Day Trips From Anchorage

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Day Trips From Anchorage

Anchorage is a perfect home base for these 10 day trips

Get to know Alas­ka in a tru­ly authen­tic way — through its unique cui­sine. On this walk­ing food tour, you’ll sam­ple fla­vors as you explore Anchor­age and hear sto­ries of the 49 th state.

Anchorage Day Tours and Attractions

In Anchorage, you’ll find access to pretty much every Alaska adventure you could dream of, from day cruises where you can watch a tidewater glacier calve into the water to a fly-in bear-viewing tour where you’ll check out bears congregating in their natural habitat.

Anchorage is also an ideal spot to discover the rich history and culture of Alaska through museums and cultural centers.

Looking for winter tours specifically? Check out our winter activities page.

Anchorage

Jump to:
Day Cruises
Flightseeing Tours
Bear Viewing Tours
Kayaking, Canoeing and Paddleboarding
Sea Kayaking Tours
Jet Ski Tours
Bicycle Day Tours
Snowmobile Tours
Dog Sledding Tours
Guided Hiking
Jeep and ATV Tours
Rafting Tours
City Sightseeing Tours
Fishing Charters
Photography Tours
Northern Lights Tours
Museums and Cultural Centers
Wildlife Parks
Trams
Performances, Entertainment and Escape Rooms
Walking Tours
Gardens and Arboretums
Historic Parks and Sites
Fairs and Festivals
Horseback Riding

Day Cruises View All

Kenai Fjords National Park, Prince William Sound and Portage

Portage Glacier Cruise

Just an hour’s dri­ve from Anchor­age, a cruise on the M/V Ptarmi­gan lets you get with­in 300 feet of…

Portage Glacier Cruise

Portage Glacier Cruise

Season: May 13 to Sept 21 $45+ 1 hr

Just an hour’s dri­ve from Anchor­age, the MV Ptarmi­gan let you get with­in 300 feet of the tow­er­ing ice wall called Portage Glac­i­er. You can also book a nar­rat­ed motor­coach tour to take you to Portage Glacier.

Major Marine Kenai Fjords Cruise

Take a half- or full-day cruise through Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords. Enjoy the views from the cozy heat­ed cabins…

Major Marine Kenai Fjords Cruise

Major Marine Kenai Fjords Cruise

Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords are great places to see wildlife and glac­i­ers. And Major Marine’s ves­sels, which have cozy heat­ed cab­ins and an out­door view­ing area, can take you out to see both. This fam­i­ly-owned tour oper­a­tor has gone above and beyond to give guests an amaz­ing day on the water since 1990 .

Kenai Fjords Tours

Go with Kenai Fjords Tours and a fleet of fast, mod­ern boats takes you to tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers as you…

Kenai Fjords Tours

Kenai Fjords Tours

Season: Mar 16 to Sep 24 $113+ 4 to 8.5 hrs

This vet­er­an tour oper­a­tor runs a a fleet of fast, mod­ern boats in Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park. You’ll vis­it tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers as you watch for puffins, sea otters, Dall’s por­pois­es, sea lions, and more. Some tours are designed to please bird­ers or shut­ter­bugs, while oth­ers are per­fect for families.

Phillips Cruises and Tours – 26 Glacier Cruise

See 26 glac­i­ers in Prince William Sound in one after­noon from the com­forts of a lux­u­ry catamaran

Phillips Cruises and Tours - 26 Glacier Cruise

Phillips Cruises and Tours – 26 Glacier Cruise

Season: May 6 – October 1 $189 5.5 Hrs

Phillips 26 Glac­i­er Cruise, out of Whit­ti­er, will take you to 26 dif­fer­ent glac­i­ers in just 5 . 5 hours. Enjoy cozy com­forts on the high-speed cata­ma­ran and wan­der its out­door decks as you come with­in 300 feet of mas­sive tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers. In addi­tion to glac­i­ers, the cap­tain will be on the look­out for wildlife like otters, whales, har­bor seals, and marine birds. The trip takes place in the after­noon, and a hot lunch is includ­ed in your tour. . more

Lazy Otter Charters Custom Sightseeing Tours

This char­ter com­pa­ny out of Whit­ti­er offers cus­tom sight­see­ing tours and trans­porta­tion to seclud­ed areas of Prince William Sound

Lazy Otter Charters Custom Sightseeing Tours

Lazy Otter Charters Custom Sightseeing Tours

Season: Year Round $200+ 3.5 to 9 hrs

Lazy Otter offers clas­sic tours, but this is a water taxi, so they’ll also take you any­where you want to go with­in Price William Sound — or just cus­tomize a tour to what­ev­er you want to see. Maybe that’s glac­i­ers, or whales, — or maybe it’s qui­et time on a seclud­ed beach. Lazy Otter can also help facil­i­tate tak­ing you and your fam­i­ly on a camp­ing trip. You’re not held to any strict sched­ule, either: if, on a day tour, you can spend more time in one . more

Flightseeing Tours View All

Prince William Sound • Knik Glacier • Denali (Mt McKinley) • Floatplane tours

Rust’s Flightseeing Tours

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Denali or oth­er Alaskan scenic high­lights on a flight­see­ing tour with Rust’s Flying…

Rust's Flightseeing Tours

Rust’s Flightseeing Tours

Season: Year Round $145+ 30 min to 3 hrs

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Alaska’s scenic high­lights on a flight­see­ing tour with Rust’s Fly­ing Ser­vice, where every pas­sen­ger gets a win­dow seat. Tour options include a short 30 -minute Anchor­age Flight­see­ing Safari, a flight to Denali, Denali plus a glac­i­er land­ing, and more. Tours begin at Anchorage’s Lake Hood, the world’s busiest sea­plane airport.

Regal Air Flightseeing

Go see glac­i­ers, Denali, and the Alaskan wilder­ness from above when you go flight­see­ing with fam­i­ly-owned Regal Air out…

Regal Air Flightseeing

Regal Air Flightseeing

Season: Year round – water landing approximately May 1st – October 5th $140+ .5 to 3 hrs

Explore Alas­ka from above with this fam­i­ly-owned com­pa­ny that oper­ates out of Anchor­age. Options include fly­ing above Denali, Knik and Colony Glac­i­er, the Chugach Moun­tains, and more!

Alaska Helicopter Tours

Scenic heli­copter tours reveal hid­den sites min­utes from Anchor­age. Spot wildlife from the air, stand on a glac­i­er or…

Alaska Helicopter Tours

Alaska Helicopter Tours

Season: Year Round $399+ 1 hr – full day

For out­stand­ing view­ing and incred­i­ble access to remote places, there’s noth­ing like flight­see­ing by heli­copter. Join Alas­ka Heli­copter Tours – a local­ly-owned, high­ly-respect­ed heli­copter tour and char­ter com­pa­ny – for excur­sions that reveal hid­den sites just min­utes from Anchor­age. Spot wildlife from the air, stand on a glac­i­er or land on a remote airstrip.

Outbound Heli Adventures

Flight­see­ing, glac­i­er trekking, kayak­ing, ice climb­ing, pad­dle­board­ing, heli-hik­ing and more. Pri­vate or small group excursions.

Outbound Heli Adventures

Outbound Heli Adventures

Season: Year Round $329+ 1.5+ hrs

Glac­i­er trekking, kayak­ing, ice climb­ing, and oth­er activ­i­ties are even more spe­cial when com­bined with a spec­tac­u­lar heli­copter ride through Alaska’s dra­mat­ic scenery. Thanks to key part­ner­ships with oth­er expe­ri­enced Alaskan tour oper­a­tors, Palmer based Out­bound Heli Adven­tures is able to coor­di­nate seam­less out­ings of a life­time! And, they pride them­selves on offer­ing the most amount of flight time with their excursions.

Trail Ridge Air, Inc. Flightseeing

Choose from one-hour flights around the Anchor­age area or longer flights that take in glac­i­ers, Denali or Lake Clark…

Trail Ridge Air, Inc. Flightseeing

Trail Ridge Air, Inc. Flightseeing

Season: Year Round $205+ 1-5 hours

Trail Ridge Air offers an on-demand per­spec­tive of Alaska’s wilder­ness, with per­son­able and knowl­edge­able pilots. Watch for wildlife, check out mas­sive glac­i­ers, alpine lakes, Denali, or even Lake Clark Nation­al Park. Trail Ridge accom­mo­dates for the busiest of sched­ules, with flights rang­ing from one hour to a full day.

Alpine Air Alaska – Girdwood Flightseeing

There are few things more spec­tac­u­lar than lift­ing off in a heli­copter from Gird­wood and land­ing on a glacier…

Alpine Air Alaska - Girdwood Flightseeing

Alpine Air Alaska – Girdwood Flightseeing

Season: Year Round $319+ 30 – 90 min

There are few things more spec­tac­u­lar than lift­ing off in a heli­copter and soar­ing over Alaska’s glac­i­er-filled ter­rain or out across its shim­mer­ing waters. Suit­able for all ages. Get a taste for heli­copter flight­see­ing on a 30 -minute trip into the 20 -Mile riv­er val­ley and the heart of glac­i­er country.

Alaska Air Service: Flightseeing and Backcountry Adventures

Flight­see­ing from Anchor­age. Choose a clas­sic trip, explore one of the state’s hid­den gems, or dream up your own adventure

Alaska Air Service: Flightseeing and Backcountry Adventures

Alaska Air Service: Flightseeing and Backcountry Adventures

Season: May 01 to Sep 10 $195+ per person 30 min – 3.5 hrs

You’ll take off from Anchor­age, and Alas­ka will open up for you as you appre­ci­ate its vast­ness from the air. Where will you go? That’s up to you! Choose from a vari­ety of tours. Take one of the clas­sics, like flight­see­ing to Denali, or opt to explore one of the state’s hid­den gems. You can also fly to see glac­i­ers, go bear view­ing in Lake Clark Nation­al Park, or work with the pros at Alas­ka Air Ser­vice to cre­ate your own cus­tom itinerary.

