Into the Denali

By | Category: Travel destinations

What you'll see - moose...

Remember the weather yesterday? It’s going to be similar today. Cold. Which seems a very unfair way of introducing a destination that you only ever think of as cold – Alaska. Yet the US state has an appeal of its own that’s completely unlike any other part of the country.

Fishermen have known for years that it is one of the great places they must visit before they tell their last great fishing tale. Fish sizes that are commonplace there are not so often caught in our waters. There are miles of wilderness to venture into – often by seaplane – where you can fish all day, be collected in the evening and then spend some time eating the catch and regaling others with the stories of what you nearly caught.

But Alaska is much more than a fisherman’s paradise. And now that Icelandair has just introduced a direct flight to Anchorage via Reykjavik, it’s easier to get there than it has been for many a year. The service only runs until the middle of September so if you want a summer holiday with a difference give Alaska some thought.

You obviously don’t go for city visits, you go for – if you’ll forgive the cliché – the great outdoors. And this year there are some key celebrations in the state. Mt McKinley – the highest mountain in the US – has its 100th anniversary this year of when one Briton and two Americans conquered its slopes for the first time. You can join a tour to follow their same route but be warned, only about half of those that attempt to climb it succeed.

A better way to see Mt McKinley might be to join one of the sightseeing flights over the Denali National Park in which the mountain is to be found. As well as the mountain you’ll see glaciers and the opportunity to spot grizzly bears, caribou and moose.

...and a glacer or three

Bald eagles inhabit the area but you probably need to be lucky to spot those. If you don’t fancy the air trip but still want a hint of adventure how about white-water rafting through the park? It’s cheaper, you won’t see the bears but you’ll see the views, the mountains and the glaciers all from a different perspective.

Now you have to admit; you’re not going to find a holiday like that in either the UK or Europe are you!

Images © Anchorage CVB

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