At the end of the Alaska Highway, Delta Junction’s State Parks bring nature and history together
The Alaska Highway officially ends at the town of Delta Junction, home to five state recreation areas and sites: Quartz Lake State Recreation Area, Fielding Lake State Recreation Area, Delta State Recreation Site, Donnelly Creek State Recreation Site and Clearwater State Recreation Site.
As you come to the end of the Alaska Highway, you reach a wilderness area that covers a wide expanse of boreal forests, braided river bottoms, high country tundra and mountainous backdrop. Visitors to the Delta Junction area love this region for its peacefulness, excellent fishing opportunities, variety of wildlife and breathtaking views.
The town of Delta Junction has been referred to as "Buffalo Center". In 1928 twenty-three bison were transplanted from the National Bison Range in Montana to what is now the Delta Junction area. The free ranging bison herd now numbers about 375.
Delta Junction also offers travelers amazing views of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Both north and south of Delta on the Richardson Highway, there are excellent photo opportunities of the pipeline. There are also informational displays for visitors to read about this great industrial achievement.
The Delta Junction Area State Parks hold many opportunities for visitors and townspeople alike. Not only are there beautiful lakes, excellent wildlife viewing, great fishing, various hiking trails, and a wonderful historical park, the Delta Junction Area itself has much to offer. All of them are an hour's drive or less from Delta Junction and offer a variety of recreation opportunities ranging from camping and sport fishing to wildlife viewing, canoeing and hiking.
The Clearwater State Recreation Site features a campground overlooking the Delta Clearwater River, the largest spring-fed tributary of the Tanana River. From the campground, the Delta Clearwater River is a popular float trip that offers fishing for Arctic grayling, whitefish and salmon. A boardwalk located along the river behind the campsites allows visitors to view sandhill cranes, swans, geese and other migratory birds in the spring or fall.
Located right in Delta Junction is Delta State Recreation Site, a popular campground for those traveling between Tok and Fairbanks. The Delta River is directly across the Richardson Highway, along with spectacular views of Mount Hayes and the rest of the Alaska Range.
The Donnelly Creek State Recreation Site is home to an array of wildlife, including moose, bears, porcupine, beavers and snowshoe hares. Occasionally, caribou are sighted browsing in the area while the Delta bison herd is often seen across the Delta River on its summer calving grounds.
Sixty miles south of Delta Junction off the Richardson Highway is Fielding Lake State Recreation Site, a scenic campground above tree line in the Alaska Range at an elevation of 2,973 feet. Because of the elevation, ice sometimes remains on the lake until July. Fielding Lake offers fishing opportunities for Arctic grayling, lake trout and burbot.
Bordering two lakes 10 miles north of Delta Junction is Quartz Lake State Recreation Area, offering a wide range of facilities around two lakes. Five hiking trails, all of which are less than two miles in total length, provide access to views of the Tanana River Valley, Alaska Range, Shaw Creek Flats, Quartz and Lost lakes and Moose Pond. Quartz Lake also has two public-use cabins available and four ice huts anglers can rent in the winter for ice fishing. Other popular activities include snowmobiling, dog mushing and skijoring.