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Step By StepAlaska Road Trip On A Budget

 

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 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 easiest places to access this. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Highway by the national recreation area entrance, and workers typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the faster 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 provided drysuit.

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

A wildife/glacier-viewing day time 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 likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery 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 guideline.

Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people that 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 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. You will find endless opportunities for shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.

Regardless how long you’re in the trail, it’s good to go with a guide. Using a company like Ak Nature Guides, you will 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 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 plan, which recognizes all of them as an industry leader in environmentally and culturally sustainable practices. They run 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 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 figure from the southeastern border 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, is the area surrounding Denali, North America’s tallest peak at 6, 193. 5 metres, and its two neighbours, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).

Catching the view is definitely nice; one of the best locations to do so is in 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” 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, subscribe to a glacier landing for the full effect.

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

A drift plane in Ak

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

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

Fox Island is definitely 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 between the rocky beach as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight remains that feature a day time cruise on reduction 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 more than one night.

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On the reverse side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Bay Lodge has an even more remote feel to it, accessed simply 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 hotel is set back on the beach opposite a small 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 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 led activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain biking, local fishing and boat trips, nature walks, and cooking food classes.

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