Alaska, the largest state in the United States, is a breathtaking wilderness that beckons adventurers from around the globe.
With its vast landscapes, towering mountains, pristine glaciers, and abundant wildlife, it’s no wonder why Alaska has become synonymous with epic adventures.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast yearning to witness jaw-dropping natural wonders or a history buff eager to explore the rich heritage of indigenous communities, we’ll delve into the must-see sights and unforgettable experiences that make Alaska tours an absolute dream for any traveler seeking an extraordinary escape.
What to know before booking your Alaska tours
Let’s quickly dive into a few things to consider before you book your trip to the Last Frontier for your unique Alaska tours. If you are booked on an Alaskan Cruise or enjoying a vacation in this beautiful region of the world, you will want to come prepared.
Weather is always unpredictable
Alaska is known for having multiple seasons in one day. This means coming prepared with various clothing options, especially rain gear. I mean, you’re not going to sit inside and do nothing on your trip. So, bring clothes that allow you to maximize the trip and endure most weather conditions!
Should you get travel insurance?
It’s wise to add some travel insurance, especially if you’re doing a few tours and other excursions that the weather could interrupt. Most places have some refunds, but they might not be straightforward or have strict stipulations on how to get your money back. By having travel insurance, you save yourself a lot of headaches along the way.
What month is best to visit Alaska?
If your goal is the best weather odds, you want to go in the summertime. This is when the days are long, the sun is out (hopefully), and all Alaska tours and lodging are fully operational. Now, it’s also when everyone else is going, so it will be crowded. Additionally, this is when it’s the most expensive.
If you want to go with slightly fewer people but have more volatility for weather, the shoulder seasons are perfect, and you might find the trip is less expensive too.
11 tours to connect you with Alaska’s wildernesses
1. Denali Flightseeing
Experience the majestic Denali National Park from a new perspective with a thrilling flightseeing tour. Soar over vast tundra, pristine lakes, and rugged mountains as you marvel at the breathtaking landscapes below. Gaze in awe at the towering Denali, North America’s highest peak, and witness the raw beauty of the untouched wilderness.
The aerial view allows you to appreciate the scale of the park’s diverse ecosystems and understand how vast the Last Frontier truly is. Lastly, make sure to bring your camera, as you’ll be able to capture stunning photographs of this iconic Alaska tour and create memories that will last a lifetime.
2. Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise
Embark on a captivating wildlife cruise through the enchanting Kenai Fjords National Park. Navigate past towering glaciers, intricate icebergs, and emerald fjords as you encounter an array of marine and terrestrial wildlife. The tour offers a front-row seat to the ocean’s wonders, from playful sea otters to majestic humpback whales.
Expert naturalists will provide insights into the park’s ecological significance and share stories of the dynamic landscapes. As you witness tidewater glaciers calving into the sea and spot bald eagles soaring above, you’ll be immersed in the untamed beauty of Alaska’s coastal wilderness.
3. Juneau Whale Watching
Set sail from Juneau, Alaska’s capital, on an unforgettable whale-watching expedition. Venture into the nutrient-rich waters of the Inside Passage, where humpback whales, orcas, and minke whales congregate to feed and play.
Feel the thrill as these magnificent creatures breach and slap the water’s surface with their massive tails. Knowledgeable guides provide fascinating insights into the whales’ behavior and migration patterns, enhancing your connection to the marine world.
The tour also offers opportunities to spot bald eagles, seals, and other coastal wildlife, making this an Alaska tour you can’t pass up!
4. Alaska Helicopter and Dog Sled Tour
Combine the exhilaration of a helicopter flight with the timeless adventure of dog sledding in the heart of Alaska’s wilderness. Fly over pristine snow-covered landscapes before landing at a remote dog sledding camp. Here, you’ll meet a team of enthusiastic huskies and their experienced mushers who will take you on a thrilling ride across snow-packed trails.
Experience the unique bond between mushers and dogs as they work harmoniously to navigate the snowy terrain. This tour offers an authentic glimpse into the life of an Alaskan musher while providing breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
5. Mendenhall Glacier Ice Adventure
Step onto the mesmerizing world of Mendenhall Glacier, one of Alaska’s most accessible glaciers. Join a guided ice adventure that takes you on a trek across the glacier’s frozen landscape. Equipped with crampons and safety gear, you’ll explore enchanting ice formations, deep crevasses, and icy-blue meltwater pools.
