North of the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, you'll find two beautiful state parks on the banks of the Chatanika River. The first of those is the Lower Chatanika State Recreation Area, a 400-acre site perfect for fishing, camping and picnicking.
Fishermen are drawn to the river in search of Arctic grayling, Arctic lamprey, burbot, salmon, northern pike, and many other species. The area is also a hotspot for ATV riders, with an impressive network of trails exploring the forest and riverside and is the take-out point for an all-day float trip heading down the river from the Upper Chatanika State Recreation Area.
Of course, many visitors stop into the Lower Chatanika State Recreation Area to simply relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you're looking for a peaceful picnic, a challenging hike, some wildlife watching, night sky viewing or even dog sledding, this beautiful location is perfect.
Best of all, dogs are welcome in Alaska's state parks and campgrounds as long as they're leashed and accompanied by their owner at all times. In the back country, dogs are allowed to be leash-free but must be under voice control.
There are two campgrounds in the Lower Chatanika State Recreation Area: Olnes Pond and Whitefish Campground. Olnes Pond features 12 campsites, a reservable picnic shelter, a reservable public use cabin and access to an extensive network of trails for hikers and ATVs.
Whitefish Campground is found just off the Elliott Highway and right on the banks of the river. It offers eight campsites, a reservable picnic shelter, and a boat launch, but isn't maintained in the winter months.
Wherever you choose to stay, make sure you respect the rights of other visitors and always clean up after your pet. Most importantly, remember to relax and have fun. The Lower Chatanika State Recreation Area offers all the outdoor experiences for which Alaska is famous, and there's nothing better than getting to enjoy them with your dog by your side.