National Park Travel Guide: National State Parks Alaska For Olympia

Step By StepGlobus Alaska Trip

 

Here 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 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 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 workers typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the quicker 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 can be another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the rivers, trout in the lakes, and creature halibut and cod out at ocean.

A wildife/glacier-viewing day time cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Alaska Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers a couple of different routes, from four to nine hours. You’re very likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald silver eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe even 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 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 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 pertaining to shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.

Regardless how long you’re around the trail, it’s all set with a guide. With a company like Ak Nature Guides, you will be led with a local, someone who blazed their own trek and made a home in the bush. Their ideas 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 certainly one of few businesses with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska plan, which recognizes them as an industry innovator in environmentally and culturally sustainable practices. They run led hikes in Denali State Park (east of and next to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, just 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 defines the topography of 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 at the mouth of Cook Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, is the area surrounding Denali, North America’s tallest peak at six, 193. 5 metres, and its two neighbors, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).

Catching the view is nice; one of the best places to do so is from your 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 businesses run “flightseeing” excursions out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation being the biggest. It’s also possible to take flight in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, sign up for a glacier getting for the full effect.

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

A float plane in Ak

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

4. Stay in 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 8 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 departure day start are available. Kayaking and angling 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 opposite side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an much more remote feel to it, accessed simply by water taxi through the 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 villa is set back on the 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 massive central deck (with hot tub and sauna), and pathways that connect the main hotel building and 6 luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) probably 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, wine 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 cooking food classes.

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