Alaska is a land of superlatives; it is home to the largest, wildest, and most gorgeous stretches of undeveloped land in the U.S. It would be impossible to crown one place as the most spectacular... but if there were a list, Thompson Pass would surely be towards the top. At Blueberry Lake, you can take in a 360 degree view of the Chugach Mountains, with their jagged, snow-capped peaks reaching skyward and their feet thickly covered in trees and vegetation. It is truly a sight to behold!
Blueberry SRS also offers plenty of other activities for when you've finished gawking at the marvelous view. Anglers can cast their lines into one of the park's two alpine lakes, from which they can pull arctic grayling or rainbow trout. There's great opportunities for wildlife viewing, both up at Thompson Pass and in the nearby waters of Port Valdez. The park also offers a couple short trails, and several more lengthy hiking routes are available just a short drive away.
If you're traveling along the Richardson Highway - whether you're heading for Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park or the scenic port town of Valdez - a stop at Blueberry SRS is a must. 20 sites for RVs and trailers are available to travelers, all of which are first-come first-served.
Blueberry Lake SRS is located right off of the Richardson Highway (Alaska Hwy 4), which runs all the way from Fairbanks in central Alaska to Valdez on the coast. Though the Richardson is paved and very well maintained, the rugged country it traverses means drivers will have to deal with some steep sections and switchbacks. Travelers should also be cognizant of the weather on Thompson Pass; the pass receives more snowfall than anywhere else in the U.S., receiving about 500 inches of snow annually!
If you're looking to resupply, then the large (by Alaskan standards) town of Valdez is your best best; Valdez is just a half-hour drive from Blueberry SRS.
Spots at Blueberry Lake are all back-in, though there is space enough between them that maneuvering should not be too difficult. Once you've arrived, everything - trailheads, restrooms, water spigot and lakes - are within reasonable walking distance.
The gorgeous campground at Blueberry SRS overlooks Thompson Pass and offers panoramic views of the Chugach Mountains. This campground, though remote and humble, may be one of Alaska's finest. 20 sites suitable for RVs and trailers are available, and each has its own picnic table and fire ring.
Camping here is primitive; there's no water, electric or sewage hookups. There's no trash receptacles either, so the park managers ask that you pack out all garbage. The campground does have toilets and a potable water pump. There's also one group-camping area with a large group shelter.
Sites range in size, though none can accommodate anything much larger than a 40 ft. rig.
All sites here are first-come first-served. Should you arrive at the campground and find it full, there are other options relatively close-by. However, you'll want to try your best to snag a spot at this truly spectacular campground - the setting is unforgettable!
What Alaska's berry season lacks in longevity it makes up with in quantity. When late July and early August roll around, visitors can begin to find familiar fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries and huckleberries as well as some species you may be less familiar with, such as cloudberries, salmonberries, and crowberries. Blueberry lake is not so-named for no reason; blueberry bushes grow thickly around the shores, attracting both wildlife and people. If you're there in season, be sure to pick a few (it's permitted in Alaskan State Parks, as long as it's for personal consumption). There's no better blueberry than one straight off the bush!
Two alpine lakes provide an opportunity for anglers to cast their lines in one of the most scenic settings imaginable. No fishing piers are available, but both lakes are easily accessible, and visitors can find whichever spot along the shore suits them best. Gorgeous arctic grayling can be found here, as can rainbow trout. Just make sure you clean up after yourself - no need to entice a bear to share your catch! Also, be sure you have a proper Alaska fishing license before casting.
Blueberry Lake SRS has just a couple very short trails for hiking, each of which heads to stunning overlooks. Other, longer hiking trails are available within a short drive of the park, however. Heading just a few miles towards Valdez will bring you to the Bridal Veil Falls trail, which offers views of several magnificent cascades. To the north along the Richardson highway is Worthington Glacier State Recreation Area, which has several tails that head towards the eponymous glacier.
Glaciers exemplify the spirit of the Alaskan wilderness; they are gorgeous, massive, untamed and sculpted by extreme conditions. Travelers camping at Blueberry Lake SRS will find that they are within striking distance of several glaciers. The most accessible of these is the Worthington Glacier, a stunning, nearly 6,000-acre ice sheet with its own devoted State Recreational Site. Worthington is just a six-mile drive north of Blueberry, along the Richardson Highway. The Scott, Columbia and Valdez glaciers are also relatively nearby, though they are in remote and rugged territory and take a lot more planning to reach.
At Blueberry SRS, you'll feel like you're at the top of the world. Thompson pass - wind-scoured, rain soaked and snow-pummeled - is a harsh place to live for most of the year. But for a few months every year, the land flushes green and grows rich with food. Brown bears, marmot, Dall sheep, porcupines and many species of migratory birds can be found in and around the SRS. If you head down to the nearby coast at Valdez and hop on a boat, your wildlife viewing opportunities expand greatly; whales, cormorants, puffins, sea otters, seals and more can all be seen in the rich Alaskan waters.
The views offered at Blueberry SRS are simply phenomenal. In all directions, sharp rocky peaks - covered in snow almost the whole year - reach skyward and pierce a blue Alaskan sky. From late spring through fall, the mountain's feet are coated in a thick blanket of green. Flowers bloom and berries ripen in a rush of activity, as the growing season here is so short. Photographic opportunities at Blueberry SRS, then, are unsurprisingly fantastic. Visitors can snap unforgettable landscape photos here, and there are plenty of chances to get some great wildlife photos too.