The Ultimate Guide ToAlaska Trip Packing List
Below 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 float 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 State Park is one of the easiest places to access it. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Freeway by the national park entrance, and employees typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the faster 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 provided 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 a couple of different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re very likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe even a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery destinations, and shoreline peaks of Resurrection Gulf.
Rafting the Nenana River
Denali Raft Adventures
Kenai Fjords Tours
2. Hike with a information.
Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people that 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 from 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. There are endless opportunities pertaining to shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.
Regardless how long you’re within the trail, it’s good to go 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 observations about the property, its history and it is flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a rise you won’t obtain otherwise.
ANG can be one of few businesses with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure Green Alaska program, which recognizes them as an industry head in environmentally and culturally sustainable methods. They run guided hikes in Denali State Park (east of and next to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, simply outside of town.
View of Denali State Park
View of Denali National Recreation area
Alaska Nature Guides
Adventure Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range identifies the topography from 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 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).
Catching the view is certainly nice; one of the best locations to do so is from the back deck area 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 need a plane.
A handful of businesses run “flightseeing” excursions out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation being the biggest. It’s also possible to soar in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, subscribe to a glacier landing for the full effect.
This is also how climbers access the mountains. For information upon climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering reference page.
A drift plane in Ak
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Page
4. Stay at a boat/plane-accessed resort.
Fox Island is usually a stop on two Kenai Fjords day time 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 the rocky beach as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight remains 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 deal if you stay more than one night.
On the opposite side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an even 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 wintry peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The hotel is set back on a beach opposite a small 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 massive central deck (with hot tub and sauna), and pathways that connect the main resort building and six luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) most likely has the best view.
Rates start $1, 300 per evening 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 biking, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and cooking classes.