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Here are some recommendations of exactly where and how to spend your time in Alaska.
Whether it’s whitewater rafting in Denali National Park or taking in the views from a float plane, there is lots of adventure to be found in Alaska. Take a look at some of them here.

1 . Can get on the water.

The state is full of whitewater, and Denali Country wide Park is one of the simplest places to access this. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Road by the national recreation area entrance, and operators typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the quicker Canyon Run, including several class III and IV rapids. You can raft the Canyon with Denali Raft Adventures ($89, 2 hours) – you’ll appreciate the supplied drysuit.

Fishing is certainly another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the rivers, trout in the lakes, and list halibut and cod out at sea.

A wildife/glacier-viewing day cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Alaska Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers some different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery island destinations, and shoreline highs of Resurrection Bay.

 

Rafting the Nenana River
Flickr/Katie Loehr
More information
Denali Raft Adventures
Kenai Fjords Tours

2. Hike with a guidebook.

Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people who hiked out, found a piece of ground that looked good and built a family cabin on it. You can get a feeling of the vastness of the land by taking place your own backcountry trek. Denali is a good place for it – the National Recreation area covers more than two million hectares and has relatively few established trails. You will find endless opportunities pertaining to shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.

Regardless how long you’re around the trail, it’s all set with a guide. With a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you’ll be led by a local, someone who blazed their own trek and made a home in the bush. Their observations about the property, its history as well as flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a rise you won’t get otherwise.

ANG is usually one of few businesses with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska program, which recognizes all of them as an industry innovator in environmentally and culturally sustainable methods. They run well guided hikes in Denali State Park (east of and adjacent to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, simply outside of town.

View of Denali State Park
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View of Denali National Recreation area
Flickr/Blmiers2
More information
Alaska Nature Guides
Adventure Green Alaska

3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.

The Alaska Range specifies the topography of the state, a crescent spine that figure from the southeastern border with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and down again to the sea at the mouth of Make Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, is the area surrounding Denali, North America’s tallest peak at six, 193. 5 meters, and its two neighbours, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).

Catching the view is usually nice; one of the best places to do so is in the back deck area of the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. But you get an entirely different perspective once you’re actually in the mountains, standing on a glacier, looking up and around at a jagged world of white. To do that, you will need a plane.

A handful of companies run “flightseeing” trips out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation getting the biggest. It’s also possible to travel in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, subscribe to a glacier landing for the full effect.

This is also how climbers access the forest. For information upon climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering source page.

A float plane in Ak

Flickr/RLevans
More information
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
K2 Aviation
Denali National Recreation area Mountaineering Resource Page

4. Stay at a boat/plane-accessed villa.

Fox Island can be a stop on two Kenai Fjords day time cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Hotel. The property comprises 8 cabins (each with capacity for a family of four) lined up involving the rocky beach as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight stays that feature a time cruise on leaving day start can be found. Kayaking and angling trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay more than one night.

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On the opposing side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an even more remote feel to it, accessed simply by water taxi from the Homer Spit or sea plane. Tutka is one of the fjords cut into the southern aspect of the larger Kachemak Bay, and the entire area features cold peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The resort is set back on the beach opposite a little headland – you can’t see it until you’re almost on top of it. But once you’re there it’s quite expansive, with a substantial central deck (with hot tub and sauna), and pathways that connect the main resort building and six luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) most likely has the best view.

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Rates start $1, 300 per night time and include three chef-prepared meals a day, a one-hour massage, wine tastings, yoga, and pretty much any well guided activity you can think of — kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain cycling, local fishing and boat trips, nature walks, and cooking food classes.

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