Alaska has a plethora of wilderness and cultural experiences to offer. It is home to eight of the United States’ National Parks. Understandably, it can be a bit overwhelming to plan a trip. Trying to fit in time to do everything is nearly impossible. Do you want to visit one of the diverse cities the state offers? Find spots to see moose and bears? Go whale watching? Or maybe find the best location to view the legendary sunsets? While you may not have time to do it all, there are a few things that should be on everyone’s list if they’re visiting “The Last Frontier”.
There are whale watching opportunities in many of the harbor towns of Alaska. Once you board the boat and get out onto the ocean the guide will tell you what to look for. Once you know how to spot the animals it’s common to see whales and even sea lions. On whale watching excursions you’ll be viewing these creatures with gorgeous snow-capped mountain peaks in the background.
Go dog sledding
Dog sledding is a terrific way to explore the interior of parts of Alaska. In Juneau you can even find teams who will take you on dog sled rides on the tops of glaciers! The dogs love to run and are very friendly. Mushing is in their nature and when you stop they’ll actually start to whine. After sledding you can learn about the routine of handlers and their dogs and gain insight into how they camp.
Day cruise the Kenai Fjords
The Kenai Peninsula is located in south-central Alaska and contains the Kenai Fjords National Park. It is one of the only places anywhere in the world where glaciers, mountains, and the ocean meet. There are close to 40 glaciers in the park, incredible scenery, and large amounts of sea life. Taking a cruise with one of the tour companies is an inspiring, educational experience. You will see whales, seals, sea lions, puffins, otters, and salmon. At certain times large pieces of glaciers break off, falling into the ocean. If you’re lucky you may even be able to witness this glacial calving. There are camping, bird watching, kayaking, and hiking opportunities all within the Kenai Fjords.
Drive the Denali Park Road
The Denali Park Road is closed to the public for most of the year. During the summer there are bus tours where you can ride the length of the famous Alaskan road. Along the drive there are stops to do hiking and chances to spot bears, moose, and other wildlife. Denali also contains many passes, lakes, and the Savage River. If you’d prefer to be on your time frame there are five days in September that the full road is opened to the public. Aside from the brief window in September and the bus tours Alaska uses a lottery system. The winners are allowed to explore the entirety of the dirt road and stop to explore at their own leisure. Anyone who gets lucky is rewarded with 18 hours to take in all the wonder and beauty that the Denali Park has to offer.