Alaska is the biggest and least populated U.S. state to the northwest of Canada. It is known for its various open spaces, mountains, and forests, with abundant natural resources and numerous towns.

It is destination for outdoor activities such as skiing and mountain biking, and kayaking. Massive Denali National Park is home to Denali (formerly called Mount McKinley), North America’s highest peak.

Alaska is one of those destinations you must include in your tour list if you consider yourselves an adventuring person at heart. the real magic awaits the adventurous traveler in the vast, undisturbed outdoors of this golden wilderness.

You’ll understand why this unhabituated beauty is named “The Last Frontier,” embarking on whaling cruises, cruise (or two), paddling, or fishing,  whether it’s hitting pristine trails, walking the glaciers, skiing in Alyeska, exploring fascinating museums and national parks.

Explore these 18 best Alaska tours…

17. Eielson Visitor Center

eielson visitor center alaska tours
Eielson visitor center Alaska tours
Tundra visitor complex with paths, an art gallery, and snow-capped Denali views. Tundra visitor complex.
Best optional bus tour to see Denali in one day. You can purchase tickets for your busses online in advance or plan to arrive when the park opens to collect your preference time. An excellent short walk behind the visitors center for amazing 360 views.
Great place to observe Denali with several walks, good rangers, works by the artists at the home programmes, a bus shipping office for upgrading tickets, interesting displays and a stunning quilt made by a local woman.
I really liked the bottle filling station and smart design which almost makes the center disappear into the hillside, encouraging you to concentrate on the wonders of the surrounding nature.
Mt. McKinley’s incredible view! Excellent exhibits of interpretation! The Denali National Park inside Mile 63.
Address: Park Rd, Denali, AK 99755, USA

Phone: +1 907-683-9532

16. Mount Foraker – Sultana Ridge

mount foraker – sultana ridge alaska
Mount Foraker – sultana ridge Alaska

Mount Foraker is a 17,400-foot mountain in the central Alaska Range, in Denali National Park, 14 mi southwest of Denali. It is the second highest peak in the Alaska Range and the third highest peak in the United States.

The Southeast Ridge is one of Alaska’s finest alpine roads. The route includes steep climbing snow, ice pitches and exposed sandy ridges. All these things are very spectacular and picturesque. Sadly, changing conditions on the road have prevented us from trying in recent years, although things may be moving towards better conditions.

1. Fly to Denali National Park and Preserve

Flight To Denali National Park

Flight To Denali National Park

Denali, the highest mountain in the country, is home to this 6 million acre wildlife & touring park.

See the marvel of the Alaskan wilderness from above as a seasoned pilot guide flies over several points, including Glacial Valleys and Range of Alaska, and the highest mountain in North America, Mt. McKinley.

All seats are by the window so everyone can drink in the best views. A voice-activated headset is provided to communicate with the pilot and amongst guests.

This trip is ideal when you want to drastically cut your travel time to or from the Denali National Park area. Flights are scheduled in the late afternoon and evenings, flying to or from Anchorage, Talkeetna, the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks and of course, Denali.

2. Pan for Gold and Enjoy a Sled Dog Adventure

Yukon Dogs And Gold

Yukon Dogs And Gold

The Yukon Dogs and Gold package is one of those unique, memorable adventures that live long in the memory.

The four-and-a-half-hour tour starts with a trip to the mountainous territory of Yukon.

You will explore the 3,292-foot White Pass elevation as you head to Yukon, making stops to get out and witness multiple natural wonders up close – Alpine valleys, azure glaciers, large mountain lakes, snow-capped mountains, and waterfalls dropping from 3,000 feet.

A guide will enlighten you about the history of this wild land and share information about its flora and fauna, not to mention narrating tales of the famous Alaska gold rush.

The trip is not complete without a 20-minute sled dog ride and some time to feel the thrill of panning for gold in an actual gold rush town.

3. Go on a Self-Guided Audio Tour of Ketchikan

Creek Street, Ketchikan

Source: emperorcosar / shutterstock

Creek Street, Ketchikan

This is an enlightening tour that takes you on a historic journey of Ketchikan, popularly known as the Salmon Capital of the World.

This three-hour trip lets you explore the old fishing village at your own pace.

You will learn about the many legends, including the Stedman Thomas Historic and aboriginal tribes at the Totem Heritage Centre.

Other highlights include the Ketchikan Creel with Salmon Ladder, the Tongrass Historical Museum, and the Thomas Basin Harbor.

The Chief Kyan Totem Museum is a must-visit, so is Dolly’s House with the Red Light District.

