One of the most iconic national parks in Alaska, Denali National Park & Preserve is home to North America's tallest peak â 20,310-foot Mount Denali. They have convenient accommodations nearby and well-developed tours that make exploring easier for the casual visitor. Whether you float the mighty Yukon River or paddle the Charley River's whitewater, your memories will last a lifetime. This option often makes you feel like you have Denali to yourself, you may not even see another person until the bus comes back to pick you up. The river is classified as a national wild and scenic river, and offers stunning wilderness float-trip opportunities - from deep in the Brooks Range to the tidewater of the Chukchi Sea. Add Glacier Bay National park on your cruise portion for six total. Getting There: Floatplane from Anchorage or HomerTime: Day trip for bear viewing, longer for other Valley of Ten Thousand SmokesHow to do it: Katmai famous for the large brown bears that converge to feed on salmon at Brooks Falls; go in June and July to spend a magical day there. Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? That's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, a 13-million-acre wilderness on the east side of Alaska. Later this morning, board a glacier and wildlife cruise and travel through the majestic Kenai Fjords National Park. The most intimate multi-day cruise option. Alaska Biggest National Park. It is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. During COVID-19 there may be alterations to services provided. Highlights plus less visited destinations. Also a mining road, the Nabesna follows a valley between two mountain ranges, with some trails and a campground along the way. The move reduced the authority the Park Service had when it comes to state, Native corporation, or private lands that fall within a park or preserve's boundaries. 293K likes. This rugged, beautiful land is filled with opportunities for adventure. Travel to Denali and Kenai Fjords National Park on our most popular vacation package or let the experts at Alaska Tour & Travel build a custom trip just for you. Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. It has so many special settings and so much spectacular wildlife that it is home to eight Alaska National Parks covering 54 million acres â not to mention 50 National Historic Landmarks, 16 National Natural Landmarks, 24 official National Park Service units, and nearly 100 state park areas! Figures are for the fiscal year that ended 9/30/2019. It is home to Mt. Located in Interior Alaska, Yukon-Charley Rivers offers exploration in a largely untouched landscape. Or stay for a few days and add a tour into the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, site of the 20th-century’s largest volcanic eruption. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords' crowning feature. Explore the face of a glacier and keep your eyes open for seals, sea lions, sea otters, whales, walrus, bears, eagles, and puffins throughout this half-day exploration cruise. - This park offers viewing of rocky coastlines, glaciers, sea birds, marine animals and even goats, bear and deer. See Alaska's highlights by railroad or motorcoach in a group of up to 50, Travel in small groups, stay at exclusive wilderness lodges, and spend more time outdoors, All-inclusive multi-day vacation packages at a remote wilderness lodge, Travel with a professional photographer to the best photo locations around the state, Trips range from backpacking, rafting, to upscale remote lodge retreats, Cruises depart Juneau or Sitka. Getting There: This park may be on your cruise itinerary; if not, you’ll need to fly or ferry to Gustavus (easy to do from Juneau) where you can book a day cruise.Time: If you’re on your own, spend one day cruising Glacier Bay, and add one or two more days for activities like a ranger-led hike or sea kayaking.How to do it: Massive, calving tidewater glaciers and marine wildlife are the main draws here. On an island amid towering spruce and hemlock, Sitka National Historical Park preserves the site of a battle between invading Russian traders and indigenous Kiks.ádi Tlingit. Witness this popular area’s green fjords, rugged cliffs, and bountiful wildlife, Towering mountains and massive glaciers punctuate a vast wilderness with just, Denali and a vast wilderness host bears, moose, caribou, and mountain goats, Dramatic fjords and impressive tidewater glaciers, seen on a cruise, flight, or ferry. Self-drive vacations. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map. Take a flightseeing tour or go for a hike in the largest untouched mountain-ringed river basin in the U.S. Wild and remote. Highlights: Visit 4 National Parks including Kenai Fjords, Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias and Katmai (or Lake Clark National Park for bear viewing). Sugpiaq people relied on these resources to nurture a life entwined with the sea. Tours range from 6.5–13 hours round-trip, and offer the spectacle of endless vistas, glorious peaks, and of course the chance to see wildlife like brown bear, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, and moose. Glacier Bay Lodge. Visitors to Fairbanks appreciate the Chena River State Recreation Area and its 100 miles of trails and year-round public-use cabins. A Background of National Parks. Walk across the footbridge (no vehicles allowed in town), and there’s typically a shuttle a shuttle to Kennicott —a thriving mining town abandoned long ago. Or ride the park shuttle bus, which lets you hop on and off to hike. There are five Alaska National Parks near Anchorage: Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords, Lake Clark, Katmai, and Wrangell-Saint Elias. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. They have convenient accommodations nearby and well-developed tours that make exploring easier for the casual visitor. Wrangell - St. Elias National Park Summary. Denali National Park & Preserve. Explore the webcams of Alaska's national parklands. The countryâs largest national park represents everything that is compelling about Alaska.It is vastâbigger than Switzerland. Kenai Fjords National Park is located just outside the town of Seward in south-central Alaska, 126 miles south of Anchorage. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. Their journey shaped them, and changed the people they encountered and the north forever. Many visitors pass through Glacier Bay National Park by cruise, but Glacier Bay Lodge is the perfect spot to stay a few days (3 â¦ Denali National Park is infamous for its namesake peak, the tallest mountain in North America which stands proudly at 20,310â. Watch brown bears fish for dinner with their cubs in Katmai National Park, catch a sunset over Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park, and maybe even catch an adorable moment of sled dog puppy play - all from the comfort of home. Today, Katmai National Park and Preserve also protects 9,000 years of human history and important habitat for salmon and thousands of brown bears. Vast wetlands provide habitat for shorebirds from as far away as South America. â Our small cruise ship dropped anchor and we explored the area led by a ranger naturalist. Another option: overnight at a campground or backcountry lodge. Said to be the park with all of the best parts of Alaska rolled into one, this 4,030,015 acre National Park offers various environments for backpacking, fishing, hiking, photography, to name a few. Geology, cultural history, gold rush remnants, wildlife, and vast scenery will be a part of your experience. Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. Car, train, or group tour. Solitude, tranquility and wilderness await. Birding and hot springs draw a few visitors, Coastal plain in the Arctic with rolling hills perfect for hiking and watching for migratory birds. Come visit the breathtaking national parks near Anchorage. Denali National Park is located in southcentral Alaska. It is a vital landscape for indigenous communities who depend on the land just as their ancestors did for many generations. We'll match you with a local itinerary expert to help you plan your trip. Here, coastal brown bears dig for clams or fish for salmon along the shore. Containing a famous mountain range, sweeping glaciers and a unique Yukon Gold Rush history, this Alaska national park has more to explore than is imaginable. Visit September to April to see the Northern Lights, Best Northern Lights Viewing Spots Near Anchorage, How to Travel to Alaska in January and February, The Best Large Family & Group Vacations in Alaska, How to Get from Anchorage to Your Cruise Port in Whittier or Seward (or the reverse!). This landscape is a vibrant reminder of Alaska's location in the volcanically active "Ring of Fire," as it is home to an impressive six mile (10 km) wide, 2,500 ft (762 m) deep caldera formed during a massive volcanic eruption 3,500 years ago. Getting There: 5-hour drive/8-hour train ride from Anchorage; 3-hour drive/4-hour train ride from Fairbanks. Alaska has 60% of all land managed by the National Park Service, even better, some of this parkland is relatively easy to reach. Discover the optimal month due to daylight, temperature, and rain. Wildlife viewing opportunities, backpacking, rafting, fishing, and more, This remote area once linked Alaska and Russia. Getting There: Charter plane from Kotzebue or Bettles – about $500 round-trip, with another flight into the park adding some $2,600 for 2–3 people.Time: Can fly in for the day,How to do it: Kobuk is also situated north of the Arctic Circle. A landscape is alive underneath our feet, filled with creatures that remind us what it is to be wild. Snowmachining, skiing, and dogsledding are popular winter pastimes here; canoeing, fishing, and camping are summer highlights. 0; 7; Alaska, finally the chapter we have been waiting for so long, there is a reason why this distant place is known as The Last Frontier, it has the most spectacular wilderness in the country. The National Park Service on Thursday released final regulations in response to a March 2019 U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the authority the agency could wield in national parks and preserves in Alaska. View caribou, go birding, or take a flightseeing tour in the northernmost national park in the U.S. Nearly half a million caribou migrate through this valley and its spectacular sand dunes, View brown bears at Brooks Falls and visit volcanic, Bear viewing, world class salmon fishing and Dick Proenneke’s famous wilderness cabin, Spans the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, and Copper River Delta, Features