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The Ultimate Guide ToAlaska Trip To Denali

 

Below 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 views 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 condition 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 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 another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the rivers, 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 Ak Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers some different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re more likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald silver eagles, seals, sea lions, whales and maybe even a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery islands, and shoreline peaks of Resurrection Bay.

 

Rafting the Nenana River
Flickr/Katie Loehr
More information
Denali Raft Adventures
Kenai Fjords Tours

2. Hike with a guide.

Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people who 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 from the land by going on your own backcountry trek. Denali is a great place for it – the National Park covers more than 2 million hectares and has relatively few established trails. You will find endless opportunities to get shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.

Regardless of how long you’re around the trail, it’s all set with a guide. Having a company like Ak Nature Guides, you’ll be led by a local, someone who blazed their own path and made a home in the bush. Their ideas about the property, its history as well as flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a walk you won’t obtain otherwise.

ANG is one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska system, which recognizes all of them as an industry head 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, simply outside of town.

Watch of Denali National Park
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View of Denali National Park
Flickr/Blmiers2
More information
Alaska Nature Guides
Experience 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 in the mouth of Make 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 neighbors, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).

Catching the view can be nice; one of the best locations to do so is through 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 companies run “flightseeing” tours out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation getting the biggest. It’s also possible to take flight 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 on climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering source page.

A drift plane in Alaska

Flickr/RLevans
More information
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
K2 Aviation
Denali National Recreation area Mountaineering Resource Page

4. Stay at a boat/plane-accessed lodge.

Fox Island can be a stop on two Kenai Fjords time cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Villa. The property comprises eight cabins (each with capacity for a family of four) lined up involving the rocky beach as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight remains that feature a day time cruise on departure day start are available. Kayaking and fishing trips are available at extra cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay several night.

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On the opposing side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an much more remote feel to it, accessed simply by water taxi from 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 snowy peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The lodge 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 substantial 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 watch.

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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 bicycling, local fishing and boat trips, nature walks, and food preparation classes.

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