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Best Camping in Alaska: Top 10 Places to Go in 2024


Best Camping in Alaska: Top 10 Places to Go in 2024

A camper's utopia exists in Alaska. World-class hiking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, or cross-country skiing can be added to your vacation. Perhaps give canine sledding a shot. The eight national parks in Alaska, including Denali National Park, the biggest in the nation and the state's most visited, are also unavoidable.

In Alaska, camping is a great outdoor activity almost anywhere. Camping can enrich your life in various ways, whether you sleep in a tent next to a stream or wake up at Denali's base camp. This page recommends the top 10 places for best camping in Alaska and offers the essentials or tips for this trip.

Top 10 Places to Camp in Alaska

More than doubling the area of Texas, Alaska is the largest state in the union. Nevertheless, it is one of the most sparsely populated regions globally, and the state of America has the lowest population density. There is a sizable amount of uncharted territory. If you're considering the best camping in Alaska, it can be challenging to choose the ideal location.

This part shows the top 10 places to go camping in Alaska. This list contains some of the most stunning sights this nation offers, covering everything from state parks to national forests, pet-friendly locales, to off-season activities.

1. Denali State Park

Denali State Park

Location: Trapper Creek, AK 99683

Phone: 907-745-3975

Website: Denali National Park  

When to Visit: Summer or Winter

Best Campsites: Savage River Campground, Sanctuary River Campground

Denali is a destination of excitement, inspiration, and discovery for tourists because of its breathtaking scenery and wildlife, which are famous worldwide. The location of Denali National Park in the Alaskan wilderness immediately conjures up thoughts of stunning beauty, snow-capped peaks, and wildlife.

It is among Alaska's top hiking locations. This national park, tucked away in a region larger than Rhode Island, has three million acres to explore and countless outdoor activities you can participate in all year.

The terrain is ideal for campers who enjoy exploring, from icy alpine tundras to lowland waterways. In the summer, park visitors can go hiking, fishing, berry harvesting, and kayaking.

"Excellent campsite located in the park. There are hiking trails near the campground. The sites are kept up well. Showers and restrooms are kept immaculate. The area has gorgeous views!"

2. Big Bear Campground  & RV Park

Big Bear Campground  & RV Park

Location: 2010 S Church St, Palmer, AK 99645

Phone: 907-745-7445

Website: Alaska Big Bear RV Park  

When to Visit: October - April

Best Campsites: Amp Full Hookup, Dry or wet Cabins

Anchorage has a fantastic campground and Trailer park called Big Bear Campground & RV Park. Many RV sites are accessible at this campground, but it also offers public tent sites. The Big Bear Campground also provides free WiFi, accessible laundry rooms, and firewood, and is close to a stream.

Palmer and Wasilla can be reached by car from Big Bear Campsite and RV Park. It offers breathtaking vistas of the surroundings, including the mountains nearby. Visit the Mux Ox Farm, the Reindeer Farm, the Independence Mine State Historic Site, and the Alaska Native Heritage Center easily. The variety of pull-through and back-in RV spots with 30/50 amp services ensures they are suitable for all types of vehicles. Some of the locations even welcome large rigs.     

"After traveling through the Last Frontier for several thousand kilometers, this park is a welcome break. The Alaskan Range can be seen in stunning detail from this park, which is clean and well-run."

3. Chugach State Park

Chugach State Park

Location: 18620 Seward Hwy, Anchorage, AK 99516

Phone: 907-345-5014

Website: Chugach State Park  

When to Visit: June to September

Best Campsites: Eklutna Lake Campground, Eagle River Campground, Bird Creek Campground

One of the four biggest state parks in the country, this wildlife-rich area covers almost 500,000 acres in South Central Alaska. The site has a sizable coastal shoreline, numerous lakes, enormous glaciers, and ice fields. A scant seven miles east of Anchorage's center, the park's westernmost boundary is in the western Chugach Mountain Range foothills.

From the Glenn Highway, a 10-mile access road goes to the lake. There are hiking trails, mountain biking trails, fishing opportunities, kayaking opportunities, canoeing opportunities, a lovely campground, and four public-use cabins that can be reserved in preparation.

Visitors can hire bikes and kayaks nearby during the summer. In the winter, cross-country skiing, fat-tire biking, and watching the northern lights are everyday activities in the region.

"This location is stunning and is well-maintained. There is so much gorgeous wildlife to appreciate! Bring a meal for a picnic!"

4. Kenai National Wildlife Refuge 

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Location: 33398 Ski Hill Rd, Soldotna, AK 99669

Phone: 907-262-7021

Website: Kenai National Wildlife Refuge  

When to Visit: Any time of a year

Best Campsites: 14 Cabins, Backcountry Camping

The Kenai Refuge is called "Alaska in microcosm" because it contains tundra, forests, coastal wetlands, ice fields, and glaciers. Due to the coexistence of the westernmost portion of North America's boreal forest and a coastal rainforest dominated by Sitka spruces, biodiversity is exceptionally high for this latitude.

