No Alaska job search would be complete without looking into summer jobs in the national parks. Now that we have our priorities set, let’s go explore the parks together! If you’re taking the cruise bring appropriate clothes. Think Alaska. The only thing is, the park road will be closed and the place will be covered in deep snow. In our experience, it’s easier to see the mountain ranges from the Canadian side if you’re driving the Alaska highway into or out of Alaska. We did that in our Kenai Fjords cruise and you can see the videos of the glacier calving in my trip report. The single sight that all visitors crave to see is Mount Denali. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. When you choose to hike, the access route begins at the Dalton Highway near Fairbanks. Some of our list items are so remote, they have to be accessed by seaplane. At the same time, it’s very accessible by Alaska standards. The only road in the area merely connects the tiny town of Gustavus and its airfield to park headquarters at Bartlett Cove (10 miles). ), 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! The park is open year-round. Anchorage, AK 99503 For history lovers, there are 430 places on the National Register of Historic Places along with 634 places on the Heritage Documentation Program. The park’s coastal backcountry in also largely inaccessible late fall through the early spring due to rough seas. These are rustic campground without too many services and zero stores. Its remoteness draws backcountry travelers seeking off-trail adventures. Website: https://www.nps.gov/lacl/index.htm. Website: https://www.nps.gov/dena/index.htm. #2 of 3 Nature & Parks in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve “ One day, we explored the Forest Trail , Beach Trail, Campground, Tlingit Trail, and Bartlett Lake Trail. The problem with viewing the Exit Glacier is that it keeps receding. You do need a permit for wilderness hiking in Denali but the permits are free. Visitor Center: 106 Metlakatla Street is open during the summer and winter seasons. 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). Snow can fall any month of the year, so be prepared for chilly weather even in summer. Parks to visit: 8 Duration of journey: Month of August, 2017 (yep, we’re planning way ahead). Alagnak Wild River. Claim to fame: Sheer size. The mountain ridges are in fact shared by two national parks. The park is home to caribou, moose, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, wolves, foxes, and many more small mammals and birds. A rich marine environment within Kenai Fjords' protected fjords and lush temperate rain forests supports a wealth of plant and animal life, from migrating seabirds like puffins and cormorants, to sea lions and transient orca whales. I would really appreciate if you can pin images from this post on Pinterest and prepared a few special ones for that purpose –. While summers are relatively warm, there can be sudden changes in temperatures, rain, and even snow even then. Gates of the Arctic is all about wilderness and a true representation of genuine wild nature. Winter temperatures can range from the low 30s to -20. Glacier Bay NP is in the Inner Passage. There’s exceptional access to five parks in particular. Know what you’re doing and register with the rangers before heading out to explore this park. This park is famous for its totem poles and lush vegetation. What if you can’t go off-road? In order to see the majestic snow-capped tallest peak in North America, you have to get at least to Eielson Visitor Center located at mile 66. Mar 8, 2020 - Did you know there are 16 national parks in Alaska? Summer Hours (May-September): Monday to Sunday: 8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Winter Hours (October-April): Monday to Friday: 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. There’s a small visitor center in nearby Port Alsworth but rangers are there only during summertime. With that in mind, it’s best to visit the area with good rain gear – hat, waterproof boots, gloves, warm coat, and so on. It’s going to be a few good hours from each one of these destinations (which is not too bad). There are no roads from inland Alaska to Katmai and it’s accessible only by boat or air. The one in Exit Glacier is a short drive (minutes long) from the road into Seward. Learn More >, Within the crystal blue waters of Kenai Fjords National Park is an abundant array of glaciers and wildlife. For summertime, I’ve seen excursions that offer to fly you to a glacier where you can experience dog sledding. Talk to a ranger, learn about daily programs, watch park film “Gold Fever: Race to the Klondike,” and more. This being Alaska they also hunt within park boundaries. The area generally enjoys a relatively temperate maritime climate but this being Alaska, the weather is difficult to predict and can change rapidly. Click here for the list, including things to do and how to get there. The 3.3-million acre Glacier Bay National Park has stunning glaciers, dynamic mountains, pristine coastlines, and cold rainforests. Getting There: 2.5-hour drive/4-hour train ride south of Anchorage. It wasn’t easy but very rewarding and they brought back awesome photos of the icefield. The park is on Baranof Island but once there, you have the entire town of Sitka to explore. