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Despite its name, North Pole, Alaska is over a thousand miles from the actual north pole. This northern village outside of Fairbanks may be small, but it’s a popular tourism destination, especially in the summertime when travelers stop on their way to the larger cities and national parks in central Alaska.
This unique Alaskan town started off as a homestead and trading post that would soon after become a tourism powerhouse. North Pole has learned to capitalize on its name and serve as a real-life location for Santa’s Workshop, and any associated Christmas-themed fun. The local post office is inundated each year with hundreds of thousands of letters addressed to Santa Claus, and the town’s streets are given Christmas names.
When you book an RV in North Pole, the beauty of Alaska is all around you. The town is accessible by air, train, and highway, and renting an RV is the best way to see the largest state in the country.
There are no parks in North Pole aside from the little dog park in the center of town, but this should not discourage prospective tourists. The Tanana River that runs through town is a great place to swim or go fishing provided the weather is warm.
Chena River State Recreation Area is quite close to North Pole and easy to find when you rent an RV. Chena River State Recreation Area has over a quarter of a million acres of tranquil wilderness, where camping in your North Pole camper rental is encouraged. Fishing and hiking are the most popular activities at the recreation area. Tanana Valley State Forest has almost two million acres of land, where visitors can go berry picking, gold-panning, and hiking. You can also fish, hunt or even go dog mushing with a pack of sled dogs. Steese National Conservation Area and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Conservation Area sit close to the border with Canada’s Yukon Territory, and are full of gorgeous scenery and wildlife, like the herds of caribou that nomadically traverse the plains.
Chugach National Forest is a great place to bring your North Pole RV rental a few hundred miles south of North Pole, by the port city of Valdez. The forest has nearly seven million acres of glaciers and rugged coastline, and its forests, mountains, and rivers are largely untouched by humans. Chugach is considered a temperate rainforest, and is home to large populations of different animals; the forest is said to have more bald eagles than the entire rest of the country combined.
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Denali National Park are two of the most stunning places you could possibly see in all of Alaska when you choose one of North Pole’s RV rentals by owner. Gates of the Arctic has evidence of human habitation over twelve thousand years ago, and an impressive array of wildlife including bears, foxes, hares, eagles, and more. Denali National Park is home to Denali, the largest mountain on the entire North American continent at over twenty thousand feet in height. The park itself is larger than the state of New Hampshire. A vacation here can feel like a trip back in time to an utterly unspoiled world.
Finding a campground or RV park near North Pole is the first step in planning your Alaskan vacation. Due to the remoteness of the area, there is not a lot demand for luxury campgrounds, but there are plenty of state-run parks and recreation areas that can accommodate you and your North Pole travel trailer rental. Olnes Pond Campground on the Lower Chatanika River is a tranquil setting that boasts a fully stocked fishing pond. This is primitive camping, though, with no hookups for your RV. Still, if you’re up for roughing it in the Alaskan bush while still being safe and close to civilization, it’s an option worth considering.
Birch Lake State Recreation Site is another campground with no size limit on RVs. You won’t find much in the way of luxury amenities here, but the site has water, toilets, a boat launch and cabins. Fishing in the summer or ice fishing in the winter is popular at Birch Lake, and you can rent an ice fishing hut in season.
“C” Lazy Moose Campground is close to Fairbanks, with lots of local restaurants and shops available for your convenience. This site has full hookups, WiFi, showers and laundry facilities, so you won’t feel like you’re sacrificing comfort to explore Alaska’s great wilderness. Alternatively, Riverview RV Park also has a lot of fantastic amenities, like its elegant clubhouse and patio, riverfront walking trails, and a pitch and putt golf course.
North Pole is full of quirky and wonderful little attractions, most of them Christmas-themed. So it’s no surprise that it’s an excellent destination for families with younger children. Be sure to check out the souvenir shop housed in a bizarre looking building resembling something out of a Dr. Seuss book. But of course, Santa Claus House is the premier attraction in North Pole. Not all that surprising, considering the town’s name. Christmas spirit can be found year-round at this fantastic attraction.
With a short ride to Fairbanks in your North Pole, AK RV rental, you can see even more cool sights in one of Alaska’s best cities. The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum is full of old fashioned cars from a bygone era. With over one hundred classic cars on display, visitors can take a step back in time. Fairbanks Ice Museum is created almost entirely out of ice, with ice sculptures at every turn. University of Alaska's Museum of the North is the absolute best place to check out if you are at all curious about the natural history of Alaska, or if you want to learn about the ancient native tribes that have continuously lived in Alaska for thousands of years.
Alaska is synonymous with outdoor adventure, and a trip to North Pole will soon show you why. Whether you choose to visit in the unending days of summer or around Christmastime, the best RV rental in North Pole will let you experience all that this wild and beautiful part of the country has to offer.