Anchorage Glacier Tours
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Hop aboard an eco-friendly snowmobile in Girdwood and ride on groomed trails beneath massive, 7,000-foot glaciated peaks or visit the dazzling blue ice of Spencer Glacier. Or, head north of Anchorage for a trail ride through mid-alpine black spruce forests. No experience necessary, all gear provided, and warm beverages and snacks included.
11 Days / 10 Nights
Land Package Type: Wilderness Lodge Vacations
Experience up close and personal brown bear viewing at the private BearCamp, world class fishing from the Great Alaska Adventure Lodge, glaciers, 3 national parks and much more over 11 memorable days.
The City of Anchorage may be largest urban area within a thousand miles, but it still supports a full menagerie of its original Alaska wildlife. Look for moose, eagles, migratory birds, and more.
Take off on a spectacular flight, looking down on the vast Alaskan tundra as you make your way to one of three bear-viewing spots, depending on where you’ll see the most bears. Witness these iconic creatures playing or fishing as you take pictures and learn more about their habits and habitat.
Riding a horse through the Alaskan tundra while gazing out at stunning mountain views: This magical experience is almost like traveling back through time, to a simpler era. And it’s super-easy when you go with Alaska By Air.
10 Days / 9 Nights
Visits: Anchorage, Homer, Seward & Kenai Fjords, Talkeetna, Denali National Park
Land Package Type: Self-Guided Land Tours
Experience diverse waterways on three unique guided kayak tours. Destinations include Homer, Seward, Talkeetna, and Denali National Park.
5 days / 4 nights
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Whittier, Prince William Sound & Copper Basin, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
Cruise Ship Type: Discovery Voyages
Ship Name: Discovery
Explore a wildlife rich slice of Alaska, set in the scenic wilderness settings of Lake Clark National Park, and the Chugach National Forest Wilderness of Prince William Sound.
Feel the thrill of exploring the Alaskan wilderness while driving your own snowmobile over the tundra, looking for wildlife and taking in amazing views. And on a clear day you’ll get an amazing view of Denali.
Winter or summer, experience the thrill of running Iditarod sled dogs and even have a chance to drive! Meet the sled dogs and hear first-hand just what it’s like to run the Iditarod.
More than 1,000 moose live year around inside greenbelts and neighborhoods throughout the Anchorage Bowl. It’s not unusual for cow moose to bed down twin calves in suburban backyards, or for a bull moose with a full rack of antlers to amble straight across busy a boulevard, halting traffic as it passes.
All five species of Pacific salmon converge on Anchorage streams each summer, sometimes in spectacular numbers. And they’re easy to view — whether you seek feisty chinooks as long as human’s arm in spring, or dense congregations of humpies during the summer peak, or the last, lingering cohos after the first frost.
Join this annual competition hosted in Downtown Anchorage at Ship Creek where anglers cast their line for a prize-winning King Salmon. It’s one of Anchorage’s most exciting events — come and watch, or cast your own line. Visitors and locals can participate! Rent all the equipment you need and purchase a license from The Bait Shack.
Go fishing right in Anchorage – whether you have only have a few hours or a full day. Rent a gear package and fish on your own. Or, hire one of our local guides to take you on a guided tour to land your dream catch. You can also buy bait and fishing licenses.
11 day / 10 night
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Chugach State Park, Whittier, Prince William Sound & Copper Basin, Denali National Park, Talkeetna, Fairbanks
Cruise Ship Type: Discovery Voyages
Ship Name: Discovery
Best of Prince William Sound & Denali National Park (Anchorage to Fairbanks)
How and where to find Alaska’s glaciers — some of the state’s most beautiful natural attractions
Volcanoes not only shaped the face of Alaska but also make for spectacular sights. Here are the top volcanoes to look for and photograph during your Alaska vacation.
The most spectacular and accessible waterfalls around Alaska you can see from the road, from a hike, or from a day cruise.
Just a 45-minute drive from Anchorage, Raven’s Perch lies within the main lodge at the cozy Knik River Lodge, with big windows and an outdoor deck looking out to a spectacular view. The focus here is on local, sustainable ingredients and products. The staff talks with local farmers and plans ahead to see what vegetables are coming into season to create their menus.
Viewing brown bears in their natural habitat is one of the most amazing things you can do in Alaska. If it’s high on your list, book a flight-seeing/ bear viewing trip with Trail Ridge Air, knowing that personable pilots will take you to where bears splash and fish, and where visitors run out of words to describe their amazement.
Discover something truly unique to bring home at this one-of-a-kind gallery that carries only work by Alaskan artists. Shop for high-quality glass, metal, and wood art; jewelry; mittens; handbags; scarves; handmade soap; journals and notebooks; photography; watercolor prints; cards; stickers and more.
Head out into the Alaskan wilderness on this exciting ATV adventure, driving through woods and splashing through rivers on your way to a gorgeous glacial moraine surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks. Transportation from Anchorage included.
Take off in a helicopter for the thrilling experience of heli-flightseeing, landing on a glacier, donning crampons and a helmet to explore blue ice with world-class guides. Experience crevasses, blue pools and ice caves up close or try ice climbing to get vertical. Offering family friendly memories of a lifetime!
For many Alaskans, travel by plane is essential for work, getting to medical appointments in the big city, or connecting with family in another part of the state. For visitors, plane travel helps maximize their limited time exploring the state, showcases spectacular views of the land, and gives an authentic peek into Alaskans’ air-centric lifestyle. RavnAir’s network offers flights to major Alaska cities such as Anchorage and Fairbanks, along ...more
Winter in Alaska is a magical time, with fewer visitors and a serene, snow-covered landscape. If you’re here from mid-September to mid-May, you can take it in from the comfort of the Aurora Winter Train, which runs between Anchorage and Fairbanks. It’s an easy and memorable way to travel north and experience the aurora borealis, or even do a weekend getaway to Talkeetna.
Not everyone should undertake this 13-mile traverse that begins at Glen Alps above Anchorage. Considerable off-trail hiking, plus a steep climb to a ridge top, might be outside your comfort zone. But this trail does offer a profound sense of solitude and some spectacular views. It also includes the novelty of hiking a mile-long sheep trail that traverses the back of The Wedge, some 500 feet above the secluded waters of Ship Lake.
If you only have a limited amount of time in Anchorage but want go out for a great hike, consider Kincaid Bluff Trail. Just a 20-minute drive from downtown Anchorage, this is a 6‑mile loop hike to Kincaid Chalet. Along the way, you’ll find 3 miles of rugged trail that skirt the summit of precipitous bluffs at the end of the Anchorage Peninsula.
You don’t have to be a mountaineer to reach the summit of O’Malley Peak — the prominent spire rising from the Front Range above Anchorage — but don’t mistake it for an easy climb. Some of the 5‑mile-long trail climbs quite steeply; other parts add very loose gravel to the incline. Still, these conditions don’t make this hike excessively dangerous, just satisfyingly laborious.
Reaching the summit of Avalanche Mountain takes a considerable amount of effort: a 5.5‑mile hike up Powerline Trail followed by a 1.5‑mile off-trail scramble. But this 3,200-foot climb — which begins at the Glen Alps parking area, just 10 miles from downtown Anchorage — takes no mountaineering skills. If you feel at all comfortable hiking and climbing over some loose stones and boulders, you should find this to be a very gratifying adventure. ...more
Faster than a kayak and more intimate than a day cruise, the Jet Ski is a great way to get up close and personal with Alaska’s gorgeous scenery. Go with Whittier-based Glacier Jet Ski Adventures and you’ll be taking your machine out on the water to explore the stunning glaciers and wildlife of Blackstone Bay. All equipment is provided and no experience is necessary on this unique 4.5‑hour journey.
Tequila 61, a unique gastropub in downtown Anchorage, fuses authentic, handmade Mexican dishes and classic Alaskan ingredients to create an entirely new take on contemporary cuisine. This modern approach extends to the creative, handcrafted cocktails and the rustic, industrial interior, where every table is handmade. The result is a memorable dining experience you won’t find anywhere else.
To snatch a sense of the state’s only real city, take this quick, two-to-three hour driving tour. It works whether you’re a local resident with a house full of wired (and maybe jetlagged!) guests — or a visitor with a rental car and few hours free to explore. Perfect for that first afternoon after arrival.
A stretch of exposed bedrock southeast of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm was gouged and polished by mile-thick glaciers during the last ice age. The grooves appear as smooth channels carved into the rock itself by almost unimaginable forces. Some are subtle, like ripples, and hard to see. Others are large enough to lie inside on a sunny afternoon.
Bringing the right gear for a vacation in Alaska can seem daunting. This independent store, in the Spenard area of Anchorage, offers both an affordable way to buy anything from rain pants to a mountain bike once you get here — as well as an efficient way to sell that same gear when it’s time to go home. Essentially a consignment store, Hoarding Marmot lets folks buy and sell gently used gear — the ultimate in good recycling.
Land Package Type: Photography Tours
Don’t just experience the beauty of Alaska — learn how best to capture it on your camera. Travel with award-winning photographer Jeff Schultz and you’ll get personalized, hands-on instruction as you take in the state’s magnificent sights. Choose from custom tours or small group tours with a maximum of 6 participants that depart throughout the year and include accommodations, transportation, and meals.
Touring the spectacular tidewater glaciers of Prince William Sound is even more exciting when you do it on a Jet Ski. Go with Alaska Wild Guides out of Whittier to experience the area’s unique sights and sounds while skimming across the top of the water on your own personal watercraft.
Sometimes you just want to be amazed. The overlook at the Glen Alps trailhead of Chugach State Park on the Anchorage Hillside offers a grand front-row seat on the forces of geology as well as one of the best postcard views anywhere. Like — how about a three-volcano vista? Or the profile of Denali, Foraker and Hunter in a single glance? Plate tectonics at your feet? The skyline of the biggest city within 1,000 miles?
Crystal-clear Williwaw Creek and its bank-side trail system in Portage Valley at the head of Turnagain Arm offers exceptionally good conditions for watching spawning in action. Coho, sockeye and chum salmon converge on the creek as it winds through the brushy flats beginning in mid-August, with some late-arriving fish still present after first frost in the fall.
How would your kids like to scramble up a huge dune of cool, clean sand? Nap in a groove carved by a glacier? Watch scores of salmon spawn? Here are family adventures within an hour’s drive or less from Anchorage. They offer amazing sights, fun activities ¬— and the option to return home in time for dinner.
It’s not as difficult as you might think to hike to stand atop the precipitous, gully-scarred face of Bear Point. But it’s not easy, either. The 2‑mile hike ascends 2,100 feet and can be tricky. But your reward is an amazing view in all directions, from the Kenai Peninsula to Denali and the Chugach Mountains to Matanuska Peak.
Riding Alaska ATV Tours showcase the wonders of the glacially-fed Eklutna Lake area, a local favorite hidden away just outside Anchorage. Bring the family for a fully-guided ride along the lake and beyond – across gravel moraines, over rushing rivers and through woodlands, to within sight of Eklutna glacier itself. Sit back and relax while your driver does all the work! Keep a look out: the peaceful landscape is alive with wildlife, including ...more
For a leisurely ski along a scenic greenbelt that crosses Midtown Anchorage along an ecologically rich bottomland, try out the Campbell Creek Trail — reaching 7.5 miles from the University Lake area to West Dimond Boulevard. It’s another one of the city’s “through-the-looking-glass” experiences where you’ll feel surrounded by a wintry riparian habitat even though you’re often skiing a few hundred feet from industrial areas and neighborhoods. Very ...more
The Chester Creek multi-use trail system connects city parks and mountain venues in east Anchorage with the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail along the shore of Knik Arm. The main trunk runs without break some four miles from Goose Lake Park to Westchester Lagoon, lighted all the way. Using tunnels and bridges, the fun trail offers an uninterrupted travel corridor for skiers of all ages and ability level across the heart of the city. Call it ...more
Every now and then in Alaska — where the weather can change quickly — a great indoor activity comes in handy. But this unique year-round attraction, where a family or a group of friends solves a mystery while “locked” indoors, makes a fun diversion even when the skies are clear outside.
