5 of the Best Places to Go Berry Picking in Alaska

February 19, 2024

If you have a passion for adventuring and exploring, Alaska offers the perfect setting for immersing yourself in natural beauty and making memories in the great outdoors. Alaska, known as the Last Frontier, offers an unforgettable experience for travelers of all ages and interests. Whether you will be visiting Homer, Fairbanks, Valdez, Seward or another area of this breathtaking state, berry picking is a must-do activity while you are there.

Start Your Alaskan Adventure Off With Berry Picking

Alaska offers some of the most awe-inspiring mountain peaks, glaciers, wildflower meadows and tundras, making it an outdoor enthusiast’s dream destination. From hiking on epic trails and kayaking to visiting a gold mining camp and white-water rafting, there are countless outdoor activities waiting to be discovered.

One of the most enjoyable — and delicious — activities that you will want to add to your itinerary is berry picking. Alaska is home to all kinds of berry species that you can enjoy right off the bush or baked into your favorite desserts. There are almost 50 different types of berries found throughout the state. While berry season is usually during the late summer months, you can still find several different species ready to harvest even in the early fall months.

Family picking blueberries.

Common Types of Berries in Alaska

If you are interested in berry picking in Alaska, you will be glad to know that most of the berries you will come across are edible. Some berries you can eat right off the bush, but others, like crowberries, will taste best when baked into desserts like pies.

There are some poisonous species that you will want to look out for, though. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to steer clear of white berries because those are poisonous.

Here are some of the most common types of berries you can find in Alaska.


Wild blueberries are at their peak from late August to late September. During this time, these sweet berries can appear almost black, and this dark color is a good indication that the berries are ripe and ready to be picked.


If you trek into the alpine shrublands, tundra or woods, you may come across some bearberry bushes. These berries are a bright red color and grow on an evergreen shrub. While these berries are popular with bears and small mammals, they can also be picked and eaten by people.


Similar to raspberries, salmonberries are a type of juicy fruit that reach their peak in August. These berries look like an oversized orange or yellow blackberry and have a shiny exterior. While they are a little more bland than some other types of berries, they are perfect for making jams.


There are a few different types of currants, ranging from red to black, that you may come across in your adventures through Alaskan meadows, stream banks and forests. Currants look similar to cranberries and can be eaten raw or used for making jellies, jams and syrups.


Strawberries are a favorite fruit to pick, eat and bake with. These bright red berries can be eaten raw, made into jams and jellies or used to make desserts ranging from shortbreads to pies. They are predominantly found in areas like the Seward Peninsula, Gulf Coast of Alaska, Interior Alaska and Southeast Alaska during late June and July.


During the late summer or early autumn months, you will be able to pick raspberries. The darker the berry, the more juicy and flavorful it will be. While you can indulge in these berries right off the bush, they also taste exceptionally delicious in berry cobblers and crumble bars.


While crowberries may look similar to a blueberry, they have a much more bland flavor and are not very sweet. They can be eaten raw, but they taste best when sweetened and used to make jams and jellies, pies and even wines. They grow on a shrub and can be found in alpine meadows and bogs.


Most often found in areas of Alaska like rocky woods, the gooseberry is a tart fruit that grows on thorny bushes. Because it is not a very sweet fruit, gooseberries aren’t typically eaten raw. Instead, they are more often used to make jams or sauces for savory dishes.


Cranberries are another tart fruit that you can find growing in Alaska. You can find a few different types of cranberries — lowbush, highbush and bog cranberries. Along with making delicious juices and sauces, cranberries add the perfect touch to baked goods like scones and cobblers.

Lowbush cranberries are known as lingonberries, and they are red, small and tart. Found in areas ranging from mountain slopes to the woods, these berries reach their peak in August. While they taste similar to the typical cranberry, they do have a touch of sweetness, too, which makes them yummy in everything from jams to syrups.

Closeup of a woman picking blackberries.

Best Places to Pick Berries in Alaska

No matter what kinds of berries you want to pick and fill your basket with, you can find countless berry patches or wild bushes located throughout the state. Here are five of the best places to start your berry-picking adventures.

1. Peters Creek Trail

This moderately difficult hike puts you in an ideal location for picking berries on the slopes of Bear Mountain and Mt. Eklutna. You will cross streams and traverse along an old roadbed while taking in the scenic views.

2. Rendezvous Peak Trail

If you are craving cranberries and blueberries, head to Rendezvous Peak Trail. There are a few different trail options that will take you up to the summit. Whichever you choose, this trail in North Anchorage will reward you with plentiful berries to pick.

3. Eklutna Lakeside Trail

Eklutna Lakeside Trail is an easy trail with an elevation gain of only 300 feet. This trail used to be an old road bed that now takes hikers along the shore of Eklutna Lake and the moraines of Eklutna Glacier. Along with putting you in a prime location for taking in the natural beauty of Anchorage, this trail offers a great spot for berry picking.

4. Mount Alyeska

At Mount Alyeska, treat yourself to a little blueberry picking during your vacation. While this prime picking area is known for blueberries, you can also find other berries here like raspberries and salmonberries.

5. South Fork Valley Trail

Another Anchorage-area site you will want to be sure to stop by is South Fork Valley Trail. Here, you are surrounded by an abundance of berry patches — especially low-bush blueberries. Combine your berry picking with a hike for a memorable day of outdoor exploring.

Plan Your Visit to the Last Frontier

If the thought of blueberry picking in Fairbanks sounds like an ideal way to spend your Alaskan vacation, Kampgrounds of America offers a convenient setting for you to kick off your adventures. KOA has campgrounds in several locations throughout the state where you will be able to plan an unforgettable getaway.

RV camping is one of the most popular ways to take in the rugged beauty of the state, which is why we offer full hookups, 30- and 50-amp service and spaces that let you easily back in or pull through. Along with RV Sites, our Alaska campground also offers several other enjoyable ways to stay, including:

  • Tent Sites that let you embrace a more traditional camping experience while still enjoying amenities like clean bathrooms and laundry facilities.
  • Camping Cabins that are cozy and offer a more home-like environment to stay in.
  • Deluxe Cabins for explorers who don’t want to give up extra luxuries like TVs and fire pits during their stay.
  • Glamping Tents that allow you to experience a unique type of lodging.

Depending on which Alaska KOA location you stay at, you could also have access to all kinds of fun extras and adventures like rock climbing walls, mini golf and movie nights. You won’t even have to leave the campground to stay busy.

Ready to Go Blueberry Picking in Alaska?

No matter if you are interested in an RV Site or a Glamping Tent, KOA offers the perfect setting for you to launch your Alaskan adventures. With amenities like laundry facilities and playgrounds, you will be able to enjoy a comfortable camping experience with your friends and family.

If you are ready to start exploring the Last Frontier, discover the unique campground options in Alaska and reserve your site today.

About the Author: Kampgrounds of America

Kampgrounds of America is the largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds in the world, with over 500 locations across the United States and Canada. Founded in Billings, MT in 1962, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – today serve more than a million camping families each year. KOA is dedicated to “connecting people to the outdoors and each other” by providing people with a variety of camping experiences and the information they need to make the most of their camping trip. Read more of their camping and travel resources by visiting

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