This month, we’re shining a very special spotlight on one of our most magical and beguiling regions; the last frontier, the Alaskan wilderness. From wildlife spotting to unforgettable camping experiences, pure solitude and magnificent views – it’s a once in a lifetime destination that deserves to be on any traveller’s bucket list.
We asked six adventurous travel experts from around the world to share their favourite ‘Only in Alaska’ moments – we hope they fill you with wanderlust to explore this incredibly special place...
"Alaska is one of those rare places that you are constantly remined you are some place different, some place special. It hits you when you step outside, into the crisp, clean air of the north.
Then it’s the wildlife, literally everywhere you turn. Eagles and whales are a common site along the Turnagain Arm, and I came between a moose and her calf as I was casually cycling along a path in Earthquake Park.
Twenty hours of daylight or darkness also separates Alaska from lesser latitudes, but its angle of sunlight, amazingly long twilights and beautiful sunsets that last forever bring back some of my most vivid memories of that wild and rugged land."
- Richard Hanson, Managing Director, Grand American Adventures
"About five years ago on a trip to Alaska I was doing some short hikes on trails in the Tongass National Forest around the Mendenhall Glacier. In one stretch of woods I kept finding holes dug near low shrubs.
Eventually, I found a muddy spot with large animal paw prints that looked like bear claws. On my way out of the park, I spotted a ranger and showed her a photo on my phone of the prints. She congratulated me on being wise enough not to walk up on a black bear digging for roots!"
Brian D Butler, Travel Between the Pages
Get closer to amazing wildlife with our Alaska, Wildlife and Wilderness tour.
"My trip to Alaska will forever be memorable because it was the place I first saw a bear in the wild. I’d always wanted to see a bear in its natural habitat, but it wasn’t until I went on an Alaska cruise that my dream came true. I went on a bear viewing excursion and was lucky enough to see a Black Bear.
My heart was thumping in my chest as he looked at me while sauntering down the shoreline, on route to his fishing spot. I was in complete awe as I watched him swipe a fish out of the water, then casually feast on it while sitting on a rock.
It was an unforgettable moment and made me want to do more bear watching trips to Alaska in the future."
- Rhonda Krause, TravelYesPlease
"Alaska – the final frontier! Nowhere in the USA does 'land of the free' feel more appropriate. I was lucky enough to jump in a de Havilland Turbo Beaver to witness the vast openness and sheer magnificence of the natural landscapes from the air.
Taking off from Healey, north east of Denali National Park, we flew for 40 minutes staring out at incredible views over the immense ice fields below. After sailing between the jagged cliffs of the Moose's Tooth and Mt. Dickey, we descended into the Great Gorge of the Ruth Glacier.
Surrounded by nothing but ice, mountains and blue skies with no other humans for miles around, the 30 minutes we were stood on the glacier was a memory of a lifetime."
- Toby Baxter, Business Development Manager, Grand American Adventures
Experience your own Alaskan Adventure on a 14 day wilderness camping trip.
"The time I spent camping in the backcountry of Denali National Park was my favorite camping experience ever. For three days, I camped away from the tourists and enjoyed the solitude, listening to birds chirping and the constant hum of running water from a nearby stream.
Being surrounded by such beautiful mountain scenery was a great feeling. It was a thrill seeing Grizzly Bears and caribou from a distance during morning hikes."
- Scott Shetler, Quirky Travel Guy
Discover Denali and more on our Alaskan Highlights tour.
"Only in Alaska can you randomly decide to drive an hour to a great lookout point and then watch the sun set slowly over the course of several hours. Alaska in the summer is a truly surreal experience. It never gets completely dark, so the days feel endless in a way that makes you feel energized and ready to explore."
Rease Kirchner, Indecisive Traveler
Have your own ‘Only in Alaska’ moment with our full range of small group holidays in Alaska.