Ocean Breezes and Mountain Peaks: The Allure of Seward Alaska Camping

By Ryan Wilson

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seward alaska camping

Ask Alaskans what their favorite coastal community in the state is, and Seward would be at the top of the list. Seward is a beautiful community situated at the head of Resurrection Bay, and offers countless recreation opportunities such as glacier and wildlife cruises, fishing, hiking, and camping. Thankfully there are many Seward Alaska camping opportunities.

We make it to Seward at least once a year as a family for a camping trip and while the weather can be quite rainy, we always seem to find a beautiful weekend to visit. A bluebird day in Seward, should not be missed!

Thankfully there are many Seward Alaska camping opportunities and even more options for camping near Seward Alaska. Because of all of the places to camp in Seward Alaska, you generally won’t have trouble finding a camp site.

But be aware, during 4th of July weekend, Seward hosts the Mount Marathon Race which can make finding a campsite extremely challenging

In the following post, I’ll highlight the many places to camp in Seward Alaska to help in planning your next adventure to Seward!


Seward Alaska Camping Opportunities

For the size of Seward, Alaska (population of about 2,700), there are a surprising number of campgrounds and campsites to choose from. But don’t wait until the last minute to book sites. Alaskans and tourists alike begin booking their summer camping adventures at least 6 months in advance to get the best campsites in Alaska!

There are two primary places to camp in Seward Alaska, but both offer lots of campsites. These include the City of Seward campgrounds, and the Millers Landing Campground. If you are interested in more of a Seward glamping experience, consider Howling Wolf Glamour Campground, only 3 miles from town.

City of Seward Campgrounds

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The City of Seward operates 10 campgrounds right in the heart of town and right next to the ocean! They all are conveniently located near the main attractions of Seward (i.e., Alaska Sea Life Center, restaurants, shops, glacier cruises). There is also a nice paved path running right along the water that offers great views during casual strolls!

While they are technically separate campgrounds, most blend together or are located in close proximity. All of the City of Seward Campgrounds are located right next to city streets, so you won’t be camping in a quiet, serene location. The city streets are small and slow, however, so there’s not a ton of road noise.

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Most of the City of Seward Campgrounds are the “parking lot” RV park-style, but there is one tent-only campground (Williams Campground) which offers a quaint forested site for tent campers.

Campground Amenities

The City of Seward Campgrounds offer a full suite of amenities. While none of the sites offer full hook-ups, there is a dump station located just outside of the campgrounds. Only the Resurrection and Resurrection South campgrounds have partial RV hookups (i.e., water and electric).

There are also restrooms, a shower room (although it was closed in summer 2023), water spigots, and dumpsters for your trash.

Many sites have picnic tables and fire rings, but not all.

Operating Season

The City of Seward Campgrounds are open from 15 April through 1 October each year.

Campground Costs

The City of Seward campgrounds have four different prices for campsites. Premium, partial hook-up RV sites cost $70 per night. These premium sites are located at the most scenic locations in the campgrounds.

For non-premium, partial hook-up sites, the cost is $60 per night

For dry RV sites, the cost is $45 per night.

For tent-only sites, the cost is $25 per night.

The use of the dump station is free, as well as the use of the shower facilities.

Campground Reservations

You can make advanced reservations beginning in mid-January each year for the City of Seward Campgrounds. While it’s not necessary to book campgrounds in advance, it ensures that you get the best campsite.

There is no payment kiosk for these Seward Alaska camping sites, but you can scan the QR code on the campground information sign once you arrive to book a site. And rest assured there is good cellular coverages in Seward, so you should be fine using the internet on your phone to reserve a site.

There are currently 3 City of Seward Campgrounds that are first-come first-serve. They include the Boulder Campground, Spring Creek Campground, and the newly opened Forest Acres Campground.

So if you forget to reserve a site and there are none available in the other campground, you can check out the Forest Acres Campground site and see if there is availability there.

Iditarod Campground

The Iditarod Campground is located nearly adjacent to the Alaska Sea Life Center and “downtown” Seward shops and restaurants.

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There are 11 sites at the Iditarod Campground. When I visited the site this summer, I did not notice any campfire pits or picnic tables at this site. It is an RV dry site, so not really any places for tent camping

Resurrection South Campground

Resurrection South Campground offers camping opportunities for all types of campers. Whether you are a tent camper or and RV camper, sites at this campground can accommodate you.

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There are also partial hook-ups at this campground, but not at all of the campsites offer this option. Each site has a fire pit and a picnic table. I like this site a lot because it offers some green space in the campground and a little more privacy (at some sites in the trees) than most of the other City of Seward Campgrounds.

Resurrection Campground

Resurrection and Resurrection South Campgrounds are both located at the same general site, but for some reason are named differently.

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The main difference between the two sites is that there are no RV-dry sites at Resurrection Campground, only partial hook-up sites. But sites can be used by tent campers or RV campers.

Williams Campground

Williams Campground is the only tent-only campground within the City of Seward Campgrounds.

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Williams Campground is the most privacy you’ll find in the city’s campgrounds. And also provides the most protection from the windy conditions one often finds in Seward.

All sites include picnic tables and fire pits.

Another difference is that Resurrection Campground doesn’t have the trees that Resurrection South Campground has, and reminds me of a more “typical” RV park-style campground.

Marathon Campground

Marathon Campground is an RV-only campground, but offers dry sites only.

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Marathon Campground is a typical RV park-style campground that can get pretty crowded in the summer. But the views from this site are fantastic. If you’re lucky enough to land a site for the Mount Marathon Race, you’ll have a great view of the runners navigating the steep slows of Mount Marathon (hence the name of the campground).

