This year, mark your travel planner for Bear Lake Family Camp -- experience Interior Alaska without sacrificing comfort.
Eielson AFB Bear Lake FamCamp
Type of site
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July 26-31, 2016
22-28 June 2016
July 22 - 25, 2014
Camped in a 43' MH. Wide spaces, 50amp + water. Great pull through dump. Did not use restroom. Laundry nice. Met some very nice service personnel living at the camp which "made" the stay delightful. Given grand tour of the base. Really enjoyed Heritage park commemorating our great service men and women. Enjoyed the visit to the knowledgeable and well staffed Nature center on base. Close proximity to Fairbanks, North Pole and Delta Junction only 70 miles away! Yes our closest neighbor was the mosquito; but we fully expected them and came prepared with what all the folks there use, the mosquito fogger! There is nothing like armed guards at the gate to keep you safe and loved the "sound of freedom"!
Couldn't wait to leave. Mosquitoes were the least of the problems. Toilets and sinks had been swished out but the rest of the place has not seen a mop or a broom since the snow melted and the flood receded. We have spent dozens and dozens of nights in military famcamps and this is the worst we have ever seen!
15-17 Jun 2013
Amount has increased to $22.00. Did not use laundry or showers. Biggest negative is the mosquitoes.
June 24 to July 1, 2012
I arrived at just after 12 noon on June 24. I asked the two young individuals in civilian clothes if they had any 50amp sites available. They looked at me like I did not know what I was talking about. They told me to just go get a site and make my payment using the envelope at the bath house. I told them I needed to get my Air Force Frequent Camper Book stamped. They stamped the book and I paid them with my credit card - $18.00 a night now. They have a large map of the sites hanging on the wall but they do not have the electric annotated, only the site number. The same with the map board at the FamCamp entrance. Site 36 looked the largest so I asked about that site and was told if no one was in it to take it and call them to tell me the site I was in. All the sites looked like the weeds had not been cleared in six months or more. The water pressure is very low. The FamCamp is overrun with mosquitoes. There is no Wi-Fi at the FamCamp or FamCamp office. All the sites are in the trees and satellite dishes will not work at the FamCamp. I did not use the laundry or showers so I cannot comment on them. The BX food court Wi-Fi was not working when I went Sunday evening. I went to the base library on Monday and found out it was closed on Monday's as is the commissary. There is plenty of room to pull your RV into the FamCamp office and swing around heading out. I have a 40 foot RV and towing and I had no trouble. Although small, the BX and commissary are nice. The Heritage Park on base is nice.
July 26 & 27, 2011
Wooded sites give great privacy. As others have stated, no one seems to be around. Trash bin is not close. The washers and dryers are having a problem accepting the quarters. They get hung up and one has to really pound on them to get the quarters to fall. Could find no Wifi location on base.
13 - 20 July 2011
Price is now $18 per night. Only 15 minutes to Fairbanks and a good base to travel to the northern parts of the area on day trips. Generally a good value but as stated in prior comments there seems to be no one in charge or if there is then they need some supervision. The bathrooms are individual bathrooms and have sink, toilet and shower. The showers have plenty of hot water and good pressure and paper products are replaced regularly but they need a good scrubbing at least once a week and a sweep out daily. We were here for a week and no one cleaned the bathrooms other than taking out trash. Sites are in heavily wooded with plenty of room between them. The have water and power, no sewer but there is a dump site. Mosquitoes are the only pest problem and there are a couple of propane mosquito killers in the campground. Generally a very nice area the sound of freedom is heard throughout the day, we didn't hear noise till around 8 AM and not after about 8 PM so not bad. There were plenty of sites available during the week we spent here, usually 4 or more empty the whole period. The place could be a lot better with someone taking a interest in managing it and keeping up with the maintenance.
June 19 thru June 23 2011
Sites are in heavily wooded areas and mosquitoes are a problem in season. Generally a very nice area, but the wash house was a total disaster. Smashed mosquitoes on the walls (Yes, I expect someone to scrub them off.) Full trash cans were not emptied on a regular basis and broken limbs or overgrown shrubs blocked some sites. Someone needs to be in charge of keeping things in order and it is obvious that they are not, or they need better supervision! We can do better.
While this park is about 30 miles south of Fairbanks it is of good value and a good stop over with Bx/Commissary on Base. The bath house needs some attention and a camp host would be a great help. The "sound of freedom" was present daily, but being a retired AF guy I didn't mind at all. Sort of like having an air show in the back yard.
