Alaska, the 49th US state and considered as America’s “Last Frontier,” is blessed with vast expanses of wilderness, lengthy shoreline, colossal glaciers, pristine rivers and lakes, and snow-capped mountain peaks that collectively form an adrenaline junkie’s idea of heaven on earth.
The state is bigger than Montana, Texas, and California combined — its 582,412 square miles of territory ensures that it’s a playground big enough to accommodate millions of tourists who are drawn to its rugged beauty each year.
If you plan to head to Alaska soon to spend a weekend or a week-long vacation, you should create a shortlist of destinations to visit and activities to do when you get there. Here are four fun family activities that you should consider to enjoy an Alaskan trip that will be one for the books:
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Alaska’s Yukon River is the third-longest in the country, with a length of close to 2,000 miles. Additionally, the state has more than 3 million lakes and over 3,000 rivers. In short, Alaska is the perfect place to go for those who want to experience over and over the natural thrill that catching some big fish offers.
As such, be sure to include in your family’s bucket list a day or two of fun-filled fishing in any of Alaska’s tourist spots dedicated to fishing aficionados. You only need to connect with a local business that offers affordable fishing trip packages, so you can arrange everything from permits and personal protective equipment to fishing gear and a boat.
Many of these fishing packages already include accommodation in a cabin, transportation via chartered plane, daily meals, and a dedicated crew to ensure that you’ll have a high chance of catching some big fish in known fishing spots. In short, they’ll practically cover everything you need, so you only have to concentrate on reeling fish after fish.
Experience the best Denali has to offer
The Denali National Park is among the state’s most prized and famous tourist destinations. It is a magnet to wanderers, nature lovers, and restless adventurers who are looking for their next fix of adrenaline rush.
The national park has several campgrounds that you can book for in advance if you’re in for an authentic outdoor adventure. Prices start at just $9 a night, so it’s truly a budget-conscious traveler’s dream. If you love the idea of warm accommodation and a comfortable bed, you should opt for cabin accommodation at Camp Denali, where they offer hot meals to keep your tummy full and your body warmed up to a comfortable level.
Your family can go out for a guided hike or bike your way around the camp along paved roads to see the site quicker and more comfortably. Don’t forget to try out the delicious baked goods from the on-site bakery and the sumptuous meals from the organic greenhouse for a truly unique Denali gastronomic feast.
Paddle along the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
The area is home to the famed Yukon Quest dogsled race and the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1880s. It is also a 2.5-million-acre tundra where the mighty Yukon River is located, where your family can paddle along to see peregrine falcons and caribous from a distance. You can also do whitewater rafting and treat yourself to some fine meals at Slaven’s Roadhouse, which is a part of the Yukon Quest itinerary.
As in many other trips in Alaska, you can opt for a guided one or do a DIY tour if you want more freedom during your trip in this reserve. Just make sure to do your research about the different spots you intend to visit and secure necessary permits, as well as inform local authorities to be sure about your safety.
See the wonderful Chigmit Mountains
If you prefer a more secluded family affair, you should head out to the Lake Clark National Park from Anchorage to see the captivating Chigmit Mountains and some astonishing turquoise-blue lakes that seem straight out of dreamland.
You’ll also have plenty of other eye candies in the area, with its icy river crossings, commanding glaciers, and impressive wildlife. The national park is also home to Dick Proenneke’s iconic cabin where he penned “One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaska Odyssey” back in 1973.
Explore the site on foot and essentially retrace the steps that the Dena’ina Athabascan Indian tribe took when they first explored the ancient wilderness.
Alaska truly has a lot to offer to individual travelers and families who wish to satisfy their wanderlust and thirst for adventure. With these suggested activities, you should look forward to a truly fun and unforgettable trip to this great and last American frontier.