While Alaska is still home to the majority of America's gold
mines, for today's adventurous traveller the State's riches lay in
its incredible landscapes and epic wilderness adventures.
But it's not just the landscapes that are big; this is the land
of brown bears that make Leonardo Di Caprio's Revenant assailant
look like a teddy bear. The bears get so big in part because they
can call on 70lbs king salmon (that's about the weight of an
11-year old child) as part of their diet, and off-shore it's
possible to take a boat trip to see enormous humpback and blue
During the summer season spend days kayaking alongside majestic
glaciers and colonies of puffins and seals, hiking almost virgin
trails, fly-fishing for Alaska King Salmon and observing a sloth of
bears (possibly our favourite collective noun). And with 20 hours
of daylight during the summer, there is plenty of time to pack in
the adrenaline pumping activities. Come winter, the Tordrillo
Mountains provide prime heli-skiing and boarding terrain.
Highway 3 snakes its way through the southeast corner of Denali
National Park, making this one of Alaska's more accessible national
parks. Though wilderness aficionados need not fear - the park
encompasses 6 million acres of asphalt-free landscapes, home to
moose, caribou, wolves and golden eagles.
Further south, the Novarupta Volcano can be found in the Katmai
National Park. A violent eruption by Novarupta in 1912 created the
Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a landscape so barren it was used as
a training ground for U.S. moon landings in the 60's. Away from the
volcanic fumaroles, the Brooks River in Katmai is a hotspot for
Grizzly bears feeding on Sockeye Salmon. Wolves, Caribou and foxes
also inhabit the park.
The USA's largest National Park, Wrangell St Elias, is also a
UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you'll find towering mountain
peaks and some of the largest Glaciers, including Malaspina which
encompasses 850 square miles of ice fields and crevasses.
Speaking of glaciers, the Kenai Fjords National Park includes
the Harding Icefield and travellers taking to the water can observe
imposing glaciers calving icebergs into the still fjord.
Sea-kayaking is a popular activity here too, paddling in search of
sea lions, puffins and even whales.
For a more leisurely Alaskan experience, a cruise along The
Inside Passage offers a glimpse of Alaskan temperate rainforest,
glaciers, fjords and mountains, all the while enjoying the comfort
of a luxury cruise ship. Whale watching is popular here, while
travellers can also explore the Native heritage of Ketchikan, the
residual gold-rush development of Skagway and the Russian influence
still present in Sitka.
Lastly, given the distances and often-inhospitable terrain,
flying is a spectacular way to really get into the wilderness. We
work with expert bush pilots who use robust small aircraft fitted
with tundra tyres or floats respectively to land on icy glaciers or
remote lakes. It's a suitably original way to explore a truly