Alaska’s immense State park system comprises more than 3.3 million acres of real wilderness where visitors will encounter everything from dall sheep and mountain goats to brown bears and wolves. Chugach State park, nearly half a million acres in size, is the third largest state park in the world.
Alaska’s state park rangers work hard to conserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of this wilderness, while also keeping visitors safe. This is certainly no easy task with the wealth of activities offered in Alaska’s state parks. Some of the activities and areas that Alaska’s park rangers are tasked with monitoring include:
- Campgrounds and RV parks
- Adventure and Eco Tours
- Hiking and Ice Climbing
- Dog Sledding
- River Adventures including Kayaking, Canoeing, and Rafting
- Glacier cruising
- Wildlife Viewing
Alaska’s park rangers enrich the experience of park goers through overseeing these activities, while also ensuring that visitors remain safe and follow park rules and regulations.
Federal park rangers also work to preserve the breathtaking grandeur of Alaska’s 10 national parks, including the world famous Denali National Park and Preserve, a 6 million acre park that is also home of North America’s tallest peak—Mount McKinley.
With 2.5 million people visiting Alaska’s national parks each year, national park rangers in Alaska certainly have their work cut out for them.
Becoming a Park Ranger with Alaska’s Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Degree and Experience Requirements — Individuals interested in applying for Alaska state park ranger jobs must possess a valid driver’s license at time of appointment. In addition, individuals must meet one of the following education or experience requirements:
- Strayer University - Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
- Michigan State University - Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Saint Joseph's University - Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Penn Foster - Online Wildlife and Forestry Conservation Career Diploma
Applicants can qualify with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. While there are no specific requirements on the area of study required, some relevant majors include:
- Parks and recreation
- Natural science
- Forest management
- Natural resources management
Two years professional experience in natural resource management. Relevant experience might include:
- Park Specialist
- Natural Resource Specialist
- Environmental Specialist
Two years of college education equivalent to 48 semester hours, plus one year of technical experience in natural resource management. This experience might include:
- Natural Resource Technician
- Forest Technician
- Fish & Wildlife Technician
Desired Skills—Other skills that would be highly beneficial to Alaska’s park rangers include:
- Knowledge and Background: Understanding of general principles of ecology, land use, natural and cultural resource management, conservation, and park and visitor management
- Firearms training: Skills in handling firearms and defensive equipment and the ability to perform defensive tactics
- Law Enforcement Skills: Understanding of the use of deadly force, rules of evidence, interview and interrogation techniques, investigation skills
- Search and Rescue Skills: Ability to learn how to respond to mountain, high angle and water rescue situations
- Public Speaking Skills: Provide presentations on natural and historic resource or recreation subjects to large groups of people.
Training and Certification Requirements – Alaska State park rangers must acquire and maintain a variety of training and certifications through the state of Alaska, including:
- A commission as a peace officer designated by the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources
- Authorization by the Commissioner of Department of Fish and Game
- Alaska State park ranger training and certification program completion
Becoming a Park Ranger with the National Park Service in Alaska
The wealth of national parks across Alaska’s vast frontier provides many opportunities for individuals interested in becoming Park rangers through the U.S. National Park Service as well. Specific requirements for national Park rangers vary by position, but there are some standard requirements:
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Must possess a valid state driver’s license
- Must be able to pass a background check
- Must be in good health and able to pass a drug screening
- Must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university; at least one year of graduate work related to work is preferred for some positions
- Documented specialized experience, such as work as a park guide or environmental educator, law enforcement officer, work as a program specialist, or previous forestry or preservation experience
- A combination of education and experience
Some National Park ranger positions may also require the completion of must be able to pass the Physical Efficiency Battery test to determine fitness level and Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program (SLETP), depending on the nature of the position.
Alaska’s State Park Rangers Oversee Volunteers
One of the exciting opportunities that Alaska’s park rangers have is to oversee the dedicated participants of the Alaska State Parks Volunteer Internship Program. Volunteer interns are often at the heart and soul of Alaska’s state parks, helping to manage and maintain the quality of the parks, as well as offer programming that would be otherwise unavailable.
Among the many tasks that interns fulfill during their seasons, they work as ranger assistants, backcountry ranger assistants, ranger station hosts, park caretakers, and a variety of other roles that work hand in hand with Park rangers on a daily basis.
