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Camping Alaska

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.

Recent Reviews in Alaska
Beautiful scenery, challenging coho fishing

Coghill has an outstanding A-frame cabin and the view from the front porch is one of the best I have seen in visits to over 20 different USFS cabins in Alaska.  The view included 3,000-4,000 ft peaks covered with glaciers, and a beautiful lagoon right in front of the cabin. The flight there and back from Anchorage was incredible, we saw hundreds of glaciers, several massive ones. The area around Coghill is very swampy, and it was very buggy when we were there in the middle of Sept., all biting black flies, no mosquitos. 

the trail that supposedly exists to the estuary is overgrown, criss-crossed with bear trails,  hard to find, and very brushy where you do find it. We wondered why nobody has placed any trail markers on the trail from the cabin to College Fiord? I realize the USFS does not have the resources to maintain or improve the trail, but if it was marked regular use would help maintain the trail somewhat. But it also seems like the vegetation grows so fast there that nature is doing its best to obliterate any trail, and the many bear trails make it hard to figure out which trail is which.

When it rains the river downstream of the cabin is too large to cross, so you become very restricted in where you can fish downstream. We brought a 2.5 HP kicker motor, so we were able to explore all of the tribs that feed into the upper end of the the lake. 

we were fishing for silvers and our group caught very few during a week.  The place is very well known for sockeye, but they run in July and we were there in Sept.  the lagoon in front of the cabin and lake had about 20 harbor seals that were on constant prowl for silvers. The harbor seals were also in the river down below the cabin. with so many seals it is hard to imagine that the silvers ever have a chance to stack up anywhere without being scattered.  The cabin log book mentions the seals being there more than 20 years back, so they just seem to be a feature of this lake/lagoon system.  

The Coghill cabin was in excellent shape when we visited, and very clean thanks to the preceding group (the “Igloo Boys”). the area around the lake is incredibly beautiful!! the stove worked well but only has one heat setting (but that was not a problem).

THE ROWBOAT IS MISSING AN OAR, and really needs a new set of oars and oar locks so that the remaining oar can serve as a back up. The Igloo Boys improvised a shovel as a replacement for the missing oar, but it is only a matter of time before somebody drops the oar/shovel to the bottom of the lake and then they will have to row their way back to the cabin with only a single oar.  If you visit this cabin make arrangements with the USFS to get a new set of oars, or bring your own.  Without oars you will be very limited in where you can get to at this cabin.

Family Awesomeness!

Although there is no no alcohol allowed this campground is just pure cool. Quiet times from 10pm to 8am, they have a dump, day use area, tons of trails, and fire rings. There are several loops to choose from with a paved RV section up top. Sherrod loop is only 30 feet but much more secluded than above but with no hookups. Pull throughs sites above with over 87 sites total including the paved and dirt road ones. 4 pavilions with a playground and dog station.

Stop Over Site

Full hookups, but the place is for sale now that it is the end of the season. Hopefully it will get bought or reopen as it is a nicely situated RV spot with a restaurant on the premises. A great stop over spot.

Gorgeous Glacier Views

Never would have thought to stop at this small but beautifully gem. Only 10 campsites total at $20 a night this place is just orgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. The fall leaves here were so beautiful. Hiking nearby gives you something do besides just sit and rejuvanate.

Long Term Gem

A bit wide open and highway noise but on lake with laundry, showers, full hookups, firewood for sale, restaurant, matanuska lake access, long term parking too. Some sites have gorgeous lake views.

Pass it by

Pot hole parking lot. No alcohol, locked in at night, reservable, not every site has tables, firepitsx half the sites are locked off not in use, restrooms, small picnic pavillion, boat launch, $20 a night, host firewood $6

Lake Beauty

Lake access, picnic area, trails, pretty forest areas , host, no pull through sites however so large rigs may be tight. In my video I accidentally state no motorized boats on the lake but yes they are allowed. Bear proof trash. FCFS, firewood 8 and 2 for 15

Canoe Trails!

6 miles of canoe trails on Nancy Lake to keep you nice and busy all weekend long. Tons of hiking, camp host, firewood for sale $8 or 2 for $15, several lake access day use sites with picnic tables and fire rings. Bear proof trash so they are here people.


