Complete GuideAlaska Trip In December
Here are some 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 lots 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 Country wide Park is one of the simplest places to access it. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Highway by the national park entrance, and employees typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the faster 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 provided drysuit.
Fishing is usually another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the streams, trout in the lakes, and huge 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 few different routes, from four to nine hours. You’re more likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald silver eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe even a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery island destinations, and shoreline peaks of Resurrection Bay.
Rafting the Nenana River
Denali Raft Adventures
Kenai Fjords Tours
2. Hike with a guide.
Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by folks who hiked out, found 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 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 on the trail, it’s all set with a guide. Using 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 information about the property, its history as well as flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a walk you won’t get otherwise.
ANG is definitely one of few businesses with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska program, which recognizes all of them as an industry leader in environmentally and culturally sustainable practices. They run guided hikes in Denali State Park (east of and adjacent to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, just outside of town.
Watch of Denali State Park
View of Denali National Park
Ak Nature Guides
Experience 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 boundary with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and back down 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 6, 193. 5 metres, 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 places to do so is from the back deck area of the Talkeetna Alaskan Resort. But you get a completely 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” trips out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation becoming the biggest. It’s also possible to soar in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, sign up for a glacier landing for the full effect.
This is also how climbers access the mountains. For information on climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering resource page.
A drift plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Page
4. Stay in a boat/plane-accessed hotel.
Fox Island can be a stop on two Kenai Fjords day time 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 rocky beach as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight remains that feature a day cruise on reduction day start are available. Kayaking and fishing trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the offer if you stay more than one night.
On the opposing side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an much more remote feel to it, accessed simply by water taxi in the Homer Spit or sea plane. Tutka is one of the fjords cut into the southern side of the larger Kachemak Bay, and the entire area features snowy peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The villa 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 hotel building and 6 luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) probably has the best view.
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 led activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain biking, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and cooking classes.