Jul 27, '09 - Aug 5, '09
Location on the base is a bit far from the base action, but still gets a lot of fighter jet noise. Convenient to North Pole, but about 30 miles away from Fairbanks. Nothing south. Agree that many of the tree branches and shrubs could be trimmed, and the bathrooms, although acceptably clean could use tile on the floors to hide the stains. Three each washers and dryers, although one of each was broken when we arrived, and was still broken when we left. $1.00 each. Sites have 30 amp, not 20 as indicated above. The outdoor rec manager said his next goal is to get sewer connections, at least to the sites close to the dump. Retirees can eat at the chow hall, which also has wifi (as well as the BX Snack Bar). Weak Verizon cell phone signal (I got cut off a few times), but my air card worked OK (extended area, 1XRTT, but I got EVDO Rev A at the Walmart in Fairbanks). Value as compared to prices of North Pole campgrounds is good. I'd go back again, but doubt if I'll need to. Steve Turney
July 2-5, 2009
We have to agree with the previous reviewer. This Famcamp could easily be a relatively nice experience. With very little money, and some TLC. The dirt or gravel streets/sites are pretty much commonplace in Canada and Alaska, so we really could not fault this Famcamp for that, but the potholes, overgrown sites, and tree limbs hanging all over could easily be rectified. But, then, we never plan to visit the Fairbanks area again. Anchorage and points South are so much better.
May 29/30, 2009
We lucked out and obtained quarters at the BOQ, and enjoyed a first-class mess hall, well stocked BX and commissary, all located in one central area. Anticipating a near future stay again in the Fairbanks area, we drove over to the Eielson FAMCAMP to check it out. We were underwhelmed to say the least: although the facility had been officially open for two weeks, the parking pads were overgrown with weeds, and the one restroom/shower that was unlocked was filthy. In two visits in as many days, we never saw the campground host, and no other campers were evident. This FAMCAMP was stricken from our “potential” list.
2002, 2004, 2006, 2007
I have stayed here in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007. Previously I have stayed two months or longer each year. Prices have gone up, but without corresponding improvements, (with the exception that in 2007 SVC was purchasing used travel trailers to rent). 'Value' has tended to decline with price increases over the years. Result being that in 2007 stayed only one month. I haven't seen any comments on the sites themselves so I would like to caution any first-timers that this camp is essentially built on a swamp with probably a permafrost base, and approximately 24 to 30 inches of local gravel on top. Underbrush conceals the drop off between the first few middle row drive thru sites. Make a wide turn or you may bury the drivers side wheels of your towed RV. I helped pull a 5th wheel out in 2004. Best to visit before August as rates are $10.00 until water is available at all the sites. The staff is helpful, but employs primarily teenage girls who seldom slow down on their camp inspections when driving the 4 wheelers provided. Stayed in the back-in sites in 2007, (road to the left when entering) Wind storm blew down a small tree blocking the path to the restrooms/showers/laundry, - finally had to get my saw out and clear the path myself after four days of climbing over it. Moose cow and calf are an annual event. Moose cows (as most wild animals) are protective of their young. Cautioned four or five campers at 2:00am (still light out in July) who were fearlessly within 20 feet of momma and calf, - that taking flash photo's might result in an aggressive reaction. Fortunately no one was hurt,, Being stomped by 'Bull Winkle' would undoubtedly make the trip to Alaska less memorable for someone, -(as the man who was killed while attempting to enter a university of Alaska building found out). Camp location and wildlife are fantastic, base facilities are excellent. (North Pole, Fairbanks) great eating sightseeing and shopping. Another nice-to-see, is the primitive camp. Exit the fam-camp and turn right. (Road conditions vary according to weather and military traffic). Best thing about Eielson are the genuinely friendly and helpful people both on and off base!
22 Jun - 6 Jul 2008
G. W. left this review using the Directory software: Lovely site on Bear River with mainly all pull throughs and vegetation between sites. Secluded wooded area. Check in at ODR which is next right after famcamp. No camp host. Thunderbird show was great. Fairabanks has Museum of the North, access to Artic Ocean, Creamery Fields and more. Gravel roads and pads and sites were level. Bathrooms were adequte and private and $16 per night is great.
