If you are coming to Kodiak to enjoy the great outdoors by pitching a tent or parking your rig to sleep under the stars, there are many options to please every level of camper.

Tent Camping

Pitching a tent on a family vacation or quietly communing with nature on your own can be a rewarding experience. The sound of kittiwakes or eagles provide music and wildflowers color your surroundings. It is important to know that Kodiak is a rain forest and your gear should be appropriate in the event of heavy rainfall and/or cool temperatures. A good tent with rain fly is a necessity unless you are camping in your truck or RV. Waterproof rain wear is essential. If you have come to Kodiak without proper rain gear, there are several outdoor clothing stores and sporting goods stores that can help you stay dry and warm.

Tent camping is especially enjoyable at Buskin River State Recreation Site and Fort Abercrombie State Historic Park. There are also a few good tent sites near the river at Pasagshak River State Recreation Site. Sites are $15 per night at Ft. Abercrombie, Buskin River, and Pasagshak. Check additional fees and/or restrictions.

At mile marker 31.5 on the Chiniak Highway you will find the Carl Armstrong campground, which offers primitive camping near the ocean. This is a private camping area and requires a permit. Other beaches may also look inviting to campers, but it is important to understand that the majority of the land near the road system is privately owned and requires a permit in order to hike, fish, or camp.  For information regarding permits, check with the Visitor Information Center.  Permits are issued by Lesnoi Native Corporation through Kodiak Adventures Unlimited, a downtown visitor services kiosk, phone (907) 486-8766. There are private campgrounds that accommodate recreational vehicles. (See below.)

Camping Safety & Etiquette

  • Never leave food out when not in use. Store food in your vehicle or a bear-proof locker. Never store food in tent.
  • Use bear-proof garbage cans or dumpsters for your garbage
  • Keep your camp clean and odor free.
  • Do not sleep in the open; use a tent or camper.
  • Pack out everything you bring in.

In the backcountry

Choose your campsite carefully; do not camp near a trail, salmon stream, animal carcass, garbage or backcountry fire pit.

Cook at least 100 ft. away from camp, downwind. Do not cook near your camp, cook smelly foods, sleep in clothes with food odors or bring any food or lotions into your tent. Store food, pots, lotions and trash away from camp.

Public Use Cabins

For hearty and adventurous anglers and backcountry travelers, there are several public use cabins in far-flung settings.  Afognak Island State Park and Shuyak Island State Park both offer remote cabins. For detailed information on reserving these cabins, visit call (907) 269-8400.

The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge handles reservations for eight public use cabins located in the refuge. You can check availability and make reservations by calling (907) 486-2600 or 888-408-3514 or visit their website at

What to Bring for Outdoor Activities

  • Waterproof hiking boots or knee-high rubber boots
  • Rain gear
  • Warm clothes for layering
  • Binoculars
  • Compass (when hiking beyond city limits)

Extended backcountry hikes without a guide should be carefully planned. Take along extra food, waterproof matches, flares, USGS topographic maps and a GPS.


You can buy a shower about three miles from downtown Kodiak. Check with the information center for directions.