Alaska is an incredible place to visit in every season, and no matter what time of the year you go, you’re guaranteed the chance to see and do something unforgettable.
Photo by Jitka Siguenza via trover.com
It Pays to Be Prepared for Anything
From the northern lights to the vast tundra, Alaska can take your breath away with its sheer diversity of landscapes and natural wonders. That’s to say nothing of the diversity of its wildlife—from the oceans to the air to the land, the countryside is teeming with life, and there are some fabulous opportunities to see creatures you’re unlikely to see in most other locations. Whatever your itinerary, it’s definitely best to be prepared for absolutely anything, whether it’s by packing clothing to be ready for a sudden change in the weather, to making sure you’ve always got your camera at the ready to take the picture of a lifetime. And wherever you go, it’s always good to travel with a little cash, just to make sure you’re prepared for every eventuality. You never know when you’ll be driving past the best diner in the state, or finding that one memento you can’t do without.
Go on a Bear-Viewing Tour
Bears are one of the most iconic symbols of Alaska’s wildlife, and to see a bear is an amazing experience. A bear-viewing tour in a location such as Katmai National Park or Brooks River Falls can give you the chance to do exactly that. Some tours offer travelers an almost guaranteed sighting of bears in large numbers, for hours in a single session. A typical tour lasts five to ten hours, and involves flying over the Alaskan wilderness to reach the best spots for seeing these majestic creatures, and the opportunity to see bears in an entirely new way.
See the Northern Lights
The northern lights, or aurora borealis, is the name given to the light display that develops above the north pole. The light display is the result of solar activity that blows electrically charged particles into the earth’s atmosphere, where they collide with atmospheric particles to produce the fabulous colors. In Alaska, your best viewing opportunities come between September and April. On clear winter nights, the lights are best viewed after midnight, and in these conditions the view in the sky takes your breath away. This is definitely one time you’ll want to have plenty of warm clothing handy, and perhaps a hot cup of coffee too. Check out the local forecast to give yourself the best change of seeing this amazing light show.
Photo by John Cameron via trover.com
Visit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Nearly twenty million acres in size, this wildlife refuge is one of the most untouched and most wild of the US’s ecosystems. Within the refuge, the towering peaks of the Brooks Mountain Range can be seen. The mountain range is 600 miles long, and is the highest in the Arctic Circle. A multitude of animal species can be seen here—more than 135 bird species in the coastal region of the refuge, including tundra swans, loons, and the more than 300,000 geese that stop to feed in the tundra before flying south during the winter. Caribou, polar bears, wolves, grizzlies, wolverines, and other species can be found here too, and travelers can choose from a range of tour options for seeing the region, including cruise ships as well as land travel.
Go Glacier-Viewing in Tracy Arm Fjord
The Tracy Arm is simply breathtaking—a stunning fjord with mile-high sheer rock walls, rushing waterfalls, imposing mountains, and massive glaciers. The best way to see this unforgettable sight is via a cruise, which gives you plenty of time to see everything at a comfortable distance. There’s plenty of opportunity for wildlife viewing too, with whales, bears, seals, and birds common sights in the surrounding waters.
Photo by Lenox Yim via trover.com
Drive the Alaska Highway
Combine the classic American roadtrip with the wild beauty of Alaska, and you’ve got something incredibly special. Driving the Alaskan Highway—which runs from British Columbia in Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska—is a roadtrip like no other, thanks to the awe-inspiring scenery. The entire highway runs around 1,000 miles, and careful forward planning is essential for making this trip, as diners, motels, and other landmarks aren’t as common a sight here as they are in other states. But this two-lane highway provides plenty of eye-candy and there are enough campgrounds, restaurants, and other essentials to make the trip comfortably.
This is an article sent in by Sally Frazer