Four hours from Anchorage is a must see and do destination.. Homer Alaska. It is a very small town that gets lots of visitors in the summer months. Especially June, July and August thanks to charter companies who will take you out to get halibut, salmon and whatever else the magical ocean has in store for you.
Homer is also the place to get a water taxi to see Kachemak Bay, Halibut Cove, Seldovia, Nanwalek and Port Graham. Water taxi rides are roughly 75$ round trip for one person.. give or take a few bucks and cheaper for kids.
The Spit as it is called is the end of the Road here.. literally. The Spit is surrounded by water.. yeah that's why it's called a Spit lol. It has Restaurants tons of little shops. Some geared toward touristy things but some of the best hand crafted made only in Alaska gifts that keep you coming back for more. You may have heard of the infamous Salty dog saloon.. if you dare - go in and order a salty dog here.
If you choose to camp on the Spit you will have two choices.. One is the RV/ Camper side and one is the Tent on the beach side. I have done both and although I prefer tenting hands down.. nothing beats an RV with wet sticky sandy dogs.. love some of that in your sleeping bag! (not)
There is a fee to tent camp, it's not much. You can build a fire right on the beach and set your tent so as you lay back, free from the wind, your whole view will just be ocean and mountains. Truly amazing! You can by wood by the bundle or just comb the beach for drift wood. If you do bring your dogs just be courteous of others and bring your own doggie bags :)
There are honey buckets for use.. but sometimes we walk the spit and find a real bathroom. (There are state toilets on the RV side, which is directly across the only road on the Spit)
On the RV side the fees are a bit more.. but you get full electrical hook ups, bathrooms, showers, and laundry if you need it. WOW! Bring your bikes to ride the spit or good shoes to walk around town. Also be ready for any kind of weather.. as you are surrounded by the ocean.
Primrose campground is a tiny place right off the highway in Seward Alaska. Each site has a fire ring and table. There are state bathrooms and a water pump.
This campground is very small and is not private. It is basically the gateway to something must better! A prep area if you will. We stayed here twice, once with 15 boy scouts as we ventured up to Lost Lake.. and Once just the hubs and I to prep for the hike in and camp at the lake.
This site is across from Kenai lake which is the most beautiful color of blue you have ever seen and in the summer loaded with fish and people. Many people use the parking area here parking while they hike in. This trail is frequented in the winter by snow machiners as well. There is a popular run called Lost Lake run.. which starts on the Primrose side and ends on the Seward side. This is why I give the campground itself a 4.. its basically a prep/ launch/ end area.
If you choose to hike to Lost Lake you have two options.. one is to go all the way over into Seward.. if you choose this take two cars.. leave one on the Seward side.. others wise you will need to hoof it or thumb it back to Primrose side. The other is to hike up and you can just hike back. Both are AMAZING and you will not be disappointed. It is seriously HEAVEN up here! You can bring a fishing rod and try for trout at the lake.. an inflatable boat would be fun too. On your way up stop and enjoy the water fall.. there are also great geocaching sites along the way so bring fun stuff to trade out!
You can hammock hang along the forested area.. it's like a magical world walking through the woods.. and then bam.. you step out into open rolling tundra and Lost Lake. Take everything you need with you as you will be in the wild.. completely.
Crow Pass is.. um.. AHHHHHMAZIIINNNNGGG!!
All the shows you see on t.v that look like "wild Alaska".. this is it!!
If you choose to start the Girdwood side you will travel south via Glenn Highway from Anchorage approx 45 minutes. Take the Girdwood exit.. can't miss it, it has the busiest Gas station in the State! Follow this road until you see Crow creek mine rd on your left.. take that. Follow it till the parking area on your right. Before you head out you might as well do the quick 3 mile round trip winner creek trail that has an awesome hand tram over the river.. scary yes.. worth it absolutely!!
Before you head out on Crow pass if you choose to do all 24 miles be sure that you have someone on the Eagle River Nature side to get you or leave a car 5$ fee for parking. AND ask them to leave an espresso as I TOTALLY needed one right then!!
As you head up the trail you will see state cabin #1.. you can stay here for free.. or if it is pre rented you need to stay outside.. which we did. And it was wonderful.. a small creek runs by here and it is set in the most serene place on earth.. You can't help sing like " The hills are alive with music!"
