Urban Camping in Alaska

Published on September 16th, 2021

If you have always dreamed of visiting the Last Frontier but do not want to get too far off the beaten track, then urban camping may be the perfect solution. Alaska’s largest cities are Anchorage with about 250,000, Juneau with about 32,000, and Fairbanks with about 31,500 people. Each has fantastic museums to explore, restaurants to dine in, and fun activities to do. Especially in Anchorage and Fairbanks, you can find tour operators and seaplanes to other exciting locations, so it is easy to base your camping vacation here while enjoying the rest of the state. You will love the cooler temperatures in the summer. These locations become a fun-filled wonderland in the winter.

A moose grazes in a field of tall grass next to a lake. A cityscape sits on the far shore in front of snow capped mountains.

Urban RV Parks in Alaska

Centennial Campground

The Anchorage city government operates Centennial Campground on the east side of the downtown area. Guests can stay at this campground open from late May to early September for up to 14 days. Only water and electricity are available at this campground, so you will need to use one of the nearby RV dump stations. Stop at the historic log cabin to register when you get to this urban campground in Alaska. 

Ship Creek RV Park

Anchorage is home to Ship Creek RV Park. Full hookups are available at this campground, sitting a couple of blocks from the downtown area. You can rent a bike here, which makes it easy to get around Fairbanks. This campground is open from May 1 to September 30 and is very near Ship Creek, which is a great place for a stroll along the river and fishing for Arctic grayling and salmon.

Tanana Valley Campground and RV Park

The Tanana Valley Campground and RV Park is located a few minutes from downtown Fairbanks. Electric and non-electric sites are available at this campground. Tall shade trees at each site help to provide a sense of privacy between campsites. Each site comes with a fire ring and picnic table, making it easy to prepare your meals. Visitors can ride a shuttle bus to Denali National Park

River’s Edge Resort RV Park

The River’s Edge RV Park in Fairbanks offers full-and-partial hookups. If you have a dog, take advantage of their dog-walking service, giving you more time to explore the area. The picnic tables along the Chena River are a perfect place to dine while watching for wildlife. Before leaving for your next destination, wash your RV or travel trailer in their car wash, and do your laundry in the laundromat. 

Mendenhall Campground

Camp lakeside at Mendenhall Campground. Enjoy seeing Mendenhall Glacier from this campground while being only about 13 miles from Juneau. The glacier is an easy hike away to experience walking on it, and you will also want to take a hike in Tongass National Forest. This campground is open from mid-May through mid-September. Full hookups are available, and there is plenty of room for large motorhomes. 

Glacier Nalu

Relaxing is easy when you camp at Glacier Nalu. This campground on the edge of Juneau rents standup paddleboards, kayaks, and bikes. They also lead some guided adventures and can arrange others with experienced tour guides. Start your day with a free cup of coffee or enjoy a glass of tea in the afternoon. Take advantage of the free DVD and book exchange program. 

Where to Urban Camp in Alaska

The state’s interior region is the most popular place when you’re wondering where to find urban RV camping in Alaska. Outside of Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau, the cities become much smaller without as many conveniences. The highway system in the interior is also more developed, so it is easier to get around. You will love shopping in Juneau, learning about history at the Anchorage Museum, and visiting the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks.

Urban RV Camping in Alaska

If you are pulling an RV or driving a large unit, then stopping distances increase dramatically. This can be especially true in Alaska, where you may be driving on wet or snowy roads. Be sure to leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front of you. Additionally, some people find that they have more prominent blind spots than in smaller autos, so use your blinkers and make sure that you have adjusted your mirrors. Keep an eye on your tires as colder temperatures may require you to add air if you are used to driving in a warmer climate.

There is so much to do in these cities in Alaska. If you are uncomfortable driving a big RV around an unfamiliar city, consider using the public bus system to get around. That way, you can leave your RV parked at the campground and have fun exploring the sites. You may also want to check out local shuttles. Some campgrounds offer free transportation around the city.

Camping in these urban areas is a memorable way to explore the Last Frontier. You will have wonderful stories to tell for years to come about the great fun you had camping in Alaska. 

Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for more RV travel tips and ideas.

With an RV rental, your urban vacation will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day exploring the city, you can relax around the fire at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home onboard your RV. Plan your perfect urban getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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