Alaska is vast. It is about half the size of the contiguous United States. It’s difficult to cover all the ground in a single trip based on this alone. Alaska is the type of place that requires several visits to appreciate. Its large size is enough beauty.
The majority of the state is uninhabited, making for fantastic outdoor adventure. Most visitors discover that, while cities are always unique and interesting in their own right, they are best used as base camps for exploring the wilds beyond. There’s a lot to learn about the 49th state’s history, as well as plenty of one-of-a-kind experiences.
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1. Denali National Park
Denali is home to the tallest peak in the United States. Though the ancient name for this 20-foot-high mountain was Denali, modern explorers named it Mount McKinley, which is a contentious issue among locals. Whatever you call it, it is by over six million acres of tundra, alpine ranges, glaciers, and river valleys. put, it’s amazing.
The national park, located roughly halfway between Fairbanks and Anchorage, is home to reindeer, wolves, elk, grizzlies, and 200 bird species. Take advantage of the park’s sled dog kennels. They show how the huskies work together to pull sleds over long distances.
2. Tracy Arm Fjord
If you’ve ever considered an Alaskan cruise, you’ll almost stop at Tracy Arm. This fjord is south of Juneau in Tongass National Forest and is by stunning glaciers. View waterfalls cascading over rock faces, glaciers calving, and the icebergs that result. The twin Sawyer Glaciers serve as the welcoming committee for this natural wonder.
There’s a good chance you’ll see moose and brown bear on land, as well as seals and whales in the water. If you like what you see, you should also visit Prince William Sound in Anchorage.
3. Mendenhall Glacier
The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Centre is the best place to take in all this grandeur. Park rangers will explain the natural history of the incredible views surrounding you at the top of the observatory. The visitor’s centre features a fantastic film as well as cutting-edge exhibits. Don’t forget to stop by the Alaska Geographic bookstore.
If you want to go exploring, there are several trails of varying lengths that will take you to waterfalls, salmon streams, black bears, bald eagles, moss-covered rainforests, and other sights. Counting the icebergs as you walk is a fun way to pass the time. From the water, kayakers and rafters have an even better view.
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4. The Anan Wildlife Observatory
The Anan Wildlife Observatory is thirty miles from Wrangell. The largest run of pink salmon in Alaska can be there. Even if you’re not an angler, you should go because the large population of salmon in the area supports the large population of black and brown bears. There is a covered viewing shelter, a photo blind, and even an outhouse at the observatory.
5. Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area
A float plane ride is a fantastic Alaskan experience. Why not take one to Tongass National Park’s Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area? This is a rugged and natural environment, about 30 minutes by plane.
There are no facilities and no cell phone service, which adds to the adventure of observing these amazing animals. Prepare to get a little dirty on the Tlingit-named island of Kootznoowoo. You’ll enjoy every minute of this outdoor adventure because it’s home to over 1,500 bears (more than the other 49 states combined).
6. Kenai Peninsula National Forest
This is without a doubt the best sightseeing Alaska has to offer. That is quite a compliment. Visit the Kenai Fjords, the Harding Ice Field, the Exit Glacier, and the Alaska Railroad. Sea lions, otters, and even migrating whales can be along the forest’s coastline at Resurrection Bay.
The native Alutiiq peoples have relied on the area for generations due to its large bear population. Take a boat tour, or kayak, or go on a ranger-led walking tour while you’re there. Make Anchorage your home base and plan to stay for several days.
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