We only camped one night and trekked the rest of the way.. yes all the way.. awesome and crazy.. you must cross Eagle river to finish the whole trail and if you choose to do this please read up on and be prepared on ways to river cross. Triangle formation, walking stick, group.. I am 5'4" and the extra rain this year made this portion of the hike EXTREMELY dangerous for me as the water was above my waste, and if it wasn't for the triangle formation I'm sure I would have seen some pretty amazing scenery way down the river.
Moose, Bear and Beaver own this land. I HIGHLY recommend a camera, as were took few too many pics.. and Bear spray. Never let your guard down when you hike here as there are surprised around every corner. People laugh when I tell them a beaver chased me.. funny as it is.. THAT SUCKER WAS HUGE and chased me good ways.. my partner laughed.. not cool.
Pack everything in you need, water filter, tent, food, first aid, blister pads, rain gear and bear spray. You can pack ultra light and do this trail in one day.. but whats the rush.. it is AMAZING!!
Granite creek is a great stop in between Anchorage Alaska and anywhere else south.
I only gave it a four stars because tent users must place there tent on gravel or pavement and not dirt so they can regrow the dirt areas.. As I know how important this is.. we had tents.. Not at all comfortable even with pads under us. So if you are an RV or camper trailer you are in luck!
Camp sites are spacious and have a fire pit and table. There is also plenty of trees and vegetation between camping spaces so you feel far away.
You can reserve a spot and I would recommend this if you plan on camping in the months of late June, or July.. as fishing season is truly a season here in Alaska and camp sites are golden. Water pumps and state bathrooms are here. Anytime you can get a toilet and paper in the woods is a plus :)
We use this campsite every August as a "Going back to school Celebration" for parents or a " Last hang out of summer" for the kids. The paved loop offers good space for biking, throwing a ball or side walk chalk and you can bring your choice of boat to fish or float in the lake. ( Remember if you fish in Alaska you need a fishing license ages 16+)
You get an amazing view of kenai mountains here and your typical Alaskan wildlife.. magpie, moose, eagle and sometimes bear.. although we have never seen a bear here, I highly encourage bear safety. This includes keeping your camp clean, food in your car and carrying bear spray.
Dogs are allowed here and we have never been told to leash them.. we rarely see a camp host coming site to site except to check that you have paid properly.
Some sites border the kenai river which can run pretty vast, cold and hard, so if you so choose that site please be respectable of the water and its ways.
There is a fee for staying here around 14.00 and a lovely little ice cream parlor at the corner to tell your children that if they are good camping you for see ice cream in their future :)
If you looking to find the treasure at the end of the road.. THIS IS IT!!
Just when you thought you have seen all the simple road system of Alaska.. turn right on Kenai Spur Road and go to the end.. literally. There you find a hidden treasure, few find! We found this on one of our " Let's just drive" adventures.
Be sure to bring all the supplies you need as the nearest store is 20 minutes back the way you came.. that includes wood.. unless you scavenge the beach for some.
We arrived in the mist of torrential rain.. common for August in Alaska.. and quickly wished for that extra tarp I didn't want to pack. Each camp spot is small but clean with a fire pit and table. You will be surrounded by trees and foliage which provide privacy and the cook inlet is one full side of your site! A complete plus!
There is a lake near by called Stormy Lake where you can launch a boat, kayak or canoe. You will need bring your own as there are no rentals here. You can fish here or in the river that runs near by, Swanson River. Remember you need a fishing license (16+) as game wardens pop up like leprechauns in Alaska :)
Where there are fish there are bears.. so be bear aware. Carry bear spray, keep food in your car or do the triangle food hang ( not sure you can google that) and keep a clean camp site. You may also see Eagles and moose!
There are fresh water pumps and state bathrooms.. which provide a dry spot in torrential rain.. no judging here..
For those of you who love to RV there are Rv sites and sites for handicap and day sites.
There is plenty of trails to just wander and take in the beauty around you. We took full advantage of being the only people out beach combing in the rain. We read this is a good agate beach.. we didn't find any but the rain make everything bright and shiny so we used this time for wonderful photos.
overall a wonderful end of the road experience, with few people and wonderful nature!!
