As spring marches on as usual, regardless of this unusual time, the State of Alaska has begun easing some of the mandates designed to protect its citizens from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A few weeks of lovely weather has had Alaskans straining at the invisible tethers tying them to their own communities, but a few have broken free in RVs or family cars and ventured out toward the open roads. This means, of course, that as restrictions are lifted and summer creeps closer (never mind the start of fishing season), more of us will be packing up and bidding adieu to home base. Need some ideas? Businesses specializing in Alaska road trips have responded in a big way, offering deals and special cleaning protocols, in an effort to entice Alaskans to please utilize their cabin, campground, or service.
So here you go: A few ideas for short, get-out-of-town Southcentral Alaska fun. Remember to follow the rules, whatever they may be at the time, and be nice to each other.
RV AND VAN RENTALS:
Self-contained, private, and mobile, the RV and travel van market looks strong in Alaska this summer, especially with a variety of sizes and configurations.
- Want to go retro? Try Trickster Trips for a spin in their VW Vanagons. Take $50 off AND have the ability to rent for just two nights (usually they insist on 3 or more nights for summer rentals). With a style all their own and suited for the low-maintenance camping family (who also knows how to drive a stick), road trips in these vans are guaranteed to have heads turning. Best for: families of four or less, or families wanting to split between tent/van camping.
- Like the rooftop tent concept? Get Lost Travel Vans has custom-designed Dodge Caravans kitted out with said rooftop tent (very comfy), a small but very efficient kitchen, indoor sleeping for two, and self-contained power. Their current Alaskans-Only special knocks off $49/per night over the Memorial Weekend coming up. Better hurry — this deal is pretty sweet.
- Going big? Our friends at Great Alaskan Holidays have rigs designed for the family who wants comfort and room and the freedom to roam completely self-contained. Ranging from 22 to 33 feet, the fleet of RVs at GAH have a variety of floor plans and can sleep your whole crew. Check out their May specials HERE.
Still like the idea of four walls? Check out these locations for a road trip – cabin retreat.
- Alaska State Parks public use cabins are always one of our favorite camp options, but they are filling up fast due to an influx of anxious Alaskans desperate to escape to the wilderness. Find the details HERE, and be sure to bring your own cleaning supplies for both cabins and outhouses.
- Spruce Moose Chalets in quiet Moose Pass are perfect for families who don’t want a long drive, but do wish to get away for a few days. Owner Gary Steele assured me that extra precautions are taken between guests, including a daily sanitize of the hot tubs (doesn’t a hot tub sound pretty great about now?). Savor the views of Upper Trail Lake from the decks, or take a hike with the kids on one of the many Chugach National Forest trails.
- Alaska Rivers Company in Cooper Landing, a fishing/floating outfitter, also has quaint cabins just bursting with Alaska-ish charm. Set right along the beautiful Kenai River where you can also access a float trip (fishing begins later this summer), the four cabins can cozily accommodate a small or large family, with kitchen amenities and the chance to completely unwind from the stress of these past few months. Great access to the river, trails, and Kenai Lake, too.
- Chugach National Forest campgrounds are open where weather (i.e. snow) allows, so check the USFS/Chugach website HERE before you go. Trail River, Porcupine, Primrose, and Quartz Creek were open as of this evening. Get there early — they are filling up on weekends.
- Alaska State Park’s Chugach campgrounds are much the same; Bird Creek is open. Eagle River is operated by a second-party business and will open Friday, May 8. Eklutna is staffing up so is not quite open, but campers should plan on or around May 15. So stay tuned for that, and more, HERE.
- Kampgrounds of America (KOA) has three campgrounds now: Valdez, Seward, and Homer, and all three are gearing up for welcoming guests. Valdez is not open yet pending the city’s COVID-19 planned mandates. Seward KOA is open, located on the site of the former Air Force campground just outside town but near the Seward elementary school and a rocking-cool playground. Homer’s bluffside KOA is open, with amazing views of Kachemak Bay. Both Valdez and Homer are a bit outside their respective towns, FYI.
- Diamond M Ranch Resort/Soldotna RV Park has teamed up with CampgroundViews.com for a sweepstakes of 100 Days of FREE Camping, which sounds pretty great to us. Plus, they are ready and open for springtime visitors who need a bit of a break.
Look for more opportunities to hit the roadways this spring and summer as Alaska tourism businesses slowly open up. Keep tabs on “right away” openings on the AKontheGO Facebook page or our Twitter feed.