Complete GuideAlaska Trip In December
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 sights from a drift plane, there is plenty 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 State 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 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 is certainly another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the rivers, trout in the lakes, and list halibut and cod out at sea.
A wildife/glacier-viewing day 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 prone 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 peaks 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 sense of the vastness of the land by going on your own backcountry trek. Denali is a good 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 on the trail, it’s good to go with a guide. Using a company like Alaska 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 its flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a walk you won’t get otherwise.
ANG is 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 well 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.
View of Denali Country wide Park
View of Denali National Park
Alaska Nature Guides
Experience Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range specifies the topography from 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 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 six, 193. 5 metres, 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 your back deck part of the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. 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” trips out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation becoming the biggest. It’s also possible to take flight in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, sign up for a glacier landing for the full effect.
This is also just how climbers access the forest. For information on climbing, check the State Park’s mountaineering source page.
A drift plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Page
4. Stay at a boat/plane-accessed villa.
Fox Island is definitely a stop on two Kenai Fjords day cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Resort. The property comprises 8 cabins (each with capacity for a family of four) lined up involving the rocky beach and the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight remains that feature a day cruise on leaving day start are available. Kayaking and fishing trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay more than one night.
On the contrary side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an a lot 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 part of the larger Kachemak Bay, and the entire 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 little headland – you can not see it until you’re almost on top of this. 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 villa building and six luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) most likely has the best watch.
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 cycling, local fishing and boat trips, nature walks, and cooking food classes.