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The Ultimate Guide ToAlaska Trip By Train

 

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 drift 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 State Park is one of the simplest places to access it. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Highway by the national recreation area entrance, and operators typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the faster 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 usually 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 cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Alaska Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers a number of 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 destinations, 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 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 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 Recreation area covers more than 2 million hectares and has relatively few established trails. There are endless opportunities pertaining to shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.

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

ANG is certainly one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure Green Alaska plan, which recognizes them as an industry head in environmentally and culturally sustainable practices. They run well guided hikes in Denali State Park (east of and adjacent to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, simply outside of town.

Watch of Denali National Park
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View of Denali National Park
Flickr/Blmiers2
More information
Ak 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 figure from the southeastern border with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and back down to the sea in 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 neighbors, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).

Getting the view is certainly nice; one of the best areas to do so is from the back deck part of the Talkeetna Alaskan Hotel. 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 companies 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, subscribe to a glacier getting for the full effect.

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

A float plane in Alaska

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

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

Fox Island is certainly a stop on two Kenai Fjords time cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Resort. 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 cruise on reduction day start are available. Kayaking and fishing trips are available at extra cost for overnighters; they’re part of the offer if you stay several night.

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On the opposite side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an even 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 aspect of the larger Kachemak Bay, and the entire area features snowy peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The hotel is set back on the beach opposite a little 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 substantial 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) 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 well guided activity you can think of — kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain cycling, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and cooking classes.

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