Alaska adventure travel (2023)

Alaska adventure travel (1)

Alaska is a land of excitement and untamed beauty. It’s the perfect place to visit if you like nature and have an adventurous soul. Whether you decide to go during summer or winter, tons of activities await. From climbing mountains to watching the northern lights, Alaska has a lot to offer. Here is a bit of inspiration for your trip to the last frontier on this Alaska travel guide to inspire you to visit.

7 adventures of a lifetime in Alaska

Alaska adventure travel (2)

Wildlife watching cruise

A trip to Alaska wouldn’t be complete without a cruise. Along Alaska’s shore, you’ll have the chance to see humpback whales, killer whales, dolphins, seals, and lots of birds. If you have time, you can go cruising for several days to reach Alaska wildest places and see incredible landscapes. You can also just go on a day trip from Juneau, Homer or Seward. Check out this fantastic 3 hour guaranteed whale watching tour offered between Point Adolphus and the Icy Straight for more details and inspiration to a whale watching cruise.

Mid-May to mid-September is the best time to go cruising in Alaska.

Alaska adventure travel (3)

Arctic circle and northern light tours

A trip to the arctic circle is a once in a lifetime experience. Picture nothing but a road passing through unspoiled wilderness, nothing but nature as far as your eyes can see, as far as your mind can imagine.

On your way there, you’ll pass by the Trans-Alaska pipeline and the Yukon River Bridge (one of Alaska’s largest bridge) as well as incredible scenery through the famous Dalton Highway. When night comes, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to witness the magnificent aurora arboreal.

Useful information:

– Tours leave from Fairbanks

– The arctic circle can be visited year round, but the best times to see the Northern lights are usually around the equinoxes, during or near a new moon.

– You could drive to the Arctic Circle on your own with the right car (most car rental companies don’t allow it), but it’s a long journey. Alternatively, you can spend a night near the Arctic Circle Sign, in Coldfoot.

Alaska adventure travel (4)

Encounter grizzly bears and wolves in Denali National Park

Denali National Park is one of Alaska’s most scenic park. Located between Fairbanks and Anchorage, Denali offers spectacular landscapes and lots of opportunities to see wildlife.

There are three ways to visit the park:

– Independently on bike or foot

– Narrated tour buses: up to a certain point only buses are allowed to keep driving, they’re different tours you can choose from depending on how long you have and what you want to see. It’s also a good option if you don’t want to trek.

– Transit buses: this hop on/hop off bus allows you to stop where you want as long as you want. There are four routes available. It’s a good option if you’re going to trek farther inside the park.

Some information:

– Best time to go: late May to early September

– Size of the park: 4,740,091 acres

– Entrance fee: USD 15, free for children under 15

– There are several campgrounds within the park and a few accommodation options outside.

– It’s recommended to spend at least two days there.

Check out the Park official website for more information.

Alaska adventure travel (5)

Hike the Root Glacier in Wrangell St. Elias National Park

Wrangell St. Elias National Park is one of the most significant protected areas in Alaska, it’s also where you’ll find some of North America’s highest peaks. Between sea and mountain, the park features incredible landscapes and breathtaking scenery. It’s the perfect place for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

One of the most adventurous things to do there is hiking the Root Glacier. Several options are offered depending on your experience and fitness level. Along the glacier, you’ll discover several glacial ponds or deep blue holes, creeks, canyons and great views over Mt. Blackburn and the Kennicott Glacier.

If you have the right gear, you can trek the Root Glacier trail on your own without a guide. Best time to go is between June and September.

You can also go packrafting in Kennicott Glacier Lake. Some tours are available to beginners, but you’ll need to have a good fitness level as it can get pretty intense.

Alaska adventure travel (6)

White water rafting in the Kenai River

Rafting is a must-do in Alaska, accessible to anyone, it’s one of the most affordable activities you can do there. There are tons of options from 10-day rafting trips to more relaxed day trips. One of the best places to go white water rafting is along the Kenai River.

You’ll get tons of opportunities to see wildlife, part of the river is closed off to motorized boats so this area is usually peaceful and quiet. Surrounded by forest and mountains, it’s the perfect place to enjoy nature and to discover what Alaska is all about.

