How to Travel in Alaska
Alaska remains one of the last natural frontiers in the world with its pristine beauty and abundant wildlife, so there is no surprise that people are visiting. Alaska is vast and there is so much to do there, so precise planning is need for such a trip.
Take a look at our tips and suggestions to get you started on your once-in-a-lifetime adventure:
1. Places to Visit
Most people have about 2-3 weeks devoted to Alaska and that is sufficient time to visit all regions. Some tourists prefer to devote this time to two or three areas and explore them more in depth. The most ideal situation is to have a couple of months, but very few people can afford that.
Many visitors fly to Achorage and visit Kenai Peninsula, Denali National Park, Prince William Sound, and Wrangell-St Elias National Park from there.
If you prefer to take a cruise along the beautiful Inside Passage, you will most likely take a round trip from Vancouver or Seattle. Another option for experiencing the water and coastline is to fly to the remote capital Juneau and take whale-watching or glacier viewing trips.
Anchorage itself has some wonderful things to see, including museums and old breweries besides nature.
Alaska is a place to be for all kinds of outdoor activities, from hiking to kayaking, and everything in between. Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the best places to explore glacial landscape.
Seward is right by Exit Glacier, so plan to see it and hike on it. Resurrection Bay is another place close to Seward where kayaks and all kinds of marine life are more prevalent than people.
Homer, Whittier, and Valdez are the key points for kayaking adventures around the Sound. If you are in Valdez, don’t skip a Columbia Glacier day trip – it is something you will never experience anywhere else.
Alaska hosts 24 national parks, so hiking and wildlife watching opportunities are plentiful, but consider a flightseeing tour to top off your experience. You will fly high above Wrangell-St Elias national park and will count the $150 as the best spent money in your life. You can also walk on the glacier in Denali national park or enjoy some ice climbing on the Root Glacier.
Alaska is teeming with wildlife, but you will have to do some searching. Capturing that classic image of brown bears catching salmon by a waterfall is everybody’s dream. The Kenai Peninsula is one of the best spots for observing the bears by Hidden or Humpy Creeks. Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park is another legendary spot, but accessible only by boat or plane, so not for everyone. The same situation is in Kodiak Island and to protect its endemic Kodiak bears. Most people get a glimpse of fishing bears all over Alaska in summer months.
If you are looking for moose, caribou, Dall’s sheep and more big game animals, head to Denali and Wrangell-St Elias National Parks.
Marine life rivals that on the land – Price William Sound and Kenai Fjords National Parks are home to otters, seals, sea lions, sea otters, Dall’s porpoise, whales, puffins, and many more.
Polar bears are best if visited via fly-in coastal tours from Fairbanks and Coldfoot.
4. Best Times to Visit
Alaska is most attractive between May and September; at least this is when the most people visit. You will have warm weather, active wildlife, and all tourist services are waiting for you. Past September and until May, the road conditions can be hazardous and most services cease to work.
Those brave enough for Alaskan winters will enjoy all kinds of snow activities.
5. What to Wear
The weather in Alaska can change anytime, even in the middle of summer. Our recommendation is to be prepared for rain with a rain jacket and pants. Forget the umbrella. Comfortable walking shoes are a must and rain-proof option is a bonus. Don’t forget layers wherever you go.
Glacier walks can be very damaging because of sun reflection, so wear a good sunscreen. Bug spray and bear spray are the other items that should not be forgotten.
You can try your hand at salmon fishing if you will have fishing license.
6. Extra Tips: