Located just 30 minutes from Fairbanks, the Chena River State Recreation Area is a haven for outdoor adventurers all year round. Best of all, this 397-square-mile nature escape can be explored with your canine companion by your side.
However, there's so much to see and do in this Alaskan treasure that it's hard to know where to start. The park is centered around the Chena River, a class I-II river that's a favorite with kayakers and canoeists. Catch-and-release fishing is another popular pastime for park visitors, and there are ample boat launching points for anglers along Chena Hot Springs Road.
Away from the water, this pristine valley is home to spruce and birch forests, wetlands, and craggy granite tors. You'll also find Chena Hot Springs just outside the recreation area's northeastern boundary, as well as an extensive network of hiking trails winding throughout the park. The Granite Tors Trail is one of the most popular walks and takes in the towering granite tors of the Plain of Monuments.
There are three campgrounds in the Chena River State Recreation Area:
Pets must be leashed while in campgrounds and other developed areas, such as picnic areas, and mustn't create excessive noise. Leashes aren't required in other parts of this beautiful preserve, but you'll need to make sure your dog is under your control at all times. Taking care to clean up after your pooch and leave this recreation area in the same way you found it is also a must.
Parking is $5, while RV sites cost $30, tent sites $20 and walk-in sites $15. A 15-day camping limit applies, but be warned that even this may not give you enough time to see and do everything you want.
There's a good reason why the Chena River State Recreation Area draws more than 150,000 visitors each year, so why not check it out with your furry friend?