Alaska

State Park Campground Guide

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Whether you’re renting locally or making the trek in your own rig from the lower 48, RVing in Alaska is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With countless mountain ranges, forests, tundras, glaciers, fjords, rivers, lakes, and spectacular wildlife, Alaska is synonymous with majestic landscapes and outdoor adventures. Hiking, backcountry camping, winter sports, and world-class fishing, kayaking, and rafting are just a few of the activities enjoyed by locals and visitors.

Advanced planning is required due to Alaska’s short camping season and vast distances. If you’re willing to do the research and commit the time, camping in the incredible Alaska wilderness is an unforgettable experience. It can be accessible for RVers, too. Highways are paved, maintained, and safe, and cell service is available on all major roads. Plus, there is an unwritten rule among Alaska drivers to help motorists in distress. 

Alaska is home to federally protected wilderness, eight national parks, and by far the largest state park system in the United States, encompassing around 3 million acres. There are five state parks, along with dozens of state recreation areas, marine parks, and historical sites. State park campgrounds are rustic, with few hookups available, but they’re located in prime destinations, such as a lookout point with a view of Denali or a spot close to downtown Anchorage. With access to ranger stations and visitor centers, Alaska state parks can provide valuable resources and advice to RVers vacationing in this incomparable state.

Chugach State Park

Reservations

Most campsites in Alaska’s state park system are on a first-come, first-served basis.

A few campgrounds offer reservations through Reserve America or local concessionaires. As a general rule, unless the campsite specifically says that online reservations are available, all campsites are first-come, first-served. 

Camping and reservations, where available, are seasonal. Most parks open around May 15 and close between September 1 and 15. Opening dates are posted at dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/curevnts.htm in the spring.

Campsite sizes

Site sizes vary by campground. Some can only accommodate RVs up to 30 feet; others can fit a 75-foot rig. Check the specific park’s website for maximum RV length. Where available, interactive online campground maps also provide length per site.

Accessibility

ADA-accessible sites are available at some campgrounds, in addition to accessible restrooms. See each park’s website for information, and contact the park directly for more details on reserving an accessible site.

Hookups

Most campsites are dry. Electric and full hookups are available at a limited number of campgrounds. For more information, check the Department of Natural Resources website, or contact their Public Information Center at 907-269-8400.

Connectivity

In general, WiFi is not offered. If connectivity is a priority, contact the park directly to ask about WiFi and cell service.

Maximum stay

The maximum stay is between 4 and 15 days, depending on the campground. Details are shared on the DNR website, and at the time of booking if reservations are available. 

Additional facilities

Campgrounds are rustic. Most campsites have picnic tables and fire rings. Water is generally available from a hand pump, and restrooms are vault toilets. Showers are generally not offered. A limited number of campgrounds offer a dump station for a $5–$10 use fee.

Some state parks offer additional facilities, like a nature center, convenience store, playground, or sports fields.

Cost

RV campsites range from $15–$30. Prices are listed on the DNR website.

Vehicle parking fee: $5, or $60 for an annual pass.

Reservation/change/cancellation fee: Terms vary by third-party reservation management, where available. Details provided at time of booking.

Pet policies

Pets are allowed at all campgrounds as long as they are kept on a leash no longer than 9 feet. And of course, campers should always clean up after their pet.

Additional regulations

  • Maximum occupancy per site: 2 vehicles, 6 people.
  • Check-in time: 1 p.m. Check-out time: 11 p.m.
  • Quiet hours: 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Alcoholic beverages: Generally permitted, but check with the park for any specific restrictions.
  • Generator use: Prohibited during quiet hours.
  • Campfires: Allowed in designated rings or pits, following local advisories.
  • Drone use: Regulations vary; check with the specific park for information.
Denali State Park

Featured Campgrounds

Chugach State Park, Eagle River Campground

12.6 Glenn Highway, Eagle River, AK 99577

Eagle River Campground is one of four campgrounds in Chugach State Park. The park itself comprises almost 500,000 acres, making it one of the four largest state parks in the United States. This region in south-central Alaska encompasses expansive ocean shoreline, multiple lakes, massive glaciers, waterfalls, and ice fields. The park begins less than 10 miles east of downtown Anchorage and stretches to the western foothills of the Chugach Mountain Range. Chugach has plenty of access points for visitors of all skill levels to enjoy wildlife viewing, hiking, rafting, biking, ATV riding, and fishing. More than 60 of the state’s most accessible glaciers are located in the park.