The elk, brown and black bears, lynx, wolves, trumpeter swans, and other animals that live here are well-known. There is a ton of wildlife and outdoor fun to discover at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a fantastic location for camping in Alaska.

The Kenai Peninsula is home to this spot, which is conveniently reachable thanks to its proximity to Seward, a charming town well worth a visit. There are 57 RV sites accessible in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge campground, but there are also some tent sites.

"Great paths for hiking. I had a great time exploring the woodland. Great displays were available at the visitor center. Most certainly worth a visit!"

5. Katmai National Park

Katmai National Park

Location: King Salmon, AK 99613

Phone: 907-246-3305

Website: Katmai National Park  

When to Visit: June to September 

Best Campsites: Brooks Camp Campground

In 1918, Katmai was founded to safeguard the area around Novarupta and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, severely damaged by volcano eruptions.

While traveling, you might encounter a sizable quantity of wildlife in Katmai National Park. In addition to protecting hundreds of brown bears and an essential habitat for salmon, Katmai National Park and Preserve today also preserves 9,000 years of human history.

If you want to go camping in Alaska, Katmai National Park is your spot. It is situated in Alaska. Several campsites can be found in Katmai National Park near the Copper River. Brooks Camp, located at the mouth of the Brooks River and the shore of Naknek Lake, draws visitors worldwide to see brown bears, partake in world-class fishing, and discover the region's extensive human past.     

"Lovely location! I wished we had more time to remain and paddle board or camp. The scenery is breathtaking!"

6. Chilkat State Park 

Chilkat State Park

Location: 7 mile Mud Bay Road, Haines, AK 99827

Phone: 800-458-3579

Website: Chilkat State Park  

When to Visit: Mid-May to end of September

Best Campsites: Traditional Campsites, Walk-in Campsites

Since Chilkat State Park is farther away from town and has a gravel road, it receives fewer visitors than Chilkoot Lake, located seven miles south of Haines. However, don't let that deter you.

The Rainbow Glacier, a hanging glacier with a massive waterfall plunging from its face, is visible in one of this serene park's finest local hunting spots.

Chilkat State Park provides 35 campsites, a picnic space, a boat launch, trails, and a contact/information center in a log cabin. The campground is surrounded by a mixed forest of evergreen and deciduous trees at the border of Chilkat Inlet. These campsites, surrounded by woods and furnished with fire rings and picnic tables, will seem like a comfortable home.

"Chilkat State Park, located close to the southern end of the Chilkat Peninsula south of Haines, Alaska, is fantastic. You may have camped in some fairly great places."

7. Moon Lake State Recreation Site

Moon Lake State Recreation Site

Location: Moon Lake State Recreation Site Rd, Tanacross, AK 99776

Phone: 907-269-8400

Website: Moon Lake State Recreation Site  

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites: Moon Lake Campground

RV enthusiasts should visit Moon Lake State Recreation Site to experience an authentic Alaskan flare. Moon Lake, 15 miles northwest of Tok near mile 1332 of the Alaska Highway, is a well-liked summertime vacation spot for locals and visitors.

The Alaska Highway's mile 1332 is close to the Moon Lake State Recreation Park in Tanacross, Alaska. It only covers 22 acres but is a tiny park that should be noticed. Moon Lake is ideal for camping and aquatic sports in Alaska.

While casual summer campers can enjoy swimming or relaxing on the sandy shoreline, water skiers with small boats can benefit from the site's boat launch. This campground has an Alaskan flair thanks to the local float planes operated by Alaskan bush pilots that land on Moon Lake.

"This location is amazing. When I went paddle boarding, I saw a moose swimming across the lake and had almost the entire campsite to myself. Simple and unadorned, but a fantastic campground."

8. Captain Cook State Recreation Area

Captain Cook State Recreation Area

Location: Kenai Spur Hwy, Nikiski, AK 99611

Phone: 907-522-8368

Website: Captain Cook State Recreation Area  

When to Visit: May to September

Best Campsites: Discovery Campground

Most tourists to the Kenai Peninsula have never heard of Captain Cook State Recreation Area. It provides a serene environment with lakes, streams, forests, and saltwater beaches.

Captain James Cook, a renowned English sailor, discovered what is now known as Cook Inlet in 1778, and his name is commemorated in this state recreation area. The Tanaina People were living there then, gathering seasonal runs of salmon and other wild foods.

The activities available at Captain Cook State Recreation Area range from canoeing and boating to beach combing, bird viewing, berry picking, and wildlife observation. Agate seekers enjoy visiting the beaches. Captain Cook State Recreation Area's only campsite is called Discovery Campground. However, there are no restrictions on RV capacity and 53 camps. The cost of a site is only $20 per night.