Park rangers are not only responsible for preparing and training the interns for their work throughout their seasons, but also for ensuring that the internship experience is one that builds a lifelong passion for park service and preservation.
Alaska Park Ranger Salaries
As a subdivision of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation, the Alaska State Parks System is responsible for the state’s parks’ field positions including park rangers. They have the challenge and privilege of managing and operating the state’s 3.3 million acres which make up the Alaska State Parks System.
The entry-level park ranger salary in Alaska among those working for the Bureau of Land Management is $42,792. Their salary can increase a maximum of 23% to $55,630. Another option that park rangers might find interesting is working as Park Specialist. Information obtained from the State of Alaska Online Recruitment System reveals that park specialists receive a starting salary of $41,856.
In addition, it’s important to recognize that park rangers are often assigned a variety of different titles. The salary tables here look at the salaries attached to some of those titles:
Recreation Workers Salaries in Alaska
Tour Guides and Escorts Salaries in Alaska
Recreational Protective Service Workers Salaries in Alaska
Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve
The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve is a 48,000-acre area of river bottomland near Haines, Alaska and encompasses land surrounding the Chilkat, Kleheni, and Tsirku Rivers. The preserve was opened in 1982 to protect the largest concentration of Bald Eagles in the world and almost every part of the preserve is home to the eagles throughout the year.
200-400 Bald Eagles inhabit the Chilkat Valley year-round, with several thousand more arriving each year during the fall congregation. Haines Highway also runs through a portion of the preserve, creating easy viewing of some of the most critical areas of the preserve.
Park Ranger Job Responsibilities in the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve
The main duty for park rangers in Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve is protecting the Bald Eagle population and the natural resources of the preserve itself. The Federal Bald Eagle Protection Act makes it illegal to possess, sell, barter or transport living or dead bald eagles, as well as nests or eggs. Park rangers fully enforce this law and violators can be fined up to $10,000 and serve two years in prison.
Park rangers also serve as law enforcement officers to make sure a variety of other rules and regulations throughout the preserve are followed properly, including:
- Making sure guests stay within designated viewing areas, so as not to disturb Bald Eagle populations
- Keeping guests off the flats and away from where the Bald Eagles feed
- Making sure guests do not disturb fish or fish carcasses, as this disrupts the Bald Eagles’ food supply
- Ensure that no animal waste is left within 100 feet of a trail, road, or facility, so as not to disturb Bald Eagle feeding patterns
- Make sure visitors do not damage or remove any cultural or historical objects from the park, including natural objects such as rocks and minerals.
- Provide traffic control along Haines Highway and ensure vehicles stop only along designated turnouts
- Ensure no fireworks are used within park boundaries
- Make sure that any commercial outfit operating within the park has a permit
Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve also provide valuable customer service and education to park visitors, sharing their passion about the preserve and the majestic Bald Eagle population with all visitors who come to share in the natural habitat of such magnificent animals.
What the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Has to Offer Visitors
The main attraction at the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve is, of course, the Bald Eagles themselves. Nearly 8,000-9,000 visitors come to see the Bald Eagles in their natural habitat between mid-October and January each year.
This is because up-welled warm water keeps the Chilkat River from freezing, a late salmon runs attracts nearly 3,000 eagles to the area—the height of the viewing season. Visitors have reported seeing hundreds of birds in concentrated in small areas at any given time, sometimes as many as six to a branch. It’s a truly once in a lifetime opportunity.
Visitors to the preserve will find other recreational activities available to them as well, including:
- Haines Highway pull-off areas with viewing platforms, interpretive signs, and viewing scopes
- Hiking trails
- Picnic facilities
- Hunting or trapping with a permit
- Wildlife photography
Many commercial outfits run guided trips and tours that include time spent in Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve as well, including boating and rafting trips down the Chilkat River.
Another opportunity for visitors to consider is the annual Bald Eagle Festival. The Bald Eagle Festival is held in Haines each November and includes guided trips to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, along with educational exhibits and presentations and the opportunity to see rehabilitated eagles released into the wild. Park rangers often play an active role in The Bald Eagle Festival each year.
Chugach State Park
Chugach State Park in south-central Alaska is the third largest state park in the United States, at 495,204 acres in size. The park was created in 1970 to protect the Chugach Mountains and other unique geographical features that the park features, as well as to protect the water supply for the city of Anchorage, which can be sourced back to the Chugach Range.
