Army in AlaskaCommunity

Army in Alaska
Outdoor Recreation

Outdoor Recreation

Ft Wainwright MWR Outdoor Recreation


Army posts in Alaska are in tune with the needs of avid adventurers and can equip those who want to be outdoors. From fishing, skiing and camping gear, to ice augers (for cutting holes for ice fishing) and trailers, Soldiers and family members can get what they need to enjoy the outdoors for a moderate price.

Fort Greely’s Recreation Equipment Issue Office is in the Outdoor Recreation Center (Building 627). If you want to experience the great outdoors in Alaska, the Family and MWR Equipment Rental is the place to get started. Available gear includes ATVs, snowmachines, campers, boats and motors, tents, skis, snowboards, sleds and snowshoes, along with other sporting goods. For more information, call 907-873-4058.

Fort Wainwright’s Outdoor Recreation Program has its equipment issue center at Glass Park. The Outdoor Recreation Center is home to Glass Park’s camping and picnic pavilion. Tent camping and RV spots are available for rent by the night, week or month in the summertime. There is also a boat launch on the Chena River. In addition to renting a wide variety of equipment, including riverboats and campers, Outdoor Recreation offers cross-country and downhill ski and snowboard instruction, boater safety classes, river float trips, tours, fishing excursions and jet boat rides on the Chena River.

For more information, call 907-361-6349 or 907-361-6350.

Boat Rentals

Each post rents riverboats and canoes, but boaters in Alaska must give special consideration to water temperature, generally in the 40-degree range, and to the tides, which can have a difference of more than 20 feet. Anyone wanting to rent boats must attend the boating safety course. Fort Wainwright rentals and classes are at the Outdoor Recreation Center: telephone 907-361-6349. Fort Greely boat rentals are available from Outdoor Recreation: telephone 907-873-4058. Drown-proofing courses are offered seasonally at the fitness center’s pool, 907-873-5665.


To fish on military installations, a Recreation Access Permit (RAP card) is necessary, in addition to an Alaska sport fishing license. RAP cards can be obtained at the visitors centers near the main gates at forts Wainwright and Greely, as well as at the Natural Resources Office at Fort Greely and the Fort Wainwright Outdoor Recreation Office. RAP cards are needed for those 16 or older who want to participate in any recreational activity on U.S. Army lands. Passes are free and valid for two years from the date of issue. For Fort Wainwright-area fishing information and RAP cards, call 907-361-9686; for Fort Greely, call 907-873-1614 or 907-873-1615.

Looking for more places to wet your line? Head south to the Seward Military Resort in Seward, which offers fishing, lodging, RV spots and more exclusively for active-duty or retired military and DOD civilians. Find more information at

State of Alaska sport fishing licenses and king salmon stamps can be purchased online at or most sporting goods stores and at Fish and Game offices. For updates on local fishing news, events and regulations for this fishing season, visit

The Chena River runs through Fort Wainwright. This popular boating and fishing destination freezes over and is traversed by sled dog teams in the winter.

Fort Greely has 16 lakes in the Donnelly Training Area, all of them stocked by Alaska Fish and Game. Depending on the lake, you can fish for rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling, landlocked salmon and lake trout.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Fort Wainwright’s Birch Hill Ski & Snowboard Area and Lodge are in Building 1172 on the north side of the Chena River. Birch Hill’s ski and snowboard season runs from November through March. This is Interior Alaska’s finest learn-to-ski facility and boasts the best snowboard terrain park north of the Alaska Range. The lighted ski hill includes a two-person chairlift with 142 chairs, one paddle lift on the beginner slope and a tubing hill lift on the 800-foot tubing run. Tubes are provided with purchase of a tubing pass.

Beginner through advanced ski and snowboard lessons are available on the 35-acre slope. For information, call 907-353-1998 or 907-353-6795.

The Terrain Park has a regulation-size half-pipe, three progression table jumps and an assortment of rails, including a mail box and fun box. Tournaments are offered throughout the ski season, and military arctic skills championships are conducted annually.

Downhill skiing and snowboard equipment are available for rent. The rental shop also sharpens and waxes skis and snowboards. To rent equipment and determine lift ticket costs, call 907-353-6795. Early-bird season passes can be purchased starting in October. The ski lodge also has a large lounge with a fireplace and snack bar service. Lodge rental is booked by appointment only. Call 907-353-1998 for fees and availability.

Fort Greely’s Fire Tower Hill offers a towrope and separate areas for skiing/snowboarding and sledding. The hill is open seasonally, depending on snowfall. Sleds, skis, snowshoes and snowboarding equipment are available from Outdoor Recreation’s Equipment Rental. Call 907-873-4058 for more information.

Physical Fitness Centers

The Fort Wainwright Physical Fitness Center, Building 3709, is on South Post adjacent to the PX. The center features an indoor running track, aerobics rooms, basketball and racquetball courts, sauna and steam rooms for men and women, an open exercise area that contains state-of-the-art equipment, and one of the Army’s few indoor ice rinks. Free weights and Nautilus machines are available. The center has a multipurpose room used for broomball and recreational skating throughout the year. Outside, players will find a quad softball complex, three tennis courts and a soccer practice field.

The Fort Wainwright Melaven Fitness Center, Building 3452 on South Gate Road, offers four racquetball courts, a weight room featuring free weights and Nautilus machines, saunas and steam rooms, and an indoor 25-meter pool. Melaven Fitness Center also has a softball field. The Physical Fitness Center and Melaven Gym operate year-round. Major seasonal sports include basketball, softball, flag football, volleyball, broomball and many others, as well as numerous invitational tournaments. For more information, call 907-353-7223.

The Fort Greely Physical Fitness Center is centrally located in Building 503, behind the headquarters building. The fitness center offers men’s and women’s locker rooms along with sauna and steam rooms, one racquetball court, a full basketball court, a weight room, rowing machines, treadmills, a tanning booth and a wide variety of aerobics classes. The Olympic-sized heated pool with diving boards is also in the fitness center. Swimming lessons are available, as are kickboards, goggles and other pool toys. The fitness center pool is available for rent on Sunday for parties, etc. For more information, call the fitness center at 907-873-2696 or the pool at 907-873-5665.

Off-road Trails

Interested in off-road excitement? Whether you’re on a guided trip or on your own, Fort Greely has an extensive trail system on the main post, as well as in the Donnelly Training area. The surrounding local areas also offer many off-road trail-riding opportunities that Outdoor Recreation staff will be glad to discuss with you according to your activity and skill level. Trail system maps are available at Outdoor Recreation. When recreating within the Donnelly Training Area, you must obtain a Recreation Access Permit (RAP) before proceeding. You can get your RAP card at the Fort Greely front gate Visitor’s Center. Permits are also available at the Natural Resources office in the hangar at Allen Army Airfield (907-873-1615) or at the Fort Wainwright Visitor’s Center.

Skeet, Trap and Archery Ranges

Shooting sports in Alaska provide Soldiers and family members a healthy, fun way to stay sharp, enjoy the outdoors and share quality time together. Fort Wainwright and Fort Greely both provide intramural and recreational leagues, shoots sponsored by the National Skeet Shooters Association and plain old “fun” shoots. Our ranges are equipped with outdoor lights to keep the fun going year-round. Shotgun sales, reloading equipment, gun rentals and shooting supplies are available, as well as a five-stand sporting-clays range.

Fort Wainwright’s Fischer Skeet Range is in Building 1171, next to the ski lodge. Special certificates and patches are available for those brave enough to shoot a round at 20 to 40 below zero during the winter months. For more information, call 907-353-7869.

Fort Greely’s Skeet and Trap Range is in front of Building 649, east of Fire Tower Hill. It is available by appointment only for groups of three or more people. The range master’s office has ammunition for sale, and there is also a limited number of skeet and trap guns available for use. For more information, call 907-873-4058.

Fort Greely’s Archery Range is behind Building 649 and is available by appointment only. It offers several 3-D animal forms ranging from a sheep to a dinosaur. There is also a shooting stand for accurate hunting and target practice. For more information, call 907-873-4058.

Ice Rinks

Fort Wainwright has one of the few indoor ice rinks in the Army, which allows for a variety of on-ice activities including hockey, broomball on ice and figure skating lessons, as well as extended hours for general skating. The indoor ice rink, in the Physical Fitness Center, is operational from mid-September to mid-May. There is also an outdoor rink at Youth Services.

Golf Courses

Fort Wainwright’s Chena Bend Golf Course, the “Farthest North Military Course,” is a 6,476-yard, par-72, 18-hole course nestled between the east end of the Fort Wainwright airfield and the Chena River, with several holes running along the river. There is a self-serve driving range open 24 hours a day, a practice putting green and a chipping green with a sand bunker. There is also a practice area for those who have their own golf balls. Electric carts, pull carts and clubs are available for rent, and the clubhouse has a snack bar and pro shop.

