Travlang Travel Guide

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10 Epic Reasons Why You Should Visit Alaska

Many people miss out on the beauty of Alaska. It’s not commonly the first thing that comes to mind when deciding where to go on vacation. People opt for southern islands and locations with warm weather and beaches.

Alaska’s climate isn’t always freezing – it can be comfortable during the summer. From landscapes to wildlife, Alaska has many attractions to offer.

Here are 10 epic reasons why you should visit Alaska.

1. The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are a gorgeous sky spectacle most people want to see once in their lifetime. The aurora borealis is actually a phenomenon that occurs when charged sun particles collide with gases on Earth. This meeting of particles creates emissions of stunning light.

This colorful dance of green, blue, and red is only able to be seen in the winter, spring, and fall. The lights are visible in the winter from 11:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and in the spring and fall from 12:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. The night sky has to be completely clear to see the mystical sight well enough.

2. Wildlife

There are a variety of wildlife roaming freely in Alaska. You can see them in nature by taking part in tours and viewings. The state offers viewings of specific animals and tours that are unlike any in a zoo.

A popular park is Denali National Park, where you can spot caribou, wolves, moose, bears, foxes, and more. Participants can also see golden eagles and bald eagles on the tour. Other parks include the Alaska Raptor Center, the Alaska Sealife Center, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and the state zoo.

Visitors can on viewings for salmon, bears, moose, eagles, Dall sheep, caribou, walrus, and other wildlife. Even if you don’t pay for a tour or viewing, you’ll most likely see some majestic animals wandering about. Moose are common.

Ask the locals where wildlife hot spots are if you’re interested in going on some animal-viewing of your own!

3. Glaciers

While temperatures are high enough that snow melts during the summer, large glaciers are a sight that stay in Alaska all year. There are an estimated 100,000 glaciers and only 616 are named. Glacier Bay National Park has about 1,000 icy blue attractions!

Many of these striking glaciers are accessible by car, train, or trails. This includes Matanuska Glacier, Portage Glacier, Exit Glacier, Spencer Glacier, and Bryon Glacier. Some, such as Spencer Glacier, have ice caves you can enter.

Big cruise ships can’t get very close to ice that’s on the water, but smaller boats or kayaks are other options.

4. Mountains

Alaskan scenery is like no other. Mountains of all sizes are abundant and ready to be explored (and photographed). They rise in the distance, waiting for visitors.

Reaching the tallest height in all of North America is Denali. This mountain is over 20,000 feet above sea level. Don’t worry if extreme hiking isn’t your forte – there are peaks that only get to less than half of Denali’s peak.

Mountains are all over the state. See the Alaska Range, Brooks Range, Saint Elias Mountains, Chugach Mountains, Aleutian Range, and many more mountain groups. Take in the astonishing scenery as you drive through places such as the Seward Highway.

5. The Midnight Sun

Is the cold a bit too much for you? Vacation to Alaska in the summer and experience the Midnight Sun. This is the opposite of the Northern Lights, which occur in the winter when there’s less daylight.

The sun stays above the horizon much longer in the summer, and even in the places where it does fall below the horizon there’s still twilight. Seward has 18 hours of sunlight and Barrow, the northernmost city, has a full 24 hours of sunlight!

The Midnight Sun can only be found above the Arctic Circle, or about a third of Alaska. The state offers bus and plane tours, and you can join local celebration during the summer solstice. You can view the sun clearly from some mountains and highways.

6. Fun in the Snow

Alaska is the perfect destination for those who love snowboarding, skiing, and snowmobiling. In the winter, there’s definitely enough snow to find places to go to for free. Travel through forests and up and down mountains.

A ski resort is another option. The state has 7 resorts including Alyeska, Arctic Valley, and Eaglecrest.

The summer months aren’t totally devoid of snow. You can ski at Thompson Pass and Chugach Mountain Powder Guides offer heli-skiing into June.

7. Fishing

Fishing pro or not, it’s worth it to fish in Alaska. Don’t worry about sitting for hours waiting for a bite. This won’t be a problem when you find the right fishing location.

Catch rainbow trout, salmon, halibut, and more at a private fishing lodge or with a charter company. With a company you’ll learn about commercial fishing, too.

Although it’s not remote and the chances of catching fish are smaller, you can also fish in urban areas such as downtown Anchorage.

8. Cruises

Summer is the best time to cruise Alaska because the weather is warm enough for cruise ships to safely move through the water. Take in the breathtaking landscaping, wildlife, and entertainment for a week or two on-board.

Peak season is June to August. It has the warmest weather, longest days, and great chances of seeing wildlife.

May and September are off-season months, but you can still see the Alaskan scenery and wildlife at a lower price. These months are colder, however, and melted snow forces some tourist spots in May to close until the middle or end of the month.

September offers fall scenery and the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. Although it gets rainy, most of the tourist spots stay open during the month.

9. Hiking and Camping

Stay among Alaskan nature and choose from many campsites and hiking trails. Campgrounds include Willow Creek, Porcupine, and Eagle River.

There are over 750 trails in the state, ranging from beginner level to advanced, so there’s one out there for you! Some may take a few hours while others could take a couple days. Experience wildlife, forests, mountains, and the amazing Alaskan views.

Another great part is that it’s free to hike a trail unless you have to rent gear. Popular trails are Child’s Glacier, Homestead Trail, Lost Lake Trail, and Devil’s Creek Trail.

10. Peace and Quiet

It’s easy to escape the noise of everyday life when you vacation in Alaska. Being the biggest state, there are a vast number of places to visit and explore.

Drive down the roads that are almost barren and enjoy the sights in remote areas. You’ll get a break from the internet as well with low connectivity in cities and none at all in the wilderness.

Imagine a peaceful day of sightseeing and hiking followed by a marathon of rented DVDs! Alaska is the place to be to get away from it all.

See the Beauty of Alaska

There are wonders to be experienced in America’s largest state. Alaska is much more than a frozen wasteland, and those who dislike the winter cold can still enjoy a getaway here.

Adventurous visitors can fish, hike, or go skiing. The less adventurous types can relax at a ski resort, remote cabin or hotel, and go on wildlife tours or a cruise. Alaska has something for everyone.

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