Complete Review:Alaska Road Trip Essentials
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 views from a drift plane, there is plenty 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 National Park is one of the easiest places to access it. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Freeway by the national park entrance, and employees 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 is definitely another popular on-the-water activity. There are trout in the streams, trout in the lakes, and huge 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 number of different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald 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 guidebook.
Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by folks who hiked out, discovered a piece of ground that looked good and built a family log cabin on it. You can get a feeling of the vastness from the land by going on your own backcountry trek. Denali is a good place for it — the National Recreation area covers more than 2 million hectares and has relatively few established trails. There are endless opportunities meant for shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.
Regardless of how long you’re for the trail, it’s good to go with a guide. With a company like Ak Nature Guides, you will be led by a local, someone who blazed their own trail and made a home in the bush. Their ideas about the property, its history and its particular flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a hike you won’t obtain otherwise.
ANG is usually one of few businesses with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure Green Alaska program, which recognizes them as an industry leader in environmentally and culturally sustainable methods. They run well 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 State Park
View of Denali National Recreation area
Alaska Nature Guides
Adventure Green Alaska
3. Fly to the mountains; climb if you can.
The Alaska Range describes 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, may be the area surrounding Denali, North America’s tallest peak at 6, 193. 5 metres, and its two neighbours, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Catching the view can be nice; one of the best places to do so is from 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 need a plane.
A handful of companies run “flightseeing” excursions 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 Country wide Park’s mountaineering reference page.
A float plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Page
4. Stay at a boat/plane-accessed resort.
Fox Island is certainly a stop on two Kenai Fjords day time 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 rocky beach and the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight stays that feature a time cruise on starting 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.
On the contrary side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an much more remote feel to it, accessed simply 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 whole area features cold peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The hotel 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) probably has the best watch.
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, character walks, and cooking food classes.