Alaska is one of the largest and most fascinating states to visit in the United States. Bordered by Canada in the East and the freezing Arctic Ocean to the North, Alaska is a haven for wildlife and forests.
You'll find unspoiled beauty and rugged wilderness throughout the entire state, but we've managed to narrow down the most beautiful places to visit in Alaska.
The Most Beautiful Places in Alaska
Alaska is home to several national parks and forests. These are among the best places to visit if you love mountain biking and hiking or want to catch a glimpse of flora and fauna, which may include bald eagles, grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, or sea lions, depending on the location.
1. Kenai Fjords National Park
This scenic national park was established in 1980 and covered nearly 670,000 acres of the Kenai Peninsula. Take the Seward highway to visit the park and marvel at the deep sheltered fjords where humpback whales and sea otters frolic freely.
You can explore almost the entirety of the park by boat or plane or on foot. Popular attractions include the Exit Glacier and Aialik Glacier, and the Harding Icefield Trail.
It's a must for campers who aren't afraid of the cold, and it's close to the Iditarod National Historic Trail, a trail system that runs from Seward.
2. Tongass Forest
The Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska, Mende nhall Glacier Visitor Center and Recreation Area, just 12 miles from the city of Juneau, offers visitors an excellent opportunity to learn about the natural and cultural history of the area.
There are several walking trails to explore, including the Nugget Falls Trail, which leads to a stunning vantage point from which to observe the glacier.
The forest park has a campground and picnic area and offers guided tours, including kayaking trips to the Mendenhall Glacier.
Here you'll find the Misty Fiords National Monument Area, a portion of rugged wilderness for those who want isolation during their visit.
While you are there, take a trip to Southeast Alaska Discovery Center (SEADC) in Ketchikan, Alaska, USA, to learn more about the culture of the local people.
3. Kodiak Island
The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is home to several species, includ ing brown bears, the Sitka black-tailed deer, wolves, and more. You can explore several lakes and rivers, as well as a portion of the Pacific Ocean.
Rent a charter boat to take part in salmon fishing expeditions, enjoy the incredible campgrounds, or take an organized hunting trip with a local guide.
4. Sitka National Historical Park
The Sitka National Park offers a fascinating g limpse into the history and culture of Alaska. The park was established to commemorate the 1804 Battle of Sitka, in which the Tlingit people defeated Russian colonizers.
You can view several Native American totem poles and a former Russian Bishop's house, stop by the Visitor Center or hike through the lush and temperate rainforest that makes up the park.
There is an annual Native Cultural Festival celebrating the arts and dance of the Tlingit and Haida cultures that you can enjoy in the summer months.
5. Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park in the panhandle of Alaska is the home of the largest protected glacial system in North America, which also contains the John Hopkins Glacier (the world's most actively calving glacier) and the largest tidewater glacier (Margerie Glacier). You can explore the park via cruise ships, flightseeing, or kayaking.
You can see various species of whale, bear, and moose native to the Alaskan wilderness. Visiting Alaska isn't always easy, and this park is no exception. You will need to hire a boat or take a flight as there is no road access to this park.
6. Denali National Park (also known as Mount Mckinley)
This important national park is named after North America's tallest peak, Denali. The park is the third largest in the United States (consisting of 6 million acres) and is a perfect place to visit if you want to see wildlife or participate in winter sports.
It's also one of the best places to see the Northern Lights. You can take a shuttle bus through the park or book a guided tour. Find out more from the Denali visitor center.
Don't forget to visit Alaska's largest city. Anchorage is one of the most beautiful places in Alaska, surrounded by the Chugach National forest and mountains.
It's the perfect spot to explore many of the parks in the state or to kick off your journey along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
There are several outdoor activities to enjoy, including snowboarding and dog mushing, while history lovers will spend their hours at the Anchorage Museum and Alaska Native Heritage Center.
You can also drive to some of the state's most popular attractions from here, including Deer Mountain and the Chugach state park.
8. Chena Hot Springs
Located just 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, you'll find natural geothermal springs producing boiling 110°F water where you can warm up. It's located in the Chena River State Recreation Area and is open to tourists all year long.
We hope you enjoyed our round-up of the best places to visit in Alaska! There are a few places that haven't made it to the list that are well worth exploring, including the Arctic National Park, Elias National Park, Arctic National Park, and Katmai National Park. Make sure to visit as many as you can during your trip!
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