting in Alaska?

One of the best sources for general information on hunt planning, equipment, rules and requirements is the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Fish and Game Offices are open Monday through Friday, 8 am-5pm, except for state holidays.



A wide, well groomed cross country ski trail is in the foreground. A spruce forest marks the horizon and a snow covered mountain towers in background. The sky is clear and blue.
Chris Smith
Wide, groomed ski trails abound in the state.

Where can you cross-country ski in Alaska?

Kincaid park and the hill side trail system are great places to cross-country ski with a variety of trails and levels ranging from beginner to the elite athlete. These two parks have some of the best trails because they are regularly maintained, groomed and have a good portion of the trails that are lit. Most city trails are compatable for skate skiing and track skiing.


A man in a bright red coat rides a yellow snowmachine  on a well groomed trail.
Snowmachines are used both for fun weekend adventures and as a primary mode of transportation.

Where can you snowmachine in Alaska?

Snowmachining in Alaska is available on many public use areas as long as there is enough snow cover. Make sure that you check with the agency first to get the latest updates and reports. And if you are riding in the back country, avalanche training is a skill that can mean the difference between life and death.

For information on snowmachining near Anchorage at Chugach State Park, go to Alaska Department of Natural Resources



6-lb-smoothbore

Can I carry firearms while visiting Alaska's public lands?

Answers vary depending on which land agency manages the area in question, so it's best to contact the agency itself for the latest information on restrictions.
Are firearms the best choice when considering ways to protect yourself from wildlife? Probably not; bear spray and other safety precautions are proven methods for preventing dangerous interactions with bears and other wildlife.
To learn more about applicable state and federal laws regarding the possession of firearms, go to Denali National Park's Firearms Information page.


USGS topo 220 X 220

Where can we pick up quality topographic maps in Anchorage to use on our trip?

The US Geological Survey Map Store at Alaska Pacific University closed down on 10/31/14. The operator of the store, Alaska Geographic, sells the most popular USGS maps at its new retail store at 241 North C St in Anchorage's Ship Creek District. Most USGS products are now online and can be downloaded free.





biker on Denali National Park road
Biker on Denali National Park road
Biker on Denali National Park road
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Shorebirds taking flight in Cordova, Alaska
Bird Festivals
Bird festivals can be found throughout Alaska during all seasons of the year.
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The Alaska Centers Logo.
Activities at the visitor centers
Fairbanks, Ketchikan, Tok & Anchorage
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State Park Logo
State Parks
Find information about Alaska's State Parks.
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Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Cabins
Find out about public cabins in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
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A view of a lodge as seen from a distance.
Lodging and Camping in and around Fairbanks
Lodging and Camping in and around Fairbanks
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A kayaker paddles quietly in front of snow-covered mountains in Kenai Fjords National Park.
Activities
There is much to do on Alaska's public lands!  Click here for information about various activities.
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Medium range profile shot of a musher in a heavy fur coat with a team of 8 dogs running across a flat snowy area. A dark spruce forest and an overcast sky are in the background. Did You Know?
Alaska's state sport is dog mushing. The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race runs from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, alternating each year in February, while the Iditarod Sled Dog Race runs from Willow to Nome during the first weekend of March each year.
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