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Below 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 drift plane, there is plenty 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 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 recreation area entrance, and providers typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the faster Canyon Run, which includes 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 is definitely 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 day cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Alaska Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers a few different routes, from four to nine hours. You’re prone to see sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe even 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 guide.
Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by folks who hiked out, found a piece of ground that looked good and built a family vacation 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 for the trail, it’s good to go with a guide. Having a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you will be led with a local, someone who blazed their own trek and made a home in the bush. Their ideas about the land, its history and its flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a rise you won’t get otherwise.
ANG is definitely one of few businesses with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure 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 adjacent to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, just 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 describes the topography from the state, a crescent spine that figure from the southeastern boundary with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and back down 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 six, 193. 5 metres, and its two neighbors, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Getting the view is nice; one of the best areas to do so is from your back deck part of the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. 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 will need a plane.
A handful of companies run “flightseeing” travels out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation becoming the biggest. It’s also possible to soar in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, subscribe to a glacier landing for the full impact.
This is also how climbers access the mountains. For information on climbing, check the Country wide Park’s mountaineering useful 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 is certainly a stop on two Kenai Fjords day 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 your rocky beach and the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight remains that feature a time cruise on reduction day start are available. Kayaking and angling trips are available at extra cost for overnighters; they’re part of the offer if you stay several night.
On the opposing side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Bay Lodge has an much more remote feel to it, accessed by water taxi through 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 lodge is set back on the beach opposite a small 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 massive central deck (with hot tub and sauna), and pathways that connect the main lodge building and 6 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 led activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain biking, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and cooking classes.