If you and your family or friends will be visiting Fairbanks for the AETR, welcome! This page is a perpetual work in progress, but it is intended to be a central location with answers to questions from visitors that we receive. If you have a question that you don’t see answered here, or have a suggestion for things we should include, please email Don at email@example.com.
For tons of information about lodging, things to do and see, and more, visit the Explore Fairbanks website. They are our local visitors and convention bureau, and their staff are incredibly friendly and helpful. And be sure to stop by the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center while you’re in town for information and a view of some very cool exhibits about Interior Alaska.
Although you can set up a tent in the start/finish area of the race while it is going on, outside of that time this is not a camping area. If you stay overnight after the race, you’re likely to get a visit from campus police.
Here are a few options:
This is primarily a hostel, but they have a first come, first served camping area. I’ve always heard good things about this place from my tour guests who have stayed there. Nine-minute drive from the race start.
Only one is close to town, but if you want more of a wilderness, non-commercial camping experience, few places beat Alaska State Parks. Best bets are probably the campgrounds in the Chena River State Recreation Area (about an hour east of town on Chena Hot Springs Road) or the Lower Chatanika State Recreation Area (about 40 minutes north of town on the Elliott Highway). Both have a handful of quite nice campgrounds.
The one State Parks campground in town is:
Chena River State Recreation Site, on University Avenue across from the BLM building and near Fred Meyer West. This had been closed because of some management issues, but re-opened in 2022 after some modifications, although is not yet open for camping. Worth inquiring about an update. (Don’t confuse this one with the Chena River State Recreation Area, which is some 50 miles east of Fairbanks.)
This is a nice commercial camping area at the site of the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds, about a 9-minute drive from the race start.
This is a pretty nice commercial RV camping site on the banks of the Chena River, about a 10-minute drive to the race start.
If you find any other good options beyond those listed here, please email Don!