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THE BEST CAMPING NEAR
Denali National Park, ALASKA
56 Reviews 17 Campgrounds
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Most Recent Denali National Park Camping Reviews
Fantastic

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.

Quiet, Peaceful!

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!!!

breathtaking and awesome

It has great fishing and hiking and just out of this world

Beautiful destination

This is a great campground to visit Denali. The campsites are pretty close together but with enough trees to not feel too crowded. Denali offers a bus to take you from the campground to the various sites within the park. There is also a bus that will take you farther into the park, you can get on and off the bus as you want, this allows for hiking or even backpacking into the heart of the wilderness. Wildlife has the right of way and they take every chance to keep the animals wild. I used a tent site so don't know about the RV sites but there is power at the restrooms and at the laundry/shower site and a lot of people use them to charge their devices. Wateer is available at the restrooms. They have a nice little store that offers sandwiches, drinks-including alcoholic and ice cream.

Great campground that you can drive your car or RV to!

We really enjoyed that we could drive our car further into the park to camp in this campground. Sites are flat and aren't too close together. Had outhouses and running potable water. Fires were allowed. Short walk to the gravel bar and Teklanika river. Nightly ranger programs. We bought a bus pass so we could take daily trips to a part of the park we wanted to explore and then would hop back on when we were done.

Sweet campground with great amenities

This is one sweet campground, though we found it a little loud at times as some groups were staying there as well. Takes RVs and Tents. There's running water, flush toilets and a great evening program each night with a ranger. We stayed a few days would hop on the bus each day (there was a fee) to where we wanted to explore and then catch the bus back when were were done. Great experience.

So noisy! If you've come to get away from it all, keep going.

This is the front country campground in Denali National Park. It's really big and has a few stores and most facilities. The campsites are assigned and we found them clean with a little teeny bit of foliage between some sites. Bathrooms were clean. However, there were people driving in/out setting up, cooking, talking all hours of the night. The sun doesn't really set during the summer and it throws off A LOT of people and they forget that they don't realize that it's late at night/early morning.

We were in a tent. It may be quieter in an RV.

Super busy campground with gorgeous views!

The mosquitos are INSANE. Just unreal. Be sure to bring a headnet, it'll help with your sanity. We enjoy taking the camper bus out and back, less excited tourists everywhere and less narration, although the drivers still look for and stop for wildlife.

The campsites are nice, but all of the tents are in view of each other so no real privacy from others. The nightly ranger programs were a really nice touch. The weather is quite variable. We had sunny days with AMAZING mountain views and driving rain downpours that felt like they'd never end and bring a chill. Glad we spent 3 days so we could see Denali. Bathrooms are nice and even flush.

wilderness

requires a road permit and you to park your car or rv and stay until stay complete. near a glacial river and one hour into Denali National park. has pit toilets and water. ranger talks posted. great for families. near bus stop to take camper bus farther into park. no marked trails but you can hike along river or road.

Straight out of a fairytale

This campsite is stunning. It’s easily accessible, the last campground in Denali National Park by motor vehicle (the others you need to take a bus from the station at the visitors center near the entrance.) Make sure you book your tours in advance, the earlier the better! You could spend a day hiking around the savage river which is located at the end of the camp site. The site is walkable, quiet, and clean.

Convenient Within Denali

Riley Creek was a nice convenient stay just within Denali NP. The sites are a little close together, but the ability to take a shower and pick up some supplies a short trail away was nice.

great National Park campground

we spent 2 weeks there, and woulda stayed longer if we coulda. Great wildlife to see throughout the campground, close proximity to all visitors center, mercantile, bus depot, and much more. Fresh water and dump available at the merc, perfect location to explore Denali.

Everything you need

Riley creek is near the Denali National Park entrance. It’s also a short walk to the merchant store where you can shower or get basic essentials. Try to shower earlier in the day for cleanest showers. Showers coat $4. You must get a token from the cashier. The campground is very nice. Each site has a fire ring and picnic table. Tons of trees for shade and hammocks.

Ok

The sites are all very nice and mostly private. My dissatisfaction came from limited generator hours and shower/laundry facility hours. If you are gone all day on tours and hikes, you don't have any time at all for showering or using the generator when you return. Also, you have to pay $4.50 for 10 minutes of water in the shower. That being said, the water was hot and the facilities were clean. Shower hours are 7am - 830pm. Same for laundry. 2 hrs of generator time in the am (8-10) and 4 in the pm (4-8).

