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The Ultimate Guide ToNational Parks Pass Alaska

 

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 sights from a float plane, there is lots of adventure to be found in Alaska. Take a look at some of them here.

1 . Get on the water.

The state is full of whitewater, and Denali National Park is one of the simplest places to access this. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Freeway by the national park entrance, and employees typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the faster Canyon Run, which includes 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 another popular on-the-water activity. There are salmon in the streams, 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 a few different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re 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 highs of Resurrection Gulf.

 

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

2. Hike with a guideline.

Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people who hiked out, found a piece of ground that looked good and built a family cottage on it. You can get a sense of the vastness from the land by going on your own backcountry trek. Denali is a great place for it – the National Park covers more than 2 million hectares and has relatively few established trails. You will find endless opportunities meant for shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.

Regardless of how long you’re around the trail, it’s good to go with a guide. Having a company like Ak 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 land, its history and its particular flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a hike you won’t get otherwise.

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

Watch of Denali National Park
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View of Denali National Park
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 from the state, a crescent spine that curves from the southeastern border with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and down again to the sea in the mouth of Cook Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, is 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).

Getting the view is nice; one of the best places to do so is from your back deck part of the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. But you get a completely 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 businesses run “flightseeing” travels out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation being the biggest. It’s also possible to soar in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, sign up for a glacier landing for the full impact.

This is also how climbers access the mountains. For information on climbing, check the Country wide Park’s mountaineering reference page.

A float plane in Ak

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

4. Stay in a boat/plane-accessed resort.

Fox Island is certainly a stop on two Kenai Fjords day 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 as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight stays that feature a day time cruise on starting day start are available. Kayaking and fishing trips are available at extra cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay several night.

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On the opposite side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Bay Lodge has an much 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 part of the larger Kachemak Bay, and the whole area features wintry peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The hotel is set back on the beach opposite a small headland – you can not see it until you’re almost on top of this. 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 lodge building and 6 luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) most likely has the best look at.

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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 bicycling, local fishing and boat trips, nature walks, and food preparation classes.

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