13 Reasons Why Alaska Should Be on Your Bucket List
Alaskans love of the outdoors, independence, and desire to get away from other people. Below are my favorite photos from my trip to Alaska that makes me feel like an Alaskan. If you are going in the summer, don’t worry about the weather, just bring layers. Alaska is a dream vacation for the sportsperson.
13 Things To Do in Alaska from Anchorage to Denali that are all Outdoors
I won’t name every glacier in Alaska because there are many, but these two listed below are easy to reach and amazing to see. When you are on vacation in Alaska, there is so much to do and see, follow my Alaska itinerary because it is the perfect trip plan.
What to Wear?
Remember to layer, and from May the beginning of summer until August is a great time to go. Layer your clothing to adjust for temperature changes that will happen during the day.
1. Exit Glacier Hike
I love to hike, and there are thousands of glacial trails to enjoy. I enjoyed walking at Exit Glacier, a National Park, because of the rocky black rocks which formed the wide expansive trail to the glacier. If you have a winterized RV, Alaska has many remote places to park and enjoy the views.
We went to small towns, and off the beaten path, the hikes are easy to find. Use ALL Trail to find a hike that is good for your level of the hiking. Short walks or long hikes – Alaskan has it all and they are all spectacular.
2. Cruise to Kenai Fjords
If you like to do day cruises, take a cruise to the Kenai Fjords. We went and enjoyed the views, animals and crashing sound of the breaking ice smashing into the serene water. I advise that you avoid ordering the lunch if you are prone to seasickness. For that matter, remember you meds for motion sickness, the straights can be very rough.
3. Holgate Glacier Hear the Sound of Ice Cracking
We only went on one boat trip to the glaciers, but if you are a boater, rent a boat and fish, view the gorgeous landscape and relax along the banks of the Alaskan rivers. The wildlife is easy to see from a small powerboat or cruise ship.
4. See Whales While Whale Watching
One reason to go to Alaska is whales, to smell the clean ocean air, and to see tons of wildlife sunbathing on the rocks. We also saw mountain goats, eagles, sea lions, and seals. We saw whales several times on our cruise. This is a location where you will see Whales. Not all whale watching cruises can say that!
Some people rent a kayak and get up close and personal while kayaking with the whales. Remember always to wear a life jacket. The water is freezing, any time of the year, and if you go in – you won’t have long to get out of the water before hypothermia happens.
The pods will come and go. Take your time; some small fishing boats are chartered. Just head down to the harbor, and ask the fisherman if they will take you out for whale watching. The fisherman are friendly, and if available they will take you out.
Alaska has been on my Bucket list for a LONG TIME. One visit isn’t enough; my Alaska Bucket list will never be complete because I want to see Alaska again and again. Therefore, Alaska is still on my Bucket list – I’m hoping to go back soon.
5. Resurrection Bay in Seward
Boating – Resurrection Bay in Seward is a good place to rent a sailboat. I have to warn, the weather changes quickly and the water is always dangerous and cold. If you are not an excellent sailor, this isn’t the place to learn: an excellent place to charter a boat is in Resurrection Bay, and a beautiful place to enjoy Alaska from the sea.
6. Drive to Denali
I rented a car and drove to Denali. The scenic overlooks offer remarkable views and photographic opportunities.
7. Denali aka Mount McKinley
Denali is a clever mountain; she only allows herself to be viewed when she wants to be seen. Keep an eye out, and check the weather. On bright days, she comes out and is always spectacular when you see her. This is the highest mountain in the USA. Some people train on Mount Rainer in the winter to hike and climb Denali. If you want, easy trails o hike in Denali National Park, you can find them and don’t have to climb the mountain. I did little day hikes; I didn’t want to climb the mountain.
8. Denali National Park and Preserve
While at Denali, you can take a bus around the park. If you have a National Park Pass or pay for a National Park entrance fee, you can drive the park. But drives beware – this is one terrifying road to drive.
I had no desire to do the drive the Denali road because it’s only narrow enough for one car to pass at a time. If the National Park bus comes by, pullover, only one of you is going to pass at a time.
Obey the speed limits they are strictly enforced in all National Parks.
While I am giving the rules – don’t feed the animals – birds or rabbits, you aren’t doing them a favor and could be killing them if your snack has chocolate in it.
9. Mount Alyeska Chugach Mountain
Alyeska Resort and Alyeska Mountian is a beautiful mountain, and part of the Chugach Mountains in the National Forest. Alyeska is also a ski resort. There are lots of fun restaurants that serve reindeer hot dogs, meatloaf, and roasts. There is a tram ride that takes you to the top of the mountain – at the top, you will find several restaurants offering different price points, but, all have excellent service.
Food in Alaska is expensive and dining out is also more costly than in the lower 48.
10. Footprint Heritage Site Kenaitz Indian Tribe
Indian Tribes live and control many areas in Alaska its worth your time to visit the Footprint Heritage site and the Kenaitz Indian Tribe.
11. Eagle River at Dusk and Fishing
Fishing is excellent in Alaska. Buy a fishing permit, mind the rules and fish in areas that are allowed depending on the season. We saw people fishing along the highway on the road to Anchorage, where the Hooligan run thick and watched lots of fisherman catch loads of fish. You can fish them by netting or with fishing rods. Fishing equipment is available to rent locally.
12. Moose Pass
Another location outside of Anchorage is Moose Pass; this is a great place to practice your photography. I swear you can’t take a bad photograph in Alaska. I loved this location for photography. There are lots of great views. If you haven’t taken up photography, this is the place to practice and to get into photography while you hike the river banks. Don’t carry heavy camera equipment, it makes the hike more dangerous, especially if you are new to photography.
13. Phantom Lake Chugach National Park Fishing Hooligan
Here is that spot along the highway that we saw the banks full of fisherman enjoying the bounty of plenty of wild Hooligans. Get a rod and give it a try because if you have never fished Alaska is the place to begin – the fish are plentiful.
More about Fishing permits and fishing in Alaska is here.
Disclaimer *Photoshop or any other photo software have not retouched any of these photos. Every photo is real – because Alaska is real and deserves only real images. The images are never touched-up. The photos are darker than normal because the light at this time of year is limited.
I loved every minute and wouldn’t change a thing on this trip.
Travel Tip: Next time, I hope to do more hiking. Remember to keep your memories fresh, and limit your photo taking. If you take too many photos, your memories won’t last. For more information about photographs and memories read my post below.
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