Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26

Thread: Chugach Primitive Tent Camping

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default Chugach Primitive Tent Camping

    Hey all,
    New here, and looking for some information. I will be traveling to Chugach National Forest in a few weeks, and heading down to around Girdwood, and then further down the Highway 1. I am a nature photographer looking to find a place I can set up camp for about 2 weeks. I am not looking to pay for camping but looking more for primitive camping as I enjoy getting away from people and enjoying the scenery. Are there any good places (dirt roads, etc) where I can set up camp? Your favorite locations?

    GPS coordinated are ok if that is easier.

    Thanks so much in advance!

    -Ian

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Girdwood
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    Most people desiring to get away from other people wouldn't camp next to roads (gravel or otherwise).

    Why not use the campgrounds? As they are equipped to handle the swarms of tourists, campers, and nature photographer(s). It costs a little money ... bu then many of the campgrounds are funded from public funds .. and the private campgrounds help the locals to make a living.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    fishhook, ak
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    Some people like it quiet. Going to have to walk or bike in that part of the world to get to a campsite away from most human noise.

    Interior AK is where you want to be for the sort of camping you are looking for...but it's not the kenai pen.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    fishhook, ak
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    I agree though, that the campgrounds are superior experiences, we don't give them enough credit. Avoid the Russian R. Campground and you will have a most pleasant time.

    But basing out of a vehicle on the kenai pen in the summer is not an experience that brings to mind primitive for me.

    Most people think just driving in AK and not having cell reception is primitive though...

  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    There are great campgrounds down that way and as long as you stay clear of the fishing spots you can have it pretty quiet. I recently spent a night at tenderfoot campground by summit lake lodge and it was pretty quiet though it was early in the season. I believe the costs was about $18/day and they also sold firewood if needed. I spent a couple hours watching a very nice dark griz within a couple miles of there this spring.

    http://www.reserveamerica.com/campin...O&parkId=74122

  6. #6
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks for the replies everyone! I understand I will also be a tourist, but I hate to think I am the annoying, city folk type. We will be utilizing the public campground system while we stay for two weeks in Denali at Savage River Campground. We would love to be able to afford another campground for our 2 week stay in Chugach but another $300 or more is just not in the stars.

    I also understand that camping out of the back of a truck is not really "roughing it", but I was trying to get across that I am not looking for the amenities that campgrounds offer.

    I am looking for places along the highway that I may be able to pull off and set up camp for a week, and then move to another spot. I have been searching endlessly on Google Earth and such, looking for the sky but either the quality is not that great or there are clouds covering the road.

    Do you have any suggestions on dirt roads (it can be kind of beat up) where I could peacefully set up camp, and be out of view of the road? Road noise is a negative but I am willing to deal with it.

    Also has anyone stayed at Savage River? I have looked online for photographs or descriptions and can't really find either. Just looking for a general idea of what it is like.

    Thanks again everyone I love having these online communities.

  7. #7

    Default

    Alaska is somewhat unique as far as roads. We have a huge amount of area, but very few roads, and fewer dirt roads that get you back in the woods. If you want to get away from the crows, you need to hike a distance really. The few roads get lots of traffic on the weekends from the 10's of thousands of people heading south looking to get away from each other just to run into each other in another place. If you don't mind hiking a bit, there are some great places that you could camp and be away from all but a fairly small number of hikers. Resurrection Pass, Devil's Canyon, Johnson Pass, etc... are good places to look.

  8. #8
    Member .338-06's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,045

    Default

    About mile 75 of the Seward Highway, just before Lower Summit Lake on the lefthand side as you're going south, there is a very large gravel pit. There is a dirt road that goes down to the creek. The road continues on the other side of the creek and winds back in the mountains for miles. There are old mining claims back there. Lots of room to camp. No prepared campgrounds. Have fun.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

  9. #9
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks Anchskier, I have been realizing that for a while now, it is unfortunate, but I guess it keeps places wild, which is a good thing. Thanks for the list of hiking, I looked them up and they are gorgeous!

    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    Alaska is somewhat unique as far as roads. We have a huge amount of area, but very few roads, and fewer dirt roads that get you back in the woods. If you want to get away from the crows, you need to hike a distance really. The few roads get lots of traffic on the weekends from the 10's of thousands of people heading south looking to get away from each other just to run into each other in another place. If you don't mind hiking a bit, there are some great places that you could camp and be away from all but a fairly small number of hikers. Resurrection Pass, Devil's Canyon, Johnson Pass, etc... are good places to look.

  10. #10
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks .338! That is exactly what I am looking for! Very helpful, I will absolutely check it out! Does the creek have a name? Is it any good for Trout in July (not really looking for monsters just a fun time)? Thanks again!

    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    About mile 75 of the Seward Highway, just before Lower Summit Lake on the lefthand side as you're going south, there is a very large gravel pit. There is a dirt road that goes down to the creek. The road continues on the other side of the creek and winds back in the mountains for miles. There are old mining claims back there. Lots of room to camp. No prepared campgrounds. Have fun.

  11. #11
    Member .338-06's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,045

    Default

    Don't know, never fished there, just hunted back there. It's Canyon Creek that you cross. It flows north 'til it joins Six Mile Creek. I'm pretty sure the road/trail goes along Mills Creek. There's cabins around Lower Summit Lake, I think they're Forest Service. You can look at it on Google Earth. Just find Lower Summit Lake along the Seward Highway.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

  12. #12
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Yea, I looked at it on Google yesterday, and it looks like a prime spot. Do you think the creek will be low enough during July for a vehicle to cross? Or do you usually go back there during a different time of the year?

  13. #13
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Central Kenai Peninsula
    Posts
    4,887

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Horvath View Post
    Yea, I looked at it on Google yesterday, and it looks like a prime spot. Do you think the creek will be low enough during July for a vehicle to cross? Or do you usually go back there during a different time of the year?
    I would avoid that crossing if I were you. I have crossed canyon creek many times and even in a full size 4wd truck it was a bit hairy at times. Hairy as in don't open the doors while crossing or you'll get wet feet kind of thing.
    You never know from day to day how good/bad it will be. Up in the mountains there water level comes and goes pretty fast depending on the weather. One mornings rain can raise the whole creek by afternoon.
    There have been several times when people crossed it then had to wait for several days or a week to get their vehicle back across.
    Personally I would use the campgrounds if I were you. If $250-$300 breaks your budget then maybe you need to wait for a bigger budget. Not trying to sound rude but that's reality. I wouild hate to see you run out of $$$ and get stuck somewhere.
    Trust me I have seen it happen. One guy had to work the slime line for a month just to get back home to Michigan.
    If you do decide on the Mills Creek trail park at the bridge and walk across. And be very careful getting to the bridge from the gravel pit if you are not in a 4wd truck. There are a few oil pan eating rocks on that section of trail/road.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Horvath View Post
    Yea, I looked at it on Google yesterday, and it looks like a prime spot. Do you think the creek will be low enough during July for a vehicle to cross? Or do you usually go back there during a different time of the year?

    You can not access Mills Creek by vehicle, unless you have a valid mining claim back there. Walk or Mountain bike. (Why are people so d@mm lazy).........?????

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Girdwood
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    Ian:

    I don't know how you camp ... so perhaps that would make a small difference. But camping means different things to different people. For some, they choose a location, decide they want a fire, start clearing brush/trees for a fire. And for two weeks, we've all seen the shot up targets and vehicles, bags of garbage, camp litter to include the brown stained toilet streamers that lay across the trail and dance from the bushes. Multiply the softest encroachments by the many visitors, tourists, and campers ... and that's why the campgrounds would be a good recommendation and good fit for your intentions.

    I'm sure we've all had to pull over somewhere to catch a few Z's ... but as far as money goes, I really hear, "can someone tell me where I can go so I camp on the cheap" and equate that with a dirtied landscape, which would require many volunteers to clean up the accumulation of messes or a funded program to accomplish similar results.

  16. #16
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Chris, Yes, Mills Creek was looking a little rough from the sky, and didn't look like a safe bet to cross, but I thought I would just ask. Maybe I have mislead you a little on the finances, we have enough to take a very comfortable trip, but saving money, and doing something other tourists do not do (car camping) excites us more than the campground route, as we will be doing that for 2 weeks in Denali. But I am starting to sense that the campgrounds are the only way around this problem in the Kenai Pen.

    I know someone mentioned to stay away from the Russian River Camp, any others people think are nice (I will be looking them up in a few minutes)? Are they so in demand we should think of reservations online, or could we jump around to the different ones to see which we liked best once we get there with little problem of having a spot for the night?

    Thanks everyone in advance and thanks for all the help and advice already received!!

  17. #17
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Wet,
    I am a hunter, yes, but a sustainable one at that, and I will not be bringing anything except myself to Alaska, to enjoy everything about it. I do not trophy hunt, nor do I find it amusing to pepper targets with rounds for no reason. I have been camping for a long time in the "wilds" of the lower 48, and I enjoy finding a dirt National Forest Road to go down and pull off into a small (already established) camp area. Than fight the throngs of weekend warriors who destroy the forest, clear living trees for wood, leave deep rut marks in soft earth and desecrate the land in the manner you described.

