These 4 Alaska National Parks Will Make For An Unforgettable Adventure

andrewling

Beautiful, Intimidating, and Inviting all at once--there is simply no place in the world like Alaska. These four Alaska National Parks are some of the last examples of true, untouched wilderness in the US, and will make for some unforgettable adventures.

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Photo: National Park Service

1. Denali National Park and Preserve

First on the list is Denali National Park and Reserve, one of if not the most iconic National Park of Alaska. Denali National Park and Preserve is home to the tallest peak in all of North America, standing over 20,000 feet. There are more than six million acres of wilderness here, with only one designated road that goes 90 miles into the park--much of which is unpaved.

Inside Denali are several opportunities for climbing and mountaineering, camping (winter and summer), wildlife viewing and photography, flightseeing, hiking, mushing, and snowmobiling.

Some of the best hiking trails here include the Savage Alpine Trail, the Savage River Loop, Mount Healy Overlook Trail, and Thorofare Ridge Trail!

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Photo: National Park Service

2. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is appropriately named. It is situated above the Arctic Circle, in northern Alaska. This is one of the wildest places on the continent, without a single paved road or trail. Here, you can enjoy hiking and backpacking, camping, bird-watching/wildlife viewing and photography, in addition to scenic river kayaking.

Keep in mind there are no trails here so be sure to be properly planned. Detailed route planning is not addressed on the website because Congress set this land aside as a trail-less wilderness area, specifically so that each visitor can find their own experience here.

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Photo: National Park Service

3. Katmai National Park and Preserve

Katmai National Park and Preserve is an active volcanic landscape with thousands of years of human history. Katmas has been managed by the National Park Service sinc e1918 to protect the abundant sockeye salmon that spawn in its wild rivers, along with the thriving brown bear population that feeds on the sockeye. This is a great place for bear-watching, fishing, backcountry camping and hiking, floating, and flightseeing.

With less than five miles of maintained trails, Katmai is mostly wilderness. The backcountry here is filled with infinite possibilities for adventure, challenges, and solitude. Wilderness travel can be by foot, canoe, kayak, raft, boat, or airplane.

A must see here is the Brooks Lodge viewing platform, where you can see brown bears/grizzlies fishing for salmon!

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Photo: National Park Service

4. Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve

Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve is the largest national park in the United States, and also one of the country's most diverse. With over 13 million acres that range from rainforest to tundra, this national park offers nearly infinite opportunities for exploration and adventure. It is a great place for backpacking/hiking, guided tours, mountain biking, boating/kayaking, backcountry camping, wildlife viewing, and hunting/fishing.

This park is the same size as Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Switzerland combined! Within this wild landscape, people continue to live off the land as they have done for centuries.

Mount Wrangell (14,163') is the prominent feature here, the only active volcano in the area. During winter and on cool summer mornings, it is not unusual to see steam plume rising out of the vents. In spite of the frequent puffs of steam, geologists tell us that Wrangell is not showing any signs of erupting soon. Its last eruption was 1900.

Some of the best day hikes are in the Nabesna Road Trails area including the Caribou Creek Trail, and Lost Creek Trail. Also try taking a look at the Skookum Volcano Trail, and Rambler Mine Trails!

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