Flight Advisories: Parks

Posted Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Updated Monday, August 30, 2004

Landing at National Parks, Monuments, Preserves, Wildlife Refuges

  1. Prior authorization by the Superintendent is required for all helicopter landings. The National Park Service requests that pilots maintain a minimum distance of 2,000 feet from the nearest ground mass to minimize wildlife disturbance.
  2. Glacier Bay National Park: Restricted from landings in non-motorized waters. Restrictions change seasonally, contact Glacier Bay staff for current restrictions (907-697-2230). Landings and takeoffs shall not be made on beaches or tidal flats or within one nautical mile of any tidewater glacier in the national park. If authorized by the Superintendent, helicopters may land at selected sites where deemed essential in the conduct of prospecting and mining activities.
  3. Contact Information: &nbsp

    Park Contact information

    Park Contact Number
    Denali National Park & Preserve 907-683-2294
    Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve 907-692-5494
    Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve 907-697-2230
    KatmaiNational Park and Preserve (includes)
    Aniakchak National Monument
    Kenai Fjords National Park 907-224-2132
    Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park 907-983-2921
    Lake Clark National Park and Preserve 907-781-2218
    Tongass National Forest (includes)
    Admiralty Island National Monument, Kuiu Wilderness, Tebenkof Bay Wilderness, Chuck River Wilderness, Maurelle Island Wilderness, Tracy Arm Fords Terror Wilderness, Coronation Island Wilderness, Petersburg Creek Duncan Salt Chuck Wilderness, Warren Island Wilderness, Misty Fjords National Monument, Pleasant-Lemesurier-Inian Islands Wilderness, West Chichagof Yakobi Wilderness, Karta River Wilderness, South Etolin Wilderness, Young Lake Wilderness, Kootznoowoo Wilderness, and South Prince of Wales Wilderness.
    Western Arctic National Parklands: (includes)
    Noatak National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Kobuk Valley National Park, and Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.
    Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve 907-822-5234
    Yukon – Charley Rivers National Preserve 907-547-2234
  4. Websites:

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Refer to the following caption.
Aircraft Regulations on the Kenai NWR

View Image (PDF, 390 KB)

  1. The operation of aircraft on the Kenai NWR, except in an emergency, is permitted only as authorized in designated areas as described below. These areas are also depicted on a map available from the refuge manager: Kenai NWR Manager, P.O. Box 2139, Soldotna, Alaska 99669, telephone (907) 262-7021.

    (a) Within the Canoe Lakes unit, Andy Simons unit, and Mystery Creek units of the Kenai Wilderness, ONLY the following lakes are designated for airplane operations:

    Canoe Lake Unit

    Scenic Lake, Nekutak Lake, Shoepac Lake, Norak Lake, Bird Lake, Grouse Lake,
    King Lake, Bedlam Lake, Taiga Lake, Vogel Lake, Cook Lake, Showshoe Lake, Wilderness Lake, Mull Lake, Tangerra Lake, and Sandpiper Lake.

    Pepper Lake, Gene Lake, and Swanson Lake are ONLY open for sports icefishing.

    Andy Simons Unit

    Upper Russian Lake, Twin Lakes, Emerald Lake, High Lake, Lower Russian Lake, Iceburg Lake, Green Lake, Kolomin Lake, Pothole Lake, Harvey Lake, Martin Lake, Windy Lake, Dinglestad Glacier terminus lake, Wusnesenski Glacier terminus lake, Tustumena Lake, all wilderness lakes within one mile from the shoreline of Tustumena Lake and all unmanned lakes in sections 1 & 2, T.1 S., R.10 W, and sections 4, 5, 8, & 9, T.1. S., R.9 W, Seward Mountain, AK.

    Mystery Creek Unit

    All unmanned lakes in section 11, T. 6 N, R. 5 W., Seward Mountain, AK.

    (b) Airplanes my operate on all lakes outside of the Kenai Wilderness, except those lakes with recreational developments, including, but not limited to, campgrounds, campsites, and public hiking trails connected to road waysides. The non-wilderness lakes CLOSED to aircraft operations are as follows:

    North Sterling Highway

    Cashka Lake, Dolly Varden Lake, West Lake, Mosquito Lake, Watson Lake, Rainbow Lake, Dabbler Lake, Lili Lake, Forest Lake, Afonasi Lake, Upper Jean Lake, Anertz Lake, Weed Lake, Silver Lake, Breeze Lake, and Imeri Lake.

    All lakes in the Skilak Loop Area (south of Sterling Highway and north of Skilak Lake) are closed to aircraft except that airplanes may land on Bottenintnin Lake, which is open year-round and Hidden Lake, which is open only for sport ice fishing.

    South Sterling Highway

    Headquarters Lake is restricted to administrative use only.

