Alaska National Parks
Highlights from your Alaska vacation will certainly include a visit to one or more of Alaska's national parks. We are happy to provide this overview of some of Alaska's largest and most visited national parks. Click on a Park link for more information on lodging, tours and transportation.
A visit to the Last Frontier would not be complete without experiencing Denali National Park. The park was created in 1917 as Mount McKinley National Park but was renamed and expanded to its current size in 1980. Featuring North America's tallest mountain, Mount Denali, which was renamed from Mt. McKinley in 2015, the park covers more than six million acres. But the park is about more than the mountain, Denali National Park is well-known for its diversity of wildlife. A goal for many visitors to the park is to see moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves and bears on a bus tour on the Park Road. The park hosts many visitors who enjoy wildlife viewing, mountaineering, hiking, and backpacking. Denali National Park offers unspoiled wilderness and shows why Alaska is known as one of the world's last great frontiers. Located along Alaska Route 3, the George Parks Highway, the entrance to Denali National Park is about 240 miles north of Anchorage and 125 miles south of Fairbanks.
Kenai Fjords National Park is a place where mountains, ice and oceans meet. Located on the southeastern Kenai Peninsula, the park is most easily accessed from the town of Seward. The park was established as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Act of 1980 to maintain and protect the pristine scenery and the areas abundant marine wildlife. The main areas of Kenai Fjords National park are Exit Glacier, the coastal fjords and the Harding Icefield, one of the largest icefields in the United States. Visit the park on a boat tour to the remote fjords and tidewater glaciers or explore on foot from Exit Glacier, the only area of the park accessible by road.
Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve is the largest national park in the United States. The park was established as a National Monument in 1978 and became a National Park in 1980. The Chugach, Wrangell and St. Elias mountain ranges meet in the park, thus the park hosts a plethora of mountains and glaciers. In fact, the park is home to nine of the sixteen highest peaks in the United States. The parks visitor center and headquarters are located in Copper Center at mile 106 of the Richardson Highway, about a four hour drive from Anchorage. Two primitive roads, the McCarthy Road and the Nabesna Road, offer access into the park. Air service is also available to remote regions of the park. The park features quiet, untamed wilderness, far from the hustle and bustle of Alaska's busier parks. Visit Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve for great backcountry hiking, exploration and wildlife viewing.
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is a located just west of Juneau and is only accessible by air or water. Daily flights are available in the summer between Juneau and the small community of Gustavus. Most visitors come by cruise ship and never set foot on land. The marine wilderness of Glacier Bay includes snow-capped mountains, deep fjords, ten tidewater glaciers, protected coves and freshwater lakes. The park offers a unique look at the landscape exposed by receding glaciers. Just over two hundred years ago the entire bay was filled with glaciers. The scientific importance of the study of glacial retreat and of the plant and animal succession in this area led to the creation of the Glacier Bay National Monument in 1925. The area was designated as Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in 1980.
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