Hear about the Legend of Raven Stealing the Sun and a lot of other informative and stimulating stuff.

4. 3-Hour White Pass Summit Bus Tour from Skagway

White Pass Summit Bus Tour

White Pass Summit Bus Tour

This scenic bus tour leaves from the Pacific Ocean in Skagway, gliding through the Gold Rush National Park and up the Klondike Highway which parallels the Yukon Route Rail Road.

The journey takes you up over 3,200 feet in 15 minutes and is the perfect way to enjoy the beauty of the coastal mountains as you learn about the wonderful history of this region.

There are plenty of stops along the way and your local guide ensures you don’t miss any of the popular attractions en route to Canada.

5. Visit Eagle Sanctuary and Rainforest Wildlife Center in Ketchikan

Ketchikan

Ketchikan

The family-friendly trip starts with a scenic eight-mile journey along the coast and heads to the exclusive Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary, a private reserve nestled in the forested mountains at Herring Cove.

Here, you will find seals, the black bear, an array of birds – including, of course, the bald eagle, which is the main highlight – not to mention other species lured by the salmon.

Get into the heart of the forest with your naturalist guide and get a feel of what an unspoiled forest actually looks and smells like.

This tour is nothing short of a true treat for the environmentalist. At the end trail, you will get a chance to feed Alaskan reindeer and see raptors in close range.

6. Get Up Close with Bears with an Excursion to Icy Strait Shore

Bear Island Tour

Bear Island Tour

The Icy Strait Shore was named by National Geographic Bear Island; it boasts the highest concentration of bears anywhere in the world – 1-2 brown bears/sq. mile.

And that’s what this four-hour tour offers: a chance to get up close with this furry kind.

A seasoned guide will take you to key points to get a glimpse of these large mammals, in addition to other wildlife that call this place home.

These include the Sitka black-tail deer, mink, otter, red squirrels, beaver, bald eagles, marten, seabirds, and wild ducks.

7. Visit Mushers Camp and Go on a Sled Dog Forest Discovery Tour

Mushers Camp & Sled Dog Discovery

Mushers Camp & Sled Dog Discovery

Running between the months of May and September, this family-friendly tour is one of the most popular packages when vacationing in Alaska.

It takes you to Mushers Camp, the location where the sled dogs train and play. You will hear interesting stories about the famous Alaskan dog races and get to see the close bond mushers share with their dog teams.

More than that, the tour takes you on a once-in-a-lifetime trip through the Tongass National Rainforest as you enjoy a scenic sled ride pulled by 16 strong huskies.

Hot and cold beverages are provided during the two-and-a-half-hour trip and infants can join in the fun at no extra charge, provided parents keep them on their lap.

8. Embark on an Evening Getaway in the Arctic Circle

Bettles

Bettles

This 4.5-hour tour is one of the most comprehensive and memorable trips to the Arctic Circle you can take on an Alaskan cruise.

Experienced Alaskan bush pilots will fly you 225 miles (362 km) north of Denali to the remote city of Bettles.

Its roots trace back to 1898 at the time of the last great Gold Rush in Alaska and it served as a strategic aviation hub during WWII.

Located at the foot of the Brooks Range, 35 miles north of the Arctic Circle, this community of just a dozen residents is engulfed by one of America’s last pristine wildernesses and is home to the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.

A local guide will take you on a tour of the town and the neighboring Eskimo village of Evansville.

Choose between additional time to explore the village on your own or dinner at the historic Bettles Lodge.

9. Go on a Backcountry Safari in Denali

Denali Backcountry Safari

Denali Backcountry Safari

Board a 4×4 and take an off-road safari deep into the Alaskan backcountry.

The adventure takes you to Stampede Trail, an oft-forgotten road that was fashioned by early miners searching for gold and antimony.

The Stampede Trail was brought to the public’s domain by Jon Krakauer’s 1996 best-selling novel, Into The Wild, and later by Sean Penn’s acclaimed film going by the same title.

During the 3.5-hour adventure, your guide will detail the area’s history and show you plenty of interesting sights along the way.

You will have ample time to enjoy the vast plains and if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of Mt. McKinley on a clear day.

Expect to see wildlife such as bears, foxes, caribou, moose, and other smaller creatures.

10. Take a Self-Guided Audio Tour of Seward

Seward, Alaska

Seward

This is an informative three-hour tour of the fascinating port city of Seward that allows you to explore the picturesque location at your own pace with an audio guide.

