There’s exceptional access to five parks in particular. Its 8 national parks cover and protect millions of acreage, which is there for the public to respect and enjoy. Unless you can budget for a special excursion, you’ll only be able to visit these parks: That doesn’t mean the other parks aren’t worth a visit! Kobuk Valley National Park is very remote. I did check. You can either fly or hike into the park (we’re talking about a very long hike!). On average, wet and cool conditions predominate in the spring, summer, and fall. It is vast—bigger than Switzerland. If you’re not up for a crazy hiking adventure, you may just settle for seeing this area from the air. One is near the Exit Glacier trail and the other in Seward harbor area. The system contains over 120 units spanning over three million acres (one million two hundred thousand hectares), making it far larger than any other state park system in the United States. There are local tours that will take you along the road. You can get there from Anchorage via Seward Highway, which is a national scenic byway well worth the drive on its own. My older son is taking a university degree now so we think a long trip may not be a good option for a while. If you can budget several hundreds of dollars per person, there are several tour operators going out of Fairbanks like this one. Fall colors emerge on the alpine tundra in August and in the low valleys in early September. Commercial airlines provide service from Anchorage to Kotzebue, or from Fairbanks to Bettles. Summer daytime temperatures range from the mid-40s to the low-70s (Fahrenheit). Skagway has a highly variable climate with frequent rain and high winds. A spacious room with good WiFi and a great breakfast. So, let’s talk about Glacier Bay National Park. If you’re not visiting Glacier Bay as part of a cruise, you’ll probably be taking the daily boat tour that goes out of Bartlett Cove where the park headquarters are. Rain is the norm in lush cool southeast Alaska. The mountain ridges are in fact shared by two national parks. Kenai Fjords National Park is located just outside the town of Seward in south-central Alaska, 126 miles south of Anchorage. Learn More >, Book Now with no risk, your deposit is fully refundable until 31 days prior to travel with the purchase of our Worry-Free Cancellation Waiver. You then have two roads that go into the park. This is actually the largest national park in the United States. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is shared with Wrangle-St. Ellias National Park, as well as Kluane National park in the Yukon, and Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in British Columbia.This park is located between the Gulf of Alaska and Canada. Featuring Simeonof National Wildlife Refuge, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Tuxedni National Wildlife Refuge, Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge… For avid experienced hikers, the risk that comes with wilderness hiking just adds to the thrill. Denali Park’s headquarters is located... 2. Possibly the most amazing thing you can get to see in Kobuk National Park are the incredibly huge herds of migrating caribou. Kenai Fjords National Park is the meeting point of ocean, ice, and mountains. When we visited in the summer of 2017, the trail ended several hundred yards before the glacier. Year-round scheduled air service is also provided by a variety of small air taxis and charters. I really hope you manage to set up a blog and write more about it. Alaska's top five most popular parks by … The park is home to caribou, moose, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, wolves, foxes, and many more small mammals and birds. It can get cold, even on a sunny July day! Discover Alaska’s National Parks from the highest mountains to the harshest glaciers, in national parks like Denali, Kenai Fjords, and Wrangell-St. Elias. National Parks in Alaska: A Complete List of All 16. We were in Alaska for 3 weeks last summer, had such a great time we are going back this year and heading into the Yukon Territory! The single sight that all visitors crave to see is Mount Denali. Denali. Expect to pay anything between $150-$400 a night for a room for two. Luckily, Anchorage is in the center of it all and offers many ways to enjoy the parks. Skagway is one of the few places along the Inner Passage that you can actually reach by road. It could be a huge cruise ship or a smaller charter taken from Gustavus after flying in. The only thing is, the park road will be closed and the place will be covered in deep snow. I discussed the pros and cons of the shuttle vs. bus options in my post about visiting Denali National Park. There are also several hotels in Sitka so you could stay there overnight. Like other Alaska parks, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park has no entrance stations or gates. Sand dunes, rivers, and the caribou – three things that symbolize the Kobuk Valley National Park. Larger than Denali at 8.4 million acres, this is home to a natural arctic environment and diverse ecosystems. Learn More >, Championed by the famed conservationist John Muir, this southeast Alaskan national park is as known for its glaciers as it is for abundant whale watching opportunities. Expert RVers visited 230 RV Parks in Alaska. Click here for the list, including things to do and how to get there. The parks are road-free, so it is mainly small planes leaving from Anchorage that provide access to sensational bear viewing opportunities. At the same time, it’s very accessible by Alaska standards. With 17 national park units and 16 national wildlife refuges, the options may seem limitless. Below is a list of campgrounds available sorted by park area. Learn More >, Nothing in the United States quite compares to the massive scale of this remote national park, the largest in the country and home to nine of its 16 highest mountains. ), You can read our own Denali trip report here, Kenai Fjords cruise and you can see the videos of the glacier calving in my trip report, my detailed post about the Kenai Fjords cruise report, my post about things to do in Seward, Alaska, Read more tips for the Kenai Fjords glacier cruise here, visit to nearby