Step By Step With Pic:Alaska Trip Ideas
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 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 National Park is one of the simplest places to access this. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Freeway by the national park entrance, and operators typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the faster Canyon Run, which includes 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 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 cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Ak Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers a number of different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald silver 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 who hiked out, found a piece of ground that looked good and built a family cabin on it. You can get a feeling of the vastness of the land by taking place your own backcountry trek. Denali is a great 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 good to go with a guide. With a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you’ll be led with a local, someone who blazed their own trail and made a home in the bush. Their insights about the land, its history and it is flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a rise you won’t obtain otherwise.
ANG can be one of few businesses with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure Green Alaska program, which recognizes them as an industry head in environmentally and culturally sustainable methods. They run well 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.
Look at of Denali National Park
View of Denali National Park
Alaska Nature Guides
Experience Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range defines the topography of the state, a crescent spine that curves from the southeastern boundary with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and down again 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 tallest peak at 6, 193. 5 meters, 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 areas to do so is in the back deck part of the Talkeetna Alaskan Villa. 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 need a plane.
A handful of businesses run “flightseeing” tours out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation becoming the biggest. It’s also possible to take flight 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 forest. For information on climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering source page.
A drift plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Recreation area Mountaineering Resource Web page
4. Stay at a boat/plane-accessed hotel.
Fox Island is a stop on two Kenai Fjords 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 rocky beach as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight remains that feature a day time cruise on leaving day start are available. Kayaking and fishing trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the offer if you stay several night.
On the opposing side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf 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 aspect of the larger Kachemak Bay, and the whole area features arctic peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The hotel is set back on a beach opposite a small 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 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 watch.
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 guided activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain biking, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and food preparation classes.