Complete GuideAlaska Trip Northern Lights
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 some of them here.
1 . 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 Motorway 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 supplied drysuit.
Fishing can be another popular on-the-water activity. There are salmon in the rivers, trout in the lakes, and monster halibut and cod out at sea.
A wildife/glacier-viewing time cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Ak Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers some different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re prone to see sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, seals, sea lions, 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 people that hiked out, found a piece of ground that looked good and built a family log cabin on it. You can get a feeling of the vastness of the land by going on 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. There are endless opportunities pertaining to shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.
Regardless how long you’re for the trail, it’s good to go with a guide. With a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you will be led by a local, someone who blazed their own path and made a home in the bush. Their observations 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 usually one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska plan, which recognizes all of them as an industry head in environmentally and culturally sustainable methods. They run 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
Alaska Nature Guides
Experience Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range describes 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 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 meters, and its two neighbours, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Getting the view is definitely nice; one of the best places to do so is from the back deck area of the Talkeetna Alaskan Resort. 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 travel in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, subscribe to a glacier getting for the full effect.
This is also just how climbers access the mountains. For information upon climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering source page.
A float plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Page
4. Stay at a boat/plane-accessed lodge.
Fox Island is definitely 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 and the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight remains that feature a day time cruise on starting 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 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 entire area features wintry 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 not see it until you’re almost on top of this. 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 villa building and 6 luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) most likely 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 bicycling, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and food preparation classes.