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4 National Parks to Visit in Alaska This Summer

Maya Pillai Sep 19, 2019
Alaska, the magical land of rugged landscape, snow-caped mountains, and hot springs is one of the must visit places. It has eight national parks which are very distinct and unique in nature. Some of the activities that you can do in these parks include wild berry picking, hunting and fishing, camping, hiking and backpacking.

Gates of the Artic

This park has no roads or trails. In summer, you get to the see the endless summer light, caribou, and the rivers meandering through the glacier carved valleys. It is mandatory that the visitors to this park should possess proficient outdoor survival skills. You can go for camping, fishing, hiking, and wild life watching.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve

It's the largest national park of Alaska that is located near Mount St. Elias. In 1979, it became a World Heritage Site.
The total area of Wrangell-St Elias park is 13.2 million acres of land and features glaciers and peaks. The ideal time to visit this park is from May till September.
In summer, guided Ranger tours, walks, talks and programs are arranged by the various park visitor centers. A few must visit places include Kennecott Copper Mine, Root Glacier Trail, Nabesna Road, Mount Blackburn, St. Elias Alpine Guides, and Rambler Mine Trail. All the visitor centers are open during the summer with varying operating hours.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords is a place where ice, mountains and ocean meet. Harding Icefield covers most of the area and many glaciers branch from it. Though the park is opened year round, the ideal months to visit this place is during June, July and August. During winter months this is a great spot for cross-country skies, snowmobiles and fat bikes.
Take a boat tour to explore the fjord, kayak to see glaciers, and catch a glimpse of wildlife. You can also join a park ranger for a day hike, short walk or even an interpretive talk. If you are looking for something strenuous, consider a 8.2-mile round trip along the Harding Icefield Trail.

Denali National Park & Preserve

It houses North America's tallest peak, Denali (Mount McKinley, a former name).

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One narrow road bisecting its six million acres of wilderness allows visitors experience, a relatively low-elevation taiga forest, giving a way to snowy mountain and alpine tundra. Travellers get to see the large as well as small wild animals roaming around in this wilderness.
Camping, hiking along the off-trails in search of wildlife, exploring with a ranger or biking on the Denali Park Road are some of the activities one can engage in. Denali offers some of the best landscapes and views for an enthusiast photographer.

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Other Major National Parks of Alaska

Katmai National Park & Preserve is home to thousands of brown bears and the important habitat, salmon. It also preserves the human history of 9,000 years. It's a home to over 700 species of plants.

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Kobuk Valley National Park is known for its sand dunes, Caribou and the Kobuk River. The National Historic Landmark of this park is the Onion Portage.
Glacier Bay National Park has 3.3 million acres of glaciers, temperate rainforests, fjords, and rugged mountains. A part of this park is a World Heritage Site.
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is known for its stunning landscapes, steamy volcanoes, wildlifes and shimmering lakes. Take a plane or a boat to reach this park.