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About This Guide

The local laws and guidelines for geocaching placement vary from place to place. As community reviewers learn geocache placement policies for a certain location, they can add it here. This site may not be a complete or accurate list of land policies. These policies are made by the land owner or manager, they are neither the reviewer’s nor Geocaching HQ’s. This guide is just for reference, if no policies for the area you’re looking for are listed, that doesn't mean no policies exist. You must still obtain permission to place your geocache from the landowner or land manager,comply with all applicable laws, and follow the Geocaching Listing Requirements.

If you have an update, email the community reviewer(s) listed.

Alaska Reviewer: Greatland Reviewer

GeocacheAlaska's Advocacy Committee and individual cachers have worked with Alaskan Land Managers to identify the following land use policies. If an area is not covered below, adequate permission to place a geocache should not be assumed and proper permission should be obtained from the appropriate Land Manager before submitting your cache for review..

Alaska-wide

Terrific resources to determine land ownership that are available in many communities are web-based Global Information Systems (GIS).  These online databases/applications provide means to identify land ownership and use designations using a combination of mapping tools and tax records.  A non-comprehensive list of links to Alaskan GIS databases follows:

 A high level tutorial on how to use these databases is provided in the February 2015 GeocacheAlaska! newsletter.

Alaska Railroad Right-of-Way

The Alaska Railroad has a legal 100' Right of Way (ROW) on both sides of the centerline of the tracks.  Geocaches should not be placed inside this ROW for safety reasons with the following exceptions (per Jim Adams, Alaska Railroad Security Agent):

  1. Land on the opposite side of the bicycle trail from the tracks where the bicycle trail falls within the 100' ROW.
  2. Land within the vehicle transportation corridor including pull outs that falls within the 100' ROW.  These areas are usually delineated by a fence or guardrail.

People are discouraged from crossing or walking along the tracks for safety reasons.

Note:  Groundspeak imposes a 150' buffer between caches and tracks unless specific exemptions are identified such as those above.

Alaska State Parks

GeocacheAlaska! has a blanket permit with Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation for placement of traditional geocaches and Earthcaches within the Alaska State Parks lands.  The current permit is 15-KA-1994 and is valid through 12/31/2020.  Download the permit here and be sure to read and comply with all the stipulations prior to placing a cache in the affected State Park areas.  All caches must have the permit number on the inside of the cache along with the cache owner's contact information.  On the outside of the cache, you must write "Alaska State Parks Permit #15-KA-1994 Geocache AK" in permanent marking.  The cache listing must state "Cache placed under GeocacheAlaska! Park Use Permit #15-KA-1994" within the description section.  In order to speed up publishing a new cache under this permit, write a Reviewer Note that states that you have complied with all terms of this permit and describe your geocache container.  Containers must be durable, watertight, animal-resistant and no greater in size than a "regular" 50-cal ammo can. 

The State Parks land parcels that are covered by the permit are listed below.  You may click on the parcel name to download a gpx file of the parcel's boundaries to upload to your GPS or use with GoogleEarth, Garmin Basecamp, Garmin Mapsource, and many other mapping applications.

To download a file, click on the park name, choose "Save As," and select the desired location on your hard drive. Once the file is on your hard drive, double click on the file, click "Extract all files," keep the existing name or change the name, and click "extract."  Now that the file is unzipped, it's ready to be used in any number of applications.  Visit this thread in the GeocacheAlaska! Forums or reference the March 2015 newsletter for instructions for how to upload the file to your GPS or a map application.

