Going to Alaska, you're guaranteed to see some beautiful scenery. One of my favorite things to do when traveling is marvel at natural landscapes and Alaska has some of the best in the world.
On a trip up to Denali National Park, we stopped by this little lake on our way. We can’t swim in it, but I love that it’s not too far from where I was staying we could easily visit if we wanted to. Do you have a favorite body of water you love visiting?
Lake Clark National Park was one of the coolest experiences on my trip around the state, but sadly most people don’t even know it exists. Located along the border with Canada, Lake Clark is home to amazing hikes, lush forests and more lakes than you can count. When I saw this sign at Lake Clark I immediately thought about how much I loved visiting there when I traveled through Alaska last year. The park itself is massive though and seeing all parts would require several months time for sure but there are plenty of activities for a few days or even just an afternoon visit like we had.
As for accommodation, you’re spoiled for choice in Alaska. There are hotels and resorts of all shapes and sizes across the state; from luxury to budget, there’s an option to suit every type of traveler. Traveling through Alaska can be costly, but luckily there are plenty of free things to see and do. On the Kenai Peninsula, don’t miss a bike ride or hike along the Kenai River Trail or at the Bear Creek Mine Trails; a visit to Potterville Ghost Town; or a cruise on Harding Icefield Lake in search of moose.
In Anchorage, stroll along Ship Creek or visit Museums Juneau. In Denali National Park itself you can take ranger-led hikes and tours around Wonder Lake (permit required), attend lectures at the Riley Cantwell Center, or join an adventure tour with Denali Discovery Tours.
For something more remote than Denali National Park is McCarthy Roadhouse (permit required). Located deep within Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve this historic roadhouse makes for an unforgettable day trip thanks to its colorful characters who call it home today. Don’t miss the Alexander Archipelago Seashore or Kachemak Bay National Marine Sanctuary, one of the world’s most pristine bodies of water. The range of outdoor activities here is endless including kayaking and kiteboarding, while fishing and whale watching are popular in Homer.
If you can get a permit and want to spend some time camping, there are plenty of camping options to choose from across Alaska, including at Chena River State Recreation Site in Fairbanks; Chugach State Park in Anchorage; Kenai Fjords’ Seward waterfront campsites (permit required); Tamarack Lakes on Denali National Park land (permit required); Toklat River Campground near Denali National Park (permit required); Twin Falls Lake State Campground in Denali National Park (permit required).
For those who have more time up their sleeves than money in their pockets, there are also many opportunities for volunteer tourism. Projects include everything from cleaning up trash along the coast to helping provide medical care for sled dogs at Husky Homestead Kennels or working with locals at Potterville Ghost Town or McCarthy Roadhouse. These projects require advanced planning but they give travelers a chance to get to know Alaska and the people who call it home.