When you feel weary of cold season weather and yearn for a whiff of summer, you can visit Anchorage’s own tropical greenhouse almost any day. The Mann Leiser Memorial Greenhouse in near-east Anchorage inside Russian Jack Springs Park features birds, fish and a collection of exotic plants from around the world.
If you’d like to explore a snow-bound trail system through a majestic rain forest that gets little visitation in winter, try out Bird Valley in Chugach State Park south of Anchorage off the Seward Highway. You and the family can stroll, ski, snowshoe or snow-bike for hours through a serene and almost surreal setting of towering trees with an occasional stupendous view of Penguin Peak and Bird Ridge.
Here are winter adventures within a 90-minute drive or less from Anchorage. Some are outdoors and take advantage of Alaska’s winter snow cover and frozen ground. Others offer intimate indoor escapes to unexpected sights. All point toward fun activities — and the option to return home in time for dinner.
Take a road trip across Alaska without the size or cost of a full-size RV. These converted campervans, rented out of Anchorage between May and September, come with unlimited mileage, sleep four and offer most of the comforts of a big RV in a compact model — with a pop-up tent on top.
Tour working farms in Palmer, Anchorage, and Talkeetna. You’ll take guided walks around the farms, touching plants, breathing in the air and sometimes even tasting something freshly picked. But there is also a lot of storytelling, learning about the unique challenges that Alaska farmers face. Some tours offer option to sample other local products like Alaska beer and birch syrup.
Road-tripping across Alaska makes for an epic vacation — and that “epic” factor just goes up when you do your trip in a classic VW bus from this Anchorage-based operator. Outfitted with many of the home-on-wheels comforts of a traditional RV, these rentals offer a nimble way to road trip.
It’s like a block of wilderness nestled within the heart of the city. This easy 7.5‑kilometer loop circumnavigates much of the undeveloped reserves of Alaska Pacific University and University of Alaska Anchorage — connecting several city parks while serving as a major hub for cross-city skiing, snow biking and other activities. A trek here can transport you deep into an Alaska winter setting without ever leaving the urban zone.
The wooded, hilly trails of Hillside Park loop through the mountain foothills between Service High School and Chugach State Park, offering more than 25 kilometers of grooming. They range from the potentially strenuous Spencer Loop with the city’s biggest climb to mild Randy’s Loop close to the stadium by the school. These trails include just about every kind of terrain
For a spectacular ski along Anchorage’s coast with views of icebergs, active volcanoes, a salt marsh and the majestic white massif of Denali, take a cruise along the 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. This multi-use civic gem draws skiers, bikers and walkers in almost every winter condition. Once the city parks department starts regular grooming, it is often the easiest of skis, popular with families, with only two significant climbs along its ...more
When snow allows, several looped ski trails are groomed near Eagle River High School and along the slope overlooking the river canyon. A fun option connects trails near the school to a multi-use section over the snowbound roads inside the Eagle River campground of Chugach State Park. This 6‑kilometer system is a fun way to explore the river corridor, with connections to extensive multi-use routes
Whether classic touring through deep woods or driving hard on your skate skis down a race route, you will find every kind of skiing inside Anchorage’s largest park. Scores of multi-use trails suitable for skiing crisscross this vast, 4,000-acre tract, reaching from lowland forest into the foothills of the Chugach Mountains. The most popular groomed route may be the Tour of Anchorage Trail. But with at least 65 trails covering nearly 100 miles, ...more
It’s easy to take a “grand tour” ski across Anchorage. Using the city’s 120-mile-plus multi-use trail system, you can kick-and-glide from the mountains to the sea. Start at an urban trailhead noisy with traffic and end in a quiet forest. Launch from a sidewalk below skyscrapers to find a wildlife refuge with a vast ocean view. The city’s extensive multi-use trail system features dozens of itineraries
If you’re seeking some fun skiing over groomed, forested trails away from crowds, the Coyote Trail system behind Mirror Lake Middle School in Chugiak is worth checking out. Used most often by middle school athletes and the neighboring community, the loop features 5.6 kilometers easy enough for beginners to enjoy and yet challenging enough to entertain more advanced skiers.
Pastoral is the word here. This 300-acre park on Anchorage’s near-east side features groomed paths over the gentle fairways of a snow-bound golf course. Loops explore a handsome forest with bridges over a meandering spring-fed creek. Most groomed trails are lit or near lights, and are very popular with new and younger skiers. Still, you can find plenty of hills, plus a more challenging classic-style loop in the north-side forest.
There’s nothing quite like camping in the woods with the family when you’re a kid. The crackling campfire and gooey s’mores. Biking around the campground loop. Running through the forest and gathering wood. Catching (and landing) that first fish. Here we offer details for nine great public family campgrounds within a 90-minute drive from Anchorage.
For an epic sled run that drops nearly 500 feet in less than a mile, visit what some locals call “The Luge” off Arctic Valley Road in the foothills of the Chugach Mountains just east of town. Depending upon on snow conditions, it takes intrepid sledders three-to-five exhilarating minutes to descend a narrow chute-like trail to the bottom.
A premier paddling destination in summer, the eight-mile loop canoe trail through 14 lakes can be skated after freeze-up and before significant snowfall. People often cruise the entire route in one long day, or skate out a few lakes and return. Be prepared to hike portages up to a half-mile between lakes. 71 miles north of Anchorage.
For an otherworldly encounter with a famous glacier you can’t easily approach or even glimpse during summer, lead the family across frozen Portage Lake to a fantastic wall of jumbled, blue ice. Once the lake surface has frozen solid, people flock across on foot, ice skates, skis and bikes. 50 miles from Anchorage.
These frozen channels wind for miles across the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge off the Glenn Highway in the mouth of the Matanuska and Knik river valleys, just 35 miles north of Anchorage. Either travel the streams or explore extensive pond networks on the flats.
For the classic city ice skating experience where hundreds of people might spend the afternoon careening along smooth, winding paths or warming themselves at burn barrels, try out Westchester Lagoon at the west end of the Chester Creek greenbelt off the L Street / Minnesota Drive corridor.
Freeze-up turns this seven-mile long fresh-water fiord in Chugach State Park into a multi-mode travel corridor for ice skaters, hikers, skiers and bikers. Adventure skating can be good before snow gets too deep, or after mid-winter thaws or wind rehabs the surface.
Explore the wild ice of Potter Marsh along the Seward Highway in South Anchorage. After a hard freeze-up, the marsh morphs from bird-nesting habitat into an intriguing maze, with miles of twisty routes leading to unexpected rinks. Very popular with families.
Land Package Type: Guided Backcountry Adventures
The unique trips offered by Infinite Adventures begin with transportation in a converted school bus that’s been transformed into a spacious, comfortable chariot for 16 travelers. Accommodations are mostly in tents, and itineraries have been designed for camping lovers (and those who would like to try it). Plus, the owners run most trips themselves — a husband and wife who are passionate about showing off Alaska!
Explore Alaska’s backcountry astride a speedy and fun snowmachine. Alaska Wild Guides will take you out for one thrilling day, or for several days of exhilarating adventure. Find hidden ice caves and remote glaciers while navigating along frozen rivers and through deep powder.
Stunning scenery, a thrilling ride and happy puppies: this tour out of the Anchorage area offers an unbeatable combination of classic Alaska experiences that will delight families or — really, anybody. Taking a total of about 90 minutes, and running from mid-May to early September, this tour includes a Flightseeing round trip, a small friendly group environment, and plenty of one-on-one time with the dogs and their mushers.
Local charm imbues this location of the national chain, starting with the lobby’s very Alaskan feel. Some rooms offer gorgeous views of the Chugach Mountains, and the restaurant features a chef with an award-winning chili.
This all-suite, extended-stay hotel offers space and amenities that make it great for famillies. There’s even a grocery-shopping service available to stock your fridge. And from Monday-Thursday you’ll find an evening reception offering light dinner and free beer and wine.
One- and two-bedroom suites (that can sleep up to 7 people) make this centrally located hotel a great choice for families. Plus, you’ll find made-to-order breakfasts, along with the option of taking them to go, if you have early morning activities.
Anchorage may be Alaska’s big city, but this bicycle tour operator offers quick proof that the city has a lot of wilderness. Choose your ride based on half-day or full-day options, as well as difficulty. You’ll go from downtown to Mother Nature — with mountains, coastal views, and the occasional moose sighting — in no time at all. Better yet, the tours often include beer tastings or lunch.
The team at Alaska Auto Rental offers rental cars for the most unique itinerary: over gravel highways, through winter weather, on one-way legs, or starting out from unusual locations. It’s locally-owned, with employees who know Alaska’s roads and their challenges. You’ll get helpful travel advice, a can-do attitude, and reliable wheels.
Some of Alaska’s most alluring destinations are along its gravel roads, through timber, tundra and quaint towns. Alaska 4×4 Rental’s 4‑wheel drive vehicles are perfect for navigating these rugged roads. Choose a new model Jeep, SUV, pickup or van for your own custom road trip – and you can drive all the way to the Arctic Circle!
Anchorage’s newest hotel is located in the midtown area and offers some great amenities. You’ll find an outdoor fire pit and a family-friendly gallery, perfect for relaxing and getting to know fellow guests. Plus, half of the rooms have living areas and full kitchens.
For outstanding viewing and incredible access to remote places, there’s nothing like flightseeing by helicopter. Join Alaska Helicopter Tours – a locally-owned, highly-respected helicopter tour and charter company – for excursions that reveal hidden sites just minutes from Anchorage. Spot wildlife from the air, stand on a glacier or land on a remote airstrip.
Experience the excitement of racing champion sled dogs at the Alaska Mushing School, just 75 minutes from Anchorage. Get a professional’s insight into the mushing lifestyle as you ride behind a team of energetic sled dogs on trails connected to the famous Iditarod route. Bundle up and ride in comfort, or brave the cold and drive the team yourself!
When your Alaska travel plans include outdoor activities (and they should!), gear up with affordable, high-quality equipment rentals from local experts. Alaska Outdoor Gear Outfitter & Rentals will pull together what you need for everything from a summer campout to a winter snowshoe or aurora viewing expedition. So get out there!
Ride the rails, sea kayak through an iceberg-strewn lake and hike off-the-beaten-path towards the face of Spencer glacier, all in one trip! Locally-owned Ascending Path designed this awe-inspiring outing, packing several exciting elements into one satisfying day. Trusted by locals and Hollywood producers alike, Ascending Path will take you on an unforgettable Alaskan adventure.
Founded in 2001, the Anchorage International Film Festival will be hosting its 16th annual celebration of independent film in Anchorage this December. Attended by filmmakers and cinema-lovers from all over the US and the world, the festival seeks to support new media and independent filmmaking in Alaska and beyond. Festival-goers are treated to the opportunity to watch films not-yet-released or that won’t be released in Alaskan theaters, plus ...more
Trygg Air offers day trips for walrus viewing from Anchorage as well as King Salmon, in Southwest Alaska. Fly to King Salmon commercially from Anchorage, and then meet Trygg Air for a 90-minute scenic journey along the west side of the Alaska Peninsula to Cape Seniavin to view these 4,000 pound animals that haul out on the beach. Trygg can also fly you out to two other iconic places: Brooks Falls, to see grizzly bears swatting at salmon; and the ...more
Craft beer, locally sourced food, and a terrific location in the heart of downtown Anchorage all add up to a can’t‑miss experience. Dine inside the two-story restaurant, or step upstairs to the rooftop deck for magnificent views of the Alaska Range and Cook Inlet.
Today, the ACA is the largest performing arts presenter in Alaska: it’s the only organization that presents Broadway shows in the state, and it’s the largest resident company that uses the city’s Alaska Center for the Performing Arts (known to locals as the PAC), home to both the Atwood Concert Hall and the Discovery Theatre.
Photograph alpenglow on snow capped mountains, frosty scenes glowing in rich winter light, wildlife wandering snowy paths, city lights reflecting on the water at twilight, and possibly even the northern lights!
You don’t need to be an expert or a Hollywood star to enjoy fly-out fishing in the wilds of Alaska. Trail Ridge Air offers guided, non-guided and custom trips, getting you into creeks and lakes where you can catch not only fish, but also a great Alaskan fish tale of your very own.
Trail Ridge Air offers an on-demand perspective of Alaska’s wilderness, with personable and knowledgeable pilots. Watch for wildlife, check out massive glaciers, alpine lakes, Denali, or even Lake Clark National Park. Trail Ridge accommodates for the busiest of schedules, with flights ranging from one hour to a full day.
Alyeska Resort is famous for its downhill skiing and snowboarding for a reason — it’s truly world-class, featuring tons of snow, steep mountains, and views that stretch on forever. But there are a ton of other winter activities that make Alyeska an epicenter for winter adventure. Go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on one of the area trails; or head off into the backcountry with a guide for some heli- or cat-skiing; try a snowmobile excursion; ...more
Lazy Otter offers offers double and single kayak rentals, and transportation to secluded areas of Prince William Sound. Not ready to kayak alone? Opt for a guided trip. The calm waters have a gorgeous backdrop of the Chugach Mountains’ serrated peaks. Keep an eye out for the creatures that walk the shores and swim in the sea: orcas, humpback whales, sea lions, puffins, seals, sea otters, eagles, goats, and bears.
Ratchet up the adventure factor and try your hand at dogsledding. Alpine Air Alaska flies to a dog camp run by the oldest established dog-sled tour business in Alaska. You’ll travel by helicopter from Girdwood’s green forests up over a small saddle to land on a glacier and be introduced to the dog team. You’ll get to stand on the sled runners and “drive” the dogs yourself, or sit in the sled and survey the hanging glaciers that surround you. ...more
The 7- to 9‑hour tour out of Anchorage’s Lake Hood is led by a photographer-pilot whom has published photos in such magazines as Air and Space, Stearns and National Geographic. Set up for the best shots, every passenger gets a window seat and a two-way headset for pilot narration — you’ll have a stunning ride filled with photo ops of rugged mountains, glacial pools and ice blue glaciers. Then, you’ll land on a remote waterway to take photos on the ...more
Created by the folks behind Anchorage’s award-winning Snow City Café, Spenard Roadhouse and Sack’s Café, South Restaurant + Coffeehouse was launched to take the best qualities of those popular eateries to the South side of town. Located in a new development near the famed Alaska Sand and Gravel— and off Old Seward Highway — South Restaurant + Coffee House channels a bit of the area’s industrial past, with a clean, modern space, featuring a ...more
Join Alaska Photo Treks as they go hunting for the best light of the day, which during summer at this latitude can last for several glorious hours before sunset. You’ll be transported to scenic locations around Southcentral Alaska to shoot a variety of enchanting subjects. The itinerary is flexible and allows for spontaneous stops to photograph wildlife en route.
Fairview was built beyond the city boundary and became an established community after World War II. Yet the area maintained a fierce independence streak. Those who lived here hoped to avoid bureaucratic oversight and taxation, and even had their own public utility district. It was the only neighborhood that African-Americans could buy property in. And when Anchorage tried to annex the area in the 1950s, locals fought back, in a lawsuit that ...more
Downtown’s convenient grid pattern was set up at the same time that construction started on the Government Hill neighborhood. And in 1915, downtown’s plots of land were auctioned off to the highest bidders. Many of the buildings from that era not only still stand, but are still named after some of the city’s founding fathers, reminding us of the sacrifices they made to give a future to their budding city.
Today, this unique, geographically isolated area is accessible only by bridge. But it’s worth the effort: you can stand on the very spot where Anchorage’s first neighborhood began, at the corner of Delaney and West Harvard streets. From here you can see the Brown’s Point Cottages to the west, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And walk north along West Harvard Street to see what remains of the old cottages.
What elements make a great city? When Anchorage’s forefathers landed at Ship Creek in 1915, those elements were people, education, jobs, culture, capital investments, productivity and growth, food production and subsistence, wildlife and natural beauty. So these pioneers set out to make them all a reality. Four distinct neighborhoods arose to meet the call for housing and land management offices, as well as school, library, and museum facilities. ...more
If you’re a beer snob — or just like soaking up the personality of a city through its brewpubs — this creative tour company offers a few different tours, each of which provide an interesting look at life in Alaska, as well as through a taste of the state’s legit craft beer industry. The Anchorage Brews Tour, is a short, 3.5 hour local brewery tour. Hops on the Rail tour combines breweries between Anchorage and Talkeetna with a ride on The Alaska ...more
A giant sand dune rises into the trees of Kincaid Park near the southwest corner of the Anchorage Bowl. Its brown face of gorgeous speckled grains looms more than 40 feet above the surrounding forest floor, presenting a pyramid-steep slope that just begs to be climbed. This natural feature is a blast for the whole family, perfect for anybody who has ever delighted in a romp at the beach.
The Campbell Creek Gorge overlook is one of Anchorage’s best kept secrets. It’s just a 25-minute uphill hike — even shorter on bike— from both the Hillside Ski Chalet parking area and North Bivouc Trailhead, or a slightly longer 1‑hour hike from Campbell Airstrip. From the tree-covered overlook, you can gaze hundreds of feet down a sheer cliff to Campbell Creek as it crashes through a narrow, brush-infested canyon.
Update: As of March 27, 2019, this area is now closed. After the November 30, 2018 earthquake, it is a high rock-fall risk area. We’ll keep an eye out for a new great spot to grab fresh Alaska water! Drive just a few miles south of Anchorage, and you can taste the best water that Alaska has to offer. No fees, no gimmicks: just a 5‑foot pipe protruding from a granite cliff face that gushes crystal clear water capable of causing instant brain ...more
Alaska bear camp is magically hidden in a rare Critical Bear Habitat in the wilderness of Lake Clark National Park. Instead of hundreds, only 16 privileged guests observe the wonder of up to 50 brown Bears living out their daily drama. Due to the beauty of the location and the exceptional bear population, the deluxe camp, with en suite biffies, beds with mattresses and food flown in daily, was used as a base camp for the Disney movie Bears. ...more
Humpy’s at the airport has a selection of 20 beers on tap with most brewed in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau and the Kenai. In addition to the beers, they serve good pub food: nachos, hummus plates, burgers, soups and salads. And of course, they have Alaska seafood: halibut, salmon and fish tacos.
Rock out with the rest of Anchorage at the lively and energetic Hard Rock Café in downtown Anchorage. Known for its support of live music and hip service, lunch or dinner at the Hard Rock promises more than just tasty food. Hang at the bar or enjoy a full meal, surrounded by a treasure-trove of rock’n’roll memorabilia adorning the walls.
Riding the train in Alaska is a relaxing and fun way to take in amazing sights around every bend, and many travelers choose a dome car for the best viewing experience. When you’re headed north of Anchorage, hop on a Wilderness Express private dome car for deluxe viewing at great value.
Experience the wilderness of the Chugach National Forest from several different perspectives. Combine a helicopter ride, alpine hike, glacial lake tour, river rafting and train ride all in 9 – 10 hours! It’s one big and bold Alaska tour de force with Chugach Adventures.
Enjoy a magical morning or evening kayaking the calm waters of Spencer Lake, in the awe-inspiring presence of a jagged terminus glacier. Your time on the water is sandwiched between two train rides that offer up some of Alaska’s most scenic rail miles. It’s a full day of unforgettable experiences in our country’s second largest national forest – the Chugach.
The original hallmark trip that got the Alaska Railroad to bring the Glacier Discovery to Spencer Glacier in 2002. This is one of the most scenic glacier river trips in Alaska and a perfect float for all ages. Your trip begins with a scenic ride on Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery train, which runs from Anchorage, Girdwood, and other pick-up points along the railbelt. Enjoy a beautiful ride down Turnagain Arm and the Placer River Valley and ...more
5 to 7 Days
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Whittier, Valdez
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Discovery
Our Classic Discovery Voyage is the perfect wilderness sampler. We take in the most spectactular sights of Prince William Sound — mountains, fjords, glaciers and wildlife — with the number of daily excursions (ashore or by kayak) tailored to the interests and activity level of the group.
Step into the underworld of Anchorage — a hidden gathering of ghosts and spirits — on this walking tour through some of the city’s most haunted sites. It’s the most unsual perspective you can get of Alaska’s largest metropolis.
Wondering how folks up here deal with Alaska’s long winter days? It’s easy when the inky night sky comes alive with an amazing light show like the aurora borealis. Braving the cold is nothing if you get a chance to see the lights dancing and waving overhead. Combine your aurora viewing trip with a few other highlights planned out by Salmon Berry Tours, and you’ll experience the best of winter in Alaska.
Set along the Coastal Trail at the very end of 5th Avenue in Anchorage, Elderberry boasts 1.5 acres of scenic parkland with great views of Cook Inlet. Because it’s close to downtown, you can make this a rest stop while touring and shopping downtown. Come with a picnic, or just a walk while enjoying the view.
Alaska Motorhomes Rentals from Alaska Travel Adventures offers one-way rental options. Seeing Alaska by motorhome is different than seeing it by train, for example – so why not experience them both? If the thought of a long, round-trip journey on the Al-Can keeps you from setting out on that amazing adventure, how about driving one way and flying back? You can consider all these options when you rent one of the comfortable, easy-maneuvering C ...more
When you want to explore Alaska on your own timetable, with a guaranteed bed and meals any time of day, consider a trip in a state-of-the-art motorhome rented from Great Alaskan Holidays, Sales & Service. They offer the largest selection of sparkly clean and well-maintained motorhomes in Alaska, with great pricing and a no-fuss reservation and rental process. It’s the most convenient, flexible, and affordable mode of independent travel in ...more
5 days/4 nights or 6 days/5 nights
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Whittier, Cordova, Valdez
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Discovery
Perfect for the adventurous traveler, the Hike and Kayak voyage sees all the same sites as on our Classic voyage, but with more excursions. Kayak among icebergs, hike through mountain meadows, and take in the scenery on this unique trip. Activities can be customized to suit the interests and activity level of those on board.
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Whittier, Valdez
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Discovery
Explore the natural wonders of northwestern Prince William Sound Alaska in this 3‑day version of our Classic Discovery Voyage. This is the perfect cruise for those who don’t have time to do the whole Inside Passage or wish to combine their Alaska cruise with more shore-based activities.