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase an entrance ticket. The weather is influenced by many different systems and can change rapidly. Today, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a top tourist destination. Learn More >, A true wilderness park offering an untouched world of granite spires, snaking rivers, glaciated valleys, and thousands of miles of arctic tundra. It’s a relatively short drive by Alaskan standards (about 2.5 hours from Anchorage) and if you don’t have a car, there’s a train from Anchorage to Seward as well. Denali Park, AK 99755. Access 2915 reviews, 507 photos & 590 tips of every rv park & campground in Alaska. Use the left column to sort alphabetically or the right column to sort by park type. West of Anchorage across the Cook Inlet you'll find Lake Clark National Park and Katmai National Park. Get a good map and discuss this with the Rangers before hitting the trails. The park is home to the Harding Icefield where nearly 40 glaciers flow. Wrangell-St Elias is the one on the American side of the border. The park is open for visitors throughout the year but remember this is Alaska. 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! The shuttle or bus will take you as far as you want to go – and back. If you choose the former, there are daily air taxi flights that can take you to the local communities of Coldfoot, Anaktuvuk Pass, and Bettles. Taking everything into account, I would say Denali National Park is the one that should be on your Bucket List. It can also get cold during summertime, especially at higher elevations. Several of these parks are so remote you simply can’t take your car and drive there. There are local tours that will take you along the road. Driving from Healy to the park takes 15-20 minutes and it can easily save you $200 a night. On average, wet and cool conditions predominate in the spring, summer, and fall. Alaska national parks list 1. 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. You can also book for accommodations, food, and guided multi-day trips. Starting with the more popular ones – Glacier Bay and Katmai. Alaska’s state park system is managed by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. The park has two visitor centers. We did our whale and glacier watching while visiting Kenai National Park and staying in Seward. Even there – you can get water at Eielson Visitor Center and that’s about it. All rights reserved (c) 2019 TripMemos.com. There is no gate at the park entrance. Some celebrate the sheer wilderness while a couple of them focus on history. As the salmon arrive, so do the bears, and visitors to Katmai NP get a unique opportunity to view them in their natural habitat, as they fish huge salmon right out of the waterfalls. Denali. You can also reach Denali from either city via the Alaska Railroad, which is operated by the State of Alaska. Sitka National Historical Park commemorates the battle between the indigenous Kiks.ádi Tlingit and the Russian traders. The two main activities when visiting Kenai Fjords are –. Definitely made me want to return to Denali during fall. Katmai National Park is located on the northern Alaska Peninsula, northwest of Kodiak Island and southwest of Homer, Alaska. Denali National Park & Preserve One of the most iconic national parks in Alaska, Denali National Park & Preserve is home to North America's tallest peak – 20,310-foot Mount Denali. A little after that, the paving ends and a ranger stops all traffic, allowing only park buses/shuttles and those with special permits to continue down the dirt road. It’s not cheap but definitely counts as a bucket list experience for many people. In other words, be prepared. If you did, please share your own experiences in a comment and let me know what you liked or didn’t like about them. Located on the Alaska Peninsula southwest of Anchorage and north of Katmai National Park, no roads get to Lake Clark National Park. By far, the most popular activity is the drive along the park road. They actually have a visitor center in Seattle, WA, the point where many gold prospectors left to get to Alaska. Skagway has a highly variable climate with frequent rain and high winds. You can literally see global warming in action here as there are signs along the trail that indicate where the glacier ice was in past years. You then have two roads that go into the park. Remember there are also no services in the park so you might want to bring as much necessary items as you can (i.e. Website: https://www.nps.gov/sitk/index.htm. Assuming you’re just looking for a hotel in Denali where you can rest after a day of sightseeing in the park, there are plenty of options for that as well. There are no amenities within the park – other than along the road at very specific points. Get the poster start exploring This list shows the complete Alaska State Park System, managed by Alaska Department of Natural Resources: Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation. Learn More >, Tucked amongst its famous national parks are Alaska's quieter state parks. Seven national parks (including six in Alaska) are paired with a national preserve, areas with different levels of protection that are administered together but considered separate units and whose areas are not included in the figures below. Denali Park’s headquarters is located... 