Alaska Holidays & Accommodation
USA, North America
Alaska is a great place to explore the rugged outdoors, with huge areas of wilderness like Glacier Bay National Park and Denali State Park, home to Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America. Alaska's major event of the year is in winter: the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Almost 1100 miles long, sled dogs pull their sled through sub-zero conditions from a ceremonial start in Anchorage for a race that lasts 9-15 days.
Alaska Holidays Planner
The seaside town of Anchorage is the gateway to Alaska, a bustling port with plenty of bars and many hardened charachters. One of the nicest things to do while you are in Anchorage is to take a day cruise through either the Prince William Sound or the Kenai Fjord to see some spectacular glaciers with the chance to see some whales breaching in the Fjords
A ninety minute flight to the south-east is the spectacular Glacier Bay National Park, a myriad of passages, fjords, glaciers, bays and channels. Juneau is the main town but the entire region is cut off from roads with access only by air or sea with large cruises a popular way of gaining access to this remote region. Dolphins, whales, and other sea life can be seen from the observation deck, and cruises depart from either Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, British Columbia.
Denali National Park
The most famous of Alaska's Parks, Denali is about a four hour journey inland from Anchorage. Denali National Park is about 3 million acres in size and encompasses the highest peak in North America, Mount McKinley, or Denali as it's known in Alaska. The park, originally much smaller in size, was originally conceived as a means of preserving the territory of the Dall Sheep. It was named after the late President McKinley when it was created in 1917, but Alaskans have always only referred to the peak and the park by its name of Denali in the Alaskan tongue which means 'the high one.'
Tar-sealed rods criss-cross the park including some rather steep roads without guard rails. People can either drive or cycle these roads, but or you can join a narrated bus tour. Wildlife is plentiful here and you might see grizzly bears, bobcats, moose, ptarmigan and wolves. White water rafting, or more serene kayaking adventures are also offered in the park as well as ATV riding on approved trails, or some local fishing. For a more expensive but thrilling way to view the area, you may want to charter a helicopter that will land you on one of the local glaciers.
Alaska was bought from the Russian government in a purchase in 1867, while still technically part of the continental United States; it redrew a lot of maps. It is a very northern state with much of the state being dominated by long summer days and long winter twilights.
There are any number of things to do in Alaska. You can zipline in the summer, snowmobile or ski in the winter, and there are also several cities you can spend your time in like Anchorage or Fairbanks if you want to retreat from the great outdoors. The summer cruise season in Alaska is a great way of seeing the otherwise inacessible Inside Passage with major cruise lines, where you can enjoy the view of blue-white glaciers and other stunning scenery from staterooms.
Many people come to Alaska for its outdoor activities. So much so that tourism has become the second biggest industry in the region. In the summer, you may want to take up kayaking or rafting in some of Alaska's many lakes and rivers. There are many options for this. You can either stay close to an urban centre like Juneau or Fairbanks and arrange a daytrip with some rented equipment, or you can charter a plane and perhaps arrange a guided tour in a more remote part of the state for a more adventure oriented outdoors experience. If you choose to do something like this in a remote part of Alaska solo, but be sure you have all the tools necessary to survive and keep yourself oriented in the wild.
Other summer activities in Alaska include fishing and kayaking. Either you can combine your interest in fishing with a camping holiday, or you can fly into one of Alaska's world famous fishing lodges for a vacation worth remembering. You can either choose freshwater fishing, fly fishing, or sports fishing for species like salmon on the ocean.
Winter activities abound in Alaska from heli-skiing to ski resorts to snowmobiling. You can arrange for a helicopter to take you to a remote mountain peak for a challenging skiing experience, or enjoy downhill skiing at a more conventional ski resort. Renting snowmobiles is a popular activity as well.