Alaska has so many fantastic camping opportunities that it can be overwhelming!
As the most sparsely populated state in the country, there’s plenty of room to spread out for a remote camping experience. Or, camp close to Anchorage for easy access to all the amenities and attractions Alaska’s biggest city has to offer.
Combine your trip with world-class hiking, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, or cross-country skiing. Maybe even try dog mushing. And, of course, you can’t miss Alaska’s eight national parks, including Denali National Park, the state’s most visited as well as the largest in the country (and home to Denali, the highest peak in America).
To make narrowing down your camping options easier, we’ve rounded up some of the absolute best campgrounds in Alaska, broken down by tent, RV, free, and winter camping.
Here are 30 of the best places to go camping in Alaska.
Best Tent Camping in Alaska
Tent camping is one of the best ways to experience everything outdoors that Alaska has to offer. So we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite Alaska campgrounds to help you choose the perfect campsite.
1. Brushkana Creek Campground
Brushkana Creek Campground is one of the best campgrounds for exploring the area around Denali National park.
Located just off the Denali Highway, just 30 miles east of the Parks Highway, this primitive Alaska campground has 22 first-come, first-served campsites. Although it’s perfect for tents, small RVs and trailers are also welcome (although no hookups are available). The big draw of this campground is its scenic location next to the beautiful Brushkana Creek.
Learn more about camping at Brushkana Creek Campground.
2. Chena Lake Recreation Area
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better campground to view the northern lights than Chena Lake Recreation Area.
Just south of Fairbanks, the two campgrounds on Chena Lake offer a good blend between outdoor adventure and city exploration. You’ll likely see wildlife wandering through the campground but you’re still only a short drive away from town. The Lake Park Campground has 45 campsites while the River Park has 35 campsites. In the peak summer months, the lake is popular for swimming, fishing, and boating.
Learn more about camping at Chena Lake Recreation Area.
3. Quartz Lake Campground
Quartz Lake Campground is one of the best Alaska campgrounds for those interested in a fishing-filled camping trip.
Part of the Quartz Lake State Recreation Area, this small campground boasts just 16 private campsites in the main loop. However, there are an additional 87 campsites in the parking lot area that are suitable for tents and RVs alike. Although this campground is open year-round, it’s most popular during fishing season when the lake is brimming with coho salmon and rainbow trout.
Learn more about camping at Quartz Lake Campground.
4. Eklutna Lake Campground
Less than an hour from Anchorage, Eklutna Lake Campground, located in popular Chugach State Park, combines incredible natural beauty with a seemingly endless array of outdoor activities.
Set alongside a sprawling 7-mile lake (often referred to as an “inland sea”), the campground is a haven for fishing and boating. Towering above the crystal clear waters are pristine views of snow-capped mountains. The campground itself has 50 campsites perfect for tent camping. Other popular activities include ATVing, hiking, and horseback riding in the summer as well as cross-country skiing, dog mushing, and snowmobiling in the winter.
Learn more about camping at Eklutna Lake Campground.
5. Granite Creek Campground
Granite Creek Campground is located in Chugach National Forest in south central Alaska.
This campground is ideal for those that value privacy. It consists of 19 campsites spread out across a large area. Plenty of space in between each site plus the forested setting guarantee a sense of solitude. In the distance, the soaring Kenai Mountains create a breathtaking backdrop. Don’t forget to walk down to the Granite Creek to appreciate the roaring waters created by the annual melting of nearby glaciers.
Learn more about camping at Granite Creek Campground.
6. Montana Creek State Recreation Site
Roughly two hours north of Anchorage and just a little more than a half hour south of Denali National Park, the campground at the Montana Creek State Recreation Site is a haven for anglers.
With 36 total campsites, this campground is relatively small but it packs a big punch. Each site is spacious and relatively private. Most are tucked away under trees. Many offer excellent views of Montana Creek and the mountains beyond. Although the camping itself is fantastic, the biggest draw of this Alaska campground is the world-class fishing, including grayling, rainbow trout, and salmon.
Learn more about camping at Montana Creek State Recreation Site.
7. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
An overnight stay in the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is unlike any other Alaska camping experience.
For starters, this area is not set up as a typical campground. There is no designated campground so all the camping is dispersed and primitive. However, if you desire a completely unique arctic camping experience, then a trip to Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is for you. This magical area is extraordinarily beautiful but camping here requires additional planning and a knowledge of how to camp in the arctic.
Learn more about camping at Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.
8. Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve
Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve is another Alaska camping destination best suited for very experienced backpackers only.
