Hiking in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska, USA
Hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, rafting and fishing. With too many amazing tours, trails and routes to list and most tourist towns surrounded by mountains and water Alaska is really an activity paradise. Apart from those little devil mosquitoes and some quite steep bits!
Anchorage is easy to fly into and has a lively winter culture program including mad competitions in February and March such as the Fur Rendezvous and Iditarod dog-sled racing, as well as good access to lake skating, dog sledding tours and training, downhill skiing and cross-country skiing. Not to mention eco-nasty but nice snowmobiles.
Dog-sledding tours in an Alaskan winter.
- Ketchikan, totem poles in the Tlingit homeland at the Heritage Center, the Totem Bight Park and Saxman Native Village Totem Park.
- Sitka, fine Tlingit totem poles and native art as well as plenty of outdoor activities.
- Anchorage, Alaska Native Heritage Center, a museum celebrating native culture with exhibits as well as live shows, dance, music and meetings.
- Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, another lively native display and meeting place.
A Tlingit tribal totem pole in Ketchikan, Southeast Alaska.
Rail Travel: The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad is popular narrow-gauge vintage tourist train that heads up the steep slope built originally by Klondike gold prospectors. Or there's the magnificent Alaska Railroad that struggles across the Chugach Mountains.
White Pass and Yukon Route Railway from Skagway, steep and scenic.
A sizeable cruise ship on Prince William Sound, South Alaska, east of the Kenai Peninsula. The Sound is ringed by the Chugach Mountains and offers endless views of islands, fjords and glaciers.
The Best Months are June-August though the season runs from May to September. Remember that glaciers have their own micro-climate so there are no sunshine guarantees, even if port area weather is fine.
Cruises generally run for either 7 days or 14 days and leave mainly from Vancouver in Canada or Seattle in USA, though San Fransisco and Los Angeles are used from time to time.
Shore activities include guided glacier walking, dog sledding, train rides (especially the White Pass and Yukon Railroad, see photo above) and kayaking. Pricey flights by helicopter and float planes are also usually offered but beware changeable weather conditions near glaciers.
Adventure Life offer 9 different Alaska Cruises:
Wildlife sightings seem limitless and the landscape is as wild as the animals that roam the region. Discover isolated inlets only accessible by sea – zodiacs and kayaks will take you through a labyrinth of glaciers, icebergs, fjords and rivers.
A cruise of Alaska includes trips to the famous Prince William Sound, Glacier Bay, Point Adolphus and Denali Park where travelers enjoy activities such as river rafting, horseback riding and hiking in the shadow of Mount McKinley. May to September only!
A breaching humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, named after the typical hump that precedes a dive. Chatham Strait near Admiralty Island, South-East Alaska.
Lion Head Rock and Chugach Mountains, Glenn Highway, South-Central Alaska. Click see Alaskan wildlife.
Alaska offers stunning views for sit-on-your-butt and drive tourists as well as activity types. Panoramas pop up just about everywhere but the stretch around the Seward Highway and Alaska Railroad as they struggle across the Chugach Mountains are particularly memorable.