Best time to go: end of May to mid-September

Alaska adventure travel (7)

(Video) Alaska 8 Day Road Trip: Anchorage, Fairbanks, Glaciers, Wildlife & Denali over 1,000 Miles

Take a flightseeing tour

Everywhere you are in Alaska, you’ll get a chance to take a flightseeing tour to explore Alaska’s wilderness without to have to step one foot outside. From the coziness of a plane or helicopter, you’ll be able to see untamed nature, jagged landscapes and extraordinary wildlife.

Taking a flightseeing tour is a marvelous way of exploring Alaska rugged nature, especially if you’re visiting during winter when most activities are suspended. Depending on where you are and what you want to see, you can choose whatever tour suits you best. From glaciers landing to watching walruses and bears, you’ll experience a once in a lifetime adventure.

Alaska adventure travel (8)

Go on a polar bear expedition in Fairbank

Looking for a thrilling experience? Look no further, several tour companies offer polar bear expedition from Fairbanks. It’s expensive (around USD 2,000 per person), but you won’t get such excitement anywhere else.

Start your day with a plane ride over the wild and lonesome arctic, where you’ll get a chance to admire the landscape but also to see polar bears and witness coastal village life. After lunch, you’ll spend the day cruising along the coast to see more polar bears.

There’s only a short window of time where you can do this tour, from August 16 to September 25, when the polar bears arrive in this area to take advantage of the leftovers from whales and before the pack ice is ready for them to leave.

What about you? Have you been to Alaska? What’s the best adventure you’ve ever been

Enjoyed this post – please pin it!

Alaska adventure travel (9)

Alaska adventure travel (10)

Guest Author bio

Julie has been traveling full time since 2016 and is always on the lookout for great destinations and travel hacks. She shares her best travel experiences on her blog Julie Around the Globe and aims to inspire others to travel more and to places less known.
Follow Julie’s blog at Julie Around the Globe

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Alaska adventure travel, hope you are inspired to plan a visit the best recreation activities in Alaska and enjoy these wonderful attractions. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post. Seniors, take advantage of the national park senior pass now while prices are really low for a life time membership.

If you like what you see, come and check out my other social media channels for more updates, including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter
Some links in this article on adventure in Alaska are affiliates which provide a small commission to support this site at no extra cost to you. Thank you for reading, and happy travels!

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  1. Alaska adventure travel (17)

    James smithon June 21, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Great stunning Destination very nice & adventure destination to visit i really like to visit at this place


    • Alaska adventure travel (18)

      Noelon June 22, 2019 at 6:09 am

      Yes, there are a lot of cool places to visit and have an adventure experience in Alaska


  2. Alaska adventure travel (19)

    Saraon June 19, 2019 at 4:40 am

    A visit to Alaska is a dream adventure for me. It looks so stunning through your photos.

    The Northern lights have been on my bucket list for a long time. Hopefully I will get to see them eventually, without seeing a grizzly bear at the some time 😛


    • Alaska adventure travel (20)

      (Video) My Solo Trip to ALASKA | Cruising From Vancouver to Anchorage

      Noelon June 19, 2019 at 6:20 am

      Yes there are lots of amazing Alaska adventure travel experiences and these are fantastic right?


  3. Alaska adventure travel (21)

    nicolelabargecmon June 18, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Alaska is a dream for me. One of five states left. I can’t wait to go and go whale watching


    • Alaska adventure travel (22)

      Noelon June 19, 2019 at 6:21 am

      One on my list with all these amazing Alaska adventure travel experiences also


  4. Alaska adventure travel (23)

    Tamion June 18, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    You’re right — Alaska does have an awful lot to offer, especially in scenery and wildlife. I haven’t been in so many years, but I do remember seeing gorgeous glaciers, ski resorts, wildflowers, tons and tons of trees, and so much more. Your photos are stunning. The one thing I have yet to experience is the Northern Lights. I have to get back someday, at least for that!


    • Alaska adventure travel (24)

      Noelon June 19, 2019 at 6:22 am

      There’s a lot to see and do in Alaska and these adventure experiences is a good part of the ultimate package of visiting.