2. Most cruise lines from the Lower 48 or from Canada go through Glacier Bay. That is often the case with rental cars. Luckily, Anchorage is in the center of it all and offers many ways to enjoy the parks. As we began to compile a list of American National Parks by state for this piece to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service, I was shocked and dismayed to realize how few of the 59 officially designated parks we’ve visited.. Fortunately, we’re already planning a future family road trip with lots of national parks to visit. 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. The bay sees an influx of humpback whales in the summer, making it one of the best places to whale watch in Alaska. 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. That’s it! List of parks in Alaska. Just how many national parks there are depend on your definition of national parks. The park is open throughout the year but the main season for visitors is May 20 through the second or third week in September. Especially if you plan on camping out. So, let’s talk about Glacier Bay National Park. Fishing trips are available from every port town. 11 Anchorage Hotels with Pools (Some with cheap rates! Average temperatures May through September range from 60 F to 47 F. Average temperatures October through April range from 38 F to 28 F. So far, we’ve covered those parks that are accessible by car from anywhere in Alaska or even the Lower 48 (if you’re willing to drive to Alaska, as we did). There are reduced services in the area between May and September. Click here for the list, including things to do and how to get there. This huge area has very limited accessibility and there are only two roads going into this park and only one is paved. Either taking Inside Passage, a ferry system along the Pacific Coast, or driving on a highway through Canada. The point is, it can actually rain a lot, even during summer. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. Gates of the Arctic National Park. No stores or anything of the sort along the park road. Having said that, if you are willing to pay for an excursion, the two parks which should be on your list are –. That’s why you had to fly into Gustavus. You can get to the park via two-hour flights from Homer, Kenai, or Anchorage. A spacious room with good WiFi and a great breakfast. In grandeur, wildlife, incomparable landscapes, and big backcountry experiences, it easily lives up to its reputation. Take this warning from the park website very seriously –. Nuance Travel Academy. The right time to visit Katmai is during the salmon run from late July to September. You can definitely enjoy some hiking in the Savage River area but if you’re visiting Denali, you simply must go on to explore the park. The interior – much like elsewhere in the Alaskan interior – is drier but also colder during winter (and hotter in summertime). There were several charters going out of Seward, and from Valdez too. Hi Lisa, Gustavus, AK. It’s a lovely little town with lots to see. Whew! With that in mind, don’t forget warm clothing and rain gear. Off season, there are still rangers in the park but you’d better call ahead of time if you want to make sure you get to see one. You can either fly or hike into the park (we’re talking about a very long hike!). Alaska's top five most popular parks by … My travel “diary” website is below…still trying to work on my blog (yours is great by the way!). Katmai National Park is best known for amazing Grizzly bear viewing opportunities. List of National Parks in the United States 2020. A big problem if you’re driving a rental car because your insurance probably does not cover going off paved roads. So, if you wanted to visit during wintertime (sledding?) Some mentions its open year round but closed during winter or closed after September. This is probably the most accessible national park in Alaska. outdoor gears, specialty foods, medications, etc.). I’m definitely going to see the glaciers and whale watching. Hi Sharon, The main visitor season is from late-May through early-September with the peak being the month of July. I discussed the pros and cons of the shuttle vs. bus options in my post about visiting Denali National Park. Summer temperatures average 50° to 60° F (10° to 15° C). If want to have a better chance at experiencing sunny Glacier Bay, the driest months are April, May, and June. Not much of a problem if you’re driving your own SUV. This is yet another magnificent wilderness to get lost in (if you’re ready and equipped to take on the Alaskan wilderness, that is). The park is accessible by car via the Edgerton Highway from Copper Center to the small communities of McCarthy and Kennicott. Hi Cathy, When you visit, be prepared to encounter all types of weather. #2 of 3 Nature & Parks in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve “ One day, we explored the Forest Trail, Beach Trail, Campground, Tlingit Trail, and Bartlett Lake Trail. It’s not the east coast, but fall colors in Alaska are stunning in their own right. Someday! The park is open the rest of the year, but visitor services are extremely limited. That’s when you’ll be able to get the best chance to see the bear fish. Within these protected acres you'll find glaciers unparalleled in size, vast wilderness entirely untouched by people, dense populations of bears and whales, and North America's tallest mountain. Hiking the Denali wilderness you could be facing –. National Parks in Alaska: A Complete List of All 16. 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. If I don’t know the answer myself, I’m always happy to try and research to help you find an answer. If you can budget several hundreds of dollars per person, there are several tour operators going out of Fairbanks like this one. Camping wherever possible. The Denali Park entrance is 240 miles by road from Anchorage and 125 miles from Fairbanks. The most popular Katmai destination is the Brooks Camp where you can enjoy first-class accommodations next to the bear watching platforms. Park headquarters and visitor center are located at 2nd and Broadway in Skagway, Alaska. You can read our own Denali trip report here. You can drive to Denali from Anchorage or Fairbanks, along Highway 3, aka the “George Parks Highway.” Fairbanks is about 2 hours north, while Anchorage is 5 hours south of the Denali entrance. Please note that camping is only possible either in designated campgrounds (with a valid reservation) or in the rest of the park with a free backpacking permit. Read all about the daily boat tour here. I’m not sure about their COVID availability, but in the past, I always managed to get a hold of park rangers via email, so I would try that. Kenai Fjords National Park is the meeting point of ocean, ice, and mountains. Website: https://www.nps.gov/kova/index.htm. Some people went off-trail to get to the glacier but we just watched it from the trail. Website: https://www.nps.gov/wrst/index.htm. 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… If you did, you may also like these two mega posts: What’s the cost of a trip to Alaska (including 11 budgeting tips) and the guide for Driving to Alaska. Just show them the parks pass when you pick up the tickets and they’ll issue the refund to your card right away. Remote Aniakchak National Park ... Alaska's # 1 Wildlife and Glacier Cruise. Website: https://www.nps.gov/klgo/index.htm. Famous spots include the Little Kobuk and Hunt River dunes, the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, and the Kobuk River. This is pristine wilderness which may be beautiful but is also dangerous and lacks cell coverage or any form of services. If you’re not up for a crazy hiking adventure, you may just settle for seeing this area from the air. The various parks offer chances to view eagles, bears, spawning salmon, and the breath-taking vistas of "wild" Alaska. I would Google to find them specifically. Even when the weather’s not that cold, you can still possibly acquire hypothermia on a wet, windy day. Location: Mile 237 Highway 3. An Alaska trip isn't complete without a visit to Denali National Park. I am guessing the differences reflect the closures of the visitors center, while the park grounds are actually open year-round. Rangers: During summertime, you’ll see many rangers in Denali. Alaska never had a chance to become overdeveloped or spoiled, as conservation was an early initiative in many of its most beautiful natural attractions. Protected Alaskan spaces for generations to enjoy. Having visited both, I think the Yukon has much more of a “last frontier” feel to it. Lake Clark is the ultimate escapade if you want to be one with foraging bears, running salmon, craggy mountains, and steaming volcanoes – all reflecting in the glistening turquoise lakes. Gates of the Arctic encompasses 8.5 million acres of largely unexplored lands north of the Arctic Circle. River crossings are necessary for both locations. It provides travelers a glimpse into true Alaska wilderness, complete with vast empty spaces, incredible mountain scenery and tons of wildlife. Read up and come prepared. Method: Driving to Alaska with Oscar the Outback, our own vehicle. Craving a more intense Denali experience? Heading on any big trips this summer? National Parks Employment can be found with the NPS itself or one of the many concessionaires operating in the parks, which provide buses, hotels and lodges, and tour guide services (among other things). 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. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park The country’s largest national park represents everything that is compelling about Alaska. Had I tried to book it only 3-4 months in advance, there would have been nothing available for under $400. According to the Wikipedia list of National Parks, if you sort out parks by size, Alaskan parks take up seven spots out of the top 10, including the four top places. For avid experienced hikers, the risk that comes with wilderness hiking just adds to the thrill. Explore it by land and by day cruise. Located west of Juneau, this national park and preserve is a national monument too. One is near the Exit Glacier trail and the other in Seward harbor area. Most people view the park from onboard a ship. There is something in placid lakes that simply takes your breath away. The mountain ranges serve as a fence protecting the geographical features within. NPLibrary Home ALASKA. Glacier Bay's landscapes are quite diverse as a result, with huge Sitka spruces and hemlock giving way to cottonwoods, scraggly alder, patchy lichen, and bare rock the farther into the bay you travel. The Southeast state parks are located within the Tongass National Forest, the nation's largest national forest, which covers most of Southeast Alaska and surrounds the famous Inside Passage. 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? The Alaskan town of Skagway is home to the historical gold rush Klondike National Historical Park. For the purpose of this blog post I checked the official list of national parks units in Alaska. A ranger program is presented in the auditorium each evening. Click on the little icon at the top left corner to see the ledger with park names. My older son is taking a university degree now so we think a long trip may not be a good option for a while. So much so that viewing platforms that were built right along the glacier a decade or two ago are now miles away from where the ice actually is. If you can add one more park, it should probably be either Glacier Bay National Park or Kenai Fjords National Park. At 13 million acres, Wrangell-St. Elias is the largest park in the U.S. system. Both allow you to see the glorious Alaska coastline, including the famous tidal glaciers. Thank you so much!! Summer daytime temperatures range from the mid-40s to the low-70s (Fahrenheit). This is the longest post on this blog to date. Fall colors emerge on the alpine tundra in August and in the low valleys in early September. There’s no fee for visiting the visitor center. There are two visitor centers, both of them are relatively small. There are also several hotels in Sitka so you could stay there overnight. This vast 6 million-acre wilderness also harbors abundant wildlife in a landscape that ranges from lush forests to harsh alpine tundra, with opportunities for: Great question. Denali NP is wild at heart and hikers can traverse the area without necessarily relying on trails. You can travel via boat but most (of the very few) visitors charter a plane. The Denali National Park is one of the world’s first national parks established to conserve wildlife. My husband and our eldest did that and really enjoyed their hike. Website: https://www.nps.gov/gaar/index.htm. Along with national parks, Alaska has several of its own state parks with accessible hiking areas and other recreational opportunities. Plus, download my free checklist! On occasion, summer highs reach the low 80s, though this is rare. When hiking through national parks in Alaska, avoid pockets of spruce forest and alder to make navigation easier. Admission Fees: This is a national park, so if you have the annual parks pass, you’re covered. Below is a list of campgrounds available sorted by park area. It took a LOT of research to produce this one and I do hope you’ll find it helpful. Alaska is one of the largest and emptiest states in the union but that does not necessarily translate into a huge number of national parks. Access begins in Fairbanks, Alaska. The key here is this: Most of Alaska’s national parks are inaccessible by road. There’s actually enough to do here to keep you busy for two days and possibly more. Some are small, others incredibly huge. Another point of interest in the Kobuk Valley National Park is Onion Portage, which for 9000 years, served as a destination for local native people. With 16 hours of driving time, allocate a couple of days for the trip. 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. I booked our room for a family of four 10 months prior to our visit and we paid $180 for that. You park by the visitor center and hike to see the glacier. Feb 10, 2020 - Did you know there are 16 national parks in Alaska? In fact, you can even take the train. Sitka is a stop on the Inner Passage ferry routes as well as cruise ships. Together with three adjoining parks—Southeast Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, British Columbia’s Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park and Yukon’s Kluane National Park—it’s been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kenai Fjords National Park is located just outside the town of Seward in south-central Alaska, 126 miles south of Anchorage. This is a super professional climb so don’t add it to your itinerary (unless you happen to be one), Extreme weather conditions – even during summertime, Lack of communication (there’s zero cell reception in the park itself), Hiking the trails – at least to the Exit Glacier viewpoint, Taking a cruise to see a tidal water glacier. Like other Alaska parks, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park has no entrance stations or gates. 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! I’m a bit confused on ALL of the National Park website of Alaska. you could, but there would be no services or ranger activity. Winters are drier and colder. The park itself is open 24-hours a day, although services are limited after-hours (generally after 4 pm in winter or 6 pm in summer). Do you have any information about them? There is actually quite a lot people do in Denali NP –. This place is the centerpiece of Alaska’s Inside Passage and a 25-million acre  World Heritage Site, most of it sea water. Tip: When you book your shuttle or bus to see Denali, they’re going to charge your card with a weekly park pass. When we visited in the summer of 2017, the trail ended several hundred yards before the glacier. Where Will You Travel Next? 3900 Arctic Blvd, Ste 304 The Yukon is fantastic and quite different from Alaska in many ways. I’m glad you enjoy the blog and sorry about the late reply here. There is not even a cell phone service. Park Name Type Afognak Island State … Surprisingly, there is quite a lot of privately-owned land within the national park area. Why does it say open year round but closed October – ETC. That said, Alaska is home to some of the largest national parks in the United States. And as always, questions are welcome. The park’s headquarters is in King Salmon, about 290 air miles southwest of Anchorage. Do read my detailed post about the Kenai Fjords cruise report where I shared all of the relevant information (along with tons of photos and some videos). It’s been receding for over a century but it’s easy to see that the process is speeding up. I really hope you manage to set up a blog and write more about it. They most certainly are. There are 24 units listed but when you limit the the list only actual national parks you end up with a shorter – and more manageable – list. The only caveat is that it’s accessible only to those who travel along the Inner Passage marine “roads”. This Alaska National Park does NOT contain any roads, trails, or visitor services within park boundaries. Gates of the Arctic National Park is located in Central Brooks Range, about 200... 3. Then there’s the question of accessibility. There are several operators, all of them going out of Seward. Plus, download my free checklist! Book your room as early as you can as the more affordable places fill up fast! This is actually the largest national park in the United States. If you have the budget for it, a flight over the amazing mountain ranges that form the heart of the park is said to be pretty amazing. 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 no roads to provide access, so planes take care of most transportation needs. “ Our small cruise ship dropped anchor and we explored the area led by a ranger naturalist. Glacier Bay National Park. A small private airstrip is also available near the park entrance for individuals wishing to fly their own small craft to the park. I enjoyed reading the information that you put out, and thank you for doing so. This means the climate is surprisingly temperate compared to Alaska. Denali National Park. Detail from our America National Parks map. Having visited Alaska on a long trip – and done TONS of research in preparation, I’ve compiled a detailed guide for you, to help you plan the wilder side of your Alaska trip. This list of parks in Alaska includes 24 national parks, 9 national historic landmarks, 16 national natural landmarks, and a multitude of state parks. If you’re interested in guest blogging here to share your travel stories, let me know. Have you visited any of these Alaska National Parks? The climate of Gates of the Arctic National Park is generally classified as arctic and sub-arctic, with exceptionally cold winters, relatively mild summers, low annual precipitation, and generally high winds. Not all fees are listed on this page, so please check for additional campground fees on our Facility Fees page prior to … Park Headquarters is open year round M-F 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. They’re just far less accessible. Coming from the north, take the Glenn Highway to Slana and then drive down to Nabasena. Downtown is pretty close to the national park area itself. By area, Alaska holds more than half of America’s national park lands. It can get cold, even on a sunny July day! Rangers lead daily walks through the rainforest and show informative films in the auditorium. The Park Road is still visible in view, even after several miles or hours of hiking, so can typically orient yourself If you want to hike on maintained trails, most of the marked trails in the park are about 2 miles or less in distance and near the park’s entrance. Learn More >, Formed by volcanoes and renowned for its brown bears, Katmai National Park draws nature and wildlife photographers from around the world. Kenai Fjords National Park is much beloved for its wildlife as well. Learn More >, Alaska Tour & Travel There are several hotels near the park entrance and they’re usually the more expensive ones. Even farther off the beaten path are Gates of the Arctic National Park and Glacier Bay National Park. If you’re going to Alaska, you’re probably interested in visiting at least one or two national parks. We stayed at the Aurora Denali Lodge and were very pleased with our stay. Getting There: 5-hour drive/8-hour train ride from Anchorage; 3-hour drive/4-hour train ride from... Kenai Fjords National Park. We took the shuttle and it was great but you certainly can pay more and take the bus. Rangers: Park rangers are available much of the day to answer your questions. 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. 