Complete GuideAlaska Road Trip Essentials
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 sights from a drift plane, there is plenty 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 Highway by the national park entrance, and employees typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the quicker 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 certainly 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 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 prone to see sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, seals, sea lions, whales and maybe a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery destinations, and shoreline highs of Resurrection Gulf.
Rafting the Nenana River
Denali Raft Adventures
Kenai Fjords Tours
2. Hike with a information.
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 a great place for it — the National Park covers more than 2 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 of how long you’re on the trail, it’s good to go with a guide. Having a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you will be led with a local, someone who blazed their own trail 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 obtain otherwise.
ANG is definitely one of few businesses with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure Green Alaska system, which recognizes all of them as an industry leader in environmentally and culturally sustainable practices. They run led 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
View of Denali National Park
Alaska Nature Guides
Experience Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range identifies the topography of the state, a crescent spine that curves from the southeastern border with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and down again to the sea on the mouth of Make Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, is 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).
Getting the view is usually nice; one of the best places to do so is through the back deck area of the Talkeetna Alaskan Villa. 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 need a plane.
A handful of businesses run “flightseeing” tours out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation getting the biggest. It’s also possible to fly 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 on climbing, check the National Park’s mountaineering resource page.
A float plane in Ak
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Page
4. Stay in a boat/plane-accessed hotel.
Fox Island is certainly a stop on two Kenai Fjords day time cruises, but you can stay overnight at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Resort. 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 time cruise on leaving day start are available. Kayaking and fishing trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the offer if you stay more than one night.
On the opposing 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 aspect 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 the 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 massive 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) probably has the best view.
Rates start $1, 300 per evening 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 cycling, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and food preparation classes.