  5. Alaska adventure travel (25)

    bye:myselfon June 18, 2019 at 8:38 am

    This is just incredibly beautiful and exciting! If I ever visit the US again, I’ll go to Alaska. I’ve heard that it’s really expensive, but after having seen the pictures of the whales and the Denali Park just blows me away – albeit, it’s also the pictures, I’m sure 😉 Fantastic!

    (Video) Visiting Wrangell-St. Elias (the LARGEST national park!) | Kennecott, Root Glacier, & Bonanza Mine


    • Alaska adventure travel (26)

      Noelon June 19, 2019 at 6:23 am

      Alaska is definitely a wonderful place to visit for photography and adventure


  6. Alaska adventure travel (27)

    Linda (LD Holland)on June 17, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Brings back such great memories. Thanks! We saw some whales in Alaska. But nothing like we saw on our recent visit to Vancouver Island. We are so sorry we did not see the Northern Lights though. A cruise was a great taste test. But we really want to go into the interior and Denali on our next visit. You have convinced me to splurge on a flightseeing tour!


    • Alaska adventure travel (28)

      Noelon June 19, 2019 at 6:24 am

      I’ve heard cruises were a good thing to do but also traveling around and visiting all these sites and adventure experiences in Alaska is the way to go.


  7. Alaska adventure travel (29)

    Elaine Masterson June 17, 2019 at 10:51 am

    I adore Alaska but regret not seeing more of it during the 6 years I lived in SE. Would love to return to see the Northern Lights and especially do a white water trip with all the wildlife and quiet. There are alot more ice caves than when I was there in the 1980s, sadly.


    • Alaska adventure travel (30)

      Noelon June 19, 2019 at 6:25 am

      Adventure travel in Alaska is definitely a fantastic way to experience the amazing landscape and these outdoor activities makes you connect with the land and nature


  8. Alaska adventure travel (31)

    SherianneKayon June 17, 2019 at 3:56 am

    (Video) A Trip to Alaska - Adventure Capital of the United States

    Such great captures of the whale and aurora arboreal. I hadn’t heard of Root Glacier in Wrangell St. Elias National Park but it is going on my must see list. I didn’t know there are polar bear expeditions, that’s a lot of money but what a great experience


    • Alaska adventure travel (32)

      Noelon June 19, 2019 at 6:26 am

      Lots of great choices of places to explore and adventure experiences in Alaska, hope you get to visit soon


  9. Alaska adventure travel (33)

    Hannahon June 16, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Wow, Alaska looks so dreamy – wide open landscapes, the northern lights, and polar bears! I would love to drive / be driven on the Dalton Highway, ever since I watched Ice Road Truckers 😉


    • Alaska adventure travel (34)

      Noelon June 19, 2019 at 6:27 am

      You should go visit Alaska and do some of these wonderful adventure tours and experiences, hopefully soon!


  10. Alaska adventure travel (35)

    Rajlakshmion June 10, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    OMG these pictures are stunning 🙂


    • Alaska adventure travel (36)

      Noelon June 13, 2019 at 7:35 pm

      Alaska is amazing and these adventures are fantastic don’t you agree?

      (Video) Seattle to Alaska / Honda Africa Twin / @MotoGeo Adventures


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How many days in Alaska is enough? ›

The sweet spot for an Alaska vacation is seven to 10 days. If you're traveling on a land tour only, in seven days you can go all the way from Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park is an American national park that maintains the Harding Icefield, its outflowing glaciers, and coastal fjords and islands. The park covers an area of 669,984 acres (1,046.9 sq mi; 2,711.3 km2) on the Kenai Peninsula in south-central Alaska, west of the town of Seward. › wiki › Kenai_Fjords_National_Park
to Denali National Park with plenty of time for day-long guided excursions along the way.

Is 3 days enough for Alaska? ›

Most people plan at least three days in Anchorage during their Alaska travels. No matter how long you have, there are many ways to explore. Eat your way through Anchorage, dive into Alaska Native cultures, enjoy the great outdoors, search for bears, or see just how much you can fit into one day under the midnight sun.

