Step By StepAlaska Birding Trip
Here are some 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 drift plane, there is plenty 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 National Park is one of the easiest places to access it. The north-flowing, glacier-fed Nenana River parallels the Parks Highway by the national park entrance, and providers 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 can be another popular on-the-water activity. There are salmon in the streams, trout in the lakes, and huge halibut and cod out at sea.
A wildife/glacier-viewing day time cruise out of Seward is also enjoyable. The Alaska Native-owned Kenai Fjords Tours offers a number of different routes, from four to 9 hours. You’re very likely to see sea otters, puffins, bald silver eagles, seals, sea elephants, whales and maybe a bear, along with the calving glaciers, rookery island 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 vacation cabin 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 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 for the trail, it’s all set with a guide. With a company like Ak Nature Guides, you’ll be led with a local, someone who blazed their own trail and made a home in the bush. Their insights about the property, its history and it is flora and fauna will add layers of meaning to a hike you won’t obtain otherwise.
ANG is certainly one of few companies with Gold Level Certification in the Adventure Green Alaska system, 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 next to the National Park), as well as around Talkeetna Lakes Park, simply outside of town.
Look at of Denali State Park
View of Denali National Recreation area
Ak 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 figure from the southeastern border with Canada, up to just south of Fairbanks, and back down to the sea in the mouth of Cook Inlet. The section most people know and visit, though, is the area surrounding Denali, North America’s highest peak at 6, 193. 5 metres, and its two neighbors, Foraker (5, 303. 5 meters) and Hunter (4, 256. 5 meters).
Catching the view is certainly nice; one of the best locations to do so is through the back deck part of the Talkeetna Alaskan Hotel. 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 businesses run “flightseeing” excursions out of Talkeetna, K2 Aviation getting the biggest. It’s also possible to take flight in from the Denali area. Whoever you fly with, sign up for a glacier landing for the full impact.
This is also just how climbers access the mountains. For information on climbing, check the Country wide Park’s mountaineering source page.
A drift plane in Ak
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Denali National Recreation area Mountaineering Resource Page
4. Stay at a boat/plane-accessed hotel.
Fox Island is usually 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 day cruise on reduction day start can be found. Kayaking and fishing trips are available at extra cost for overnighters; they’re part of the offer if you stay several night.
On the opposite side of the Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Gulf Lodge has an even more remote feel to it, accessed by water taxi from your 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 arctic peaks and Sitka spruce-covered ridges that run right into the ocean. The resort 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) most likely has the best watch.
Rates start $1, 300 per night 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 bicycling, local fishing and boat trips, character walks, and cooking classes.