The best camping near
South Van Horn, ALASKA

16 Reviews36 Campgrounds
Camping Alaska South Van Horn
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Most Recent South Van Horn Camping Reviews
Convenient for Fairbanks Fun

Whereas the campground map may make these sites look tight we were pleasantly surprised to find most of them had trees and brush separating each site. On-site laundry and showers this makes for a great longer-term spot. Located right along the Chena River this RV Resort has a gift shop for when you need a candy fix or warmer swearer and the availability to book direct for Riverboat Discovery, historic Fairbanks tour, and gold dredge 8 tours. They also offer shuttle service for both the historic tour and Riverboat discovery. Restaurant located right next door is also part of the River's Edge family has wonderful food and riverside deck.

Short proximity to Fairbanks

Wonderful campground if you are looking to get away from town but still in close proximity. Well maintained camping area, with options to camp on an island in the middle of the lake.

They offer boats and paddle boards for day use at a reasonable price! Fun to take the family for a day or a weekend.

Great RV Park

This is a great place to stay near North Pole/Fairbanks. They were really helpful with booking. The sites have enough space between for slide outs, but still a little tight. Really nice view of the Chena River. You give a $5 deposit for a key for showers and laundry, will be refunded when you return the key.

State-managed campground on the Chatanika River

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.

Great wooded campground!

We've been here twice. Once in late August in 2014 and again in July 2016. We were delighted how this campground (in a city) feels like wilderness. In late Aug it was getting cooler and sparsely populated. In July, it was pretty crowded but the camp sites aren't right on top of each other and there is foliage around. The flush toilets, drinking water and picnic tables was great. It's close to supermarkets too.

While we only have good things to say about our stay in August, There were some shady people hanging around in July just kind of…lingering. There were 3 of us and all felt that our cars/tents were being scoped out occasionally. Perhaps that was the case, or perhaps we were just paranoid but throwing it out there so you all know that opportunists seem to be lurking about here.

Awesome remote spot!

Great little campground, great views, few people and a great price! road in is a bit rough but would definitely do again!

Wooded area

I’m not sure if we planned the trip around the largest mosquito outbreak ever but this is the first time I wanted a head net! :) the bugs were terrible but the campsite wonderful. The campsites were private, plenty of site options, bathrooms conveniently located and water to play in near by. This campground had a roped off beach area where people played, lounges, kayak/canoe and spent all day. If we came again I would bring more beach appropriate items. The playground and bike/walking trails were great. The kids thought it was fun to watch the many tadpoles!

Swim area

This was a campground with a fun water area for the children. There was a boat launch and water that we could walk very far out in with the children. There were about 70-80 site options, nice walking/bike trails, picnic areas, fire rings, water play area. It felt like there were plenty of camping options with privacy. There were plenty of opportunities to view wildlife as moose came running through our campsite. There was a field through the woods that people were playing softball in late which was fun to watch. I feel like this was a pretty basic campground but the children loved getting into the water.

The beauty of Alaska from inside town

This campground is perfect for those who want to experience camping but don’t want to be in some super remote area. It’s located right on the chena river, which is great for canoeing, kayaking, and more, and is right in Fairbanks.

Only Issue was the mosquitoes; nothing but solace

Campground Review:

This was the first two nights of our 8 night Alaska trip. The campground is called Rosehip, but it's apart of the Chena River State Recreation Area. We arrived late (midnight) and were surprised that even a week before July 4th, that there were only 3 other campers at the campground (all RV's). The wooded areas are composed of mostly white birch which we took its bark when we saw downed trees. Birch bark is great for starting fires. The pit toilets are maintained and do not smell. For water, there are several pumps that you have operate yourself, but our only issue with it was the color of the water, which comes out a little yellow/orange. For two days, we used this site as a base camp to venture out to hiking (Angels Rock) and to Chena Hot Springs, which is about an hour away. Both are worth it. No encounters with wildlife except for the mosquitoes. This site is your typical state run facility and was clean, equipped, and cheap.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. At Chena River State Recreation Area, I tested gear from Snapbuds.

The Snapbuds are magnetized clips that, when attached to your headphones, aim to make it easier to coil the headphones up and make them tangle-free. I give the Snapbuds a 2/5 for a couple of reasons:

  1. The instructions were a little difficult to follow; it took me awhile to realize that there are two versions of the Snapbuds, but the instructions include both, and I only had the one kind.
  2. When I attached the snapbuds to the headphones in the locations that were specified, I tried to clip the snapbuds together, but several of the clips wouldn't close; the tiny plastic wings that help close it permanently, would easily bend the other way, making it impossible to secure the clip. Out of the ten clips that come in one package, I could only attach 6. (see picture below)
  3. After attaching as many of the clips that didn't break, I tested out the tangle-freeness of the product. I found that after attaching the buds together via their magnets, that the headphones still weren't effectively secured with the buds attached (see last picture).

I understand how this product works and in some cases, why it's needed, but the Snapbuds were shipped to me with the white Apple headphones. I've been using these headphones for several years now and really haven't had them tangle, even if I bunch them up in my hand and stuff them in my pocket. Perhaps the Snapbuds would be more effective on non-Apple headphones?