Mainly just a parking lot, good access to deshka landing for fishing, camp host, dry camping, $15 FCFCS. The fire here a few years ago have left the drive into the campground sad and burnt out, but new life is now growing on some.


Tons of trails, lake access, dog park, playground, electric hookups, forested descent separation between sites, group site, restrooms, swimming, kayaking, canoe, and fish, 2 pavilions, 2 playgrounds too.

Perfect Fishing Campground

The Russian River Campgrounds are actually made up of five loops, King Salmon, Silver Salmon, Rainvow Trout, Red Salmon, and Steelhead. There are 4 handicapped designated spots, but each site has a picnic table and firepit. Nice separated some with views of the mountains and even a few with partial river view. Perfect fishing spot and also a nice paved home to the Russian River Falls. Watch for bears at all times and always have your fishing license on ya.

First to Review
Into the Woods

Small campground only 9 sites, no host so pack in your wood. This poor campground needs some road work, lots of pot holes and short sites so large rigs won't fit here. You pass over three one lane bridges with a max of 10 tons allowed. Set far back tons of privacy. #4 has a creek view, #9 and #7 were both also nice sites. Large sites great for tents however with food lockers. Watch for bear activity as we saw fresh Scat. If you want to get away from people this canpground is for you.

Fishing Oh My

Along the Kenai River a great place for RVer's that are needing a fishing fix. The main lodge is just a short walk away too. Grocery store, shower, laundry ADA accessible, Ice and Propane make this a wonderful stop. All sites are a bit close together but there are trees on the outside.

Hidden Fun

Hidden Lake canpground is made up of three sections. Skyview loop the furthest from the lake is the largest with sites large enough for any rig. #6, 10 15 and 20 are handicapped only, do not park here unless you have tags or hanging proof. Ridge Loop and Lake Loop are both tighter and have signs warning of limited manuverbility. Sure #6 on lake loop is ADA and #1 on Ridge loop is ADA. There are trails down to the lake from the upper two, ridge and skyview. There is a free boat launch to access Hidden lake which has trout, dolly garden, kokanee and land locked salmon. Seven day limit at only $10 a day. There are day use covered picnic pavilions, an amphitheater, hiking trails and camp host. The walk in tent area is very private and tree covered. All sites have tables and fire rings. Love this place!

Outdoor Heaven

Fishing, hiking, boating galore. Paved pads with gorgeous sites some right on the water. Tent sites at $5 a night and Standard sites for camper and RV's run $10. This beautiful lake was hit by the Swan Lake fire this year and the campgound has been closed, however we drove through last weekend and the campground survived the fire! Still nicely surrounded with trees for privacy we were very happy to see it undamaged.

Fire Damaged

Went to check out Lower Skilak Lake Canpground and if course due to the Swan Lake fire this year it is closed. Unfortunately the fire damage looks to have maybe taken out the whole campground so please double check before you go. I hope they restore this beautiful campground for next season.

Summit Fishing

This campground located on Summit Lake may not have hookups but the views and the fishing are worth it. $18 a night, with 35 sites to choose from. Our favorites are #1, 6, 8 10-12 due to water access. #24 is a beautiful mountain view pull through. The o ly downside as that most sites have picnic table and firepit behind the site and with a ramp up to them. Vault toilets, boat ramp, and drinking water all available. Tent sites with pads are over a quaint foot bridge to allow some separation from the road.

Beautiful Mountains

Beautiful mountain views 18 sites good for RV and campers and 19 tent sites. $14 a night, only dry sites. Located along granit Creek which has Dolly Varden. Food lockers, dumpster, hand driven water pump. These are reservable online but I have never seen this campground completely full. Off season there is no trash service or water. Great place to spot mountain goats too.

The Pass

Situated nicely in the Turnagain Pass this campground boasts big sites, tons of hiking options and beauty every way you look. Site with mountain views too! No phone service so you can fully unhook and hide. No campground host so make sure to bring your own firewood. 12 campsites at $14 a night, food lockers provided but no trash service so if you pack it in you pack it out.

