Alaska, also known as “The Last Frontier”, is the largest state in the union. With over 600 million square miles, it’s also an ideal destination for outdoor activities. Here’s a list of 5 places to visit, and what to do, in different regions of this great state.
South Central is the most populated area in the state, and is a great place to start your Alaskan adventure. It’s also where you’ll find most of the fishing lodges in Alaska. A highlight of the region is it’s convenient road network, which enables travelers to get around easily and independently. Our pick here is Flattop Mountain.
Located in Church State Park near Anchorage, Flattop Mountain is a 1 1/2 mile hike featuring a well maintained trail, and a bit of a climb near the end. The payoff is the breathtaking 360 degree view of the surrounding area, which includes mountains, green fields, and water. It’s the most popular mountain hike in the state, and a solid choice for newcomers to Alaska. The difficulty level is medium, so set aside a couple hours and take in the sights as you ascend. Visit this place to get wowed by the expansive landscapes that can only be found in Alaska.
Southeast Alaska is characterized by its coastal towns, wildlife, temperate rainforests, and fishing opportunities. It’s also known for its glaciers, which are a “must see” when coming to the state. These frozen giants are an impressive sight, and there’s no place better than Alaska to see one. Our pick is Mendenhall Glacier.
Twelve miles from Juneau, on the Coast Range, is Mendenhall Glacier. We chose this glacier because of all the different ways you can experience it. For starters, you can view it from the park’s visitor center, without having to work up a sweat. You can also make a day of it by hiking the park trails, or kayaking across Mendenhall Lake to reach the glacier. Once there, you can explore icy caves, and even walk atop the glacier. However you choose to enjoy it, you’ll leave with great memories and photos to last!
Alaska’s interior is characterized by mountainous terrain and is filled with natural life. The heartland presents a unique opportunity for travelers interested in experiencing the wild. Few places are better for hiking and exploring than the interior. For these reasons, our pick is Denali National Park and Preserve.
Denali National Park
The park is located on Denali, the tallest land-based mountain. It’s a one stop destination for taking in natural wonders of all kinds. There’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the park: Hike, snowmobile, and take part in park sponsored activities like wildlife tours and guided hikes. Denali is the perfect place to view quintessential Alaskan animals such as bear, moose, and caribou, which can be seen from the park’s touring bus. Whether you want to hike mountains, or simply see the sights, you’ll be able to visit the park year round and experience Alaska’s nature up close.
The Alaskan Tundra is a vast landscape distinguished by flat, cold, fields. It’s hardly populated, as the climate is not the most livable. The nights are long and cold, but if you choose to venture in, you’ll have a one of a kind trip. Our pick is the Northern Lights.
Seen best from Fairbanks in winter, Aurora Borealis is a display of light caused by particles from the sun that come into contact with our planet’s protective field. The result is bands of green and purple lights that dance across the sky. These auroras can be seen from the Earth’s poles, and the Alaskan tundra falls in the viewing area. Head to Fairbanks to have a good chance of seeing this marvel of science that not many people get to experience in a lifetime!
The Aleutian Islands are a volcanic chain on the south west of Alaska. These mountainous islands are made up of rocky shores, green gorges, and are surrounded by blue waters. Come to the Aleutians to see the island side of Alaska. Our pick is whale watching.
Let’s spot some whales in Unalaska! Whale watching on the islands is a great reason to come to Alaska. Visit during the spring and summer months to view Gray whales, Orcas, and Humpback whales. The whales are on their migration path, and take advantage of Alaska’s favorable conditions for feeding. Travelers say they never forget their first whale, so make the trip to see one.
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