Exploring Joint Base Elmendorf – Richardson

So, you’ve got your PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders, and you’re headed to the breathtaking landscapes of Alaska! More precisely, you’ll be calling Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) your new home. Nestled between mountains and surrounded by natural beauty, JBER offers an exciting chapter for military families. Here’s your handy guide to exploring the towns, attractions, and features of this uniquely stunning area.

Getting There: Airports Near JBER

Your journey to JBER will likely bring you through Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, just about a 20-minute drive from the base. It’s the main gateway to Alaska and well-connected with several major U.S. cities, making your PCS move a bit smoother. From the airport, you can either grab a taxi, rent a car, or arrange a base shuttle (if available) to get to JBER.

Exploring Joint Base Elmendorf - Richardson

Exploring Local Towns

1. Anchorage – Just a stone’s throw from the base, Anchorage is not only Alaska’s largest city but also a hub of activity where you can enjoy modern amenities alongside stunning outdoor opportunities. With its restaurants, museums, and shops, there’s always something to do. Don’t miss the Anchorage Museum for a deep dive into Alaskan history and culture or the Alaska Zoo for a family-friendly outing.

2. Eagle River – A quaint town about 15 minutes from JBER, Eagle River is a perfect spot for those looking to enjoy a slower pace while still being close to the conveniences of a larger city. The area is known for its community events and beautiful parks.

3. Palmer and Wasilla – Head about 45 minutes north of JBER, and you’ll find yourself in the agricultural heartlands of Palmer and the bustling community of Wasilla. These towns offer a more suburban-rural mix, with access to incredible hiking trails, farms, and the idyllic scenes of the Matanuska Valley.

Exploring Joint Base Elmendorf - Richardson 

Local Attractions & Activities

  • Hiking and Nature Trails: Alaska’s natural beauty is unparalleled, and there are countless trails and parks near JBER. Check out Flattop Mountain Trail for panoramic views or Eagle River Nature Center for a leisurely day out with the family.
  • Northern Lights Viewing: One of the most magical experiences Alaska offers is the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. Autumn and winter months are the best times to view this spectacular natural phenomenon.
  • Fishing and Wildlife: Fishing is a popular pastime here. Whether it’s salmon in Ship Creek right in Anchorage or trout in the surrounding rivers, the experience is quintessentially Alaskan. Wildlife tours also offer a glimpse into the habitats of moose, bears, and eagles.
  • Winter Sports: Come winter, the area transforms into a snowy wonderland, offering activities like skiing, snowboarding, and dog sledding. Alyeska Resort and Hilltop Ski Area are popular spots for skiing enthusiasts.
Exploring Joint Base Elmendorf - Richardson

Making Your Move Easier

Moving to a new location, especially one as remote and vast as Alaska, can be daunting. Here are a few tips to help smooth your transition:

  • Connect with Local Resources: Upon arrival, take advantage of the resources offered at JBER. The base’s welcome center can provide you with a wealth of information about housing, schools, and community activities.
  • Stay Warm: The Alaskan climate can be a significant change, especially if you’re coming from a warmer locale. Investing in good quality winter gear will make your outdoor adventures more enjoyable and comfortable.
  • Join Community Groups: There are several social media groups and community organizations for military families stationed at JBER. These can be great resources for making friends, exchanging tips, and finding support.
Exploring Joint Base Elmendorf - Richardson

Whether you’re thrilled by the prospect of wilderness adventures or curious about living life in the Last Frontier, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and its surrounding areas offer a unique and enriching experience. As you prepare for your PCS, remember that every new location offers new opportunities and adventures. Welcome to Alaska – your adventure starts now!

If you know someone looking to move near a military base – please send them our website below where we provide loads of base information.

Military Move Network Map

Click here to access our PCS Map

Our military map has lots of resources for every military base within the United States including schools, base housing, colleges, Facebook groups, and connections to local real estate agents that are military affiliated and provide OUR credit


                                  If you are looking for a home in Washington – check us out at www.kelseyandjorge.com

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