Everybody loves sled dogs, and Salmon Berry Tours offers you the chance to get behind the sled year-round. In summer and winter, you’ll head to the kennel of Iditarod Champion Dallas Seavey, where you’ll see a gear demonstration, meet the dogs, and ride on the sled behind them. They also have a multi-day adventure for Iditarod enthusiasts.
Quick: what’s the longest combined rail and highway tunnel in North America? It’s the Anderson Memorial Tunnel, and you’ll drive through it on the scenic and historic drive to Whittier. The Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area is a place whose valleys and mountains, communities and people tell the larger story of a wild place and a rugged frontier. This audio guide gives you the inside scoop on its fascinating history. You’ll… ...more
The City of Anchorage may be relatively young, but it has a storied history that is rich enough to keep you captivated for hours. And who better to recount some of the highlights than four former mayors who were there when they happened? Among other things, you’ll hear about Anchorage’s wilder days, what the 1964 earthquake was really like, how oil money helped shape many facets of modern life, and Alaska’s little-known 9⁄11 scare.
Rent a mountain bike (and all the body armor you need) for a thrilling, two-wheel ride down Mt. Alyeska. Lessons and tours of the route are offered. Or, go for a hike on one of the many area trails, either with a guide or on your own. You can even strap on some crampons and go trekking on a glacier.
This is your chance to travel like the locals! Many Alaskans ride this bus line that motors between Anchorage, Glennallen, Fairbanks, and Tok, making stops along the way in off-the-beaten-path destinations. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you can board a van or a 20-passenger bus to travel Interior Alaska Bus Lines’ route.
Take a fly-in salmon or trout-fishing trip out of Anchorage with Regal Air to enjoy world-class fishing in pristine, remote rivers. Regal Air teams up with wilderness lodges and guiding services and can set you up with anything from lunch to gear. They’ll even teach you how to cast. You’ll get the ultimate Alaska flying experience, taking off and landing in a float plane, and soaring over big, braided glacier river valleys and endless forests. ...more
This 3‑room inn provides easy access to city excursions as well as a great springboard for any Alaskan adventure. The Arts & Crafts-style guest house, with a spacious second-story living room, offers panoramic views of downtown Anchorage, nearby mountains and Cook Inlet. You can walk to any number of restaurants, shops and museums, or look for wildlife along the city’s Coastal Trail.
Walk in the wild places of Alaska with world-class guides who will reveal the wonders of our local lakes, glaciers, alpine mountains, rainforests or the far backcountry. Trusted by locals, Hollywood producers, and even the White House, Ascending Path guides you expertly to select areas just minutes from Anchorage.
This Anchorage institution has a great slogan: “If you don’t know furs, know your furrier.” The furs themselves come from Alaska and other parts of the world — such as Scandinavia and Russia — and come from mink, beaver, lynx, and fox, to name a few. Go upstairs to see how they make everything from coats to slippers, mostly by hand.
Since 1963, Rust’s has been safely carrying anglers far away from the crowds. Experienced guides lead you to world-class fishing for kings, silvers, grayling, and trout in some of Alaska’s most beautiful and remote wilderness — and they’ll clean and package your catch for the trip back to Anchorage. On the way, enjoy a window-seat view and pilot narration.
Brooks Lodge offers their own bear viewing tours which are less expensive than most, and give you more time at Katmai National Park to watch bears feasting on sockeye salmon from several viewing platforms. A commercial flight from Anchorage takes you to King Salmon where you’ll switch to a small float plane for a quick 20-minute flight to Brooks Camp. After a brief safety orientation, you can watch bears from several viewing platforms, join the ...more
Take in the scenic views from the domed windows in the private McKinley Explorer railcars by Gray Line Alaska. Independent travelers can book a seat, but most opt for a multi-day package including hotel and transfers. Enjoy excellent service from your car manager, who will point out sights and scenery along the way. Dine in the restaurant located just beneath you, and don’t miss a thing as you continue to gaze out of large picture windows. ...more
There’s great Alaskan backcountry ATV riding just a few miles south of Anchorage. Engage in the sights, sounds, and smells of the northernmost temperate rainforest while experiencing the thrill of the throttle through the winding wooded trails of the Chugach Mountain Range. In the alpine meadows of this wilderness area, there are frequent sightings of both brown and black bears, mountain goats, and Dall sheep.
This upscale Marriott comes with some great views of mountains, inlet, and city skyline. Take it in, or get up close by walking the nearby Tony Knowles Coastal Trail or Delaney Park strip. You’ll also be within walking distance of Anchorage’s restaurants and shops.
This luxury resort, 40 miles from Anchorage in the town of Girdwood, is surrounded by seven glaciers. The spectacular scenery is popular in summer as well as winter, when you’ll find a full-on ski resort. It’s a romantic option that’s equally great for families.
This locally owned boutique hotel, set in the heart of downtown, features 31 large suites with living rooms, bedrooms, and full kitchens. Step out the door and be within walking distance of Anchorage’s highlights, as well as downtown restaurants and shopping.
You know you’re in Alaska when you can watch anglers catch salmon just behind your hotel. This property, within walking distance of the railroad depot and trails for strolling, as well a heated indoor pool and exercise room.
Anchorage’s tallest hotel is the best place to appreciate the gorgeous views of city and mountains – you may even see Denali on a clear day. You’ll also be within walking distance of the train depot and coastal trail, as well as the city’s terrific shops and restaurants.
Anchorage’s luxurious grande dame hotel is considered by some to be the finest hotel in Alaska. The 20-story, 546-room hotel offers amazing views of the Chugach Mountains and even Denali. You’ll also find first-class restaurants and great amenities.
The Glacier Brewhouse is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Meals are served in a large rustic dining area, complete with a fireplace in the middle, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere that’s always abuzz with conversation. Here you can enjoy fresh seafood and meats while sampling a spectrum of homemade beers. Before or after you meal, be sure to check out the brewing equipment on display through the glass wall.
Giving fresh Alaskan dishes a unique touch, Orso serves dinner in a warm, inviting atmosphere. Classics like grilled wild Alaskan salmon are served with an olive and tomato salsa, while Bering sea scallops come with a walnut-gorgonzola risotto. And you don’t want to miss the desserts.
With Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours, you can experience glaciers inaccessible by road. Never fear if you’ve never driven an before; this company teaches you to maneuver your ATV through the Alaskan wilderness with your guide at the lead. Your destination is the magnificent Knik Glacier, where you’ll enjoy lunch and gorgeous scenery.
The train can be used as a mode of transportation, however it can also be a round-trip sightseeing excursion. This primary destination is the town of Whittier, a major cruise ship and afternoon day cruise hub. Day Trips from Anchorage: Whittier, Girdwood, Spencer Glacier, Grandview
This train travels through the forested areas north of Anchorage into the boreal forest, and eventually into the tundra regions further north. On a clear day the train will slow down to allow you to see beautiful vistas of Denali. You may also spot wildlife along the way. Day Trip from Anchorage: Talkeetna Day Trip from Fairbanks: Denali Multi-Day Trip from Anchorage: Talkeetna, Denali National Park, and / or Fairbanks Multi-Day Trip ...more
The Coastal Classic train runs between Anchorage and the town of Seward — a four-hour trip that’s the most beautiful along the entire Alaska Railroad. You’ll see Turnagain Arm as the train departs Anchorage, then a panorama of mountains, glaciers, lakes, and streams. You may even see wildlife like Dall sheep, Beluga whales, moose, bear, and more! Day Trip from Anchorage: Seward, Girdwood Multi-Day Trip from Anchorage: Overnight Seward, or ...more
ABC’s RVs are all 2016 or newer, and completely battery- and propane-operated. In addition, this company is known for its spectacular customer service, which includes transfers to and from the airport and a 24-hour emergency assistance line. ABC also makes sure to include all the housekeeping items you will need onboard, from linens to utensils. And before you head down the road, they’ll give you a quick tutorial to ensure that you begin your ...more
Phillips 26 Glacier Cruise, out of Whittier, will take you to 26 different glaciers in just 5 hours. Enjoy cozy comforts on the high-speed catamaran and wander its outdoor decks as you come within 300 feet of massive tidewater glaciers. In addition to glaciers, the captain will be on the lookout for wildlife like otters, whales, harbor seals, and marine birds. The trip takes place in the afternoon, and a hot lunch is included in your tour. ...more
One of the most original gifts you can find in Alaska is a piece of clothing made from the undercoat of the musk ox, called “Qivuit.” What’s so special about this fabric? It’s finer than cashmere, eight times warmer than wool (and not scratchy like wool), and extremely light. Pick up some items made from this rare, lustrous fiber when you’re downtown at the co-op; you’ll have a rare treasure that can be found nowhere else in the world.
Every Saturday and Sunday in summer, more than 300 vendors take over seven acres of downtown Anchorage, selling a wide variety of Alaskan-made goods and food from all over the world. Whether you’re in the market for a valuable keepsake or a last-minute souvenir, you’ll likely find what you want here. You’ll find souvenir T‑shirts, furs, painters and photographers selling their work, handmade jewelry, and more. Music and dance performances keep ...more
The Northwoods Lodge is a remote lodge where visitors can find themselves in a 45 minute flight from Anchorage. The lodge specializes in guided fishing, and guests can enjoy 8 to 10 hours of fishing a day if they choose. Guides help you spin or fly fish for trophy king salmon, silver and sockeye salmon, or resident rainbow trout, arctic grayling and northern pike
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Alaska’s scenic highlights on a flightseeing tour with Rust’s Flying Service, where every passenger gets a window seat. Tour options include a short 30-minute Anchorage Flightseeing Safari, a flight to Denali, Denali plus a glacier landing, and more. Tours begin at Anchorage’s Lake Hood, the world’s busiest seaplane airport.
Take off by seaplane for an all-day bear-viewing expedition. Fly past glaciers and volcanoes to the brown-bear country of southwest Alaska. Your Seaplane Bear Safari will take you to Brooks River Falls in Katmai National Park, home of the world ’ s largest salmon run. You can also fly 70 miles southwest of Anchorage to Lake Clark Wilderness Preserve for amazing bear viewing and luxurious accommodations at the Redoubt Bay Lodge. Rust’s, which has ...more
Hop aboard one of Regal Air’s planes departing from Anchorage and after a short, scenic flight you can be watching enormous brown bears swat salmon from Alaska’s rushing waters. Tours visit one of two destinations: Lake Clark National Park or Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park.
Step aboard Princess Rail, whose cars have two levels with 360-degree dome views, a dining area, and large open-air platforms at the rear. You may choose to ride as an independent traveler, or with a larger package that will include lodging at the Princess properties along the way.
Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords are great places to see wildlife and glaciers. And Major Marine’s vessels, which have cozy heated cabins and an outdoor viewing area, can take you out to see both. This family-owned tour operator has gone above and beyond to give guests an amazing day on the water since 1990.
Lazy Otter offers classic tours, but this is a water taxi, so they’ll also take you anywhere you want to go within Price William Sound — or just customize a tour to whatever you want to see. Maybe that’s glaciers, or whales, — or maybe it’s quiet time on a secluded beach. Lazy Otter can also help facilitate taking you and your family on a camping trip. You’re not held to any strict schedule, either: if, on a day tour, you can spend more time in one ...more
Alaska Wild Berry Products has two convenient locations. One, inside the 5th Avenue Mall in the heart of downtown Anchorage. The other is just a brief 10-minute drive from downtown. The shop itself features great Alaskan gifts like Alaskan jelly, salmon, meats, and chocolate.
