20 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO ON FORT GREELY ALASKA
By Tracy Fuga
IntroductionWelcome to Fort Greely, located in one of the coldest areas of Alaska. The installation is roughly 100 miles from Fairbanks, the largest city in Alaska’s interior with a population of approximately 31,000. The population of the area surrounding Fort Greely is tied to the installation, with a mix of roughly 20 active duty personnel, four MEDCOM, two CRTC, about 225 Alaska National Guard, 225 civilian workers, and nearly 575 contractor and tenant personnel. This beautiful — albeit cold — area is remote, so services are limited but there is still so much to offer those lucky enough to call it home. Fort Greely is home of the Cold Regions Test Center, and can accommodate extremely cold weather testing, depending on the season. The weather doesn’t have to keep you from exploring the area, if that’s what you’re into. And most of the time you won’t even have to leave the gates of the installation to find it! Here is a list of 20 of the best things to do while living on or near Fort Greely.
20 Things To Do in Fort GreelyKnow what you are looking for? Click the number(s) to go right to what you go: (1-7) Parks, Rivers, and Lakes (8) Shooting Range (9) Fishing and Hunting (10-13) Gyms (14) Bowling (15-18) Attractions (19) Museums (20) Wineries & Breweries
Suggested Read:Fort Greely Alaska: In-Depth Welcome Center
Fort Greely Parks and Recreation
1. Primitive CampgroundFort Greely, AK 99731
Phone: 1 (907) 873-4795 The Primitive Campground provides visitors with the safety and security of the military base while they enjoy an adventure in the great outdoors. The campground is located shortly after entering the gates, within walking distance of the Aurora Community Activity Center, Bison Trail, and more! There are seven non-electric RV campsites, with picnic tables and fire rings at every site, and a dog park conveniently located next to the campground.
2. Valdez Glacier CampgroundBig Delta Avenue Bldg. 702 Fort Greely, AK 99731
Phone: 1 (907) 873-4795 Valdez Glacier Campground is perfect for both outdoor enthusiasts and nature photographers alike. From beautiful waterfalls to amazing views, the wildlife and abundance of fishing opportunities for your family is certain to create lifelong memories. Glacier run-off provides a beautiful waterfall that cascades into a crystal clear creek next to the large group camping area, with 85 standard campsites available.
3. Allison Point CampgroundDayville Road Valdez, AK 99686
Phone: 1 (907) 873-4795 Adjacent to the Alyeska Pipeline Terminal sits the Allison Point Campground. This popular fishing area provides 49 sites for RVs and tents. Some sites have fire rings and there are public restroom facilities. A military discount is available.
4. Clearwater State Recreation Site1415 Clearwater Road Delta Junction, AK 99737
Phone: 1 (907) 895-4599 A little campground lies tucked beside a crystal clear river that offers great fishing opportunities for Arctic Grayling, whitefish, and salmon. Many visitors enjoy this recreation site for its well-kept campsites and for the picnic area. Others enjoy this site for the river access provided by the boat launch. For those who enjoy walks and a chance to view animal life close-up, there is a boardwalk located along the river behind the campsites. If you are traveling in the spring or fall, Clearwater State Recreation Site is an excellent place to see sand hill cranes, swans, geese and other migratory birds.
5. Donnelly Creek State Recreation Site238 Richardson Highway Delta Junction, AK 99737
Phone: 1 (907) 269-8700 Donnelly Creek State Recreational Site is located on the braided Delta River and is one of the state's most scenic campgrounds with views of some of the tallest peaks of the Alaska Range. There is also a great opportunity here to examine alpine plant life. This secluded wilderness campground is seldom crowded and has 12 campsites to choose from. A variety of wildlife inhabit the area; moose, bear, porcupines, beavers and snowshoe hares are fairly common, as are many species of birds.
6. Quartz Lake State Recreation Area277.8 Richardson Highway Delta Junction, AK 99737
Phone: 1 (907) 269-8700 Quartz Lake State Recreation Area is a 600 acre park which often attracts large crowds due to the variety of recreational opportunities available. The recreation area borders two lakes and has facilities adjacent to the lakes to accommodate these crowds. At Quartz Lake there are 16 campsites in the loop and 87 parking and camping sites in the parking lot development. Facilities also include two boat launches, a handicap accessible fishing dock, picnic sites, a picnic shelter, a swimming area, a beach volleyball court, water, and toilets.
7. Delta State Recreation Site238 Richardson Highway Delta Junction, AK 99737
Phone: 1 (907) 269-8700 Delta State Recreational Site is a popular campground for those traveling between Tok and Fairbanks. This campground gives visitors a wilderness feel, but keeps them conveniently close to town for events or shopping. Delta State Recreation Site has 25 developed campsites, a picnic area, and a covered picnic shelter.
Fort Greely Shooting Range
8. Shooting Ranges Near Fort GreelyLooking to do some target practice? Look no further than the many options found near Fort Greely. Manage your permitting needs through Alaska Department of Fish & Game to venture into public places or visit any of the local, privately owned ranges in the area.
Fort Greely Fishing and Hunting
9. Outdoor RecreationArctic Avenue Bldg. 627 Fort Greely, AK 99731
Phone: 1 (907) 873-4058 Whether you're an avid outdoors lover, complete novice, or somewhere in between, the Outdoor Recreation Center is the place to go. Outdoor Recreation Center offers guided trips, adventure programs, training, winter and summer recreational items at affordable prices, and services for every outdoor enthusiast.
