Contrary to ad campaign copy - Keystone is not light when hauled in sleds on the Eklutna Traverse.

Photo by Greg Bragiel.

Avalanche drills at the MCA's Basic Mountaineering School.

Photo by Travis Taylor.

Bird Peak from Esbay Peak. Chugach State Park.

Photo by Wayne Todd.

Crevasse rescue training at the MCA's Basic Mountaineering School.

Photo by Dean Carman.

Chugach State Park Access Plan is before the Anchorage Assembly for adoption

The Chugach State Park Access Plan is before the Anchorage Assembly for adoption.   On Sept 9th there will be a public hearing and potential vote for adoption.
The path which brings this plan before the Assembly has been prolonged, but the impetus was borne out of a desire by the community, Park management and MOA to secure public access to Chugach State Park.

Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) Resolution 2013-038, supporting adoption of the Chugach Access Plan, adds 12 pages of revisions to the Public Hearing Draft released by the State of Alaska Division of Parks and Recreation.  Although some provisions and wording in the PZC Resolution may not be perfect, it appears that the resulting Plan is a workable compromise between desire for public access and concern of private landowners and developers.
We at Chugach Park Access Coalition urge you to take action in support of plan adoption by:

  • Testifying at the public hearing
  • Contacting your Assembly representatives (
  • Submitting written comments to for the public record 

Links to the State of Alaska Chugach State Park Access Plan and Municipality of Anchorage Planning & Zoning Commission amendments are here:



Project Goal

Ensure that future generations have convenient, secured public access to Chugach State Park.


In order to accomplish the above goal the following objectives have been identified.

  • Disperse park use throughout the municipality/park interface by identifying and securing various types of public access approximately every ¼ mile along the municipality/park interface.
  • Bring access issues, opportunities and threats to the attention of the public, park users, landowners, the State of Alaska and the Municipality of Anchorage.
  • Increase communication and coordination between the Municipality of Anchorage and the State of Alaska on land issues associated with the municipality/park interface.
  • Ensure that state and municipal planning and municipal staff analysis of future zoning and platting requests address the need for reserved access and trail connectivity to Chugach State Park.
  • Identify tools, mechanisms and potential funding sources for securing access to Chugach State Park.

Suggested comments:

  1. SUPPORT the goal and objectives of the Access Plan
  2. SUPPORT the AREA-WIDE RECOMMENDATIONS for using Rights of Way and Easements (lines 22-31 of the Chugach Park Access Plan Public Hearing Draft) for parking .  This approach is an economical way to provide low-cost parking solution at access points designated as small vehicular access point.
  3. SUPPORT:  MOA’s intent to use the plan’s access points for platting dedications, future planning activities and relevant opportunistic land use actions

Areas of concern

  1. Amendment #25, last sentence, “If the Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation fails to reach a written agreement with a landowner identified in this Plan involving unsubdividable land within 5 years, without any further action by the landowner the property in question shall be deleted from consideration for an access point.”   [REQUEST THE ASSEMBLY TO DELETE THIS SENTENCE.]   Most access agreements take longer, including Upper Canyon Rd and Mt Baldy in Eagle River.
  2. Amendment #8, last sentence, “If future site analysis provides compelling data that a site isn’t appropriate for access, and there is no option for a modification that provides comparable access, then the platting board has justification not to require access at that site.”  [REQUEST THE ASSEMBLY TO DELETE THIS SENTENCE.]  The problem is that the platting board members are not access experts and the language is not specific about what data would be used or who would provide it, and what "appropriate" means.  We have seen the platting board deny a pedestrian connection to a municipal greenbelt based solely on the landowner's verbal assurance that it was too steep, with no pictures, terrain analysis, trail designers or engineers.  

Links to the State of Alaska Chugach State Park Access Plan and Municipality of Anchorage Planning & Zoning Commission amendments are here:

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Many thanks to: Wayne Todd, Tim Silvers, Ross Noffsinger, Steve Gruhn, Carrie Wang, Billy Finley and many others who provided information, ideas and photos. And thanks to Willy Hersman who created, managed and hosted the first MCA website, without which this site's development would have been so much more difficult. Current website donated by Couloir Graphics.