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Southwest Region
Wood-Tikchik State Park
Wood-Tikchik State Park © mazaletel / CC BY 2.0
Wood-Tikchik State Park © mazaletel / CC BY 2.0
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PO Box 1822
Dillingham, Alaska   99576
(lat:59.8548 lon:-158.7198) map location

Phone: 907-842-2641
The largest state park in the nation, at 1.6 million acres, Wood-Tikchik State Park was created in 1978 for the purpose of protecting the area's fish and wildlife breeding and support systems and preserving continued subsistence and recreational activities. The management philosophy is one of non-development and maintenance of the area's wilderness character.

Park facilities are rustic and few, with great emphasis placed upon low impact camping and "pack it in, pack it out" practices.

Named for its two separate systems of large, interconnected, clear water lakes, the park is characterized by its water based ecosystems. Bordered by the Nushagak lowlands on the east and the Wood River Mountains to the west, the lake systems span a variety of terrain and vegetative zones renowned for their diverse beauty.

Chikuminuk Lake is closed to the use of motorized watercraft, but is accessible by aircraft. All other lakes in the park are open to motorized boats.
Nature of the Area
All five species of Pacific salmon - king, sockeye (red), pink, silver, and chum - spawn in the Wood River and Tikchik systems. Sockeyes are the most important commercially. Freshwater sport fish are generally prolific throughout the area. Rainbow trout, grayling, lake trout, arctic char, dolly varden, and northern pike abound. Whitefish are an important subsistence species in the Tikchik Lakes.

Moose, caribou, and brown bear can be seen throughout the park. Black bear populations are limited, generally, to the northern and eastern areas. Common small game and furbearers include beaver, muskrat, otter, fox, wolverine, mink, and porcupine. Ground squirrels and marmots are abundant.

Birds nesting in the area include a wide variety of waterfowl, gulls, bald eagle, golden eagle, arctic tern, various loons, spotted and least sandpipers, semi-palmated plover, willow ptarmigan, and spruce grouse. Numerous transients pass through as well.
History of the Area
Established in 1978, this park is located in southwestern Alaska. It's the largest state park within the United States, spanning over 1.6 million acres.

The area was traditionally used by Yup'ik Eskimos for hunting and fishing before it became a protected site. The name "Tikchik" comes from these indigenous people's language meaning "a place to go."

In its early years as a state park, only minimal facilities were developed due to budget constraints and remote location.

It contains six large interconnected lakes which are home to various species of fish including salmon and trout making it popular among anglers.

Its diverse ecosystem supports an abundance of wildlife such as brown bears, moose, caribou along with numerous bird species like bald eagles.

Despite being one of least visited parks due mainly to its remoteness; efforts have been made towards improving accessibility through floatplanes or boats since there are no roads leading into the region.
The entire park is open to camping. However, several locations in the Upper Tikchik Lakes require a permit. Nishlik, Slate, Upnuk and Chikuminuk Lakes, in addition to Tikchik River float trips require a permit prior to camping or floating. Camping and river float trip permits are limited and requires a fee. Please call the Dillingham Parks Office, Alekangik Ranger Station (907) 842-2641 for additional information and current permit availability.

Camping at a specific location in the park is limited to 10 consecutive days, after which the camp must be relocated a minimum of one mile distant from that location. Campfires are restricted to beaches, gravel bars, or State Park provided fire pits.

Wood-Tikchik State Park is

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1. Start by heading east towards I:1 S.
2. Merge onto Glenn Hwy and continue for 35 miles.
3. Take the AK:3 N exit toward Wasilla/Palmer/Eklutna.
4. Continue straight onto Parks Hwy/AK:3 N for approximately 323 miles to Fairbanks city center.
5. From there, head northwest on Airport Way towards Peger Rd about three miles until you reach Minnie St intersection where you'll turn left.
6: Turn right at Dale Road after half mile then take another immediate right into Merhar Avenue leading to Ladd Army Airfield airport.

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