Alaska is known as the last frontier because so much of its land is unmapped and uncharted. Alaska is the largest state in the United States of America. Its wild and beautifully harsh landscape is thought of as fields of ice and snow. Surprisingly, Alaska is home to the most active volcanoes out of any state with 141. California is second with only 18. So, really, it is Alaska that should be known as the land of ice and fire. The first thing you will notice when you arrive is the fresh, crisp air.
From having some of the most beautiful national parks on the planet, breath-taking glaciers and incredible wildlife, there isn’t much that Alaska cannot offer you. The adventure buff can head out and hike some of the tallest peaks- home to 17 of the highest in North America, ice-climb the side of a glacier, ride a snowmobile under the northern lights or even mush a champion dog sled team along the top of a glacier.
The weather in Alaska can get very cold and I mean the coldest ever recorded in the United States at -80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, bring the right gear and the ski/snowboard season is spectacular in the winter. The bonus of coming in the colder months is getting the chance to see the northern lights, aurora borealis. The summer months are best to visit for hiking and general outdoor activities. Public transport is pretty much non-existent here apart from a few trains, so you will be relying on cars, car ferries and even small planes to access the most remote corners of the last frontier.
Has Alaska caught your attention yet? This adventure heavy state should be on everyone’s travel bucket list, purely for its natural beauty.
Kicking off our top 10 is this absolute bucket list vacation destination. The White Pass and Yukon Railway is one of the most beautiful and scenic train rides in the entire world. Hop aboard the vintage train that will take you to the summit. The White Pass and Yukon railroad was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush. Perched on the cliff’s edge overlooking gorges and valleys, this narrow railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. You will not be able to put your camera down as you witness the breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains and glaciers. This return journey leaves from the train station in Skagway and the season runs from the End of April to Beginning of October. This one is just so spectacular that it should be on everyone’s itinerary.
Knik River Lodge Helicopter & Glacier Dogsled Tour has to be one of the best things to do in Alaska. You get to take off in a helicopter and land on top of a glacier then mush your own champion dog-sled team along the glacier top past the mountains. Season runs from May to September. If you are lucky, you may even be able to meet some husky puppies. What an adventure of a lifetime. This is a must-do activity in Alaska. Alaska makes for one of those once in a lifetime travel destinations. Add this to your custom itinerary on Tripio app so you dont forget and miss out on an epic adventure.
Brooks Falls is located within the Katmai National Park and along the 1.5 mile long Brooks River. The waterfall itself is six foot high and allows brown bears during the summer to catch the salmon swimming upstream. The bears will only be active on the falls from June through to September.
Who doesn’t have the northern lights on their bucket list? This incredible phenomenon earns its place in our top 10. The Fairbanks Aurora Tours run from late August to late April and depart daily at 9pm from Fairbanks, Alaska. You will set out in a comfortable heated van in search for the aurora also known as the Northern Lights. You can hire a special camera to best capture these spectacular natural light displays and the guide will even give you a crash course on how to best capture the lights.
Mendenhall Glacier is spectacular and located only a stone’s throw away from Downtown Juneau and can be visited year round. However, tours to the incredible ice caves of Mendenhall glacier run from May through to September. At the ice caves, you will be able to experience every stage of the water cycle at once. The cave naturally lights up blue and is a really spectacular sight.
Liquid Alaska Tours offers a glacier and ice cave exploration experience. Your tour will begin in Juneau, you will be transported to the glacier launch site which takes about 30 minutes, you will be given a safety briefing before setting off in a canoe towards the glacier. Overall, the tour includes close to 2 hours of hiking on uneven terrain and canoeing for 2 hours. This is a fairly strenuous activity and access to the ice caves cannot be guaranteed depending upon weather conditions and how much it has melted. Ensure to wear warm, waterproof clothing and hiking shoes.
The Hubbard Glacier is North America’s largest tidewater glacier. It towers more than 600 feet above Disenchantment Bay and spans over 75 miles long.
The water around the Hubbard Glacier is full of vitamins and nutrients meaning that the fish caught here is some of the best in the world. Take a Yakutat Charter boat out and catch some fish. Location is P.O. Box 2, Yakutat, AK 99689. They will provide bait and tackle. An avid fisherman’s vacation isn’t complete without this on their custom top 10 list on the Tripio app.
7. Ice Climb
This is an amazing opportunity to climb Matanuska Glacier. MICA Guides offers several ice climbing tours. Your tour guide will provide a detailed safety demonstration prior to your climb. The ice walls of this glacier are challenging to climb so you do need to be physically fit.
Just to get to the climb site is an hour’s hike over uneven terrain. It is definitely not everyday that you’d get to say you climbed a glacier. Ice Climbs run in the summer months, however, ensure to wear waterproof warm clothing and closed toe shoes.
Denali National Park and Preserve is a 6 million-acre park offering tours and educational demonstrations. It is home to Denali which is the highest mountain peak in North America standing at 20,310 feet high. Home to incredible scenery and wildlife, you can access the park by car or by taking the Denali Star Train from Fairbanks.
Housing a visitor centre, offering free shuttle tours within the park and presenting dog sled demonstrations. The national park is open all year round but services and facilities will be limited in the winter. The best time to visit is between May and September. The park itself is fairly wheelchair accessible, just be mindful of enquiring about the shuttle services on the day so they can ensure accessibility.You can select accessibility requirements on Tripio when planning your vacation. We want your travels to be as hassle free as possible.
The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show is a multiple award-winning show that is a must-see. It is fun, interactive and educational. Cheer on your favorite lumberjack as they compete in challenges like log climbing, log rolling, log chopping, axe throwing and more. This one is fun for the whole family. Make sure to select kid friendly when making your custom itinerary and custom top 10 on Tripio.
Closing out our top 10 strong is the Seven Glaciers restaurant. We all enjoy good food, right? When you’re on vacation, it’s okay to splurge a bit on eating out. The Seven Glaciers restaurant is perched 2,300 feet above sea level on Mount Alyeska. In order to get to the restaurant you do have to take a sky tram and the journey takes about an hour, so definitely factor that in when planning your visit. Seven Glaciers is 1 of only 3 restaurants in Alaska classed as a AAA 4 Diamond restaurant.
The menu is focused around locally sourced produce such as fresh seafood and game. It also has one of America’s best wine selection menus. How important is good food to you, while traveling it can be difficult to find a great meal sometimes. At Tripio, we have made it easy for you. When planning your travels and designing your custom itinerary, you can select how important good eats are to you right there on the Tripio app.
– Gemma, Winchester, Tripio Guru
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