  2. Notwithstanding any other provision of these regulations, the operation of aircraft is prohibited between May 1 and September 30, inclusive, on any lake where nesting trumpeter swans and/or their broods are present, except Windy and Lonesome Lakes where the closure is between May 1 and September 10, inclusive.
  3. The operation of wheeled aircraft, at the pilot's own risk, is only authorized on the unmaintained Big Indian Creek Airstrip, on gravel areas with 1/2 mile of Wusnesenski Glacier terminus lake, and within the SE 1/4, section 16 and SW 1/4, section 15, T.4 S, R.8W., Seward Mountain.
  4. Airplanes may operate only within designated areas on the Chickaloon Flats, as depicted on a map available from the refuge manager, (907) 262-7021.
  5. Airplane operation is permitted on the Kasilof River, the Chickaloon River outlet, and the Kenai River below Skilak Lake from June 15 through March 14. All other rivers on the NWR are closed to aircraft.
  6. Website

National Wildlife Refuge Contact Information

National Wildlife Refuge Location Contact Number
Alaska Maritime NWR Homer, AK (907) 235-6546
Alaska Peninsula NWR King Salmon, AK (907) 246-3339
Arctic NWR Fairbanks, AK (907) 456-0250
Becharof NWR King Salmon, AK (907) 246-3339
Innoko NWR McGrath, AK (907) 524-3251
Izembek NWR Cold Bay, AK (907) 532-2445
Kanuti NWR Fairbanks, AK (907) 456-0329
Kenai NWR Soldotna, AK (907) 262-7021
Kodiak NWR Kodiak, AK (907) 487-2600
Koyukuk NWR Galena, AK (907) 656-1231
Nowitna NWR Galena, AK (907) 656-1231
Selawik NWR Kotzebue, AK (907) 442-3799
Tetlin NWR Tok, AK (907) 883-5312
Togiak NWR Dillingham, AK (907) 842-1063
Yukon Delta NWR Bethel, AK (907) 543-3151
Yukon Flats NWR Fairbanks, AK (907) 456-0440

Landing at State Refuges, Critical Habit Areas, and Sanctuaries

State of Alaska, Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)

Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Juneau (907) 465-6160 phone, (907) 465-2772 fax

Region 1 – Southeast Alaska, (907) 267-2342 phone, (907) 267-2464 fax

Mendenhall Wetlands Refuge, Yakataga Refuge, Stan Price (Admiralty Island) Sanctuary, Chilkat River Critical Habitat Area, Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area

Region 2 – Southcentral and Western Alaska(907) 267-2342 phone, (907) 267-2464 fax

Anchorage Coastal Refuge, Cape Newenham Refuge, Goose Bay Refuge, Izembek Refuge, McNeil River Refuge, Palmer Hay Flats Refuge, Susitna Flats Refuge, Trading Bay Refuge, Walrus Islands Sanctuary, McNeil River Sanctuary, Anchor River/Fritz Creek Critical Habitat Area, Chilkat River Critical Habitat Area, Cinder River Critical Habitat Area, Clam Gulch Critical Habitat Area, Copper River Delta Critical Habitat Area, Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area, Egegik Critical Habitat Area, Fox River Flats Critical Habitat Area, Homer Airport Critical Habitat Area, Kalgin Island Critical Habitat Area, Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area, Pilot Point Critical Habitat Area, Port Heiden Critical Habitat Area, Port Moller Critical Habitat Area, Redoubt Bay Critical Habitat Area, Tugidak Island Critical Habitat Area, and Willow Mountain Critical Habitat Area

Walrus Islands Sanctuary– Pilots are requested to maintain a minimum altitude of 5,000 feet above ground level within a 3 mile radius of Round Island (58° 36' N. 159° 58' W.). Access to Round Island or adjacent waters requires written permission from ADF&G. Flight less than 2,000 feet above ground level and less than 1 mile may violate the Marine Mammal Protection Act and/or the Federal Airborne Hunting Act, regardless of their level of impact on wildlife.

McNeil River Sanctuary– Pilots are requested to maintain a minimum altitude of 1,000 feet above ground level within a 2 mile radius of McNeil River Falls located 1 mile upstream from the mouth of McNeil River in order to minimize disturbance to concentrations of brown bears during the period June 15 through September 15. The State has established a permit program which regulates human activities in the sanctuary and limits the number of persons allowed at the Falls each day.

Region 3 – Northern and Interior Alaska, (907) 459-7297 phone, (907) 456-2259 fax

Creamer's Field Refuge and Minto Flats Refuge

Regulations Regarding Flights Over Charted National Park Service Areas, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Areas, And U.S. Forest Service Areas

CAUTION: Before landing fixed-wing aircraft on the lands or waters within the boundaries of lands administered by the National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), pilots should check with the respective agencies for any closures that may be in effect. The landing of helicopters is prohibited on the lands and waters within the boundaries of lands administered by the NPS, FWS, and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Wilderness areas. Contact information for any portions of these areas contained on this Sectional Chart can be found in the chart margin. For contact information for all these areas in Alaska, see above contact list, which is also listed in the Supplement Alaska (Area Notices).

All aircraft are requested to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface of lands and waters administered by the NPS, FWS, or USFS Wilderness areas. FAA Advisory Circular (AC 91-36C), "Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Flight Near Noise Sensitive Areas," defines the surface as: the highest terrain within 2,000 feet laterally of the route of flight, or the uppermost rim of a canyon or valley.

Pilots are warned that it is unlawful at any altitude to use an aircraft to harass any wildlife (16 USC 742j-1; 50 CFR Part 19). Harass is defined to mean disturb, worry, molest, rally, concentrate, harry, chase, drive, herd or torment.

FAA Advisory Circular (AC 91-36C) (PDF, 136 KB)


Last updated: Friday, April 30, 2021