The one truly wild state left in America, Alaska beckons adventurers from all around the globe. The scenery is simply breathtaking, with wide-open expanses of wilderness, stunning mountainscapes, and wildlife at nearly every turn. Sightseeing through the cities and villages is one way to experience Alaska - and a great one at that. There is a way to fully immerse yourself in the unique culture of the state, though, and that is with these five great Alaskan adventures.
1. Dog sled through the backcountry
Dog sledding is one of the great sports of the north, and no trip to Alaska is complete without setting out on a sled of your own. A knowledgeable guide escorts you through the rugged landscape, allowing you to experience lesser-seen parts of the state. In addition to setting out on a sled course, you can enhance the experience by visiting the sled dog kennels.
2. Chase the Aurora Borealis
One of the most coveted sights in all the world can be yours to behold in Alaska: the Aurora Borealis. While the northern lights can be seen sporadically throughout the year, their frequency and intensity amplify in March and September each year. Fairbanks is a known hotspot for viewing, and the further north you go, the better your chances are of spotting nature’s most colorful display. There are even resort villages that offer relaxation and beautiful surroundings by day and long nights spent chasing the colorful sky.
3. Observe bears in Redoubt Bay
It is no secret that the bear population in Alaska is plentiful yet visiting tourist hotspots is not likely to yield bear sightings. For an insightful and exhilarating bear experience, one of the best places to go is Redoubt Bay. This region encompasses 171,000 acres of protected lands - lands that are home to both black and brown bears, thanks to the bountiful salmon population in the Big River Lakes that surround. Embarking on this excursion means boarding one of Alaska’s most iconic forms of transportation, a float plane, in Anchorage and flying 70 miles south to the location. By land and water, marvel at the opportunity to observe these powerful creatures in their natural environment.
4. Travel the length of Denali Park Road
One of Alaska’s greatest adventures, Denali National Park is home to 6 million acres of unspoiled Alaskan wilderness. Here, visitors can gaze upon North America’s tallest peak, the Denali; bask in the rugged beauty of the tundra landscape and experience the true meaning of “the serenity of nature.” There is no better way to do just this than with a full-day backcountry tour through the park. This journey follows the entire length of Denali Park Road - the only road in Denali National Park - and offers impeccable views and even better information. As the tour winds down this 92-mile restricted roadway, enjoy captivating commentary, scenic outlooks and points of interest, and help spotting some of the park’s various animals.
5. Cruise through the Inside Passage
Arguably one of the most impressive stretches of water in all of the north, Alaska’s Inside Passage is a favorite destination of Alaskan cruises and water lovers. This scenic section of the sea takes travelers between the popular cities of Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan and allows time to soak in marine scenes that impress even the most well-versed cruiser. Enjoy glaciers and coastal forests, and set your sights on small seaside villages. One of the highlights of cruising through the Inside Passage is watching as orcas, whales and sea otters splash about in the water as seabirds fly overhead.
These five excursions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to great Alaskan adventures. Pick and choose the offerings that are most important to you for your next trip, or select one of a pre-planned itinerary that puts all the best offerings at your fingertips, such as Aurora Viewing at Chena Hot Springs, Highlights of Kenai Fjords & Denali Backcountry Delights or Alaska Circle Tour Rail & Car. Experience Alaska your way with Canada à la Carte.