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Ultimate Summer Adventure in Alaska, United States

From taking glacier treks to going bear watching, the U.S. state of Alaska promises ample activities during summer.

Alaska is the ultimate outdoor and adventurer's destination. It's home to parks, amazing hikes, diverse wildlife, glacial hikes and incredible mountains.

 
 
By Julius Choudhury, dearJulius.com

[post_ads]After traveling to more than 100 countries and visiting 49 states Alaska has eluded me for years. The state of Alaska has been at the top of my list but I had never had the chance to visit until this summer. Alaska is the ultimate outdoor and adventurer’s destination. It is home to countless parks, amazing hikes, diverse wildlife, glacial hikes and incredible mountains. Summer in Alaska is one of the best times to visit this incredible state.


Hike at Gates of the Arctic National Park

To test your outdoor survival skills, plan a trip to Gates of the Arctic National Park in Fairbanks, which is endowed with rugged mountains, clear rivers, forest and tundra. While the park operates year-round, the best time to visit is summer as winter can experience temperatures minus 20 to minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit. With no trails or visitor services in the park, guests need to be self-sufficient.


Bear watch at Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary

With the state of Alaska home to black, grizzly and polar bears, one of the must-do activities here is bear watching. The Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary is a well-regarded spot, where bears come in flocks to feast on salmon after their hibernation period. A typical bear-viewing tour can last up to seven hours, offering visitors a chance to witness their daily routine.


Take guided treks on Root Glacier

About one-third of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park is covered with icy glaciers, the standout being Root Glacier. Located in the center of the park, its natural surroundings will leave you mesmerized. Trek through its blue-tinged ice, turquoise pools and bubbling moulins. Join at least a full-day’s ice climb if you don’t have much time.

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Take a trip down the Kongakut River

The Kongakut River on the eastern side of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge offers a chance to experience a quintessential Arctic river trip. Getting there is an adventure itself owing to its remote location. With no facilities available, the 10-day journey will include camping on river bars and hiking amidst tundra. As you sail through its waters, you will sight caribou, grizzly bears, muskox, migratory birds and even spot a polar bear near the coast.


Backpack through Katmai National Park

In southwest Alaska lies Katmai National Park with a unique terrain. While on one hand you will sight grizzly bears enjoying a meal down the Brooks River, on the other hand you will witness active volcanoes still spewing steam. A trip to the park’s Valley of 10,000 Smokes should not be missed. You may choose to camp for bear watching and then backpack to the valley.


Climb Denali

Summiting Denali (also known as Mount McKinley) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While climbing North America’s tallest mountain is no small feat, the view it entails is worth the ascent. It is believed that the hike from basecamp to the summit is even strenuous than Mount Everest, due to the Arctic-like conditions. If you aren’t an experienced climber, it is best advised you hire competent guides.

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Explore Lake Clark National Park

Situated in Port Alsworth, the park is only accessible via small aircrafts or boats. For an authentic experience, go backpacking along the Twin Peaks/Turquoise Route — you will experience mighty glaciers, cascading waterfalls and endless wildlife. Make a pitstop at the Proenneke shrine, a tiny cabin built by Dick Proenneke who wrote the book “One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaska Odyssey.”


Cruise along Prince William Sound

Lying on the south coast of Alaska, Prince William Sound boasts about 150 glaciers. The icebergs retreating and falling into the ocean makes for a dramatic sight. While you traverse on your yacht, your skipper may be able to gather ice to chill your pre-dinner cocktail. If you’re up for it, paddle a kayak in the crystal waters or explore the pristine beaches and hike through the rain forests on shore.


Kayak along Aialik Bay

Go back in time and relive how the ancient Alutiiq Eskimos traveled great distances on their tiny kayaks. Aialik Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park offers kayaking trips with trained guides. Spend your days traversing the green-blue waters and the nights under star-filled skies on secluded beaches. You may also go visiting the calving glaciers and enjoying the wildlife around.

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Raft through Tatshenshini River Route

Enjoy 10-12 days of rafting across two of the highest coastal mountain ranges in the world, St. Elias and Fairweather. The Tatshenshini River Route starts from the forests of Canada into the glacial landscape of southeast Alaska, giving adventurers a chance to witness varied scenery. Once the journey comes to an end, you will be air-lifted to the small towns of Yakutat or Haines.


Explore the Denali National Park

The Denali National Park sees over 400,000 visitors every year between May and September. Mostly people visit the park in search of wildlife, which involves wolves, moose, caribou and Dall sheep. Visitors can also enjoy some of the popular summer activities such as biking, backpacking, hiking and mountaineering.


Packrafting in Wrangell-St. Elias

Perhaps Alaska’s fastest-growing sport, packrafting lets you get closer to river wilderness like never before. Packrafts are small, lightweight rafts that can be fitted inside a backpack. Just when you encounter a river crossing, you can blow the boat and paddle across it. With just about 2-3 days of training, you will be able to learn the craft near the town of McCarthy-Kennicott.

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Hike, kayak and whale watch at Kenai Fjords National Park

The Kenai Fjords National Park is a nature lover’s paradise. From ample wildlife to miles-long greenery to majestic views of the Pedersen Glacier, it offers a kaleidoscope of activities to choose from. At the heart of the park is a set of rustic cabins, where you may retreat after a day of activity.

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Travel Magazine: Ultimate Summer Adventure in Alaska, United States
Ultimate Summer Adventure in Alaska, United States
From taking glacier treks to going bear watching, the U.S. state of Alaska promises ample activities during summer.
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