The Alyeska Resort’s Aerial Tramway is a seven-minute ride that lifts you to a viewing deck with breathtaking panoramic views of mountains, hanging glaciers, streams, spruce, and an array of wildlife. Enjoy a relaxed midday picnic or beautiful evening sunset on Mt. Alyeska’s observation deck, more than 2,000 feet above sea level. Telescopes intensify what Conde Nast Traveler Magazine rated the best view of any U.S. ski resort. Go exploring, ...more
Crow Creek Mine has been in operation since 1896, and gold is still found in its claims today! Your guides will be members of the mining family that keeps Crow Creek operational. This is their home, so tour groups are kept small, creating a more intimate environment and allowing more time for questions. Try your luck at panning, and keep what you find.
There are few things more spectacular than lifting off in a helicopter and soaring over Alaska’s glacier-filled terrain or out across its shimmering waters. Suitable for all ages. Get a taste for helicopter flightseeing on a 30-minute trip into the 20-Mile river valley and the heart of glacier country.
At the 200-acre Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, see Alaskan wildlife up close. The center’s mission is to provide refuge for orphaned, injured, and ill animals — those that can’t survive in the wild. The center, which opened to the public in 1993, educates visitors about Alaska’s wildlife. Coyotes peer out from behind the brush while a bald eagle swoops in on the salmon remains left by a grizzly bear. Wood Bison plod through 65 acres of tidal ...more
This veteran tour operator runs a a fleet of fast, modern boats in Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park. You’ll visit tidewater glaciers as you watch for puffins, sea otters, Dall’s porpoises, sea lions, and more. Some tours are designed to please birders or shutterbugs, while others are perfect for families.
This hidden, little visited waterfall feels immense as it fills its small canyon with a roar that can be heard during the approach. Tucked into a gorge where the South Fork of Eagle River takes a 25-foot-plus plunge, the falls split into two channels as they cascade over a giant bedrock outcrop and are very photogenic. One of the Chugach’s secret places. The surrounding access trails are part of the Eagle River Greenbelt system, but private… ...more
Alaska’s most productive king salmon sportfishery is located right in downtown Anchorage! Fish for salmon at Ship Creek even if you have only two hours. During the summertime derbies, specially tagged fish bring in $100-$10,000. Buy your tickets ($7 – 35) from the Derby Cabin next to Comfort Inn at Ship Creek and warm up your muscles-in 2002, a 41-pounder took grand prize! Want to fish Ship Creek? 6th Avenue Outfitters (907−276−0233) sells… ...more
The only same-day service between Seward and Denali National Park! Enjoy the ride aboard a deluxe motorcoach with comfortable seats, picture windows, in-seat power outlets, and an onboard restroom. Offering regular scheduled summer service connecting Seward, Whittier, Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali, plus special cruise connections on ship days.
Discover cozy cabins, great food, and big Alaskan adventures at this intimate lodge that sits on the edge of the wilderness yet is super-accessible from Anchorage. It lies tucked in at the back of the Knik River Valley and at the end of Knik River Road, where Alaska’s real wilderness opens up, with mountain and river views — but without a flight or long drive. It’s the perfect place to escape for a few days, with lots of activities available from ...more
Adorned with rich woods and polished brass, the Fancy Moose Lounge offers a colorful environment where you can mix good times and beverages with a spectacular view of the lake. Casual dining features fresh seafood, burgers, sandwiches, salads, soups and finger foods, and an assortment of specialty drinks. Summer draws locals and visitors to the outdoor patio with the promise of brilliant Alaskan sunsets. Operating Hours 11:00 AM — 12:00 AM ...more
The Voyager Inn in the heart of downtown Anchorage offers guests a sense of history with an updated look. Renovated rooms and suites include luxurious bedding and linens, stylish seating, plush carpeting, designer bathrooms and kitchenettes with new granite countertops.
Exploring Alaska’s backcountry lakes, forests and rivers is a phenomenal experience. Wilderness Place Lodge — tucked away on a remote river northwest of Anchorage — offers excellent access to nearly any freshwater fish you came to Alaska for, along with a unique eco-travel experience that comes with a high level of service, a variety of non-fishing activities and the mellow freedom to create an Alaskan experience that suits your own taste.
If you only have a little experience doing off-trail hiking, then this scenic 5‑miler will help you get a bit more under your belt. Beginning on Rabbit Creek Trail, in the Front Range just above Anchorage, this hike visits a surprisingly expansive and scenic plateau that remains hidden from sight until you actually climb to it.
While many people find satisfaction in climbing to the top of Bear Point, others may wonder about reaching the summit of Mount Eklutna, the prominent peak rising just to the east. It involves two more miles of hiking, up 1,100 feet, including a short, sharp scramble up a gravel trail. You can return to the Peters Creek Trail trailhead via an alternate route, which makes for a fine loop hike.
This trail has its own sitting area and viewing deck with views of Anchorage, the Alaska Range, and Cook Inlet. It is really good for seeing sunsets in the evening but it is also windy. The whole route is wheelchair accessible. This is a good short hike for the family to see the view over Anchorage, but not a good trail for the training runner.
If you want a great workout — to stunning mountain views high above the valley floor below — but want to save your knees on the way down, this trail is for you. It leaves from the Alyeska Resort tram building and climbs steep switchbacks 2.2 miles and 2000 feet to the mid-mountain restaurant where you can catch a free aerial tram ride back down to the hotel.
About a half a mile past where the road turns sharply left (by the old Motherlode Restaurant) is a pull off on the left and archangel road to the right. The road is dirt, and in the summertime you can drive the trail for a mile or two, but it is pitted with deep holes and rocks. After a mile or two, a parking area and trail turns off to the right. Here the trail continues with little elevation gain initially, but after a mile or so you will ...more
A short road called Konikson located just past Bird Ridge heading east will take you to the trailhead. Stay to the right until you see a trail about a quarter mile in going right and up. The trail follows a small drainage, and quickly gets past the tree line.
A straightforward trip with big scenery payoffs, like the picturesque Mint Hut and a valley dotted with hanging glaciers. This trip is a great first backpacking trip in Alaska with simple logistics. It’s 16 miles with options for additional miles and side trips.
Who can say no to a cool waterfall only a half-hour’s drive from town? One of the most popular “first hikes” for families with small children, the one-mile trail to Thunderbird Falls traverses a handsome birch forest along the Eklutna River canyon to reach a deck with views of a 200-foot waterfall. During winter, the falls can freeze, forming fabulous columns of blue ice.
A short drive from downtown Anchorage will land you in the middle of Kincaid Park, the jump-off point for this moderate two-mile out and back hike to Anchorage’s only big, sandy beach. If not for the cool Alaska temps, it’d be easy to think you were in Southern California. The sand is fine and very little mars its surface other than the occasional piece of driftwood. Flanked on one side by tall bluffs and on the other by gorgeous views of… ...more
You’ll have a hard time losing your way on this 2.5‑mile climb of 4,301-foot-high McHugh Peak. You’ll also have a hard time forgetting the view from the summit, which extends up the length of Turnagain Arm and across Knik Arm to the Alaska Range. It’s even more satisfying knowing that you found your way to the summit with only minimal help from the trail.
Who can’t be tempted by a place that offers a Bacon of the Month? This Anchorage restaurant in the heart of the Spenard neighborhood serves contemporary comfort food in a casual, eclectic setting. Local newspaper readers have voted Spenard Roadhouse Best Restaurant, Best Bartender, and Best Waitstaff for a reason. Year round, its menu shows a local and sometimes whimsical flair: Bacon Jam Burger, Reindeer and Chevre Pizza, and S’mores for… ...more
Nothing beats a good breakfast to kick off a day of adventure in Alaska, and according to locals, nothing beats this popular downtown café for egg scrambles, omelets, salads and more. Snow City Café been voted “Best Breakfast” by Anchorage Press readers for years, thanks to their from-scratch bakery items and creative combos, such as eggs benedict with sockeye salmon cakes, or hot oatmeal topped with homemade granola and blueberries. At… ...more
Don’t let the strip-mall locale fool you: This is one of the best restaurants to open in Anchorage in years. No matter which side of the open kitchen you sit on (either the “restaurant” side or the casual “bistro”) side, you can enjoy the 200-plus wine list, excellent salads and wide selection of entrees, such as Kodiak scallops, fresh troll caught King salmon, and Scandinavian duck. Save room for the creative, beautifully plated desserts, such ...more
On these special Fridays, art galleries celebrate new works by local artists, and it’s great entertainment for art lovers. You may find galleries hosting receptions with hors d’oeuvres, offering a chance to meet local artists while enjoying a stroll through downtown. Look for a map of participating galleries in the Anchorage Press or the Anchorage Daily News the day before.
This classic steakhouse in downtown Anchorage has a lot of stories to tell: While the restaurant started in the 1950s, its home building dates back to the 1920s. Cut and aged on the premises, the steaks — some four inches thick — have been voted the best in Anchorage for 12 years running. No surprise, though, there is surf as well as turf: the menu features halibut, scallops, prawns and the much-sought-after red king crab.
A night at the Seven Glaciers restaurant, perched 2,300 feet above sea level on Mount Alyeska, is a dining journey that begins with a tram ride high above the treetops, followed by an elevator lift, then a stroll along a golden carpet, past a glimmering, glass-and-steel, wine-tower wall and into a dining room radiating the colors of alpenglow and glacial ice. Seven Glaciers is one of only three AAA Four Diamond restaurants in Alaska. You can ...more
Some 50 miles north of Anchorage, this 1.5‑mile trail makes for a fine family outing. From the picnic table at the uppermost end of the trail, you’ll find a satisfying panoramic view of the Matanuska River and Knik River valleys. It’s a view as good, or better, than that from many summits.
Certified by the U.S. Track and Field Association, this annual marathon is run against the gorgeous backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness. People come from far and wide to participate: all 50 states and some 15 countries. And if you’re not up for the full 26.2, you can still be a part of it by running the half-marathon, the 4- mile race, the 1.6‑mile youth race, or the marathon relay.
Kincaid Park offers the easiest way to get deep in the woods right in town. It’s a mecca for outdoor sports of all kinds in a wilderness-like setting on the site of a former Cold War missile base. This 1,500-acre park sprawls over an ancient and rugged moraine at the southwest tip of the Anchorage Bowl at the west end of Raspberry Road. From its panoramic views of Denali and the vast Cook Inlet to its intimate deep woods enclaves, the park is ...more
Flattop is Alaska’s most visited peak. Ascend the 1.5 — mile, 1,350 vertical foot trail to the rocky, football field-sized summit in about an hour and take in panoramic views from Denali (Mt. McKinley) to the Aleutian Islands. If you want vistas without the hike, walk the short path from the parking lot to the overlook.
The world’s most famous sled dog race begins in downtown Anchorage on the first Saturday in March, in a spectator-friendly ceremony. The first mile and a half of this leg is on city streets lined with thousands of spectators. The next six miles run east and south through the city greenbelts and parks on the extensive system of bike and ski paths.
Anchorage RunFest is a collection of running events that celebrate runners of all abilities from the elite runners to the back of the packers. This late season Boston Marathon qualifier boasts ideal running weather, mild temperatures and a fast course with very little elevation gain. The out and back route takes runners through downtown Anchorage before heading out along the scenic coastline and through the city’s wooded greenbelt. In keeping ...more
This Anchorage museum offers an in-depth look at Alaskan Native life — with a big focus on Alaska Natives. Watch dancing, listen to stories, meet carvers and explore recreated winter dwellings. The setting is so small and intimate that visitors are sometimes even invited to join the dancers on stage.
