The Ultimate Guide ToAlaska Trip Planner By Road
Here are a few recommendations of where and how to spend your time in Alaska.
Whether it’s whitewater rafting in Denali National Park or taking in the sights from a drift plane, there is lots of adventure to be found in Alaska. Take a look at a few of them here.
1 . Can get on the water.
The condition is full of whitewater, and Denali State 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 employees typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the quicker Canyon Run, including several class 3 and IV rapids. You can raft the Canyon with Denali Raft Adventures ($89, 2 hours) – you’ll appreciate the supplied drysuit.
Fishing is definitely another popular on-the-water activity. There are salmon in the rivers, trout in the lakes, and creature halibut and cod out at sea.
A wildife/glacier-viewing day time cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Ak Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers a couple of different routes, from four to nine hours. You’re more likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald silver eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery destinations, and shoreline peaks of Resurrection Bay.
Rafting the Nenana River
Denali Raft Adventures
Kenai Fjords Tours
2. Hike with a guidebook.
Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people that hiked out, discovered a piece of ground that looked good and built a family cottage on it. You can get a sense of the vastness of the land by going on your own backcountry trek. Denali is an excellent place for it — the National Park covers more than 2 million hectares and has relatively few established trails. There are endless opportunities intended for shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.
Regardless of how long you’re for the trail, it’s all set with a guide. With a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you will be led by a local, someone who blazed their own trail 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 walk you won’t get otherwise.
ANG is one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure Green Alaska program, which recognizes them as an industry head in environmentally and culturally sustainable practices. They run guided hikes in Denali State Park (east of and next to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, just outside of town.
View of Denali National Park
View of Denali National Recreation area
Alaska Nature Guides
Adventure Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range defines the topography of the state, a crescent spine that curves from the southeastern boundary with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and back down to the sea on the mouth of Make Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, may be the area surrounding Denali, North America’s highest peak at six, 193. 5 metres, and its two neighbors, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Catching the view is certainly nice; one of the best places to do so is through 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 need a plane.
A handful of businesses run “flightseeing” tours out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation being the biggest. It’s also possible to take flight in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, sign up for a glacier getting for the full impact.
This is also how climbers access the forest. For information on climbing, check the Country wide Park’s mountaineering reference page.
A float plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
K2 Modern aviation
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Web page
4. Stay in a boat/plane-accessed lodge.
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 between rocky beach and the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight stays that feature a day 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 offer if you stay several night.
On the reverse side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an much more remote feel to it, accessed simply by water taxi through the Homer Spit or sea plane. Tutka is one of the fjords cut into the southern part of the larger Kachemak Bay, and the whole area features arctic peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The hotel is set back on a beach opposite a little headland – you can not see it until you’re almost on top of it. But once you’re there it’s quite expansive, with a massive central deck (with hot tub and sauna), and pathways that connect the main villa building and six luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) probably has the best look at.
Rates start $1, 300 per night time and include three chef-prepared meals a day, a one-hour massage, wines tastings, yoga, and pretty much any guided activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain cycling, local fishing and boat trips, nature walks, and cooking food classes.