Bear Viewing Tours View All

An easy day trip; pick up and drop-off at your hotel in Anchorage. Lake Clark or Katmai National Park

Trail Ridge Air Inc. Bear Viewing

Bear view­ing at Brooks Falls and Redoubt Moun­tain Lodge

Trail Ridge Air Inc. Bear Viewing

Trail Ridge Air Inc. Bear Viewing

Season: July 1 – Sept 30 $1100+ per person 6 – 12 hrs

View­ing brown bears in their nat­ur­al habi­tat is one of the most amaz­ing things you can do in Alas­ka. If it’s high on your list, book a flight-see­ing/ bear view­ing trip with Trail Ridge Air, know­ing that per­son­able pilots will take you to where bears splash and fish, and where vis­i­tors run out of words to describe their amazement.

Rust’s Bear Viewing

The expe­ri­enced pilots of Rust’s Fly­ing Ser­vice will whisk you off into the Alaskan wilder­ness for a day of…

Rust's Bear Viewing

Rust’s Bear Viewing

Season: May to Mid September $945+ 6 – 10 hrs

Take off by sea­plane for an all-day bear-view­ing expe­di­tion. Fly past glac­i­ers and vol­ca­noes to the brown-bear coun­try of south­west Alas­ka. Your Sea­plane Bear Safari will take you to Brooks Riv­er Falls in Kat­mai Nation­al Park, home of the world ’ s largest salmon run. You can also fly 70 miles south­west of Anchor­age to Lake Clark Wilder­ness Pre­serve for amaz­ing bear view­ing and lux­u­ri­ous accom­mo­da­tions at the Redoubt Bay Lodge. Rust’s, which has . more

Brooks Lodge Bear Viewing

Go bear view­ing with Brooks Lodge for a less-expen­sive expe­ri­ence that gives you more time with the mag­nif­i­cent bears…

Brooks Lodge Bear Viewing

Brooks Lodge Bear Viewing

Season: June 1 – Sept 18 $1350 Day Trips from Anchorage Day trip and multi-day excursions

Brooks Lodge offers their own bear view­ing tours which are less expen­sive than most, and give you more time at Kat­mai Nation­al Park to watch bears feast­ing on sock­eye salmon from sev­er­al view­ing plat­forms. A com­mer­cial flight from Anchor­age takes you to King Salmon where you’ll switch to a small float plane for a quick 20 -minute flight to Brooks Camp. After a brief safe­ty ori­en­ta­tion, you can watch bears from sev­er­al view­ing plat­forms, join the . more

Alaska Air Service: Bear Viewing

6 – to 7 ‑hour expe­di­tion from Anchor­age to see bears in their nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment in Lake Clark Nation­al Park

Alaska Air Service: Bear Viewing

Alaska Air Service: Bear Viewing

Season: May 22 to Sep 01 $845 per person 6-7 hrs

With Alas­ka Air Ser­vice you’ll fly from Anchor­age to Lake Clark Nation­al Park, where they’re a licensed park con­ces­sion­aire. On the 6 – to 7 ‑hour expe­di­tion with an inti­mate group (there’s a 4 ‑to‑ 1 guest-to-guide ratio), you’ll start with a land­ing inside the park on a beach or in the grass­lands to watch bears. Then you’ll trav­el, unrushed, to oth­er spots in the park. Few oper­a­tors include mul­ti­ple loca­tions, but show­ing you as much of the park’s . more

Regal Air Bear Viewing

After a short, scenic flight from Anchor­age on Regal Air, you can be watch­ing enor­mous brown bears swat salmon…

Regal Air Bear Viewing

Regal Air Bear Viewing

Season: May 10th – Mid September $975+ 6.5 to 10 hrs

Hop aboard one of Regal Air’s planes depart­ing from Anchor­age and after a short, scenic flight you can be watch­ing enor­mous brown bears swat salmon from Alaska’s rush­ing waters. Tours vis­it one of two des­ti­na­tions: Lake Clark Nation­al Park or Brooks Falls in Kat­mai Nation­al Park.

Alaska Bear Camp 6-Day Adventure

In the best way pos­si­ble. you’re out­num­bered by bears dur­ing your stay at this pri­vate fly-in wilder­ness camp.

Alaska Bear Camp 6-Day Adventure

Alaska Bear Camp 6-Day Adventure

Season: May 24 to Aug 22 $6395 to $6595 (+ internal air) 6 Days / 5 Nights

In the best way pos­si­ble. you’re out­num­bered by bears dur­ing your stay at this pri­vate fly-in wilder­ness camp. Fly by char­tered plane from Homer to Alas­ka Bear Camp on a 5 ‑night, 6 ‑day all-inclu­sive pack­age. This deluxe back­coun­try camp accom­mo­dates just 14 guests in some of the best bear habi­tat in the world. In con­trast to day trips cater­ing to dozens of vis­i­tors at a time, Bear Camp offers a rare and exclu­sive wilder­ness immersion.

Kayaking, Canoeing and Paddleboarding View All

Kayak, paddleboard and canoe rentals. Expert guides available.

Outbound Heli Adventures

Flight­see­ing, glac­i­er trekking, kayak­ing, ice climb­ing, pad­dle­board­ing, heli-hik­ing and more. Pri­vate or small group excursions.

Outbound Heli Adventures

Outbound Heli Adventures

Season: Year Round $329+ 1.5+ hrs

Glac­i­er trekking, kayak­ing, ice climb­ing, and oth­er activ­i­ties are even more spe­cial when com­bined with a spec­tac­u­lar heli­copter ride through Alaska’s dra­mat­ic scenery. Thanks to key part­ner­ships with oth­er expe­ri­enced Alaskan tour oper­a­tors, Palmer based Out­bound Heli Adven­tures is able to coor­di­nate seam­less out­ings of a life­time! And, they pride them­selves on offer­ing the most amount of flight time with their excursions.

AK Paddlesports

Find Top-flight kayaks, canoes or pad­dle­boards for rent at AK Paddlesports

AK Paddlesports

AK Paddlesports

Season: Mid May– Early September $30+ day rentals 1+ day rentals

Whether it’s kayak­ing, canoe­ing, or pad­dle­board­ing, you’ll find top-flight equip­ment for rent at AK Paddlesports

Sea Kayaking Tours View All

AK Paddlesports

Find Top-flight kayaks, canoes or pad­dle­boards for rent at AK Paddlesports

AK Paddlesports

AK Paddlesports

Season: Mid May– Early September $30+ day rentals 1+ day rentals

Whether it’s kayak­ing, canoe­ing, or pad­dle­board­ing, you’ll find top-flight equip­ment for rent at AK Paddlesports

Glacier Blue Kayak and Grandview Train Tour

Enjoy a mag­i­cal morn­ing or evening kayak­ing the calm waters of Spencer Lake, in the awe-inspir­ing pres­ence of a…

Glacier Blue Kayak and Grandview Train Tour

Glacier Blue Kayak and Grandview Train Tour

Season: June 3 – Sept 17 $399+

Enjoy a mag­i­cal morn­ing or evening kayak­ing the calm waters of Spencer Lake, in the awe-inspir­ing pres­ence of a jagged ter­mi­nus glac­i­er. Your time on the water is sand­wiched between two train rides that offer up some of Alaska’s most scenic rail miles. It’s a full day of unfor­get­table expe­ri­ences in our country’s sec­ond largest nation­al for­est – the Chugach.

Lazy Otter Charters Kayaking

This char­ter com­pa­ny out of Whit­ti­er offers guid­ed kayak tours and trans­porta­tion to seclud­ed areas of Prince William Sound.…

Lazy Otter Charters Kayaking

Lazy Otter Charters Kayaking

Season: May 15 to Sep 15 $360, Full Day 8 hrs – Full Day

Lazy Otter offers guid­ed kayak tours and trans­porta­tion to seclud­ed areas of Prince William Sound. The calm waters have a gor­geous back­drop of the Chugach Moun­tains’ ser­rat­ed peaks. Keep an eye out for the crea­tures that walk the shores and swim in the sea: orcas, hump­back whales, sea lions, puffins, seals, sea otters, eagles, goats, and bears.

Discovery Voyages Hike and Kayak Voyage

Explore the land­scape and wildlife of Prince William Sound Alas­ka from the small ship M/V Dis­cov­ery, with plen­ty of…

Discovery Voyages Hike and Kayak Voyage

Discovery Voyages Hike and Kayak Voyage

Season: June 13 – August 26
From $4,850+
5 days/4 nights or 6 days/5 nights
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Whittier, Cordova
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Discovery

Per­fect for the adven­tur­ous trav­el­er, the Hike and Kayak voy­age sees all the same sites as on our Clas­sic voy­age, but with more excur­sions. Kayak among ice­bergs, hike through moun­tain mead­ows, and take in the scenery on this unique trip. Activ­i­ties can be cus­tomized to suit the inter­ests and activ­i­ty lev­el of those on board.

Jet Ski Tours View All

Alaska Wild Guides Jet Ski Tours

Tour­ing the spec­tac­u­lar tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers of Prince William Sound is even more excit­ing when you do it on a…

Alaska Wild Guides Jet Ski Tours

Alaska Wild Guides Jet Ski Tours

Season: Mid-April – Late September $360+ per driver 4 hours

Tour­ing the spec­tac­u­lar tide­wa­ter glac­i­ers of Prince William Sound is even more excit­ing when you do it on a Jet Ski. Go with Alas­ka Wild Guides out of Whit­ti­er to expe­ri­ence the area’s unique sights and sounds while skim­ming across the top of the water on your own per­son­al watercraft.

Glacier Jet Ski Adventures

Faster than a kayak and more inti­mate than a day cruise, this is a great way to get up…

Glacier Jet Ski Adventures

Glacier Jet Ski Adventures

Season: May–September $360 4 – 4.5 hours

Faster than a kayak and more inti­mate than a day cruise, the Jet Ski is a great way to get up close and per­son­al with Alaska’s gor­geous scenery. Go with Whit­ti­er-based Glac­i­er Jet Ski Adven­tures and you’ll be tak­ing your machine out on the water to explore the stun­ning glac­i­ers and wildlife of Black­stone Bay. All equip­ment is pro­vid­ed and no expe­ri­ence is nec­es­sary on this unique 4 . 5 ‑hour journey.

Bicycle Day Tours View All

Alyeska Resort Summer Mountain Biking and Hiking Trails

Alyeska Resort offers amaz­ing sum­mer moun­tain activ­i­ties, like hik­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, or trekking on a glac­i­er — all with amaz­ing views.