With an astonishing maze of groomed trails over all kinds of terrain — including 12 to 15 miles equipped with lights for night skiing — Kincaid Park is the region’s premier destination for cross country skiing. The system ranges from sedate, pastoral loops suitable for families on an outing to demanding expert workouts with hard climbs and screaming descents. This venue has skiing for every level of experience.
Winner Creek Trail in Girdwood (45 minutes south of Anchorage) is one of our favorite trails to take visiting friends and family. It’s an easy 3‑mile hike or bike ride on a wide, well-developed trail with gentle elevation gain that winds through America’s northernmost rainforest, crosses a wooden bridge over a thundering blue-water gorge, connects to a hand tram high above thrashing Glacier Creek, then ends on Crow Creek Mine Road just below ...more
This mine played a significant role in the early settling of the Turnagain Arm. The building here are on the National Register of historic places and the mine is unique because of its association with load mining. Indian Valley Mine was founded in 1910 by a vagabond who ran away from home at the age of 12, joined the circus and then finally traveled to Alaska during the gold rush. The Cowles family will tell you all about the history of this… ...more
If people suggest climbing Flattop, tell them you’d rather climb Rendezvous Peak. Flattop is arguably Alaska’s most popular (and therefore, most crowded) mountain; Rendezvous is far less crowded and offers better views from the summit. See them by hiking up 1,500 feet to the 4,050-foot summit.
Black Tail Rocks is a very airy climb that stretches to 4,446 feet above Eagle River, a town located just north of Anchorage. It’s a journey that involves only a minimal amount of hand-over-hand scrambling; you’ll be following a trail for most of the 4‑mile, 2,750-foot hike. And you’ll have a fine view from the top, looking up the length of the secluded Meadow Creek Valley and well into the deep inner reaches of the Chugach Mountains.
Rarely do two lakes lie within a few feet of each other. Fortunately, the trail to see this geological rarity begins just a 30-minute drive north of Anchorage. From the trailhead for South Fork Eagle River Trail, it’s a gradual 4.8‑mile (one-way) climb up a wide valley, leading to a narrow isthmus between the green waters of Eagle Lake and the blue waters of Symphony Lake.
For an easy, scenic walk in Anchorage, check out the Chester Creek Trail. The 4‑mile-long path, which runs from Westchester Lagoon to Goose Lake, is not only flat, but also paved, making for an easy stroll. And though it passes close to neighborhoods, the trail is part of the city’s “greenbelt” — a wooded area that makes you feel like you’ve left the city behind.
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is one of four greenbelt trails located in Anchorage. Even though the trail spans 11.0 miles each way (from Kincaid Park to just north of where 2nd Avenue ends in the Cook Inlet), it is easily picked up from several points in the city, so you can enjoy any segment and hike as little or much of the trail as you desire. In the winter, the trail is groomed for cross country skiing.
With a check-out time of 1pm and accommodations for late-night check-ins, this hotel offers comfort and flexibility. Plus, you’ll be located just minutes from the airport.
When you stay at the Anchorage Ship Creek RV Park, you’re just a few blocks from the heart of downtown Anchorage, but you also get to hang out right where the locals fish. The famed Ship Creek offers plenty of action for anglers, birders and spectators.
Trail head begins by traversing private land, but an easement has been provided for such. Easy to bike, ski, run or walk to mild slope with a wide sides, making is safe from avalanches in the winter. Should you choose to turn left at the start, you can go to Flat Top as an alternative route or Peak 2 or 3, depending how far down you go down the trail before turning left. Ptarmagan Peak would be a more prominate peak just before the Rabbit creek ...more
This 7‑mile hike, which begins in the mountains just above Anchorage, takes you to the numerous Williwaw Lakes, all of which are clustered below the sheer north face of Mount Williwaw — the highest peak in the Front Range.
This downtown shop doesn’t just offer ready-made gifts and souvenirs — though it does have plenty of those, including jewelry, medallions and watches emblazoned with Alaskan images such as bears, wolves and even Iditarod champions. One of the most popular items here are gold-nugget necklaces, rendered from piece of gold brought in by modern-day prospectors. The store’s other claim to fame is being the starting point for the Iditarod and Fur… ...more
Want to liven up your sightseeing experience in Anchorage? Explore the ins and outs of downtown on a motorized two-wheeled Segway. Gliding effortlessly down the sidewalk with a small group and informative tour guides is a popular way to experience the best of Anchorage in a short amount of time.
This downtown shop and café is a little glimpse into old Anchorage — a city that wasn’t completely about logging, fishing and tough guys. Built in 1915, the Kimball building, on Town Square Park at the corner of 5th and E, is a stop on the historic walking tour and still has antique fixtures and flooring. It’s eclectic, “quaint-meets-cool” gift and tea shop is an extension of a famed dry goods and sewing notions store that has been in business… ...more
At first blush, this traditional downtown restaurant may seem like just a special occasion place: steaks, lobster, oysters Rockefeller and impeccable service. But, its also an Anchorage mainstay for business power lunches, date nights and even upscale prom nights. They also have one of the best Happy Hours in town with drink specials and discounted appetizers.
Biking, hiking, fishing, climbing, wildlife viewing, campfires — and the bore tide spectacle of Turnagain Arm. Few campgrounds anywhere offer as many outdoor options to an adventurous family as Bird Creek Campground in Chugach State Park. Located at Mile 101 on the Seward Highway, the campground features 22 sites for tents or RVs.
Alaska’s première shopping destination. Anchored by JCPenney, this 5‑level shopping center houses options like Apple, Michael Kors, lululemon, Sephora & 100 others, along with local shops and boutiques like Alaska Wild Berry Products and Once in a Blue Moose.
Forty minutes from downtown Anchorage lies Eagle River Nature Center, a gateway to Chugach State Park and a glacial river valley as wild and dramatic as any in Alaska. Enjoy an easy, 3‑mile nature walk on the Albert Loop or trek up-valley 5 miles to see plunging waterfalls and 3,000-foot cliffs. In winter, traverse the trails on cross-country skis or snowshoes.
For one of the loopiest and fun Nordic ski areas in the city, try out the trails behind Bartlett High School along the boundary of the military base. Hilly, with lots of curves that spring into quick and sudden climbs, this five-kilometer-plus system through a mature forest packs a lot of skiing into a small footprint.
Owners Matti and Dan cannot think of a better way to appreciate Alaska than sharing it with others. Matti was born and raised in Palmer, Alaska and has been on snowmachines most of her life. Alaska Backcountry Adventures offers “mild to wild” experiences and prides itself on providing a customized experience for all levels of ability. It offers the widest variety of expeditions on the latest and greatest equipment.
Walk, hike, watch for birds or paint a picture at this living field guide of Alaska flora and fauna. The 110 acres are set in a birch and spruce forest, where you might even see a bear or moose. Walk the Wildflower Trail, relax in the Herb Garden, delight in the perennial gardens, or explore the 1.1 mile Lowenfels Family Nature Trail.
Step aboard Anchorage’s first trolley. Relax and enjoy the ride while your guide shows you the sites and attractions of Anchorage. You’ll see the Alaska Railroad, Lake Hood (the world’s largest and busiest float-plane base), mysterious Earthquake Park, Cook Inlet, Anchorage Museum, shopping areas, and restaurants. Your ride is fully narrated, and the trolley is heated and enclosed.
Thousands of pink salmon converge on Indian Creek each July and August, just about filling this shallow, easy-flowing stream south of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm from bank-to-bank. This amazing natural spectacle occurs in one of the easiest places to view spawning salmon in the region: No steep banks, crystal clear water and fish so close they could almost be touched.
If you want to marvel at the sight of thousands of fish schooling in gigantic tanks, take the self-guided tour inside the state fish hatchery on the banks of Ship Creek east of downtown. The museum-quality observation deck offers intimate views of a complex operation that produces up to six million sport fish each year.
If you’re looking for a wild oasis that’s just a 15-minute walk from downtown Anchorage, look no further than Westchester Lagoon (also known as Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park). One of the city’s most popular places, this is where locals come to play, as it has something for everyone. You’ll find access to great trails and wildlife, as well as year-round activities and events for the entire family.
Hankering for a stout and fresh-cooked corned beef, or looking for a fun happy hour? You’ll find both at McGinley’s Pub, the only Irish pub in downtown Anchorage and the only place in Alaska to get a pint of Murphy’s Irish Stout. It’s a favorite lunch spot for downtown professionals and a popular watering hole for locals (Mayor Dan Sullivan is a co-owner) who come for the good food, the casual atmosphere, and the large selection of alcohol.… ...more
This clearing at the edge of town once functioned as a firebreak between Anchorage and its neighboring forest. At other times, it acted as an airstrip, a golf course and even a makeshift housing development, when people lived here during the 1940s boom in apartments created out of old barracks. Today the Park Strip — just one block wide but 13 blocks long — is home to ball fields, a gym, ice rink and a giant steam… ...more
This trail quickly gains elevation on its way to an alpine meadow framed by the dramatic Twin Peaks and Goat Rock, but climbs to magnificent views overlooking the entire valley. Dall Sheep are often spotted above the timberline. From here there is a spectacular view of the lake below. This is also a good place for berry picking in the fall. Because of the crushed rocks, the trail is hardly ever muddy.
Longtime Alaskans Doug and Heather Robuck make modern gold prospecting easy: Their collections of handmade gold-in-quartz jewelry — a rare combination — are crafted into rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Also, check out their extensive collection of natural, unaltered gold nuggets.
Long popular with families who seek a wilderness-like setting without leaving the urban area, the place has a reputation for cleanliness and serenity. But you have to make peace with the river: it is loud. 57 campsites are nestled along three wooded lanes and the interesting gravel bars of Eagle River are never more than a few minutes’ walk away.
For a challenging and compact cross country ski area where you’ll find just about every kind of terrain, you can’t go wrong at Beach Lake Nordic Ski Trails off South Birchwood Loop in Chugiak. The 15-kilometer-plus system ranges from easy gliding to a sprawling advanced loop with sudden headwalls that morph into thrilling, high-speed descents. You can make it as challenging or as sedate as you like.
A lot of companies offer Anchorage city tours, but very few of them visit this many sites, are guided by locals, and use vans instead of motorcoaches. With Salmon Berry Tours, you’ll travel the city in the comfort of a van, with an Alaskan guide who will take you on a historic and scenic spin around the city. Or, try the Glacier Turn trip which includes Portage Glacier, Turnagain Arm, Mt. Alyeska Tramway, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. ...more
This 134-acre park is set in the woods where, in 1964, an entire neighborhood slid into the ocean during last century’s most powerful earthquake. The earthquake was measured at a 9.2 on the Richter scale and lasted 4 minutes. Today, this tragic event is commemorated in Anchorage’s Earthquake Park, where you’ll find signs explaining the circumstances of the quake and its effect on the area.
There’s no better place to get a grasp on Alaska’s history — really, its many histories— than by visiting the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. The state’s largest museum is truly a world-class experience, offering a compelling overview of Alaskan history, art, culture, and science.
Spencer Glacier rises 3,500 feet in a stunning, natural ramp from a lake of royal-blue icebergs in the Chugach National Forest just 60 miles south of Anchorage. It’s a family-friendly recreation destination featuring camping, hiking, glacier exploration, nature walks, paddling and sightseeing. Maybe best of all: You have to take a train to get there!
