Campground Restoration and Improvements — Lower Chatanika River State Recreation Area
Game Management Unit: 20B
Land Manager: Department of Natural Resources (DNR); Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation
The Lower Chatanika River State Recreation Area (SRA) is a popular staging facility and access point for hunters harvesting moose, bears, waterfowl, and grouse. The SRA offers opportunities through its multi-use trail system, which allows the use of ATVs. The gentle terrain and trails in the area also make for ideal conditions for beginner ATV users. There are additional recreation opportunities for camping, fishing, berry picking, boating/floating, dog sledding, and cross-country skiing. The SRA also provides boating access to the Chatanika River by way of the Whitefish Campground & Boat Launch.
While the Lower Chatanika River SRA provides plenty of recreational opportunities, its aging facilities struggled to meet the demands and expectations of users. Poor drainage methods had washed out the roadway and scattered potholes covered its surface. The Olnes Pond and Whitefish Campgrounds lacked basic furnishings that hunters expect when staging out of the area. Sanitary facilities at these sites had also struggled to meet the demands of seasonal use.
The Whitefish Campground sees additional use due to its two boat launches which grant hunters access to the Minto Flats via the Chatanika River. An extensive web of ATV trails surrounds Olnes Pond Campground nearby.
The Hunter Access Program helped fund the restoration and improvement of two campgrounds: