Best Camping in Alaska

Camping in Alaska

By Alex Murphy

Alaska is a dream destination for many travelers, especially those who love the outdoors. Known as "the Last Frontier," the state is covered in wilderness with endless miles of National Parks and destinations far off the grid, making the Alaska camping experience unlike anything else.

It's important to note, Alaska is not for the average visitor, and it's also important to have the right camping gear and take steps to be prepared for bear country.

See a map of all camping in Alaska.

Alaska National Parks

Alaska is home to some of the least visited National Parks and some of the most famous in the world, including Denali National Park & Preserve. This massive park is centered around the mountain it's named for, which is the tallest peak in the country. Denali is bigger than several states and is famous for the Alaska backcountry with grizzlies and other wildlife. This park also has some of the best campgrounds in the state.

Starting with Riley Creek Campground has the most campsites in Denali National Park and is popular for its proximity to the park entrance. Another popular camping spot is Teklanika River Campground which has both tent sites and campsites for RVs.

While less of a household name, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, which borders Canada, can bring experiences as big and wild as Denali. Wrangell-St. Elias is the largest National Park by area that the NPS manages. This park has several camping options.

History buffs will enjoy Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, commemorating the gold rush just before the turn of the 20th Century. While there is no camping within the park, there are several spots outside in nearby Skagway, AK.

Alaska State Parks

Not surprisingly, the Alaska State Parks system is the largest in the country. This massive state offers more than 100 options covering all regions of the state from the coast to the interior. This leaves a lot to discover and explore for anyone hoping to find a unique getaway.

Kachemak Bay State Park was the first in the state and is still a popular destination with its diverse ecosystem on the Kenai Peninsula. Plus, it's a short distance from Kenai Fjords National Park, another popular place to visit.

Getting to destinations in Alaska can be tough, which makes Chugach State Park popular due to its proximity to Anchorage. Many stay at the Bird Creek Campground.

Another popular spot for tent camping and RV camping, according to Campendium users, is Discovery Campground, located inside Captain Cook Recreation Area.

Free Camping in Alaska

Free camping in Alaska is easy to come by as so much of the state remains wilderness. This includes RV sites near cities and a few chances to find a truly off the grid remote campground.

Valdez Glacier, a city park, has spectacular views, while stops like Deadman Lake Campground is a wildlife refuge with easy water access for boaters. The free camping options in Alaska are seemingly endless.

RV Parks in Alaska

Visitors can find RV parks in Alaska throughout the state and near parks and cities like Anchorage.

Golden Nugget RV Park in Anchorage gives visitors easy access to town, while you can find something similar near Juneau with Spruce Meadow RV Park.

National Forests in Alaska

Despite all the public land, there are only two officially designated National Forests in the state. That includes Chugach National Forest, which is closer to Anchorage, and Tongass National Forest, which is closer to Juneau. Both are massive areas combining mountains, wilderness and access to Alaska's coast.

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mobile device showing map of camping locations

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Recent Alaska Campground Reviews

Homer, AK

Mariner Park

Sep 12, 2021

"Ok experience. Beautiful view but inconsiderate neighbors."

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Is there a Camp Host? There is a teenie office that has a sign saying Camp Host, but I never saw them. First night our neighbor decided to start his generator at 3am. Next night our other neighbor left his generator on ALL night long. For Every campground, there are Quiet Hours. Quiet hours at Mariner Park are listed as 10pm-8am. ...
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Brenda Mcclure
1 review
Fairbanks, AK

Walmart

Sep 08, 2021

"FREE Overnight!"

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I was passing through Fairbanks and not too impressed so I spent the night at the Walmart parking lot. There are about 20 angled double spots marked “RV.” I decided to park my truck camper in two regular spots nearby. I confirmed with the customer service employee inside that RV’s are allowed a 24 hour stay and nobody bothered me at all. I even...
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David Tran
2 reviews
Anchorage, AK

Bird Creek Campground

Sep 03, 2021

"Nice, quiet back in sites"

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The campground was clean and nice. No trash cans, had a water hand pump but didn’t try it so can’t attest to quality. We are in a 36’ Class A pulling a jeep. Had to unhook to be able to back in but did fit. Not all sites would’ve worked but still quite a few. Nice walking path along the water but no real access to the water and not a lot of...
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Jamie Smith
1 review
Fairbanks, AK

Tanana Valley Campground

Aug 31, 2021

"Horrible!!!"

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Staying here currently and no one answers the phone. No Voicemail- very unprofessional We are unable to gain access to showers or laundry as none of that information was shared when we checked in. Looked inside the laundry room and machines look broken and old. After venturing to try and do laundry there was a guy lurking around a tent site...
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Glennallen, AK

Ranch House Lodge

Aug 31, 2021

"Great campground and tavern"

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This is a great campground. The sites are laid out around the creek. The sites are level and spotless. The owners Karen & Andy are very welcoming. Prices in the tavern are reasonable and the chili is excellent. Ask Karen for some of the history of the roadhouse. 5/5 stars.

Alan Bennett
4 reviews