This is actually the largest national park in the United States. National Park Service map of Alaska National Parks. Rain is the norm in lush cool southeast Alaska. If you’re not an experienced hiker though, you may want to start practicing in a place that’s more welcoming. Several of these parks are so remote you simply can’t take your car and drive there. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. This being Alaska they also hunt within park boundaries. Larger than Denali at 8.4 million acres, this is home to a natural arctic environment and diverse ecosystems. I’m sure you’ll have an awesome time! Taking everything into account, I would say Denali National Park is the one that should be on your Bucket List. I hope you found this post helpful! Visitors to the park should be PROFICIENT in outdoor survival skills, and be prepared to care for their own life and their partner(s) if an emergency arises. We did that in our Kenai Fjords cruise and you can see the videos of the glacier calving in my trip report. This is mostly pristine wilderness and it’s also dangerous. I would Google to find them specifically. NPLibrary Home ALASKA. The park is open the rest of the year, but visitor services are extremely limited. Someday! Denali Park’s headquarters is located... 2. It’s not cheap but definitely counts as a bucket list experience for many people. These ten parks are really different from one another. There’s no fee for visiting the visitor center. While summers are relatively warm, there can be sudden changes in temperatures, rain, and even snow even then. Some of our list items are so remote, they have to be accessed by seaplane. And as always, questions are welcome. There’s a small visitor center in nearby Port Alsworth but rangers are there only during summertime. If you’re taking the cruise bring appropriate clothes. It’s a lovely little town with lots to see. If you’re going to Alaska, you’re probably interested in visiting at least one or two national parks. This is pristine wilderness which may be beautiful but is also dangerous and lacks cell coverage or any form of services. The park itself is open 24-hours a day, although services are limited after-hours (generally after 4 pm in winter or 6 pm in summer). By ... Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve. There are companies offering visitor services including guided day trips and flights. If you prefer to fly, there are a lot of air services to Sitka from Juneau, Anchorage, and even Seattle. You can come when you want – just keep in mind that between October and May, most of the park isn’t accessible without special winter gear. Alaska's top five most popular parks by … Rangers lead daily walks through the rainforest and show informative films in the auditorium. The interior – much like elsewhere in the Alaskan interior – is drier but also colder during winter (and hotter in summertime). Fishing trips are available from every port town. ), You can read our own Denali trip report here, Kenai Fjords cruise and you can see the videos of the glacier calving in my trip report, my detailed post about the Kenai Fjords cruise report, my post about things to do in Seward, Alaska, Read more tips for the Kenai Fjords glacier cruise here, visit to nearby Whitehorse, the capital of the Canadian Yukon, What’s the cost of a trip to Alaska (including 11 budgeting tips), whale and glacier watching while visiting Kenai National Park, 25 Alaska Travel Tips That Will Make Your Trip a Success, Visiting Fairbanks, Alaska (Including a List of 11 Fun Things to Do), Salt Point State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Red Rock State Park, Arizona – A Visitor’s Guide, Flathead Lake State Park, Montana – A Visitor’s Guide, 7 Fantastic Things To Do In Bozeman, Montana, Palomar Mountain State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, 16 Awesome Things To Do In Great Falls, Montana, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Montaña de Oro State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Natural Bridges State Beach, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, 7 Awesome Things To Do In Whitefish, Montana, Red Rock State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, 23 Best Things To Do In And Around Missoula, Montana, Crystal Cove State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, Castle Rock State Park, CA – A Visitor’s Guide, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, FL – A Visitor’s Guide, 2 Weeks In The United States [5 Sample Itineraries], 21 Stunning Lake Tahoe Pictures [Bucket List Destination Photo Tour], Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Take the drive along the park road for the amazing views (and wildlife), Fly over the park for amazing views of Denali mountain, Last – but not least – climb the mountain! If you choose the former, there are daily air taxi flights that can take you to the local communities of Coldfoot, Anaktuvuk Pass, and Bettles. It’s going to be a few good hours from each one of these destinations (which is not too bad). When you choose to hike, the access route begins at the Dalton Highway near Fairbanks. You have to use bear-proof storage too. Actually, this park does have one additional challenge that you won’t find in the more remote national parks of Alaska: humans. Some celebrate the sheer wilderness while a couple of them focus on history. For avid experienced hikers, the risk that comes with wilderness hiking just adds to the thrill. In our experience, it’s easier to see the mountain ranges from the Canadian side if you’re driving the Alaska highway into or out of Alaska. Alaska has 24 parks, public lands, rivers, historic areas and preserves which attract nearly three million visitors each year, according to the National Park Service. Glacier Bay's landscapes are quite diverse as a result, with huge Sitka spruces and hemlock giving way to cottonwoods, scraggly alder, patchy lichen, and bare rock the farther into the bay you travel. Expert RVers visited 230 RV Parks in Alaska. The only caveat is that it’s accessible only to those who travel along the Inner Passage marine “roads”. The main visitor season is from late-May through