The Land of the Midnight Sun is the most wild, raw and unspoilt place in the United States. Aptly known as the Last Frontier, it’s no wonder Alaska is bursting at the seams with magnificent wildlife and endless nature to be explored. Get your bucket list ready – here are the seven most epic national parks in Alaska.
Epic National Parks In Alaska
1. Denali National Park & Reserve
Easily the most recognizable and known national park in Alaska is Denali National Park & Reserve. This epic park encompasses 6 million acres of wide-open Alaska wilderness complete with diverse wildlife, fauna and never-ending hiking trails. Without a doubt, the highlight of the park is North America’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley towering 20,310 ft above the surrounding tundra.
Denali National Park has an extremely diverse terrain of forests, glaciers and tundra with even more diverse wildlife such as wolves, moose and grizzlys.
2. Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve
Tucked away above the Arctic Circle, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is the ultimate wilderness getaway. Sprawling across 8,472,506 acres, this park is about as remote as it gets with not a single paved road in or out – just the great outdoors. Perfect for adventure lovers, Gates of the Arctic is extreme and raw with the midnight sun through the summer and aurora borealis lighting the night sky in winter.
3. Kenai Fjords National Park
Ever wanted to explore ancient Ice Age glaciers? At Kenai Fjords they have 38 of them which make up around 51% of the park. The powdery blue glaciers jutting out of the water combined with the rugged mountains and lush backcountry that surround make for a surreal experience—kayak beneath the ancient glaciers and then backpack through the wilderness at this epic Alaskan national park.
4. Katmai National Park & Preserve
Who doesn’t want to explore an active volcanic landscape with a thriving brown bear population? At Katmai National Park that’s undoubtedly what you’ll get. This park spans over four million acres of rich wildlife and spectacular country. The area also boasts thousands of years of human settlement with tons of history.
5. Kobuk Valley National
Where dessert and forest meet, you’ll find Kobuk Valley National Park. Endless expanses of sand dunes swell up to lush emerald forests shining a light on how diverse the Alaskan landscape really is. In addition to a unique landscape, the park is home to a massive annual migration of caribou which are still hunted by the natives as they were thousands of years ago.
6. Sitka National Historical Park
This isolated island is perfect for history buffs and nature lovers alike. Home to the indigenous Kiksádi Tlingit people who had harsh clashes with Russian traders, the park holds the battlegrounds of the Russian-Tlingit Battle. In addition to the battlegrounds, the area is dotted with totem polls and set with equal amounts of spruce forest and blue coasts to explore.
7. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
Lastly, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is a world of its own full of volcanoes, glaciers, towering peaks, abundant wildlife and untouched backcountry. It’s the country’s largest national park and has a lot to show for it. We’re talking 1,500 lb grizzly bears and the largest piedmont glacier in the world – Malaspina Glacier. Endless wintery valleys, braided streams, mountain trails and dense Aspen woods are just a few things that await at this epic national park.