Welcome to Alaska
Alaska is a land of extremes. Monstrous mountains, vast stretches of wilderness and rollicking rivers set the stage for epic adventures. Watch for whales along the coast, wrestle a trophy fish on a wild river or paddle a kayak at the foot of a towering glacier. Popular spots to explore include the Kenai Peninsula and the Inside Passage along the southern coast, but those who venture to the interior and the Arctic truly experience the Last Frontier.
A wild spirit soars in Anchorage, where you’ll have modern city conveniences at your fingertips with Alaska’s epic beauty just a short trip away. While the skyscrapers might be the biggest in the state, the surrounding mountain peaks make them appear tiny.
Outdoor Adventures on an Epic Scale
Alaska is home to the largest national park in the U.S.: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in southeast Alaska consists of 13.2 million acres of untamed mountains and forests. For something more accessible to major travel routes, check out Kenai Fjords National Park, home to nearly 40 glaciers that bring visitors close to nature. Hike through an icefield, kayak through the fjords, see gargantuan glaciers or take a scenic drive.
Known as the “Golden Heart of Alaska,” Fairbanks is a prime spot for exploring Alaska’s interior. This is the Land of the Midnight Sun, where the sun doesn’t set for 70 days between May and July. The rest of the year, the night skies often put on a show, as Fairbanks is one of the best locations to see the aurora borealis.
In Denali National Park and Preserve, a single road slices through the 6-million-acre wonderland. Take a bus tour to reach the interior, which offers views of Denali, rising over 20,310 feet above sea level, making it North America’s highest mountain. Keep your binoculars handy and watch for bears, moose and caribou along the route. Located in Alaska’s famed Inside Passage, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve offers visitors a dizzying array of landscapes to explore, from verdant rainforests to sapphire glaciers to rugged coasts.
With almost 7,000 miles of coastline, Alaska offers limitless opportunities for adventures on the water or on the shore, and that doesn’t even include the endless rivers and lakes found inland. Anglers can snag trophy-sized halibut, salmon and trout across the state, with the Kenai River, Brooks Range and Bristol Bay being top picks.
Splash in Alaska
Paddling and boating in Alaska take aquatic adventure to a whole new level. The lakes glimmer with clear, cold glacial waters, often reflecting mountain peaks, and the pristine rivers run untamed for hundreds of miles. The Kenai Lake is popular for water sports, while Wonder Lake has awe-inspiring views of Denali. Kayak to Mendenhall Glacier, outside of Juneau, for a quintessential Alaskan adventure.
Culture and History Come Alive
Alaska is home to over 200 federally recognized indigenous tribes and 100,000 Alaska Natives. Celebrate this rich cultural heritage with a visit to one of the small Native villages where traditional customs thrive. Learn more with a visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, the Alaska State Museum in Juneau or the Totem Bight State Historical Park in Ketchikan.
Alaska’s Native culture was forever changed as visitors and settlers flocked to the state after the Klondike Gold Rush in 1896-1899. Step back in time with a tour of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Stroll through the colorful boomtown of Skagway’s Historic District and explore the Chilkoot Trail and White Pass Trail.