When it comes to Alaska adventures, you’ll often hear about Denali National Park, Mount McKinley and Portage Glacier. But there are several hidden gems in Alaska that are perfect for tourists looking for something a little off the beaten path, and these are four of them.
The pass is about an hour and a half drive north of Alaska’s largest city, where there are plenty of Anchorage hotels to stay at in between your journeys.
Enjoy the other tourist traps around the area, but make time for Hatcher Pass. It features unmatched scenery, including views of the Talkeetna Mountains, and excellent hiking trails. Of course, you can’t miss the 272-acre Independence Mine State Historical Park, an abandoned gold mine that makes for a great adventure.
When the summer tourism season hits, hundreds of thousands are brought to Skagway – most because of cruises, others because of Alaska jobs. Cruise boats tower over the small town (whose population is under 1,000 when it’s not tourist season), but there’s plenty to see and do in and around Skagway.
In town, don’t miss the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, which commemorates the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s. Outside of town, Canada’s Yukon is a picturesque 65-mile drive away. And don’t miss the Yukon Suspension Bridge, which spans the Tutshi River.
Katmai National Park and Preserve & Brooks Camp
Brooks Camp, inside Katmai National Park and Preserve, gives you a wonderful opportunity to see brown bears while you visit Alaska.
The park itself has the world’s largest protected brown bear population, and Brooks Camp has great viewing platforms (be prepared to take a “Bear Etiquette” training course). During the summer, the National Park Service operates a visitor center, with the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes nearby.
Katchemak Bay State Park
The very first state park of Alaska has 400,000 acres for you to explore. But be warned, no roads lead to the park – you can only get to Katchemak Bay State Park by airplane or boat.
Whether you’re there for hiking or camping, you’ll find bays, glaciers, lagoons, lakes and peaks to explore.