Alaska is the biggest state in the U.S., more than twice the size of Texas. Yet it’s the least densely populated state in America, and one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world. There’s a lot of land waiting to be explored. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out the best place to go if you’re thinking about camping in Alaska. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
Located within a short day’s drive from Anchorage, Denali National Park covers six million acres of wild, untamed land. A destination for mountaineers, explorers, photographers, and nature enthusiasts, the park is home to North America’s tallest peak, Denali—formerly Mount McKinley. The mountain alone attracts visitors from all over the world to climb its rugged peaks, ski its snowy slopes, and take in all the natural wonder camping in Alaska has to offer.
Established by Congress in 1917 as a park to conserve Dall sheep from hunting, Denali is home to all sorts of wild animals, such as wolves, bears, moose and reindeer. The park has six campgrounds but keep in mind there is no National Park Service-run lodging. But tent and RV camping are welcome.
If fishing is part of your camping experience, then the Russian River is the perfect place for you. Rated the most popular sockeye salmon stream in Alaska and one of the top-rated spots for rainbow trout, the Russian River is located on the Eastern Kenai Peninsula in the Chugach National Forest, which spans more than five million acres of raging rivers, mountains and beautiful terrain.
More than 100,000 people visit the Russian River area annually and enjoy activities such as hiking the Russian Lakes Trail, visiting the K’beq Interpretive Site—where tribe members guide visitors through interpretive walks showcasing archaeological sites, stories and culture—along with biking and boating. The campground has 83 campsites and is open from May through September.
As one of the ultimate bucket list camping destinations for campers like you, finding camping in Alaska can be overwhelming and, at times, competitive. Trust authentic campground reviews on The Dyrt to guide you through the wilderness in the 49th state.
We had to take a boat in and I think you can only hike in during low tide. But I camped here for a week and it was the most gorgeous place I have ever been. Waking up every morning with mountains and ocean in view was so surreal. We also saw a whale from our camp, tons of seals, porpoises, and beautiful birds. There were bald eagles, ravens, and Stellar’s jays. I highly recommend for primitive camping.
Start like you're heading to Yakutania Point, and follow the signs for Smugg's. You'll pass trashcans and facilities along the way. At Smugg's, you'll find a picnic table and fire pit. It's much quieter than the Point and better for tent camping. Also great for trail running. I love this spot! Great afternoon hike that can turn into an overnight stay. Pet friendly too! I went bush whacking on the other side of the cove and found some cool spots up the goat trail. But watch out for bears if you’re out in peak season.
Maybe in the winter this would be a better spot. Though beautiful, it's very busy. It's right next to the small boat harbor, and the rail road dock, so there's traffic from fishing boats, the small ferry, and the cruise ships. It's convenient to town, close to the liquor store. The plus side-it's close to Pullen Creek where the salmon run, there are plenty of facilities, and it's close to the trailhead for lower and upper lake.
Cross the foot bridge over the Skagway River by the airport and follow the signs left. It's an easy trail with a few places to explore and hang out by the water along the way. If you follow it to the Point, you'll pass outhouses and trashcans about half way. There is a picnic table under the trees, then a fire pit close to the shore line. Plenty of places to hang a hammock. For the best views, check out the rocks to the right. Plenty of locals in the evening. Great place to meet people. Pet friendly, as long as your pets are friendly!
It's a little odd but it's got everything you need. Coin showers, laundry, bathrooms inside what feels like a living room. Nice place to hang out. Vending machines and books. RV and Tents. Next to the famous Lighthouse bar. Just a few blocks from the Sheldon Museum and the downtown area. Convenient, plus nice views. Also, the staff is super helpful. I had a last minute overnight stay. I was borrowing a friend’s tent that I had never used before. A staff member and other campers came over to help me fight the wind and set it up. Super sweet!
Each space has a picnic table and fire pit. It's pretty close to the ferry terminal (4 miles?). Outhouse. Close to lots of trails, good fishing, and swimming. Ketchikan is adorable, but considerable fishing and tourism traffic. I would suggest going March-early April. The energy in tourism towns starts building but you get there before the tourists do. Also, there’s just something special about the crisp, spring air.
