Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Visiting Alaska on Your Next Road Trip

Alaska remains as America's last great outpost, undisturbed and unexplored compared to the rest of the country. For those intrepid RVers up for the long haul, Alaska offers a rugged landscape virtually unmatched by any other in the United States. While the winter months, much longer than those in the lower 48, are often forbidding, Alaska's summer season offers its visitors unique escapes to some of the most remote, yet beautiful areas in the world. Because of Alaska's huge size and far-away proximity from the contingent 48 states, many people fly to Alaska and rent and RV, staying in wonderful Alaska RV camping resorts and Alaska campgrounds in the beautiful state.

In Alaska's southernmost reaches are a series of web-like islands and inlets. Here you'll find Misty Fjords National Monument and its nearly 2.3 million acres. This northern, rainy woodland produces lush, green forests and meadows, where several impressive waterfalls cascade over craggy cliffs. Widely known for its bald eagle population, Misty Fjords is also a haven for other indigenous animals such as bears, moose and mountain goats. Whale watching is also a popular pastime for visitors.

North of Misty Fjords, less than 50 miles south of Juneau, lies the majestic Glacier Bay National Park. Unfortunately, this 3.3-million-acre park is only accessible by plane or boat, but don't be discouraged. Glacier Bay National Park is arguably the most impressive region in the dramatic land that is Alaska. The park is surrounded by magnificent mountains, with the centerpiece being Mount Fairweather at 15,320 feet. Consider that merely a warm-up for the real attraction, the park's namesake – glaciers. Those found here are truly spectacular to behold. Some tower hundreds of feet up the steep rocky shoreline, while others traverse the park's inland areas, snaking their way through the mountain valleys like a living, ice superhighway.

Heading north into Alaska's mainland you'll find the Kenai Peninsula, a wildly diverse region of just about every topographical and ecological setting Alaska has to offer. An outdoor enthusiast's paradise, the Kenai Peninsula provides some of Alaska's best salmon fishing. Only a few hours from Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula can get crowded in the height of the summer season, but fear not. With this massive expanse of wilderness playground there's plenty of room for everyone. The Kenai Fjords National Park is the natural centerpiece of the peninsula, as it stretches more than 100 miles along the Alaskan coast. In addition to adventurers like yourself, seals and sea lions, porpoises and humpback whales are frequent visitors to these shores. A truly exceptional way to experience the Kenai Peninsula is to rent a sea kayak, and possibly get up-close to the marine wildlife that call these waters home. Another dazzling wonder of the peninsula is the flocks of puffins that inhabit the shore's rocky cliffs.

Continuing up along Alaska's coastline you'll find Kodiak Island. This wildlife haven possesses a shockingly green (this is Alaska, right?) and lush landscape that supports an enormous variety of wildlife, some of which are Alaska's most treasured, including brown bear, mountain goats, and sockeye salmon. Protected as the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, this 1.8-million-acre park is broken into four distinct land types: northern rain forest, meadows, tundras and highlands sprinkled with glaciers. Accessible by air or ferry, you'll find everything you'll need in the town of Kodiak, before setting off on your adventures around the island. Once there, Kodiak delivers a terrific road system with access to some wonderful sites, including fishing in the Buskin River and hiking trails in the Fort Abercrombie State Historic Park. Like most parks in Alaska, the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge also offers expansive backcountry for the truly adventuresome soul.

The Kenai Peninsula provides some of Alaska's best salmon fishing, and even has some prime Alaska campgrounds.

Since you've made it this far, press northward to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a remote region rich with truly wild nature. Glacial lakes, pristine rivers, rolling flower-covered hills, and snow-capped peaks are found throughout this refuge. The Arctic refuge is also the largest in the entire world, and seems like an endless blanket of untouched landscape. Although it’s not easily accessible, visitors are rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime experience that few travelers have seen. Migrating herds of caribou and oft-sighted moose are some of the only company you'll have during your visit.

Article Courtesy of Woodall's Campground Directory. Alaska