    It makes me just a furious as you, I am sure, to see such things and not be able to catch the crooks that committed such a crime. No, I camp as much with the land as I am able because I know this Earth is overtaxed as it is, and my destruction will do no good in passing down the land to future generations to enjoy what little is left of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wet eNuf View Post
    Ian:

    I don't know how you camp ... so perhaps that would make a small difference. But camping means different things to different people. For some, they choose a location, decide they want a fire, start clearing brush/trees for a fire. And for two weeks, we've all seen the shot up targets and vehicles, bags of garbage, camp litter to include the brown stained toilet streamers that lay across the trail and dance from the bushes. Multiply the softest encroachments by the many visitors, tourists, and campers ... and that's why the campgrounds would be a good recommendation and good fit for your intentions.

    I'm sure we've all had to pull over somewhere to catch a few Z's ... but as far as money goes, I really hear, "can someone tell me where I can go so I camp on the cheap" and equate that with a dirtied landscape, which would require many volunteers to clean up the accumulation of messes or a funded program to accomplish similar results.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Girdwood
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    Interesting perspective, but can we drop the labels? Otherwise, A photographer is a weekend warrior not? I think you'd be surprised by how many people could fit into the photographer label.

    A wise man in a different thread said something to the effect, "a single rain drop does not feel responsible for the flood."

    Since they have the pay campsites now, I would argue the need for the small camp areas is no longer there. Continued disturbance of those "established camp areas" (by any group) will not allow them to heal and recover. I strongly suggest that you should search out the pay campsites before camping in areas that don't have the fee bucket.

  19. #19
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Look, all I am looking for are dirt roads that lead back into the forest that would allow me to camp for free in the National Forest. I am a responsible camper. But like Wet quoted even the drop of rain is a cause of the flood, but we are all the cause of the destruction of the forest if you use the fee campgrounds or not.

    I now understand, truly sincere thanks, that Alaska is so large that maintaining a network of dirt roads would be an enormous task for the Forest Service. I will look at the campgrounds along the way. How full are these usually during the summer (I'm assuming very full)? Would it be wise of me to reserve ahead of time, or can I hop down among them at my own pace not worrying if I will find a spot for the night?

    I just despise the RV campers with the generators, and those who are not responsible, I am looking, and going to Alaska in part to rid myself of them. I assume you understand, as you live in Alaska, and probably despise tourists just like myself.

    Interesting perspective, but can we drop the labels? Otherwise, A photographer is a weekend warrior not? I think you'd be surprised by how many people could fit into the photographer label.

    A wise man in a different thread said something to the effect, "a single rain drop does not feel responsible for the flood."

    Since they have the pay campsites now, I would argue the need for the small camp areas is no longer there.Continued disturbance of those "established camp areas" (by any group) will not allow them to heal and recover. I strongly suggest that you should search out the pay campsites before camping in areas that don't have the fee bucket.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    194

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Horvath View Post
    Look, all I am looking for are dirt roads that lead back into the forest that would allow me to camp for free in the National Forest. I am a responsible camper.
    The dirt roads in National Forests like you find all over the Pacific Northwest are usually old commercial logging roads. There really hasn't been any real commercial logging in SC AK on public property so that kind of road doesn't exist. Most of the motor vehicle capable trails are restricted access for forestry vehicles, private inholdings, or utility company use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Horvath View Post

    I now understand, truly sincere thanks, that Alaska is so large that maintaining a network of dirt roads would be an enormous task for the Forest Service. I will look at the campgrounds along the way. How full are these usually during the summer (I'm assuming very full)? Would it be wise of me to reserve ahead of time, or can I hop down among them at my own pace not worrying if I will find a spot for the night?
    Alaska is huge, but less than 3% is accessable by any kind of road. Everybody (tourist and Alaskan alike) is crammed onto the miniscule road system from May till September. Everybody is looking for the solitude, but if there's a road then somebody else is already there or it's private property.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Horvath View Post

    I just despise the RV campers with the generators, and those who are not responsible, I am looking, and going to Alaska in part to rid myself of them. I assume you understand, as you live in Alaska, and probably despise tourists just like myself.
    Most of us do not despise tourists. We enjoy showing off our great state. The type of seclusion, free camping, and quiet you're appearing to ask for is not going to be found on the road system. Even remote areas like McCarthy see substantial traffic during the brief summer. Experiencing peace and quiet is easy if you park the car and hike in a few miles but yourcar might be vandalized before you get back. There are a couple of federal campgrounds past Moose Pass on the way to Seward that probably see lower traffic levels than average. The names elude me at the moment. Most people will be turning west at the y to head to the Kenai or going straight through to Seward so they get less pressure.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •