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O'Brien Creek to Haley Creek

Seals for Alaska DOT&PF, Fish and Game, and Natural Resources

June 5, 2024

Boardwalks have been built between O'Brien Creek and Eskilida Creek to allow traffic to bypass culturally sensitive areas.

Follow trail signage and stay on designated boardwalks, built to accommodate trail users, including ATV riders.

DOT&PF, ADF&G, and DNR are collaborating with the Native Village of Chitina to balance the protection of cultural sites while maintaining access to the Copper River. We ask all users to respect the new trail structures and follow signage to ensure this area is treated with the utmost consideration.

Join the Copper River DOT&PF email mailing list on the right-side menu.

The O’Brien Creek to Haley Creek Trail begins 2.75 miles south of Chitina at O’Brien Creek and is used for dip netting on the Copper River. This is a public trail that is surrounded by private land. There are public areas where anyone can go and private areas that can only be accessed with permission from the landowner. If you want to access the private land, you will need to consult with the landowner and obtain a permit. Before you decide to travel this trail, please review a map to see which areas are open to public access, and which areas require permission from the landowner.

  • Ahtna, Inc. permits available online at or by calling (907) 822-3476. 
  • Chitina Native Corporation permits available by calling (907) 823-2223.

To access the trail, you can park your vehicle at O'Brien Creek or at the larger parking area at O’Brien Creek Access Road Turnout. You will need to pay fees to park on lands that are owned by Ahtna, Incorporated and Chitina Native Corporation.

access mapClick here for a higher resolution map.

The trail is typically traveled by four-wheeler or all-terrain-vehicle (ATV) during when the fishery is periodically open between June 7 and September 30. The bridge over O’Brien Creek is suitable for ATV travel, but was not designed for cars or trucks. 62 ¾” is the maximum wheel width of a vehicle that can pass over the bridge.

bridge over O’Brien Creek

DOT&PF public right-of-way extends to the Copper River along the trail in some areas, but there are areas where the public right-of-way does not extend to the river. Accessing the river on these private lands without a permit is trespassing. The private land area along this trail are of great cultural history and are protected under both Federal and Alaska State laws, which includes protection of cultural resources, remains, graves, monuments, or associated items on public and private properties. It is the policy of the State of Alaska to preserve the historic, prehistoric, and archaeological resources of Alaska from loss, desecration, and destruction so that the scientific, historic, and cultural heritage embodied in these resources may pass undiminished to future generations (A.S. 41.35.010). The Alaska Historic Preservation Act (AS 41.35), enacted in 1970, led to creation of the Alaska Office of History and Archaeology in the Department of Natural Resources.  It is mandated to carry out programs to save and know the state’s heritage.

The area is dangerous as the trail is not maintained, the river is cold and fast moving, and the trail is prone to landslides. Stay informed and prepared by reviewing maps, packing the proper safety gear, and paying attention to signs on the trail.

Travel this road at your own risk.  Expect unstable slopes and rock slides.