Hands down, Alaska is one of the best states for off-grid camping. And with 57.5 million acres of dedicated wilderness, there are countless free boondocking spots all around the state. But is it possible to boondock anywhere in Alaska? And how should you prepare for this wild adventure?
In this article, we take a deep dive into boondocking in Alaska, including where you can boondock, upgrades that will make your experience much more enjoyable, and seven amazing (and free) camping spots. Let’s begin.
Table of contents
- What Is Boondocking?
- Can You Boondock Anywhere in Alaska?
- Essential Upgrades for Off-Grid Boondocking Comfort
- 7 Best Off the Grid Boondocking Locations in Alaska
- Is Boondocking in Alaska Worth It?
- Join Us For Rendezvous On the Range in Alaska 2022!
What Is Boondocking?
Boondocking generally refers to dry, dispersed camping. It’s a self-reliant style of traveling that doesn’t involve access to water, electricity, or sewer hookups. Most people who boondock are in a self-contained vessel, such as a van or RV, with everything they need inside, therefore, they can go for days without relying on outside resources, which provides them the freedom to go anywhere they want. Those most drawn to boondocking appreciate the solitude, affordability, and flexibility, as well as the strong sense of independence.
→ Find out why we think Boondocking Off-Grid is the Best Way To Camp!
Can You Boondock Anywhere in Alaska?
While Alaska is possibly the most boondocking-friendly state in the United States, you can’t just do off-grid camping anywhere. Like most places, camping on private property and most public places within city limits is prohibited.
Lucky for us, however, those places are few and far between. In fact, Alaska has a whopping eight National Parks and millions of acres of wilderness open for dispersed camping. There are even highways with pull-offs throughout the state that allow travelers to park and camp. But, keep in mind that dispersed camping in Alaska is truly dispersed camping. Most spots will likely just look like a patch in the woods without any facilities. You’ll be lucky to stumble across a fire ring.
Essential Upgrades for Off-Grid Boondocking Comfort
If you’re going to boondock in Alaska, what will you need?
→ Here are the 5 Essential Upgrades Every Boondocking RV Needs
First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure you bring enough food, water, and other provisions to get you where you want to go. After all, when you venture through the wilderness of Alaska, you may find yourself hundreds of miles from the nearest grocery store or water fill-up. Always top off fuel when you can, stock up on non-perishable goods, and have plenty of potable water. You might also want to carry a means of filtering water.
You’ll also need a self-contained method of disposing of your waste. Whether it’s a large black tank, a composting toilet, or a shovel, it’s always important to keep Alaska wild and “pack in/pack out.”
Last, you’ll need some kind of off-grid electricity source to power your essential devices, which will allows you to communicate with the outside world should anything go awry. Thankfully, lithium batteries provide a reliable, energy-dense way to store power for later use. No more wondering if the battery will randomly go dead; no having to carefully water and maintain them. These batteries won’t leave you stranded when you need them the most.
Watch the video below to hear from Tom and Cait of Mortons on the Move and their experience traveling to Alaska with Battle Born lithium batteries. ⬇
7 Best Off the Grid Boondocking Locations in Alaska
Let’s look at the seven best locations for off-the-grid camping in Alaska. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Coordinates: 60.5025, -149.3694
About: Upper Lake Trail Pull-Out is one of those camping locations that you just have to see to believe. Located in Chugach National Forest just off State Highway 9, you’ll find a large pull-off on the shore of Moose Lake with pristine aqua-marine water. The area can accommodate rigs of any size. You’ll be surrounded by wilderness and snow-capped mountains. This is a true nature lover’s dream. Visitors also report four bars of Verizon 4G in the area.
Coordinates: 62.1761, -150.1793
About: Susitna River Dispersed is another fantastic spot for boondocking in Alaska. It sits on a beautiful body of water called the Susitna River. Reviewers report many places to park along the river, most of which accommodate big rigs. However, while most of the terrain is firm gravel, be aware of soft spots. Visitors also report excellent service in the area, and rock fire rings at many of the sites.
Coordinates: 68.4533, -149.4833
About: Galbraith Lake Campground is located on Galbraith Lake in Northern Alaska, just off the Dalton Highway (Route 11). While this spot might be a hike to get to, the beauty and solitude make it well worth it. However, be advised that the Dalton Highway is notorious for being unpaved and scary at times. Because of this, ensure you have a reliable vehicle with off-roading capabilities. It’s also important to remember that during the summer months, the sun doesn’t set, so definitely bring your black-out shades and sleep mask.
Coordinates: 61.1365611, -146.3623366
About: Mineral Creek in Valdez is another amazing location for off-grid camping in Alaska. You’ll feel immersed in nature with a beautiful rushing river running right by your camping spot. However, you’ll be just a stone’s throw from civilization. This location is best for travelers in small rigs, such as vans, pop-ups, and even tents. You’ll be able to drive in, but access may be limited. This is true primitive dispersed camping where you’ll need to pack in and pack out all your essentials.
Coordinates: 60.7008, -150.7981
About: Are you looking for a beautiful campground to stay at in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge while boondocking in Alaska? If so, Dolly Varden Campground is the perfect spot. You’ll find 12 gravel campsites to choose from on the lake. It’s also important to know that you’ll need to traverse 14 miles of gravel to get to this location. Reviewers report that the campsites are a bit small. However, there is a pit toilet and non-potable water.
Coordinates: 61.5103, -145.2192
About: Tonsina Laydown Yard is essentially a large pull-off right off of the Richardson Highway in Tonsina. Besides the road, you’ll be surrounded by miles of wilderness, including a creek, mountains, and Tonsina Lake. As you can imagine, there are no accommodations in this area. Nevertheless, it makes for a convenient place to camp as you traverse Route 4.
Coordinates: 63.8784, -149.2253
About: Stampede Road is a patch of BLM where campers can boondock for free near Eightmile Lake. It’s located just off Stampede Road in Healy. And as always, you’ll be completely surrounded by nature. According to one reviewer, the road to the area is paved, but after that, it becomes gravel leading out to the lake. Furthermore, they report that “the surrounding area is soft tundra, boggy & has a few trees,” which may make it difficult for walking and hiking.
Is Boondocking in Alaska Worth It?
Alaska is a bit out-of-the-way for most travelers. But if you’re ready to check it off your bucket list, it’s important to know where to go to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime journey. And anyone who has ever been to Alaska will tell you how incredible it is. The immense beauty that makes up its landscape is second to none. We’re sure you’ll be talking about your trip for years to come.
Join Us For Rendezvous On the Range in Alaska 2022!
Battle Born Batteries is proud to sponsor RVing to Alaska’s “Rendezvous in the Range 2022”!
Mark your calendars for this 5-night camping event beginning on July 20th. Find more information and purchase your tickets at www.rvingtoalaska.com/rally.
“This is boondocking at its finest with the closest town or services 60 miles away up in Delta Junction. So plan to come with water tanks full, black tanks empty, and a generator or other source to keep your batteries happy. If you are new to boondocking, they plan to hold a Boondocking 101 seminar to help you make dry camping more comfortable and for those who might be interested in learning more about solar on their RV we will be doing a seminar on this topic hosted by our main event sponsor, Battle Born Batteries.”
Are you planning a trip to Alaska? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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