Denali National Park is the home of North America's tallest mountain (Mt. McKinley, also named Mt. Denali). Its unspoiled wilderness is larger than Massachusetts and some countries. The park has mighty peaks, vast glaciers, teeming forests, rolling tundra, swift rivers, and lovely lakes. Bears and caribou roam freely.
Seeing Mt. McKinley is the most popular reason. However, be aware that most visitors leave without ever seeing it because the peak is usually hidden totally or partially behind clouds. Other reasons for coming are photographing, wildlife spotting, and simply doing nothing but absorbing the park's peaceful and pristine nature.More active visitors hike and kayak in the remote backcountry. Whatever you do, book a helicopter or plane sightseeing tour. The views are spellbinding.
Denali National Park is about 400 kilometers (240 miles) north of Anchorage, Alaska. Some people rent cars, but most take a bus or train. Consider taking the Goldstar Dome train for its exceptionally scenic ride.
Although you use this Alaska Railroad train ride to get from point A to B, it's a remarkable pre/post cruise excursion in itself. You pass through pristine Alaskan wilderness. Through large picture windows (see photo) you see vast glaciers, rugged snow-capped mountains, beautiful lakes, and wildlife, possibly even bears.
The Alaska Railroad train has two service categories: Goldstar (first class) and Adventure (standard class). Tickets for the first cost about twice as much as for the second.
. Although standard class passengers have their own glass domed compartment (named Visa), they can use it for only 20 minutes at a time, as it must be shared with other passengers.
Trip duration The Alaska Railroad's 200 kilometer (130 mile) Anchorage-Seward trip takes 4 hours. The Anchorage-Denali journey lasts 7 hours.
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See wildlife and the isolated northern Alaska landscape. If the local weather cooperates, you won't see the sun dip below the horizon during the course of a 24-hour day during the last half of June
Katmai is known for its volcanoes and prehistoric sites.
Its peaks and fjords are photogenic - and the wildlife spotting opportunities score good marks. So does river and lake sports fishing. Seward is the gateway city.
This remote destination is famous for its sizeable bear population - and for wildlife in general.
Seattle and Vancouver offer far more than being starting and ending ports for Alaska cruises. They have exciting cityscapes and personalities that are fun to explore.
This former frontier, now tourism-focused town, is almost halfway between Anchorage and Denali National Park. Weather permitting, you can see Mt. McKinley.
This is America's largest national park. And it has the continent's second highest peak (after McKinley) as well as numerous grand glaciers.
You cross the Canadian border to visit this historic gold-rush territory.