Complete Review:Alaska Backpacking Trips Denali
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 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 Road by the national park entrance, and workers typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the quicker 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 supplied drysuit.
Fishing can be another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the streams, trout in the lakes, and monster 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 some different routes, from four to nine hours. You’re prone to see sea otters, puffins, bald silver eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe even 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 instruction.
Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people that hiked out, discovered a piece of ground that looked good and built a family log cabin on it. You can get a sense of the vastness from the land by taking place your own backcountry trek. Denali is a good place for it – the National Recreation area covers more than 2 million hectares and has relatively few established trails. There are endless opportunities to get shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.
Regardless of how long you’re in the trail, it’s good to go with a guide. Using a company like Ak Nature Guides, you will be led by a local, someone who blazed their own trek and made a home in the bush. Their observations about the land, its history and its flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a hike you won’t get otherwise.
ANG is one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure Green Alaska program, which recognizes all of them as an industry innovator in environmentally and culturally sustainable practices. They run led 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 Recreation area
Ak Nature Guides
Experience Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range specifies the topography from 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 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 meters, and its two neighbours, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Catching the view can be nice; one of the best areas to do so is in the back deck area 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” trips out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation being 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 just how climbers access the forest. For information on climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering reference page.
A float plane in Ak
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Recreation area 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 Resort. The property comprises eight cabins (each with capacity for a family of four) lined up between your rocky beach as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight stays that feature a time cruise on reduction 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 by water taxi through the Homer Spit or sea plane. Tutka is one of the fjords cut into the southern side of the larger Kachemak Bay, and the whole area features arctic peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The lodge is set back on the beach opposite a little 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 substantial central deck (with hot tub and sauna), and pathways that connect the main hotel 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 time 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 cycling, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and cooking classes.