Alyeska Resort Summer Mountain Biking and Hiking Trails

Alyeska Resort Summer Mountain Biking and Hiking Trails

Season: June – September $60+ Bike and Gear Rental

Rent a moun­tain bike (and all the body armor you need) for a thrilling, two-wheel ride down Mt. Alyeska. Lessons and tours of the route are offered. Or, go for a hike on one of the many area trails, either with a guide or on your own. You can even strap on some cram­pons and go trekking on a glacier.

Alaska Trail Guides

Choose your ride based on half-day or full-day options, as well as dif­fi­cul­ty. Sum­mer trail rides and win­ter fat…

Alaska Trail Guides

Alaska Trail Guides

Season: Year Round $105+ Day Tours | $35+ Rentals Half and Full Day Tours | Rentals 4hrs+

Anchor­age may be Alaska’s big city, but this bicy­cle tour oper­a­tor offers quick proof that the city has a lot of wilder­ness. Choose your ride based on half-day or full-day options, as well as dif­fi­cul­ty. You’ll go from down­town to Moth­er Nature — with moun­tains, coastal views, and the occa­sion­al moose sight­ing — in no time at all. Bet­ter yet, the tours often include beer tast­ings or lunch.

Snowmobile Tours View All

Glacier City Snowmobile Tours

Ride on groomed trails beneath mas­sive, 7 , 000 -foot glaciat­ed peaks. Or, opt to vis­it the daz­zling blue ice of Spencer Glacier.

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Glacier City Snowmobile Tours

Glacier City Snowmobile Tours

Season: Mid-November to mid-April $275+ 3.5+ hrs

Hop aboard an eco-friend­ly snow­mo­bile in Gird­wood and ride on groomed trails beneath mas­sive, 7 , 000 -foot glaciat­ed peaks or vis­it the daz­zling blue ice of Spencer Glac­i­er. Or, head north of Anchor­age for a trail ride through mid-alpine black spruce forests. No expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary, all gear pro­vid­ed, and warm bev­er­ages and snacks included.

Alaska Backcountry Adventures Snowmachine Tours

Take a unique snow­mo­bile tour out into the Alaskan back­coun­try and look for wildlife as you appre­ci­ate win­ter in…

Alaska Backcountry Adventures Snowmachine Tours

Alaska Backcountry Adventures Snowmachine Tours

Season: Nov 15 – April 4 $255+ Half Day, Full Day, Multi-Day

Own­ers Mat­ti and Dan can­not think of a bet­ter way to appre­ci­ate Alas­ka than shar­ing it with oth­ers. Mat­ti was born and raised in Palmer, Alas­ka and has been on snow­ma­chines most of her life. Alas­ka Back­coun­try Adven­tures offers ​ “ mild to wild” expe­ri­ences and prides itself on pro­vid­ing a cus­tomized expe­ri­ence for all lev­els of abil­i­ty. It offers the widest vari­ety of expe­di­tions on the lat­est and great­est equipment.

Alaska Wild Guides Backcountry Snowmobile Adventures

Explore Alaska’s back­coun­try astride a speedy and fun snow­ma­chine. Go for one thrilling day, or sev­er­al days of exhilarating…

Alaska Wild Guides Backcountry Snowmobile Adventures

Alaska Wild Guides Backcountry Snowmobile Adventures

$310+ 5-6 hours (day trip) or 4-10 days (multi-day)

Explore Alaska’s back­coun­try astride a speedy and fun snow­ma­chine. Alas­ka Wild Guides will take you out for one thrilling day, or for sev­er­al days of exhil­a­rat­ing adven­ture. Find hid­den ice caves and remote glac­i­ers while nav­i­gat­ing along frozen rivers and through deep powder.

Snowhook Adventure Guides of Alaska: Snowmobile Tours

Feel the thrill of explor­ing the Alaskan wilder­ness while dri­ving your own snow­mo­bile over the tun­dra, look­ing for wildlife and…

Snowhook Adventure Guides of Alaska: Snowmobile Tours

Snowhook Adventure Guides of Alaska: Snowmobile Tours

Feel the thrill of explor­ing the Alaskan wilder­ness while dri­ving your own snow­mo­bile over the tun­dra, look­ing for wildlife and tak­ing in amaz­ing views. And on a clear day you’ll get an amaz­ing view of Denali.

Dog Sledding Tours View All

Glacier Dog sledding from nearby Girdwood and Knik • Winter Mushing Tours in Willow

Alaskan Husky Adventures

Vis­it a fam­i­ly-run cham­pi­on ken­nel, meet friend­ly dogs and an expe­ri­enced mush­er for a ride along pri­vate trails with views…

Alaskan Husky Adventures

Alaskan Husky Adventures

Season: Year Round $69+ 1-3.5 hrs

Sum­mer or win­ter, vis­it a fam­i­ly-run cham­pi­on ken­nel, meet friend­ly dogs and an expe­ri­enced mush­er for a ride along pri­vate trails with views of Denali. Opt to ride in the sled or mush your own. Or, for a tru­ly authen­tic adven­ture, go on a train­ing run for the Idi­tar­od! Large groups and spe­cial events wel­come when orga­nized in advance.

Salmon Berry Tours Dog Sledding

Salmon Berry Tours offers dog sled­ding excur­sions in sum­mer and winter!

Salmon Berry Tours Dog Sledding

Salmon Berry Tours Dog Sledding

Season: November – March $329+ 8 – 9 hrs

Every­body loves sled dogs, and Salmon Berry Tours offers you the chance to get behind the sled year-round. In sum­mer and win­ter, you’ll head to the ken­nel of Idi­tar­od Cham­pi­on Dal­las Seavey, where you’ll see a gear demon­stra­tion, meet the dogs, and ride on the sled behind them. They also have a mul­ti-day adven­ture for Idi­tar­od enthusiasts.

Alaska Mushing School

Ride behind a team of ener­getic sled dogs on trails con­nect­ed to the famous Idi­tar­od route. Shut­tle avail­able from…

Alaska Mushing School

Alaska Mushing School

Season: Winter $169+ 1 – 8 hours

Expe­ri­ence the excite­ment of rac­ing cham­pi­on sled dogs at the Alas­ka Mush­ing School, just 75 min­utes from Anchor­age. Get a professional’s insight into the mush­ing lifestyle as you ride behind a team of ener­getic sled dogs on trails con­nect­ed to the famous Idi­tar­od route. Bun­dle up and ride in com­fort, or brave the cold and dri­ve the team yourself!

Snowhook Adventure Guides of Alaska: Dog Sled Tours

Win­ter or sum­mer, expe­ri­ence the thrill of run­ning Idi­tar­od sled dogs and even have a chance to drive

Snowhook Adventure Guides of Alaska: Dog Sled Tours

Snowhook Adventure Guides of Alaska: Dog Sled Tours

Season: Year Round Summer: $75+ | Winter: $150+ 2+ hrs

Win­ter or sum­mer, expe­ri­ence the thrill of run­ning Idi­tar­od sled dogs and even have a chance to dri­ve! Meet the sled dogs and hear first-hand just what it’s like to run the Iditarod.

Alpine Air Alaska – Girdwood Glacier Dogsledding

There are few things more spec­tac­u­lar than lift­ing off in a heli­copter from Gird­wood and land­ing on a glacier…

Alpine Air Alaska - Girdwood Glacier Dogsledding

Alpine Air Alaska – Girdwood Glacier Dogsledding

Season: May 15 – Aug 31 $579 2 hrs

Ratch­et up the adven­ture fac­tor and try your hand at dogsled­ding. Alpine Air Alas­ka flies to a dog camp run by the old­est estab­lished dog-sled tour busi­ness in Alas­ka. With a shut­tle option avail­able from Anchor­age, you’ll trav­el by heli­copter from Girdwood’s green forests up over a small sad­dle to land on a glac­i­er and be intro­duced to the dog team. ​ “ Dri­ve” the dogs your­self, or sit in the sled and enjoy hang­ing glac­i­ers that sur­round you. . more

Glacier Dog Sledding with Alaska Helicopter Tours

Stun­ning scenery and hap­py pup­pies: this tour out of the Anchor­age area offers an unbeat­able com­bi­na­tion of clas­sic Alaska…

Glacier Dog Sledding with Alaska Helicopter Tours

Glacier Dog Sledding with Alaska Helicopter Tours

Season: May 01 to Sep 10 $579+ 1.5 hrs

Stun­ning scenery, a thrilling ride and hap­py pup­pies: this tour out of the Anchor­age area offers an unbeat­able com­bi­na­tion of clas­sic Alas­ka expe­ri­ences that will delight fam­i­lies or — real­ly, any­body. Tak­ing a total of about 90 min­utes, and run­ning from mid-May to ear­ly Sep­tem­ber, this tour includes a Flight­see­ing round trip, a small friend­ly group envi­ron­ment, and plen­ty of one-on-one time with the dogs and their mushers.

Girdwood Summer Sled Dog Adventure

Expe­ri­ence the thrill of Alaskan sled dog rac­ing — in sum­mer­time! — on this unique tour from Gird­wood with a real Idi­tar­od mush­er and…

Girdwood Summer Sled Dog Adventure

Girdwood Summer Sled Dog Adventure

Vis­it and snug­gle real Idi­tar­od sled dogs with their mush­er on this unique sum­mer­time tour. After tour­ing their ken­nel, you’ll har­ness up and explore trails along Gird­wood’s moun­tains which offer spec­tac­u­lar views while your guide offers fas­ci­nat­ing gold min­ing his­to­ry in the area.

Guided Hiking View All

Ascend Alaska

Dri­ve your own Jeep equipped with a rooftop tent while guides lead­ing the way in a sep­a­rate vehi­cle take care…

Ascend Alaska

Ascend Alaska

Season: May 30 – Sept 4 Day Hikes $120 | Multi-day $2,695+ Day and Multi-Day

Dri­ve your own Jeep equipped with a rooftop tent while guides lead­ing the way in a sep­a­rate vehi­cle take care of the details as you go. Along the way you’ll enjoy some of the most icon­ic spots and expe­ri­ences that the 49 th state has to offer.

