Growing up, going to National Parks with my family was one of those things that weren’t even a question. It was going to happen. It was going to be during the summer. And it was going to be a road trip. So when I got the chance to visit Alaska, hitting the Alaska National Parks wasn’t a question either. We were going.
Today, instead of boring you with words, I want you guys to take it in and feel like you were there with me. So enjoy this photoblog of the four Alaskan National Parks we visited in 22 days.
Unveiling the Treasures of Alaska’s National Parks
Commonly asked questions about visiting the Alaska National Parks
How many National Parks are in Alaska?
Alaska is home to eight of the most brilliant National Parks in America. From the highest point in North America (Denali) to mostly glaciers (Kenai Fjords) and more wildlife than you can imagine (all the others), the Alaska National Parks are incredible and life-changing.
What is the best month to visit the Alaska National Parks?
Unless you are itching to capture some Northern Lights in sub-freezing conditions, I suggest you visit from May through September. During these months, you’ll have incredibly long days.
What is the easiest Alaska National Park to reach?
Kenai Fjords National Park near Seward is probably the easiest to reach. It’s less than a three-hour drive from Anchorage, plus many cruise ships come to that region. You can read my guide to the park here.
Denali National Park is the second most reachable park, four hours north of Anchorage or two hours south of Fairbanks. You can also take a train from Anchorage to Denali if you do not want to rent a car.
What’s the most famous National Park in Alaska?
It has to be Denali. The famous mountain range and the never-ending tundra make it one of America’s most iconic views and places.
Why is Denali National Park so popular?
I think it’s the allure of being within eyeshot of a fabled mountain we read and hear about but never see. Books will say “Tallest Mountain in North America – Denali,” but most in America and the world will hardly see it. Heck, most visitors to Alaska won’t see it. So the promise to see something so well-known drives people to Denali.
On top of that, the wildlife and the freedom they have to roam in the Alaska National Parks are wildly attractive.
What is the largest National park in Alaska?
Wrangell St. Elias National Park is the largest in the US. At over 13 million acres (20,000 square miles), it’s larger than some states and some countries – Switzerland, to name one. But, unfortunately, it’s also one of the least visited or known about. As it’s on the state’s eastern edge, much fewer people visit this area, even though it’s incredibly diverse and stunning.
How long will it take me to get to the Alaska National Parks from Anchorage?
- Anchorage to Seward by Car: 2.5 hours
- Anchorage to Denali by car: 4 hours
- Anchorage to Lake Clark by plane: 60-90 minutes
- Anchorage to Katmai by plane: 60-90 minutes
Stunning Photos from the Alaska National Parks
Denali National Park
Arguably our favorite section of the Alaska National Parks trip, getting to fly around Denali, allowed us a perspective I’d never experienced before. It’s one of those things I still have difficulty putting into words.
Then, the chance to walk on the tundra inside Denali was a humbling experience. What felt like miles were only one, as the squishy tundra slowed our pace drastically.
Wrangell St. Elias National Park
Wrangell St. Elias National Park blew our minds with some of the coolest sceneries I’ve ever seen. However, I think what was unique was being able to walk on the glacier and see it from above. This allowed us to see the small and minute details of the largest of the Alaska National Parks while also getting a big-picture view.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Almost all of these are courtesy of the boat cruise we went on. It’s highly worth it as we spent over six hours on the water, meandering in and out of the fjords. Plus, it wasn’t all landscapes. We were treated to rare birds, sea lions, and whales!
We also enjoyed the time on land, adventuring near the Exit Glacier and other places on the Kenai Peninsula. This is a gold mine for the Alaska National Parks.
Lake Clark National Park
I cannot wait to get back to Lake Clark. We saw the smallest snippet of the part, and I know there’s so much more to explore in its backcountry. So the next time we visit Alaska, we’re making this the center of our trip.
We came here for a bear-watching trip and fell in love with this Alaska National Park. This place holds so much potential, but you must fly here, so it can get expensive.
Alaska National Parks – Wrapping Up
The 49th state has so much to offer; its eight national parks are as dreamy as they come. I can’t wait to return and visit the other four Alaska National Parks.
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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