Alaska | Off The Beaten Path
Alaska, know as the "Last Frontier" is the largest state in the United States. Visitors to the state will be stunned by its amazing wild beauty. Throughout the state there are plenty of outdoor adventures to be found. Here are a few of the adventures you could have during a visit to great state of Alaska.
Denali National Park
This National Park is a stunning place to enjoy Alaska's Wilderness. Denali National Park is located about 240 miles north of Anchorage and 120 miles south of Fairbanks. Visitors can reach the park by the Alaska Railroad, by bus or on the single road entrance to the park. Once in the park visitors should stop at the various Visitor Centers. Denali Visitor Center is the main source of information for the park and is the starting point for most ranger-led programs. The park has 6 million acres of wild land and is open year round, but only in the summer months do the snow and ice loosen their hold on the park. Visitors to Denali National Park can visit the Savage Day-use Area, enjoy backpacking, mountaineering, wildlife viewing and much, much more.
The Kenai Peninsula is one of Alaska's beautiful vacation destinations. The peninsula is separated from the mainland by the Prince William Sound on the east and by Cook Inlet on the west. Visitors to the Kenai Peninsula can visit the Kenai Mountains in the Kenai Fjords National Park, where visitors can find glaciers, fjords and especially Harding Icefield. The Kenai River has an amazing salmon population. The Kenai Peninsula has a relatively mild climate, and is a great destination for fishing and much more. Another great Kenai Peninsula destination is the Pratt Museum in Homer. This museum has stunning exhibits on native cultures and the early settlers.
Mount McKinley, located in Denali National Park is the highest mountain in North America, with an elevation of 20,320 feet. The mountain, also known as Denali, has five glaciers. In addition, the mountain has some of the most extreme weather in the world. The climbing season lasts between April and July, when the weather is less extreme. Only the most experienced mountaineers attempt to summit Mount McKinley, the climb is extremely challenging, mostly because of the extreme weather conditions.
Alaska State Museum, Juneau
Visitors to Juneau should set aside some time to explore the Alaska State Museum. The museum is the official repository of Alaska's history. The museum collects and interprets the ethnographic and historical artifacts from the state. Visitors can participate in a guided tour or can explore the many galleries for themselves. There are exhibits that highlight the Aleut culture, the Eskimo culture, Alaska's natural history, the early Russian Settlers and much more.
Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward
Wildlife enthusiasts should visit the Alaska SeaLife Center, the only public aquarium in Alaska. The Center also serves as an Ocean Wildlife rescue center and a research facility. Visitors to the aquarium can observe Puffins, Giant Pacific Octopus, Alaska King Crab, Sea Lions, Harbor Seals and many other species. Part of the Alaska SeaLife Center is its rescue and rehabilitation work. The Center rescues stranded animals and tries to treat, rehabilitate and release as many animals as possible.
White Pass and Yukon Route Railway
This narrow gauge railroad was built in 1898 during the Klondike Goldrush. This railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. A trip on the railway gives visitors the chance to see stunning views of Alaska's scenery. The Railway has two tunnels, bridge and trestles.The White Pass Summit Excursion travels from Skagway to the summit of White Pass. Another excursion is the Yukon Adventure which travels from Skagway into British Columbia. There are more adventure options on the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway.
Alaska is known partly for its winter weather, one way to enjoy this is to try out some dog sledding. One of the most famous and well known dog sledding events is the Iditarod. The Iditarod brings together the most experienced and talented dog sledding teams in the world. They race across the Iditarod trail which covers over 1,150 miles of some of the worlds most extreme terrain. The people who choose to participate in this event have to be truly courageous and tough, and they can complete the entire trip anywhere between 10 and 17 days, a truly amazing feat.