Summer in Alaska: Top 5 Adventures in the Last Frontier

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Before too long, it will be summer time, which means it is a great time to visit some of the northern parts of the world that are tougher to visit in the winter months. In winter, people flock to places like the Bahamas or Cancun to escape the cold, but summer is prime time for an Alaskan adventure. Alaska is a beautiful state that is full of wilderness and wildlife to explore, and the summer months are arguably the best time to do it. If you’ve never taken a trip to the Last Frontier, then it might be time to start planning your first trip. To help you get ideas for where to go and what to do, we’ve got our picks for the 5 best activities to do during a summer vacation to Alaska.

Kayaking and Rafting

A kayaker paddles through a cave made of ice

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Kayaking and rafting tours are some of the best options for getting up close and personal with Alaskan wilderness. These excursions can be an afternoon activity or a multiple-day adventure, depending on which one you book. With luck, you can potentially see sea lions, otters, goats, bears, seals, and even whales. Oftentimes, you will stop for hiking or lunch while out on the water, giving you even more opportunities for animal encounters. If you are not experienced, fear not; you will be properly instructed at the beginning of the tour and any able-bodied person can handle it. Just make sure to ask about difficulty levels when booking!

See the Northern Lights

A tourist marveling at the Northern Lights

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The aurora borealis is only visible in the very late summer, but if you are taking a trip after August 21st, then there is still a chance for you to see it. The advantage of taking a late summer trip over taking one during peak aurora activity is that the weather will be much warmer. To get the best chance of seeing them, you’ll want to spend as many nights in Alaska as possible, and ask the locals and tour guides to figure out the best places to go. Best viewing time is between 10 pm to 2 am, so don’t plan any early morning activities!

Ariel Glacier Tours

A sea plane sitting on a lake in Alaska

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The majesty and magnificence of Alaska’s glaciers really needs to be viewed from the air to be truly appreciated. Fortunately, you can take aerial tours either in a helicopter or a sea plane to be able to see them in all their glory. Of course, you can also take other flightseeing tours other than glacier tours. With Alaska being so huge and with relatively few roads, some places are only accessible by plane or helicopter anyway. From massive national parks to scenic lakeside valleys, there is no end of beautiful scenery that can be best viewed on a flightseeing tour.

Dog Sledding

A group of huskies pull a sled toward the sun on the horizon

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Summer may not be prime time for dog sledding, but one could argue that more temperate weather is better for being whisked away on a canine adventure. While there may be less snow, you can always take a tour across the top of a glacier. There are dog sledding tours offered in many cities and your experiences will vary, but you will typically get the chance to meet the pups before your trip and learn about their daily lives and training. These tours are great for families as they are geared for all ages, and what kid doesn’t love dogs!

Railroad Tours

A train runs along a lake with mountains in the background

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Taking a railroad tour is another great way to see Alaskan wilderness, especially for people who have limited mobility or prefer a more tranquil experience. As you leisurely travel through the mountains and forests, you will be treated to breathtaking landscapes of rolling mountains and massive glaciers. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the way, and you may see bears, moose, caribou, bald eagles, and more. Whether you’re on the scenic Alaska Railroad, or the historic White Pass & Yukon Route, you will be blown away by the magnificent beauty of Alaskan wilderness.

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