When Karen and Duck Hess started River Adventures in 1991, they wanted to show travelers the wilderness surrounding their hometown of Haines. And there was no better wild spot than the roadless upper reaches of the Chilkat River Bald Eagle Preserve. On their quiet, maneuverable jet boats, you’ll see hanging glaciers, towering mountains, open valleys, and clear lakes. You’ll also witness some of the best moose and eagle habitats in Southeast Alaska. In over 20 years of operation, the Hesses have perfected the trip; you’ll find Bose speakers on the boats, a heated lunch pavilion, and informative, entertaining narration.
May - September
This Southeast Alaska tour operator has its own definition of the Easy Rider: You can take this scenic tour, driving a scooter or motorcycle, with the wind blowing in your hair—but with no stress or hassle. As the only scooter company in Skagway, this tour offers an active way to explore the area—but caters to anyone from thrill-seekers to older families (you need to be 18+ with a valid driver’s license) and little old ladies.
Mid-May to Mid-September
Some people love the view of Alaska from the side of a ship, or from above in a bush plane. But this cycle shop and tour operator based in Haines and Skagway proves that there's nothing quite like the view of Alaska from atop two wheels, as you glide through the gorgeously unique scenery. Its day trips are a fabulous way for independent travelers and cruise passengers to take a detour on their voyage, enjoying a different pace and perspective on the Alaska frontier. The day trips, with a 6-to-1 ratio of travelers to guides, last from just under three hours to a full day.
Ride the rails on a real gold-rush era, narrow-gauge railroad from Skagway into the heart of the Yukon. On the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, you’ll have several trip options, taking you past glacial rivers, waterfalls, and gorges for a real taste of wild Alaska. You’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time on this authentic train, as you climb 3,000 feet to scenic vistas and past aptly-named spots named Inspiration Point and Dead Horse Gulch on your way to get a look at the headwaters of the famous Yukon River.
Go for a gorgeous helicopter flightseeing trip. From Juneau, you’ll fly over remote Alaskan tundra and witness ice fields, alpine lakes, and even “ice falls” that all make up the area’s unique landscape. You’ll even have the opportunity to land and more closely explore this terrain from the ground. Or leave from the fishing village of Petersburg to experience the imposing and inspiring Stikine Icefield as well as the vast Patterson Glacier, North America’s southernmost active tidewater glacier. And from Skagway, fly over glacier-filled valleys for an unforgettable adventure.
Skagway may be a quaint small town, but it offers a big lens into the Alaska frontier. This tour operator—run by a certified Naturalist for the state of Alaska—offers a friendly and fascinating way to explore some surprising depths of the Alaska wilderness. Options include private tours ranging from 2 to 7 hours that explores the sights of British Columbia and the Yukon
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to take a helicopter ride out to unforgettable hiking. From Juneau, your destination is the famous Mendenhall Glacier. For 15 minutes, you’ll fly over rainforest and a stunning glacial landscape. Then set down and spend the next 25 minutes walking around on the gorgeous blue ice of the famous Mendenhall Glacier. And from Skagway, you’ll fly over a stunning landscape to your destination—a remote canyon, where you’ll enjoy spectacular hiking through mountain valleys while surrounded by mountains and hanging glaciers
Walk the fine line between folklore and gold fever. The Liarsville Camp, near Skagway, was originally named after journalists who came here during the Klondike Gold Rush and cooked up all manner of tall tales. The event begins with an all-you-can-eat feast in the forest. Then explore the old trail camp and finish off your day with a visit the Fancy Goods store. You can also have your picture taken with one of the dance hall girls or the camp’s lovable mascot, an Alaskan malamute named Denali.
Take a helicopter and fly out to a glacier, where you’ll experience the thrill of dogsledding. Lift off from Juneau or Skagway in a helicopter for a spectacular 15-minute flight over rainforest and glacial landscapes. Then set down on the ice and get ready for a truly unique adventure. You’ll hop on board a dogsled and speed over the blue ice, surrounded by peaks and speeding past glaciers. You’ll even have the opportunity to drive the dog team if you like. Don’t miss this opportunity for a true Alaskan adventure
Mid-May to Mid-September
Sockeye Cycle offers fabulously in-depth trips that stretch across the state, and even into Canada, and last anywhere from 3 to 12 days. Cycling around Alaska is special in a few ways. The roads can sometimes be quirky, and sometimes a little more rugged than a freshly paved road somewhere else. But on the other hand, you‘ll likely get the road to yourself, so you can relax and spend more time enjoying the scenery. These multi-day trips offer a rewarding way to explore the Northern frontier, but with enough comforts that you never feel like you’re roughing it.
Take the train out of Skagway to some of Alaska’s best hiking. Not just any train, though, but a Gold Rush-era, narrow-gauge train that winds through gorgeous scenery and drops you off at the trailhead. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad winds through stunning scenery on its way to drop you off on hiking trails that offer waterfall, mountain, and glacier views. It’s a fun way to gear up for a day or two of great hiking. The train is an engineering marvel and gives you a dose of history before your immersion in nature.
May - September
With bald eagles, bears, and gorgeous scenery, these tours out of Haines are soft adventure at their best: You don’t have to have any previous experience to enjoy these kayaking and rafting tours, but you’ll get the up-close experience of a veteran adventurer.