The location is among the most remote in the state. There are no services, amenities, cell phone reception, or rangers. You’re 100% on your own. Then there’s challenging weather conditions apt to change on a moment’s notice. There are no designated campsites so all camping is primitive (and much of it very exposed to the elements). Yet despite the extreme remoteness, camping here is an incredibly special experience for those up to the task. The rugged terrain, especially the ancient volcanic caldera of Mount Aniakchak, are extraordinarily beautiful. Just know that Aniakchak is one of the most bear-heavy areas in Alaska, so make sure to follow all bear safety best practices to a T.
Learn more about camping at Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve.
9. Hidden Lake Campground
Home to some of the best camping in Alaska, the Hidden Lake Campground is the ideal spot for fishing and wildlife viewing.
Tucked away in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, the campground’s beautiful location is its key draw. The campground has 50 campsites that are perfect for both tents and RVs. An RV dump station is available on-site. There’s a wide mix of campsites to suit everyone’s preferences, including some that are secluded and others that are located right alongside the lake.
Learn more about camping at Hidden Lake Campground.
10. Sourdough Creek Campground
Located in the Gulkana National Wild and Scenic River, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Sourdough Creek Campground is yet another premier Alaska camping destination.
The affordable campground (just $12 a night) has 42 campsites that are all perfect for tent camping. In addition to beautiful views of the surrounding area and a high probability of seeing wildlife, Sourdough Creek Campground is popular thanks to its proximity to the Sourdough Creek Interpretive Trail and it’s easy access to the Gulkana River for floating and boating.
Learn more about camping at Sourdough Creek Campground.
Best RV Camping in Alaska
Not a fan of tent camping? No problem! Alaska has countless opportunities for RV campers, including campgrounds with RV hookups and full-blown RV parks. Don’t have an RV of your own? Use our RV rental tool to find the perfect RV for your Alaska camping trip (and don’t forget to check out our guide to renting an RV!).
1. Heritage RV Park
Heritage RV Park in Homer, Alaska has a little something for everyone.
In addition to 107 campsites, most with full RV hookups, this RV campground is situated in an absolutely incredible location on Homer Spit. It’s just steps away from the world-famous Homer Spit Fishing Hole, a lagoon absolutely brimming with salmon. Other popular activities are clamming and beachcombing. Additional amenities include free Wi-Fi, satellite television, an on-site espresso bar, and more.
Learn more about camping at Heritage RV Park.
2. Valdez KOA Journey
For some of the best RV camping in Alaska, look no further than the Valdez KOA Journey.
Located just outside the town of Valdez, this Alaska KOA is the perfect jumping off point for exploring America’s Last Frontier. In fact, just minutes from the campground are acres of nearly pristine wilderness perfect for hiking, biking, and ATVing. As for the campground itself, you can expect everything you’d normally find at a KOA, including RV sites with full hookups, a grassy tent camping area, and an assortment of cabin rentals. Wi-Fi, cable TV, and a snack bar will make your stay even more comfortable.
Learn more about camping at Valdez KOA Journey.
3. Alaskan Anglers RV Park
Alaskan Anglers RV Park, also known as Alaskan Anglers RV Resort & Cabins, is a popular destination for those that prefer an amenities-filled RV camping experience.
The RV park has 45 sites with full RV utilities. The campground is very clean with friendly management. The entire RV park is geared towards fishing with on-site fish cleaning tables and a well-stocked fishing store. They will even vacuum pack, freeze, and ship your fresh catch home for you. This RV park is located on the Kenai Peninsula, one of the most popular destinations for fishing in the entire state.
Learn more about camping at Alaskan Anglers RV Park.
4. River’s Edge Resort RV Park
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place for RV camping near Fairbanks than River’s Edge Resort RV Park.
Located on the banks of the Chena River, this spacious RV park has 167 campsites total, most with full RV hookups. Additional amenities include Wi-Fi, two on-site restaurants (one for breakfast and one for lunch), and even an on-site bar. Combine this with a stunning location and a close proximity to Fairbanks.
Learn more about camping at River’s Edge Resort RV Park.
5. Big Bear RV Park & Campground
For a family friendly Alaska camping experience, you have few better options than Big Bear RV Park & Campground.
Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Anchorage, this RV campground is located near the towns of Palmer and Wasilla. It’s set in the beautiful Mat-Su Valley with gorgeous views from nearly every site. 51 total campsites, most with full RV hookups, offer plenty of room to spread out. Tent camping and rustic cabin rentals are also available.
Learn more about camping at Big Bear RV Park & Campground.
6. Seward KOA Journey
The Seward KOA, just five minutes from downtown Seward, is one of the best places for RV camping in Alaska, bar none.
Although this RV park is perfect for campers of all types, it’s very popular among family campers, especially those with young children. A huge amount of RV sites (with full hookups!), grassy tent sites, and cabin rentals are available. Don’t forget to check out the two restaurants and three bars that are all within walking distance of the KOA. In addition, the famous Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park is a short drive away.