Eagle River Campground is conveniently located in a peaceful setting beside the town and river of the same name. It has over 50 sites with picnic tables, fire pits, and access to potable water, latrines, flush toilets, and a dump station. There is no RV size limit, and half of the sites can be reserved year-round for the summer season. Note that the maximum night stay is four nights. Eagle River Nature Center, a 15-minute drive into the park, offers guided nature programs, hiking trails, and ranger services to help you get the most out of your visit.

Denali State Park, K’esugi Ken Campground

Trapper Creek, AK 99683

The Matanuska-Susitna Valley, a short drive from Anchorage, contains some of the most popular park destinations in the state. From sweeping vistas at Denali State Park to the Copper River Basin and historic Independence Mine, the region abounds with a range of historical sites, outdoor recreation, and wildlife viewing. Denali State Park is just outside Denali National Park and Preserve.

There are a few campgrounds in the park. K’esugi Ken offers just over 30 RV sites, all with electric hookups and big enough to accommodate RVs well over 45 feet. Sites are spaced well apart for privacy. Facilities include vault latrines, potable water pumps, and an interpretive center. Several hiking trails with vista points are accessible right from the campground. Recently constructed in 2017, this is one of the most comfortable Alaska state park campgrounds, especially for big rigs. Some sites can be reserved once the booking season opens in the spring. Don’t miss a stop at nearby Denali View South for its amazing vantage point. If K’esugi Ken Campground is sold out, Denali View South also has overnight RV spots. 

Johnson Lake State Recreation Area

110 Sterling Highway, Kasilof, AK 99610

Situated between Cook Inlet and Tustumena Lake on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage, Johnson Lake State Recreation Area is popular for canoeing, fishing, nature walks, and plentiful wildlife viewing. Its central location provides a good base to see the majestic scenery and wildlife of the Kenai Peninsula, including Kachemak Bay, Resurrection Bay, the mighty Kenai River, and Kenai Fjords National Park.

Johnson Lake’s campground is in a peaceful setting with easy access to Sterling Highway. Fifty campsites are spaced out under the trees for privacy, and some offer lake views. There are no hookups; vault toilets and potable water are available. The maximum RV length is 35 feet. Note that some sites can be reserved in advance, although this was suspended in 2020. Check the DNR website for updates.

Alaska state park campgrounds that accommodate RV camping

Bird Creek Campground

Bird Creek Overflow

Eagle River Campground

Eklutna Campground & Trailhead

Northern Area Parks

Big Delta State Historical Park

Birch Lake State Recreation Site

Chena River State Recreation Site

Clearwater State Recreation Site

Delta State Recreation Site

Granite Tors Trail Campground

Harding Lake State Recreation Area

Lost Lake Campground

Olnes Pond Campground

Quartz Lake Campground

Red Squirrel Campground

Rosehip Campground

Salcha River State Recreation Site

Tok River State Recreation Site

Whitefish Campground

Kenai Peninsula

Clam Gulch State Recreation Area

Crooked Creek State Recreation Site

Deep Creek State Recreation Area

Johnson Lake State Recreation Area

Morgan’s Landing – Ninilchik State Recreation Area

Matanuska-Susitna Valley

Byers Lake Campground

Denali View North

Denali View South

Hatcher Pass Management Area

K’esugi Ken Campground

King Mountain State Recreation Site

Lower Troublesome Creek Campground

Matanuska Lakes State Recreation Area

Rocky Lake State Recreation Site

South Rolly Lake Campground

Willow Creek State Recreation Area

Southeast Area

Chilkat State Park

Chilkoot Lake State Recreation Site

Eagle Beach State Recreation Area

Settlers Cove State Recreation Site

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