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Unforgettable Outdoor Adventures Await in Alaska
Uncover your inner explorer as you journey through valleys, old-growth forests and glacier carved cliffs at state and national parks throughout Alaska. Marvelous outdoor adventures begin at seaside towns like Seward near Kenai Fjords National Park. Denali National Park, Alaska’s most visited park is located just east of Anchorage while the remote Katmai National Park & Preserve is one of the best places in the country for viewing brown bear. In fact, Alaska is home to eight national parks- four of which are the largest in America. The 49th state also boasts of over 95 state parks including recreation areas and memorial sites. With so much acreage dedicated to parks and preserves you can bet that hiking trails, winter recreation and waterway exploration abounds.
For phenomenal hiking trails, the Savage River Loop Trail at Denali National Park is a two-mile round trip with minimal elevation. A favorite at the park, this scenic trail follows along the Savage River and is a pristine spot for seeing Dall sheep and caribou. At Chugak National Park, Winner Creek Trail provides a family-friendly hike through America’s northernmost rainforest. Take in the sight of abundant wildflowers and moss during the summer or watch the colorful changing of the seasons in the fall. For more difficult hiking head to Tongass National Forest. Beginning in Juneau Mount Roberts Alpine Trail winds up 3,819 feet toward the ultimate reward of vistas of the Southeast Alaskan panhandle including Admiralty Island National Monument.
Ice climbing, skiing and dog mushing are some of the top outdoor winter adventures in Alaska. Several companies offer guided ice climbing excursions near Anchorage and throughout the Southcentral region. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, the largest park in the state, has been offering guided climbs for over 30 years in remote glacial areas.
For prime skiing and snowboarding near Juneau, Eaglecrest Ski Area is a community owned recreation site located on Douglas Island. Eaglecrest offers 34 alpine runs and rental equipment making it easy for you to pack light. Arctic Valley Ski Area at Chugach National Park provides groomed trails for downhill and back country skiing and snowboarding. A favorite day trip from Anchorage, Arctic Valley is family-friendly offering a warm and cozy lodge and tubbing area for younger children.
Dog mushing, perhaps the most unique winter adventure here is a popular way to learn about the huskies and races that make up the state sport of Alaska. Many areas offer kennel tours, back country excursions and the opportunity to stand on the runners and mush your own team. Most cities on cruise routes like Juneau offer multiple tours to chose from, while in the north Fairbanks and Denali provide authentic cross-country snow adventures.
With scenic cliffs, glaciers and an abundance of marine life, one of the best ways to experience landforms and monuments in Alaska is by the water ways. Enjoy an outdoor adventure on a kayak to get up close to ice formations at places like Glacier Bay National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park. Day cruises provide a more laid-back experience. Many offer meals and boast of routes that include frequent sightings of marine wildlife like sea otters, puffins and whales.