Complete Review:National Parks In Alaska You Can Drive To
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 views from a float plane, there is plenty of adventure to be found in Alaska. Take a look at a few of them here.
1 . Get on the water.
The condition is full of whitewater, and Denali State Park is one of the easiest places to access this. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Road by the national park entrance, and employees 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 provided drysuit.
Fishing is usually 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 Ak Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers a few different routes, from four to nine hours. You’re likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe even a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery island destinations, and shoreline highs of Resurrection Bay.
Rafting the Nenana River
Denali Raft Adventures
Kenai Fjords Tours
2. Hike with a instruction.
Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people who hiked out, found a piece of ground that looked good and built a family cabin on it. You can get a sense of the vastness from the land by taking place your own backcountry trek. Denali is an excellent place for it — the National Recreation area covers more than two million hectares and has relatively few established trails. You will find endless opportunities for shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.
Regardless of how long you’re within 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 path and made a home in the bush. Their ideas about the land, its history and its particular flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a hike you won’t get otherwise.
ANG is certainly one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska plan, which recognizes all of them as an industry innovator in environmentally and culturally sustainable practices. They run guided hikes in Denali State Park (east of and next to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, simply outside of town.
View of Denali Country wide Park
View of Denali National Park
Alaska Nature Guides
Experience Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range identifies the topography from the state, a crescent spine that figure from the southeastern boundary with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and down again 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 highest 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 certainly nice; one of the best places to do so is in the back deck area 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 businesses run “flightseeing” excursions out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation getting the biggest. It’s also possible to journey in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, sign up for a glacier getting for the full impact.
This is also just how climbers access the forest. For information upon climbing, check the Country wide Park’s mountaineering useful resource page.
A float plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Web page
4. Stay in 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 eight 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 flying day start can be found. Kayaking and fishing trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay more than one night.
On the opposing side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an much more remote feel to it, accessed 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 cold peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The resort 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 massive central deck (with hot tub and sauna), and pathways that connect the main villa building and six luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) probably has the best view.
Rates start $1, 300 per evening 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 bicycling, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and cooking classes.