Alaska offers adventure-seeking families a half-day trip from Anchorage to hundreds of official campgrounds and a myriad of informal campsites.
Who doesn’t like to have an unforgettable camping experience surrounded by nature with family and friends? Sticky s’mores and crackling flames, long bike rides through the woods, horseplay and game hikes down enigmatic trails are all activities many dream of enjoying year-round. Children also enjoy unique camping experiences. Southern Alaska offers adventure-seeking families a half-day trip from Anchorage to hundreds of official campgrounds, a myriad of informal campsites, and a plethora of wilderness destinations. Even though most of these sites are difficult to get to, lack amenities, or don’t offer much for kids to do, they’re still the ideal destination for adventure seekers.
ten Rabbit Lake and McHugh Peak Campground
This is a fantastic regular hike near Anchorage, well known to residents but unknown to tourists, leading to one of the best campgrounds. Visitors can explore McHugh Peak and Rabbit Lake by following several trails. The easy trail to Rabbit Lake and McHugh Peak begins at Canyon Road off DeArmoun. Rabbit Lake is teeming with rockfish, making it a great destination for any angler.
- Recommended: As this road is not yet fully paved, it is recommended to drive it slowly. On weekends, visitors will need to arrive early to secure a parking space, which is free.
9 Williwaw Campground
Williwaw is perfect for multiple campers, with 60 campsites on concrete loops and great access to the Trail of Blue Ice, a quasi-all-purpose trail that cuts through the valley level. Bicycling, salmon watching, hiking, and glacier viewing are all unique activities people can enjoy near Williwaw Campground.
8 Chugach State Park Campground
The camping yurts are accessible by a 3-4 mile round trip hike. The Chugach State Park Campground is where hikers will be rewarded with breathtaking mountain and river views, as well as low-cost cabins and yurts. The Eagle River Wildlife Center, located in the Chugach Forest, is the starting point for all routes. There are many trails and loops (ranging in length from less than a mile to over 25 miles), and there’s a hiking trail for everyone.
7 Eklutna Lake Campground
There are plenty of activities to do while camping by Lake Eklutna. From renting bikes or kayaks to walking and cycling along the lake. A difficult trail would be the one leading to Pepper Peak. This trek involves Twin Peaks, although it takes hikers further and eventually to the twin peaks named after the other trail. Both walks are beautiful, although steep with minimal shade the whole way.
6 Mint Hut Campground in Alaska
The hike to reach the cabin follows a beautiful glacial river through countless patches of dandelions and spectacular mountain views all through a valley. The highlight is a long, sometimes grueling ascent to a classic mountain lodge beneath towering peaks. Visitors can begin their journey an hour and a half north of Anchorage at the Gold Mint trailhead, about 20 minutes from Palmer. People expect to pay parking fees, daily fees and camping fees.
5 Reed Lakes Campground
The first two miles are relatively flat at Reed Lakes Campground, but the next 2.5 miles climbs quickly in elevation. It’s a fantastic option for an overnight trip or even a day trip. Two glacial lakes, solid granite mountain peaks, a stunning valley and a panorama of alpine meadows are just a few highlights. The route begins at a small dirt parking lot that is free to use. The trail gets wider and flatter as you go through a beautiful heavily forested valley and huge granite peaks.
4 Byron Glacier Campground
Visitors can start hiking through the woods along the trail. The forests disappear after about 20 minutes of walking and the trail ends on the moraine of the glacier. There is no set trail from here, so choose your own path. In less than an hour of walking, people can get to the foot of the glacier, where they have some possibilities. They can either walk anywhere along the edge of the glacier, where they can find ice caves and small streams, or climb one of the ridges.
3 South Rolly Lake Campground
One can enjoy the perfect starry night at the end of the road by camping by this 108-acre lake in the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area in Willow. To the west, the wilderness extends to the Alaska Range and beyond. Despite this, the 97 sites in this lovely, heavily wooded campground offer all the standard camping facilities such as outhouses, bonfires, tables and chairs, and a water pump.
2 Bertha Creek Campground
Bertha Creek Campground is a great place for a low-key camping trip to a recreational gold panning area with a quiet neighborhood where youngsters won’t wander off. The campground is nestled in beautiful forest at the base of high mountains directly south of Turnagain Pass in the Kenai Mountains, approximately 65 miles south of Anchorage.
1 Porcupine Campground
This Chugach National Forest campground, adjacent to the famous village of Hope, is set in a beautiful birch forest overlooking Turnagain Arm. The 34 sites are planned with seclusion in mind and provide all the usual utilities, including a picnic area, campfire ring, outbuildings and a water tank.
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