Denali State Park borders the much larger Denali National Park on the west side, about 2.75 hours drive north of Anchorage. The campground offers astounding views of the Alaska Range and Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley) to the west and the Talkeetna Mountains to the east.
K’esugi Ken is an Athabascan place name, translating to mean “base of the ancient one”. This refers to the southern lobe of K’esugi Ridge that lies between the Susitna and Chulitna Rivers. This ridge has been carved by glaciers and rivers over time.
In clear weather from this location, stunning vistas of the Alaska Range and Denali can be seen. Denali’s summit is at 20,310 feet and is the highest mountain in North America. It stands over 3.5 vertical miles above its base—taller from base to summit than Mt. Everest (29,028 ft elevation).
Denali is tall enough to create its own weather. Wind speeds over 150 miles per hour and temperatures of -93F have been recorded on the north face of Denali.
The K’esugi Ken Campground has 32 RV sites that can accommodate up to 100-foot long RVs with electric hookups, non-potable water pumps, fire pits, picnic tables, and bear-proof food lockers.
There are tent sites available on a separate loop, but no dump station. Users will find the campground well-designed. Three public-use cabins are available as well, including the Denali Cabin that is built to ADA standards for accessibility.
An interpretive pavilion showcases some of the area’s interests with interpretive displays. This area is also available to rent for group events. Future plans include the construction of a new visitor center.
The K’esugi Ken Campground offers impressive trails that offer some of the best views of the Alaska Range in the state. The Moose Flats Interpretive Trail is ADA compliant and covers about a half mile around two ponds.
The Curry Ridge Trail is more challenging with several switchbacks that climb 1100 vertical feet over 3.5 miles (one way) to a beautiful alpine lake at 1787 feet elevation.
Timberline is around 1500 feet, allowing hikers to explore the boreal forest before emerging from the woods into sub-alpine and tundra terrain. Future trails are planned to extend the trail past the lake, deeper into the State Park.
The Denali State Park is often less crowded than its National Park neighbor and offers many of the same wilderness experiences. The State Park encompasses 325,240 acres and a host of recreational opportunities from wilderness exploration to fishing, small craft boating, and wildlife viewing.
Wildlife includes moose, bear, wolverine, wolf and many birds and fish. Most of the park is undeveloped wilderness. The Curry and the K’esugi Ridges form the backbone of the park.
Within Denali State Park is the Alaska Veteran’s Memorial, constructed in 1983. The Memorial is an outdoor facility that honors Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and Alaska National Guard veterans from Alaska as well as Alaskans who were awarded the Medal of Honor. The visitor center at the Memorial is open daily during the summer.
Byers Lake Campground, Denali View North Campground, and the Lower Troublesome Creek campground also provide camping experiences in the State Park. You can find out more here.
You can explore Denali State Park and other Alaska State Parks with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources State Park and Trail Map Viewer here.
The RV lifestyle can sometimes be deceiving. RVs give us the freedom to go nearly anywhere, but that doesn’t always translate to the ability to do what we want, when we want to do it – if we care about camping and boondocking etiquette. If we don’t care, we are practically guaranteed to annoy campground and RV park neighbors by following these five simple behaviors:
The Five Best Ways to Annoy Campground and RV Park Neighbors
Keep your RV generator running at all hours.
Who needs to hear crickets chirping at dusk, or the silence of nature in the back country? If you keep your generator running all day and all night, you can enjoy life as usual. Watch TV at all hours, run that microwave and keep the A/C going without sacrificing one bit of your own comfort while you’re out in nature. It’s just like staying home.
Don’t turn off your outside lights.
Your RV’s manufacturer wouldn’t have included pretty LED patio lighting on the side of your rig if they didn’t want you to use it, right? But turning patio lights on and off when you need to go outside at night can be such a hassle. So as soon as the sun sets, just keep your patio lights blaring until morning. You never know when you’ll need to walk the dog at 3 am. Besides, your neighbors can use the light too. If it bothers them, they always get a sleep mask or install RV night shades.
Allow your dog or children to run around off-leash and unsupervised.
Kids and dogs can be wild by nature, so when you want your human or furry children to experience the real meaning of freedom, just turn them loose on the campground and see what happens. Don’t interrupt your important binge watching afternoon to go outside and keep an eye on their activities. The neighbor will probably let you know if something is wrong.