Glacier City Rafting and Hiking

Dis­cov­er Alaska’s scenic gem, Portage Val­ley — just an hour from Anchor­age with Glac­i­er City Raft­ing and Hik­ing. Explore glacial lakes, and…

Glacier City Rafting and Hiking

Glacier City Rafting and Hiking

Season: May–September $119+

Dis­cov­er Alaska’s scenic gem, Portage Val­ley — just an hour from Anchor­age with Glac­i­er City Raft­ing and Hik­ing. Offer­ing small-group tours guid­ed by knowl­edge­able locals, and explore glacial lakes, snow-capped peaks, and wildlife.

Go Hike Alaska

In sum­mer enjoy quick hikes, alpine climbs, for­ag­ing, or heli-hik­ing. In win­ter, hikes, snow­shoe treks, or heli-snow­shoe tours!

Go Hike Alaska

Go Hike Alaska

Season: Year Round $99+ 2 hrs – Multi-Day

Get out there on one or more of these super-acces­si­ble trips, which range from easy nature walks to stren­u­ous alpine mul­ti-day treks. You’ll not only get a healthy dose of scenery, you’ll also exer­cise your body, mind, and soul. In win­ter, mar­vel at frozen water­falls, snow­shoe treks and even heli-snowshoeing!

Outbound Heli Adventures

Flight­see­ing, glac­i­er trekking, kayak­ing, ice climb­ing, pad­dle­board­ing, heli-hik­ing and more. Pri­vate or small group excursions.

Outbound Heli Adventures

Outbound Heli Adventures

Season: Year Round $329+ 1.5+ hrs

Glac­i­er trekking, kayak­ing, ice climb­ing, and oth­er activ­i­ties are even more spe­cial when com­bined with a spec­tac­u­lar heli­copter ride through Alaska’s dra­mat­ic scenery. Thanks to key part­ner­ships with oth­er expe­ri­enced Alaskan tour oper­a­tors, Palmer based Out­bound Heli Adven­tures is able to coor­di­nate seam­less out­ings of a life­time! And, they pride them­selves on offer­ing the most amount of flight time with their excursions.

Traverse Alaska Anchorage Trips

Cus­tom guid­ed out­door adven­tures designed to take vis­i­tors off the beat­en path and away from the crowds

Traverse Alaska Anchorage Trips

Traverse Alaska Anchorage Trips

Season: Year Round Custom pricing, contact for rates Full and Half Day Options

Explore Anchorage’s best kept secrets with a local guide. Tra­verse Alaska’s pri­vate, cus­tom adven­tures are designed to take vis­i­tors off the beat­en path and away from the crowds. Adven­tures can incor­po­rate a full day of hik­ing or a com­bi­na­tion of scenic dri­ving and out­door activ­i­ties. Each trip is cus­tom designed to meet your inter­ests and desired activ­i­ty level.

Matanuska Glacier Walk with Salmon Berry Tours

Walk­ing across Alaska’s largest road-acces­si­ble glac­i­er is an unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence that you can take advan­tage of year-round

Matanuska Glacier Walk with Salmon Berry Tours

Matanuska Glacier Walk with Salmon Berry Tours

Season: Year Round $299 per person 9 hrs

Walk­ing out across the ice of Alaska’s largest road-acces­si­ble glac­i­er is an unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence that you can take advan­tage of year-round — and it’s just a two-hour dri­ve from Anchorage.

Comet Heli Hiking and Rafting

Com­bine a heli­copter ride, alpine hike, glacial lake tour, and train ride all in 9 – 10 hours

Comet Heli Hiking and Rafting

Comet Heli Hiking and Rafting

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 17 $849 per person

Expe­ri­ence the wilder­ness of the Chugach Nation­al For­est from sev­er­al dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. Com­bine a heli­copter ride, alpine hike, glacial lake tour, and train ride all in 9 – 10 hours! It’s one big and bold Alas­ka tour de force with Chugach Adventures.

Jeep and ATV Tours View All

Alaska ATV Adventures

3 hour ATV tours just south of Anchor­age. In the alpine mead­ows, you may see bears, moun­tain goats, and Dall…

Alaska ATV Adventures

Alaska ATV Adventures

Season: May 15 – Oct 31 $180+ 3 hrs

There’s great Alaskan back­coun­try ATV rid­ing just a few miles south of Anchor­age. Engage in the sights, sounds, and smells of the north­ern­most tem­per­ate rain­for­est while expe­ri­enc­ing the thrill of the throt­tle through the wind­ing wood­ed trails of the Chugach Moun­tain Range. In the alpine mead­ows of this wilder­ness area, there are fre­quent sight­ings of both brown and black bears, moun­tain goats, and Dall sheep.

Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours

Dri­ve over rocks, splash through mud, and look for wildlife on your way to the Knik Glac­i­er as you…

Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours

Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours

Season: Apr 15 to Sep 30 $259+ drive | $139+ passenger Half, Full, and Multi-Day

With Alas­ka Back­coun­try Adven­ture Tours, you can expe­ri­ence glac­i­ers inac­ces­si­ble by road. Nev­er fear if you’ve nev­er dri­ven an before; this com­pa­ny teach­es you to maneu­ver your ATV through the Alaskan wilder­ness with your guide at the lead. Your des­ti­na­tion is the mag­nif­i­cent Knik Glac­i­er, where you’ll enjoy lunch and gor­geous scenery.

Snowhook Adventure Guides of Alaska: ATV Tours

Great for groups or fam­i­lies with options to both steer your own ATV or ride in a side-by-side. Tours depart…

Snowhook Adventure Guides of Alaska: ATV Tours

Snowhook Adventure Guides of Alaska: ATV Tours

Season: May–October $225+ Half and Full-Day

Expe­ri­ence Alas­ka ATV and Side by Side tours at his­toric Hatch­er Pass. These half-day and full-day tours take place high in the Tal­keet­na moun­tains where you will ven­ture through creeks, twist­ing trails, and climb to amaz­ing views. This tour is suit­able for begin­ners and more advanced rid­ers! Locat­ed just an hour from Anchorage.

49th State Motor Tours

Dri­ve through woods and splash through rivers on your way to a gor­geous glac­i­er. Trans­porta­tion from Anchor­age included.

49th State Motor Tours

49th State Motor Tours

Season: Year Round $245+ Full day, half day and multi-day

Head out into the Alaskan wilder­ness on this excit­ing ATV adven­ture, dri­ving through woods and splash­ing through rivers on your way to a gor­geous glacial moraine sur­round­ed by tow­er­ing snow-capped peaks. Trans­porta­tion from Anchor­age included.

Hatcher Pass ATV Tours

Dis­cov­er Alaska’s rugged beau­ty with Hatch­er Pass ATV Tours. Splash through rivers, pan for gold, and explore year-round with expert…

Hatcher Pass ATV Tours

Hatcher Pass ATV Tours

Season: Year Round $60+ per person 2.5 hrs

Pilot a util­i­ty task vehi­cle ( UTV ) — an ATV that’s ful­ly enclosed — with fam­i­ly and friends as you splash through rivers, take in stun­ning views, and even pan for gold on this unique, 3 ‑hour excur­sion with Hatch­er Pass ATV Tours out of Willow.

Rafting Tours View All

Glacier City Rafting and Hiking

Dis­cov­er Alaska’s scenic gem, Portage Val­ley — just an hour from Anchor­age with Glac­i­er City Raft­ing and Hik­ing. Explore glacial lakes, and…

Glacier City Rafting and Hiking

Glacier City Rafting and Hiking

Season: May–September $119+

Dis­cov­er Alaska’s scenic gem, Portage Val­ley — just an hour from Anchor­age with Glac­i­er City Raft­ing and Hik­ing. Offer­ing small-group tours guid­ed by knowl­edge­able locals, and explore glacial lakes, snow-capped peaks, and wildlife.

Spencer Iceberg Float

The orig­i­nal hall­mark trip that got the Alas­ka Rail­road to stop at Spencer Glac­i­er in 2002 . One of the…

Spencer Iceberg Float

Spencer Iceberg Float

Season: May 27 – September 17 $235+

The orig­i­nal hall­mark trip that got the Alas­ka Rail­road to bring the Glac­i­er Dis­cov­ery to Spencer Glac­i­er in 2002 . This is one of the most scenic glac­i­er riv­er trips in Alas­ka and a per­fect float for all ages. Your trip begins with a scenic ride on Alas­ka Railroad’s Glac­i­er Dis­cov­ery train, which runs from Anchor­age, Gird­wood, and oth­er pick-up points along the rail­belt. Enjoy a beau­ti­ful ride down Tur­na­gain Arm and the Plac­er Riv­er Val­ley and . more

Flow AK

Flow AK

Season: May 10 – Sept 15 $200 per person 3 hrs

Join Flow AK on a back­coun­try adven­ture with expert guides as you nav­i­gate the nar­row canyons and chal­leng­ing rapids of Six Mile Creek. With small groups and per­son­al­ized atten­tion, you’re sure to make new friends and unfor­get­table mem­o­ries. Just a short dri­ve from Anchor­age, this excur­sion is not to be missed!

Comet Heli Hiking and Rafting

Com­bine a heli­copter ride, alpine hike, glacial lake tour, and train ride all in 9 – 10 hours

Comet Heli Hiking and Rafting

Comet Heli Hiking and Rafting

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 17 $849 per person

Expe­ri­ence the wilder­ness of the Chugach Nation­al For­est from sev­er­al dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. Com­bine a heli­copter ride, alpine hike, glacial lake tour, and train ride all in 9 – 10 hours! It’s one big and bold Alas­ka tour de force with Chugach Adventures.

NOVA Alaska Guides (Seward Highway – Six Mile Creek)

Go with the expe­ri­enced guides of NOVA Riv­er Run­ners down one of the most famous — and chal­leng­ing — white­wa­ter runs in the…

NOVA Alaska Guides (Seward Highway - Six Mile Creek)

NOVA Alaska Guides (Seward Highway – Six Mile Creek)

Six Mile Creek is one of the most famous — and most chal­leng­ing — white­wa­ter runs in the entire state of Alas­ka. Your heart will be pound­ing and your mus­cles burn­ing as you pad­dle through rapids called ​ “ Big Rock Drop,” ​ “ Suck­hole,” and ​ “ Let’s Make a Deal.”