"We hadn't intended to travel to this area but are so happy we did. In the event, we spent two nights tent camping at the Discovery Campground."

9. Quartz Lake State Recreation Area 

Quartz Lake State Recreation Area

Location: 277.8 Richardson Hwy Delta Junction, AK 99737

Phone: 907-269-8400

Website: Quartz Lake State Recreation Area  

When to Visit: November to March

Best Campsites: Quartz Lake Campground 16 Campsites

Due to the wide range of recreational possibilities offered, the 600-acre Quartz Lake State Recreation Area frequently draws sizable crowds. The recreation area has facilities near its lake borders to handle the groups. Early local mineral prospectors gave it the moniker Quartz Lake.

There are 87 parking spaces and camping spots at Quartz Lake in addition to the 16 campsites in the loop. Two boat launches, a fishing pier that is available to people with disabilities, picnic areas, a picnic shelter, a swimming area, water, and restrooms are additional amenities.

Quartz Lake Campground provides many recreational options for tourists and locals, including dog sledding, ice fishing, hiking, and more.   

"Fantastic little RV or camping site with electricity and water. They have showers and bathrooms and keep them immaculately spotless. The gracious and amicable proprietors make for a very laid-back stay."

10. Chena Lake Recreation Area

Chena Lake Recreation Area

Location: 3780 Laurance Rd, North Pole, AK 99705

Phone: 907-488-1655

Website: Chena Lake Recreation Area  

When to Visit: Summer to Winter

Best Campsites: Lake Park Campground, River Park Campground

Activities: Hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, boating, viewing the northern lights

The 2,000-acre Chena Lake Conservation Area is a park located three miles from the North Pole and 17 miles southeast of Fairbanks. Various habitats support abundant wildlife, including spruce, tamarack, birch forests, open space, marshes, and sloughs. A 260-acre lake and four meandering miles of the Chena River are located nearby.

The recreation amenities include the Lake Park campground, picnic areas, playground, bike trails, restrooms, boat launch, and a swimming beach.

For a more outdoorsy experience, the River Park campground offers a self-guided nature route and a maze of walking paths. Even though there is likely wildlife roaming around the campground, the town is still only a brief drive away.  

"On a gorgeous fall day, it was a peaceful and lovely spot to stroll along the lake, but it was also an incredible location to see the Aurora Borealis!"

Camping in Alaska Essentials

Alaska has a ton of fantastic campgrounds. There are many unique possibilities, from Denali State Park to Chena Lake. Ensure you've packed the appropriate equipment once you decide where you and your family will stay for the next few days. We often pack a list of basics for the best camping in Alaska, which includes a few camping must-haves.

- Portable Power Generator: Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus, Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Plus

- Campsite Essentials: tent, sleeping bag, table & chair, flashlight, firewood;

- Camp Cooking Essentials: cooking grill, stove, knife, cutting board, coffee maker, food, fridge

- Camping Clothes: waterproof jacket, hiking pants, boots, gloves

- Cleaning Essentials: hand sanitizer, toothbrush, shower kit, suncream, towel

- First Aid Kit: personal medication, bandages, finger splints, eye drops

 When hiking in Alaska, you must bring a portable solar generator. Even if there is no nearby power grid, a portable solar generator is an excellent method to ensure power wherever you need it. The Jackery portable solar generator can keep your electronic devices going for hours or even days if you're camping or off the grid.


Jackery Solar Generators for Camping in Alaska

With solar-powered generators, you can enjoy the peacefulness of your surroundings without any unpleasant smells while still keeping your camp powered. Using clean energy is one of the most appealing features of a solar generator.  

If you need a dependable camping generator to power your outdoor appliances effortlessly, the Jackery Solar Generator is the ultimate selection. By using Jackery Solar Panels alongside a Portable Power Station, you can fully harness the potential of solar power.

We highly recommend the Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus and Solar Generator 1000 Plus for camping in Alaska. These models are equipped with LiFePO4 battery cells, which offer an extended battery life and can withstand extreme weather conditions.

The Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus boasts a power capacity of 288Wh. One of its standout features is its compact size, making it easy to carry in your bag anytime. With the Solar Generator 1000 Plus, you'll have the ideal solution for longer camping adventures, thanks to its expandable capacity ranging from 1.25 to 5 kWh.


Final Thoughts

For outdoor enthusiasts, Alaska is a prominent travel location. Many tourists prefer camping to motel accommodations to experience Alaska's natural surroundings up close. The best camping in Alaska is challenging to select because each one offers something unique and distinctive to each camper.

Additionally, there are some items you should always pack when traveling and some advice for doing so in Alaska. Last but not least, Jackery combines solar panels with a power station to use solar energy to enable you to go on a powerful journey!