Merry Christmas from Alaska State Parks!

Hello State Parks users, this is the Willow Area Winter Recreation conditions update for Thursday, December 24, 2009

Nancy Lake State Recreational Area has received sufficient snowfall of greater than 1.5” of Snow Water Equivalent to allow an opening of the area to snow vehicles. We have received 1” of new snow this last week and Average Snowpack in the area is 14”. The National Weather Service is forecasting it to be partially cloudy and above 0F for the next several days.

Please use care when traveling on wetland areas, as we still want to protect the underlying vegetation while the snowpack is settling. Stay on the established trails if possible.

The gates in the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area and in Willow Creek State Recreation are again in the OPEN position. Snowpack at WCSRA should prevent most highway vehicle traffic on the unmaintained section of Willow Creek Parkway and a snow berm has blocked highway vehicle access to the Nancy Lake Parkway beyond the winter trail head. There is a Fee Station at the Winter Trailhead, and all users parking in Nancy Lake SRA should either have a Cabin rental receipt in their windshield, a receipt from a $5 Fee Station payment, or a 2009 Alaska State Parks Day Use parking pass sticker. The 2010 pass is now available and can be purchased online at or from the Public Information Center in Anchorage, State Park offices, Park staff, REI, AMH or the Sportsman’s Warehouse.

The crew has begun clearing the debris and the recently fallen trees on the ski trail system and hope to have it groomed in the near future. The snow cover is thin but there is not a danger to your ski equipment from the underlying vegetation.

The Lakes and waters of the park have frozen over. Please be cautious and use good judgment before traveling on the ice. Overflow is a concern on many of the lakes as the weight of the snow and ice pushes down and water settles on top of the ice. Ice thickness can vary significantly within a lake or an area, due to flowing water, heat from geothermal activity or heat from decomposing organic matter. Alaska State Parks will make no statements as to the safety of the ice. Again, please use good judgment before traveling on the ice.
For information on Public Use Cabin availability in Nancy Lake or Denali, please call 907-745-3975 or check online at To check our recorded hotline, please call 907-761-3786

Please pack out any trash, use facilities responsibly, and recreate safely.

This message will be updated weekly or as conditions change. Take care and have a Merry Christmas!