Alaska, also known as the State of Lakes, is most famous for two things; hosting over 3 million lakes and the largest glacier in the US. The state is mostly cold but houses prolific and breathtaking vistas, snow-topped mountains, and a large variety of animals unlike anywhere else.
It is a place of calmness and serenity and can be the perfect place for adventurists looking to find themselves. Naturally, the Alaskan tourism industry provides visitors from all over the world with a chance to experience the beauty, wilderness, and culture at its finest.
There are numerous activities for visitors to explore, including fishing, hunting, whitewater rafting and kayaking, hiking, and camping. Visitors can also enjoy whale watching, flight seeing, dog sledding, ice climbing, snowmobiling, and more.
In this article, we will take a closer look at this magnificent state and what makes it such a popular destination for many. So, here are some of the most famous landmarks in Alaska!
Famous Landmarks in Alaska
1. Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park and Preserve is home to the highest mountain peak in North America – Mt. Denali, also known as “the Great One.”
This park has 6 million acres of glaciers, mountains, tundra, rivers, and forests for visitors to explore. It is known for its wildlife, including grizzly bears and caribou.
The park is located in the heart of Alaska and is an amazing experience for all visitors, to say the least. It was established in 1917 and has since become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Alaska.
When at the park and preserve, you can partake in a number of activities, including rafting, camping, backpacking, hiking, and more. There are also guided tours available for visitors to get an even closer look at the famous Denali peak.
You should consider partaking in the live barbecue in the national park, which is especially popular during the summer months. Not to mention visitors can also take part in dog sledding and flightseeing tours.
Remember, though, temperatures here can plummet to a whopping 8°F (-13°C), so make sure you take the warmest clothes you can find with you before visiting!
2. Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park is located in south-central Alaska and was established in 1980. It boasts more than 700 miles of coastline, four tidewater glaciers, and a million acres of snow-capped mountains, forests, and tundra.
The park also provides a unique chance to view species such as sea otters, humpback whales, orcas, seals, dolphins (ofcourse), and bald eagles up close. Visitors can also witness the most active icefield in the world – the Harding Icefield – here too!
There are plenty of activities available for visitors, including kayaking, hiking, glacier trekking, and wildlife viewing. A boat tour through Kenai Fjords National Park will guarantee an unforgettable experience where you’ll be able to take in the breathtaking views of glaciers, mountains, and wildlife.
Visitors can also explore Exit Glacier, which is one of the most accessible tidewater glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park. It features hiking trails, and guided walks are offered at certain times throughout the day. You’ll never be disappointed by exploring this amazing park!
You’ll also get a chance to mingle with the natives around the National Park, as they offer tours and interpretive presentations. Not to mention, the park also offers Ranger-led programs in which visitors can gain an even closer look at the environment and the wildlife of this region.
3. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. This park covers 3 million acres of pristine wilderness, where visitors will find some of the most magnificent scenery in Alaska, including snow-capped mountains, fjords, and tidewater glaciers.
You can observe a variety of wildlife that inhabits this park, including humpback whales, sea otters, harbor seals, and many more. There are also plenty of activities to choose from if you’re feeling adventurous such as kayaking, whale-watching tours, and bird watching.
When visiting Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, visitors will get the chance to enjoy countless activities such as hiking trails, camping, and fishing. There are Ranger-led programs available for visitors, which will provide tourists with an in-depth look at the region’s ecology, geology, and history.
Additionally, visitors can go on a cruise tour which will offer them stunning views of glaciers, mountains, and wildlife. Flightseeing tours are also available for visitors that want to witness the beauty of this region from a bird’s eye view. The temperature here can get as low as 20° Fahrenheit (-6° Celsius), so make sure you prepare for the cold!
4. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
Located in the Alaskan interior, this national park and preserve are the largest in the United States. It covers over 13 million acres of land containing mountains, glaciers, and valleys that are older than the Rockies!
The park features nine incredible mountain ranges, with eight of them topping out above 12,000 feet (3650 meters), including Mount St. Elias, which has an elevation of 18,008 feet (5486 meters). Visitors will also find plenty of wildlife here, such as bears, moose, and caribou.
5. Katmai National Park and Preserve
Katmai National Park and Preserve is located in south-central Alaska, established in 1980. It covers over 4 million acres of land comprised of rugged mountains and lush forests. The park also features two active volcanoes – Mount Griggs and Novarupta – which makes it a great spot for geology enthusiasts.
The National Park and Preserve is well known for its brown bears, which can be observed up close in the Brooks Camp area. There are also several guided tours available to witness these majestic creatures from a safe distance.
The park also offers many outdoor activities that include kayaking, fishing, camping, and hiking trails with stunning views of glaciers and mountains. Additionally, visitors will get a chance to explore the native culture here as there are interpretive programs offered by local guides.
6. Alaska Native Heritage Center
The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a great place to explore and discover the native history and culture of this region. The Center offers interactive exhibits, demonstrations, performances, craft workshops, and movies that will provide visitors with an in-depth look at Alaska’s First People.
Additionally, the Center has a living cultural village where guests can experience genuine Alaskan cultures such as Yup’ik, Iñupiaq, and Tlingit first-hand.
There are also plenty of activities here, including guided tours, storytelling sessions, and handicrafts classes which make it a great family destination!
7. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Visitor Center
This national park is dedicated to preserving the history of the Klondike Gold Rush, a period from 1896 to 1899 when people from all over the world traveled to this region in search of gold.
The park features exhibits and movies that will provide visitors with an excellent overview of this period.
The Visitor Center also offers a variety of activities, such as guided tours, interactive displays, and gold panning classes for kids.
Additionally, visitors can enjoy nearby attractions like Skagway’s White Pass & Yukon railroad, which is one of Alaska’s top tourist destinations.
8. Alyeska Resort
Alyeska Resort is located 45 miles (72 km) southeast of Anchorage, and it’s one of the most popular ski resorts in Alaska. It features over 2,500 acres (10 km2) of ski terrain with slopes for both beginner and advanced skiers/snowboarders.
The resort also offers plenty of other activities, such as snowshoeing, heli-skiing, dog sledding, and ice skating, for visitors to enjoy.
Additionally, there are several restaurants, bars, and shops located at the base of the resort, so visitors can have a great time whether they’re hitting the slopes or just exploring!
9. Tongass National Forest
Located in southeast Alaska, Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the United States, covering an area of 17 million acres (68000 km2).
It features a variety of landscapes, from coastal rain-forest to mountains with glaciers, making it an ideal destination for travelers looking to explore Alaska’s natural beauty.
You can enjoy activities like fishing, kayaking, camping, and hiking here. Additionally, wildlife enthusiasts will be rewarded with sightings of bears, whales, and bald eagles, which make this place a must-visit!
10. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a great animal sanctuary located just outside Anchorage that provides refuge to Alaskan animals such as moose, caribou, and bears.
Visitors can observe these majestic creatures from safe viewing areas or take part in interactive tours and educational programs offered by the center.
The center also offers recreational activities such as zip-lining for visitors to have an adventure-filled experience. Additionally, the park has a restaurant and gift shop where visitors can buy souvenirs and enjoy delicious meals after their visit.
These are just some of the many attractions and activities that Alaska has to offer its visitors! From Denali National Park and Preserve to Kenai Fjords National Park and Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, you’ll never run out of famous landmarks in Alaska.
Whether it’s camping, hiking, kayaking, or wildlife viewing, there is something here for everyone. So, start planning your next adventure, gathering warm clothes and equipment, and get ready to experience all that Alaska has to offer!