Well, we came to Alaska to see Alaska. Fuel is a bit more expensive, food is a bit more expensive sometimes. For tours,we allways figure in the 100 dollars anywhere in the world but we mostly do things by ourself. So far I paid a total of $140.00 for camping for two months, and that is because I wanted some internet or be near the action like in Seward or Homer. Many campgrounds are at $10 so I tought it was a pretty good price.
I personnaly noted there was handicap access at most parks camgrounds and found it was a pretty good idea, there is none where I come from.
I found the milepost is great to know what is available and where you are, but it does not have neutral opinions, I use Lonely planet book.
south rolly lake campground near Willow,Alaska is a great campground, it is part of the Nancy lake recreation area, beautiful lake and nice sized spots for a camper / motorhome, we take our 22 foot travel trailer there all the time and my sister takes her 28.5 foot fifth wheel with a crew cab long bed truck and fits in the spaces fine. they are not paved, but thats what makes it even more fun, the feeling of being in the wilderness.
Another really nice campground is quartz creek campground in Cooper Landing, it has paved spots, right on Kenai lake, and beautiful scenery
Well they do say that the largest source of revenue for the State of Alaska next to oil revenue is tourism.
The tourist season is generally a four month window, as some 'tourist' businesses try to stay afloat in order to provide depending on their location to what they can charge, and have to charge.
I got news for the OP though reference to fuel prices and grocery prices in Alaska... is that the prices for these goods mentioned are not tourist trap related - these fuel and grocery prices here in Alaska are the same common occurance year round, just like everywhere else in the far north, does not matter if you are a visitor or a resident paying for goods and services.
There are much cheaper places to visit by RV with much cheaper fuel prices but I have no desire to take my RV to Mexico or Venezuela, especially with only a 3 to 4 week timeframe if I am lucky enough to get authorized that much time off work for a vacation.
Try visiting a remote village in the far north of Alaska or Canada as you won't believe those prices on everything - more than double that you had seen where you visited so far...
Try staying afloat owning an RV park at places that do not have a grid line, as these owners pay between $4000 to $10,000 per month to fuel their generator just to provide electricity for the visitor.
Since 2003 they made the price of energy no longer cheap in North America as now no matter where I go RV'ing the price of fuel has cost me roughly two thirds of my entire spending costs upon a road trip...so to curb costs I simply boondock more often while shifting any cost cutting measures on paying for souvenoirs or the price of admission to places I like to enjoy and do as I weigh in if it is potentially worth it.
As my friend in the Yukon Territory that owns his RV Park (which was formally a roadhouse), told me that since 1998 he noticed that so many non RV travellers are in such a hurry anymore, as the now majority of travellers would stop by just to use the bathroom, as more truckers are now equipped with sleepers that do not need to stop in for the night as often (or not allowed to unless they have the time and pay out of their pocket), while everyone wants to make $40 per hour and still not wanting to pay for nuthin' attitude....He says in many ways he can't blame them because the rising costs of living takes away more recreational spending, as he seen the trends coming and decided not to run a roadhouse anymore plus due to the fact he was getting older, while seeing a younger generation not wanting to work as hard, especially at a roadhouse which demands multi tasking and efficiency at the same time.
I still get heat from a few people that ask me on occasion - why I seem to keep taking my vacations in Canada (last 5 of 6 years) where fuel and attractions cost a lot more compared to Alaska where you have pretty much all the same outdoors and unique places that has to offer...
Well four reasons -
1. I can afford to do so, which is generally no more than an extra 10 to 15 percent average total cost in the Yukon, Alberta and BC compared to Alaska prices.
2. There are soooooo many more places in Canada I have not been to, which is actually a lot larger than Alaska
3. Lots of attractions in Canada compared to what is here in Alaska
4. I have been practically everywhere in Alaska by road over the years, and have more desire to vacation in Canada with what vacation time I get a chance to have.
It beats some Alaskan pointing at an out of state license plate saying what the state shows...while pointing in the direction where the state is located and yelling ...'IS THAT WAY'.
So I say no, Alaska is not the biggest tourist trap...not even close.
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sue.t, One of our favorite free activities in Skagway is tourist watching. We always camp at Pullen Creek in the overflow area. If the sun is shining we put out our lawn chairs and watch the folks pile off and drag back to the cruise ships (LOL).
[quote=Edosmar]I was told is Alberta Canada that B.C. meant Bring Cash. Alaska is bigger so bring many credit cards and lots of cash. It is true that at times you can find pull offs along the roads and can spend the night. but campgrounds want your cash. Dry camp $15-$25, water and electric $28-$43 and full hookup whatever we can get.
What does that make San Diego at $150/night for a 31' class C? With polution warnings posted in the swimming area? With our parking area so small we couldn't fully extend the awning w/o infringing upon the neighboring space? Only because my wife made the 3 day reservation and paid in advance - we still talk about it!
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It is the biggest, just ask any Alaskan... Surprised Alaska isn't some kind of RV'ers big rock candy mountain? I guess we all have unrealistic expectations sometimes.
We are of that group of people who find Alaska to be an absolutely wonderful vacation spot and have only experienced the "tourist trap" element when we have been looking for it. We love the Homer Spit, but it is a tourist trap. We always camp on the Spit for a few days, but it is basically a dirty gravel parking lot with a stunning view. We know what to expect and it is fantastic. For the rest of our trip we are much more likely to dry camp at Quartz Creek than stay in a in a RV lot with hook-ups. If you don't like "combat fishing" go for a short hike and you will quickly be away from the crowd. If time and nature have conspired against you and hiking is not an option, I would think of it as a blessing that you can catch salmon from an aluminum platform in the middle of town or at most boat landings on the Kenai.
DW and kids are currently in route to Alaska for their 7th AK summer vacation. We normally fly up and are outfitted with a truck/trailer by friends in Anchorage, but this year she and my cousin decided to drive our truck/camper and combined 4 kids to Alaska. They will be in State/Forest Service campgrounds for most of the stay. I hope to see them again in about 6 weeks.