The best camping near Chugach National Forest

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Chugach National adventure.

96% (46 reviews)
96% (46 reviews)

Surround yourself with millions of acres of wild forests, mountains and river valleys.  

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Public campgrounds in the park
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Stay at a public campground in Chugach National Forest

The best camping near Chugach National Forest guide



At nearly 7 million acres, Chugach National Forest encompasses some of Alaska's most iconic places and road trips. The boundaries encompass the Copper River Valley, Kenai Peninsula, and even parts of Prince William Sound. Access from Anchorage also begins less than an hour's driving distance to the south along the Seward Highway. Chugach National Forest camping options are nearly limitless with developed, dispersed, and backcountry campsites throughout the region. Between campsites, take advantage of the extensive hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, flatwater paddling, and fishing to take in the massive glaciers, rugged coastlines, and abundant wildlife that make Chugach the perfect destination for locals and visitors alike.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for anglers: Russian River Campground is on the famed fishery where salmon run throughout the summer months.
  • Best for scenery: Childs Glacier Campground has it all with convenient trails, glacier viewing, and fishing.
  • Best for privacy: Bertha Creek Campground has only 12 sites in a quaint setting ideal for tents and small RVs.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Camping options are extensive in the Chugach National Forest, so campers shouldn’t have a hard time finding a spot.
  2. Many campgrounds are first-come, first-served, and riverside spots during the summer salmon runs are the most popular.
  3. Dispersed camping is an option when traveling on US Forest Service roads in the region, though these areas have no water, toilets or facilities.
  4. The Kenai Peninsula has a number of great private campsites and RV parks with services. Book ahead during summer to get a site at a private Hipcamp campsite.

When to go

The Chugach National Forest is a year-round destination. Peak tourism occurs in July and August when the weather is most inviting, although rain can occur even in summer. May and June are excellent times to visit with slightly lower traffic, as is September thanks to changing colors and dark, starry nights. The Kenai Peninsula even receives a September coho salmon run. Winter is great if you love snowsports or simply want to experience quiet, beautiful landscapes. Join a dog sledding tour, hit the slopes, and explore the backcountry—just know campsites are more limited during winter.

Know before you go

  • Kenai Peninsula campgrounds are notorious for bear traffic, as are those on the Russian River and other salmon areas. Store food in bear-proof containers and maintain a clean camp at all times.
  • Summer weather in Chugach National Forest is often sunny and pleasant, but it can turn to rain quickly. Always carry a rain jacket and an extra layer to prevent catching a chill.
  • Tour operators are available in many of the communities adjacent to the national forest. Take advantage of glacier tours, flightseeing operations, and cruises to really experience the region.
  • Many Chugach campgrounds have limited services, so campers should be self-sufficient. Carry your own toiletries and supplies when visiting off-the-beaten-track campgrounds.
  • Seasonality influences access to different areas in the national forest. Check current road conditions and look for closures.

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