All sites include picnic tables and fire pits.

Alice Campground

Alice Campground is a dry RV or tent campground.

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Alice Campground is another typical RV park-style campground. All sites include picnic tables and fire pits.

This site is a little further from “downtown” Seward, but it is a short walk from the marina, and access to fishing charters and glacier cruises.

Harborside Campground

Harborside Campground is a dry RV campground with no tent sites.

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Photos: City of Seward

Harborside Campground is another typical RV park-style campground. No sites include picnic tables and fire pits.

This site is a little further from “downtown” Seward, but it is a short walk from the marina, and access to fishing charters and glacier cruises.

Boulder Campground

Boulder Campground is another dry RV or tent campground.

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Photos: City of Seward

Boulder Campground is another typical RV park-style campground. None of the sites include picnic tables and fire pits.

This site is a little further from “downtown” Seward, but it is a short walk from the marina, and access to fishing charters and glacier cruises.

Spring Creek Campground

Spring Creek Campground is another dry RV or tent campground. But don’t think you’ll be close to town if you stay here. This site is located on the other side of the bay from Seward. So it will be a little less crazy, but you’ll have to drive ~10 minutes to get to the main attractions in town.

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Photos: City of Seward

Spring Creek Campground is mostly just a glorified parking lot, but with stunning views and easy access to the ocean.

Sites do not have fire pits or picnic tables.

Forest Acres Campground

Forest Acres Campground is the newest campground in the city of Seward campgrounds. As noted above, this is one of three first-come first-serve campgrounds run by the city.

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Photos: City of Seward

In my opinion, this is the most relaxing of the campgrounds run by the city of Seward. Situated in a nice forested area, it is protected from the winds that are notorious on Resurrection Bay.

But this serenity will come at the cost of being a little ways from town, and most likely require you to drive into town to see the attractions.

The site has access to potable water, and each campsite has a picnic table and fire pit.


Miller’s Landing Campground

Miller’s Landing is a well-known camping location just a few minute drive south of “downtown” Seward. Located right along the ocean, it provides easy access for beach combing, fishing, sea kayaking, and hiking the trail the Caine’s Head.

Millers Landing Campground

Campground Options

Miller’s Landing has 4 different campgrounds offering something for everyone.

Beachfront Campground

They have numerous beachfront sites that are suitable for both RV (up to 40′ long) and tent campers. They have electric hook-ups, but not water or sewer. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit. But be aware, these sites can be quite exposed to the elements if the weather is bad.

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The sites start at $45 per night and can be booked online.

Forested Campgrounds

Millers Landing also offers two campgrounds in the woods just in from the shore. One campground is for RV camping while the other is for tent camping only.

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The forested campground for RV camping costs $45 per night and can be booked online.

The forest campground for tent camping costs $30 per night and can also be booked online.

Both campgrounds provide picnic tables and campfire rings at each campsite. At the RV campground, there are electric hook-ups, but not sewer or water hook-ups.

Annex Campground

Miller’s Landing also offers their Annex Campground which is a 5 minute walk from their main facilities where the bath house and camp store is located. So, it’s still really close to Miller’s Landing, but just far enough away to be a little more relaxed.

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We stayed there a few years ago at the end of May and were one of only 3 groups camped there that night. It was great. The site was located right next to the creek and just a minute walk to the beach.

The site dose have a 4 person outhouse, but no picnic tables or formal fire pits. But it’s a suitable site for building your own campfire pit as the site is a large gravel pad. A few of the RV sites have electrical hook-ups, but this site is primarily a dry site.

RV sites in the Annex Campground cost between $45 for a standard site (and can be booked online) and $150 for a pull-through group site (must be called to book: 907-331-3113). Tent sites cost $30 per night and can also be booked online.

Howling Wolf Glamour Campground

If normal camping is not really your style, then consider a “glamping” experience at the Howling Wolf Glamour Campground. Located just north of the main Seward townsite, Howling Wolf Glamour Campground is one of many great places to camp in Seward Alaska.

The facility has saunas, hot tubs, cold plunge pools, games (e.g., volleyball), and a small store.

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If camping is just not your style, but you want to experience the outdoors, then Howling Wolf Glamour Campground is a good option to explore the Seward area.

They offer many different types of accommodations. For “glamping” they offer tents with a bed, power, a front porch with a fire pit, WiFi, and a picnic table. The tents are pet friendly and start at $150 per night.

The other “glamping” opportunity offered are their waterfront cottages that have beds, a picnic table, an individual fire ring, WiFi, and electricity. These start at $250 per night.

Howling Wolf Glamour Campground also offers traditional RV and tent campsites. These range in price from $50-$85 per night depending on whether you choose a full hook-up or want a waterfront site.


Summary

Seward is one my family’s favorite places to explore in the state. If the weather is nice, you’ll never want to leave. If the weather is not nice, thankfully there are lots of activities to keep you occupied and out of the rain!

There are lots of places to camp in Seward Alaska, but don’t think you don’t have to plan ahead. Because of its popularity, sites book up fast. You really need to start booking sites early in the year to get the best campsites in Alaska.

Looking to camp somewhere near Seward, but a little more wild? Take a look at our review of Exit Glacier Campground in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Considering an Alaskan camping trip this summer? Take a look at our list of essential Alaskan camping gear.

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Author

Ryan is an avid outdoorsman who loves camping, hiking, and backpacking. He was initially reluctant to join the camper world, but after his first camping trip in one, he became a convert. He especially loves how camper ownership extends the camping season and makes it easier to be more adventurous with young kids. When not enjoying his free time, he works as a professional wildlife biologist studying the ecology and conservation of large mammals in Alaska.