Many of us associate the state of Alaska with snow, ice, and cold. Its winters are almost magical, like something out of a Christmas story. It is the largest state in the US, and we find it in the most northwestern part of the American continent, next to Canada.
It is known as the “last frontier” and was also the last state to join the US in 1959, covering an area of 1,718 million square kilometers. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are so many things to do and see in Alaska, especially for travelers in love with the purest nature. From here, we invite you to explore Alaska with family, friends, or in search of relaxation, and we propose ten adventures to discover a good part of its charms.
Alaska Travel Tips
Visit the largest national park in the USA.
Alaska has 17 national parks. Places of outstanding natural beauty with a wide offer, in addition to activities. And one of the most special is Wrangell-San Elías, the largest national park in the country. It is even more extensive than Costa Rica or Slovakia. Going through it involves letting yourself be enveloped by the wildest nature. And don’t forget that in Wrangell-San Elías, you will find a 20th-century mining town dedicated to the extraction of copper that still exists.
Climb the highest peak in North America
Fans of heights have another must-see: Denali National Park. Here is Mount Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley. It measures 6,190 meters of altitude and is, therefore, the highest peak in North America. This impressive landscape is also filled with tundra, spruce forests, and glaciers and is home to several wildlife species, including gray bears, wolves, elk, caribou, and Dall’s sheep.
Drive through an icy landscape
Being such a large state and traveling long distances, it is highly recommended to rent a car in Alaska. It also so happens that driving on its roads is quite an experience. They are in excellent condition and guarded by unique and impressive landscapes. In Alaska, you will find three main routes: the Glen Highway; the Seward Highway, which provides access to the glaciers; and the Alaska Marine Highway, the only one with a ferry service.
See the Northern Lights
It is undoubtedly one of the main attractions that Alaska offers. And it is that those who have seen the northern lights assure that it is a unique and unforgettable experience, a phenomenon of nature that dyes the sky with colors, green, yellow, and pink. The best place in Alaska to see it is Fairbanks, the second-largest city in the state. And the ideal time of sighting is in winter. Here travelers can search for auroras on their own or hire a tour. There are even cabins to stay and contemplate.
Visit Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska.
Another of the places that we propose is Anchorage, almost on the border. It is the largest city in Alaska and offers the traveler many things, from a great cultural offer to a unique natural environment. Here 320 kilometers of trails await you, to travel on foot or by bicycle. You can also visit icebergs, climb Spencer Glacier, or experience the thrill of dog sledding.
Explore a Glacier Paradise
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like an Eskimo, indeed in Alaska, you can do it. And perhaps the best place is Kenai Fjords, National Park. It was created in 1980 to protect some of Alaska’s most incredible and impenetrable wilderness, and it is a glacier paradise. Here you will find one of only four remaining ice fields in the US, the Harding Ice Field. Also, from here, and by road, you can reach the Exit Glacier, one of the most visited places in Alaska. Another unforgettable option is to skirt the tidal glaciers and enter the fjords to contemplate the landscape and the variety of marine animals that live in it, such as otters, lions, or seals. Of course, for this, many travelers choose to hire a cruise.
Take an Ice Cruise
As we discussed, this is another of the most demanded experiences in Alaska: plowing through frozen rivers to get closer to the glaciers. You can do it through tourist cruises or with one-day boat trips. In addition to the Kenai Fjords, these are offered in more areas, such as Glacier Bay and Prince William Sound. Do not forget to wrap up very well and have the camera battery fully charged to take as many photos as you want. These trips allow you to contemplate spectacular panoramic views.
Take on the Adventure of Whale Watching.
Alaska is also one of the best places to watch whales. And for this, we suggest you get to Juneau, the state capital. The city stands out not only for its beauty, its elegant streets, and its privileged location, facing the sea and between snow-capped mountains. Juneau is also a spectacular place to embark on a dedicated whale watching trip. Remember that the best time for this is from April to November.
Enjoy Winter Sports
If you are an athlete, you will have realized that Alaska is also the perfect setting for practicing all kinds of sports, especially winter ones. Skiing, rafting, sledding, kayaking, or canoeing are just some of the many possibilities. And don’t forget the fishing. You may be able to catch some salmon.
Taste Fresh Salmon
And you can’t finish the trip without having tasted a good salmon. Alaska is one of the last havens for wild salmon; some of the largest and healthiest populations inhabit its waters. So we urge you to give it a try. It’s a great way to end your Alaska trip with a good taste in your mouth.