Two public campgrounds along the Alaska Highway are operated and maintained by the Refuge. Campgrounds open in the spring when roads are cleared of snow (usually in April), and they remain open until late autumn when campground roads are still passable (usually October).

Deadman Lake
 Deadman Lake Campground (MP 1249.3) has 15 campsites (4 sites are suitable for large motor homes up to 40 feet in length ) in the spruce forest along a half-mile loop road; firepits, toilets, picnic tables, a boat ramp and information board are available. (Note: There is no drinking water available at this site.)  Please register at the kiosk once you've selected a site;  first come, first serve - no reservations.


Join rangers every Monday through Friday at 7:00 p.m. for interpretive talks which begin at Deadman Lake Campground Pavilion.

The self-guided ¼-mile Taiga Trail at Deadman Lake Campground is a boardwalk trail. From the observation deck at the end of the trail you may see waterfowl on the lake. 


 Yarger Lake in the autumn (Lakeview Campground) 

Lakeview Campground (MP 1256.7) has 11 campsites; available at this facility are tables, toilets, firepits, a photo blind, and  garbage containers.  Please sign the register at the kiosk once you've selected a site.   NOTE: Lakeview is not recommended for trailers, 5th wheels or RVs over 30 feet;  there is no drinking water available here.   

Backcountry camping is allowed throughout the Refuge. Insects are less of a problem along river bars and ridges. Both black and grizzly bears occur on the Refuge. Please keep a clean campsite. Pamphlets concerning safety in bear country are available at the Visitor Center and Refuge headquarters and posted at campgrounds.

A Little Bit About Bears
Alaska is fortunate to be home to these amazing creatures. With this privilege comes the added responsibility for hikers and campers to prevent conflicts with these animals. Often these conflicts are a result of human carelessness, especially with food. Bears are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat whatever they can find most easily. Bears have an excellent memory, and once they identify a place where food can be found, they will return to look for more. Therefore, it is important that they don't consider campsites and other populated areas as a food source. Following bear safety guidelines can prevent a dangerous situation for both humans and bears.

Avoiding a Bear Encounter
While out on the trail, it is important to make noise; sing, talk loudly, or carry a bear bell; especially through areas with poor visibility. If possible, walk with the wind at your back. This alerts bears to your presence and gives them enough time to clear out. Bears are most likely to charge when they feel threatened or when their "space" has been invaded. Avoid areas where bears are likely to be looking for food, such as berry patches. If you come across an animal carcass, leave the area. A bear will often attack if its food supply is tampered with. If you notice fresh bear sign, such as scat or tracks, turn back the way you came.

There are also special precautions to take while camping. Camp at least 200 yards from trails. Bears use the same trails as people as they move through their territories. As with hiking, avoid areas where bears are most likely to feed. Choose a spot that offers good visibility of the area around you. Cook food 200 yards downwind from your tent site; and avoid foods with strong odors, such as fish and bacon. Wash all cooking and eating utensils thoroughly. Food scraps should be saved and packed out. Store food and garbage in air tight containers 200 yards from your tent, preferably hanging from a tree.

If a Bear Encounter Happens...
When you encounter a bear, the way you react could determine whether or not the bear will charge. Never run from a bear; the bear might perceive you as prey and follow in pursuit. Instead, wave your arms, talk to the bear and identify yourself as human. Slowly back off, and avoid eye contact with the bear, which the bear may see as a challenge. If the bear should approach you, stand still; a bear may often bluff charge and come to within ten feet of a person and then back off. If the bear actually does attack you, curl up in a ball with your hands clasped behind your neck. Leaving your backpack on offers added protection for your back and neck.

For your safety, please keep a clean campground and discard all garbage and waste in the provided bear-safe garbage containers. Fish refuse should be discarded in deep water or placed in bear-proof garbage containers immediately.

For more bear safety information, check: