Complete GuideAlaska Trip From Seattle
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 float plane, there is plenty 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 this. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Motorway by the national park 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 can be another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the rivers, trout in the lakes, and creature halibut and cod out at ocean.
A wildife/glacier-viewing time cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Alaska Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers some different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re prone to see sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, seals, sea lions, whales and maybe a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery destinations, and shoreline highs of Resurrection Bay.
Rafting the Nenana River
Denali Raft Adventures
Kenai Fjords Tours
2. Hike with a guidebook.
Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people that hiked out, found a piece of ground that looked good and built a family log cabin on it. You can get a feeling of the vastness of the land by going on your own backcountry trek. Denali is a good place for it – the National Recreation area covers more than two 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 on the trail, it’s all set with a guide. Having a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you will be led by a local, someone who blazed their own trek and made a home in the bush. Their insights 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 certainly one of few businesses with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure Green Alaska system, which recognizes all of them as an industry innovator in environmentally and culturally sustainable practices. They run well guided hikes in Denali State Park (east of and next to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, just outside of town.
Watch of Denali National Park
View of Denali National Recreation area
Alaska Nature Guides
Adventure Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range defines 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 Make Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, may be the area surrounding Denali, North America’s highest peak at six, 193. 5 metres, and its two neighbours, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Catching the view is nice; one of the best places to do so is in the back deck area 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 companies run “flightseeing” tours out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation getting the biggest. It’s also possible to travel 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 State Park’s mountaineering reference page.
A float plane in Ak
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Recreation area Mountaineering Resource Page
4. Stay at a boat/plane-accessed resort.
Fox Island is a stop on two Kenai Fjords day time cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge. 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 remains that feature a time cruise on flying 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.
On the reverse side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Bay Lodge has an a lot more remote feel to it, accessed simply by water taxi from your 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 a beach opposite a little headland – you can not 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 six luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) most likely has the best look at.
Rates start $1, 300 per night and include three chef-prepared meals a day, a one-hour massage, wine tastings, yoga, and pretty much any guided activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain cycling, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and food preparation classes.