Step By StepAlaska Trip Packing
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 lots of adventure to be found in Alaska. Take a look at some of them here.
1 . Can get on the water.
The state is full of whitewater, and Denali Country wide Park is one of the simplest places to access this. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Freeway by the national recreation area entrance, and employees typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the quicker Canyon Run, including 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 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 a few different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re more likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald silver eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe 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 guideline.
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 feeling of the vastness of the land by taking place your own backcountry trek. Denali is an excellent place for it – the National Recreation area covers more than 2 million hectares and has relatively few established trails. You will find endless opportunities for shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.
Regardless of how long you’re for the trail, it’s all set 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 information about the property, 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 Adventure Green Alaska plan, which recognizes all of them as an industry leader in environmentally and culturally sustainable practices. They run well 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.
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 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 on the mouth of Cook Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, is 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 can be nice; one of the best areas to do so is from the back deck part of the Talkeetna Alaskan Hotel. 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 companies run “flightseeing” excursions out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation being the biggest. It’s also possible to take flight in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, subscribe to a glacier getting for the full impact.
This is also how climbers access the mountains. For information upon climbing, check the Country wide Park’s mountaineering source page.
A float 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 time cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge. 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 day cruise on departure day start are available. Kayaking and angling trips are available at extra cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay more than one night.
On the reverse 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 aspect of the larger Kachemak Bay, and the whole area features cold 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 it. 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 lodge building and six luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) probably has the best watch.
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 led activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain cycling, local fishing and boat trips, nature walks, and cooking classes.