Alaska is one of the most visually stunning and culturally diverse regions of the United States, despite the fact that it is geographically isolated from the rest of the nation. Its remote location contributes to the 49th state’s natural splendor and air of mystique, making it an alluring vacation destination for adventurers and anyone who have a passion for the outdoors.
It is essential to get outside of the state’s main urban areas, such as Anchorage, and spend some time taking in the natural monuments and attractions that have helped make Alaska so popular. Be sure to incorporate visits to as many of the following Alaska attractions as you can in the itineraries for your next trips, since they are among the state’s most popular tourist destinations.
The Alaska Highway
The Alaska Highway is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful stretches of roadway in the world.
This magnificent roadway was constructed at the time of World War 2 in order to unite the two neighbouring countries of the United States and Alaska. The road would go across Canada in one direction. When it was finished in 1942, the scenic roadway stretched for a staggering 2,700 kilometres, but after being reconstructed several times over the years, its current length is just 2,232 kilometres.
Unofficially, this magnificent and breathtakingly gorgeous stretch of road is considered to be a section of the Pan-American Highway, which runs from Alaska in the north to Argentina in the south. You may anticipate seeing breathtaking natural landscapes and the opportunity to see a wide variety of fascinating animals.
Tundra is what you will find at the Arctic Coast. It is said that Alaska is the Last Frontier, and this moniker seems to apply more well to the state’s Arctic Coast than anywhere else. In this region, characterised by its stark beauty and rough terrain, Alaska Native people coexist with one of the most dangerous animals on the planet: the polar bear. One of the most advantageous environments for these endangered species is the Inupiaq community of Kaktovik, which is situated on Barter Island just off the coast of the mainland. These creatures cluster here in great numbers throughout the summer months as they pass the time waiting for the Beaufort Sea to ice over.
The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is home to some amazing landscapes. The lush, green hills and mountainside views that give Kodiak its “Emerald Isle” moniker are lovely enough, but the island’s primary lure is a brown bear subspecies that lives nowhere else except on Kodiak. The Kodiak National Animals Refuge provides possibilities for seeing wildlife that are unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. The refuge spans portions of the islands of Kodiak, Uganik, Ban, and Afognak. This region of Alaska is known for having some of the greatest salmon fishing in the state, as well as vistas of brown bears, puffins, red foxes, sea lions, and other animals.
Visit Coldfoot to see the breathtaking splendour of the aurora borealis. Although the town of Coldfoot itself is not much more than a truck stop on the Dalton Highway – the most northern of its kind in the world, in fact – its strategic location under the Aurora belt in Alaska’s ruggedly beautiful Arctic Circle makes it one of the best places on Earth to view the northern lights. Coldfoot Camp offers an excellent night excursion to a historic miner’s cabin in the vicinity of Wiseman, where you may observe the sight at its best. This is in contrast to the standard practise at many locations for viewing the Northern Lights, which is to drive about searching for the lights.
Arctic National Park and Preserve
Explore the solitude of the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve on your next vacation. This distant Arctic Circle national park provides a raw and unspoiled wilderness region that is the size of Switzerland. It is characterised by glacier-carved valleys and rivers that are wild and frigid. The park was named for the two spectacular mountains that surround the Koyukuk River and provide a shelter for a wide variety of wildlife, including 145 different kinds of birds.
Visitors arrive via what might be thought of as a doorway formed by the mountains. Because there is no road access, no facilities, and no campsites (visitors either fly in on air taxis or trek in from the Dalton Highway with all of their supplies), simply getting here is an experience in and of itself.
Pay a visit to the volcanoes that may be found in the Eastern Aleutians. The bleak, windswept Aleutian Islands are as striking as they are isolated, and they are located to the west of the Alaska Peninsula like a jagged line of braille that is heading towards Russia. These islands are home to 27 of the 46 most active volcanoes in the United States. The East Borough is the crown gem of the archipelago. Adventurous travellers will be rewarded with miles of raw, untamed Alaskan beauty, smouldering volcano craters, historic Aleut settlement ruins, and a variety of wildlife and marine life in this region.
Hike through the Chugach Mountains, which are not difficult to reach. The gorgeous Chugach Mountains are indisputably one of the most beautiful locations in Alaska. In addition to being Alaska’s most accessible wilderness region, they rise up on the eastern outskirts of Anchorage and are unquestionably one of the most beautiful areas in the state. This mountain range is protected thanks to the abundance of hiking and biking trails that can be found within the boundaries of the State Park and the National Forest. Take the 1.5-mile hiking trail to the summit of Flattop Mountain, which is roughly the size of a football field, to see views that extend from Denali to the Aleutian Islands.
This trail is rife with historical places that you should check out. This trekking track is 33 miles long and links the community of Dyea, which is close to the lovely southeastern cruise port of Skagway, to Bennet, which is located in British Columbia, Canada. During the Klondike Gold Rush, this trail served as an important transit route. But the Chilkoot Trail isn’t only notable for its historical remnants (you should keep an eye out for the tramway boiler), the landscape, which ranges from coastal rainforest to alpine vistas, glaciers to suspended river crossings, is just outstanding.
