The Northern Lights glow over Fairbanks
A rainbow over Denali National Park
Tlingit dancers in traditional dress in Sitka
Brown bears in Katmai National Park
Hiking in Prince William Sound
Kayaking on a foggy day in Sitka
Riding Alaska Railroad's Glacier Discovery Train from Anchorage to Whittier
Taking a helicopter tour of Knik Glacier in the Chugach Mountains
Whale sighting in the Bering Sea around the Aleutian Islands
A moose on a sunny day in Anchorage
Discover unexpected treasures in the majesty of the Great Land.
Alaska’s vast size and sheer amount of undeveloped land makes it a paradise for those hoping to catch a glimpse of impressive creatures like stately bald eagles and massive brown bears. Guided tours offer the chance to sail among humpback whales in Kenai Fjords National Park or observe caribou by the thousands roaming the expansive tundra. It’s not just Alaska’s outdoors where you can spot wild critters, though; the state also sports zoos, aquariums and conservation centers, where researchers work to educate visitors about the animals who call Alaska home.
Nearly 100,000 glaciers can be found along the waterways of the Inside Passage and amid the mountains of Interior Alaska, and visitors have plenty of options for viewing these icy giants. Get a bird’s eye view on flightseeing or helicopter tours, where you may even make an exciting landing atop a glacier, or take a river cruise to gaze up at them. Truly intrepid adventurers can set off on multi-day glacier treks, where they’ll learn to ice-climb and see unique glacial views that can only be accessed on foot.
Hike to your Heart’s Content
Hiking is a quintessential Alaska experience. You’ll find picturesque trails and rugged pathways all across the state, from an easygoing walk to see ancient rock carvings at Petroglyph Beach State Historical Park in Wrangell to the otherworldly views you’ll find at the end of the rugged Harding Icefield Trail in Seward. But that’s not all: Outdoorsy types will relish the chance to kayak in remote fjords, bike mountain trails and fish for Pacific salmon and halibut.
Get to Know Alaska Native Culture
Alaska is the ancestral home of 229 federally- and state-recognized Indigenous tribes representing 20 distinct cultures within five main cultural groups. Learn about their ways of life at heritage centers and cultural attractions statewide. From the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, where visitors can experience living traditions of Alaska Native people through art exhibits and cultural demonstrations, to the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Community House in Sitka, where Tlingit dancers share songs passed down through generations, opportunities to celebrate the diversity and beauty of Alaska Native cultures abound.
Northern Lights Shine
August through April, the Alaska skies come alive with the colors and lights of the aurora borealis, commonly known as the northern lights. Alaska’s long nights and remote areas free from light pollution make it an incredible place to view this celestial phenomenon. Guided tours lead you to prime locations for skygazing, with many tours offering overnight tours in lodgings specifically designed for viewing the aurora borealis.
Alaska is beautiful year-round, but winter is an especially magical time to visit. Snowy weather statewide means you won’t have to look too far for picturesque spots for snowshoeing, skiing and snowmobiling. One of Alaska’s most well-known annual events, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race takes off the first Saturday in March. Many mushers open their facilities year-round for tours and the opportunity to try your skill at dog sledding.