City Sightseeing Tours View All

Escaping Anchorage

Short on time and want to see anoth­er side of Anchor­age and the gor­geous sur­round­ing area? Take a small-group tour…

Escaping Anchorage

Escaping Anchorage

Season: Year Round $115+ 3+ hrs

Short on time and want to see anoth­er side of Anchor­age and the gor­geous sur­round­ing area? Take a small-group tour with Escap­ing Anchor­age, whose own­er, Brit­tney, cre­ates per­son­al­ized adven­tures fea­tur­ing beau­ti­ful scenery and real insights.

Coastal Classic Train (Anchorage to Seward)

Sit back and relax on the Coastal Clas­sic Train and take in amaz­ing views on one of the most…

Coastal Classic Train (Anchorage to Seward)

Coastal Classic Train (Anchorage to Seward)

Season: May 13 – Sept 25 $88 to $393

The Coastal Clas­sic train runs between Anchor­age and the town of Seward — a four-hour trip that’s the most beau­ti­ful along the entire Alas­ka Rail­road. You’ll see Tur­na­gain Arm as the train departs Anchor­age, then a panora­ma of moun­tains, glac­i­ers, lakes, and streams. You may even see wildlife like Dall sheep, Bel­u­ga whales, moose, bear, and more! Day Trip from Anchor­age: Seward, Gird­wood Mul­ti-Day Trip from Anchor­age: Overnight Seward, or . more

Denali Star Route (Anchorage – Talkeetna – Denali – Fairbanks)

The Denali Star train ser­vices Denali Nation­al Park and Fair­banks from Anchor­age, with great views of thick forests, tundra,…

Denali Star Route (Anchorage - Talkeetna - Denali - Fairbanks)

Denali Star Route (Anchorage – Talkeetna – Denali – Fairbanks)

Season: May 10 to Sep 21 $73 to $489

This train trav­els through the forest­ed areas north of Anchor­age into the bore­al for­est, and even­tu­al­ly into the tun­dra regions fur­ther north. On a clear day the train will slow down to allow you to see beau­ti­ful vis­tas of Denali. You may also spot wildlife along the way. Day Trip from Anchor­age: Tal­keet­na Day Trip from Fair­banks: Denali Mul­ti-Day Trip from Anchor­age: Tal­keet­na, Denali Nation­al Park, and / or Fair­banks Mul­ti-Day Trip . more

Pedal Anchorage

See Anchor­age in a whole new way aboard the only par­ty bike in Alas­ka! Ride this unique, open-air vehi­cle, and…

Pedal Anchorage

Pedal Anchorage

Season: May 25 – Sept 30 $59+ 2 hrs

See Anchor­age in a whole new way aboard the only par­ty bike in Alas­ka! Ride this unique, open-air vehi­cle, and take in the city by your­self or in a group. It’s elec­tric and per­fect for most age and abil­i­ty lev­els so ped­al or sit back and relax with food and drinks you bring or pick up along the tour.

Alaska Trail Guides

Choose your ride based on half-day or full-day options, as well as dif­fi­cul­ty. Sum­mer trail rides and win­ter fat…

Alaska Trail Guides

Alaska Trail Guides

Season: Year Round $105+ Day Tours | $35+ Rentals Half and Full Day Tours | Rentals 4hrs+

Anchor­age may be Alaska’s big city, but this bicy­cle tour oper­a­tor offers quick proof that the city has a lot of wilder­ness. Choose your ride based on half-day or full-day options, as well as dif­fi­cul­ty. You’ll go from down­town to Moth­er Nature — with moun­tains, coastal views, and the occa­sion­al moose sight­ing — in no time at all. Bet­ter yet, the tours often include beer tast­ings or lunch.

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Glacier Discovery Train (Anchorage – Whittier – Spencer – Grandview)

The Glac­i­er Dis­cov­ery ser­vices Whit­ti­er, Portage, Spencer Glac­i­er, and Grand­view, with views of glac­i­ers and the beau­ti­ful Tur­na­gain Arm

Glacier Discovery Train (Anchorage - Whittier - Spencer - Grandview)

Glacier Discovery Train (Anchorage – Whittier – Spencer – Grandview)

Season: May 13 – Sept 17 $76 to $158

The train can be used as a mode of trans­porta­tion, how­ev­er it can also be a round-trip sight­see­ing excur­sion. This pri­ma­ry des­ti­na­tion is the town of Whit­ti­er, a major cruise ship and after­noon day cruise hub. Day Trips from Anchor­age: Whit­ti­er, Gird­wood, Spencer Glac­i­er, Grandview

Big Swig Brewery Tours

Small group tours by van, bike, and rail bring you through the fron­tier city’s legit craft beer, cider, and…

Big Swig Brewery Tours

Big Swig Brewery Tours

Season: Year Round $159+ 4 – 11 hrs

If you’re a beer snob — or just like soak­ing up the per­son­al­i­ty of a city through its brew­pubs — this cre­ative tour com­pa­ny offers a few dif­fer­ent tours, each of which pro­vide an inter­est­ing look at life in Alas­ka, as well as through a taste of the state’s legit craft beer indus­try. The Anchor­age Brews Tour, is a short, 3 . 5 hour local brew­ery tour. Hops on the Rail tour com­bines brew­eries between Anchor­age and Tal­keet­na with a ride on The Alaska . more

Anchorage Trolley Tours

Relax and enjoy the ride while your Alaskan guide takes you past all the sites and attrac­tions of Anchorage…

Anchorage Trolley Tours

Anchorage Trolley Tours

Season: May 4 – Oct 2 $20+ 1-2 hrs

Step aboard Anchor­age’s first trol­ley. Relax and enjoy the ride while your guide shows you the sites and attrac­tions of Anchor­age. You’ll see the Alas­ka Rail­road, Lake Hood (the world’s largest and busiest float-plane base), mys­te­ri­ous Earth­quake Park, Cook Inlet, Anchor­age Muse­um, shop­ping areas, and restau­rants. Your ride is ful­ly nar­rat­ed, and the trol­ley is heat­ed and enclosed.

Jeff Schultz Photography

Trav­el with award-win­ning pho­tog­ra­ph­er Jeff Schultz and you’ll get per­son­al­ized instruc­tion as you take in Alaska’s mag­nif­i­cent sights

Jeff Schultz Photography

Jeff Schultz Photography

Season: Year Round
$975+
Land Package Type: Photography Tours

Don’t just expe­ri­ence the beau­ty of Alas­ka — learn how best to cap­ture it on your cam­era. Trav­el with award-win­ning pho­tog­ra­ph­er Jeff Schultz and you’ll get per­son­al­ized, hands-on instruc­tion as you take in the state’s mag­nif­i­cent sights. Choose from cus­tom tours or small group tours with a max­i­mum of 6 par­tic­i­pants that depart through­out the year and include accom­mo­da­tions, trans­porta­tion, and meals.

Jeff Schultz Alaska Bears, Glaciers and Fall Colors Photography Workshop

In one trip you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pho­to­graph bears, moose, glac­i­ers and ice­berg stud­ded lakes, the beau­ti­ful col­ors of…

Jeff Schultz Alaska Bears, Glaciers and Fall Colors Photography Workshop

Jeff Schultz Alaska Bears, Glaciers and Fall Colors Photography Workshop

Season: Sep. 15 – 22
$8,795+
8 Day / 7 Nights
Visits: Anchorage, Talkeetna, Palmer
Land Package Type: Photography Tours

This fall pho­tog­ra­phy trip offers some of the best pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ties in Alas­ka as the sea­sons change. Head to Lake Clark Nation­al Park for griz­zly bears, turquoise-col­ored lakes, snow­capped moun­tains and the bright gold col­ors of fall. You’ll also spend a half day pho­tograph­ing moose, and a heli­copter flight to an ice­berg-filled glacial lake only acces­si­ble by air. Fall can also be a won­der­ful time to pho­to­graph the auro­ra bore­alis, weather . more

Salmon Berry Tours Sightseeing

Take a unique and excit­ing day tour with a small group and knowl­edge­able guide in either sum­mer or winter…

Salmon Berry Tours Sightseeing

Salmon Berry Tours Sightseeing

Season: Year Round $59+ 45 min – 9 hrs

This expe­ri­enced, local­ly run com­pa­ny offers a superb guide-to-vis­i­tor ratio, cre­at­ing a real feel­ing of inti­ma­cy, while their expert guides will help deep­en your under­stand­ing of the area. From city overviews to for­ays just out­side town, Salmon Berry Tours offers expe­ri­ences from 2 . 5 hours up to a full 8 ‑hour tour.

Traverse Alaska Anchorage Trips

Cus­tom guid­ed out­door adven­tures designed to take vis­i­tors off the beat­en path and away from the crowds

Traverse Alaska Anchorage Trips

Traverse Alaska Anchorage Trips

Season: Year Round Custom pricing, contact for rates Full and Half Day Options

Explore Anchorage’s best kept secrets with a local guide. Tra­verse Alaska’s pri­vate, cus­tom adven­tures are designed to take vis­i­tors off the beat­en path and away from the crowds. Adven­tures can incor­po­rate a full day of hik­ing or a com­bi­na­tion of scenic dri­ving and out­door activ­i­ties. Each trip is cus­tom designed to meet your inter­ests and desired activ­i­ty level.

Alaska Escape Rooms

This year-round Anchor­age attrac­tion, where a group solves a mys­tery while ​ “ locked” indoors, makes a fun diver­sion rain or…

Alaska Escape Rooms

Alaska Escape Rooms

Season: Year Round $35 1.5 hrs

Every now and then in Alas­ka — where the weath­er can change quick­ly — a great indoor activ­i­ty comes in handy. But this unique year-round attrac­tion, where a fam­i­ly or a group of friends solves a mys­tery while ​ “ locked” indoors, makes a fun diver­sion even when the skies are clear outside.

Alaskan Sights and Bites

Get to know Alas­ka in a tru­ly authen­tic way — through its unique cui­sine. On this walk­ing food tour, you’ll sam­ple flavors…

Alaskan Sights and Bites

Alaskan Sights and Bites

Season: Year Round $130+ 3-8 hrs

Get to know Alas­ka in a tru­ly authen­tic way — through its unique cui­sine. On this walk­ing food tour, you’ll sam­ple fla­vors as you explore Anchor­age and hear sto­ries of the 49 th state.

