The largest and most northern state in the United States. Moreover, it is separated from the rest of the country. Alaska consists not only of the mainland, but also of a large number of islands. These lands once belonged to the Russian Empire, and traces of the presence of the Russians are still preserved, for example, in the names of a number of geographical objects. In 1867, Alaska was sold to the United States and very soon began to form as a tourist area.
Travelers are interested in the local nature. National parks, glaciers and fjords are the main wealth of the state. Tourist routes have been developed to suit all tastes, for example, hiking in the “Foggy Fjords” or sea in Juneau for whale watching. The climate and geographical location give travelers the opportunity to see another unusual phenomenon – the northern lights.
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What to see and where to go in Alaska?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
One of the main attractions of Alaska. The national park covers about 25 thousand km². Here is the highest point in Alaska, after which the area is named. Mount Denali has another name – McKinley, given in memory of the 25th president of the country. A visit to the park allows you not only to admire the natural beauty, but also acquaints you with the life and culture of the indigenous people of North America.
The area of the national park is about 13 thousand km². Most of the territory is covered with forests. In addition, there are many hills, mountain rivers and streams, lakes and glaciers. The largest glaciers are Margerie and Lamplugh. The climate in Glacier Bay is specific: warm winters and cold summers. Convenient walking routes have been laid for tourists. Guests of the park can go fishing, rock climbing or rafting.
It was created in 1980 in order to protect the Arctic territories from the negative influence of people. The area is approximately 2800 km². More than half of the territory is covered with snow and ice. The fauna is typical for this climate: polar bears, walruses, whales, seals. But the coastal flora is more exotic. Kenai Fjords is famous for its “glacial cruises”: tourists are invited to look at the parts breaking away from the glaciers.
In 1978, the territory with this name was declared a national reserve. The area is 9500 km². The remoteness of the area has allowed wildlife to remain virtually untouched. Tourists are brought here mainly by cruise ships and planes. Hiking trails allow you to see the main beauty of the park. Those interested can go mountaineering, boating or fishing in the designated areas.
The largest glacier off the coast of Alaska. Hubbard continues to gain weight and grow. At the same time, he is in motion and is slowly heading towards the bay. The maximum age of the ice layers is 400 years. In the summer, impressive pieces break off the glacier and fall noisily into the water. Tourists come to watch this process. Icebergs separating from Hubbard are a serious problem for the navigation of ships in the region.
It can be found in the valley of the same name. Since it is not so far from the central part of Juneau, in the past it was called “the glacier outside the city”. In 1891 it received its present name in honor of the physicist and meteorologist Mendenhall. The length is about 19 km. Climate change has greatly affected the size and location of the glacier. The glacier is part of the Tongass National Forest Recreational Area.
Fjord Tracy Arm
Surrounded by emerald water. The banks of the fjord are indented, the slopes are covered, and the rocks and mountains have “ragged” features. Tracy Arm Falls flows directly into the sea. Tourists are brought as close as possible during sightseeing tours. Sometimes you can see chunks of glaciers breaking away. Another interesting phenomenon is the bathing of bears and deer. Dolphins by the fjord are used to people and often swim up to the ships.
Located in Katmai National Park. The large number of sockeye salmon and shallow waters attract bears. In the past, they were hunted, so the population has declined significantly. Thanks to the current bans on extermination and the environmental regime, the number of individuals is growing from year to year. Near the waterfall, webcams are installed to monitor the fishing of bears.
Antique Car Museum (Fairbanks)
In 2007, in Fairbanks, thanks to the efforts of Tim Kearney, this museum of rare cars was opened. We managed to assemble 85 cars under one roof. They look perfect and all but a few are on the go. Cars from this collection were released before World War II. In good weather in spring and summer they are “released” from the hangar. If you find yourself in a museum at such a moment, you have a chance to ride a rarity or watch a mini-race.
