National Park Travel Guide: National Parks Fairbanks Alaska For You Gleason

The Ultimate Guide ToAlaska Surf Trip

 

Here are some 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 . 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 Motorway by the national recreation area entrance, and providers typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the faster Canyon Run, including 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 can be another popular on-the-water activity. There are salmon in the rivers, 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 more 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 peaks of Resurrection Gulf.

 

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 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 from the land by taking place your own backcountry trek. Denali is an excellent place for it – the National Park covers more than two million hectares and has relatively few established trails. You will find endless opportunities meant for shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.

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

ANG is certainly one of few companies 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 guided hikes in Denali State Park (east of and adjacent to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, just outside of town.

Look at of Denali Country wide Park
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View of Denali National Park
Flickr/Blmiers2
More information
Ak 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 boundary with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and back down to the sea in the mouth of Cook Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, may be the area surrounding Denali, North America’s tallest 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 usually nice; one of the best places to do so is through the back deck part of the Talkeetna Alaskan Villa. 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 businesses run “flightseeing” excursions out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation being the biggest. It’s also possible to travel in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, sign up for a glacier landing for the full impact.

This is also how climbers access the mountains. For information on climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering resource page.

A float plane in Ak

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

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

Fox Island can be a stop on two Kenai Fjords time 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 between your rocky beach and the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight stays that feature a day time cruise on flying day start can be found. Kayaking and fishing trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the offer if you stay more than one 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 by water taxi in 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 arctic peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The villa is set back on the 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 substantial central deck (with hot tub and sauna), and pathways that connect the main villa building and 6 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 night time and include three chef-prepared meals a day, a one-hour massage, wines 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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