Beautifully tucked away

Far enough off the main highway to feel away from it all. Two lakes to fish with hiking trails to explore. Ranger talks nightly. Nice large sites with a huge group area. Some sites are FCFS but most reservable on line and booked way in advance. Firewood available for purchase and pavillion is rentable for events. All sites have electric too. Beautiful campground with clean bathrooms.

Overpriced and under developed

This campground is easy to miss as it sits below the main road. We went to stay here, even booking our site only to cancel due to medical reason and they only refunded us half. They charge $2 per dog per day on top of the $22 a night site fee, which for Alaska I have never encountered before. The top sites are up a one way road on the mountain side and luckily we did not encounter anyone when we went up. The idea of lugging our water gear down was not enticing and they over price their water gear. All in all an ok campground just not our style. Also this is an alcohol free campground.

Bicycles and Sea

Situated right along Bird Creek bike path this is a great place to stay if you love to ride your bike. Whale watching and fishing are also two things to help pass the time, if you need it. Each site is nicely level, close to bathrooms and camp host on site. 28 dry campsites and 2 cabins for rent. 7 night stay limit but a great spot for if you want to stay close to Anchorage.

Canoe Heaven

I never knew this campground existed and boy am I glad we found it. 7 miles of canoe trails, a swimming beach, and nice campsites make this a weekend getaway! Two large group sites, 24 tent sites and 8 rv sites, 1-8 and 15-21are reservable, with sites 9-14 fcfs. $25 a nigh dry campingMinimum booking 2 days in advance. Boat launch, Firewood $8 bucket or $15 for two. Camp host, 7 day limit. #5 and #6 are our RV favorites as they dont look upon anything but woods. Very clean restrooms. You can pay via card too! Huge day use area. Definately a keeper on our list.

Roughing it even with hookups

We drove through wanting to stay but were seriously grossed out. We got the impression that some sites had full time tenants. It was dirty, the bathrooms were stinky nasty outhouses with seats hanging on the wall. Trash just laying on the ground right next to the bins. Most sites were rough and wide open. A lot of did not have picnic tables or fire rings. Would not recommend unless you bring all your own amenities. Nothing but fishing so if that is what your looking for you may find it more acceptable than we did.

Open Year Round

Open year round, but closed Tuesdays in winter. RV hookups, laundry, bar and restaurant. Landing strip for small airplanes too. We just passed through here scouting it out for future trips and unfortunately they were closed that day. The RV sites seemed a little overgrown and uneven, but otherwise not bad. They offer authentic Russian and American food and a bar. Website has lovely pics of their rooms for rent.

Fishing and Berry Picking

25 sites all with trees galore, tables and firepits. $20 a night along the bank of squirrel creek. Bear proof trash cans, restrooms and potable water. This is a wonderful weekend stop to fish and berry pick.

Blueberry Heaven

Situated beautifully up in Thompson Pass is Blueberry Lake and on that lake is Blueberry Lake State Rec Site. With 14 campsites it's small but surrounded in beauty. Site 15 is reserved for the host. This is raw camping just restrooms, firepits, and picnic tables. The whole campground is paved which is wonderful and there are two pavilions along the lake for use. Blueberries abound for picking when in season and Valdez is just a pretty drive down the road. Loved everything about this campground. Wonderfully clean bathrooms and only $25 a night.

Wasilla Wonderful

Wonderful place to stop off and catch your breath. Pavillion with fire pit, two grills si you dont have to unpack yours, and hammocks to laze away the day. Laundry and showers look like an old west town, too cute! Cabins for rent, playground for the kids and propane to restock. Open year round! Pet friendly and Wifi available. Super friendly staff.

Simple family fun

All spots are close to one bathroom or another. Train does run by at 6 am so it makes a great alarm clock. Quiet time ends at 6 am. Half the camp sites are next to the bike path so watch your dogs. Dry camping and you can reserve cabins but have to do way in advance.

4/5 Stars

Well kept, lots of options for campsites. Just be aware, there are restrooms right by the front entrance, so if you camp close to the entrance you may be woken up by people passing through in the night to use the restroom.