Museum of the North (Fairbanks)
Located in Fairbanks. A building in a futuristic style was built especially for the museum collection. Each room is responsible for a certain direction. The historical, geographical and cultural halls are the largest. Notable exhibits include a mummified ancient bison and Inuit items. At the museum, a gallery is open, where artists whose work is associated with Alaska are exhibited, and a botanical garden.
Morris Thompson Center (Fairbanks)
Here you can plan your trip around Fairbanks or throughout Alaska. The center offers brochures, telephone and wi-fi access, and accommodation. The spacious exhibition hall features dioramas and other exhibits that tell the history of the state. The center works all year round, seven days a week and closes only for a few national holidays. Research activities are conducted on its basis.
Opened in 1968, this is how the state authorities celebrated the centenary of the sale of Alaska to the Americans. The area of the museum exceeds 16 thousand square meters. Initially, the exhibition was composed of approximately 2,500 ethnographic and historical exhibits. 60 of them are paintings. Now the funds have increased 10 times. Now a full-fledged gallery has been set aside for painting. The design of the museum building is dominated by metal and glass.
Salon “Red Onion” (Skagway)
During the Gold Rush, this was the most popular place in Skagway. Upstairs there were rooms for “leisure”. Each girl was associated with a doll that was displayed at the bar. As soon as the doll was in a horizontal position, it meant that the prostitute was free. For the museum, the appearance of Solon was completely recreated. During the excursions, real performances are arranged and tales of the past are told.
Alaska SeaLife Center (Seward)
The Large Aquarium has been in Seward since 1998. Its task is to maintain the holistic water system of Alaska. The organization is non-profit, it provides its reports to everyone who helps to keep the seas and rivers clean. Another area of activity is animal rehabilitation. As a result of natural disasters or human activities, some individuals require treatment, and the center provides it.
Alaska Zoo (Anchorage)
It has been operating since 1969 and attracts more than one hundred thousand tourists to Anchorage annually. The history of the zoo in Alaska began with a local resident winning a lottery elephant. At present, the number of mammalian species has reached 46. In addition to them, about a hundred birds are kept here. On the basis of the zoo, scientific research and rehabilitation of animals wounded or thrown out by their previous owners are carried out.
Historical Park “Totem Byte” (Ketchikan)
Occupies 13 hectares in the vicinity of Ketchikan. Created in 1939. In the past, this site was a camping site. The historic area includes the original totem poles of the state’s native people. Added other unique objects, such as the restored chieftain’s dwelling. Tourists have access to dexterity tests, participation in rituals, canoeing. Every evening there are gatherings around a large fire.
Tony Knowles Coastal Trail (Anchorage)
It stretches over 17 km from Anchorage city center to Kincaid Park. Passes along the coast of Cook Bay. The terrain and scenic views attract walkers, bikers, half marathon runners and skiers to the trail. There is something to see here at any time of the year. The conditions remain comfortable both for walking and for sports. From here you can see the Island of Fire and planes taking off from the local airport.
Construction began in 1903. The length of the main highway is about 760 km. State road belongs to the second class. It is connected to the rest of the country’s rail system via a ferry, which ferries from Witter to Seattle. There are several special tourist routes. The cars on them are equipped with panoramic windows or even transparent domes on the roof.
Whales in Juneau
Among the excursion walks this is the most popular. The tour lasts about 4 hours. Tourist buses leave from downtown Juneau and reach the port in less than half an hour. There the groups are accommodated on special boats. On the way to the places where whales are gathered, all kinds of inhabitants of the local waters meet. There are especially many seals. They also attract whales. Killer whales are not at all afraid of people and swim up close.
One of the most beautiful and unusual natural phenomena. The glow of the upper layers of the atmosphere occurs due to their interaction with the flow of ionized particles. Alaska is the best place to watch the aurora. Usually the phenomenon is revealed in all its glory in September, although the forecast differs from year to year. The hills of Denali National Park are perfect as a viewing platform.