Maybe it’s the endless tundra of snow or the natural rock formations. Maybe it’s just the idea of getting away — far away — for a few weeks to a place in touch with nature. Whatever draws you
to Alaska, there are four things you must do before you leave. You can plan a single Alaskan trip to include all four, or you can come back to Alaska year after year, checking one accomplishment off your list until you’ve done them all.
See the Misty Fjords
The primary highlight of the Alaskan landscape is that there is so much nature to see, so much of the land is untouched by humans. There are natural formations you won’t find in most places in the U.S. landscape: lakes and rivers peppered by sky-scraping trees and monolithic glaciers.
Ocean inlets and breathtaking waterfalls. The Misty Fjords are the epitome of gorgeous Alaskan landscape, and they’re so remote, you’re not going to be able to drive or hike to them.
Your options for visiting the Misty Fjords are limited to:
- Sailing through Alaska by cruise
- Flying over in a tourist aircraft
- Flying in with a charter service and spending time camping on the fjords
an up-close view of the Misty Fjords — instead of flying over, you get to be amidst Alaskan
wonder, to look up and gaze at the fjords. And, unlike a charter trip, you don’t have to leave the comforts of your ship cabin to do so.
Observe the Wild Sea Life
There are few places in the United States where you can hop on a boat and view orcas and sea
lions in their natural habitats. Seeing the creatures trapped in aquariums is nothing like seeing
them freely roam the ocean. You don’t have to rent a boat to view sea life, either. You can book
passage on a sea life boat tour and let the experts guide you to the most populated areas of the ocean.
You may not be guaranteed to see a killer whale, but you significantly increase your chances when you go with a tour group.
Witness the Northern Lights
In the northernmost areas of the Northern Hemisphere, nature puts on a light show more stunning than any fireworks display. The northern lights, or the aurora borealis, results from atoms colliding in the thermosphere. The night and twilight skies light up in shades of green and in some areas, red and blue. You may have seen pictures of the northern lights before, but nothing beats standing on the Alaskan tundra and gazing up into the light show in person. Some cruise and guided tours specifically stop at locations where you can see the northern lights, so be sure to investigate before your booking.
Visit With Alaskans
The Alaska Channel points out that an often-overlooked but incredible experience when visiting Alaska is simply spending time with the native people. Considering that even the biggest cities in Alaska contain fewer than 300,000 residents, living in Alaska is generally nothing like living in the lower 49 states. There are many small villages where the residents live in snow year-round.
Many Alaskans often fish for dinner and go months without new supplies because icy roads to villages are passable only in the slightly warmer months. Arrange an overnight visit with an individual or family who lives in Alaska and you’ll be amazed at the difference of their daily routines. Just be sure to bundle up before you arrive.
Alaska is a land of promise, a place where you head “north to the future,” as the motto states. You’ll never see as many natural wonders in one place anywhere else in the United States, especially if you’re a fan of winter weather and the pristine snowy tundra. Organize a trip to fully explore and enjoy what Alaska has to offer.