Step By StepNational Parks Near 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 lots of adventure to be found in Alaska. Take a look at a few 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 Road by the national park entrance, and providers typically run two trips on it: the mellow, scenic McKinley Run, and the quicker Canyon Run, which includes 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 rivers, trout in the lakes, and creature 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 a few different routes, from four to nine hours. You’re prone to see sea otters, puffins, bald silver eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe even a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery destinations, and shoreline peaks of Resurrection Gulf.
Rafting the Nenana River
Denali Raft Adventures
Kenai Fjords Tours
2. Hike with a guideline.
Alaska is a land of backcountry, settled by people that hiked out, discovered 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 a good place for it – the National Recreation area covers more than two million hectares and has relatively few established trails. You will find endless opportunities meant for shorter hikes in southcentral and interior Alaska as well.
Regardless how long you’re within the trail, it’s good to go with a guide. Using a company like Ak Nature Guides, you’ll 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 obtain otherwise.
ANG is definitely one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the experience Green Alaska system, which recognizes 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, just outside of town.
View of Denali National 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 defines 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 on the mouth of Cook Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, may be the area surrounding Denali, North America’s highest 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 definitely nice; one of the best areas to do so is from the back deck area of the Talkeetna Alaskan Resort. 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 becoming the biggest. It’s also possible to fly in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, sign up for a glacier landing for the full effect.
This is also how climbers access the forest. For information upon climbing, check the State Park’s mountaineering resource page.
A drift plane in Alaska
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
K2 Modern aviation
Denali National Park Mountaineering Resource Web page
4. Stay at 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 as well as the back tidal lagoon. Package overnight remains that feature a time cruise on leaving day start are available. Kayaking and angling trips are available at additional cost for overnighters; they’re part of the deal if you stay more than one night.
On the opposite side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an a lot more remote feel to it, accessed 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 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 not see it until you’re almost on top of it. But once you’re there it’s quite expansive, with a substantial central deck (with hot tub and sauna), and pathways that connect the main lodge building and 6 luxury cabins of varying size. The Eagle’s Nest Chalet (sleeps five) most likely has the best watch.
Rates start $1, 300 per night 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 biking, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and food preparation classes.