Renting an RV in Alaska

Alaska is often called the final American frontier, and it’s one of the wildest and most beautiful locations in the world for you to visit in an RV. Renting an RV in Alaska can be one of the best ways to see this great state, and take in what it has to offer.

The list of natural wonders and amazing places to go in Alaska is seemingly never-ending and renting an RV can be a great way to travel from place to place to see all of the Alaskan wildlife and wilderness.

Alaska is home to several notable cities and even more unique and awe-inspiring communities, but what makes this state special is the amount of untamed land here. The largest U.S. state by area, it offers up more miles than you could ever hope to explore. However, if you plan your trip right, you can hit many of the bucket-list items on your trip.

Why Renting an RV in Alaska Is the Way to Go

As mentioned above, there’s just so much to see and do in Alaska, that it makes sense to have a home base you can take with you. Renting an RV gives you that home base. It’s a great grounding spot, and it also ensures you’ll have a place to stay while traveling.

Also, it makes your trip a bit more flexible. If you don’t like one area of the state quite as much as you thought, you can simply pack up and head to the next location on your list. If you follow a more traditional vacation schedule, you can waste days in a place you don’t enjoy waiting on that plane ride to the next destination. Renting an RV gives you the freedom to roam, and that’s what visiting Alaska is all about.

Bringing an RV you own to Alaska can be quite the journey. We encourage you to do it if you want, but often, the trek up to this great American state will be a laborious one. Instead of driving all the way up to Alaska, it makes more sense to fly in and then rent an RV of your choice. That way you can spend as much time as possible in the state you actually want to visit.

10 Awe-Inspiring Places to See in Alaska in Your Rental RV

There are only a few places in Alaska that won’t make you feel good. The state provides some of the most impressive natural landscapes and locations in the entire U.S. if not the world. The state is unmolested in ways that others aren’t, and the sheer number of natural wonders will have you wondering where to go first. Luckily, we’ve put together a list to guide you. 

Denali National Park

Denali National Park is one of those places that you hear about all of the time. It’s a popular location, and it’s popular for a reason. It’s simply stunning and one of the most impressive national parks in the entire country. You’re talking 6 million acres of land, most of it extremely wild.

If you bring your RV to the park you can camp at three of the six campgrounds within the park. There’s a small fee, but it’s well worth it. There are also other campgrounds near the park where you can park your RV. Staying in the park will allow you to experience all that Denali has to offer. It’s an amazing place filled with more sights than you can hope to see in one trip.

Learn more about Denali National Park

Northern Lights in Fairbanks

The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis as it’s called, is not a place as much as a natural phenomenon. It’s some amazing unique lights in the atmosphere that occur when electrically charged particles from the sun enter the atmosphere.

You can see this wonderful natural display by visiting Fairbanks, Alaska, and the surrounding area. There are many RV parks and campground near Fairbanks, and you should be able to find a place that can accommodate your RV. Fairbanks is also a thriving city and full of interesting places to go and things to do. It’s well worth a visit.

Learn more about Northern Lights in Fairbanks

Glacier Bay National Park

Located on the southern strip of the state that stretches down towards the lower 48 states. Glacier Bay National Park is situated right on the Gulf of Alaska. With over 3.3 million miles of mountains, glaciers, rainforest, coastlines, and fjords. It’s in Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site, which is actually one of the largest protected areas in the entire world.

Glacier Bay National Park does have its own campground, and there are other campgrounds in this area of the state that you can stay at if you can’t find a place for your RV at the national park.

Learn more about Glacier Bay National Park

Tanana Valley State Forest

Tanana Valley State Forest is located north of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and offers a unique experience unlike any other you might come across. The state forest is made up of 1.81 million acres lie almost entirely within the Tanana River Basin. This beautiful forest spans from the Canadian border to the Manley Hot Springs.

It’s massive, and you can explore it. You can camp in your RV at several locations. The forest stretches across the city of Fairbanks, so you can hit that, too if you want and check out the Northern Lights, which we already discussed that you should.

Learn more about Tanana Valley State Forest

Chena Hot Springs

Located northeast of Fairbanks there’s the Chena Hot Springs. There are a beautiful resort and campground there, and you absolutely must visit the area. Chena River State Recreation Area is just to the south, and there’s so much to do and see in this area of the state.

You can camp right at the hot springs, but there are plenty of other RV campgrounds in the area, especially if you go towards the recreation area or Fairbanks. This is a great place for couples, but it’s also something the whole family can enjoy.

Learn more about Chena Hot Springs

Wrangell - St. Elias National Park

Wrangell - St. Elias National Park is the largest national park in the entire country by area at 13.2 million acres. It’s a massive sprawling area with some of the most impressive mountains you’ll see in all of North America, including peaks reaching over 18,000 feet.