Rust’s Photo Safari

This stun­ning ride, led by a pho­tog­ra­ph­er-pilot, is filled with pho­to ops of rugged moun­tains and ice blue glaciers

Rust's Photo Safari

Rust’s Photo Safari

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 15 $995 per person 8-10 hours

The 7 – to 9 ‑hour tour out of Anchor­age’s Lake Hood is led by a pho­tog­ra­ph­er-pilot whom has pub­lished pho­tos in such mag­a­zines as Air and Space, Stearns and Nation­al Geo­graph­ic. Set up for the best shots, every pas­sen­ger gets a win­dow seat and a two-way head­set for pilot nar­ra­tion — you’ll have a stun­ning ride filled with pho­to ops of rugged moun­tains, glacial pools and ice blue glac­i­ers. Then, you’ll land on a remote water­way to take pho­tos on the . more

Wild Journeys Alaska

Explore Alas­ka by hir­ing a guide for a day and cre­at­ing a cus­tom, pri­vate adven­ture for your­self and up to…

Wild Journeys Alaska

Wild Journeys Alaska

Season: Year Round $950 | Up to 7 people 4-8 hrs

See Alaska’s unique and authen­tic side by hir­ing a guide for a day and cre­at­ing a cus­tom, pri­vate adven­ture for your­self and up to 7 oth­ers. Tours depart from Anchor­age or Gird­wood. Excur­sions include Matanus­ka glac­i­er hikes, ATV tours, gold pan­ning, north­ern lights view­ing, snow­mo­bil­ing, and more.

Anchorage Aurora Quest

Pho­to­graph alpen­glow on snow capped moun­tains, frosty scenes glow­ing in rich win­ter light, wildlife wan­der­ing snowy paths, and possibly…

Anchorage Aurora Quest

Anchorage Aurora Quest

Season: Aug 17 – April 24 $269+ 6 hours

Pho­to­graph alpen­glow on snow capped moun­tains, frosty scenes glow­ing in rich win­ter light, wildlife wan­der­ing snowy paths, city lights reflect­ing on the water at twi­light, and pos­si­bly even the north­ern lights!

Sunset Photo Safaris by Alaska Photo Treks

Join Alas­ka Pho­to Treks as they go hunt­ing for the best light of the day, which dur­ing sum­mer at…

Sunset Photo Safaris by Alaska Photo Treks

Sunset Photo Safaris by Alaska Photo Treks

Season: Year Round $179

Join Alas­ka Pho­to Treks as they go hunt­ing for the best light of the day, which dur­ing sum­mer at this lat­i­tude can last for sev­er­al glo­ri­ous hours before sun­set. You’ll be trans­port­ed to scenic loca­tions around South­cen­tral Alas­ka to shoot a vari­ety of enchant­i­ng sub­jects. The itin­er­ary is flex­i­ble and allows for spon­ta­neous stops to pho­to­graph wildlife en route.

Custom Private Alaska Photo Tours with Jeff Schultz

Award-win­ning Alas­ka-based pho­tog­ra­ph­er Jeff Schultz can take you to stun­ning Alas­ka loca­tions to cre­ate your dream images of Alaskan…

Custom Private Alaska Photo Tours with Jeff Schultz

Custom Private Alaska Photo Tours with Jeff Schultz

Season: Year Round
Inqure for rates
Land Package Type: Photography Tours

Award-win­ning Alas­ka-based pho­tog­ra­ph­er Jeff Schultz can take you to stun­ning Alas­ka loca­tions to cre­ate your dream images of Alaskan land­scapes and wildlife. Whether you want to make pho­tos in clas­sic Alas­ka loca­tions or in places that the aver­age trav­el­er will nev­er see, based on decades of liv­ing, trav­el­ing and pho­tograph­ing all over Alas­ka, Jeff can cre­ate a cus­tom pho­to trip that will meet all your wants and desires.

Alaska Heritage Tours

Alaska Heritage Tours

Bring­ing togeth­er the best of Alaska

Alaska Heritage Tours

Alaska Heritage Tours

Alas­ka experts work with you to cus­tomize your trip includ­ing award-win­ning lodges, wildlife and glac­i­er tours and a vari­ety of activities.

PicTours Alaska

With Pic­Tours, you’ll reach cool pho­to spots in and around Anchor­age. Get pho­to tips, light up social media with…

PicTours Alaska

PicTours Alaska

Show off your adven­tur­ous Alaskan vaca­tion to every­one back home. Just grab your cam­era – whether stand-alone or cell phone – and Pic­Tours Alas­ka will shut­tle you to cool spots in and around Anchor­age. Get pho­to tips, light up social media with fab self­ies, and have a fun, engag­ing time with the whole family.

Ghost Tours of Anchorage

Ghost Tours of Anchorage

Step into the under­world of Anchor­age — a hid­den gath­er­ing of ghosts and spir­its — on this walk­ing tour through the city’s most…

Ghost Tours of Anchorage

Ghost Tours of Anchorage

Step into the under­world of Anchor­age — a hid­den gath­er­ing of ghosts and spir­its — on this walk­ing tour through some of the city’s most haunt­ed sites. It’s the most unsu­al per­spec­tive you can get of Alaska’s largest metropolis.

Fishing Charters View All

Salmon fishing • Fly fishing • Fly-In fishing tours

Trail Ridge Air Inc. Fly-out Fishing

Plan a cus­tom fish­ing day-trip or mul­ti-day trip

Trail Ridge Air Inc. Fly-out Fishing

Trail Ridge Air Inc. Fly-out Fishing

Season: May 1 – Sept 30 $695 8 hrs

You don’t need to be an expert or a Hol­ly­wood star to enjoy fly-out fish­ing in the wilds of Alas­ka. Trail Ridge Air offers guid­ed, non-guid­ed and cus­tom trips, get­ting you into creeks and lakes where you can catch not only fish, but also a great Alaskan fish tale of your very own.

Regal Air Fishing

Take a fly-in salmon or trout-fish­ing trip from Anchor­age with Regal Air for world-class angling with expe­ri­enced guides in…

Regal Air Fishing

Regal Air Fishing

Season: May 01 to Sep 30 $725 8 – 10 hrs

Take a fly-in salmon or trout-fish­ing trip out of Anchor­age with Regal Air to enjoy world-class fish­ing in pris­tine, remote rivers. Regal Air teams up with wilder­ness lodges and guid­ing ser­vices and can set you up with any­thing from lunch to gear. They’ll even teach you how to cast. You’ll get the ulti­mate Alas­ka fly­ing expe­ri­ence, tak­ing off and land­ing in a float plane, and soar­ing over big, braid­ed glac­i­er riv­er val­leys and end­less forests. . more

Wilderness Place Lodge

Excel­lent access to Alaska’s fresh­wa­ter fish, along with a unique eco-trav­el expe­ri­ence that comes with a high lev­el of…

Wilderness Place Lodge

Wilderness Place Lodge

Season: May – September $685+ fly-in fishing day trip, $1,386+ overnight all-inclusive 1 – 6+ Nights

Explor­ing Alaska’s back­coun­try lakes, forests and rivers is a phe­nom­e­nal expe­ri­ence. Wilder­ness Place Lodge — tucked away on a remote riv­er north­west of Anchor­age — offers excel­lent access to near­ly any fresh­wa­ter fish you came to Alas­ka for, along with a unique eco-trav­el expe­ri­ence that comes with a high lev­el of ser­vice, a vari­ety of non-fish­ing activ­i­ties and the mel­low free­dom to cre­ate an Alaskan expe­ri­ence that suits your own taste.

Rust’s Fly-in Fishing

Rust’s expe­ri­enced guides will fly you into to the Alaskan back­coun­try to dis­cov­er world-class fish­ing for kings, sil­vers, grayling,…

Rust's Fly-in Fishing

Rust’s Fly-in Fishing

Season: May – Sept $745+ all-inclusive packages One day or 3-night

Since 1963 , Rust’s has been safe­ly car­ry­ing anglers far away from the crowds. Expe­ri­enced guides lead you to world-class fish­ing for kings, sil­vers, grayling, and trout in some of Alaska’s most beau­ti­ful and remote wilder­ness — and they’ll clean and pack­age your catch for the trip back to Anchor­age. On the way, enjoy a win­dow-seat view and pilot narration.

The Bait Shack

Go fish­ing in Anchor­age with rent­ed gear or with a guide and land the catch of your dreams. Bait and…

The Bait Shack

The Bait Shack

Season: Shack: May–August. Guided Trips: Year-round $100

Go fish­ing right in Anchor­age – whether you have only have a few hours or a full day. Rent a gear pack­age and fish on your own. Or, hire one of our local guides to take you on a guid­ed tour to land your dream catch. You can also buy bait and fish­ing licenses.

Northwoods Lodge

Fly from Anchor­age to the remote North­woods Lodge, where you can enjoy up to 10 hours of fish­ing each…

Northwoods Lodge

Northwoods Lodge

Season: Year Round $650 full day fishing, $1430+ all-inclusive multi-day packages 8 hrs – Multi-Days

The North­woods Lodge is a remote lodge where vis­i­tors can find them­selves in a 45 minute flight from Anchor­age. The lodge spe­cial­izes in guid­ed fish­ing, and guests can enjoy 8 to 10 hours of fish­ing a day if they choose. Guides help you spin or fly fish for tro­phy king salmon, sil­ver and sock­eye salmon, or res­i­dent rain­bow trout, arc­tic grayling and north­ern pike

Photography Tours View All

Jeff Schultz Alaska Bears, Glaciers and Fall Colors Photography Workshop

In one trip you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pho­to­graph bears, moose, glac­i­ers and ice­berg stud­ded lakes, the beau­ti­ful col­ors of…

Jeff Schultz Alaska Bears, Glaciers and Fall Colors Photography Workshop

Jeff Schultz Alaska Bears, Glaciers and Fall Colors Photography Workshop

Season: Sep. 15 – 22
$8,795+
8 Day / 7 Nights
Visits: Anchorage, Talkeetna, Palmer
Land Package Type: Photography Tours

This fall pho­tog­ra­phy trip offers some of the best pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ties in Alas­ka as the sea­sons change. Head to Lake Clark Nation­al Park for griz­zly bears, turquoise-col­ored lakes, snow­capped moun­tains and the bright gold col­ors of fall. You’ll also spend a half day pho­tograph­ing moose, and a heli­copter flight to an ice­berg-filled glacial lake only acces­si­ble by air. Fall can also be a won­der­ful time to pho­to­graph the auro­ra bore­alis, weather . more

Custom Private Alaska Photo Tours with Jeff Schultz

Award-win­ning Alas­ka-based pho­tog­ra­ph­er Jeff Schultz can take you to stun­ning Alas­ka loca­tions to cre­ate your dream images of Alaskan…

Anchorage is a perfect home base for these 10 day trips

Alaska Railroad Glacier Discovery train trip, Chugach National Forest, Alaska.

