Best Camping Near Anchorage
Days spent on the trails, evenings around the campfire, the sound of the breeze through the trees and the water running in a nearby stream: campsites near Anchorage give you the freedom to explore Alaska and immerse in the natural world. Camping near Anchorage is accessible yet amazing, with spots to meet the needs of novices and experienced backcountry campers alike.
Best Campsites near Anchorage
Centennial Park Campground
From late May to early September the Municipality of Anchorage offers nearly 70 tent camp spaces (as well as RV-only spots) amid the forest at Centennial Park Campground on the eastern edge of Anchorage. Reservations for Centennial Park are accepted 6 months in advance for about two dozen sites, with more than 50 spots available on a first come, first served basis.
Eagle River Campground
With nearly 60 sites and plenty of picnic tables, fire pits, water, latrines and flush toilets, the Eagle River Campground is just 12 miles north of Anchorage. Reservations are available up to a year in advance for stay in the summer months. Part of Chugach State Park, the site is administered by Lifetime Adventures. Half the sites are open to advance reservations.
Eklutna Lake Campground
50 campsites alongside the glacial Eklutna Lake make this a prime spot for camping if hiking, lake kayaking or ATV tours are part of the plan. All sites are first come, first served.
Bird Creek Campground
The waters of Turnagain Arm form one edge of the campgrounds and Bird Creek itself is just a short walk. 28 campsites are the perfect vantage point for wildlife viewing for beluga whales and Dall sheep, hikes along Turnagain Arm-area trails, and fishing for salmon in nearby Bird Creek.
Portage Valley Campgrounds
Chugach National Forest runs several campgrounds holding more than 70 campsites just a stone’s throw from Portage Glacier and the Trail of Blue Ice in the Portage Valley. Black Bear Campground and Williwaw Campground are prime spots for camping while exploring the area’s glacial history and trails. Reservations can be made for summer six months in advance through Recreation.gov.
Spencer Lake Campground
One of the newest developments for camping in the Anchorage area, the campgrounds at Spencer Lake are accessed only by the Alaska Railroad. Group campgrounds are available at the remote lake for overnight stays, and the area is popular for guided kayaking, glacier hiking and river rafting as well. Reservations accepted through the Alaska Railroad’s reservations line.
There are also a limited number of tent camping sites on private land, such as those at Crow Creek Mine in Girdwood.
Public Use Cabins
Eagle River Nature Center, Alaska State Parks and Chugach National Forest also maintain a number of public use cabins at campgrounds near Anchorage. Advance reservations for cabins are always a good idea. Cabin amenities, nearby services, heat sources for stoves and heaters and water availability at these cabins vary; read over each site’s features to plan supplies before an overnight stay.
Camping in the Backcountry
For Chugach State Park, camping is allowed anywhere in the park, so long the spot is at least half a mile from any road, off of any established trails campgrounds, and the stay is less than 10 days. Wherever you take a backcountry trip – in Alaska or otherwise – it's a good idea to file a trip plan or share your plans with a friend before departing.
Camping Gear in Anchorage
Outdoor outfitters can provide all the equipment needed to stay comfy camping. Some companies also rent gear or sell prepared foods, eliminating the need to bring or purchase specialty gear for one-time use.