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Complete GuideAlaska Vacation Options

 

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 drift plane, there is plenty 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 National Park is one of the simplest places to access it. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Motorway by the national recreation area entrance, and workers typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the quicker 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 provided drysuit.

Fishing is definitely another popular on-the-water activity. There are salmon 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 a couple of different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re very likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald silver eagles, seals, sea lions, whales and maybe a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery islands, and shoreline peaks 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 that hiked out, discovered a piece of ground that looked good and built a family vacation cabin on it. You can get a feeling 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 two million hectares and has relatively few established trails. There are endless opportunities for shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.

Regardless how long you’re within the trail, it’s all set with a guide. Using a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you will be led with a local, someone who blazed their own trail and made a home in the bush. Their information about the land, its history and its particular flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a hike you won’t obtain 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 leader in environmentally and culturally sustainable procedures. They run well guided hikes in Denali State Park (east of and adjacent to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, just 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 identifies the topography of the state, a crescent spine that curves from the southeastern border with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and back down to the sea at 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 6, 193. 5 metres, and its two neighbors, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).

Getting the view is definitely nice; one of the best places to do so is from the back deck part of the Talkeetna Alaskan Resort. 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” travels out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation being the biggest. It’s also possible to fly in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, sign up for a glacier getting for the full effect.

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

A drift plane in Alaska

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

4. Stay at 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 your rocky beach as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight remains that feature a day time cruise on leaving day start can be found. 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 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 wintry peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The lodge 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 resort building and 6 luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) probably 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 well 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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