Adventure travel in Alaska offers Mt. McKinley in spectacular Denali National Park, with mountain ranges within driving distance of Anchorage; with convenient day hikes in the mountains of Chugach State Park and excursions to the Matanuska Susitna Valley and the Kenai Peninsula; ice climbing, dog sledding, bear viewing, river rafting, wildlife glacier cruises and sea kayaking.
A tourist should head west towards the remote and watch the untamed Aleutians bring countless coves and sea otters and puffins. The wild rivers, granite peaks and majestic glaciers in the coastal regions of Alaska adorn a rugged beauty. A tourist can go kayaking in four million acres of expansive wilderness in the Lake Clark National Park.
An unspoiled vast coastline in the southern end of Alaska is ideal for kayaking amidst the brown bears that forage for food. Tourists can watch the humpback whales and pods of orca whales aboard kayaks and charter boats from Aialik Bay and Kenai Fjords. Sea kayaking exposes adventure tourists to the real power of calving glaciers. Many waterfalls cascade down the granite walls and sea kayaking under the waterfalls is only for those who dare. There are some backcountry safaris that offer a variety of sea kayaking tours in Alaska.
About 98% of the US brown bear population is in Alaska. Hence bear viewing is one of the most popular tourist attractions in this country. Grizzlies and brown bears are part of the Alaskan bear family. While grizzlies can be found in Alaska coastal areas, the brown bears occupy the inland. Bear viewing in the wild of Alaska is truly a daringly different experience for the tourist. McNeil River, Katmai National Park, Kodiak Island and Lake Clark National Park offer excellent opportunities as bears gather near area streams to feed on the Alaska salmon.
Helicopter adventures in Alaska
Helicopter flight seeing tours are a great way to see Alaska. Helicopter trips are popular for backcountry viewing in Alaska. Many cities including Juneau, Seward and Talkeetna area are known for such trip facilities. A birds eye view of the Denali National Park, search for a wildlife or just rejoicing at a massive glacier are some of the enjoyments of a scenic flight in Alaska. Sometimes passengers cruise ship in southeast towns like Juneau and tour by helicopter often landing on glaciers and then undertake glacier dog sled rides.
Dog sled rides in Alaska glaciers
The thrill of driving a dog team in the glacier is the ultimate lure of an Alaskan travel vacation. Seward Alaska was the historical start of the famous Iditarod Sled Dog trails which is an essential part of the Alaskan culture. The team of huskies led by their handlers accompanies the sleds and escort tourists on a safe trail.
Normally helicopters ferry visitors to the mountains where glaciers provide year round ice and snow. Dog sled rides are also available in summer on the snow less glaciers. There are mushers who keep their teams in good shape all summer by having them pull four wheels all terrain vehicles or wheel mountain sleds. Many mushers live in the Susitna Valley and on the Kenai Peninsula and open their dog lots to tourists in the summer. Glacier dog sled tours are available in the summer in Juneau, Skagway and Seward.
A casual tourist can simply enjoy the thrill of viewing the ceremonial Iditarod dog sled race in downtown Anchorage. For those who really want to experience the excitement of dog sled racing then they can employ professional Alaskan bush pilots and guides to the mighty Iditarod and Yukon Quest dog sled races with unbroken vistas of sub-arctic tundra and desolate shores as far as the eye can see.
Alaska rafting adventure
The remote wilderness and backcountry of Alaska can be explored by rafting adventures. The shores of Bristol Bay are famous for rafting while Dillingham is famous for red salmon as also the starting point for exploring the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge and Wood Tikchik State Park. The Bristol Bay region has more than 1500 miles of rives suitable for exploring apart from fishing.
Custom group Alaska rafting adventures are also available for tourists who prefer some special location. Paddle rafting and oar rafting options are available in spectacular Alaskan mountain settings and in pristine white waters. Winter time is more suitable for rafting expeditions. Some of the most famous Alaskan Rafting adventure spots are:
- Denali Park Nenana River which offers raft trips in scenic mild white waters.
- Lake Creek for adventure fishing and fly in wilderness adventure river where five species of salmon, rainbow trout and arctic grayling can be caught.
- Kongakut River is famous for back country safaris and provides opportunity to explore Alaska's remote Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by raft on the 'river of caribou'. The adventurer can travel with the annual migration of 130,000 strong Porcupine caribou herd passing through the world's most pristine wilderness.
Alaska adventure travel
Alaska hiking could leave the hiker breathless with vibrant views of this country in its natural form. Alaska has amazing trail systems for people of all abilities and skill levels. For those who would love to laze around there are accessible nature paths. Ample hiking experience can be had at Denali National Park. The Anchorage area offers over 100 miles of paved multi use trails and over 150 miles of wilderness trails. It can be said that the south central Alaska has the most developed hiking trails in Alaska. The Chugach National Forest and the Chugach State Park are most popular hiking areas.
Heli hiking is where a tourist is dropped off after a fifty minute helicopter flight into the wilderness of Alaska. Alpine mountains, swift rivers, wild flowers and wild life in its natural habitat should greet the visitors. Glaciers are the high point of Alaskan hikers. About 35 glaciers glow off the 500 square mile Harding Ice field and it is estimated that an Alaskan glacier is three miles long approximately. Exit glacier is a delight for Alaskan seaward hikers, while Harding is for the experienced hiker although great views and wonderful wildlife should ease the hiker all the way.
Glacier filled daunting valleys, ice fields and limestone canyons with majestic mountain peaks aiming to touch the skies, wilderness travel in the largest protected area on earth - Alaska adventure travel is made of these!