Close to tourists

You can get out of tourists views if you just keep hiking past the regular trail for the savage loop. But it will take a long while. If you don’t want to travel far into the National Park and you don’t mind hanging around more people than this is the place to camp.

Near a beautiful local climbing spot

It’s not part of the National Park so camping is allowed. You follow a tiny little path down off the side of the road and can set up camp at the bottom of the rocks. The waterfall is beautiful and it offers wonderful views of the Nenana River.

Bear den near the glacier

This area is one of my favorites. The views are admittedly not that great when you aren’t actually on the glacier, but it’s such a great little inlet to be in and with multiple water sources. Hiking to beautiful views is very easy from all the camp spots. Getting to the camp spots on the other hand is more difficult! You have to cross so many rivers just to get to the start of the glacier area. Expect to be hiking 3-4 hours just to get to the front of the inlet area.

There is a bear den den in this area so be careful. They ran right in front of me as we were leaving this last time I went. Know what to do with bears and do not follow them, it is their territory after all.

First to Review
Unit 34 has the best 360 views

Unit 34 is another backcountry site in Denali National Park. It is plagued by marsh and thousands of mosquitos, but if you have mosquito gear and get up the mountain as quickly as possible you should be fine. You only have to hike a mile or two to get out of site of the park road. You will need to hike more to get out of the mosquitos and near a water source though. The mountains nearby make a perfect camping spot as you can climb your way out of mosquito hangouts and into the beautiful view of the mountain.

Perfect rain or shine

I abosolutely love this campground. The drive is amazingly beautiful with great views and wildlife spottings. With a camper trailer we went slow on the Denali highway (about 25) the whole time. There are about 20 first come first serve sites. There was not a camp host this year but there will be for 2019. A lady does come clean the campgrounds and does a great job. There is a nice atv/waking trail with berry pickings. There’s a creek for fishing and rafting. There is a water pump on site for water. There’s also a communal area with cooking and storage lockers. There is one over flow parking/camping area that was used by a group and seemed like a fun spot to gather. Lots of bike riding opportunities. This is a perfect spot for families, hikers, fishers or just people who want to hangout and enjoy the scenery. We will be 100% be coming back next year.

AMAZING!!

There is nothing like it!!! The views and wildlife are incredible!! The sites are private, all with views of Denali. The bear locker is huge! Bring as much as you are willing to lug out there! We were having Turkey patty melts with all the fixings while others were just eating pb&js. dont limit yourself! The bathrooms are pretty luxurious for being so remote. Rained quite a bit, so rain gear is a must. No showers, but running water for drinking sinks for washing dishes. Amazing overall!!!

Amazing Gem 30miles Into Denali

Teklanika Campground is a phenomenal location for camping in Denali. Accessible to both tent and RV campers at mile 29.1 on the Denali Park Rd this campground has vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire pits and requires a minimum 3 night stay with no access to the front of the park (without additional fees) once you arrive. Campers here purchase a Tek Pass which allows access further into the park via the bus system (the only way to get further into Denali from this campground). Our favorite feature of this campground was the Tek River which is directly next to the campground. The river bar made for excellent hiking and adventures for the whole family with plenty of animals to see. We would definitely camp here again!

Convenient Camping

Riley Creek Campground is accessible to both tents and RVs. This is the largest campground in Denali that has a mercantile, laundry ($2/wash or dry), showers ($4.50 for 10 minutes), potable water, toilets, and dump station. There is also a free shuttle that has multiple stops including the visitor center, wilderness access center, and multiple trails within he first 15 miles of the park (to Savage River). Overall this is a convenient campground with many amenities great for all groups/types of campers.

Kids fun for days

For starters there are leeches in the water. I’ve swam with my children and the only way they’ve gotten onto them are when they go hunting for them. :) Denali outdoor center rents kayaks, canoes, etc right on the lake and are pleasant to work with. The lake is fun to paddle board, kayak/canoe on for the day. You can even catch stocked rainbow trout! There’s a small playground/picnic area. This is a wonderful backdrop for photos!