Today, the park is a diverse blend of terrain, from lengths of ocean shoreline and bountiful lakes, to immense glaciers and ice fields. The park also features areas of lush forest and fields of wildflowers and berries. The park is rich with a wide variety of wildlife and features everything from moose and brown bears, to wolves and lynx.
Park Ranger Job Duties in Chugach State Park
The specific duties of park rangers of Chugach State Park are as diverse as the park is immense. Park rangers must do a little of everything and be prepared for anything. With only a few ranger stations scattered throughout the park, rangers must cover a large area of space and this requires constant vigilance and a deep passion for what they are doing.
Law enforcement is a major aspect of park ranger jobs. This might include making sure that fisherman have license and investigating poaching and other crimes in the park, as well as more basic duties like traffic control. Rangers that ATV vehicles and bicyclists stay on designated trails to avoid collision with hikers. This also includes enforcing backcountry camping rules to keep campers and hikers safe and also to protect natural resources and wildlife.
Keeping visitors safe and aware of their natural surroundings is a huge responsibility for park rangers. The terrain can be treacherous and visitors can easily get themselves into trouble. The park’s mudflats cause tremendous issues, as many people and animals have been stuck and drowned before rescuers could reach them. Park rangers try to keep visitors from walking on the mudflats at all.
Avalanches are another major concern in the park and can happen at any time in the year. Park rangers try to educate visitors about areas of the park susceptible to avalanches and how to watch for warning signs. They are also involved in search and rescue efforts in the case of an avalanche occurrence.
Park ranger jobs also include first aid and emergency response. This might involve injuries sustained during hiking or kayaking. Hypothermia is another major first aid issue within the park that park rangers are prepared to deal with. This can also happen at any time of the year and park rangers are prepared to recognize the symptoms of hypothermia and help treat victims of hypothermia.
Park rangers also help prepare visitors for encounters with wildlife, particularly the large bear population within Chugach State Park. Park rangers teach visitors how to properly store food and be aware of their surroundings. They also teach them what to do in a run-in with a bear. Park rangers also issue citations to visitors who violate safety regulations regarding the bears and other wildlife in the park.
Park rangers oversee volunteers who work in the Chugach State Park as ranger assistants and in other roles. Volunteers are a cornerstone of the Alaska State park system and having a good relationship with park rangers is very important. Park rangers ensure that these volunteers are properly trained to carry out their duties and perform vital park services, and also ensure that volunteers have memorable park experiences.
Park rangers in Chugach State Park also work through harsh winter conditions to provide safety year round. In the higher elevations, snow can fall as early as August and remain until May. Patrolling in the winter might mean working in temperatures around 35 below zero with little to no sunlight.
Recreational Opportunities in Chugach State Park
The sheer size of Chugach State Park makes it both an exciting and daunting adventure for visitors. The park boasts a wide range of recreational activities for visitors in both the summer and winter months, as well as camping and lodging options. Park rangers work to ensure that visitors have positive experiences throughout their participation in the following.
Recreational Activities — Chugach State Park is full of opportunities for adventure for eager park-goers. Some of those opportunities include:
- Over 280 miles of hiking trails ranging from beginner to advanced
- Designated trails for off-roading vehicles
- Bicycling trails with varying degrees of difficulty
- Non-motorized boating on Eklutna Lake, including sailboats, kayaks, rafts, or canoes
- Rafting or kayaking on Eagle River
- Several car accessible areas and scenic overlook points
- Eklutna Lake picnic pavilion, canyon site, and group sites for rental
- Horseback riding throughout the park
- The Eagle River Nature Center
- Wildlife viewing and whale watching
Camping and lodging — For guests interested in overnight stay in Chugach State Park, several camping and other lodging options are available. There are three campgrounds throughout the park, two north of Anchorage at Eklutna Lake and Eagle River, and one south of Anchorage at Bird Creek.
Backcountry camping is also allowed throughout the park. There are several primitive campsite available on a “first come, first serve” basis. Campers are also allowed to set up base camps throughout the park, provided the follow specific park regulations.
Chugach State Park also has several cabins and yurts available for rental.
