The Ultimate Guide ToAlaska National Parks By Size
Here 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 float 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 easiest places to access it. 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 3 and IV rapids. You can raft the Canyon with Denali Raft Adventures ($89, 2 hours) — you’ll appreciate the supplied drysuit.
Fishing is another popular on-the-water activity. There are salmon in the streams, trout in the lakes, and monster halibut and cod out at sea.
A wildife/glacier-viewing time cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Ak Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers some different routes, from four to 9 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 destinations, and shoreline highs of Resurrection Bay.
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, discovered a piece of ground that looked good and built a family vacation cabin on it. You can get a sense of the vastness of the land by taking place 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. There are endless opportunities to get shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.
Regardless of how long you’re in the trail, it’s all set 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 flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a hike you won’t get otherwise.
ANG is certainly one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska system, which recognizes all of them as an industry leader in environmentally and culturally sustainable practices. 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.
Look at of Denali National Park
View of Denali National Park
Alaska Nature Guides
Experience Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range describes the topography from the state, a crescent spine that figure from the southeastern border with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and down again to the sea at 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 meters, and its two neighbours, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Catching the view is certainly nice; one of the best areas to do so is from your back deck area 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 need a plane.
A handful of companies run “flightseeing” trips out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation becoming the biggest. It’s also possible to travel in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, subscribe to a glacier getting for the full impact.
This is also just how climbers access the forest. For information on climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering resource page.
A drift plane in Ak
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
K2 Modern aviation
Denali National Recreation area Mountaineering Resource Web page
4. Stay in a boat/plane-accessed resort.
Fox Island is certainly a stop on two Kenai Fjords day cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Villa. 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 remains that feature a day time cruise on starting day start are available. Kayaking and angling trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay several night.
On the opposing side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an even more remote feel to it, accessed 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 villa is set back on a 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.
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 led activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain biking, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and cooking classes.