The course is open from May through September depending on weather conditions. Call 907-353-6223 during summer months for more information and tee times. Active-duty personnel, retired military and DOD-authorized civilians may call five days in advance; non-DOD civilians may call three days in advance of play.

Bowling Center

Welcome to your Nugget Lanes Bowling Center! Our 32-lane, smoke-free, family-friendly facility offers programs and activities for all ages, the Mother Lode Cafe and the Gold Rush cocktail lounge. Here you’ll find opportunities for league play, open bowling, youth programs and numerous weekend tournaments open to all active-duty and retired military, their family members and authorized civilian employees. Friday and Saturday nights, the lights go down and the music and fun go up during the “Cosmic Bowl” out-of-this world bowling experience. Party packages for military units, birthdays and youth outings as well as special functions are available. For more information, call 907-353-2654.

Fort Greely’s Aurora Community Center features the eight-lane, smoke-free, family-friendly Buffalo Bowl bowling center. Buffalo Bowl has weekly leagues. The length of the season and times vary for each league. Buffalo Bowl also has a party room available for rent. For more information on bowling leagues or party packages, call 907-873-4782.

Vehicle Centers

The Auto Crafts Center in Building 3730 on Oak Street, behind the PX, assists service members and their families. The center has 17 bays for vehicle work and three car wash bays. Due to extreme temperature ranges in Interior Alaska — from 60 below zero or colder in the winter to highs in the 80s and 90s in the summer — it is important for Soldiers to keep their vehicles in good running condition, and mechanics are on duty to assist. There are also tools and equipment for most minor technical work, with some special equipment for major jobs. Call 907-353-7436.

The Fort Greely Automotive Skills Center in Building 626 offers heated space, equipment, technical instruction, skilled assistance and problem-solving services, as well as wheel alignment, safety inspections, oil changes, vehicle winterization, tire changes and more. A mechanic on duty will help answer questions and assist with tools and equipment. For more information, call 907-873-3139.

The Fort Greely Wood Shop

The Fort Greely Wood Shop in Building 650 has a full line of hand tools and powered instruments to help you make furniture, wood carvings and other decorative items. It is available by appointment only. Call 907-873-3139.

Community Centers

Fort Wainwright’s Warrior Zone, Building 3205, is on South Post in the heart of “Barracks Country.” The Zone is for adults 18 years old and older. Our technology-driven facility consists of a Cyber Zone with free internet access and gaming computers, a pool table and gaming room, arcades, a home theater and a TV gaming zone to support Xbox, PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 single and multiplayer gaming. An extensive library of game titles and movies is available for use in the facility free of charge. This facility is the home of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program. A full-service snack and sports bar provides food and beverages, including beer and wine. Enjoy the big game on one of our many televisions throughout the bar, along with the dance floor and lighting system; live bands often play for your entertainment.

The Last Frontier Community Center (LFCAC), Building 1044 on North Post, is within walking distance for many. The LFCAC is a family friendly facility with a full spectrum of activities and services. An internet cafe in the northeast corner provides specialty coffee beverages, doughnuts and a cozy spot to meet with friends. An indoor playground for young children, with tables and chairs within sight, provides a healthy indoor park for families to escape winter blues. Parents can work out on elliptical machines and other equipment while their children play in the same room, a healthy alternative for all. The LFCAC has the best indoor laser tag arena in Interior Alaska. It has 3,000 square feet of playing area, capacity to handle groups of up to 18 players and state-of-the-art weapons and vests. Group and family discounts are available.

The Fort Greely Aurora Community Activity Center (CAC) has a little bit of something for everyone. Many family friendly events take place here throughout the year, such as the annual fall festival, the holiday gala, the tree lighting, bowling leagues and more. At 6:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, the CAC shows free second-run movies. The CAC also houses Buffalo Bowl, a smoke-free, family-friendly, eight-lane bowling center. The Chinook Bar and Grille is also in the CAC and offers a variety of food and beverage options. For more information, call 907-873-4782. To place food orders, call 907-873-4781.

The Indoor Playground is a fantastic family area in Building 650 that offers a full-size indoor playground with padded floors, as well as a party room with a sink and refrigerator. There is an additional room off the party room with a stair stepper, elliptical machine and stationary bike with a full view of the play area for parents who would like to get in a workout while their children play.

Quick reference phone numbers to all of the U.S. Army Garrison Alaska MWR facilities follow.

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