Here you’ll find one of the most accessible wildlife viewing areas in Alaska. The marsh is a rest area for migratory birds including trumpeter swans, rednecked grebes, golden eyes, and pintails. Also watch for beavers, moose and bald eagles. You may even spot salmon spawning in the deeper water.
Located on the third floor of The Hotel Alyeska, at the top of the Grand Staircase, the Aurora Bar & Grill offers great views and great drinks. Alaska Amber is $5, Baileys and coffee is $7. The wide selection of single-malt scotch starts at $7 for Sheep Dip and shoots up to $32 for 25-year-old Macallan. While not exactly a locals’ hangout, it’s the second-best place to meet people who don’t live in Girdwood. (The best place is the hot tub… ...more
Located on the second floor of The Hotel Alyeska, this resort-run restaurant offers something for everyone, with Alaskan favorites and a children’s menu. Dinner entrees include Alaskan halibut Florentine, roasted prime rib, and Alaskan seafood bouillabaisse (all between $24 – $26).
This new, log cabin comes with an airy interior space, a child-safe sleeping loft, two covered porches and view of Eklutna Lake. Located down a flat trail about 650 yards from year-round parking, the cabin balances a bit of solitude with easy access and ample recreation. Great for families.
Reasonably priced gifts for friends, family and office mates, or a just a delicious snack for the plane ride home. Almost three quarters of the shop consists of foods and accessories that were made, caught or picked in Alaska — from smoked salmon, reindeer sausage and jerky to jams, syrups or Ketchikan-made Ravens Brew Coffee.
If you love hiking or walking in a mature forest with well appointed trails and interesting geography — including a menagerie of Alaskan wildlife plus access to miles of shoreline — you can’t go wrong in Kincaid Park. With 35 to 40 miles of officially maintained trails equipped with map kiosks, plus many unsigned but well-trod single-track paths, the park is a literal maze. It’s great for every level of intensity — from fitness runners to families ...more
If biking on trails through the woods appeals to you, then Kincaid Park is an ideal destination. It features an extensive network of trails perfect for mountain and snow biking. Whether you seek stiff climbs and sharp turns —or if you just want a leisurely outing with family and friends — you can find the perfect cycling route somewhere in the park. While winter does close the main trails to all uses except skiing, there are plenty of snow-season ...more
Along a historic travel route that dates to the Gold Rush era, these four public use facilities offer people a flat walk to a secluded riverine wilderness only an hour walk from a trailhead that’s an easy drive from town. Managed by the Eagle River Nature Center, the three yurts and one cabin are perfect those who want to hike and explore the Eagle River corridor, known both for its wildlife — bald eagles, brown and black bear, moose — and ...more
For lakeside adventures of all kinds — with canoe trails, pike fishing and wildlife viewing nearby — try this 22,500-acre multi-use park outside Willow, featuring 131 lakes and a network of trails. Its 13 public use cabins range from places that offer motorboat access, to vehicle parking, to true wilderness refuges reachable only by canoe or ski trail. Winter creates a snow-sport mecca for cabin users too — skiing, Nordic skating, snow biking and ...more
Located about four miles south on the western shore of Eklutna Lake inside Chugach State Park, the new, spacious Kokanee Cabin offers backcountry paddling and skiing with a strong wilderness vibe. Off the trail system and reachable only by traveling across the lake, the cabin is surrounded by forest that’s seen almost no human use. With this isolation, it’s a place that asks for self-sufficiency and gives solitude, plus a taste of what it might ...more
With exceptionally easy access for families, Yuditna Creek cabin may be one of the most versatile backcountry cabins in the state, whether cycling, skiing or hiking. Located at the end of a three-mile trip down a mostly flat trail along Eklutna Lake into the heart of Chugach State Park, the cabin offers a perfect base for all-day adventures in a spectacular mountain valley.
New in 2016, Dolly Varden Cabin offers the same recreation opportunities that you’d find while car camping in the Eklutna Campground, but you sleep inside an insulated, propane-heated cabin with loads of space. Aimed at people who might want to experience the paddling, biking, hiking and climbing possibilities of the stunning Eklutna Valley, but don’t want to “rough it” or chop wood for heating.
Nestled just off the Seward Highway near Bird Creek, these two new, spacious cabins might allow you to fulfill almost any family-friendly Alaskan recreation fantasy in a single weekend. They offer unmatched options for all kinds of activities — biking, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing — with exceptionally easy access by car.
Located at the back of Eklutna Lake, Serenity Falls is one of Alaska’s largest huts. With an enormous bank of windows facing the falls and a mountain so high as to nearly block the sky, the place feels as though you have crossed into the alpine realm. Yet it’s a relatively easy 12-mile hike or bike along the wide, flat Eklutna Lakeside Trail, making it a great choice for families with kids or large groups.
The bald eagle is named for the white head of the adult bird. The name was given by American colonists at a time when bald, or balled, meant white, and not hairless. Immature bald eagles do not have the white head and tail, as it takes about five years for the plumage to develop.
Black-billed Magpies are members of the corvid family, along with ravens and crows. Magpies are opportunistic omnivores, eating a varied diet of items like insects, carrion, rodents, eggs, berries, seeds and nuts, and they often forage for food by walking on the ground.
If the Hotel Captain Cook sits in the heart of Anchorage’s buzzing business district — and it does — then this coffee bar, right off the lobby, could be its nerve center. And while it is undeniably a convenient spot to swing by to pick up an espresso or iced coffee, local fans come back because it’s the kind of friendly place where the barista remembers your name when you order.
The Ship Creek Trail itself begins at the Alaska Railroad depot on the north side of Anchorage and travels east from downtown for 2.6 miles to end at Tyson Elementary School in the city’s Mountain View neighborhood. The paved trail follows its namesake creek for nearly its entire length, crossing it a few times.
If you like to fish for Silvers and Kings with a bobber and eggs, Ship Creek’s mouth is a great option. Though you may have to deal with a little bit more mud along the banks, bring a packable chair, and once you’re about 100 meters north of the road, you can claim a grassy area to settle in.
A short drive from 5th Ave, you’ll find this great display of Anchorage’s natural environment, which coexists alongside the industrial port and rail areas that supply much of southcentral Alaska. There are hardly ever any people here, making this a great place, close to downtown, to get a moment of solitude.
This park was originally named Crescent Park and renamed in 1989 to honor David Green for his family values and special place in his heart for children. In 1997 a group of businesses, organizations, and volunteers stepped forward to fund and build the playground that currently exists.
The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is one of Anchorage’s greatest assets, providing exercise opportunities coupled with spectacular views. But most people who come here don’t embrace the easy access to the coast — and it’s simple to follow one of the many side trails down to the beach where miles of sand are available for walking, picnics, and watching the summer sun set over The Sleeping Lady. Where To Go The easiest access points to the… ...more
Ready for a challenge? Though technically not part of the single track complex, this long trail in Kincaid Park snakes along the edge of the bluff, and is best ridden only by advanced bikers. The views are stunning at points, but with tall grass, logs, and roots crowding the trail it’s best to keep your eyes on the business at hand. Take care not to slide off the edge on a few sandy sections where more than one experienced biker has slipped… ...more
This restaurant in Government Hill offers a mix of Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine — and delivers big on both flavor and portions. The signature dishes are the phở dishes, which come in huge bowls, and the Pad Thai, which is mild in heat and slightly sweet. You can also order from a delightful selection of curries and stir-fries.
This water tower is the most distinguishable landmark in the Government Hill neighborhood. You can see it from downtown, standing well above any other surrounding structures. A little bit of insider trivia: the tower no longer supplies water but is used today as a radio tower.
Campbell Creek Park, these salmon-viewing decks and walkways are a great place to spot bright red sockeye and king salmon in mid to late July. You can access a small parking area at Folker Street & E 46th or, of course, via the Campbell Creek Trail.
This nearly 20-acre park near Campbell Creek has several soccer fields, picnic tables, a little league ball field (without the backstop), a viewing area overlooking Waldron Lake, and several elevated fishing and salmon-viewing decks that are suspended above Campbell Creek. You can access the Campbell Creek Trail and all of these amenities from Rakof Ave., just east of the New Seward Highway, as well as from a parking lot off of Shelikof… ...more
Forget picking up a generic sandwich during your layover. This local craft beer and food mecca in Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport offers multiple layers of local flavor from the original production brewery and restaurant in Fox, Alaska. Silver Gulch is America’s Most Northern Brewery.
Homesteaders. Entrepreneurs. Photographers. This petite, but very well-done museum in midtown Anchorage offers engaging proof of how the state of Alaska has been shaped — and is still being shaped — by a diverse community. It’s open 1pm — 6pm Sunday through Thursday year-round (closed Friday and Saturday for the Jewish Sabbath). It takes only 15 minutes to see the exhibits, but you can also watch a 90-minute video about Warren Metzker, a legend ...more
Three Anchorage artists were asked to paint their ‘vison’ of what the Anchorage Airport of the Future would look like.
Masks from Nunivak Island often have a central animal figure surrounded by one or more rings with stylized appendages inserted around the rings. Nunivak Island mask carving traditions continued after missionary influence, as they were no longer made for wearing.
Like most functional Northwest Coast art, paddles were historically decorated with the clan and crest symbols of their owners. The flash of a paddle by kinsmen entering a coastal village for a potlach or other festivities once served to underscore the power and prestige of those who approached by canoe.
Ron Senungetuk grew up in Wales, Alaska where he learned traditional ivory carving and then continued more formal art study at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. He pursued woodwork and metal-smith interests at School for American Craftsmen of the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Made of Spruce wood, concrete, sealers and oil paint, over steel armature.
Baskets made of subtle colors and balanced graphics.
A ceiling mosaic designed from the acute perspective of looking up along birch trunks in the northern, boreal forest. The different thicknesses of glass smalti, various marble and granite pieces create a rich, complex surface that responds to the changing light in the clerestory
Button robes are among the most visible and important ceremonial garments worn by peoples of the Northwest Coast. These wool blanket fabric robes have a prominent crest on the back and are made by artists up and down the coast from Washington to Alaska.
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) Lost and Found office is located next to the passenger screening area across from the escalators. If you lost an item in an ANC terminal, parking garage, or shuttle bus, please visit our office or call (907) 266‑2623 for assistance.
A free airport shuttle bus takes passengers to the South (Domestic) Terminal, North (International) Terminal and Rental Car Facility daily, every 15 minutes. Airport shuttle bus service to/from the Park, Ride & Fly Lot (i.e. for extended stay parking) is provided on-call/on-demand.
Named after the insect that, some joke, could be Alaska’s state bird, the bookstore also makes a great stop for travelers who’ve just landed in Alaska. You can pick up guidebooks, regional maps, hiking trail maps, or even a nice journal to log your travels or wildlife sightings.
Site Summit, located in Arctic Valley at nearly 4,000 feet atop Mt. Gordon Lyon, was once home to a Nike Hercules missile battery, part of the ‘Rings of Steel’ missile defense system that surrounded major U.S. cities from possible Soviet missile attacks during the Cold War.