Winter Activities — While summers may be short in Alaska, there are plenty of activities available to Chugach State Park visitors in the winter months as well. Some winter activities include:
- Cross country skiing, back country skiing, and ski touring
- Dog sledding
- Ice Climbing
- Sky watching
- 6 designated snowmobiling areas
Denali National Park
Denali National Park and Preserve features more than 6 million acres of land, including an impressive mountain range crowned by North America’s tallest peak—Mount McKinley. The park features the unique natural beauty of a taiga forest, as well as extensive alpine tundra, glaciers and glacial valleys, and winding rivers and hills. A third of the park is made up of the Denali Wilderness, which surrounds the Alaskan Range.
Today, more than 400,000 visitors come to the park each year to experience the breathtaking beauty of this national treasure. In the summer months, the park can be accessed by road.
Denali National Park Ranger Job Description
Park rangers in Denali National Park are stationed throughout the park in one of several locations, including Headquarters, Wonderlake, or Toklat. Park rangers serve as law enforcement officers, protecting the park’s natural and cultural resources and also protecting visitors by making sure that people adhere to rules and regulations put in place throughout the park. Some of these duties include:
- Traffic control along the 15 miles of publically accessible road inside the park
- Making sure visitors adhere to all federal and state regulations
- Making sure sport hunting does not occur within park boundaries
- Making sure people have proper permits for activities within the park
- Fire management throughout the park
Park rangers also provide visitors with a wide variety of interpretive and educational services. Park rangers strive to teach park goers about the beauty of Denali and also help educate on how to take care of the park. Rangers offer guided group hikes, or more challenging off-trail “Discovery Hikes” for visitors. Rangers also offer theater programming in the visitor center or nightly programming in the campgrounds. Rangers also give sled dog demonstrations at the ranger kennels.
Park rangers also educate guests about some of the dangers within the park, including bears and other wildlife. Rangers also provide first aid to visitors participating in variety of recreational activities throughout the park, and assist in search and rescue efforts.
Mountaineering park rangers are mountain experts who work especially with visitors interested in climbing the Alaskan Range. Mountaineering rangers provide expert knowledge to climbers about best routes and can provide first-hand knowledge about conditions that climbers might encounter within the range.
In fact, a strict registration regulation means that all climbers attempting Mount McKinley will be required to meet with mountaineering park rangers upon arrival at base camp. Mountaineering rangers are stationed at high-altitude ranger canps throughout the climbing season.
Denali National park is open year round, despite the harsh winter conditions. This can also present unique challenges for park rangers. In the winter, park rangers patrol the park by sled dog and sometimes by snowmobile and stay in remote, historic cabins constructed in the early 1930’s.
Recreational Activities in Denali National Park
Denali National Park offers visitors a wide variety of recreational activities and camping. The park is also open in the winter. Park rangers must be aware and alert to what visitors are doing within the park to make sure that people stay safe and that the natural resources of the park are not disturbed.
Recreational Activities — Denali National park has something to offer every interest and skill level and this spreads visitors throughout the park:
- Summer bus trips with sightseeing
- Day hiking
- Sled dog kennel
- Ranger programs, such as guided hikes and evening programming
- Wildlife viewing and scenic photography
Camping — Denali National Park has six campgrounds, including three that are open to RVs. Visitors may also backpack nearly anywhere within the park’s six million acres with a permit. This allows park rangers to document who’s in the park and keep track of anyone who might go missing.
Winter Activities — Denali is covered in snow for much of the year. Park goers still enjoy the beauty of the park throughout the winter, challenging park rangers to keep watch in the cold. Winter activities include:
- Aurora borealis viewing
- Winter camping
- Cross country skiing
- Dog mushing
Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park cover 3.3 million acres of terrain along Alaska’s stunning Inside Passage, from snow-capped mountains and ocean coastline, to tidewater glaciers and temperate rainforest. The park is also part of the world’s largest internationally protected Biosphere Reserve and is recognized as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.
Today, about 80% of visitors to Glacier Bay National Park arrive on cruise ships to marvel at the park’s stunning glaciers and icefields, as well as catch sight of a wide variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, caribou, and dall sheep. The park also offers visitors a wide variety of recreational activities.
