Table of Contents Show
- How Do You Get to Anchorage, Alaska?
- Is Anchorage, Alaska, Good for Camping?
- The 7 Highest-Rated Campgrounds In Anchorage, Alaska
- When Is the Best Time for Camping in Anchorage, Alaska?
- Tips for Camping in Anchorage, Alaska
- Camping In Anchorage, Alaska: Choose One of the Best
Whenever you visit a new place, it’s hard to know which campgrounds to stay at and which to avoid. Frequently, we check reviews to read about other RVers’ experiences. Today, we’ve provided a list of seven of the highest-rated spots for camping in Anchorage, Alaska.
None of these campgrounds have hookups, but they offer beautiful scenery just a short drive from the city. Let’s dive in!
How Do You Get to Anchorage, Alaska?
If you’ve considered a road trip to Alaska, there are so many places you could visit. The state is larger than Texas, California, and Montana combined!
However, one of our favorite places is Anchorage. It’s the largest city in Alaska by population and bigger than Rhode Island, measuring 1,705 square miles. There’s a lot to do and see here.
Most RVers get to Anchorage, Alaska, via Highway 1, also known as the Seward Highway. This scenic byway runs through the Kenai Peninsula, the Chugach National Forest, and the Kenai Mountains.
It’s also the perfect place to pull off and watch the bore tide in the Turnagain Arm. You can read more about that phenomenon in our article “The Alaska Bore Tide: How and When To See It.”
Anchorage lies south of Denali State Park and Denali National Park and Preserve. But it’s about a 4-hour drive from the visitor center at Denali National Park. So it’s a city you’d want to stay in or near, separate from a visit to North America’s tallest peak.
Is Anchorage, Alaska, Good for Camping?
The breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife make camping in Anchorage, Alaska, an amazing experience. Most campgrounds are rustic, even though they’re not remote. So you’ll want to be prepared for dry camping.
But camping in Anchorage, Alaska, combines the best of both worlds. You have access to museums, arts, breweries, tours, and other tourist attractions, as well as views of mountain peaks, alpine glaciers, and sparkling waters.
One day, you might pause for a moose to cross the road, while another day, you might see a grizzly bear. And yet, you’re only minutes from all the amenities you’ll need for a comfortable, enjoyable visit.
The 7 Highest-Rated Campgrounds In Anchorage, Alaska
We have a list of the seven highest-rated campgrounds in Anchorage, Alaska, so you can start planning your road trip to the Last Frontier.
If you come from Seattle, it’s about a 41-hour drive. It’s about the same number of hours from Glacier National Park in Montana. But once you arrive, you’ll be glad you chose to make the long journey!
1. Black Bear Campground
Black Bear Campground in the Chugach National Forest is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Google.
One reviewer shared, “It was nice to be right on the water, and slept to the sound of the river. It was a clean campground. Access to a trail, a water pump, bear-proof containers, picnic tables, and double-sided fire pit with one side that has a grill top.”
Although RVs aren’t recommended here, the Black Bear Campground has 12 sites and vault toilets. You’ll find no potable water, electricity, or a dump station. You don’t have to make a reservation, but the nightly fee is $19. Just pay at the pay station upon arrival.
You’ll likely see black and brown bears, moose, mountain goats, snowshoe hares, spruce grouse, and ptarmigans. Many people enjoy rafting, kayaking, and fishing along Portage Creek.
2. Eklutna Lake Campground
Another highly-rated campground in the Chugach National Forest is Eklutna Lake Campground. This one actually sits in the state park.
There are 50 campsites, and an overflow area allows for 15 more campers. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, climbing, picnicking, fishing, boating, and ATV riding are popular here. Winter campers enjoy cross-country skiing, dog mushing, and snowmobiling.
Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Google, the Eklutna Lake Campground offers guests access to potable water, latrines, picnic tables, and fire pits.
One camper shared, “If you want hikes, bikes, paddles, or camping with views for days, this is the place to be! Great for families, dogs love it, too! The lake is glacier fed and nestled among gorgeous mountains full of trails! If elevation isn’t your thing, there’s also a lake trail that goes around the extensive-sized lake. You can even get ice cream near by.”
3. Williwaw Campground
Another spot for camping in Anchorage, Alaska, that has 4.7 out of 5 stars is Williwaw Campground. It also sits in the Chugach National Forest. Next to the campground is the Williwaw Salmon Viewing Area, where campers can watch the fish spawning in August.
Like the previous two campgrounds, Williwaw Campground offers no hookups but gives guests access to drinking water from hand pumps, vault toilets, and picnic tables. Sites cost $23 to 33 per night.
While there, you might see a moose, brown or black bear, mountain goat, lynx, bald eagle, or wolf. One Google reviewer said, “What a beautiful campground! The mountains, glaciers, and woods surrounding the campsite are stunning.
