Camping in the Mat-Su Valley

The Mat-Su Valley is filled with wide-open spaces, miles of hiking trails and many rivers and streams. That makes for amazing tent camping opportunities throughout the region, whether you are a backcountry enthusiast or like to camp in familiar surroundings.

There are many Alaska State Parks campgrounds in the Mat-Su Valley that offer tent camping, complete with fire rings and picnic tables in some cases. Some of the more popular sites include K'esugi Ken Campground in Denail State Park, Willow Creek, Nancy Lake and Matanuska Glacier.

For backpackers looking to head out on overnight trips, top suggestions would be Kesugi Ridge and Curry Ridge in Denali State Park or extended trips in Hatcher Pass.

When heading into the backcountry, it's also important to be "bear aware." Throughout the summer, bears roam the area, but with some smart planning, you can avoid an encounter. Always pack out what you pack in, and make sure your food is secured in bear-proof canisters. When hiking, make noise so you don't surprise a bear. When camping, be aware of your surroundings and pick a spot that is in more of an open area, rather than densely wooded areas.

If you would rather trade a tent for an RV, don't forget to check out the many RV parks in the Mat-Su Valley.