National Park Travel Guide: Alaska Road Trip For American ONLY Stonewall

Step By StepWhat Is The Best Alaska Trip

 

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 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 State Park is one of the simplest places to access it. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Highway by the national recreation area 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 is certainly another popular on-the-water activity. There are salmon in the streams, trout in the lakes, and creature halibut and cod out at ocean.

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 9 hours. You’re likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, seals, sea lions, whales and maybe a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery island destinations, and shoreline highs of Resurrection Bay.

 

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

2. Hike with a guideline.

Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people that hiked out, discovered a piece of ground that looked good and built a family vacation cabin on it. You can get a feeling 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 two 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. With a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you’ll be led with a local, someone who blazed their own path and made a home in the bush. Their insights about the land, its history as well as flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a walk you won’t get otherwise.

ANG is usually one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska system, which recognizes them as an industry leader in environmentally and culturally sustainable methods. They run well guided hikes in Denali State Park (east of and adjacent to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, simply outside of town.

Watch of Denali Country wide 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 down again 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 meters, and its two neighbors, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).

Getting the view is definitely nice; one of the best locations to do so is from the back deck part of the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. 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 will need a plane.

A handful of businesses run “flightseeing” travels out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation becoming 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 impact.

This is also how climbers access the forest. For information upon climbing, check the Country wide Park’s mountaineering resource page.

A float plane in Ak

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

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

Fox Island is usually a stop on two Kenai Fjords day time cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge. The property comprises eight cabins (each with capacity for a family of four) lined up between your rocky beach as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight stays that feature a day cruise on flying day start are available. Kayaking and angling trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay more than one night.

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On the opposite side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Bay Lodge has an even more remote feel to it, accessed simply by water taxi from your 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 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 substantial 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) probably has the best look at.

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Rates start $1, 300 per night time and include three chef-prepared meals a day, a one-hour massage, wine tastings, yoga, and pretty much any well guided 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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