Learn more about camping at Seward KOA Journey.
7. Denali Grizzly Bear Resort
Camp in luxury at Denali Grizzly Bear Resort during your summer trip to Denali National Park.
The spacious and luxury resort provides a variety of accommodations including RV sites with full hookups, primitive tent sites, and rustic cabin rentals. The beautiful Cedar Hotel is another option. Many of its rooms have views of the nearby Nenana River. Wi-Fi is available across the campground and TV is available at the majority of the RV sites.
Learn more about camping at Denali Grizzly Bear Resort.
8. Stoney Creek RV Park
Stoney Creek RV Park blends the best of both worlds: a comfortable, amenities-filled camping experience with a rustic, natural setting.
Although it’s located just minutes from downtown Seward, the campground itself is quiet and peaceful. It’s spread out across 15 acres so campers have plenty of room to spread out. 81 RV campsites are available, most with full hookups. Walk down to nearby Stoney Creek for a taste of Alaska nature without leaving the comfort of your campground.
Learn more about Stoney Creek RV Park.
9. Homer Spit Campground
Another world-class campground located on the famous Homer Spit, the Homer Spit Campground is a haven for RV and tent campers alike.
122 total campsites are available, many with fantastic views of Kachemak Bay and the soaring mountains beyond. Of course, full RV hookups are available along with both pull-through and back-in sites. A host of on-site amenities coupled with nearby restaurants and shops promise a comfortable experience.
Learn more about camping at Homer Spit Campground.
10. Homer/Baycrest KOA Holiday
Perched on the Kenai Peninsula, make the Homer/Baycrest KOA your homebase for exploring everything southcentral Alaska has to offer.
Like most KOAs, this one offers a wide range of RV and tent sites in addition to rustic cabin rentals. All of this is set in a remarkable location with views of Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet available from many of the sites. Gaze in wonder at these Alaskan waters, the snow-capped mountains beyond, and the thick wilderness stretching as far as the eye can see. Top-notch hiking is available just minutes away.
Learn more about camping at Homer/Baycrest KOA Holiday.
Best Free Camping in Alaska
Sure, it might sound too good to be true – but Alaska is actually home to plenty of free camping opportunities. While most are primitive and remote (RV campers should be prepared for boondocking), some are nearly as well maintained as the best paid campgrounds!
1. Lower Skilak Lake Campground
Camp for free on Skilak Lake on the Kenai Peninsula with a stay at Lower Skilak Lake Campground.
This is the only free campground of the three campgrounds on the lake. Just 10 campsites are available, so arrive early, especially in summer, to secure a spot. The gravel road in can be rough but most RVs (especially Class C and smaller) should be able to make the drive with ease.
Learn more about camping at Lower Skilak Lake Campground.
2. Lake Lorraine Campground
Lake Lorraine Campground isn’t exactly anything special – but it is free.
Located across the water from Anchorage, this remote campground is small, secluded, and quiet. It’s a primitive camping experience with only a handful of sites. Although most are best suited for tent camping, a handful are large enough for RVs up to 40’ or so.
Learn more about camping at Lake Lorraine Campground.
3. Salmon Lake Campground
A popular BLM campground, Salmon Lake Campground is the perfect overnight destination for those that prefer a free Alaska camping experience.
Almost 40 miles north of Nome, Salmon Lake Campground is remote. But it’s exactly this remoteness that makes it so special. Located on the shores of Salmon Lake, this primitive campground is remote, rugged, and beautiful. Fishing is very popular in season. There’s also dispersed camping in this area.
Learn more about camping at Salmon Lake Campground.
4. Galbraith Lake Campground
Another BLM campground in Alaska, the Galbraith Lake Campground is a haven for those exploring the northern reaches of the state.
Set on the shores of what was once a massive glacial lake, this free campground boasts 30 total campsites. All of them are primitive without any amenities. Don’t expect bathrooms (not even a pit toilet) or picnic tables. Camp here if you plan on visiting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on your trip.
Learn more about camping at Galbraith Lake Campground.
5. Deadman Lake Campground
Deadman Lake Campground is one of the two campgrounds located in the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge.
This small campground is set just off the Alaska Highway. It has just 15 total campsites all situated in a peaceful forested setting near the titular lake. Most of the campsites are better suited for tent camping, although roughly four of them accommodate RVs and trailers up to around 40’ in length.
Learn more about camping at Deadman Lake Campground.
Best Winter Camping in Alaska
Winter camping in the Land of the Midnight Sun isn’t for the faint of heart – but it’s still more than possible with the right winter camping gear (including a winter sleeping bag, winter camping tent, and winter tent heater). Prefer something a little warmer? A cozy cabin rental is ideal for winter glamping in Alaska.