Feed local wildlife.
When you’re out in the woods, the last thing you want to spend time doing is tackling household chores like taking out the trash. Go have fun instead and keep your garbage piled up around your campsite until you leave for good. Better yet, just leave garbage for the animals. Ravens, mice and bears will have an easier time finding dinner, especially when they realize there’s more good eats inside your neighbor’s camper.
Smoke outside next to your neighbor’s RV.
In the land of the free, everyone has the right to decide if and what they want to smoke. Forget those studies showing the effects smoking within 30 feet of another person. All the chemicals you inhale with every puff haven’t killed you yet and who knows, they might even invigorate your neighbor’s immune system too! So light up in the campground and if it bothers your neighbor, let them know that respirator masks are cheap.
The tips in this tongue-in-cheek article are not the only behaviors that can annoy campground and RV park neighbors, but will certainly prevent you from making friends during your RV travels. Consideration for other campers is paramount for happier, memorable road trips.
If you’ve traveled in an RV before, you probably remember it as one of the most memorable experiences in your life. It offers more features, stability and comfort than your traditional tent, and also gives you tons of options when buying a new one. It’s generally suggested to go with a lighter RV first, and if you’re buying it to travel to different states across the country, you’ll also need one that’s suitable for campgrounds. To get that sorted for you, check out our top 5 best campground travel trailers under 5,000 pounds GVWR!
What puts an RV on the list: There’s a significant difference between dry weight and GVWR. The travel trailers in our list are the ones that are under 5,000 pounds GVWR, meaning you’ll actually be able to tow these with ease. Of course, we have also considered the ones which have appreciable ratings and an adequate number of floorplans that are under 27 feet and under 5,000 pounds GVWR.
The Top 5 Best Campground Travel Trailers Under 5,000 Pounds:
Why we recommend the Forest River R-Pod travel trailer: You’ve probably stumbled across the R-pod if you’ve been researching RVs for a while. A little digging and you’ll find that the R-pod is known as being of the, if not the most lightweight campground travel trailers in the market. We recommend checking out the R-Pod RP171 and the R-Pod RP172.
While the R-pod has a slew of different features packed into it, the most popular ones are the LED interior lighting, 20,000 BTU furnace, 3.7 cubic feet refrigerator, tinted safety glass windows and many others. This, combined with its equally impressive list of available expansions, makes the R-pod a worthy inclusion in this list.
9 different floor plans available
Independent torsion axle
20,000 BTU furnace
Solid lumber core cabinet fronts assembled with screws
Why we recommend KZ Escape travel trailer: The Escape travel trailer from KZs stables sport 6 floorplans in total, all of them being suitable for traveling across the country with ease as they’re well under 5,000 pounds GVWR as well. We recommend checking out the Escape E161RB and the Escape E181RB in particular as they offer better sleeping capacities as well!
The escape offers the best of both worlds: it offers standalone expansions as well as an offroad package that adds better tires and other items that help in ease of travel when camping to a faraway place. The standard features include smart arm awning, exterior speakers, overhead cabinets and many more!
Why we recommend the Jayco Jay Flight SLX travel trailer: The Jay Flight SLX is whatever you want it to be: ultra light models with rear bath all the way to 36 feet rigs that can hold as many as eight people! You’d probably be more interested in the Jay Flight SLX 145RB and the Jay Flight SLX 154BH floorplans, as they come under the category of campground travel trailers under 5,000 pounds.
Depending on the floorplan, there are varying features of Jay Flight SLX travel trailer, but there are many that remain common throughout all of them. Some of these include but are not limited to the Atwood furnace, J-steel jackknife sofa, DiamondFlor vinyl flooring, under-bed storage and so on. These can be taken a step further with over 15 different available upgrades and additions, which we recommend taking a look at by checking out the link above!
Why we recommend the Livin Lite Camplite travel trailer: Like its namesake, the Livin Lite Camplite travel trailer is a ultra light travel trailer that also doubles as a campground travel trailer since 9 out of 11 floorplans have well under 5,000 pounds GVWR and are under 27 feet as well, making it safe for use in campgrounds! Check out the Camplite 23RKS and the Camplite 11FK floorplans as those are our personal favorites!
