The Ultimate Guide ToNational Parks In Alaska
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 drift plane, there is lots 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 Country wide Park is one of the easiest places to access it. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Freeway by the national recreation area entrance, and providers typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the faster Canyon Run, which includes several class III and IV rapids. You can raft the Canyon with Denali Raft Adventures ($89, 2 hours) – you’ll appreciate the supplied drysuit.
Fishing is certainly another popular on-the-water activity. There are salmon in the rivers, trout in the lakes, and huge halibut and cod out at ocean.
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 nine hours. You’re very 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
Denali Raft Adventures
Kenai Fjords Tours
2. Hike with a guidebook.
Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people that hiked out, discovered a piece of ground that looked good and built a family cabin 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 two million hectares and has relatively few established trails. There are endless opportunities for shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.
Regardless how long you’re in the trail, it’s all set with a guide. Using 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 property, its history as well as flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a walk you won’t obtain otherwise.
ANG is usually one of few businesses with Gold Level Certification in the experience 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, just outside of town.
Look at of Denali Country wide Park
View of Denali National Park
Ak 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 border with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and back down to the sea on the mouth of Make Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, may be the area surrounding Denali, North America’s tallest peak at six, 193. 5 metres, and its two neighbours, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Getting the view is usually nice; one of the best locations to do so is from the back deck area 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 need a plane.
A handful of businesses run “flightseeing” tours out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation becoming the biggest. It’s also possible to soar 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 forest. For information upon climbing, check the Country wide Park’s mountaineering source page.
A float plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
K2 Modern aviation
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Web page
4. Stay in a boat/plane-accessed lodge.
Fox Island is usually 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 between your rocky beach and the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight stays that feature a day time cruise on departure day start can be found. Kayaking and angling trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the offer if you stay several night.
On the reverse side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an even more remote feel to it, accessed by water taxi in 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 arctic peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The lodge is set back on a beach opposite a little 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 6 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, wines tastings, yoga, and pretty much any guided activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain bicycling, local fishing and boat trips, nature walks, and food preparation classes.