An end of season must stay

We camped here for the first time in 2017. We have now made it a plan to visit once every season. We have decided to end our camping season is with this spot. It is perfect for families with a little over 21st come first serve camp sites. The spot is about 30 miles east of the Parks Highway with beautiful views along the way. The kids rode their bikes, picked berries, hiked, fished and played in the creek. I would highly recommend this camping trip be added to your summer!

Convenient

We stayed at this campground for the Road Lottery in 2017 (if you don't know about the Denali Road Lottery, you should check it out). This campsite is probably the easiest to get to in all of Denali (just inside the park, near to the Parks Highway), has a post office, general store, showers and bathrooms, and good cell reception. The sites are somewhat separate from each other, it really varies from site to site, but there are something like 150 sites to chose from, so you should be able to find something you like. Tent areas are raised from the rest of the site, and each site has a campfire grate and picnic bench.

Be sure to be bear-safe with your food! Even as large as this campground is, we saw a HUGE bear walking down the road one morning just a few hundred yards further into the park than the campsite.

Caribou Hills

Every winter we travel to unit 13 to camp, fill our caribou tag and ride our sleds. This country is so big that you can have your own private playground and campground. Winter camping is limited to the parking lot unless you have appropriate gear to winter tent camp but summer camping is endless. Like any place in Alaska, be BearAware and protect yourself but understand you are in their country out here so take all the necessary precautions.

Backcountry units near the frontcountry

Backpacking in Denali National Park and Preserve in the wintertime is rough. Do not try it unless you know what you are doing. Everything in the area pretty much shuts down during the winter months! Do not expect a warm Irish coffee after the backpacking trek through the snow. On the plus side, everything is free! If you can get yourself out there you can go as far as you would like. I only got 1-2 miles from the sled dog kennels as my toes thought it was too cold to venture further. There are limited water supply areas and if you do want them you must be willing to trek a few miles in deep snow to get to them. I should mention that there’s lots of snow during the wintertime just one more time. Be prepared! i visited in October but for some reason can not change it to the proper month.

BUT you also get the chance to see the northern lights so it’s a win.

P.s. these units are very very different during the summer months and very accessible to tourists!

The most beautiful Units I have been to

When choosing which unit you want to backcountry camp in, I would recommend choosing one of the units near the Muldrow glacier. On just the other side of the Eielson visitor center you will find vast tundra, rivers, glacial lakes, and glaciers. I saw a herd of 30 caribou here just grazing and getting in the way of my path. If you don’t want to hike too far then maybe choose a different unit as you have to hike quite a few miles before being outside of view from the park road.

Mid it’s a nice day outside and the mountain is out you also get the chance to see the great Denali in all it’s glory above Muldrow glacier. If it’s not out, then no worries because the unit is just as awesome without it! Also if you are running low on water tablets there is fresh water at the Eielson visitor center. Do not rely on it as it is still at the park road and no where near your camping area. This was one of my favorite units and I have heard similar reviews from other backpackers.

Backcountry den

Denali National Park and Preserve allows for backcountry camping. With that comes extreme risks as it is one of the most remote places that you can be. The National Park service does a wonderful job making sure that only a certain amount of people are allowed in each unit within the park. In this particular unit (north side of the Toklat river into the polychrome mountains) I saw the most wildlife I have ever seen while out backpacking. We found an animal spine, saw a moose, got turned around by 3 bears chilling in our potential camp location, and then at the end of the trip also saw 2 more grizzlies less than 30 feet away. Note; do not go here looking for bears, they are dangerous creatures and should not be harassed/seeked out in the wild.

If you do not trust your river crossing skills to the highest level, do NOT cross the rivers. My friend and I got stuck on the other side of the river with those aforementioned grizzly bears and had to camp an extra night in order to be able to cross the rivers as the water levels had risen. Backcountry adventures are inherently risky. Do not try them unless you are prepared. Bring bear spray, leave no trace, and ultimately experience the vast beauty that is Denali National Park.

First to Review
Easy getaway for the night

There are multiple little land masses throughout Otto Lake that you can kayak/boat to and camp. There is one small one in particular that doesn’t take too much effort to get to. There is a fire pit built in the center but make sure no one is out here before officially setting up for the night! Many locals like to go there for the day and just hammock or rest after kayaking. The price will be dependent on if you have kayaks or boats to get to the island. The lake is not deep and you could probably walk across to the little land patch if necessary. There are no restrooms and please please clean up after yourselves and others!