Drink in the beauty of this quaint town as you learn about its history, from the time it was flattened by an earthquake, tidal waves, and fire, to bouncing back into a buzzing community that is today the proud home of the iconic Iditarod National Historic Trail and the beautiful Alaska Sea Life Center.

Other attractions include the Resurrection Bay Historical Society Seward Museum, the Old Alaska Railroad Depot, and interesting sights of Seward’s quirky characters.

11. Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise with Optional Buffet Lunch

Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise

Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise

This is a five-hour tour that takes you on an exploration of the beautiful waters of Resurrection Bay aboard the Kenai Fjords cruise.

The 55-mile round trip will take you along a rugged coastline from where you can catch awe-inspiring views of the famous alpine glaciers snuggled high up the mountains.

Sail past Bear Glacier as you snap Instagram-worthy photos, then make a stop to view colonies of sea lions and seabird breeding grounds up close.

Keep an eye out for whales, Dall’s porpoises, sea otters, eagles and mountain goats along the way, as a ranger from the National Park provides onboard commentary.

There is the option to treat yourself to an Alaskan salmon and prime rib buffet onboard.

12. Juneau Shore Excursion: Helicopter Tour and Guided Icefield Walk

Helicopter Tour And Guided Icefield Walk

Helicopter Tour And Guided Icefield Walk

Dock at Juneau port and go on a 2.5-hour adventure-packed exploration of the shore.

It starts with a narrated helicopter ride over the Juneau Icefield, before landing on Herbert Glacier, where you will embark on a guided tour of the Juneau Icefield by foot.

This is the perfect opportunity to learn about the Alaskan wilderness and it is not short of amazing scenery to capture some memorable photos.

This package includes transport to and from the port.

13. Skagway Shore Excursion: Full-Day Tour of the Yukon

Skagway Shore Excursion

Skagway Shore Excursion

One of the best Skagway tours, this one excellently blends wildlife and scenery opportunities.

It is a full-day guided excursion that starts at Skagway and takes you through the scenic Klondike Highway by minibus, all the way to Yukon, Canada’s westernmost territory.

There will be plenty of stops to enjoy the views and take photos on an expedition that leads you through the natural splendor that southeast Alaska, British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory are known for.

Stop by the Caribou Crossing Trading Post once you get to Carcross area to browse through exhibits at the museum and meet sled dog huskies and pups at the dog sled camp.

In addition to wildlife, you will see the spectacular Emerald Lake, as well as Lakes Bennett, Tutshi and Tagish.

A traditional Yukon-style lunch comes wrapped in the package.

14. Whale Watch and Mendenhall Glacier Combo Tour

Whale Watch And Mendenhall Glacier Combo

Whale Watch And Mendenhall Glacier Combo

This five-hour combo tour provides a wonderful chance to enjoy two of the most popular activities in the Alaskan capital of Juneau: whale watching and a visit to the Mendenhall Glacier.

Roundtrip transportation is provided from Mt. Roberts Tramway and the package has flexible times to suit various schedules.

The cruise, aboard a 24 or 49 passenger boat, lasts two hours and the captain slows the boat to allow you perfect sightings of the whales, with a naturalist on board to answer any questions you might have.

Then head over to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center and have some free time for a walk down nature and hiking trails as you take your photos.

15. Arctic Circle Day Trip from Fairbanks with Lunch

Arctic Circle Day Trip

Arctic Circle Day Trip

A tour to Alaska is not complete without visiting the Arctic where, depending on the time of year, the days or nights run for 24 hours straight.

This is a small group tour limited to eight people and involves a trip on Dalton Highway as you make your way along the Yukon River.

Your guide will explain the region’s unique geology and this is a great opportunity to learn about Eskimo culture as well.

There will be plenty of personal time to walk around, take photos and enjoy a warm bowl of homemade stew for lunch.

What’s more, at the end of the tour, there will be an Arctic Circle certificate to show for it.

16. Veterans Memorial

veterans memorial alaska in denali state park
veterans memorial Alaska in Denali state park

In Denali State Park in Interior Alaska, Alaska Veterans Memorial is an outdoor memorial grove. The Memorial honors Alaskan veterans of military, navy, aviation, marine corporations, Coast Guards and Alaskan Marine Merchants, as well as certain Alaskan men who have been awarded the Honor Medal.

You can walk along the loop and visit the Memorial itself, soaking up the scenery. It has been well organized and honors the men and women of Alaska serving in the US military. The State Government stops and kudos to the site.

Great place for a lunch with a beautiful view. Plenty of parking and lots to see. Bathrooms and information gift shop on site also.

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