Denali is the largest National Park in the United States. It was rainy and cold, but we got to spot several grizzlies, moose and a huge herd of caribou. We then took the dome train to Anchorage. The scenery is just breathtaking and makes the eight hours go by very quickly!
Anchorage is a beautiful city and we decided to check it out by taking a Segway Tour, which was so much fun. We really wanted to see Mt. McKinley and lucked out on the last day in Anchorage. We took a floatplane and once we broke through the clouds, we had the entire Alaska Mountain Range right in front of us and proceeded to fly over the glacier right between Mt. McKinley (20,320 feet) and Mt. Foraker (17,400 feet). After admiring the majestic, snow covered mountains, we landed on a remote lake that was smooth as glass and mirrored all the surrounding peaks. I decided that floatplanes are the way to travel in Alaska, as you travel low enough to see lots of wildlife. I was even able to spot a moose with her baby by her side.
We then boarded Silver Shadow, which only holds 382 passengers, and cruised from Seward to Vancouver. One of the highlights was kayaking in Sitka in protected bays, where the water was crystal clear and to my surprise, contained huge, orange jellyfish. Afterward, we hiked through the rainforest, spotting many bald eagles.
Juneau, the only capital in the United States that can only be reached by boat or plane, has its own glacier bordering the city limits. Juneau also has one of the greatest concentrations of whales and we got to see many humpback whales and observed sea lions eating huge salmon.
Skagway is probably one of my favorite places. We hiked up and around Lower Dewey Lake, through a very dense and dark forest, making sure we made enough noise to avoid surprising one of the many bears that populate this area. We did see some bears the following day, but it was from the safety of a 850-foot-long zip line in Ketchikan. It was amazing to watch mama bear and her two cubs from the safety of our tree platform while they were foraging in a lush green field. Did you know that in Ketchikan, they measure rain not in inches but in feet? They got over 13 feet of rain last year! I tried my best to convince some of the rain to follow me to Arizona…
Our amazing cruise ended in Vancouver, where we biked in Stanley Park, admiring the many flowers and totem poles.
Full of adventure, pristine glaciers and mountains and breathtaking wildlife, Alaska is different from every other destination in the world. The “Great Land” is a grand destination you don’t want to miss! FBN
You can see our photos at www.mytravelsite.com/monika