Why You Have To Explore Alaska

Adventure around The Last Frontier, see the Northern Lights, breathtaking glaciers, small port towns and stunning landscapes.

Sunset over an icy blue lake.
Sunset over an icy blue lake. Photo: Zoe Zaleski

Alaska is the final destination for adventurous jet setters looking to experience wild nature in an unconventional way. From salmon runs to grizzly bears, the state is the biggest and one of the most unpopulated in the United States. If you have not had the chance to explore its glacial blue lakes, towering mountains, summers that last a lifetime and winter skies streaked by the aurora borealis, you have to put Alaska on your radar for your next big adventure.

What makes Alaska so elusive, unexplored, and wild is its sheer size. The state alone has more coastline than the rest of the United States combined, and is home to more than half of all glaciers around the globe. With three different oceans, thousands of rivers, enormous forests, and impressive mountain ranges, the state is every outdoor lover’s dream.

Mid-summer glaciers along the ocean.
Mid-summer glaciers along the ocean. Photo: Zoe Zaleski

In the peak of summer time, the sun can be out for almost twenty-two hours, while in the winter, the northern-most reaches of the state can go up to sixty-seven days without sunlight. If you are one of the many jet setters wanting to see the Northern Lights but are wary about the idea of days on end without sunlight, fear not! The aurora borealis can be seen anywhere from September to March, while there is still ample sunlight in the daytime.

Alaska has hundreds of activities to offer, including kayaking around glaciers, salmon fishing, surfing the bore tide in the Turnagain Arm bay, unlimited hikes, river rafting, and animal sightings.

Following the riverbed backpacking in Denali National Park.
Following the riverbed backpacking in Denali National Park. Photo: Zoe Zaleski

 

Breathtaking landscapes in every direction in Denali National Park.
Breathtaking landscapes in every direction in Denali National Park. Photo: Zoe Zaleski

If you are looking for the more adventurous aspects of a trip to Alaska, try and allocate some time to see Denali National Park. Mount Denali is the tallest in North America, and the National Park contains miles and miles of undeveloped countryside. With a wide variety of plants and animals, you are bound to see anything from bald eagles, to grizzly bears, to moose, to even the elusive wolves. (If you plan on backpacking, be sure to bring bear spray and a bear box to keep food in, so as to leave no trace and stay safe.)

Fairbanks is the place to be to see the Northern Lights, which are best seen between 12:30 and 4:30am. It is very far North, so even if you so in the summer months bring lots of warm clothing for the evenings and occasional rain showers.

Cooper Landing, Alaska.
Cooper Landing, Alaska. Photo: Zoe Zaleski

Venturing down South, Cooper Landing is a beautiful area rife with mountains for hiking, glaciers for gazing, and rivers for rafting. Just North of Kenai, Cooper Landing is home to the stunning Cecil Rhode Mountain, which can be summited in a few short and strenuous hours. This is a good home base for travels to Kenai to try your hand at salmon fishing, the Turnagain Arm for camping and surfing, as well as trips to Homer to explore the beautiful coastal towns.

Alaska is a wild and wonderful place, steeped in culture, nature, and unexplored terrain. There are uncountable adventures to be had and sights to see throughout the state, and is absolutely one of the most beautiful displays of nature to see. It is a remarkable reminder of all of how exquisite and powerful mother nature is, and is a great place to reflect on how incredible this planet is.

Birds taking flight over the Turnagain Arm in Homer.
Birds taking flight over the Turnagain Arm in Homer. Photo: Zoe Zaleski

Zoe was in Alaska for a total of three weeks.

Zoe Zaleski

Zoe has been an avid traveler her whole life. She grew up in California, has lived in Spain, and is currently living in South Africa. Zoe has traveled to over twenty countries, and does not plan on stopping any time soon. She loves being outdoors, and her passions include photography, diving, backpacking, and rock climbing.

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