Whitehorse, the capital of the Canadian Yukon, What’s the cost of a trip to Alaska (including 11 budgeting tips), whale and glacier watching while visiting Kenai National Park, 25 Alaska Travel Tips That Will Make Your Trip a Success, Visiting Fairbanks, Alaska (Including a List of 11 Fun Things to Do), Salt Point State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Red Rock State Park, Arizona – A Visitor’s Guide, Flathead Lake State Park, Montana – A Visitor’s Guide, 7 Fantastic Things To Do In Bozeman, Montana, Palomar Mountain State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, 16 Awesome Things To Do In Great Falls, Montana, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Montaña de Oro State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Natural Bridges State Beach, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, 7 Awesome Things To Do In Whitefish, Montana, Red Rock State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, 23 Best Things To Do In And Around Missoula, Montana, Crystal Cove State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Castle Rock State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, FL – A Visitor’s Guide, 2 Weeks In The United States [5 Sample Itineraries], 21 Stunning Lake Tahoe Pictures [Bucket List Destination Photo Tour], Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Take the drive along the park road for the amazing views (and wildlife), Fly over the park for amazing views of Denali mountain, Last – but not least – climb the mountain! Downtown is pretty close to the national park area itself. So, if you wanted to visit during wintertime (sledding?) This place is the centerpiece of Alaska’s Inside Passage and a 25-million acre World Heritage Site, most of it sea water. If you need one, that’s fine. There are no roads from inland Alaska to Katmai and it’s accessible only by boat or air. Not all fees are listed on this page, so please check for additional campground fees on our Facility Fees page prior to … While you can’t drive to this park from anywhere in the Lower 48 or inland Alaska, it’s actually relatively accessible, so I’m mentioning it next on the list. Video library of National Parks and Monuments in Alaska. The red road indicated the area where you can drive your car. You can also reach Denali from either city via the Alaska Railroad, which is operated by the State of Alaska. The mountain ranges serve as a fence protecting the geographical features within. Camping wherever possible. In which case you can take a paid guided excursion into the park, or limit your visit to the very nice visitors center on the Richardson’s Highway (on the way to Valdez). It’s going to be a few good hours from each one of these destinations (which is not too bad). An Alaska trip isn't complete without a visit to Denali National Park. During summertime in Skagway, up to 10,000 people, a day visit this small town- almost all of them coming to shore from huge cruise ships. Protected Alaskan spaces for generations to enjoy. Alaska’s 4 Most Popular And Accessible Parks Denali National Park. In this post, I’ll cover all ten Alaskan national parks, just so you can get an idea of what’s available in all of them – including the remote ones. Oh, and while there don’t miss out on the other things Seward has to offer. A big problem if you’re driving a rental car because your insurance probably does not cover going off paved roads. It's befitting that the largest state in the U.S. would also have the largest national park in the U.S. That's Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, a 13-million-acre wilderness on the east side of Alaska. Research well before you go out on this adventure. Summer temperatures average 50° to 60° F (10° to 15° C). River crossings are necessary for both locations. A ranger program is presented in the auditorium each evening. Most visitors access the park by air taxi and a few brave souls hike in from the Dalton Highway or from the village of Anaktuvuk Pass. List of National Parks in the United States 2020. Definitely made me want to return to Denali during fall. Plus, download my free checklist! Click here for the list, including things to do and how to get there. There are several small airlines that provide daily flights into the communities of Bettles, Anaktuvuk Pass, and Coldfoot. Website: https://www.nps.gov/dena/index.htm. 3900 Arctic Blvd, Ste 304
You have to use bear-proof storage too. This wild landscape is as vast as Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Switzerland combined! The park is open for visitors throughout the year but remember this is Alaska. Rangers: Park rangers are available much of the day to answer your questions. Alaska's National Parks. Located between the stormy north Pacific Ocean and the even stormier Bering Sea, the Katmai region is often a battleground between weather systems. I also would like to go dog sledding and deep sea fishing. That said, Alaska is home to some of the largest national parks in the United States. This is mostly pristine wilderness and it’s also dangerous. Private vehicles can only use the first 15 miles of the road – ending at Savage River area. Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site—one of the world’s largest international protected areas. We did our whale and glacier watching while visiting Kenai National Park and staying in Seward. You don’t have to take a cruise to get here (even though most people do see it as part of their cruise package). The Alagnak River corridor runs from neighboring Katmai National Park to the Bering Sea along the Alaska Peninsula. There are several hotels near the park entrance and they’re usually the more expensive ones. While summers are relatively warm, there can be sudden changes in temperatures, rain, and even snow even then. If you go to the National Parks Service’s website, you’ll see that Alaska has 10 national parks – so which ones should you go to? Glaciers are made of ice and as you tour the park on a boat, be sure to have warm clothes because being near a glacier you’ll get very cold. Plan Now. I am guessing the differences reflect the closures of the visitors center, while the park grounds are actually open year-round.