Two free campgrounds between Tok and McCarthy, Alaska

Free camping in Alaska is ubiquitous. It’s everywhere! In this post, we’ll show you two free campgrounds between Tok and McCarthy.

But first, look who we found!

Sneaking up on The Motorhome Experiment in Tok


We were already planning on joining Paul and Lorena but thought we’d sneak up on them a bit earlier than expected. And we found them behind a Chevron in Tok, Alaska. Now the gang’s all together.

Free campgrounds between Tok and McCarthy

Gulkana River free camping

The scenery here gets better and better as you drive. We rolled down the road in the direction of McCarthy and planned to stay not too far away.

scenery on the road from tok to gulkana.

As we were driving, we saw a few RVs parked just after we crossed the Gulkana River. We saw a paved road heading in that direction, so we checked it out. Sure enough, it was a free camping spot that we hadn’t seen listed anywhere.

free campgrounds between tok and mccarthy - gulkana river.

This site has a large flat lot with loads of room to park RVs. Class A’s and big rigs are no problem. There are a port-a-potty and a dumpster. We had decent AT&T and Verizon signal here.

Tour companies bring people to fly fish here for salmon. So it’s a little busy during the day. But it was super quiet at night.

gulls on the gulkana river.

view of the gulkana river.

We saw a bunch of bald eagles here, and if you go down by the river, you’ll get beautiful mountain views if the weather’s right. There was also a bunch of moose poop, but we didn’t see any moose.

bald eagle at gulkana river.

A stop at the Wrangell St. Elias Visitors Center

You’ll get loads of info at the Wrangell St. Elias National Park visitors center. Stop in for the info and then take in the beautiful mountain views just a short walk away.

views of the mountains at wrangell st. elias visitors center.

Copper River free camping

Right after you pass through the one lane rock wall at the start of McCarthy Road, you’ll cross over the Copper River.

start of the mccarthy road.

There’s a campground on the left after you cross the river and one on the right. The one on the right is free.

copper river campground in chitina alaska.

Scout it out before you pick a spot because there are some pretty cool campsites tucked away. We were only able to get Verizon here. AT&T and T-Mobile were a no go.

This campground can get a bit rowdy. Tenters showed up at 3 am and made a ton of noise. People were pulling boats out until at least midnight. The river is about a 1/4 mile walk, and we again saw loads of bald eagles. This campground has two vault toilets.

view of the copper river.

If you were looking for free campgrounds between Tok and McCarthy, I hope this helped! If you know of any others that aren’t listed in the usual places, please share!

Next post: Can you take an RV on the road to McCarthy?

Check out all the videos in our Alaska 2018 adventure here.

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Laura Nunemaker

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Laura Nunemaker

vegan. digital nomad. cycling. scuba. intj. former vegan bakery owner.

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