Even in a state that’s not short on beautiful walking trails, Alaska’s Denali National Park is remarkably blessed with them. Wilderness hiking on the spectacular Triple Lakes Trail takes you up through spruce forest past stunning mountain panoramas. The wildlife here includes wolves and grizzly bears, as well as caribou, dall sheep and moose. While you’re unlikely to see a wolf, bears can often be spotted, particularly later in the summer as they fatten themselves up prior to hibernation. You can also take a guided bus tour of Denali which gives you the chance to see more of the park, handily stopping at some of the best viewpoints for wildlife.
Trips here also visit Kenai Fjords National Park, where you can hike to the immense Exit Glacier, getting close enough to hear the ice creaking and groaning. Unfortunately, like many others around the world, this glacier too is making a swift Exit, and this long finger of ancient ice has now been found to retreat in winter
as well as summer. If you want to see that blue, blue ice then you need to walk even further up the trail.
“Climate change is affecting Alaska in many ways but in south-eastern Alaska visitors and residents may notice above all else how quickly glaciers are retreating,” says Faye Wilkinson of our partner Intrepid Travel, who organise multi activity tours in Alaska. “When you hike out to Exit Glacier, there are signs that show where the glacier reached to in years past which allows you to get a feel for how fast the retreat is happening. You can still see many glaciers when you visit, but the landscape is changing quickly and if someone were to return in 10 or 20 years, it will look quite different.”