Fittingly nicknamed ‘The Last Frontier’, Alaska is renowned for both its awe-inspiring wildlife and its wild, rugged and remote landscapes. By far the largest and most sparsely populated state in the nation, it is separated from the contiguous US or the ‘Lower 48’ by Canada with much of its massive landmass lying within the inhospitable and icy Arctic Circle.
Home to lots of simply stunning scenery, it is bordered by both the freezing Arctic Ocean and Gulf of Alaska while Russia’s vast expanses lie just 55 miles across the Bering Strait. Strung out along its long coastline are over a hundred volcanoes with many making up part of the long chain that is the Aleutian Islands archipelago.
While almost endless forests and frozen tundra coat most of the state, Alaska is also home to the ten highest mountains in the country. The largest of these is Denali which reaches a staggering 20,310 feet in height and dominates the national park that surrounds it which contains grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and wolves.
Formerly part of Russian America, Alaska is only sparsely inhabited with most hardy visitors solely using Anchorage, its largest city, and Juneau, the state capital, as bases from which to explore all its wonderful wilderness. While they are both set in scenic spots, in no time at all you can find yourself hiking and kayaking about the nearby landscapes or enjoying an unforgettable sightseeing cruise up and down the coast.
Asides from Denali, the most popular national parks to visit in Alaska are Glacier Bay and Katmai. While the former boasts spectacular snow-capped mountains, fantastic fjords, and the chance to see whales and porpoises, the latter’s enormous valleys and volcanoes are where you are most likely to spot brown bears. In addition, Kenai Fjords National Park is not to be missed for its unbelievable glaciers, Icefield, and aquatic wildlife.