1 June 2008
J.M. left this review using the Directory software: Things are still pretty much as the previous reviewers described - a very nice place in a grand setting - but could use some maintenance and repair and a really good field day. As stated previously, the bathrooms need some attention - similarly, our site was still littered with last years leaves and the weeds are growing up through the gravel under the picnic table (which needs to be cleaned/painted) - the road is dirt and developing some pot holes. But then there were big potholes in the paved road near the Commissary. So, this could be a much broader issue than just the FamCamp. We stayed just the one night then moved on to Fairbanks - because once again (see the other reviews), as of June 1st, the water was not working. However, the girls at the Outdoor Recreation center (where you check in) lowered the rate from the normal $16 for hookup (for E & W) to $10 (AKA the "tenting" rate). A reasonable accommodation for something they couldn´t fix. As has been stated - there is 30A, but currently no water - and no sewer at each site but two dump stations were 100 feet away. And also on the positive side, the washer and dryer each cost $1/load - whereas outside in this area it is not unusual to pay $2.50 to $3 to do a wash and a similar amount to dry. As a result 3 loads of laundry cost $6 instead of $18 outside. And it is a very pretty location - lots of space between sites and trees/brush between each site. I didn´t see any moose at the camp (we did on the highway just outside the base) - but we didn´t visit for the ambiance; we visited to use the exchange, commissary, laundry and gas station (which was 20 cents below anything we saw outside- and they had diesel) to restock before we head to Denali for 9 days of camping. I will send Larry pictures of our campsite, an empty pull-through, an empty back in site and one of the Outdoor Recreation office and Bear Lake. Jim McKenzie, Captain, USNavy Diver Retired. In a 36 foot Itasca SunCruiser w/ 400W solar, a bank of Lifeline deep-cells and a mountain bike for a Toad.
12 - 18 July 2007
Had originally planned to stay for a week at the end of June, but after arriving found out that the water lines were still frozen so after one night we left for a commercial campground in Fairbanks. (An example of how travel in Alaska may not always be without glitches, but you have to stay positive and accept these things as part of the adventure. We went to have fun, and we certainly did!) Our stay in July was more successful. The base is about 30 minutes drive from Fairbanks so is not too bad a place to use to see the area. The campground is no great shakes with rough dirt access road, not very clean restrooms and laundromat. On the plus side, the washer/dryers are inexpensive to use and not far from most campsites; the bathrooms are very private to use if not super clean and the campsites are large and well shaded with a lot of underbrush between sites providing some degree of privacy. If you want to access the internet, the library has WiFi available but it is about a 3 mile drive. At the price it was a worthwhile place to stay for a week. Enabled us to shop at the BX and Commissary, get the laundry done fairly cheap, and I could use the hobby shop to change the oil in my truck. And it was close enough to Fairbanks and North Pole to do some sightseeing. My only serious complaint would be the cleanliness of the bathrooms.
3 Aug - 10 Aug 2007
On August 3 we began a week-long stay at Bear Lake FAMCAMP. Again the camp is in a beautiful location and has lovely facilities. Daily management in this camp is improved but still is not up to FAMCAMP standards. The staff is MUCH more helpful and interested in customers, but their camp walk-arounds consist of simply driving around in a smoking ATV. Here are the defects: 1. Baths are not swept out. 2. Several baths have standing water. 3. Locks on 2 doors do not work (the bolt goes into door trim that has broken). 4. Door knob was loose and my wife was locked in the bathroom for a half hour trying to get attention. I went around to all the other door knob sets and re-tightened the connecting hardware. 5. There are small spots of black mold growing on the walls and ceilings also. Both of these camps would benefit from daily basic maintenance such as sweeping, mopping out the standing water and washing of the plastic mats. Also cleaning the showers, sinks, and toilets daily. This would help greatly with the mold smell. The Birch camp bathrooms will require an intense washing, and scrubbing of the walls,and floors, to bring it up to basic sanitary conditions. FAMCAMPs are a morale builder for returning troops and families. It is sad that beautiful camps such as Birch and Bear Lake camps are not managed to provide normal high standards of camp cleanliness.
Beautiful setting. Moose seen frequently. The c/g is in two sections. I stayed in section away from the Primary c/g pavilion. Price was $10 because water hadn't been turned on, but regular price of those sites is $16. I'm not sure of prices in lake section. At pavilion they rent sports equipment. Nice and quiet when I was there, but with the Bear Lake activity in summer I'm sure things change. Pull thru sites. Very nice tent sites too.