1. Riley Creek Campground
Riley Creek Campground is the only campground in Denali National Park that is open year-round.
Although there’s a fee for camping in the summer, camping is free in the off-season, including during the winter. Of course, you should expect extreme weather conditions and limited amenities during the winter. Additional winter camping is available at backcountry campsites.
Learn more about camping at Riley Creek Campground.
2. Eagle River Nature Center
The cabin and yurt rentals at Eagle River Nature Center are available year-round.
A stay in one of these cabins or yurts is an excellent way to experience winter camping in Alaska without roughing it in a tent or RV. The facilities are quite primitive and rustic but you will stay toasty warm thanks to the wood stoves provided in each unit.
Learn more about camping at Eagle River Nature Center.
3. Byers Lake Cabins
The cabins at Byers Lake Campground near Denali National Park offer another warm and cozy place to get a taste of winter camping in Alaska.
Three cabins are available for rental year-round. Each of these cabins is primitive but comes with a wood stove so you stay completely warm in the winter. All of the cabins require a short hike to reach so come prepared (and consider bringing snowshoes to make matters easier).
Learn more about camping at Byers Lake Cabins.
4. Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site
Open to campers year-round, Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site is home to some of the best winter camping in Alaska, period.
The popular Alaska campground boasts 25 total campsites. These are perfect for both tent and RV camping. Of course, you should expect brutal weather conditions during the winter so make sure that you’re knowledgeable on all winter camping best practices.
Learn more about camping at Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site.
5. Kachemak Bay State Park
Although the best time for camping is undoubtedly in the winter, Kachemak Bay State Park does stay open for winter.
Several different camping areas are available for intrepid winter campers. Do note that most services and amenities close down for the winter season. Kachemak Bay State Park is a popular winter camping destination for those interested in cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Learn more about camping at Kachemak Bay State Park.
Best Backpacking in Alaska
Why not kick your Alaska camping trip up a notch and plan the perfect overnight backpacking trip? Whether you prefer a short and sweet single night trip or a grueling week-long trek, backpacking is one of the best ways to get a taste of the largely unexplored wilderness that is the Alaska backcountry.
Here are 3 of the best multi-night backpacking trips in Alaska:
- The Goat Trail – This famous 40-mile out-and-back trail is an Alaska backpacking favorite for very experienced backpackers. It passes some of the most magical terrain in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, including cascading waterfalls, soaring peaks, and immense valleys.
- Kesugi Ridge Trail – Head to this 30-mile point-o-point Alaska backpacking trail to experience some of the most beautiful views in Denali National Park. Of moderate difficulty, many consider this one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the entire country!
- Lost Lake Trail – For a short and sweet Alaska backpacking trip, head out to this 14-mile out-and-back trail on the Kenai Peninsula near Seward. Although there’s fantastic scenery along the entire trail, the real highlight are the views of the titular lake.
Don’t forget to use our guide to planning a backpacking trip (and/or our winter backpacking guide) to help plan your Alaska backpacking trip.
Best Campgrounds in Other States!
Almost every state has awesome camping opportunities for RVs and tents alike. Use our best state camping guides to find them in your state. Or, browse through some of our favorites:
- Best Camping in Arizona
- Best Camping in California
- Best Camping in Georgia
- Best Camping in Idaho
- Best Camping in Michigan
- Best Camping in North Carolina
- Best Camping in Tennessee
- Best Camping in Texas
- Best Camping in Utah
- Best Camping in Washington
- Best Camping in Wisconsin
Still have questions about camping in Alaska or any other state? Don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments below! We’re here to help make your next camping trip perfect!
Tuesday 17th of August 2021
You really should update your information on Homer AK. Clamming has been banned for several years now due to low numbers.
Tuesday 15th of June 2021
i am so overwhelmed trying to decide where to camp in alaska We are flying into fairbanks 8-3 then heading to denali 8-5 thru anchorage to kenai/seward/ homer area the rest of the trip then flying out of anchorage on 8/10. We are wanting to camp a day or two in or near denali & down in seward/ homer area for 1 day. We have a car & airbnbs in fairbanks for night 8-3 &4 & in kenai 8-6 thru 10. there will be 2 adults & 3 kids ages 14-18
any help or suggestions or anything at all will be appreciated
Thursday 23rd of July 2020
I'm coming to Alaska to teach this year and am looking to get into the outdoors. Where was the opening photo taken? The person with the yellow backpack overlooking the glacier.
Thanks for the help!!!
Tuesday 28th of July 2020
Sorry, Bobby! I'm not 100% sure where this picture was taken!