In Haines, you may see eagles and a variety of other animals. This charming, artistic hamlet in Alaska’s Inside Passage is popular with more than just people since it is one of the most picturesque and sunniest settlements in that region. Each fall, thousands of bald eagles make their way to Haines in search of a late run of salmon to gorge themselves on. Because there are so many of them, this location became the inspiration for the Alaska Bald Eagle Festival, which is held here every November. Brown bears, which may be seen in high numbers on the Chilkoot River due to the salmon’s ability to attract them, can also be seen there. During the winter months, heli-skiers flock to the area in quest of the world’s lightest powder.
Talkeetna is a charming community that is ideal for those who like the great outdoors and the natural world.
Talkeetna is one of the most interesting destinations in all of Alaska to visit. This census-designated place (also known as a CDP) may be found in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough of Alaska. This charming tiny hamlet enjoys extended periods of winter and very little periods of warm days throughout the year. This town offers a variety of opportunities for tourists to engage in sight-seeing, and some of the activities that are available to them include mountain biking, hiking (the local region has a number of excellent routes for trekking), camping, ziplining, and river tours.
The town is also a two and a half hour drive from Anchorage, the main city in the state. In addition, the town has a great background of the Alaskan Range and Denali, as well as fascinating stores, pubs, restaurants, and breweries (Mt. McKinley).
The Mendenhall Glacier
The Mendenhall Glacier is widely considered to be one of the most stunning and easily accessible glaciers in all of North America. The Mendenhall Valley is home to this glacier that is around 21.9 kilometres in length, and the downtown area of Juneau is the closest city in Alaska to it. The terrain that is immediately next to the glacier is preserved since it is located inside the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area and is also a portion of the Tongass National Forest, both of which are federally recognised areas. Historically, it was known as Sitaantaago, which literally means “The Glacier Behind the Town.” Unquestionably one of the most stunning tourist destinations in all of Alaska!
Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park and Preserve, which is both a park and a preserve, is one of the most beautiful sites to visit in Alaska and is home to the highest mountain in North America.
Denali National Park and Preserve is located in the heart of Alaska and spans a stunning 6 million acres of unspoiled wilderness. The mountain Denali, which is 20,310 feet tall, serves as the focal point of the National Park. It is also known as Mount McKinley, and it is the highest mountain in North America.
The breathtaking landscape is home to a number of glaciers, spruce woods, tundra, and some of the most well-known examples of wildlife in the world, including as grizzly bears, wolves, moose, and other animals. Backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, and climbing are just a few of the summertime pursuits that are available to visitors to Denali National Park.
Sitka is a beautiful and historically significant town that was formerly the administrative center of Russian America.
This city in Alaska is situated in close proximity to Juneau, which serves as the state capital. It is believed that Sitka is a girl’s name, and its Alaskan meaning is “people on the outside of Shee.” Sitka is a place in Alaska. It is believed to be the second-oldest city in Alaska and had been created by Russians in 1799 as a fur-trading centre. Both of these facts contribute to its status as the second-oldest city in Alaska.
It is reported that the Tlingit people, who are indigenous to the state, were defeated by Russia in the Sitka National Historical Park. The Tlingit are the state’s native people. This location in Alaska is unquestionably one of the state’s top recommendations, since it is home to a number of significant historic structures and sites, in addition to offering outstanding possibilities for hiking and seeing local animals.
Lake Clark National Park
Lake Clark National Park is regarded as one of Alaska’s most picture-perfect tourist destinations
This national park may be found in the southwestern part of the state of Alaska and is around 110 miles away from Anchorage. This park, which was designated as a national monument in 1978, is absolutely breathtaking with its jagged mountains, steaming volcanoes, and the beauty of nature in all its majesty. The turquoise lake is well-known for the transparent quality of its water as well.
In addition, the national park has a variety of different lodging alternatives. The national park has a number of lakes that may be explored, some of which include the Chilikadrotna River Lake, the Tlikakila River Lake, the Turquoise Lake, and the Kontrashibuna Lake.
White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad
The picturesque White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, which links Skagway and Whitehorse and passes via the breathtaking White Pass and Yukon Route.
When travelling to the lovely state of Alaska, going on the breathtaking and picturesque White Pass and Yukon Route, which is a Class II narrow-gauge train that operates in both the United States and Canada, is an experience that I cannot recommend highly enough. It was constructed in 1898, at the height of the Gold Rush, in spite of the very difficult topography.
This railroad connects the port of Skagway, which is located in Alaska, to Whitehorse, which is the capital of the territory of Yukon. It is a completely independent network that is not connected to any other railroads in any way. Along this route, travellers, freight, and even large pieces of equipment are transported by boat.
It is a pleasure to ride on, and while you are on this fantastic adventure, you will gain around 1,000 metres of elevation. You may anticipate beauty such as panoramic vistas of towering mountains, glittering glaciers, breathtaking gorges, spectacular waterfalls, and beautiful waterfalls and tunnels, so don’t forget to bring your camera!
Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park, a World Heritage Site that is both stunningly gorgeous and one of a kind.
This location is very wonderful, and you can anticipate beauty that will take your breath away. The 3.3 million acres are home to towering mountains, stunning glaciers, deep sheltering fjords, rainforests, and untamed beaches, and together they are a true force to be reckoned with. It is an integral feature of the World Heritage Site that spans over 25 million acres and is widely regarded as the crown jewel of the state’s Inside Passage.
One of the most extensive wilderness preserves on Earth may be found at Glacier Bay National Park. This national park is only accessible by boat or by air, making it an intriguing destination that can only be reached in one of those two methods. The only road leads directly to Gustavus, which is the closest town to the location of the travellers.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park is an incredible destination to visit in Alaska since it is at the intersection of mountains, glaciers, and the ocean.
The Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act was the legislation that led to the establishment of this stunning and one-of-a-kind National Park back in the 1980s. It is situated on the Kenai Peninsula, and the town of Seward is the closest major settlement. It is well-known for the fjord and rainforest habitats that it contains, as well as the animal species that live there, the Harding Ice field, and a number of archaeological and historical remnants.
The National Park is home to a variety of animals, including the black bear, the brown bear, the lynx, the hoary marmot, the mink, the moose, the porcupine, five different kinds of shrew, and the red squirrel, among other animals. In addition to that, Anchorage, the most populous city in Alaska, is easily accessible by car. The distance between Anchorage and the national park is 126 kilometres. Quite simply one of the most stunning locations in the whole state of Alaska.
Ketchikan, a city that is often referred to as the “Gateway to Southeast Alaska”. This city in Alaska is situated on the interior of Passage, which is a well-known and often used cruise route that runs down the southeastern coast of the state. Totem poles of various Native American tribes may be seen erected all across Ketchikan, which has helped garner the city international attention.
The Misty Fiords National Monument was designed to resemble a wilderness area, and it has waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and streams that are well-known for salmon fishing. These are all characteristics that are often associated with Alaska. The Totem Heritage Center, which was built in the 19th century, the South East Alaska Discovery Center, and The Creek Street in the city of Ketchikan are three of the most popular tourist attractions in the region of Ketchikan.
The Prince of Wales Island
The island of Prince of Wales, which is the fourth-largest island in the United States and is home to a variety of different species of bears
One of the islands that make up the Alexander Archipelago, the Prince of Wales Island is the fourth-largest island that can be found in the United States. The 20th century saw the establishment of this village, which now has a population of 6,000 people and was formerly a saltworks.
The most convenient method to go to these breathtaking islands is by flying, and the best time to do so is during the summer, when Alaska Air is operating. However, Alaska Air does fly throughout the winter as well. For those interested in wildlife, the island also has a number of prime viewing locations for black bears.
The island of Baranof
The famous island of Baranof, which is home to both brown bears and Sitka deer, is sometimes referred to as Baranov Island, may be found in the Alexander Archipelago in the far northern part of the state of Alaska. Alexander Baranov was a Russian trader and merchant, and Captain U.F. Lisianski of the Imperial Russian Navy decided to honour him by naming this place after him.
The stunning island is just little bigger than the state of Delaware, and it is also home to the Alexander Archipelago’s tallest peak. Brown bears and Sitka deer are two of the most well-known residents of this gorgeous and pristine wildlife refuge, which is also known for its natural beauty.
The Sitka National Historical Park, the Alaska Raptor Center, the Fortress of the Bear, the Russian Bishops House, and the Baranof Castle State Historic Monument are some of the picturesque locations that can be found on this island.
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
This park has the highest concentration of glaciers and some of the biggest volcanoes in all of North America.
The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act was the legislation that led to the establishment of this National Park in the year 1980. It is almost six times bigger than Yellowstone National Park, which is a popular destination for visitors to the United States. This park is well known for being home to some of the biggest volcanoes and the highest concentration of glaciers in all of North America; as a result, this park is often considered to be one of the most beautiful areas to visit in the all of Alaska.
If you do choose to go to this beautiful and magnificent national park, you will find that there are many different accommodations from which to choose. Within the all of the Wrangell Mountains, there is just one active volcano, and its name is Mount Wrangell.
The Tangle Lakes
The Tangle Lakes in Alaska are a magnificent lake system that may be explored in their entirety. Inside the Alaskan interior is where you’ll find the stunning chain of lakes known as Tangle Lakes. These lakes are linked together by a number of streams. These lakes are the source of the Delta River in the state and have been the focus of in-depth archaeological research for many years. They constitute the headwaters of the river. Campgrounds may be accessed via the lake, and there are around 45 different spots available for camping.
These locations have water pumps, bathrooms, and a boat lunch as additional amenities for guests. The Tangle Ridge Hiking Trail has been expanded around these grounds, providing hikers with a breathtaking view of these lovely lakes. Visitors may also anticipate seeing a large number of unusual Alaskan animals here, including caribou and moose.