Complete GuideAlaska Driving Trip
Here are a few recommendations of exactly 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 some of them here.
1 . Get on the water.
The condition is full of whitewater, and Denali State Park is one of the simplest places to access it. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Road by the national recreation area entrance, and operators typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the quicker 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 supplied drysuit.
Fishing can be another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the streams, trout in the lakes, and huge halibut and cod out at ocean.
A wildife/glacier-viewing day time cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Alaska Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers a number of different routes, from four to nine 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 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 feeling of the vastness of the land by taking place your own backcountry trek. Denali is an excellent place for it – the National Park covers more than 2 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 in the trail, it’s good to go with a guide. With a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you’ll 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 as well as its flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a walk you won’t obtain otherwise.
ANG is usually one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska plan, which recognizes them as an industry head in environmentally and culturally sustainable methods. They run led hikes in Denali State Park (east of and adjacent to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, just outside of town.
View of Denali Country wide Park
View of Denali National Park
Ak Nature Guides
Adventure Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range defines the topography of the state, a crescent spine that figure from the southeastern border 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, may be the area surrounding Denali, North America’s highest peak at six, 193. 5 meters, and its two neighbors, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Getting the view is definitely nice; one of the best areas to do so is through the back deck part 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” tours out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation becoming the biggest. It’s also possible to take flight in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, sign up for a glacier getting for the full impact.
This is also how climbers access the mountains. For information upon climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering source page.
A drift plane in Ak
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Recreation area Mountaineering Resource Web page
4. Stay in a boat/plane-accessed resort.
Fox Island is definitely a stop on two Kenai Fjords day cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Hotel. 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 stays that feature a time cruise on leaving day start can be found. Kayaking and fishing 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 Gulf Lodge has an a lot more remote feel to it, accessed simply 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 cold peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The hotel 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 villa 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 evening and include three chef-prepared meals a day, a one-hour massage, wines tastings, yoga, and pretty much any well guided activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain cycling, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and cooking classes.