Complete GuideAlaska Trip Itinerary
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 plenty of adventure to be found in Alaska. Take a look at some of them here.
1 . Can get on the water.
The state is full of whitewater, and Denali Country wide 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 workers 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 salmon in the streams, trout in the lakes, and huge halibut and cod out at sea.
A wildife/glacier-viewing day 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 silver eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery island destinations, and shoreline peaks of Resurrection Gulf.
Rafting the Nenana River
Denali Raft Adventures
Kenai Fjords Tours
2. Hike with a guideline.
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 going on your own backcountry trek. Denali is a great 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 within the trail, it’s good to go with a guide. Having a company like Ak Nature Guides, you’ll be led with a local, someone who blazed their own trail and made a home in the bush. Their observations about the land, its history and it is flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a hike you won’t obtain otherwise.
ANG is certainly one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska program, 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 adjacent to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, simply outside of town.
Look at of Denali State Park
View of Denali National Park
Ak Nature Guides
Adventure Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range describes the topography from the state, a crescent spine that curves from the southeastern boundary with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and back down to the sea in 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 metres, and its two neighbours, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Catching the view is certainly nice; one of the best locations to do so is from 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 will need a plane.
A handful of businesses run “flightseeing” travels out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation being the biggest. It’s also possible to fly 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 Country wide Park’s mountaineering source page.
A drift plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Page
4. Stay at a boat/plane-accessed hotel.
Fox Island is certainly a stop on two Kenai Fjords time cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Villa. The property comprises 8 cabins (each with capacity for a family of four) lined up involving the rocky beach as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight stays that feature a time cruise on starting day start can be found. Kayaking and angling trips are available at extra cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay more than one night.
On the reverse 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 part 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 a 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 resort building and six luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) probably has the best look at.
Rates start $1, 300 per night 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 cycling, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and food preparation classes.