Fort Greely Gyms
10. Sports, Fitness & Aquatics CenterFirst Street Bldg. 503 Fort Greely, AK 99731
Phone: 1 (907) 873-2696 The Sports, Fitness & Aquatics Center offers activities and services that develop the strength and fitness of Soldiers and the general health of the military community. Fitness programs provide Soldiers, DA civilians, family members, and retirees with demand-driven opportunities to combat stress, enhance general physical fitness, and contribute to the Total Army Family's overall wellness. The Sports, Fitness & Aquatic Center facilitates both directed and self-directed physical training, conditioning, and recreational opportunities.
11. Indoor Swimming PoolFirst Street Bldg. 503 Fort Greely, AK 99731
Phone: 1 (907) 873-2696 The Sports, Fitness & Aquatic Center is home to an Indoor Swimming Pool complete with swimming lanes and a diving board. Swimming equipment is available, and certified lifeguards closely monitor the pool. A variety of aquatic programs are offered for all ages including but not limited to aquatics training program, recreational swimming, lap swim and open swim hours.
12. Intramural Sports ProgramFirst Street Bldg. 503 Fort Greely, AK 99731
Phone: 1 (907) 873-2696 The Fort Greely Intramural Sports Program offers broad-based team and individual sports based on Soldier interest, installation Senior and Mission Commander desire, availability of garrison sports facilities, unit mission requirements, and local climate. Intramural leagues are conducted year-round and emphasize sports that promote group participation with a broad appeal, such as softball, volleyball, flag football, and basketball. When you participate in an intramural sport, you develop your teamwork skills and competitive spirit. At the same time, you're maintaining your physical fitness and your unit's readiness.
13. Physical Readiness Training Facility (Indoor Track)First Street Bldg. 503 Fort Greely, AK 99731
Phone: 1 (907) 873-2696 The Physical Readiness Training Facility (PRTF) is an indoor training facility that features a running track and fitness space inside the track area. The PRTF allows Soldiers to train for and conduct their Army Combat Fitness Test. Group Fitness Classes of all levels are conducted in the facility. Strollers are available for indoor use for Parents wishing to get some exercise during the long winter months. The PRTF also supports year-round training needs for our local Youth Sports teams and Youth Services Program.
Fort Greely Bowling Alley
14. Buffalo Bowl at Aurora Community Activity Center2020 Robin Road Bldg. 500 Fort Greely, AK 99731
Phone: 1 (907) 873-4782 The Aurora Community Activity Center boasts an impressive eight lane bowling center. All lanes are smoke free and family friendly. The center also offers league play for those interested in bowling on a weekly basis. The season length depends on the size of the team. Check with Buffalo Bowl staff for current information.
Fort Greely Attractions
15. Aurora Community Activity Center2020 Robin Road Bldg. 500 Fort Greely, AK 99731
Phone: 1 (907) 873-4782 The Aurora Community Activity Center has a little bit of something for everyone. Many family-friendly events take place throughout the year there, such as the Annual Fall Festival, Holiday Tree Lighting, Spring Fling, Month of the Military Child Carnival, bowling leagues, and more. Along with a state-of-the-art facility, the Aurora Community Activity Center also boasts an impressive bowling center and an arcade and game room.
16. Santa Claus House101 St. Nicholas Dr. North Pole, Alaska 99705
Phone: 1 (800) 588-4078 Situated on the aptly-named St. Nicholas Drive to the northwest of the post, the Santa Claus House is a must-see spot for all holiday enthusiasts. Here, you can mingle with Santa’s Reindeer Team, buy tons of cool items in the gift shop, and write letters to Saint Nick himself. No age limit on this one!
17. Aurora QuestMike 272 and ½ Parks Highway Healy, AK 99743
Phone: 1 (907) 441-2080 You can’t live in Alaska without venturing out to see the Northern Lights. Aurora Quest is locally owned and operated by longtime Alaskan wilderness guides (leading tourists across the state since 1983), you can experience all of Alaska's unique winter activities through personalized, small tours. Enjoy the state’s spectacular auroras, dog sledding, snowmachining, ice fishing, cozy remote cabin stays and wildlife viewing in world famous Denali National Park.
18. Sled Dog Tours5157 Chena Hot Springs Road Fairbanks, AK 99712
Phone: 1 (907) 750-0208 Enjoy a personal sled dog tour. Or, if you want to try your own hand at mushing, Just Short of Magic offers a mushing school. Extra arctic gear can be provided to make sure everyone is extra warm. Come for the tours, but feel free to stay longer to play with the friendly dogs. After the tour, there is hot cocoa, hot tea, and hot water for every guest that needs a warm pick me up.
Fort Greely Museums
19. Sullivan Roadhouse266 Richardson Highway Delta Junction, AK 99737
Phone: 1 (907) 895-5068 Step into the Sullivan Roadhouse Historical Museum in the heart of Delta Junction and go back to the time of sourdoughs, gold fever and frontier hardships. Built in 1905, the Sullivan Roadhouse is the oldest roadhouse in Interior Alaska. It was built on the Donnelly-Washburn winter cut-off, a part of the Valdez-Fairbanks Trail.
Wineries and Breweries
20. Wineries and BreweriesLike most of the country, Alaska is booming with craft breweries and new wineries. Even with most of the state isolated from the lower 48, Alaska is not one to miss the bus of a trend. One might argue that Alaska is driving the bus as the number of breweries and wineries in the state is climbing at a fast pace. Find the best spot to enjoy a cold one close to Fort Greely or venture further out to enjoy that hoppy goodness.
ConclusionThere might not be the traditional things to do on Fort Greely and the surrounding areas, but the amazing opportunity to experience nature at its best awaits! It’s perfect for avid fishermen and hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, thrill seekers or homebodies. Whatever your mood or hobby, there’s something for you to enjoy near your new home. Get out there and see why there’s so much to learn about Fort Greely!
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