Wood-Tikchik State Park
PO Box 1822
Dillingham, AK 99576
WELCOME to Wood-Tikchik State Park
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
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.
Spired peaks, high alpine valleys, and deep v-shaped arms give the
lakes' western reaches a spectacular fjord-like appearance. The
eastern edges of the lakes look out upon islands, gravel beaches, and
the expansive tundra of the Nushagak lowlands.
The lakes, varying in
length from 15 to 45 miles, are deep and temperate, with water
temperatures ranging from 40° F to 60° F throughout the summer season.
The park lies in a biological transition zone between coniferous
forest and tundra. In general, white spruce and mixed spruce-birch
forest, as well as muskeg and willow-alder thickets exist up to
approximately the 900-foot elevation.
Above this are bare rock, heath
tundra, and alpine meadow. At the lowest elevations, wet tundra and
marshlands are common.
In the south to the cooler, dryer continental influence of the
interior to the north. The weather is generally cool and moist with
daily July high/low temperatures averaging 65° F and 46° F,
Precipitation is most prevalent in the summer, occurring
about 27% of the time in August along the coast. Total precipitation
averages 25 inches annually at Dillingham, with fairly large local
variations experienced within the area.
Annual snowfall averages 60 to 70 inches at Dillingham and may
reach more than 160 inches at Lake Nerka. Winds are usually moderate
(0-30 mph), prevailing from the southeast/southwest in summer and from
the north and east in winter.
Although the weather during the period from late May to early
October permits outdoor recreational activities almost daily, flying,
boating, and alpine activities are occasionally hampered or unsafe. Be
prepared to delay your activities until conditions allow safe travel.
Fish and Wildlife
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 fur bearers 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.
For information regarding fish and game bag and possession limits,
seasons, and methods of take, please refer to the appropriate Alaska
Department of Fish and Game regulation booklet. Target shooting is not
permitted within the park.
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 require a $100 fee. Please call the Dillingham
Parks Office, Alekangik Ranger Station (907) 842-2641 for additional
information and current permit availability.
State Park regulations require anyone engaged in commercial
activities on park lands and waters to obtain a commercial use permit.
Permit applications are available on line or at the Dillingham State
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 firepits.
Chikuminuk Lake is closed to the use of motorized watercraft, but
is accessible by aircraft. All other lakes in the park are open to
Numerous privately-owned parcels exist throughout Wood-Tikchik
State Park. Most are undeveloped, but are signed in some way. Please
respect private property and do not trespass. If you have questions
regarding private property, please contact the State Park office in