Each campsite is far enough from others and isolated by trees to be quiet. There are bathrooms scattered around the campgrounds so that you’re never too far away from one.”
4. Primrose Campground
Primrose Campground is the smallest in the Chugach National Forest, with only eight campsites.
But it’s still rated 4.7 out of 5 stars. Located adjacent to Kenai Lake, the Primrose Campground lies close to the Primrose Trailhead. No reservations are needed since it’s a first-come, first-served campground. Simply pay at the pay station upon arrival.
Many enjoy boating, kayaking, and canoeing on the water. You’ll find a boat ramp, fire pits, picnic tables, dumpsters, and potable water. It costs $19 a night.
You can also get an RV into the Primrose Campground. One RVer shared, “At every site, you’re able to hear the river rapids. The trailhead is very accessible, and vault toilets at each end of the campground.
The sites are also private, equipped with fire pits that have grates, also have picnic tables at each site. We parked our 26′ RV comfortably. I wouldn’t suggest a unit too much larger, however.”
5. Eagle River Campground
Another campground in Chugach State Park is Eagle River Campground. It’s rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. There are 57 campsites at $20 a night.
There’s also no RV size limit, making this campground one of the few spots for big rig camping in Anchorage, Alaska. Downtown Eagle River sits about five minutes away.
Guests can access picnic tables, fire pits, water, latrines, and flush toilets at Eagle River Campground. One happy camper wrote, “I love this campground. The sites are spaced so you have lots of privacy from your neighbors.
I love the walk in tent sites — they’re the only sites next to the raging Eagle River. Beautiful campground, paved roads and sites and well kept walking trails.”
Keep in Mind: Is Eagle, Alaska, Worth Visiting? Click the link to find out!
6. Bird Creek Campground
Bird Creek Campground is the last campground on our list in Chugach National Forest. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, this campground offers wooded sites with fire rings and picnic tables.
An interpretive trail with panels invites guests to use their five senses to experience Bird Creek and the Turnagain Arm. This campground also provides a great opportunity to see the bore tide and perhaps catch a beluga whale or harbor seal sighting.
RVs are limited to 35 feet, and the camping limit is seven nights. Like all the other campgrounds on this list, you’ll find no hookups at Bird Creek Campground. However, that doesn’t deter visitors.
One traveler shared, “Bird Creek Campgrounds are extremely well-kept and gorgeous all around. Well worth the $20/night camping fee. I recommend this to everyone who appreciates the beautiful views of nature.”
7. Tenderfoot Creek Campground
The last spot on our list for camping in Anchorage, Alaska, is the Tenderfoot Creek Campground. Also located in the Chugach National Forest, this campground offers campers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and Summit Lake.
Many enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and watching wildlife. Most campsites are pull-through, and guests can access drinking water, vault toilets, picnic tables, trash collection, fire pits, and a boat ramp.
Tenderfoot Creek Campground costs $23 a night and has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s also big rig-friendly with pads 60 feet in length. One happy visitor wrote, “Excellent campground! Easy to find! Clean pit toilets, plenty of small, bearproof trash bins, and one big dumpster at the entrance. Lake is shallow by the door, so bring a canoe for fishing. Fire pits have grills, and tables easily fit 10 adults.”
Keep in Mind: Have you heard of Canoe Camping? It’s a great way to experience the outdoors!
When Is the Best Time for Camping in Anchorage, Alaska?
Although some campgrounds remain open year-round, if you want to enjoy longer daylight hours and more comfortable temperatures, the summer is the best time to visit Anchorage, Alaska.
The worst part is all of the mosquitos. But because of the summer solstice, you’ll have more hours to enjoy hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing.
August and September receive the most rainfall, but the temperatures in July and August average mid-60s to low-50s. It’s a great time to enjoy the scenery and attractions of Anchorage, Alaska.
Tips for Camping in Anchorage, Alaska
One of the biggest tips we can give for camping in Anchorage, Alaska (or anywhere in Alaska) is to choose your campsite carefully. You don’t have to stay in a designated campground, but because of the bear activity, it’s a good idea to steer clear of the wilderness.
If you want to go backcountry camping, make sure you have bear spray, know what to do should you encounter a bear, and use bear-proof containers away from your tent or RV.
Campgrounds that take reservations fill up quickly. Research your options and book your campsite as early as you can. Remember, most travelers are arriving during the same three months.
Finally, the mosquitos in Alaska are awful. Bring high-quality repellent. You might also want to buy a net to cover your face. Keep your RV doors and windows closed. And since mosquitos seem to be attracted to darker shades, wear lighter colors.
Camping In Anchorage, Alaska: Choose One of the Best
Camping in Anchorage, Alaska, is a beautiful experience to enjoy magnificent scenery. These campgrounds get you as close to nature as possible while still offering a safe place to make memories. And you’re only a short drive from the city center.
Have you ever gone camping in Anchorage, Alaska? Is there a highly-rated campground that you’d add to our list?