Wood-Tikchik State Park

At 1.6 million acres, Wood-Tikchik State Park was created in l978 for the purpose of protecting the wildlife and providing recreational access. The management philosophy is one of non-development and maintenance of the area's natural wilderness.

The locals affectionately nickname the park "The Alaskan Alps" due to its magnificent snow capped spire peaks, high alpine valleys, and deep v-shaped canyons. The sheer raw beauty of this pristine natural environment is breathtaking.

The largest state park in the United States is also the most remote and the hardest to get to. We arrived with a cargo full of gear and equipment via an l940's cargo plane called "The Goose", the only amphibious plane in Southwest Alaska large enough to carry all our gear.

Once in the area itself, it takes days navigating the waters as the park is actually a series of clear water lakes connected by rivers. Traveling on the Zodiac allows us to travel into some very remote places by getting miles inland and up rivers unattainable by conventional boats.

During our trip, the previous season's winter deposited little snow creating low water levels. Conditions became hazardous as the bottom of the Zodiac was repeatedly damaged by sharp rocks. Throughout the trip, we patched over 75 holes and an eighteen inch gash on the bottom of the Zodiac. And yes, we did run out of patches and had to resort to using good old fashioned duct tape! The fact that we didn't loose any gear and the Zodiac stayed afloat, is a testament to the durability of this craft.