Finding Alaska's Wild Wonders

You've spent the past year cooped up. Under stress. Separated and restricted.

But Alaska has a way of helping you to let go. Of providing space to breathe deep and reconnect. And, of course, so many chances to be swept away by wonder. So, when it's your time, Alaska's here, waiting to wow you.

Here's where to go.

Aialik Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park

Aialik Bay appearing through the mist in Kenai Fjords National Park.

It's like entering another world, Aialik Bay. Leaving the churning swell of the Gulf of Alaska you'll find yourself in smooth blue water protected on three sides by thousand-foot cliffs. Waterfalls stream down the black stone walls, the only sound save for the occasional crack of ice calving from the tidewater glacier at the bay's end.

To reach Aialik Bay you'll launch from Seward. Try a wildlife and glacier cruise or up the adventure with a Kenai Fjords National Park kayaking trip.

Eielson Visitor Center in Denali National Park

Morning light in Denali National Park.

Arriving at the Eielson Visitor Center in Denali National Park can feel like the culmination of a journey. You'll have traveled the long way to Alaska, gone even farther to Denali Park, and then some 60 winding miles through the backcountry to this perch. Laid before you is an epic expanse of graceful ridgelines and braided rivers, glacier-worn peaks and (with luck) the highest mountain of them all. Your destination is more than worthy of the journey.

Learn more about visiting Denali National Park with this destination guide.

Thompson Pass

Flower and mountain views in Thompson Pass near Valdez.

Sawtooth peaks surrounded by pristine icefields. Wildflowers blooming among summertime snowpack. Hanging glaciers peering over green valleys. Thompson Pass is a place of breathtaking contrast.

To marvel in this special spot, you'll want to head off the beaten path.

Matanuska Glacier

Hiking at Matanuska Glacier.

Stunning from a distance, yes, but even more so from up close. A fee at the private Glacier View entry gate gains you access to the glacier proper. Take care as you go, there's so much to see.

The Matanuska Glacier is a two-hour drive northeast of Anchorage. You'll pass by it traveling on a road trip like this one. Better yet, explore this roadside wonder with a guide on a Matanuska Glacier tour and trek.

Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park

Three bears anxiously await leaping salmon in Katmai National Park.

There are many places you might see bears in Alaska. And Brooks Falls isn't even the most spectacular in terms of setting. But you're unlikely to see this many brown bears, this close together, at this proximity. You're near enough to see their keen eyes scan the rushing water for the silvery flick of a salmon, to hear the swat of a paw on water or crunch of fresh caught fish. It's wild, in the best way.

You can travel to Brooks Falls from Anchorage on a day tour. If it's not the season for congregating bears at Brooks Falls when you're traveling in Alaska, check out these other fantastic bear viewing tours in Lake Clark National Park.

Want to learn more about where to go and what to see in Alaska? Request our updated 2021 travel guide and map and start planning today.

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At Alaska Tour & Travel, we specialize in building custom trips for every timeline, personality, and budget. If you'd like to have an Alaskan plan your Alaska trip, give us a call at 800-208-0200.

Posted on January 19, 2021 in: Favorite Places