One of the biggest trends in travel today is the desire to get back to basics, whether it’s simple wildlife tours or adventuresome rock climbs. At the top of many travelers’ lists is Alaska, and for good reason: perhaps nowhere on Earth is as unspoiled and authentic as the Alaskan landscape. What’s more, the variety of activities available in the Land of the Midnight Sun presents an unparalleled opportunity for unique experiences.
Enough cannot be said of Alaska’s exhilarating scenery. There is the southern coast of fjords teeming with wildlife, and quaint towns with the onion domed churches built by Russian settlers. The town of Sitka is particularly notable for its extensive collection of totem poles that dot Sitka National Historical Park. Then there is Glacier Bay National Park’s immense 25-story Margerie Glacier, where you can witness the extraordinary sight of a glacier calving—or breaking apart—and giving birth to icebergs that thunder into the waters of the bay. But nothing compares to Denali National Park, one of the world’s most painstakingly preserved wilderness areas. Here, some 6-million acres of pristine wilderness are filled with rare wildlife. In fact, Denali is known for its “Big Five,” a group of species that are the most coveted wildlife sightings: moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves and grizzly bears.
Best of all, Alaska offers countless ways to experience its beauty and variety. The entire state is threaded with trail systems offering routes to explore on foot or bicycle. Kayaking is a perfect way to experience Alaska’s coast, and the Aleutian Islands are a particularly popular site for their inimitable combination of scenery and wildlife. And for sweeping panoramic views, there are numerous tours to showcase the landscape, from coastal cruises and bus excursions to cable car mountain climbs and helicopter tours. No matter what you choose, Alaska will bring you back to nature in a way you will never forget
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