Zipped folder of ALL affected Alaska State Parks (1.5MB)
Afognak Island State Park.zipFort Abercrombie State Historical Park.zipPioneer Park State Recreation Site.zip
Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.zipFunter Bay State Marine Park.zipPoint Bridget State Park.zip
Aleutian Islands State Marine Parks.zipGoldstream Public Use Area.zipPorcupine Creek State Recreation Site.zip
Alexander River Recreation River.zipGranite Bay State Marine Park.zipPortage Cove State Recreation Site.zip
Anchor River State Recreation Area.zipGrindall Island State Marine Park.zipPotter Section House State Historic Site.zip
Baranof Castle State Historic Site.zipHalibut Point State Recreation Site.zipQuartz Lake State Recreation Area.zip
Beecher Pass SMP.zipHanson Memorial State Recreation Site.zipRefuge Cove State Recreation Site.zip
Bettles Bay State Marine Park.zipHanson Memorial State Recreation Site.zipRocky Lake State Recreation Site.zip
Big Bear_Baby Bear Bays State Marine Park.zipHarding Lake State Recreation Area.zipSafety Cove State Marine Park.zip
Big Delta State Historical Park.zipHatcher Pass Public Use Area.zipSaint James Bay State Marine Park.zip
Big Lake North State Recreation Site.zipHorseshoe Bay State Marine Park.zipSalcha River State Recreation Site.zip
Big Lake South State Recreation Site.zipIndependence Mine State Histroical Park.zipSandspit Point State Marine Park.zip
Birch Lake State Recreation Site.zipJack Bay State Marine Park.zipSawmill Bay State Marine Park.zip
Black Sands Beach State Marine Park.zipJoe Mace Island State Marine Park.zipScout Lake State Recreation Site.zip
Blair Lake State Recreation Site.zipJohnson Creek State Recreation Site.zipSecurity Bay State Marine Park.zip
Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site.zipJohnson Lake State Recreation Area.zipSettlers Cove State Recreataion Site.zip
Bonnie Lake State Recreation Site.zipKachemak Bay State and Wilderness Parks.zipShelter Island State Marine Park.zip
Boswell Bay Beaches State Marine Park.zipKasilof River State Recreation Site.zipShoup Bay State Marine Park.zip
Buskin River State Recreation Site.zipKayak Island State Marine Park.zipShoup Glacier State Marine Park.zip
Caines Head State Recreation Area.zipKenai River Special Management Area.zipShuyak Island State Park.zip
Canoe Passage State Marine Park.zipKepler-Bradley State Recreation Area.zipSkagway Campground.zip
Captain Cook State Recreation Area.zipKing Mountain State Recreation Site.zipSouth Esther Island State Marine Park.zip
Chena River State Recreation Site.zipKroto Creek and Moose Creek State Recreation River.zipSquirrel Creek State Recreation Site.zip
Chilkat Islands State Marine Park.zipLake Aleknagik State Recreation Site.zipStariski State Recreation Site.zip
Chilkoot Lake State Recreation Site.zipLake Creek State Recreation River.zipSullivan Island State Marine Park.zip
Chugach State Park.zipLake Louise State Recreation Area.zipSummit Lake State Recreation Site.zip
Clam Gulch State Recreation Area.zipLake View Campground.zipSunny Cove State Marine Park.zip
Clearwater State Recreation Site.zipLiberty Falls State Recreation Site.zipSurprise Cove State Marine Park.zip
Crooked Creek State Recreation Site.zipLittle Nelchina State Recreation Site.zipSurprise Ridge State Marine Park.zip
Dall Bay State Marine Park.zipLittle Susitna State Recreation River.zipTaku Harbor State Marine Park.zip
Deadman Lake Campground.zipLittle Tonsina State Recreation Site.zipTalachulitna State Recreation River.zip
Decision Point.zipLong Lake State Recreation Site.zipTalkeetna State Recreation River.zip
Deep Creek State Recreation Area.zipLowell Point State Recreation Site.zipThe Pillars Kenai River Special Management Area.zip
Delta State Recreation Site.zipLower Chatanika River State Recreation Area.zipThoms Place State Marine Park.zip
Denali State Park.zipMagoun Islands State Marine Park.zipThumb Cove State Marine Park.zip
Donnelly Creek State Recreation Site.zipMatanuska Glacier State Recreation Site.zipTok River State Recreation Site.zip
Driftwood Bay State Marine Park.zipMontana Creek State Recreation Site.zipTokositna River State Recreation Area.zip
Dry Creek Site.zipMoon Lake State Recreation Site.zipTotem Bight State Historical Park.zip
Dry Creek State Recreation Site.zipMosquito Lake State Recreation Site.zipUpper Chatanika River State Recreation Site.zip
Eagle Beach State Recreation Area.zipNancy Lake State Recreation Area.zipUpper Kasilof River State Recreation Area.zip
Eagle Trail State Recreation Site.zipNancy Lake State Recreation Site.zipWickersham State Historic Site.zip
Earnest Gruening State Historical Park.zipNelchina Public Use Area.zipWillow Creek State Recreation Area.zip
Entry Cove State Marine Park.zipNinilchik State Recreation Area.zipWolf Lake State Recreation Site.zip
Ernie Haugen Public Use Area.zipOld Sitka State Historical Park.zipWood-Tikchik State Park.zip
Fielding Lake State Recreation Area.zipOliver Inlet State Marine Park.zipWorthington Glacier State Recreation Site.zip
Finger Lake State Recreation Site.zipPetroglyph Beach State Historical Site.zipZiegler Cove State Marine Park.zip

