Alaska’s tourism industry is among the biggest, most robust in the world. Before the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, Alaskas expected some 2.26 million tourists arriving via land, sea, and air. In 2018, some 1.2 million visitors traveled to Alaska onboard cruise ships, 760,000 via airplanes, and 97,000 through ferry and highway. Alaska’s tourism industry has been posting a steady rise in the number of visitors year-over-year.
With the 49th U.S. state’s stunning glaciers, rugged mountains, and captivating wildlife, Alaska is easily among the top destinations for adventure seekers from all walks of life across the globe. If you are someone who relishes the idea of spending a weekend getaway or extended vacation in such an exciting destination, then be sure to try these awesome outdoor activities once you set foot in the Last Frontier:
- Whitewater rafting. Those itching for an adrenaline-pumping adventure experience should not pass on a chance to shoot the rapids. Alaska is home to some of the world’s finest whitewater rafting spots that would not disappoint those seeking to feel the blood rushing through their veins. If you’re finally in Alaska, you may choose from a two- or three-canyon package that would normally take half of your day. The rapids you’ll be tackling are classified as Class V — just one class shy of the level reserved for the expert paddlers.
- Fishing. Those who love to go reeling in some mean catch should try Alaska’s famed saltwater fishing experience. With tour packages that include an expert guide, board, and lodging, as well as boat and equipment rental, you can enjoy catching saltwater fish species such as salmon, lingcod, halibut, and rockfish in the morning and look forward to a relaxing stay at a well-appointed cabin. The local fishing captains, who also serve as guides, are well-versed with the perfect techniques and spots to catch big fish and are also U.S. Coast Guard-certified in CPR and First Aid, so you won’t have to worry about your safety while fishing.
- Glacier cruise. Alaska is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking glaciers that stretches for miles and miles. And there are a lot of tour operators that offer glacier cruise packages to visitors who wish to see these natural formations up close. If you wish to see huge glaciers and some marine life like humpbacks, then a glacier cruise should be on your tickbox.
- Hiking/backpacking. Another must-do outdoor activity in this rugged region is backpacking and hiking in the many excellent trails scattered all over Alaska. You can go on your own to enjoy unmatched solitude, but if you’re inexperienced or a first-time Alaskan hiker/backpacker, it’s wise to go with a group with an experienced guide as Alaska is notorious for its wildlife such as bears, moose, and wolves.
- Climbing. Those adrenaline junkies who are not content with backpacking or hiking alone should go ahead and try scaling one of the region’s rugged peaks. There’s the Denali Mountain located within Alaska’s biggest National Park of the same name. You can also head towards Katmai National Park and see the famed Valley of 10,000 Smokes, attributed to Narupta volcano, which last erupted in 1912.
- Trail biking. If you’re big on biking and trails, then be sure to experience trail biking in one of Alaska’s many bike trails. Trail biking is huge in the state that it’s credited as the birthplace of the modern fat bike, which was invented in part of the state’s famed iditabike race. There are plenty of bike rentals that you may choose from and lots of excellent trails to satisfy your thirst for such an awesome outdoor activity.
- Wildlife encounters. A trip to Alaska will never be complete without having a close-up encounter with its wildlife. From gigantic whales having the time of their lives in the open sea or intimidating bears hunting for fish in one of the rivers, you’ll surely have a feast seeing these awesome animals in their natural habitats. Some tours specifically focus on wildlife encounters, so be sure to check them out.
- Air tour/fly-by. One excellent way of getting even the faintest idea of just how expansive Alaska is should hop into a plane and take to the skies to see vast wilderness, a great part of which yet to be explored by humans. This experience would cost you a considerable amount, but the thrill you’ll get out of it will be worth every dollar spent.
Alaska truly has a lot to offer to those who wish to explore the great outdoors. Be sure to consider these outdoor activities when you visit the Last Frontier to have an adventure of a lifetime.
Meta Title: Know the Must-Do Outdoor Activities in Alaska
Meta Description: The great Alaskan outdoors can be your perfect destination to satisfy your thirst for adventure. Here are some must-do outdoor activities to do.