Locals like to say that Anchorage is only 30 minutes from Alaska: wedged between 5000ft peaks and an inlet filled with salmon and whales, the Big Apple of the north is unlike any other city. Indeed, Anchorage makes a prime home base from which to explore both Alaska’s small town charms and big, cinematic scenery one day trip at a time.

From artsy, mural-strewn ‘bergs to glacier hikes, from stunning lakes to cozy taverns, from fun road trips to train rides, you might be surprised to see just how much of Alaska is accessible from Anchorage. These are our ten favorite day trips.

Editor’s note: During COVID-19, please check the latest travel restrictions before planning any trip and always follow government health advice. Events may be subject to change.

Rafting at Spencer Glacier, Chugach National Forest, Alaska.

1. Spencer Glacier

Encircled by mighty peaks brimming with glaciers, Girdwood is a laid-back antidote to the bustle of Anchorage. Home to the luxurious Alyeska Ski Resort and the fabled Girdwood Forest Fair, Girdwood is a dog-and-kid kind of town, with excellent hiking, fine restaurants and a feel-good vibe that will have you staying longer than anticipated.

Getting there: Ride the Alaska Railroad to Spencer Glacier, where you can hike a 3.4-mile trail to the face of the glacier or join a guided walk with a United States Forestry Service Ranger. Whistle Stop hikers have from 1:25pm to 4:40pm to complete the hike and meet the train for the return.

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2. Turnagain Arm

The drive out of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm is well worth the price of a train ticket or rental car. Sure, it might be quicker (and probably cheaper) to fly, but staying on the ground will make you appreciate just how close to the wilderness Anchorage really is.

Turnagain Arm Trail, an easy 11-mile hike, begins at Potter Trailhead (Mile 115). Originally used by Alaska Natives, the convenient route has since been used by Russian trappers, gold miners and happy hikers. The trail, with a mountain goat’s view of Turnagain Arm, alpine meadows and beluga whales, can also be accessed at the McHugh Creek (Mile 112), Rainbow (Mile 108) and Windy (Mile 107).

Meanwhile, Potter Marsh (Mile 117) was created in 1916, when railroad construction dammed several streams. You can stretch your legs along the 1500ft boardwalk while spying on ducks, songbirds, grebes and gulls.

Bird Ridge Trail starts with a wheelchair-accessible loop at Mile 102, then continues with a steep, popular and well-marked path that reaches a 3500ft overlook at Mile 2; this is a traditional turnaround point for folks in a hurry. Or you can continue another 4 miles to higher peaks and even better views from sunny Bird Ridge, a top spot for rock climbing.

Getting there: Turnagain Arm is just south of Anchorage and can be reached on the scenic Seward Highway – a worthwhile day trip in and of itself.

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3. Seward

Perched on the edge of Resurrection Bay, Seward offers out-of-this-world views of water, sky, mountain and forest, and is easily accessed by road, boat and rail. Because of its size (and its history as a railroad port), there is plenty of nightlife and there are lots of good restaurants in the picturesque old-time downtown area.

Slurp local oysters backed with champagne at The Cookery or cozy up by the massive wood stove at Resurrect Art Coffee House Gallery. The Lost Lake Trail offers gorgeous views of Seward from alpine meadows. Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures gives you a unique perspective of Seward from its treetop ziplines. Or you can simply stroll the town and admire the many murals – go to the Painted Whale to get a tour led by one of the artists.

Meanwhile, the 127 miles of the Seward Hwy is all Scenic Byway, and there are plenty of turnoffs for gawking and snapping photos. The mileposts along the highway show distances from Seward (Mile 0) to Anchorage (Mile 127). The Turnagain Arm section of this road is from Anchorage to just past the Portage Glacier turnoff (Mile 79).

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Getting there: It’s only two and a half hours to Seward from Anchorage by car or four by train, but if either seems too long to spend on a day trip, you can also fly – though that’s the more expensive option.

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4. Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park was created in 1980 to protect 587,000 acres of Alaska’s most awesome, impenetrable wilderness. Crowning the park is the massive Harding Ice Field; from it, countless tidewater glaciers pour down, carving the coast into dizzying fjords. Lucky for visitors, the park is free. The majority of visitors either take a quick trip to Exit Glacier’s face or splurge on a tour-boat cruise along the coast.

From the Exit Glacier Nature Center, the Outwash Plain Trail is an easy three-quarter-mile walk to the glacier’s alluvial plain. The Edge of the Glacier Trail leaves the first loop and climbs steeply to an overlook at the side of the glacier before returning. Both trails make for a short hike that will take one or two hours; you can return along the half-mile nature trail through cottonwood forest, alder thickets and old glacial moraines before emerging at the ranger station.

Getting there: It’s two and a half hours from Anchorage to Kenai Fjords via AK-1 S and State Hwy 9.

Hanging Valley - Chugach State Park

5. Eagle River

As you drive out of Anchorage, you’ll soon parallel Knik Arm, while the Chugach Mountains stay to your right. Small communities dot either side of the road, but Eagle River and Eklutna offer the best access to the mountains. Both communities are worthy of a day trip from Anchorage, but to escape the hustle of the city, you can use these small towns as a base for exploring Anchorage and the wilds around it.

Eagle River has something of a city center; the Eagle River Town Square is off Business Blvd and has just about every business you’ll need. The Bear Paw Festival is worth the trip just for the Slippery Salmon Olympics, which involves racing with a Hula Hoop, serving tray and, of course, a large dead fish. Most people, however, come here for the drive down Eagle River Rd or to take a hike.

Getting there: Eagle River is less than half an hour from Anchorage along Glenn Highway / AK-1 North.

Visitors dining inside the Swiftwater Seafood Cafe, Whittier, Alaska, USA

6. Whittier

Whittier is a wonderfully weird Cold War anachronism set on the edge of some sublime coastal wilderness where rugged fjords dispatch tumbling glaciers into Prince William Sound. Even by Alaskan standards, this is a bizarre outpost. The “town” is dominated by two Cold War military installations: the hopelessly ruined Buckner building and the equally incongruous Begich Towers, a 14-story skyscraper that houses most of Whittier’s population.

Activities in the area include following a marked historical walk around the spooky monuments to Whittier’s Cold War past. You can also take a deluxe boat cruise past a profusion of Prince William Sound’s glaciers, or head uphill on the Portage Pass Trail for an immediate wilderness fix and great views at this trail two miles outside of Whittier.

Getting there: Arriving in Whittier from Anchorage after a spectacular ride on the Alaska Railroad alongside the waters of Turnagain Arm is a special experience.

Russian-orthodox Eklutna Cemetery with its colorful graves and spirit houses, Alaska. Image shot 07/2017. Exact date unknown.

7. Eklutna

In one direction, just west of the Eklutna Lake Rd exit at Mile 26.5 of the Glenn Highway, you have the 350-year-old Alaska Native village of Eklutna, home to Eklutna Village Historical Park. In the other direction is the gorgeous 7-mile-long Eklutna Lake, which offers lots of recreation opportunities, including kayaking, biking and hiking on 27 miles of trails. It’s worth every minute once the sky suddenly opens, unveiling a stunning valley with a glacier-and-peak-ringed lake, the largest body of water in Chugach State Park, at its center.

Getting there: Eklutna Lake is 10 miles east of the highway on Eklutna Lake Road.

Nagley's store, Talkeetna, Alaska, USA.

8. Talkeetna

Downtown Talkeetna is a strip of gift shops, guide services, restaurants and old-school saloons. And it’s awesome: artsy, playful, infused with community spirit, but also self-aware enough to market itself to the thousands who come here seeking a view of Denali and a dip in the funky energy that permeates the mountain’s main climbing base.

The Talkeetna Historical Society Museum is a great introduction to the area’s indigenous and frontier past. So is the Belle’s Interpretive Trail, which strolls past interpretive signs laying out local history. The Talkeetna Riverfront Park affords great views of Alaska’s scenery, not to mention fish doing their best acrobatic routines.

If you’re here for the outdoors, roll down the local waterways with Talkeetna’s knowledgeable river guides – if you’re lucky, you’ll get a view of Denali from the Chulitna River. You can also hire an Alaska Nature Guide for trips to local lakes or even a trek into the bush by plane. Zipline tours are available in the area, as is dogsledding and salmon fishing charters.

Getting there: Talkeetna is just two hours from Anchorage via AK-1 S and State Hwy 9, and can be reached by car or bus.

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9. Palmer

Nearby Palmer, the town of Knik boasts a rich sled-dog history, since it’s the home of many Alaskan mushers (and checkpoint 4 on the race route). For more information about this uniquely Alaskan race, stop in at Iditarod Trail Headquarters. Outside, you can get a short sled-dog ride (around US$10, from 9am to 5pm) on a wheeled dogsled.

Getting there: Palmer is just under an hour from Anchorage via AK-1 North or about an hour and a half by train.

A man riding his mountain bike on the Palmer Valley Road near Hope, Alaska on a sunny summer day in South-central Alaska

10. Hope

Hope has beautiful views of Turnagain Arm, a quaint and historic downtown, wonderful gold-rush-era relics, and incredible camping and hiking opportunities. Life here moves a little slower. It’s close enough to Anchorage to attract a weekend city crowd, but tucked away enough to stay tiny and quiet. It’s authentic, pioneering, friendly and esoteric. Most tourist services close October to May.

Sixmile Creek is serious white water, with thrilling – and dangerous – rapids through deep gorges that survivors describe as ‘the best roller coaster in Alaska.’ The first two canyons are rated Class IV; the third canyon is a big, bad Class V. It’s a four- to five-hour round-trip. Dress warmly and bring extra clothes.

The Hope area also provides numerous opportunities for the amateur panner, including a 20-acre claim that the US Forest Service (USFS) has set aside near the Resurrection Pass trailhead for recreational mining.

Getting there: The Seward Highway will get you to Hope in about two hours.