Within Municipality of Anchorage

Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge (includes Potters Marsh)

Joe Meehan, Program Coordinator, Lands and Refuge Program, Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Caches are allowed in the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge with careful thought regarding placements that won't lead to the creation of new "social" trails or disturbing wildlife.  Caches may be placed on the Potters Marsh Boardwalk, but not adjacent to it.

Joint Base Elmendorf AFB/Ft. Richardson (JBER)

All caches are to be disabled or archived effective immediately (April 12, 2009) and must be physically removed by May 1, 2009. Affected caches have had a "Needs Archived" note posted on their cache page. Download this map (7MB pdf) to view the extent of Ft. Richardson/Elmendorf AFB lands.

Update 5/21/12: Regulations prohibit the placement of geocaches on JBER.

Contact: Mark Sledge, Civ USAF PACAF 673 CES/CEANC, 384-1128.

Municipality of Anchorage Parks

Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) parklands are open to geocaching.  GeocacheAlaska! and the MOA have a symbiotic relationship where we host CITO events and teach geocaching as part of MOA's activities schedule and we get to place caches in Anchorage's parks.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Northern Field Office, 907-474-2369

White Mountain National Recreation Area, Randy Goodwin, randy_goodwin@blm.gov
Dalton Highway, Roger Delaney, Roger_Delaney@ak.blm.gov
Fortymile, Jeff Kowalczyk, Jeff_Kowalczyk@ak.blm.gov

Caches are allowed without permit in most locations except Mt. Prindle, Limestone Jags, Serpentine Slide, Big Windy Hot Springs, other Research Natural Areas, and Areas of Environmental Concern.

See additionally,

Steese NCA

Mt.Prindle

Big Windy Hot Springs

Anchorage Field Office, Campbell Tract/Far North Bicentennial Park

Contact: Jorjena Daly, Outdoor Recreation Planner, 907-267-1317, JDaly@blm.gov

Caches allowed without permit except for 50m/150' exclusion zone along streams/waterways to provide bear corridor and protect salmon spawning grounds. See the GeocacheAlaska! forums for details. A downloadable map of the exclusion zones is downloadable here

Chugach National Forest

The ranger staff of Glacier Ranger District (based in Girdwood) of the Chugach National Forest has visited many of the active caches on their part of the Forest, as part of their backcountry patrols. They welcome caching as an activity, as long as cachers keep their hides well-policed, don't create social trails, don't promote otherwise illegal activity, and continue to practice CITO.

The rangers remind cachers as well as well as the general public that "it is prohibited to possess or operate a motor vehicle on National Forest System lands on the CHUGACH NATIONAL FOREST other than in accordance with these designations (CFR 261.13).  Violators of 36 CFR 261.13 are subject to a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both (18 U.S.C. 3571(e)).  This prohibition applies regardless of the presence or absence of signs."

So, know before you go by downloading Chugach National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map 1 and Map 2 (~1.2 MB pdfs).

Caches are not allowed in designated Wilderness Areas of Chugach National Forest which is the designation given to much of western Prince William Sound (east of Whittier).  There are also Alaska Native Lands inholdings throughout the Sound that need to be treated as private property.  Download this map to identify the Wilderness areas and refer to the map on page 6 of this Chugach Visitor Guide to identify private lands.