Lots of benefits to this spot-- Haines is one of my most favorite towns in the South East because it's small, residential, and not as touristy. There are plenty of affordable RV parks in the area, but I prefer pitching it on the coast at Portage Cove (no RVs, walking or bike only). It's not far from the ferry terminal or downtown. There are public restrooms. Plus the view of the Chilkat Inlet is perfect to wake up to. Lots of spaces! Though it’s quieter before and after the tourist summer season, the Haines state fair is a blast!!! Art, music, food. Great time to go!
This site is mostly about the hike; not many facilities, but not needed. The first few switchbacks were the worst of the hike. You get a nice view of town on the way up, then you can go around the entire lake. There's a picnic table and several small cleared areas to pitch. The locals and seasonal workers flock here to swim on warm days so expect lots of activity if it's warm out. You can continue on the "Lower Loop" which will take you back down to the trailhead, or you can continue up to Upper Lake.
Easy access for all sizes of campers.
This was my first time camping in Denali and even though it’s the off season it was fantastic. The sites were super clean and even with a few other people there it was very quiet. You are really close to a bunch of hiking trails as well.
If you have a camper or RV, Town $ Country is a great place to crash for the night or weekend. It's conveniently located just off the highway and is a great launch spot for amazing Alaska road tripping adventures or to rest your head on the way to your next adventure.
I love the South Rolly Lake campground. We have been going here for years. The sites are large and campground staff clean them daily after campers leave. The outhouses are clean and also maintained daily. There are canoe and kayak rentals and the dock is great for fishing or swimming! There are also great hiking trails accessible from the campground including the Red Shirt Lake trail.
Within walking distance to "Glitter Gulch" and trails at the entrance to the park. We've camped there for many years and always had a peaceful nights rest. We've camped in the spring, summer and during the fall. Well maintained and sites are semi secluded. You can see your neighbors but there are plenty of trees and vegetation around to make you feel like you're secluded. Plenty of sites for tents, cab overs, motor homes and trailers depending on your preference. Fire pits available. Gets a bit busy during the peak of the season so reserve early if coming during those times. Great place to stay close to the park!!!
Location is convenient next to the rec center and a few blocks from town. The restrooms are clean. There’s a coin operated shower and coin operated laundry on site. There are picnic tables and vending machines as well. Skagway is a great place to stop and this is definitely my favorite rv park. The rate is pretty reasonable in comparison to other parks in town. Plus, you can't beat the view. More spots available during "shoulder seasons" (April or October)
I spent three nights on the ferry from Bellingham, WA, to Skagway, AK. Camping on the deck was wonderful. You can pitch a tent on the deck, or sleep under the heated overhang. You can also get a private cabin if you’d like, or find a quiet place in other places on board. Movie theater, showers, washer and dryer, food. More than you need. Plus amazing views! No booze on the deck but available in the dining room. The staff was also so sweet!
Private spaces, beautiful views, northern lights, eagles, bears, river, ocean….all the things. Perfect for an over-night or several days in seclusion. It’s about a twenty-thirty minute drive from town. The tougher your vehicle, the better, but 4wd not needed. You can camp on the outskirts of the grounds for an open view of the flats, or get a more secluded spot in the trees. It’s a dream. Dyea has such amazing history. There’s a bar/restaurant/Airbnb on the way. The sweetest woman runs it and she’ll tell you all you need to know about the area.
The camping spaces are a little close together, though there are enough it’s easy to get to some privacy. It’s got everything you need, though for better views and further privacy, I’d recommend driving a little further toward the flats. Dyea always seems like the perfect kind of quiet, though it gets the most traffic during the summer and both US and Canadian holidays. I suggest going in September. The weather is perfect-not too cold, solid breeze but warm sunshine. The leaves start to change to a beautiful yellow.
Some nice trout to be caught in the lake, if you ride horses into this cabin and abide by the rules, you will have very little grass for them to eat and you will not be able to watch or protect them from the Bears.
Nice, well equipped campground. Sits right on the Eagle River. River is very fast, so advise watching pets and children carefully. Close to Anchorage, but far enough out of town to get away from the hustle. Still a slightly busy campground in summer months.
It has great fishing and hiking and just out of this world
This review covers the Tent Camping Area near Waterfront park and Resurrection RV campground. Some spots have trees and provide some privacy. Tent spots have sand/gravel pads. Spots have picnic tables and fire pits. Dogs allowed but need to be on a leash. No showers but has a nearby restroom. If you want to take a shower you have to go to city center 10min = $2. $10 a camp spot and max of 2 tents. No reservations. First come first serve. Check out is at 12pm.