Glacier Bay National Park Ranger Job Description
Park rangers in Glacier Bay National Park operate out of the park headquarters at Bartlett Cove. Because there are no roads in the park, rangers perform patrol duties by boat and on foot. Park rangers make sure the park’s rules and regulations are enforced, including:
- No destruction, injury, or removal of any natural, cultural, or archeological objects
- No harassing, injuring, or killing wildlife
- Park area seasonal closures or closures due to wildlife
- Sports fisherman possess licenses
- Backcountry campers possess permits
- Recreational boaters possess permits
Park rangers spend a great deal of time providing interpretive and informational services to park goers. In fact, the National Park Service operate several cooperate programs where rangers provide educational services to visitors on board cruise ships and smaller vessels that offer excursions throughout more remote areas of the park. Park rangers spend a great deal of their time educating visitors about the history and natural wonders of the park.
Park rangers stationed at the visitor center lead daily walks and guided hikes for visitors and other naturalist adventures. These walks are geared at helping visitors interpret and appreciate the wonders of the park. Park rangers also work with youth at the visitor center through the “Junior Ranger” program, which provides ample opportunities for children to learn about the park.
Rangers also offer educational services to people outside of the park through the “Ask a Park Ranger” program where classrooms across the country can sign up for videoconferencing with park rangers to learn more about the park and have questions about life in rural Alaska answered.
Park rangers also work to make sure visitors stay safe throughout their visit to Glacier Bay National Park. This means making sure visitors are aware of how to handle themselves around bears and other wildlife present in the park. Park rangers also provide education about glaciers and icefields and some of the unique situations that can arise around those natural phenomena. Rangers also warn visitors about the tides throughout the bay, as they change quickly and can be dangerous for kayakers and hikers.
Park rangers are also skilled in first and emergency response techniques and can assist visitors who are hurt or ill. Rangers also assist in search and rescue efforts throughout the park.
Recreational Opportunities in Glacier Bay National Park
Park rangers interact heavily with visitors throughout the Glacier Bay National Park as they engage in a variety of recreational activities, including:
- Exploring the visitor center at Bartlett Cove, including ranger activities like guided hikes
- Cruising Glacier Bay on cruise ships, tour vessels, charter boats, or private boats
- Sea kayaking
- Sports fishing
- Birdwatching and wildlife photography
Camping — Camping is permitted in at the park’s sole designated campground located near Bartlett Cove, or in the backcountry with a permit. All campers are required to attend a camping orientation session at the visitor center prior to beginning their stay where park rangers go over some of the basic camping rules and regulations in place throughout the park.
Katmai National Park
Katmai National Park and Preserve covers more than 4 million acres, making the entire area roughly the size of Wales. It gets its name from Mount Katmai, the stratovolcano at the center of the park, which is also the cause of much of the park’s volcanic landscape.
Today, the park has 18 individual volcanoes (several of which are active today), the ash flow Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, as well as important salmon habitat that attracts thousands of brown bears. Most of the park is undeveloped but that doesn’t stop some 40,000 visitors from coming each year to enjoy the natural beauty.
Park Ranger Job Duties in Katmai National Park
Park rangers at Katmai National Park play a dedicated role in maintaining the undeveloped wilderness of the park. Katmai contains the largest protected population of brown/grizzly bears in the world and park rangers go to great lengths to make sure that the bears remain undisturbed and unexposed to any kind of human interaction within the park.
A majority of visitors within Katmai National Park come to Brooks Camp, one of the only developed areas in the park. Park rangers provide bear orientation to all visitors arriving at Brooks Camp. Park rangers also patrol Brooks Camp and it’s surrounding areas with walkie talkies and will stop human traffic at any time to allow the bears to pass safely and undisturbed.
Rangers are also positioned at the pedestrian bridge that leads across the river to the Brooks Falls—the prime viewing area for the bears—and will not allow visitors to cross with bears in the water. Rangers also alert fisherman to bears in the area and may even make them cut fish off their lines if bears are too close. These rules keep humans safe and bears undisturbed in their natural environment.
Park rangers take visitors on the cultural walks throughout the Brooks Camp area, one of the most densely concentrated archeological areas on the continent. Park rangers also take visitors on day-long bus tours to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes and provide evening programming at the visitor center.
Park rangers patrol backcountry areas of the park where visitors hike and camp. Park rangers also patrol the many waterways throughout the park, including hundreds of miles of rivers and streams, along with several lakes. Park rangers might have to provide emergency assistance or first aide, or assist in search and rescue efforts in some of these more remote areas.