Interior Alaska

Creamer's Field Migratory Bird Refuge

Caches are allowed where hunting is allowed.
Maps available at Alaska Fish & Game, 1300 College Road, Fairbanks

Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks

As of April 11, 2011:"After a careful review of how other communities around the United States manage the placement of Geocaches in their park facilities I concluded that for the time being it seemed over reaching or an overreaction to regulate or restrict this rather benign activity in our park facilities.

With that said if a Geocache attracts garbage, damages trees or other park amenities, is placed in a dangerous location, or because of its popularity creates new unplanned trails or foot paths we will remove it.  Additionally, Geocaches are probably not appropriate in the developed community parks such as Pioneer Park or neighborhood playgrounds.

I think it will be sometime before Fairbanks needs to implement a Geocaching policy like some of the lengthy ones I reviewed from parks near  large metropolitan areas in the lower 48 states. For the time being the Parks and Recreation staff will not disturb the Geocaches that are responsibly placed.

 Thanks,

 John Haas
 Parks Superintendent
 FNSB Parks & Recreation
 459-1198 or jhaas@co.fairbanks.ak.us"

If you wish to conduct a GPS or compass navigation training exercise please contact Matt Steffy at Chena Lakes Recreation Area at 488-1655 or Ricky Borland at Birch Hill at 457-4488.  The Fairbanks Parks Superintendent is John Haas, 459-1198. 

North Pole City Parks

Caches are allowed as long as " there is nothing destructive that will occur to city property or cause a health or safety issue to all park users, " per Bill Butler, Director of City Services (488-8594 or bill@northpolealaska.com).  City of North Pole managed parks are Terry Miller Park located at 5th and Santa Claus Lane, Hipple Park located at LaSalle Avenue. and Homestead Road, and North Pole Skate Board Park located at 5th and Old Richardson Highway.  Bill Butler may be contacted at 488-8594 or bill@northpolealaska.com.

National Wildlife Refuges under USFWS administration

Physical cache containers are not allowed in any National Wildlife Refuge under USFWS jurisdiction within Alaska.  Physical caches and EarthCaches may be placed on the Islands and Ocean Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge property in Homer by UFSWS staff members with USFWS chain of command approval.

The affected refuges in Alaska are:

Physical caches may be placed on the Islands and Ocean Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge property in Homer by UFSWS staff members with USFWS chain of command approval. 

GPX files for boundaries of the hyperlinked refuges may be downloaded for personal use.

A kmz formatted file for all Alaska National Wildlife Refuges may be downloaded from the USFWS Geospacial Services webpage.  This file may then be uploaded into GoogleEarth for viewing.

Alaska Native Corporation Lands

Caches of any kind may not be placed on Alaska Native Corporation Lands without explicit written permission from the appropriate Corporation.  Examples of Alaska Native Corporation Lands include, but are not limited to,  the 157,000 acres of Eklutna Native Corporation Lands lands between Chugiak and Knik Arm and in the Mat-Su Borough and the 1.528 million acres of Ahtna Native Regional Corporation land in the Copper River Basin.

A GPX file of the Eklutna Incorporated lands may be downloaded by clicking here.  An exception to this geocache exclusion is on Eklutna lands administered by Alaska State Parks in Chugach State Park at Eklutna Lake, where caches may be placed under the Alaska State Parks blanket permit.

Trans Alaska Pipeline (Alyeska Pipeline) Right-of-Way

Geocaches cannot be placed in the pipeline Right-of-Way.  Alyeska Security is extremely sensitive about objects not related to the pipeline within the ROW and conducts routine inspections.

Also, unless a person is currently badged for access to facilities of the TransAlaska Pipeline System (TAPS, aka Alyeska), one must obtain a RUG permit from Alyeska Security to use the TAPS Right of Way (ROW) to access other trails. Permits may be obtained at the following locations upon presentation of a photo ID:

Anchorage (3700 Centerpoint, 787-8971)
Fairbanks (701 Bidwell Ave., 787-5707) 
Pump Station 11/Glennallen Response Base (787-5107)
Valdez (Valdez Marine Terminal, 787-6480)

Permits are free, good for the year issued, and apply to the entire pipeline ROW.

 

 

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