dozens of convenient trails and recreation opportunities near Anchorage, South of Denali National Park; known for Byers Lake, scenic trails and great views of Denali, Most visitors float the famous Yukon, with dramatic geologic formations to each side, The largest national forest in the U.S., Tongass is home to glaciers, deep fjords, and an old-growth temperate rainforest, This remote area once linked Alaska and Russia. Visit Alaska and witness the pristine landscape of Denali National Park, or watch for breaching whales in the waters of Misty Fjords National Monument. Alaska national parks list. Your adventure awaits. Getting There: Floatplane from Anchorage or HomerTime: Day trip for bear viewing, longer to stay at a lodgeHow to do it: Lake Clark offers bear viewing in an undeveloped area with fewer visitors. Currently the Fairbanks Alaska Public Lands Information Center, Denali National Park and Preserve, and the Bureau of Land Management office in downtown Anchorage are issuing Interagency America the If you’re pressed for time, some parks make for an easy day trip from Anchorage or Fairbanks. Floating through a sea of small icebergs, you can hear the creaking of active glaciers, with potential for huge chunks of ice to fall splashing into the bay. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the largest national park in the United States, with a size greater than that of some European nations combined. Given its remote location and challenging weather conditions, Aniakchak is one of the most wild and least visited places in the National Park System. Here, too, local people and culture still depend on the land and water. In addition to touring the mine, popular activities include guided glacier hikes, flightseeing, and rafting. Use the 80 miles of trail to find lakes, ridges, glaciers, valleys, and meadows, with campsites, public-use cabins, and yurts for rent along the way. Stop to fish in the lakes, hike up a volcano, and enjoy the panorama of the Wrangells—as entrancing a view as any other in the state.Note: Most rental car companies do not allow their vehicles on these gravel roads. WrangellâSt Elias National Park and Preserve is on the eastern border of Alaska, near Copper Center at the top of Alaska's panhandle. Plus, an add-on opportunity for a 5th national park with a visit to Gates of the Arctic National Park. Includes bear viewing at Katmai National Park and glacier trekking in Wrangell St Elias National Park. Today, there are 19 national parks and national historic areas in Alaska, covering 54 million acres of land. A short water taxi from Homer, the Kachemak Bay Recreation Area offers backcountry experiences just off the road system. Laying eyes on this monster is well worth the visit, but after youâve checked that off your bucket list, there is so much to experience in the 6 million acres of this Alaska national park. For more information from the National Park Service, call 907-697-2230 or visit the Glacier Bay National Park website. Alaska’s most-visited national parks are the ones most accessible from the road system or on a cruise. Today, the park remembers the trails, boomtowns, and stories of the Klondike Gold Rush. Here’s an overview of what you need to know. During World War II the remote Aleutian Islands, home to the Unangax^ (Aleut) people for over 8,000 years, became a fiercely contested battleground in the Pacific. From sea to summit, Glacier Bay offers limitless opportunities for adventure and inspiration. 7-10 days is the most common. Visitors discover intact ecosystems where people have lived with the land for thousands of years. Denali National Park. Your reward for the high price tag is truly remote Alaska, and the prospect of seeing caribou migrating from the Brooks Range to the Seward Peninsula, or camping on Arctic sand dunes that can be 200 feet tall. Volcanoes steam, salmon run, bears forage, and craggy mountains reflect in shimmering turquoise lakes. At 42 miles long and 260 meters deep, Lake Clark itself is the sixth-largest in Alaska. In the 19th century, these lonely seas swarmed with commercial whalemen from New England, who also sought the bowhead for its valuable baleen and blubber. Denali National Park. The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. View caribou, go birding, or take a flightseeing tour in the northernmost national park in the U.S. Nearly half a million caribou migrate through this valley and its spectacular sand dunes, View brown bears at Brooks Falls and visit volcanic "Valley of 10,000 Smokes", Bear viewing, world class salmon fishing and Dick Proenneke’s famous wilderness cabin, Spans the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, and Copper River Delta, Features dozens of convenient trails and recreation opportunities near Anchorage, South of Denali National Park; known for Byers Lake, scenic trails and great views of Denali, Most visitors float the famous Yukon, with dramatic geologic formations to each side, The largest national forest in the U.S., Tongass is home to glaciers, deep fjords, and an old-growth temperate rainforest, Our guide to experiencing ANWR. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is shared with Wrangle-St. Ellias National Park, as well as Kluane National park in the Yukon, and Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in British Columbia.This park is located between the Gulf of Alaska and Canada. Getting There: To the town of McCarthy inside the park, it’s about a 7-hour drive from Anchorage and a 9-hour drive from FairbanksTime: At least 3 days: 2 to get there and back, and another to explore the park.How to do it: You have 2 route options—both primitive. Your second option to reach the national park is via the Nabesna Road, on the park’s north edge, a 42-mile journey where you may not see another soul. Getting There: 2.5-hour drive/4-hour train ride south of Anchorage.Time: You can do a long day trip from Anchorage, but try to allot two days.How to do it: A day cruise is the best way to see the park: You’ll find calving glaciers, steep cliffs along the shoreline, seabirds, and chances to spot whales and other marine mammals. The nearby Chugach National Forest further expands your options: hike to Thunderbird Falls, canoe on Eklutna Lake, go berry-picking, get great views of Anchorage from Flattop Peak, stroll through a temperate rainforest near Girdwood, or walk up to Byron Glacier and search for ice worms. There was a problem with your submission. Day 6 . Your must-have activity guide + map while in Alaska. Within this wild landscape, people continue to live off the land as they have done for centuries. First is the more popular McCarthy Road, which takes you to the charming community of McCarthy. It remains virtually unchanged except by the forces of nature. Walk right up to its face, or plan a longer hike to overlook the vast Harding Ice Field. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? Gustavus, AK. Alaska’s parks, forests, and refuges are rich and varied. Caribou, sand dunes, the Kobuk River, Onion Portage - just some of the facets of Kobuk Valley National Park. More than 114 beach ridges provide evidence of human use for 5,000 years. Use our calculator to find out, Stay casual, dress in layers, and get proper footwear, Guides to the best locations around the state to view wildlife. This vast 6 million-acre wilderness also harbors abundant wildlife in a landscape that ranges from lush forests to harsh alpine tundra, with opportunities for: Veteran paddlers float the Aniakchak River from volcano to ocean, Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. Which one is right for you? Kenai Fjords National Park is a must see in Alaska. In 1910, the first national park in Alaska was createdâthe Sitka National Historic Park. Today, shrinking glaciers bear witness to the effects of our changing climate. Wild animals large and small roam un-fenced lands, living as they have for ages. Wildlife and marine mammals are common, giving you chances to spot bear, moose, whales, and more. Find information on Alaska's state parks, national parks, national forests in Alaska and other public lands. Date of experience: September 2020. The Kobuk River is an ancient and current path for people and wildlife. A 1.5-hour bus ride splashes through creek beds and up to a view over miles of ash stretching toward distant volcanoes. Getting There: 1.5-hour flight from FairbanksTime:How to do it: Here you’ll find even more remoteness, with no amenities or cell service. While the national parks are fantastic, don’t feel like you’re missing the Alaskan experience if you don’t have the chance to visit them. This category has the following 8 subcategories, out of 8 total. Along the way, you'll have the chance to watch for wildlife by land and sea, and float among glacial icebergs on a guided rafting tour. Hikers and boaters can see carpets of wildflowers among shrubs containing wisps of qiviut from muskoxen. The dream of a better life catapulted thousands of people to Alaska and the Yukon Territory. This center and three others statewide provide trip-planning, interpretation, and education for all ages. Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. Don't miss this place! Half a million caribou migrate through, their tracks crisscrossing sculpted dunes. Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. An itinerary connecting Kenai Fjords National Park, south of Anchorage, and Denali National Park, to the north, is probably Alaska's most popular land trip for first-time visitors. Experience Alaska's â¦ For 9000 years, people came to Onion Portage to harvest caribou as they swam the river. They have thrived for thousands of years in one of the harshest climates on Earth, hunting the bowhead, or "Agviq." Please check your email to verify your subscription. 2-5 day small ship explorations. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. Venture into the park to become part of the wilderness. These numbers are just a sample of the National Park Service's work. This vast landscape does not contain any roads or trails. The only part of the park you can get to by car is Exit Glacier, a definite highlight. