Step By Step With Pic:Top National Parks Alaska
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 float 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 simplest places to access this. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Road by the national park 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 is certainly another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the rivers, trout in the lakes, and monster halibut and cod out at sea.
A wildife/glacier-viewing day cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Alaska Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers a number of different routes, from four to nine hours. You’re likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery islands, 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 people who hiked out, found a piece of ground that looked good and built a family log cabin 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 2 million hectares and has relatively few established trails. You will find endless opportunities for 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. With a company like Alaska Nature Guides, you will be led with a local, someone who blazed their own path and made a home in the bush. Their observations about the land, its history and its flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a hike you won’t obtain otherwise.
ANG is usually one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure Green Alaska plan, which recognizes them as an industry leader 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 State Park
View of Denali National Park
Alaska Nature Guides
Adventure Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range describes the topography from 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 Cook 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).
Getting the view is definitely nice; one of the best areas to do so is through the back deck part 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 will need a plane.
A handful of companies 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, sign up for a glacier getting for the full impact.
This is also how climbers access the mountains. For information upon climbing, check the Country wide Park’s mountaineering useful resource page.
A drift plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Recreation area Mountaineering Resource 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 Hotel. The property comprises eight cabins (each with capacity for a family of four) lined up between the rocky beach and the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight stays that feature a day time cruise on reduction day start are available. Kayaking and fishing trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay more than one night.
On the opposing side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an much more remote feel to it, accessed simply by water taxi from your 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 resort is set back on a beach opposite a little 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 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) most likely 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 led activity you can think of – kayaking, hiking to glaciers, mountain cycling, local fishing and boat trips, nature walks, and food preparation classes.