You cannot camp with your RV or otherwise inside the park. However, there are numerous private campgrounds and public land campgrounds that you can camp at near the park. All of these will provide options if you’ve rented an RV and you want to see the glorious wilderness and wildlife that’s in St. Elias National Park.

Learn more about Wrangell - St. Elias National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park

You can reach Kenai Fjords National Park from Anchorage. Once you do, you’ll be greeted by nearly 40 glaciers flowing from the Harding Icefield. Here you can see how our changing climate is actively impacting the natural landscape. Kenai Fjords is also one of the best places to see Alaska’s famed wildlife.

There is one campground in the park and it’s for tent campers only. With that said, there are some RV parks and other campgrounds in the area that you can park your RV at and camp at. From there isn’t just a short distance to the frozen wonder of the glaciers at Kenai Fjords.

Learn more about Kenai Fjords National Park

Chugach State Park

Located mostly within the Municipality of Anchorage, Chugach State Park features 495,000 acres of land for visitors to explore. It’s the fourth largest state park in the entire country and features a rugged landscape and a long list of wildlife. If you’re in the Anchorage area, this is a must-see.

There are a few campgrounds right inside the park, but as you can imagine, if they’re not quite what you’re looking for, there are plenty of other options in and around anchorage for you to choose from.

Learn more about Chugach State Park

Kachemak Bay State Park

Kachemak Bay State Park became Alaska’s first state park in the 1970s. Since then it has invited visitors to take in all of the rugged mountainous terrain and the beautiful coves and bays that are in this area. You can camp, fish, hike, and do so much more in this idyllic state park. With 198,399 acres and 79 miles of coastline, you have more room than you could ever hope to roam.

You can camp in the park, but RVing is best done in the communities around the park. There are various RV parks and campgrounds all around the park. From there, you can head into the park or get a charter into the park to see all that it has to offer.

Learn more about Kachemak Bay State Park

Matanuska Glacier

Located between and just north of Chugach State Park and Chugach National Park, Matanuska Glacier is a 27-mile long and four-mile wide glacier that you must see. Jutting out and unmistakable, this glacier is worth taking the time to visit. There’s a scenic route around the glacier and plenty of amazing places to stop along the way.

Camping near the Matanuska Glacier is easy. All along the north by the Matanuska River, there are campgrounds along the highway. Any of these campgrounds will give you a beautiful view of the area and you should be able to find plenty of campgrounds that offer the campsite and amenities you and your family are looking for.

Learn more about Matanuska Glacier

Campgrounds and RV Parks in Alaska

Alaska has some of the best campgrounds in the country spread across the state. That’s very good news for you if you’re interested in renting an RV and camping here. Good Sam has a list of campgrounds you should check out in Alaska, but there are others that aren’t listed and new ones come up all the time.

You’ll note that many of these campgrounds are in or close to either national or state parks or in or close to cities. With there being so much wilderness in Alaska, you’ll need to stick close, at least at times, to civilization. That’s not to say you can’t go off the beaten path, but there might not be options for you to camp in your RV that aren’t dry camping options.

No matter where you travel to, make sure to do your research ahead of time so you can be sure to find a nice place to camp in your rented RV.

Things to Note About Camping in Alaska

Camping in Alaska is a bit different than camping elsewhere in the country. As you might expect, the weather in the state can be quite harsh and you need to plan your trip appropriately.

This means staying aware of the seasons and the temperatures in the areas that you will be visiting. RVing in freezing temperatures is very different than RVing when it’s not too cold out and you need to be prepared.

Also, make sure to make all the necessary reservations ahead of time, if possible. This will ensure that you don’t have to find another place to camp at the last minute, which can be very difficult at times. If you wing it and don’t get into the campground of your choice it could be a long drive to the next campground. So, plan ahead.

Last, but certainly not least, respect the natural environment while in Alaska. The state is home to some of the most pristine wilderness in the world, and the people who live in that state want to keep it that way. You should, too, so no matter where you travel, try to practice leave-no-trace camping guidelines.

Dry Camping or Boondocking in Alaska

There are plenty of opportunities to dry camp or boondock in Alaska, and it’s highly recommended if you’re up for it.


Boondocking is when you camp in your RV without water, sewer, or electrical hook-up. It’s just you and your rented RV. This means you’ll need to operate on the power stored in your RV’s batteries, your generator, and the water held in your RV’s water tanks.

There are countless places for you to boondock in Alaska. Be sure to check to make sure that you’re free to camp there ahead of time and have at it. Boondocking can be a great way to keep your costs down while camping, but you need to be careful and make sure to do it right.