America’s most remote and northerly state, famously bought for 2 cents an acre in 1867, is still a world apart in a lot of ways, from the old mining town of Nome and frontier settlements full of subsistence-hunting locals, to the snowy slopes of Mt McKinley and the bear-studded salmon runs of the Kenai River. Alaska tours might not be the right word. In Alaska they call them ‘Adventures’.
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For a lot of travellers, Alaska tours begin and end with Denali. And it’s fair enough. People travel a long way to see a grizzly bear or a moose or an Alaskan wolf, and Denali National Park is odds-on their best chance.
Not to be outmuscled by its glitzy northern neighbor, Wrangell-St Elias is almost as spectacular as Denali, but with about a 10th of the tourists. On our Alaska tours, we’ll set you up with a glacier walk and even a little ice climbing if you’re game (it’s like regular climbing, but colder).
Only Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand could potentially rival Seward for its picturesque mountain setting: perched on the inky Resurrection Bay and crowded all around by jagged, snow-capped peaks.
Flowing down from the epic MacLaren Glacier, MacLaren River is one of those Alaskan secrets that’s beginning to get out. We’ll drive through the high alpine country to the Lodge, before continuing via canoe up the river to a remote ‘Glacier Camp’ where you’ll sleep out under the stars.
A cracking little adventure town, bordered on three sides by some of the highest coastal mountains in the world (topping 7000ft in some places). Valdez itself isn’t a work of art: it’s pretty flat and industrial as a rule, but it makes a fantastic gateway to Alaska’s best hiking and other outdoor activities.