Alaska Outdoors, Denali National Park, Glacier Bay National Park Alaska

Alaska's Outdoors: National Parks to Explore


Alaska is a great wide open, and when it comes to exploring Alaska outdoors the world is truly your oyster. Alaska’s size and the diversity in its landscape mean you may have to vacation here more than once.

Denali National Park

Sparsely populated and boasting the highest mountain in North America (20,320 foot Mt McKinley), Denali National Park receives almost 400,000 visitors a year.

Where is it?
North of Anchorage and 125 miles south of Fairbanks. Access to the park is by bus only to protect the plains of tundra the park’s only road runs through.

Can I stay?
There are no hotels within the park, but hundreds of cabins, lodges and hotel rooms outside its 6 million odd acres. You’ll find five campgrounds for tents and RVs within the park’s boundaries.

Go there for:
The wildlife in Denali National Park is more visible and varied than most in North America. View grizzly bears, wolves, Arctic squirrels, moose, fox, caribou and wolverine. You’ll also get the chance to go hiking, camping, and rafting.

Glacier Bay National Park: Alaska's Outdoors

Being a popular stop on the summer cruise ship circuit makes Glacier Bay the most visited of Alaska’s parks. The land is a recognized World Heritage Site.

Where is it?
Glacier Bay sits at the northern end of the Alaska Panhandle, on the Gulf of Alaska and 50 miles west of Juneau. Water taxis can ferry tourists from Gustavus and Bartlett Cove into the park.

Can I stay there?
Camping is possible, but to do so tourists have to take a required bear safety lesson.

Go there for:
The fabulous deep sea kayaking, rafting, hiking trips and incredible glaciers. Keep an eye out and you might see orcas, bears, sea lions and seals.

Wrangell St Elias National Park and Preserve

Is the largest National Park in the United States, boasting an impressive 13,188,000 acres. Nine of North America’s 16 tallest mountains are here, and the Malaspina Glacier within the park is larger than Rhode Island.

Where is it?
Next to the Canadian border. The area’s main town, McCarthy, is 240 miles east of Anchorage.

Can I stay there?
Public camping is permitted almost everywhere inside the park.

Go there for:
Rafting on the Copper River (one of the world’s richest for salmon), glacier flightseeing, trekking, cycling and hiking. You’ll also see bears, moose, mountain goats, sea lions and bald eagles.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Famous for its kayaking and whale watching opportunities.

Where is it?
On the Kenai Peninsula, southwest of Seward. Reach it by bus, train or car from Anchorage and by boat from Homer or Kodiak.

Can I stay there?
Camping is available in most areas of the park.

Go there for:
Spotting magnificent humpback whales, charter fishing, kayaking and hiking. The park is renowned for its sea birds, sea lions, otters, bears and seals. Alaska's Official Travel Information Site.

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