To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.
This post is about my absolute favorite things that we did in Alaska. If you are ever headed to the beautiful state of Alaska, definitely try some of this list. I also have a couple of items at the end that we did not get to do, but are on our bucket list for when we go back to Alaska. So let’s get started!
1. Flightseeing Tour of Denali National Park
This is one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever done. I can’t wait to do it again! I was in the smallest plane I’ve ever been in, flying over the largest mountains I’ve ever seen. This was an amazing experience. It was a reminder for me of how small I am and how expansive God’s Creation is. Yet He cares for me.
We booked our tour through K2 Aviation (website). This was a great company for us. They changed our schedule day of, per our request, so we could fly at a different time. They also refunded us a portion of the cost since our flight was redirected due to storms, it was great customer service. K2 Aviation has a few flight options to choose from, ranging from 1 hour to 2 hour flights. You can also include a Glacier Landing, which was awesome! This experience opened my eyes to a whole new way of seeing the world.
2. Take a Hike
There are so many places to take a hike in Alaska. You can easily get off the beaten path and find a hidden lake, quiet mountain, or just silence. No traffic noise, no people, just beautiful silence. I regret not doing more hikes during our time in Alaska, especially in Denali National Park. This National Park is beautiful. Some of my favorite hikes were from the visitor center area and Savage River Loop. There are also plenty of areas off the highway from Anchorage to Denali to pull over and take an easy stroll, a few of which were to secluded lakes.
3. Cruise the Kenai Fjords National Park
One of the best options for seeing the Kenai Fjords National Park is by booking a cruise. There are several cruises to choose from, with different price ranges and lengths. We booked through Major Marine Tours (website) and had a great experience with them. They have several full and half day tours to choose from, so it was easy to find something that worked for us. We did the 7.5 hour cruise and saw a lot of wildlife and glacier calving. One thing I liked about this cruise is that they had a National Park Ranger on board to provide narration. She talked about the park and the wildlife we saw. They also had an optional salmon and prime rib buffet, we did not participate, but it smelled delicious.
4. Denali Bus Tour
A bus through the park is the way to go! This is how you’ll see more of the park, as the public can only drive the first 15 miles. There are several tour and transit buses that leave from the bus depot at the park entrance. We did a transit bus to Wonder Lake, which was beautiful (photo on top of this post). We had amazing views of Mt. Denali and thankfully our day was very clear. The bus driver said it was the most amount of clear views of the mountain he had seen all summer. We also saw a lot of wildlife, including several grizzly bears and their cubs.
5. Wildlife Sighting
Spotting animals was very exciting for us! There were so many that we have never seen before, both in the wild and in captivity. To ensure you see some animals, check out the Alaska Zoo and the Alaska Animal Conservation Center. Here are the websites: Alaska Zoo and the Conservation Center. Both places have all kinds of animals and you can be very close to the animals as well. We were around 60 feet from 3 massive brown bears at the zoo. The conservation center was awesome as we were only a few feet from moose, bears, wolves, and many other animals that you couldn’t see up close except in captivity.
Of course, there are lots of ways to see animals in their natural habitat. One of the best was the bus tour through Denali National Park. We saw lots of grizzly bears with their cubs, caribou, and some moose. We also saw several golden eagles. Another great way to see wildlife is on a cruise of Kenai Fjords National Park. We saw so many different animals on this cruise including killer whales, humpback whales, Dall’s porpoises, sea otters, and more.
You might also be lucky enough to see some animals while driving around. We were driving back from going to a secluded lake and all the sudden we saw a black bear standing up right by the road! Definitely keep your camera at the ready while in Alaska.
6. Take a Water Taxi to Kachemak Bay
While we were in Homer, we spent a day in Kachemak Bay State Park and it was beautiful. There are no roads to the park, so you have to take either a boat or a plane to get there. You can find water taxis on the Homer Spit. We headed over early, and we were in solitude the five hours we spent in the park. There is an easy hike to Grewingk Glacier (pictured above). Once we arrived to this lake, we sat and enjoyed complete silence only broken by the echo of glacier calving. The water taxi company we used (Mako’s Water Taxi) recommended the trails to take and gave us the meeting time to be picked up to leave Kachemak Bay. I recommend taking a little extra time like we did so that you can enjoy the Grewingk Glacier Lake longer.
Two things that we did not get to do while in Alaska were seeing the Northern Lights and a flight to Katmai National Park to see the brown bears up close in the wild. Both of these are on our bucket list for next time we go to Alaska!
What are some of your favorite activities in Alaska? Let me know below in the comments!
Until next time,