Campground is near waterfront park that has a skate park and great playground for kids. There’s a paved path that goes along the water close to the campground. Walking, biking, and rollerblading is all possible on the waterfront path. Path runs from waterfront campgrounds all the way to the Sea Life Center.
Check the weather before heading for Seward. It has a reputation for being rainy and tent camping in the cool rain isn’t fun.
This trail head and day use area is close to Anchorage for a quick hike to a descent size waterfall. Parking area maybe has 30 spots. $5 day use fee per vehicle. Pit toilets. Bring hand sanitizer! Dogs are welcome and can handle the trail, they just have to be on a leash and pick up their poo. Dog waste bags are not provided by the state park so bring your own. State Park posts bear sightings and safety info. Bring bear spray just in case.
Theres a hike to the platform to view the falls and then it branches off to another trail that takes you all the way down the to river and right up to the pool at the base of the falls. There’s not a ton of room at the pool so if there’s a ton of people hiking that day you might have to wait for people to leave the area to experience the waterfall up close.
Great family weekend campground and is right on the river providing amazing fishing opportunities. This campground is huge! So lots of trails and boardwalks to ride bikes, walk dogs, get out and explore. Check out the City of Soldotna website for all the details and list of all the fees and discounts for trip planning.
Camping spots are large and offer fire pits and picnic tables. Extra vehicles are charged the same fee as the RV. So if you drive down and have an RV to get the spot and have a friend in a car joining you later they charge the car same price as the RV. Wish they’d have a price break for extra vehicles.
This is not a campground right next to a glacier but a privately owned glacier tour business that charges for access to Matanuska Glacier. So it’s like fill out the forms and pay at the office then park your car at designated parking and walk out to the glacier.
Crampons are extremely recommended if you go out on the ice. You will fall without them. You can slide down the ice into a cravas and die. No joke! The guided tours they provide them to you. They do not rent them or sell them at the office. So buy or rent them before you go. REI in Anchorage rents crampons for the day. This whole adventure is at your own risk.
You have 2 options in the Summer a guided tour or just glacier access where you can hike all over it. When the summer access starts depends on the seasonal conditions. Memorial Day is too early to hike and climb all over it, things are still melting out and hazardous. June it gets better. Call ahead to see if summer access unguided is “open”. In the winter, only guided tours are offered. The pricing is a little hard to find on the website for all the options they offer. They do give a big resident discount. If you are an AK resident ask for the special pricing! They are pretty responsive via email but calling them is faster.
As for the experience? You cannot put into words how awesome it is to be hiking on a glacier in Alaska. Serious bragging rights earned on best vacation excursion or response to what did you do this weekend? It’s amazingly beautiful, iconic of Alaska, challenging, great workout, scenic, and you can have a picnic at the provided picnic tables right by the ice or just on the ice! Cheers!
There are forms and rules to follow and they are really no brainers. Pick up after yourself. No littering allowed and they mean it! You are hiking out on the ice at your own risk have fun but don’t be stupid, don’t be someone that ruins it for others, and above all don’t die.
This is a fairly standard state-run campground on the upper Chatanika River. It's somewhat popular with Fairbanks locals but because of its proximity to town is not a place you're likely to stay if you're heading up the Steese.
The camping spots are small and there's relatively little privacy, and the facilities are, in general, not as well-maintained and clean as we've gotten used to with BLM campgrounds in Alaska. Several camping spots are right on the river. Fishing on the Chatanika is inconsistent but can be very good at mid-summer. If you continue west of the campground there is primitive camping on gravel bars on the river, but you'll probably want 4WD to get there. Also, note that there can be very good berry picking on hillsides near the campground in August and early September.
The BLM has some of the nicest campgrounds in Alaska, and this one is no exception. There are 12 sites with plenty of space between, although they're small for large RVs and trailers (it was perfect for my teardrop trailer). The sites are not directly on the Chatanika River, but you can hear the river running in the background and there is a trail that runs along the riverbank between the campground and the day use area. There are a few walk-in tent sites between the main campground and the river, as well.
Like other BLM facilities it's cleaned and well-maintained, and there are signs up showing local wildlife. Each camping spot has a fire pit and picnic table, and there is a pump to get untreated water near campsite 7. Because it's only about an hour from Fairbanks it doesn't get much traffic from people passing through, although it can get busy during hunting season.