Complete Review:National Parks In Alaska You Can Drive To
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 views from a drift plane, there is lots of adventure to be found in Alaska. Take a look at a few of them here.
1 . Can get on the water.
The state 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 Highway by the national recreation area entrance, and employees typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the quicker 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 can be 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 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 more likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald silver eagles, seals, sea lions, whales and maybe a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery islands, and shoreline peaks of Resurrection Gulf.
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, discovered a piece of ground that looked good and built a family vacation cabin on it. You can get a feeling of the vastness from the land by going on your own backcountry trek. Denali is a good place for it — the National Park covers more than 2 million hectares and has relatively few established trails. There are endless opportunities intended for 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. Having a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you’ll be led with a local, someone who blazed their own trek and made a home in the bush. Their observations about the property, its history and its particular flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a walk you won’t get otherwise.
ANG is definitely one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska program, which recognizes them as an industry leader 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, just outside of town.
View of Denali State Park
View of Denali National Park
Ak Nature Guides
Experience Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range specifies the topography of the state, a crescent spine that curves 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 highest peak at 6, 193. 5 metres, and its two neighbors, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Catching the view is certainly nice; one of the best places to do so is through 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 will need a plane.
A handful of companies run “flightseeing” excursions out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation becoming the biggest. It’s also possible to journey in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, subscribe to a glacier landing for the full effect.
This is also just how climbers access the forest. For information on climbing, check the Country wide Park’s mountaineering resource page.
A drift plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Page
4. Stay in a boat/plane-accessed resort.
Fox Island can be a stop on two Kenai Fjords time cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Villa. The property comprises eight cabins (each with capacity for a family of four) lined up between rocky beach and the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight remains that feature a day time cruise on leaving day start are available. Kayaking and angling trips are available at extra cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay several night.
On the opposing side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Bay Lodge has an a lot 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 whole area features cold peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The villa is set back on a beach opposite a little 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 hotel 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 cooking classes.