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Here are a few 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 plenty 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 easiest places to access it. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Motorway by the national park entrance, and workers 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 definitely another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the rivers, trout in the lakes, and huge halibut and cod out at sea.

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

 

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

2. Hike with a instruction.

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

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

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

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

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

The Alaska Range describes the topography of the state, a crescent spine that figure from the southeastern border with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and back down to the sea at the mouth of Cook Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, is the area surrounding Denali, North America’s tallest peak at 6, 193. 5 meters, and its two neighbours, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).

Getting the view is usually nice; one of the best locations to do so is through the 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 need a plane.

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

This is also how climbers access the forest. For information on climbing, check the State Park’s mountaineering useful resource page.

A drift plane in Alaska

Flickr/RLevans
More information
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
K2 Aviators
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Page

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

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

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On the contrary side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an a lot more remote feel to it, accessed by water taxi in the Homer Spit or sea plane. Tutka is one of the fjords cut into the southern side of the larger Kachemak Bay, and the whole area features snowy peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The lodge is set back on the beach opposite a little headland – you can’t 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 six luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) most likely has the best watch.

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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 bicycling, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and cooking classes.

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