Where is the most adventurous place to travel? ›

14 of the most adventurous places to travel
  • Atacama Desert, Chile.
  • Ciudad Perdida (Lost City), Colombia.
  • The Gobi Steppe, Mongolia.
  • Tongariro National Park, New Zealand.
  • Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway.
  • Papua New Guinea.
  • Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania.
  • Myeik Archipelago, Myanmar.

What is the best month to go to Alaska? ›

The spring and fall months in Alaska offer unique opportunities and lower prices. In our opinion the best time to travel to Alaska is in June, July and August. The best month to visit Alaska is July, when travelers will experience the best combination of weather and wildlife.

What is the best season in Alaska? ›

July in Alaska

For many people, the answer to the question “When is the best time to go to Alaska?” is July. With wildlife fully active, all trails accessible, long days and Alaska's warmest average temperatures, July can be the best month to visit Alaska.

What should you not do in Alaska? ›

20 Things Everyone In Alaska Should Avoid At All Costs
  • Farmed seafood. Flickr/fs999. ...
  • Or buying fish in general. ...
  • Even feeding your dogs farmed fish. ...
  • Eating hot dogs. ...
  • Camping without a view. ...
  • Snacking on chips from the lower 48. ...
  • Shopping at big corporate box stores. ...
  • Drinking wine that isn't from Alaska.
6 May 2022

What is the cheapest month to travel to Alaska? ›

Top tips for finding cheap flights to Alaska

High season is considered to be June and July. The cheapest month to fly to Alaska is October.

What is the cheapest time to visit Alaska? ›

The Cheapest Time to Visit Alaska

The least expensive time is early November through mid-December. Overall, Anchorage is the least expensive city to stay in and has the most identifiable seasonality curve with midsummer being the most expensive time to go.

What is the number 1 vacation spot in the world? ›

1. Bora Bora Island, French Polynesia. The epitome of romance, Bora Bora is one of the best travel destinations in the World.

What is the number 1 vacation spot? ›

New York City

New York City attracted a record 66.6 million tourists in 2019, according to NYC & Company, the city's tourism promotion agency. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the city is the number 1 most popular place to visit in the U.S.

What is the extreme adventure capital of the world? ›

Queenstown New Zealand - The Adventure Capital of the World.

What is the adventure capital of the US? ›

Alaska has it all: The highest peak in North America, the longest coastline, and the biggest population of bald eagles, grizzlies, and steelhead. Not to mention the insane surfing, hiking, and opportunity for exploration at every turn.

What is the most awesome place on earth? ›

According to the study, the most beautiful place in the world is Peyto Lake in Canada. This natural wonder is known for its neon blue water surrounded by dazzling mountains.

What month is best to see northern lights in Alaska? ›


The northern lights occur all four seasons of the year, although they are harder to see under the Midnight Sun. The best time to see the northern lights in Alaska is between August and April, when less daylight leads to darker night skies.

What month is the rainiest in Alaska? ›

If you ask people in Interior Alaska, what's the wettest month of the year, in the eastern Interior it would July. But for the North Slope the Western half of the state, down into Southcentral, August is the wettest month of the year. If you go down to Southeast, it's September and even October in some places.

What month in Alaska is light? ›

In Barrow, the state's northernmost community, the sun does not set for more than two and a half months—from May 10 until August 2.
Where to See Alaska's Midnight Sun.
Spring Equinox12
Summer Solstice21
Fall Equinox12
Winter Solstice4
3 more columns

Is 5 days enough for Alaska? ›

Five days is a great length of time to spend in Alaska, also called The Last Frontier – it's enough to see some of the top cities and attractions in Southcentral and Interior Alaska. It's also a perfect add-on to your Alaska cruise.

When should I plan a trip to Alaska? ›

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Alaska is during the summer months, beginning in mid-May through mid-September, when the weather is warmest and driest.

Is Alaska expensive? ›

Unfortunately, Alaska is also known for being one of the most expensive states. As of January 2021, the cost of living in Alaska was 24.09% higher than the national average.

Why are days so short in Alaska? ›

In Alaska, the sun travels in a slanting 360 degree circle in the sky, so even if it's below the horizon, it's barely below it for a long period. This means that even though the sun isn't visible, we still receive very bright twilight that can last for hours or until the sun rises again.


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