Your knowledgeable guide will share geological insights and explain the glacier’s ever-changing nature. Feel the thrill of walking on ancient ice while surrounded by the rugged beauty of the surrounding mountains. This immersive experience offers a profound connection to the forces of nature that shape Alaska’s unique environment.
6. Mantanuska Glacier Hike
Embark on a journey into the heart of the Matanuska Glacier, one of Alaska’s most impressive natural wonders. Led by experienced guides, this hiking tour takes you onto the glacier’s surface, where you’ll traverse stunning ice formations and shimmering blue crevasses.
Learn about glaciology, the glacier’s history, and the impact of climate change on this magnificent landscape. As you hike across the ice, surrounded by towering peaks, you’ll gain a deep appreciation for the scale and beauty of Alaska’s glaciers.
This adventure offers a rare opportunity to explore a dynamic ice world and connect with the region’s geological heritage.
7. Alaska Railroad – Anchorage to Seward or Anchorage to Denali National Park
Embark on a scenic journey aboard the historic Alaska Railroad through Alaska’s picturesque landscapes. Choose from routes that take you to the charming coastal town of Seward or near Denali National Park. Relax in the comfort of vintage railcars as you traverse diverse terrain, from coastal shores to lush forests and rugged mountains.
Watch for wildlife like moose, bears, and eagles along the way. This leisurely ride offers a blend of relaxation and captivating views, providing an authentic way to experience the beauty and vastness of Alaska’s wilderness.
8. Misty Fjords Flight Tour
Soar through the Misty Fjords National Monument, a remote wilderness area known for its dramatic landscapes and untouched beauty. Board a small plane and take to the skies, where you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring vistas of:
- Towering granite cliffs
- Pristine lakes
- Cascading waterfalls
The flight offers an unparalleled perspective of Misty Fjords’ sheer-walled fjords carved by ancient glaciers. As you fly over this untouched wilderness, you’ll gain a profound appreciation for the power of nature and the rugged landscapes that define Alaska’s wilderness.
9. Halibut and Salmon Fishing Charter
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to reel in a huge fish? Now’s your chance! Experience an exhilarating fishing charter in the abundant waters of Alaska’s coastal regions.
Whether you’re a fishing regular or a novice, this experience promises excitement and the chance to reel in impressive catches. Head out to prime fishing grounds with experienced captains who know the best spots for halibut and salmon. Feel the thrill as you battle these powerful fish or go crabbing for Alaskan King Crab while surrounded by the stunning beauty of Alaska’s coastline.
10. Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour
Immerse yourself in the Northern Lights’ captivating dance on tour, combining celestial wonder with relaxation—a journey to the Chena Hot Springs Resort, a remote oasis in the Alaskan wilderness. After dark, soak in natural outdoor hot springs while gazing at the night sky, increasing your chances of witnessing the enchanting Northern Lights.
Expert guides provide insights into the science behind this phenomenon and share local folklore. As the ethereal lights flicker across the sky, you’ll be embraced by the magic of the Arctic night, making this tour an unforgettable blend of nature, science, and relaxation.
11. Kayaking Tours
Picture yourself in a kayak, gliding through Alaska’s stunning waterways, where adventure meets serenity. Kayaking tours offer an immersive way to explore this breathtaking region’s wild coastline and pristine lakes.
As you dip your paddle into tranquil fjords and sheltered bays, you’ll be surrounded by the grandeur of Alaska’s landscapes. Get up close to towering glaciers, their icy blue hues reflecting off the water’s surface. Watch for playful sea otters and curious seals that might pop up to greet you.
With each stroke, you’ll forge a deeper connection to the rhythm of the water and the untamed beauty that envelopes you.
Guided by seasoned experts, these tours offer safety guidance and insider knowledge about the area’s ecology and history.
Alaska tours offer an unparalleled opportunity to experience America’s last frontier’s breathtaking beauty and unique wildlife.
From majestic glaciers and snow-capped mountains to pristine rivers and abundant wildlife, there is no shortage of awe-inspiring sights to behold. Whether you embark on a thrilling adventure or relax amidst the tranquility of nature, Alaska tours provide an unforgettable experience for all types of travelers.
So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of exploration, and prepare for an adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime in this rugged and untamed land.
This article originally appeared on Savoteur.
Featured image credit: Todd Cravens
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About the author
Alec is an adventure photographer and travel writer with a love of exploring hidden and hard to reach destinations to show off our brilliant planet. His work has appeared in Backpacker, Adorama, and numerous state tourism boards. He’s also a two-time cancer and a bone marrow transplant survivor, hoping to show that there can be a future from this deadly disease.