This article is about a land of pristine natural beauty that few people ever consider visiting - Alaska. In particular, it covers Denali National Park, Glacier Bay and the Kenai Fjords. |
When most people are planning their vacations, it never occurs to them to head up to Alaska. But actually, the 49th state has some amazing sights that are well worth the trip. How many people do you know that can say they've been there?
The summer is definitely the time to go. In the winter, it's all white and freezing cold. But in the summer, temperatures are mild and colors are everywhere. In June, there are about 18 hours of sunlight in a day! The sun just seems to hover there around the horizon, teasing, like it's going down, and then it's up again before you know it. You really have to stay up late to see the night time in Alaska.
If you aren't up for the long drive (and paying for gas!), you can always rent stuff when you get there, like tents, camping supplies and even RV's. Lots of people get to Alaska by flying because it's such a long trip.
Denali National Park - See North America's Tallest Peak
Denali is where you'll find Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America at 20,000 feet. That's a lot of feet. If you've ever been to Colorado and seen the fourteeners (14,000 feet), you know that 20,000 is high.
Denali is almost 250 miles from Anchorage, so it's not too bad a drive. The park has all kinds of accommodations, ranging from hotels to RV parks, to backpacker campgrounds that are only accessible by foot. If you're not up for hiking, there are bus tours that take you around to see the tundra. Some of those are all day trips.
And, now for the number one question everybody always asks about Denali - "Will I see grizzly bears?" There's a good chance you will see them, along with wolves and caribous as well. Denali is a pristine, undeveloped area without a whole lot of tourists.
Glacier Bay National Park - See The Oldest Ice Cubes In America
Glacier Bay can boast some true relics of the past - giant glaciers from the ice age that are still melting. You can actually put your finger on chunks of ice that are older than some species of mammals. These massive glaciers are still melting, as they go, they are uncovering huge valleys that haven't seen the light of day in around 20,000 years.
Just like the name says, Glacier Bay is a bay right on the ocean. It's located on that little piece of Alaska that hangs down from the rest of it. There is a chain of islands that goes up and down the coast.
In the summertime, it warms up quite a bit, but those giant hunks of ice are still there. Occasionally, you'll see one slip into the ocean with a splash. These giant ice cubes will still be here long after we're gone.
You've got bears here, too, but also killer whales, big salmon, and species of birds you won't see anywhere else. Whale watching is one of the biggest tourist attractions at Glacier Bay. It's also renowned for kayaking, rafting, hiking and great camping.
Kenai Fjords National Park - See The Humpbacked Whales And Sea Lions
The Kenai Fjords are on the southern coast of Alaska. You'll find glaciers here, too, and some of these fields of ice look like something from another planet. There are times when the sun hits them just a certain way and they seem to glow. The glaciers at Kenai Fjords are some of the easiest to get to, which is one of the reasons it's such a popular tourist spot.
Kenai has whale watching tours where you go out on a boat and see giant humpbacked whales. Here, you can add to your bears and whales an amazing variety of unique bird species, some of which are about as big as the bears and whales!
Kenai has camping and summer cabins. There are also hotels, lodges and bed and breakfasts. Kenai is a popular spot with more conveniences than some of the more rugged places.
If you like amazing natural beauty like you won't see anywhere else, Alaska is a wonderful trip. It's a camper's paradise.
Take off on a trip in your motor home to see all of North America. Visit Bankston Motor Homes, http://www.bankstonmotorhomes.com/, to search for your next RV or visit with us at any of our five locations.
** About the author HTML: Take off on a trip in your motor home to see all of North America. Visit Bankston Motor Homes, http://www.bankstonmotorhomes.com/, to search for your next RV or visit with us at any of our five locations.
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