It seems that everything in nature is larger in Alaska. The icy state features national parks with a huge expanse of land, tall and wide glaciers floating on the frigid sea, as well as creatures that seem to be bigger than the regular kind. Such qualities make this northwestern state bordering Canada one of the best outdoor destinations in North America. Travellers exploring to see its countryside can enjoy various activities such as hiking through the largest national forest, climbing the tallest mountain, and checking out some of the most picturesque natural sights in the country.
Alaska's location in the far north also makes the region experience winters seem like one long night while the summers appear to be one long day. This phenomenon can make one feel disoriented, but this will not last long due to the beauty of the local area. Those looking for adventure will find a lot to remember fondly here; from a ride in a bush plane to looking out for grey wolves, musk oxen, and bears in the mountains or the sight of the humpback whale's tail by the sea.
What to see & do
Travellers checking out the beauty of the Alaskan countryside will find plenty to like about it. One is Denali National Park, which encompasses Mt McKinley, the highest mountain in the United States. Backpackers going here will be treated to the sight of more than 6 million acres of river valleys, high alpine ranges, and other various stunning landscapes. Those exploring here will also find grizzly bears, reindeer, elk, and more than 160 bird species. Another highlight to be enjoyed here is the Sled Dog Kennels, where one can frolic along with energetic huskies.
From here, one can go on to Wrangell-St Elias National Park, where one can set their eyes on mountains that rank among the highest in the country. This sprawling part of the region also contains glaciers and lakes that offer adventures for hikers, climbers, and water sports enthusiasts. Those who want to combine active pursuits with culture appreciation can then venture to Klondike Gold Rush National Park where one will see restored buildings in the Skagway historic district, which harks back to the gold rush in the late 1890s. After going on a sightseeing tour, tourists can move on to trudge their way to the Chilkoot Trail.
The icy parts of the country should also be part of the itinerary. There is Tracy Arm Fjord, located south of Juneau, where icebergs float by. It lies within the boundaries of Tongass National Forest where one can find various wildlife living there. The twin Sawyer glaciers are also part of the scenery which glows a bluish colour, depending on the reflection cast by the water. Travellers on a boat should also watch out for the sight of humpback whale, which frequently swim by the area. Those who want to see more glaciers can go on to the Kenai Fjords National Park where the Harding Icefield offers a panorama of various mountains of ice. One must take in going here, however, due to the large brown bears going around in the area during summer.
How to get around
Despite its large size, public transportation in Alaska is relatively convenient. The bus network links all the main towns in Alaska, which allows travellers to take in the landscape. The scenic route, however, is on Alaska Highway, which runs from Dawson Creek in British Columbia through the Yukon Territory and then to Fairbanks. Trains also make a good option at the Alaska Railroad, which transports passengers between Anchorage to Seward, Denali, and Fairbanks.
Cruising also makes a good alternative to flying to various domestic airports scattered across the region. The Alaska Marine Highway connects towns across Southeast Alaska and other surrounding areas. Other ways of reaching preferred destinations include renting a car. Commuting this way can let one explore remote places without relying too much on public transport.
How to get there
Travellers going to visit Alaska can book connecting regular and seasonal flights to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Airlines serving here include Air Canada Rouge, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Condor, Delta Air Lines, Ravn Alaska, Grant Aviation, Icelandair, JetBlue Airways, PenAir, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and Yakutia Airlines.