800-208-0200 or 907-245-0200. If you’re camping, you can get a permit to drive in with your RV. #1 of 9 Nature & Parks in Girdwood “ Chugach State Park provides visitors with the opportunity to hike on trails of diversified difficulty with wonderful views and also meeting bears and other wild animals. Expect to pay anything between $150-$400 a night for a room for two. Gorgeous glaciers, icebergs, and wildlife! Equally beautiful in an entirely different way, Glacier Bay National Park in Southeast Alaska is the site of one of the fastest glacial changes in recorded history. I also would like to go dog sledding and deep sea fishing. Oh, and while there don’t miss out on the other things Seward has to offer. That said, Alaska is home to some of the largest national parks in the United States. Alaska's National Parks. Getting into the area is fairly easy. The red road indicated the area where you can drive your car. Proudly displaying North America‘s tallest mountain and over six million acres of land, Denali is one of Alaska’s most popular national parks. There are several small airlines that provide daily flights into the communities of Bettles, Anaktuvuk Pass, and Coldfoot. Would you help me understand this as its a bit hard to get a hold of them. One of the country’s most remote national parks, the 4-million acre Lake Clark National Park is a pristine landscape and home to a variety of wildlife. Its 8 national parks cover and protect millions of acreage, which is there for the public to respect and enjoy. Visitors to the park should be PROFICIENT in outdoor survival skills, and be prepared to care for their own life and their partner(s) if an emergency arises. You can get there from Anchorage via Seward Highway, which is a national scenic byway well worth the drive on its own. Commercial airlines provide service from Anchorage to Kotzebue, or from Fairbanks to Bettles. But if you have the annual parks pass, you can get a refund for the charge. 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. “ Our small cruise ship dropped anchor and we explored the area led by a ranger naturalist. The Bair and Waring mountain ranges encircle the Kobuk Valley National Park. Glacier Bay National Park lies west of Juneau, Alaska’s capital. This is an Alaskan mountain ridge. In gray is the dirt road that’s available only to park shuttles/buses or vehicles with special permits. The park was established to protect and conserve the Arctic environment’s integrity. 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. We’re now moving on to those parks which are not as accessible. Alaska Airlines provides daily jet service from Juneau to Gustavus in the summer months. According to the Wikipedia list of National Parks, if you sort out parks by size, Alaskan parks take up seven spots out of the top 10, including the four top places. You don’t have to take a cruise to get here (even though most people do see it as part of their cruise package). Possibly the most amazing thing you can get to see in Kobuk National Park are the incredibly huge herds of migrating caribou. Unless you’re camping in Wonder Lake (which requires special permits), the only way to get to Eielson is by taking the park shuttle of one of the bus tours. Dog sledding is usually available during wintertime. You can take a different trail to hike up the mountain to reach the Harding Icefield itself. Year-round scheduled air service is also provided by a variety of small air taxis and charters. We’re thinking a Europe excursion in October at this point. Just how many national parks there are depend on your definition of national parks. Katmai for the bears catching salmon in the waterfalls. I’m sure you’ll have an awesome time! It is vast—bigger than Switzerland. Most people see the park by driving the McCarthy road. Traveling by guided bus tour is the best way to experience the area's scenic beauty and wildlife. Fabulous information! For more affordable options try searching nearby Healy. Expert RVers visited 230 RV Parks in Alaska. By ... Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see a glacier calving into the water. The many lakes in the park typically begin freezing in November with meltdown starting around April. Check out my post about things to do in Seward, Alaska. Visit the park on a boat tour or explore on a hike from the Exit Glacier Nature Center near Seward. The park covers 6 million acres of mostly untouched wild landscape. Possibly more if you’re going to include a visit to nearby Whitehorse, the capital of the Canadian Yukon. Alaska’s 4 Most Popular And Accessible Parks Denali National Park. The average temperature of the area ranges from 50 to 60 F (10 to 15 C). National Park Service. Promising to change visitors’ experiences and interaction with the wildlife around them, Denali offers 39 documented species of mammals and over 650 species of flowing plants, as well as a generous range of slopes and valleys. Here you can go camping, backpacking, bear viewing, and so much more! If you’re not an experienced hiker though, you may want to start practicing in a place that’s more welcoming. The Alagnak River corridor runs from neighboring Katmai National Park to the Bering Sea along the Alaska Peninsula. Alaska Tour & Travel uses cookies to track your trip selections and favorites. It can only be reached by plane or boat. Discover Alaska’s National Parks from the highest mountains to the harshest glaciers, in national parks like Denali, Kenai Fjords, and Wrangell-St. Elias. Making them either very expensive to explore, or very difficult – or both.