On the outside, the Camplite features a 6-sided aluminum superstructure with insulation on the roof, walls and cap to keep you warm and cozy this winter. Head on inside and you’ll be greeted with the beautiful interior that comes in 3 color choices, complemented by the laminated flooring and solid surface countertops. These along with the fact that it has so many options to choose from, leaves no room for doubt that the Livin Lite Camplite is one of the top notch campground travel trailers under 5,000 pounds!
9 different floor plans available
6 cubic feet double door refrigerator
Residential quilted comforter
Slideout topper awning
#5. Forest River Flagstaff Micro-Lite Travel Trailer
Why we recommend Forest River Flagstaff Micro-Lite travel trailer: The second travel trailer by Forest River that deservingly earned a spot is the Micro-Lite that has a phenomenal rating of 4.37 and sports 4 floorplans that fall under the category of campground travel trailers under 5,000 pounds. We recommend checking out the Flagstaff Micro-Lite 19FBS and the Flagstaff Micro-Lite 19FD.
Spend some time with this beauty and it’s clear that this rig is as feature rich as it gets and yet offers so much more. Want something even better than the 13,500 BTU A/C installed? Upgrade it to a 15,000 BTU one. Need another TV in the bedroom? You got it. Need thermopane windows for better insulation? They offer that too. You get the gist!
Located about 150 miles north of Minneapolis in central Minnesota, Pequot Lakes is home to Wildwedge Golf and RV Park. In addition to the 31-space RV park, Wildwedge Resort offers a nine-hole executive golf course, 18 holes of mini golf, and a 10,000-square-foot mystery maze.
Wildwedge Golf Course is a mere 1,061 yards. The par 27 offers holes from 75 yards to 170 yards. The course opened in 2003, and it is not your typical short course. Some of the holes are very scenic as they meander through the forest. It’s a great course to practice your short game! There is also a driving range, pro shop, and snack bar.
Mini Golf at Wildwedge Golf and RV Park is one of the best in the country. In fact, developers of the course visited numerous mini-golf courses around the country to get ideas for how to construct their 18-hole course. The result is fabulous!
Minnesota Monthly, a statewide publication, named it the best mini golf course in the state. Anyone can play; there are no age restrictions. Participants love the tranquil waterfall, and the course landscaping is ever-changing and challenging, but always fun.
Another fun-filled family activity is the amazing maze. This unique structure features more than 10,000 square feet of corners, pathways, and dead-ends that add up to more than a third of a mile of paths! You’ll be lost for a bit, laughing a lot, and loving it all the way! You won’t find anything as unique as this maze in the entire Midwest!
After all that activity, relax at your RV site, where all spaces include full hook-ups with water, sewer, 20/30/50 amp service, and cable TV. Other amenities include free Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, and plenty of walking trails.
For a little exercise, you can explore a portion of the Paul Bunyan Trail. Pequot Lakes is part of the 123-mile trail that stretches from the towns of Brainerd to Bemidji.
Whether you’ve been camping for a while in different trailers or just started heading into the awesome world of RVing, you know for a fact that bringing along a lot of people requires bunkhouses. At the same time, you’ll also need a travel trailer that you can park anywhere if you’re aiming on various states across the country. For that purpose, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 bunkhouse travel trailers for campground. Read on to find out!
What puts an RV on the list: Of course, we only looked at the top rated travel trailers. But to make sure that you absolutely don’t miss out on anything, we’ve also only considered ones with the most floorplans that are under 27 feet and have bunkhouses.
The Top 5 Best Bunkhouse Travel Trailers For Campground:
Why we recommend the Keystone Passport travel trailer: Keeping it lightweight, most floorplans of the Keystone Passport travel trailer, such as the Passport 175BH and the Passport 239ML are under 5,000 pounds dry weight. This not only increases the fuel efficiency of your towing vehicle but also makes it easy to tow the trailer!
This lightweight beauty also has some pretty state-of-the-art features. Items such as the exterior speakers, satellite prep and electric adjustable awning (in Grand Touring floorplans) make these awesome for tailgators. If you’re aiming on spending the day relaxing, the super-comfy residential style sofa will keep you nice and cozy. Keeping all of this mind, we absolutely recommend the Keystone Passport as one of the top bunkhouse travel trailers for campground!
