Complete GuideHow Many National Parks Alaska
Here are some 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 float 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 Country wide Park is one of the easiest places to access this. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Road by the national recreation area 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 is definitely another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the streams, trout in the lakes, and creature halibut and cod out at sea.
A wildife/glacier-viewing time cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Alaska Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers a number of different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re more likely 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 highs of Resurrection Gulf.
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 cottage on it. You can get a sense of the vastness of the land by taking place your own backcountry trek. Denali is a great place for it — the National Park covers more than two million hectares and has relatively few established trails. There are endless opportunities for shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.
Regardless how long you’re within the trail, it’s all set with a guide. With 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 its flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a walk you won’t obtain otherwise.
ANG is usually one of few businesses with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure Green Alaska program, which recognizes them as an industry innovator in environmentally and culturally sustainable procedures. They run guided hikes in Denali State Park (east of and next to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, just outside of town.
Watch of Denali Country wide Park
View of Denali National Recreation area
Ak Nature Guides
Adventure Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range identifies the topography of the state, a crescent spine that figure from the southeastern border with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and down again to the sea at 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 metres, and its two neighbors, 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 from your 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” excursions out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation being the biggest. It’s also possible to fly in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, subscribe to a glacier getting for the full effect.
This is also how climbers access the mountains. For information upon climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering resource page.
A float plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Web page
4. Stay at a boat/plane-accessed resort.
Fox Island is certainly a stop on two Kenai Fjords time cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Hotel. 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 flying day start can be found. Kayaking and angling trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the offer if you stay more than one night.
On the opposite side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Bay Lodge has an a lot 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 aspect of the larger Kachemak Bay, and the entire area features cold peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The resort is set back on a beach opposite a small headland – you can’t 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 look at.
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 well guided activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain biking, local fishing and boat trips, nature walks, and cooking classes.