You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.
After our time in Denali National Park, we spent a night in Talkeetna. Talkeetna is around 2.5 hours by car south of the park entrance. Our main attraction in Talkeetna was a flight seeing tour of Denali. We also spent some time exploring the village, there are a lot of shops and restaurants all in the same area which makes it convenient to park and walk through. We ate at Wildflower Café and they had delicious salmon burgers.
We booked our flight seeing tour with K2 Aviation and it was a great experience. Check them out here. They have several packages with and without glacier landings. We booked the Denali Grand Tour with the glacier landing ahead of time, but because of weather, we called and asked about changing to a flight the day before and it wasn’t a problem to change. Check in was quick and they provided us with over the shoe boots for walking on the glacier.
We encountered inclement weather during our flight and were rerouted, but the pilot did his best to show us as much as he could and we were completely satisfied with our experience. We also saw wildlife from the plane.
Walking on a glacier was amazing, and yes… I fell! We got to stand with thousands of feet of ice underneath us and in complete silence. All we could hear was the ice cracking. It was unbelievable!
You don’t realize just how massive these mountains are until you are flying over them. It is an amazing experience to see these mountains, lakes, glaciers, and trees from up above. I am so excited for the next time I can take in the beauty of the land from the sky.
Day 7 started in Seward, this was my favorite town we visited. We took a cruise with Major Marine Tours, their website is here. We did the 7.5 hour Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise. A park ranger joined us on the cruise to speak about the park, animals, and glaciers. They also have a salmon and prime rib buffet for an additional cost, we opted out, but it smelled delicious. Use the arrows to scroll through some of our photos from the cruise below!
This tour started off with rough waters, so if you are prone to seasickness, you may want to bring medicine or do what I do and wear Sea-Bands like the ones found here! I like wearing Sea-Bands because they are a natural relief, and unlike many medicinal products, they don’t cause drowsiness. I also find that sitting outside with the cool wind helps relieve nausea, and the boat had several outside viewing areas.
The main destinations on this cruise were two active glaciers, Holgate and Aialik Glaciers. These glaciers are calving and it was awesome to be there in silence and listen to the thunderous sounds of ice breaking. We also stopped several times for wildlife viewing. This was a great way to see wildlife. We saw killer whales, humpback whales, sea otters, Dall’s porpoise, Steller sea lions, and harbor seals. We also saw lots of birds including bald eagles and puffins. It was very exciting to see all these animals in their natural environment. Use the arrows to scroll through some animal photos below! Aren’t these sea otters adorable?
The next day in Seward we checked out Exit Glacier. There is easy access to viewing Exit Glacier via a flat loop trail. You can also go to the glacier overlook, which we did not do. We attempted the Harding Icefield Trail. This was an extremely difficult trail, and while we did not make it all the way to the top, we still had inspiring views of the glacier. The hike is around 8 miles round trip, we did about 6 miles. Be sure to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and plenty of water if you try this trail.
Until next time,