Epic Hikes of the World

Day Trips From Anchorage

With stories of 50 incredible hiking routes in 30 countries, from New Zealand to Peru, plus a further 150 suggestions, Lonely Planet’s Epic Hikes of the World will inspire a lifetime of adventure on foot. From one-day jaunts and urban trails to month-long thru-hikes, cultural rambles and mountain expeditions, each journey shares one defining feature: being truly epic.

Epic Hikes of the World

Day Trips From Anchorage

With stories of 50 incredible hiking routes in 30 countries, from New Zealand to Peru, plus a further 150 suggestions, Lonely Planet’s Epic Hikes of the World will inspire a lifetime of adventure on foot. From one-day jaunts and urban trails to month-long thru-hikes, cultural rambles and mountain expeditions, each journey shares one defining feature: being truly epic.

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Aug 2, 2023 • 8 min read

If you’re seeking history and hospitality, Savannah, Georgia is a great destination for you with a wide variety of experiences.

The best day trips from Anchorage for giant cabbages, Cold War citadels and craggy mountain climbs

Winter ski season in Girdwood, Alaska - stock photo Winter at Alyeska Resort near Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage is the hub around which the rest of Alaska spins.

Road and rail routes radiate out north and south, jet airliners touch down at Ted Stevens International Airport and wasp-like seaplanes take off from busy Lake Hood to the more rugged reaches of the Last Frontier. Once you’ve spent a day or two absorbing the city’s urban sights, take your first tentative steps into the surrounding wilderness with one (or more) of these easily accessible day trips.

Boats in the harbor of Whittier, Alaska, with snow-fringed mountains rising behind the town

Whittier

Why go? A surreal Cold War citadel in an ethereal wilderness setting.

Classified as a city, but with a population of barely 200 people – 99% of whom live in the same building – Whittier isn’t your normal wilderness outpost. Founded as a military supply line in World War II, it came of age during the Cold War. Accessed by a dual-use road-rail tunnel that deposits you on the spectacular shores of Passage Inlet, Whittier is surrounded by a steep-sided circle of waterfalls, glaciers and mountains. Set against all the natural beauty are two incongruous Cold War structures: the skeletal and disused Buckner building, and the 14-story Begich Towers (home to most of the population).

Traveling round-trip on Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery Train train from Anchorage allows a little over six hours in Whittier, plenty of time to visit its concise war-themed museum, undertake a self-guided walking tour of its Cold War infrastructure and explore the edges of the surrounding wilderness. The Horsetail Falls trail ascends behind the “city” through a mix of forest and muskeg to a lofty viewpoint. The more popular Portage Pass trail follows an old native route from behind the road-rail tunnel to a low pass with glacier vistas. Save time for a halibut lunch at the harborside Swiftwater Seafood Cafe afterwards. A word about the weather: It rains here – a lot!

How to get to Whittier
The Glacier Discovery Train runs daily round trip between Anchorage and Whittier, May to September. By road, it’s an 80-minute drive with a possible extra 30-minute wait at the tunnel entrance.

Colorful graves and

Eklutna

Why go? Backcountry gateway with unusual Russian-Native Alaska heritage.

Home to an only-in-Alaska combination of Russian Orthodox and Alaska Native culture, the 350-year-old Athabascan village of Eklutna (population 70-ish) is dominated by the Eklutna Village Historical Park, where two Orthodox churches overlook a cemetery dating from 1650. The older of the two churches is hewn from spruce logs and hails from the 1870s; the white clapboard and onion domes of the newer structure date from 1962. The highlight of the park is its unusual cemetery sprinkled with a mini-city of diminutive spirit houses (native shrines that provide shelter for the spirits).

If you’ve come for the day, it makes sense to fill the afternoon in and around seven-mile-long Eklutna Lake, the largest body of water in Chugach State Park (which, in turn, is the third largest state park in the US). Ringed by glaciers and high peaks, the lake offers plentiful recreation opportunities, including kayaking, biking and hiking on 27 miles of trails. The classic is the flat Lakeside trail that parallels the northern shoreline for 13 miles to a glacier viewpoint.

How to get to Eklutna
Eklutna is 29 miles northeast of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. There’s no reliable public transportation.

Girdwood

Why go? A comprehensive outdoor-adventure nexus only 45 minutes drive from Anchorage.

Probably the most accessible day trip from Anchorage courtesy of daily bus and train services during the spring and summer, Girdwood is a small town (population 1800-ish) that’s worth a protracted visit.

With only a day, your best bet is to focus on the Alyeska Resort area, with its comprehensive hotel and year-round aerial tramway. In winter, the tramway shuttles downhill skiers to the top of the trails; in summer, mountain bikes rule the slopes. Most activities can be organized through the hotel, including biking, hiking and alpine yoga. For the full Girdwood experience, hike the two-and-a-half miles up Mt Alyeska and get the tramway down.

How to get to Girdwood
Girdwood is on the Anchorage-Seward train line and served by twice-daily trains: the Glacier Discovery and the Coastal Classic. Alternatively, it’s a 45-minute drive through the distracting beauty of Turnagain Arm.

Spencer Whistle Stop

Why go? A spectacular train ride combined with an easy-going backcountry hike.

Utilizing the Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery train, it is possible to get dropped off close to the Spencer Glacier in the northern reaches of the Kenai Peninsula, then get picked up again three hours later by the same (returning) train.

By prior arrangement, you can organize a glacier float amid the bergs of Spencer Lake followed by a bobbing journey along the light rapids of the adjacent Placer River.

How to get to Spencer Whistle Stop
The Glacier Discovery Train runs daily round trip between Anchorage and Spencer Whistle Stop, May to September.

A mountain valley seen from above, with a narrow river below

Flattop Mountain

Why go? A short yet challenging mountain climb on the outskirts of the city.

On a warm day in summer, the most Anchorage-y thing to do in Anchorage is to head southeast to the cusp of the Chugach National Forest to climb the rocky hump of Flattop Mountain with several hundred locals. Neither the region’s tallest nor its most spectacular mountain, Flattop has, nonetheless, been adopted as a classic weekend fitness test for adventurous urbanites.

Though the trail measures just one-and-a-half rugged miles one-way from the Glen Alps trailhead, hikers will be guaranteed plenty of company, the odd bit of scrambling and a stupendous view on arrival. Para-gilders use the summit as a launch site, while more robust walkers carry on to a second, taller summit immediately behind Flattop.

How to get to Flattop Mountain
The Glen Alps trailhead is a 25-minute drive from downtown Anchorage. Making things easier for car-less visitors is the Flattop Mountain Shuttle, a minibus that leaves Downtown Bike Rental daily between May and September. Hikers can book the shuttle both ways or choose to rent a bike and return on two wheels to the city center afterwards (it’s mostly downhill).

Eagle River

Why go? A bike-able suburb with options to branch out into a sprawling state park.

Eagle River is classified as a suburb of Anchorage and is close enough (16 miles) to the streets and shops of downtown to reach by bike. A dedicated cycle lane parallels the Glenn Highway heading north from Anchorage’s city center with the waters of Knik Arm to the left and the Chugach Mountains to the right.

While the neighborhood itself feels like a separate town with a small urban core and options to fuel up on coffee or pizza, it’s largely used as an entry gate to the less-tamed attractions of Chugach State Park to the east. Access is via the 13-mile long Eagle River Road that dead-ends at a nature center, where several short trails lead out to salmon streams and beaver dams.

In July, the town hosts the uniquely Alaskan Bear Paw Festival. The event is famous for its Slippery Salmon Olympics, which involves racing with a large dead fish in one hand and a tray balancing a full glass of soda in the other.

How to get to Eagle River
Eagle River is less than a half-hour northeast of Anchorage along the Glenn Highway. People Mover bus #92 runs from Anchorage City Hall to Eagle River five times daily, Monday to Friday.

Two giant pumkins decorated with ribbons

Palmer

Why go? Prime agricultural region with an interesting pioneering history.

Born during President Roosevelt’s New Deal, Palmer was a great social experiment that transplanted 200 farming families from the Depression-era Dust Bowl to Alaska, where they cultivated a new agricultural economy. Trainloads of Midwesterners were deposited in the Matanuska and Susitna Valleys, both deemed suitable by the government for industrious farming.

Original buildings from the 1930s still stand throughout Palmer, many of which maintain their hearty, wooden farm feel. Descendants of the pioneering colonists, who refer to themselves as Colony children or grandchildren preserve their story in the Colony House museum bivouacked in one of the old farmhouses.

Palmer’s 20-hour-long summer days produce freakishly large vegetables. To gaze upon the biggest giants, visit during the 12-day Alaska State Fair in early September.

How to get to Palmer
Palmer is under an hour from Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. Interior Alaska Bus Line runs between Anchorage and the city, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, year-round.

Two hikers

Hatcher Pass

Why go? Former gold mining area recolonized by wilderness.

The alpine passage known as Hatcher Pass, 20 miles northwest of Palmer, cuts through the Talkeetna Mountains leading to meadows, ridges and glaciers. Gold was the first treasure people found here; today it’s footpaths, ski trails, abandoned mines and popular climbs that outshine the precious metal.

The main attraction is Independence Mine State Historical Park, a massive, 272-acre abandoned gold mine that sprawls over a gorgeous alpine valley. The 1930s facility, built by the Alaska-Pacific Mining Company, was for 10 years the second-most-productive hard-rock gold mine in Alaska before finally closing in 1955.

Today you can explore the structures, hike several trails and take in the stunning views at Hatcher Pass. From the visitor center, follow the Hardrock Trail past the dilapidated buildings including bunkhouses and a mill complex that is built into the side of the mountain and looks like an avalanche of falling timber.

How to get to Hatcher Pass
You’ll need a car. First, drive to Palmer on the Glenn Highway, then take the Fishhook-Willow road a further 20 miles.

Buy USA’s National Parks

Day Trips From Anchorage

Lonely Planet’s USA’s National Parks is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Marvel at the Grand Canyon, paddle the Everglades and rock climb in Joshua Tree; all with your trusted travel companion.

Buy USA’s National Parks

Day Trips From Anchorage

Lonely Planet’s USA’s National Parks is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Marvel at the Grand Canyon, paddle the Everglades and rock climb in Joshua Tree; all with your trusted travel companion.

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May 15, 2023 • 7 min read

Experience the best of Alaska with this guide to the top things to do in the Last Frontier.