31 different floor plans available
Welded aluminum framed sidewalls
Laminated aluminum framed floor 2-inch thick
Lighted exterior pass thru storage compartment
Insulated radius entrance door with screen door
Residential light fixtures in slide room
#2. Forest River Flagstaff Micro-Lite Travel Trailer
Why we recommend Forest River Flagstaff Micro-Lite travel trailer: The Flagstaff series of Forest River, especially the Micro-Lite brand, has been a favorite of both the users and us at RVingplanet, and rightly so. They are on the lighter end of the spectrum as well, with bunkhouse floorplans such as the Flagstaff Micro-Lite 23LB and the Flagstaff Micro-Lite 25LB being just a few hundred pounds under 5,000 lbs in dry weight.
These also have a lot more to offer once you head inside the trailer itself. Driftwood interior, 13.5K BTU air conditioner, ducted furnace.. the Flagstaff Micro-Lite breathes luxury. This can also be taken a step further through upgrades such as a 15,000 BTU AC, raised refrigerator panels and deluxe tri-fold sleeper sofa to name a few!
Why we recommend the Jayco Jay Feather travel trailer: The aptly named Jay Feather by Jayco offers 5 floorplans of which 2 have bunkhouses and are suitable for campgrounds: the Jay Feather 19BH and the Jay feather 22BHM. It’s also one of the most positively rated travel trailers on our and other RV review websites, making it an obvious choice in our list of bunkhouse travel trailers for campground!
On the outside, the Jay feather features an aerodynamic front profile for easy towing, exterior speakers, slideouts with double seals, impact resistant wheel wells and other goodies that adds to durability and the easy-to-tow aspect of the rig. Inside, they have 4,5 or 6 cubic feet refrigerator depending on your floorplan, plywood dinette, woodgrain accent paneling among other features which can be upgraded with more than 20 options/upgrades available!
8 different floor plans available
Screwed and glued cabinetry
Vinyl plank-style flooring
Plywood dinette, bunk and bed bases
Woodgrain accent paneling on select interior walls
Why we recommend the Livin Lite Camplite travel trailer: Some of the floorplans of the Livin Lite Camplite such as the Camplite CL16BHB and the Camplite CL21BHS not only make it easy for you to tow the camper but also make them quite cozy to live in. This is especially useful if you need bunkhouses for, say, a family of 4 where the bunks will be used by the kids!
It’s truly amazing to witness the time spent on each layout on the Camplite. After all, it’s not everyday you see a sub 25-feet floorplan featuring 6 feet refrigerator, large closets, overhead cabinets, 13.5K BTU A/C and other features laid out in such a manner that you also have an ample amount of space to walk in the travel trailer without bumping into anything. Top marks for providing a plethora of options too. Undoubtedly, the Camplite has proved itself as a unique and a top-notch bunkhouse travel trailer for campground.
9 different floor plans available
Slideout topper awning
6-sided aluminum superstructure
6 cubic feet double door refrigerator
Charging center with USB ports
High-efficient LED lights
#5. Forest River Rockwood Mini-Lite Travel Trailer
Why we recommend Forest River Rockwood Mini Lite travel trailer: If you prefer choosing between a myriad of available floorplans to get the ‘perfect one’ for you, then the Rockwood Mini Lite by Forest River RV is where its at. They feature 17 floorplans, of which 4 floorplans are under 27 feet and have bunkhouses. We recommend taking a look at the Rockwood Mini Lite 2306 and the Rockwood Mini Lite 2405S floorplans.
One glance at their features and its clear that the Rockwood Mini Lite is designed with tailgators and adventurers in mind. Items ranging from a Wi-Fi booster to exterior speakers among many others are also complemented by a list of upgrades available. On the inside, the Rockwood Mini Lite has a decorative slideout fascia, stalewood interior, ducted furnace among many other features that also make it quite comfortable to just stay indoors and enjoy some hot chocolate. In a nutshell, the Rockwood Mini Lite impressed us, and is definitely a top choice among the best bunkhouse travel trailers for campground.
Popup campers pose a lot of advantages, especially for someone heading into RVing for the very first time. Hopefully this list will provide a good starting point for you and let you know exactly what RVs have to offer without spending a ton of money right at the beginning.