Park rangers also work to enforce “leave no trace” principles throughout the park, making sure that dispose of waste properly and respect the wildlife, as well as fellow visitors. Park rangers also work in areas of fire management within the park.
Hunting and trapping are not permitted throughout most of the park and park rangers are responsible for ensuring that this regulation is followed. Likewise, licenses are required for fishing and other activities and park rangers can issue citations for unlicensed activities.
The Natural Wonders of Katmai National Park
Park rangers focus a great deal of their energy ensuring that humans and bears coexist peacefully within the park, especially around Brooks Camp. However, there are a variety of recreational opportunities available to visitors that park rangers often participate in and oversee, including:
- Bear watching and Brooks Falls
- Ranger led activities including Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
- Lake boating
- Canoeing, kayaking, and rafting
Backcountry camping — Katmai National Park has less than five miles of maintained trails. As such, backcountry camping is a popular activity throughout the park. No permits are required for camping in Katmai’s backcountry. However, park rangers encourage backcountry enthusiasts to file trip planners with the park ahead of time so rangers have an idea of where people might be.
Wood-Tikchik State Park
Wood-Tikchik State Park is the largest state park in the United States. At over 1.6 million acres in size, the park is about the size of Delaware and was created in 1978 to protect a wide array of wildlife breeding areas and to preserve a variety of recreational uses.
The park is named after its two separate systems of large lakes and features a varied terrain including mountain peaks, valleys, forested areas, and an expansive tundra. Today, the park focuses on low-impact management and has few facilities to maintain a wilderness appeal. Most of the park can only be accessed by float plane, boat, or on foot.
Park Ranger Job Duties in Wood-Tikchik State Park
State park rangers spend a large portion of their time enforcing guidelines within Wood-Tikchik State Park in an effort to protect visitors and also to preserve the untapped wilderness of the park area. Some of these law enforcement duties include:
- Ensure that visitors follow camping regulations
- Making sure that visitors respect private property boundaries within the park
- Ensuring that open fires are not lit anywhere within the park besides gravel beaches or sandbars
- Checking fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses
- Ensure visitors are practicing “leave no trace” techniques within the park with all waste
- Make sure that visitors do not use firearms for target shooting or plinking anywhere in the park
- Ensure that visitors do not build structures, cut trees, or disturb the natural environment in any other way
- Making sure visitors comply with water safety regulations
Due to the remote nature of the park, many complications can arise for visitors. Park rangers in Wood-Tikchik State Park provide a number of services to help provide education and emergency services to people within the park.
Park rangers educate park goers on proper safety protocol within the park and help alert visitors to the variety of the dangers that exist in the remote landscape. Park rangers make sure visitors are aware of the threat of bears and other wildlife by keeping clean camps and travelling alertly. They also make sure visitors are aware of the sudden changes in weather that can occur within the park, especially how wind can affect conditions on the water.
Park rangers are also well-trained in first aid and emergency services. They often assist visitors in crisis situations. Giardiasis is a common sickness in the park caused from drinking untreated water. Accidents on the water are also common and park rangers have to perform water rescues. Park rangers also help with search and rescue missions in the park’s remote reaches.
What Wood-Tikchik State Park Has to Offer Visitors
For park goers adventurous enough to brave the wilderness of Wood-Tikchik State Park, there are plenty of recreational opportunities awaiting them. The entire park is open for camping. Some areas of the park require permits, but some areas are free to “pack in, pack out” supplies and materials, all with an emphasis on low impact to the natural surroundings. Visitors are allowed to stay for up to 10 consecutive days in single camping area.
The park also boasts world-class fishing with all five species of Pacific salmon, including the world’s largest run of red salmon each July. There are also five commercial sports-fishing loges within the park boundaries. The lodges are reservation only. There are also ample opportunities for hunting and trapping throughout the park.
The park’s extensive system of rivers and lakes make it a popular destination for float trips. Some of these trips include stretches of whitewater rapids that get up to Class IV or V rapids. Float trips also offer park goers an opportunity to see much of the park’s beauty, including the granite domes and rising cliffs of Tikchik Lake.
The extensive lake system throughout the park also allows park goers to use a variety of watercraft. In fact, all lakes except for Chikuminuk Lake allow motorized boats.