Portage Valley southeast of Anchorage at the head of Turnagain Arm offers so many potential adventures that you might have to tow a trailer loaded with gear to sample them all. What will you find here? Biking, hiking, picnicking, fishing, paddling, wildlife viewing, potential iceberg sightings — plus a natural history visitor center packed with interactive displays about the ecosystem of the valley and Prince William Sound. It’s like an outdoor ...more
Built in Knik in the early 1900’s, the cathedral was moved here by horse-drawn sleigh in the 1920’s and has since been renovated. Pope John Paul II visited it in 1981. Visit: 10 min Contact: 5th ave and H st
Immerse yourself in Alaskan history with the Historical Timeline walk, browse 20+ shops featuring Alaskan artisans, and get whisked across Alaska in the 40-minute film “Alaska the Greatland” at the Alaska Experience Theatre with its 3‑story high wraparound screen. Visit: 1 to 2 hr Cost: Call for prices and show times Contact: 4th ave | between C and D st, 907 – 278-3263Open: Summer M‑F 10:00 am to 7:00 pm | Sun 11:00 am to 6:00 pm | Winter… ...more
Known as Alaska’s Playground, the Kenai Peninsula is one of the state’s most beautiful and accessible areas. A wealth of roads and trails offers the potential for amazing wildlife viewing: birds, seabirds, whales, bears, moose, and caribou are all here. Of course, these critters don’t just magically appear when you walk by. So we consulted longtime wildlife biologists to put together an audio guide to three dozen hot spots that offer the best… ...more
The Glenn Highway is pure Alaska: a 135-mile mix of history and natural splendor running north from Anchorage. Get an insider’s perspective on some of the most scenic, historic, and fascinating spots along this important highway, which runs from Anchorage to Glenallen. Learn about the spectacular Matanuska Glacier — and the river that flows from it — and get the best spots to take in the view. Listen to the different kinds of forests, and all… ...more
There’s no better way to get a grasp of Alaska’s history — or really, its many histories— than by visiting the Anchorage Museum. The state’s largest museum offers a compelling overview of Alaska’s history, art, culture and science. This audio guide discusses some of the highlights.
Hiking up Mt. Alyeska is a challenge, but the reward is great views of Turnagain Arm, the seven “hanging” glaciers of Girdwood Valley, and peaks stretching deep into the Chugach Mountain range. Below you’ll find our recommended routes to the top; all leave from the Alyeska Hotel (where you’ll find trail maps). While any summer day is good for this hike, try to time your visit around one of the area’s events — you’ll have something extra to… ...more
Lake Hood is the busiest seaplane base in the world with 200 daily operations (takeoffs and landings). If you’re staying at a hotel near the Anchorage airport, this is the best place for a nearby walk. Our walking tour highlights the most interesting viewpoints, historical features, and insights into the aviation activities going on around the lake.
So don’t just stroll through town — take the official tour, brought to you by longtime resident experts: Alaska.org and the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau.
To enjoy a scenic drive just a few minutes from downtown Anchorage, head north to mile 6.1 on the Glenn Highway. From here, you can head up the steep and winding, Arctic Valley Road. The drive itself is only 45 minutes, but once you get there, you’ll want to spend more time photographing and exploring.
Under an hour from Anchorage, this 22-mile drive takes you away from Alaska’s towns and cities, and into Chugach State Park. The road is smooth with twists and turns, and runs alongside Eklutna River, and the beautiful and glacial Eklutna Lake. You can also see Twin Peaks over the trees.
Driving north from Anchorage isn’t as instantly dramatic as going south, but within an hour you’re immersed in stop-and-shoot scenery. The Glenn Highway runs northeast to agricultural Palmer, then twists east along the Matanuska River Valley, sandwiched between coastal and interior mountains.
To explore the road less traveled, take the Old Glenn Highway to Palmer, a back road that feels like old Alaska. This 19-mile country road cuts through the heart of Alaska’s farmland and is a scenic, quiet alternative between Anchorage and Palmer. The road accesses state parks and recreation areas, petting zoos, and hiking trails and passes through picturesque terrain: pastoral countryside beneath the Chugach Mountains and Pioneer Peak. The… ...more
The bronze Captain Cook Monument has the famed explorer standing on a large wooden deck, looking out to sea — toward the route he used when he explored Cook Inlet in 1778 aboard HMS Resolution. Captain Cook never actually reached Anchorage, but he sent his ship’s master, William Bligh (known more famously for his inspiration of mutiny on the HMS Bounty). Cook failed to find the Northwest Passage in the inlet, so he was happy to leave the… ...more
Alyeska’s Sitzmark Bar and Grill offers alpiners the best of both worlds – daytime refueling between ski runs, and a festive nighttime hangout with live music, open mic, trivia and movie nights. (The summer season has similar offerings – just think “après hike” or “après bike” instead of “après ski.”)
Enjoy attentive service and fun, communal seating options at this Asian Fusion find tucked away in the Alyeska Resort. Sushi lovers will appreciate the creativity and quality of the menu, but will also be tempted by the bento boxes, steak, and lobster offerings!
This self-serve restaurant, located at the top of the mountain, features great scenery. Alaskan clam chowder in a bread bowl is a popular choice (about $7). Open 11am – 4:30pm daily. Closing time shifts with the season, so call the hotel for current hours. Closed in October — Mid-November.
Fairbanks, Alaska’s second-largest city, is a former gold-rush town with a cutting-edge university-and it still holds onto its fiercely independent roots. Tour old gold mines, take a historic riverboat cruise, or just wander around downtown.
Driving non-stop from Anchorage to Homer would take a good 4.5−5 hours. However, you’ll find plenty of reasons to pull over on the drive south: Wildlife often appears along the roadside. Pullouts offer photo opportunities of whales, waves, and volcanoes. Trailheads lead to fabulous alpine and ocean views. Restaurants offer lunch breaks beyond the usual fast-food fare. Enjoying all the scenery and activities along the way could easily stretch this ...more
The drive to McCarthy and Kennicott isn’t your run-of-the-mill road trip. It’s 7 – 8 hours from Anchorage, with the last 61 miles-between Chitina and the Kennicott River-on an historic, gravel road. Not all rental vehicles are allowed on the McCarthy road, so check with your rental agency before you travel.
The drive from Anchorage to Valdez takes 6 to 7 hours on average. But, there are many scenic vistas and unique places to stop along the way making it easy to spend more than 6 hours on the road. You will have views of several mountain ranges, glaciers, and more.
The Iditarod National Historic Trail is Alaska’s sole National Historic Trail. This network of 2,300-mile winter trails evolved to connect Alaskan Native villages, established the dog-team mail and supply route during Alaska’s Gold Rush, and now serves as a vital recreation and travel link.
Perched atop a 1920s railroad bridge that straddles a stream filled with salmon, Bridge Seafood restaurant is the only venue in the state where you can dine on fresh-caught Alaska seafood while looking out the window at fishermen casting for sockeye or king salmon. Indeed, they’re fishing for the same species of fish on your plate. This restaurant operates seasonally, mid-May through August.
At its peak, the Independence hard-rock gold mine was home to 206 workers and 16 families who lived high above tree line. Digging and blasting, these workers recovered 140,000 ounces of gold before the mine shut down in the wake of World War II. There are 1.5 miles of paved walkways throughout the site, with informational placards for a self-guided tour.
This fish-filled creek rushes out from Far North Bicentennial Park and through the center of town. Cast for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, or silver salmon-all within walking distance of your car. Throw on a pair of hip-waders and head up the creek or angle from the shoreline trail. Directions: Park at one of the lots on Campbell Airstrip Rd. to access the creek from Far North Bicentennial Park, or head west on 76th off of Old Seward to King… ...more
Don’t be fooled by the name of this park — you can’t actually swim here. The beach was once a place for aquatic recreation, but now serves as a nice place to enjoy afternoon picnics and watch the airplanes takeoff and land at Lake Hood, the world busiest float plane base. These floatplanes can take you into remotes parts of Alaska to experience fishing, bear viewing and sightseeing.
Alaska is one of the world’s aviation hotspots, and the Airmen’s Association represents the pilot community by promoting and preserving aviation in the state. Every May, they host a huge airshow where they raffle off a free airplane. Tickets are $100 — they sell out quickly.
In order to create more space for floatplane parking on the lake, five tie-down channels were dredged out in 1975. The first of the fingers is the Commercial Finger, which is host to flightseeing and air taxi operators. The other four fingers are open to pilots for tie-down parking. Tie-downs are parking spots for the planes. Once parked, a pilot must tie the plane’s wings and tails to the ground or dock so if it gets windy, the plane won’t… ...more
Located alongside Aircraft Drive at the Gravel Strip, the automated gates were installed to prevent cars from driving out onto the runway. Simultaneously, they allow for a nice photo opportunity of a plane taxiing to the runway. How does a pilot open a gate? They dial their aviation radio into a specific frequency and click the microphone five times.
Right in the shadow of the International Airport and the floatplane waterway is a strip for small wheel planes, which you’ll notice is gravel, not paved. That’s because many bush planes have oversized tires, and gravel — because it’s a more forgiving surface in high crosswinds — inflicts less damage on the tire.
Along this road, you’ll find a number of airplane maintenance hangers. Having an airplane here isn’t cheap. FAA regulations require pilots to get their planes inspected annually, which can cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000 (or more)…and that’s before spending an hour in the air. Of course, fuel adds to the cost as well. Most single-engine planes, like the ones you’ll find here, burn 8 – 20 gallons per hour. With fuel at $5 – $6 per gallon, the… ...more
The tower you see was decommissioned in 1977; since then, the International Airport’s control tower has overseen Lake Hood as well — more than 800 flight operations every day! You can hear some of the unique vocabulary used by the controllers and the pilots when you listen to the Lake Hood weather report over the phone: 907−245−1618. Pilots internationally use a phonetic alphabet to avoid confusion. A = alpha, B = bravo, etc.
Nearly 1,000 floatplanes are parked all over the lake. Because Lake Hood sees about 200 daily flight operations, traffic could become rather busy. To prevent hazards on the water, the FAA has established traffic patterns so pilots can avoid interfering with other planes.
For a while in the 1990s, planes weren’t the only winged things taking off from the lake. Swarms of waterfowl would interfere with flight operations in and out of the airport. A task force in charge of reducing the bird population tried many expensive options, but finally found a simple solution. They put three farm pigs — named Curly, Larry, and Moe — on the island that separates the Takeoff and Taxi Lanes, to destroy as many nests and devour as… ...more
The floatplane base was originally two separate lakes: Lake Hood, to the west, was the original base and Lake Spenard, to the east, was for bathing and swimming. In 1940, the canal was dredged out to expand the waterway and create one unified body of water. The addition of lights on the island in the middle illuminated the waterway’s nighttime operations.
Due to its unique architecture, this has been called the “Upside Down Building.” Notice how the pipes on the outside support the inverted structure. The floatplane takeoff lane is right in front of the building, and there’s public parking, making this a convenient place to watch planes take off and land.
Over 275, aviation only exhibitors featuring the latest technology, state-of-the-art products, new innovations and comprehensive safety conference. Indoor & Outdoor Static Displays featuring every type of aircraft – sport, general aviation, vintage, experimental, commercial, corporate and military. The Alaska State Aviation Trade Show is about flying in Alaska complete with a frontier flair. Discover industry trends. Learn about new… ...more
Created by a local high school student as his Eagle Scout project, this scale model of our solar system is a great way to explore Anchorage. Taking the walk, you experience the relative size of the planets and their distance from the Sun. The scale was chosen so that a leisurely walking pace mimics the speed of light. On this scale, each step equals the distance light travels in one second (300,000 kilometers or 186,000 miles). It should… ...more
In the cold and dark heart of winter, in the slightly twisted, yet brilliant mind of a local DJ, an ember slowly burned. How long, how hot, who knows? What we do know is that the ember grew into a flame and once released, grew legs, antlers and much more…A legend was born. In a small office, not far away, a community festival struggled. After staggering debt was paid off thanks to community support, it was time to give Rondy back to the… ...more