Glennallen to the Kenai Peninsula – July 2018

After leaving Tolsona Wilderness Campground the next morning, we continued to head towards Anchorage. We would have continued all the way to Anchorage, but it was July 4 and Costco was closed. So we went looking for a campground that was within about an hour’s drive from Anchorage.

We checked out several campgrounds along the way, but they either were full, had one or two undesirable sites left, or were not what we had hoped for. We did check out the Matanuska Glacier, however, and it was a beautiful sight to see.


Finally, we checked out the Matanuska River Park campground in the city of Palmer. It was perfect for an overnight. It was clean, very reasonably priced and had electric hook ups on the upper grassy portion. A couple of sites had a small view of a mountain peak which we were able to see. It worked well for us. Onward again to Anchorage.

Our only interest in Anchorage at this time was to shop at Costco and then a grocery store for smaller quantity items. The Costco unfortunately did not have diesel, so we had to fill up elsewhere. (Interestingly, we found diesel prices slightly lower outside of Anchorage.)

Driving along the Turnagain arm

Shopping and fueling done, we headed down the Seward Highway toward the Kenai Peninsula. The scenery along the Turnagain Arm was breathtaking! We stopped for some pictures but were concerned again for a place to spend the night. Yes, you can stay in the turnouts but generally we prefer not to.

We’d heard that Fourth of July week is pretty crazy. It seemed that the government and private campgrounds were full on a Thursday. One of the places I called said that all of their hook up sites were full but they had spots on a first come first served basis where you could dry camp for $30 a night. We decided to check it out.

Looking across the lake at the campground. The RVs in sight are also dry camping.

We checked out the dry camping area and basically it was a very undeveloped area. It looks like they may have tried to make some campsites and they put some picnic tables down there. And they said, you can camp wherever you like.

The small glacier is visible in the center of the picture. It’s hard to believe that this lower section of the glacier will be around much longer. The RVs are in the dry camping section, parked along a road. The lake is just in front of our motorhome.

So here we are at The Portage Valley RV Park staring at a lake with mountains surrounding us and a (very) small glacier within walking distance. We started with one night but stayed for three since our prospects seemed poor other places for the weekend. (And probably a good thing we did, as the park was its busiest ever on Friday night. Despite a lot of area available for dry camping, RVs were lined up on some of the roads that night.) We found ourselves a beautiful spot with views to die for. And we sat back and relaxed. I think we really needed that.

Day 44 (Day 10 in Alaska)

Miles: 147*
Driving time: 3:45
Roads: Glenn Highway (AK-1)
Road conditions: Good
Overnight: Matanuska River Park (Palmer, AK)
Weather: Partly sunny (58/81)
Total miles in Alaska: 661*
Total miles since crossing Canadian border: 3,221*
Total miles: 4,789*

Day 45 (Day 11 in Alaska)

Miles: 96*
Driving time: 2:15
Roads: Glenn Highway (AK-1), Seward Highway (AK-1)
Road conditions: Good
Overnight: Portage Valley CG (Girdwood, AK)
Weather: Sunny (59/81)
Total miles in Alaska: 757*
Total miles since crossing Canadian border: 3,317*
Total miles: 4,885*
* Since our motorhome is our only vehicle, mileage includes side trips.

Day 46 (Day 12 in Alaska)

Miles: 0
Overnight: Portage Valley CG (Girdwood, AK)
Weather: Sunny (61/76)

Day 47 (Day 13 in Alaska)

Miles: 0
Overnight: Portage Valley CG (Girdwood, AK)
Weather: Cloudy and occasional rain (55/59)


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