Wow. Wow. Wow.
If you love the ocean, salmon fishing, bald eagles, moose and an occasional bear this is the place for you!
All sites are basically in a gravel parking area with painted lines in between sites- tent camping is allowed but I would recommend RV or campers for a restful sleep.
There are state bathrooms ( hole in the ground with a door) and a fresh water pump. No electricity hookups.
In July this Campground is BUZZING! This is the Ninilchik boat launch area for deep sea halibut fishing, it is off the the side before the site so not too loud- just can be congested early morning and afternoon. If your a tide watcher and not a fisherman/ woman that will help determine best time to try to leave the area :)
Deep creek runs down one side - salmon swim up this Creek so July it will be packed with fishing people and an occasional bear. Bald eagles will be standing by to gladly take your fish guts and heads :) and pose for some amazing pics.
Getting an ocean view spot is a dream! Literally backed right up to it and each space has a fire pit and table.
If you get valley side- it's just as stunning! With a few moose trailing through the tall grass. Your GPS will cal this happy valley and that it is!!
Dogs must be on a leash as the camp host will come remind you- often. ( I may or may not know this by experience)
a small store is located at the top in ninilchik- not campsite affiliated- and closes early- so bring what you need. A great stop between Anchorage and Homer!!
Centennial Campground in Soldotna Alaska will be bursting at the seams in June and July. Fishing season will be in full swing and getting a spot may be tricky- as they take no reservations- but WORTH IT! Especially if you like to fish.
Prices vary from on season to off-- referring to fishing
Kenai river runs swift and strong alongside this Campground.. along with a beautiful boardwalk along that. Feels like your walking on water!
There are parts of the boardwalk that lead straight to the water with metal stairs for access and easy fishing. They have fish cleaning stations and HANDICAP FISHING SPOTS!! And discounts for military- love this!
There is day stay rates and overnight. For day stay it's mainly for fishing- there is also a parking area and open place to fish- we call this time of year "combat" fishing-- shoulder to shoulder--
but the beauty of the river and some treed spaces make this a great place to "fish camp"
state bathrooms, no running water.
We have camped both in high fishing season and early September when an occasional silver will run. This is a quieter time and much more relaxing. There will be fewer people in September as well.
Bird Creek camp/ RV/ Cabin site is a beautiful 25 minute journey south of Anchorage. Far enough away but close enough to town if you feel the need to get back to the city.
We rented a cabin 95$ a night and took aprox 12 young ladies in the chilly month of November! Daring, I know! But state restrooms made sharing a bathroom easy :)
there is a small wood stove and wood supplied for each cabin which was amazing! A lil kitchen area is built in for your food prep pleasure- must bring stoves and water. No electricity so bring your choice of lighting. Also I recommend headlamps for winter months as bathrooms are a small treck from the secluded wooded cabins.
Bunks are built in and a loft makes for plenty of room.
There was a beautiful table with a map in the top- pretty awesome!
There is a walking trail and it's close to the inlet for beluga whale watching and if your lucky a bore tide!
Rv sites and tents sites available as well- plus table and fire pits at each site.
This place is a straight 10!
Roomy camp sites, fire pits and clean. Bears do roam from time to time so food storage away from your sleeping area is a must! Rangers here will ticket if you leave food out around your site.
Quiet wooded area surrounded by wonderful hiking trails- try twin peaks for a lung and leg stretching adventure with a view as your reward! A 12 mile ( one way) dirt road for biking walking or Sunday- Wednesday atv'n the lake. Blue clear glacier water is beyond beautiful! Remember your life jackets as this water is literally freezing!
You can rent kayaks and bikes here-- if you don't have room to bring your own.
atvs can run the trail Sunday- wednesday only April- November but the noise does not interrupt your quiet campsites.
This is a family favorite!!
bathrooms and fresh water pumps :)
Centennial camp ground in Anchorage Alaska was a FAB SURPRISE!! Hidden, secret, clean, and big tent spots!
We only needed to be at the campsite for a few hours during the night; however, we were pleasantly surprised by the showers and great facilities! The campsite was large and the fire pit was great.