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, which stands an impressive 20,320 feet tall. Even today, that rich tradition continues. For example, Anchorage is nestled along the edge of Chugach State Park, and several convenient trailheads give immediate access to the park. Please try again. The wide-open tundra makes it easy to hike for miles here. And in Southeast Alaska, the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve offers a rare opportunity to see and photograph the world’s largest congregation of bald eagles—up to 3,000 from October to February. Then hike down 800 feet to the valley floor, where the river has cut a ravine into ash and rock. Travelers along it see the relatively low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in North America's tallest peak, 20,310' Denali. Cruises and land tours are great ways to see Alaska. Wild rivers meander through glacier-carved valleys, caribou migrate along age-old trails, endless summer light fades into aurora-lit night skies of winter. Wrangell-St. Elias is a vast national park that rises from the ocean all the way up to 18,008 ft. At 13.2 million acres, the park is the same size as Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Switzerland combined! Bering Land Bridge National Preserve lies at the continental crossroads that greatly influenced the distribution of life in the Western Hemisphere during the Pleistocene Epoch. Witness this popular area's green fjords, rugged cliffs, and bountiful wildlife, Towering mountains and massive glaciers punctuate a vast wilderness with just 2 roads, Denali and a vast wilderness host bears, moose, caribou, and mountain goats, Dramatic fjords and impressive tidewater glaciers, seen on a cruise, flight, or ferry. D Denali National Park and Preserveâ (3 C, 30 P) G Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserveâ (11 P) Plan to take a bus tour, because you’ll want to go farther than that. #2 of 3 Nature & Parks in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve â One day, we explored the Forest Trail , Beach Trail, Campground, Tlingit Trail, and Bartlett Lake Trail. Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Siteâone â¦ Veteran paddlers float the Aniakchak River from volcano to ocean. Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site—one of the world’s largest international protected areas. Located west of Juneau, this national park and preserve is a national monument too. As one of North America's largest mountain-ringed river basins with an intact ecosystem, the Noatak River environs features some of the Arctic's finest arrays of plants and animals. Wikimedia Commons has media related to National parks in Alaska. Meandering west towards Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea, the Alagnak traverses the beautiful Alaska Peninsula, providing an unparalleled opportunity to experience the unique wilderness, wildlife, and cultural heritage of southwest Alaska. Birding and hot springs draw a few visitors, Coastal plain in the Arctic with rolling hills perfect for hiking and watching for migratory birds. Some of the Alaska Centers provide park passes for both Interagency Federal Recreation Sites and Alaska State Parks. Alaska National Parks, Anchorage, Alaska. Or head inland to visit Dick Proenneke’s hand-built cabin and spend a fascinating day learning how he survived and thrived in the wilderness for decades. Alaska is enormous, and itâs practically bursting with out-of-this-world natural beauty and wonder. In all, 24 sites in Alaska are affiliated with the National Park Service in some way, but only eight of those are considered national parks. A popular destination is Grewingk Glacier, a glacial lake that’s popular for its easy hiking and marvelous views. Overwhelmed by choices? Denali National Park One of the most well-known parks in Alaska is Denali National Park. Subcategories. It is a wild and ecologically healthy landscape unlike any other. There is the lodge in Bettles, and backpacking is permitted but recommended for experienced folks â¦ Katmai National Park and Preserve is an American national park and preserve in southern Alaska, notable for the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes and for its brown bears.The park and preserve encompass 4,093,077 acres (6,395.43 sq mi; 16,564.09 km 2), which is between the sizes of Connecticut and New Jersey.Most of the national park is a designated wilderness area where all hunting is banned. Other remote national parks and preserves can be challenging to visit, requiring more time, a flexible schedule, and a budget that can cover charter flights and backcountry guides. You can get there from Anchorage via Seward Highway, which is a national scenic byway well worth the drive on its own. Park visitors are awed by Tlingit and Haida totem poles standing along the park’s scenic coastal trail, and the restored Russian Bishop’s House speaks of Russia’s little known colonial legacy in North America. Getting into the area is fairly easy. Headlines screamed "Gold!" Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. The Anchorage Interagency Visitor Center helps visitors and residents to have meaningful, safe, enjoyable experiences on public lands, and encourages them to sustain the natural and cultural resources of Alaska. Its boundaries were once the home of four distinct Alaskan Native groups: The Ahtna and Upper Tanana Athabascans resided in the interior of the park, and the Eyak and Tlingit lived in villages on the coast of the Gulf of Alaska. At the edge of the Kenai Peninsula lies a land where the ice age lingers. Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. You’ll find no services of any kind; if you don’t have backcountry experience, we can recommend guides who will take you or show you the ropes so you can go on your own.