early-September with the peak being the month of July. And now, from this point on, we’re talking about the three large and remoteAlaskan national parks. By the way, you could technically visit this park without ever leaving the Lower 48. If I don’t know the answer myself, I’m always happy to try and research to help you find an answer. We got to see the start of that in Denali in late August, and later elsewhere in Alaska. Its remoteness draws backcountry travelers seeking off-trail adventures. The 3.3-million acre Glacier Bay National Park has stunning glaciers, dynamic mountains, pristine coastlines, and cold rainforests. The average temperature of the area ranges from 50 to 60 F (10 to 15 C). It provides travelers a glimpse into true Alaska wilderness, complete with vast empty spaces, incredible mountain scenery and tons of wildlife. Then there’s the question of accessibility. The park is on Baranof Island but once there, you have the entire town of Sitka to explore. Alaska never had a chance to become overdeveloped or spoiled, as conservation was an early initiative in many of its most beautiful natural attractions. It’s been receding for over a century but it’s easy to see that the process is speeding up. Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site—one of the world’s largest international protected areas. Overcast and cool rainy days are frequent. Rangers: Park rangers are available much of the day to answer your questions. Some mentions its open year round but closed during winter or closed after September. Learn More >, Nothing in the United States quite compares to the massive scale of this remote national park, the largest in the country and home to nine of its 16 highest mountains. Fabulous information! In which case, you can take a tour into the Kennecott area or do as we did and just settle for visiting the Copper Center Visitor Center en route to Valdez. Remember that you’re on your own here. Website: https://www.nps.gov/gaar/index.htm. 11 Anchorage Hotels with Pools (Some with cheap rates! Whew! There are several hotels near the park entrance and they’re usually the more expensive ones. I’m a bit confused on ALL of the National Park website of Alaska. Assuming you’re just looking for a hotel in Denali where you can rest after a day of sightseeing in the park, there are plenty of options for that as well. The bay sees an influx of humpback whales in the summer, making it one of the best places to whale watch in Alaska. The visitor center is located in the historic White Pass & Yukon Route depot. The park is divided into several districts; Nabesna (northern portion), Kennecott (southern), and Yakutat District (coastline). Its 8 national parks cover and protect millions of acreage, which is there for the public to respect and enjoy. There are 24 units listed but when you limit the the list only actual national parks you end up with a shorter – and more manageable – list. Learn More >, Visited by just over 5,000 people annually, Lake Clark National Park is an oasis of wilderness solitude, beautifully diverse landscapes, and a healthy bear population. The single sight that all visitors crave to see is Mount Denali. These are rustic campground without too many services and zero stores. It’s a sight worthy of any professional nature photographer’s attention and indeed, pretty much reserved for those. Canada has its own incredibly large national park on the other side of the border: Kluane National Park. People have cabins inside the park and you’re not allowed to walk through their territory. Though they may not have the name recognition of Yosemite and Yellowstone, in most other ways, Alaska's national parks eclipse those of the Lower 48. Get a good map and discuss this with the Rangers before hitting the trails. Plus, download my free checklist! Sitka National Historical Park commemorates the battle between the indigenous Kiks.ádi Tlingit and the Russian traders. That said, Alaska is home to some of the largest national parks in the United States. Use the left column to sort alphabetically or the right column to sort by park type. You can literally see global warming in action here as there are signs along the trail that indicate where the glacier ice was in past years. Average temperatures May through September range from 60 F to 47 F. Average temperatures October through April range from 38 F to 28 F. So far, we’ve covered those parks that are accessible by car from anywhere in Alaska or even the Lower 48 (if you’re willing to drive to Alaska, as we did). Kenai Fjords National Park is located just outside the town of Seward in south-central Alaska, 126 miles south of Anchorage. This wild landscape is as vast as Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Switzerland combined! Access 2915 reviews, 507 photos & 590 tips of every rv park & campground in Alaska. Gates of the Arctic National Park. Do you have any information about them? If you did, you may also like these two mega posts: What’s the cost of a trip to Alaska (including 11 budgeting tips) and the guide for Driving to Alaska. A ranger program is presented in the auditorium each evening. Three mountain ranges meet within the park to create a tangle of 18,000-foot peaks, huge glaciers, and deep river valleys. So here’s the list of actual Alaska National Parks (all of them covered in this post) –. With that in mind, don’t forget warm clothing and rain gear. Even if you’re willing to pay for an expensive excursion, some of them are just vast areas of wilderness with very few facilities or ways to experience the park other than trekking. You can drive to Denali from Anchorage or Fairbanks, along Highway 3, aka the “George Parks Highway.” Fairbanks is about 2 hours north, while Anchorage is 5 hours south of the Denali entrance. You can also reach Denali from either city via the Alaska Railroad, which is operated by the State of Alaska. If you’re interested in guest blogging here to share your travel stories, let me know. There are local tours that will take you along the road. My husband and our eldest did that and really enjoyed their hike. Rangers: During summertime, you’ll see many rangers in Denali. According to the Wikipedia list of National Parks, if you sort out parks by size, Alaskan parks take up seven spots out of the top 10, including the four top places. That’s it! Having said that, if you are willing to pay for an excursion, the two parks which should be on your list are –. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. If you need one, that’s fine. Learn More >, Alaska Tour & Travel It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is shared with Wrangle-St. Ellias National Park, as well as Kluane National park in the Yukon, and Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in British Columbia.This park is located between the Gulf of Alaska and Canada. This huge area has very limited accessibility and there are only two roads going into this park and only one is paved. Along with national parks, Alaska has several of its own state parks with accessible hiking areas and other recreational opportunities. Denali National Park is Alaska's most famous park. In fact, you can even take the train. You park by the visitor center and hike to see the glacier. The climate of Gates of the Arctic National Park is generally classified as arctic and sub-arctic, with exceptionally cold winters, relatively mild summers, low annual precipitation, and generally high winds. A rich marine environment within Kenai Fjords' protected fjords and lush temperate rain forests supports a wealth of plant and animal life, from migrating seabirds like puffins and cormorants, to sea lions and transient orca whales. We’re thinking a Europe excursion in October at this point. Method: Driving to Alaska with Oscar the Outback, our own vehicle. If want to have a better chance at experiencing sunny Glacier Bay, the driest months are April, May, and June. They most certainly are. Had I tried to book it only 3-4 months in advance, there would have been nothing available for under $400. Here’s a map of the park (from the Park’s website). Alaska Airlines provides daily jet service from Juneau to Gustavus in the summer months. So, let’s talk about Glacier Bay National Park. Learn More >, Tucked amongst its famous national parks are Alaska's quieter state parks. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. According to the Wikipedia list of National Parks, if you sort out parks by size, Alaskan parks take up seven spots out of the top 10, including the four top places. Monday to Sunday: 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Sitka has a temperate maritime climate which means lots of rain, and cool – but not very cold – weather throughout the year. Plan Now. Parks to visit: 8 Duration of journey: Month of August, 2017 (yep, we’re planning way ahead). For history lovers, there are 430 places on the National Register of Historic Places along with 634 places on the Heritage Documentation Program. With 17 national park units and 16 national wildlife refuges, the options may seem limitless. The most popular Katmai destination is the Brooks Camp where you can enjoy first-class accommodations next to the bear watching platforms. Beautiful Denali stands tall in the heart of the park, surrounded by six million acres of wilderness. Would you help me understand this as its a bit hard to get a hold of them. Read all about the daily boat tour here. Driving from Healy to the park takes 15-20 minutes and it can easily save you $200 a night. Either taking Inside Passage, a ferry system along the Pacific Coast, or driving on a highway through Canada. Park Name Type Afognak Island State … That is often the case with rental cars. List of National Parks in the United States 2020. 3900 Arctic Blvd, Ste 304 What if you can’t go off-road? All rights reserved (c) 2019 TripMemos.com. Even when the weather’s not that cold, you can still possibly acquire hypothermia on a wet, windy day. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase an entrance ticket. The park is open year-round. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park The country’s largest national park represents everything that is compelling about Alaska. The park’s coastal backcountry in also largely inaccessible late fall through the early spring due to rough seas. The road to the Exit Glacier area is not plowed during the winter months and is closed to vehicle traffic once it is covered in snow and ice. A big problem if you’re driving a rental car because your insurance probably does not cover going off paved roads. Website: https://www.nps.gov/katm/index.htm. There is something in placid lakes that simply takes your breath away. Because there are no services or roads inside the park, the park's small number of annual visitors travel in by bush plane or by foot from the Dalton Highway. The Alaskan town of Skagway is home to the historical gold rush Klondike National Historical Park. Denali Park, AK 99755. Just show them the parks pass when you pick up the tickets and they’ll issue the refund to your card right away. The various parks offer chances to view eagles, bears, spawning salmon, and the breath-taking vistas of "wild" Alaska. The many lakes in the park typically begin freezing in November with meltdown starting around April. Together with three adjoining parks—Southeast Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, British Columbia’s Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park and Yukon’s Kluane National Park—it’s been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Restrooms, water stations, and benches are available for visitors. Hiking the Denali wilderness you could be facing –. Website: https://www.nps.gov/wrst/index.htm. Getting into the area is fairly easy. Denali. Alaska is one of the largest and emptiest states in the union but that does not necessarily translate into a huge number of national parks. They actually have a visitor center in Seattle, WA, the point where many gold prospectors left to get to Alaska. In which case you can take a paid guided excursion into the park, or limit your visit to the very nice visitors center on the Richardson’s Highway (on the way to Valdez). US National Park list and video library. The weather is influenced by many different systems and can change rapidly. We’re now moving on to those parks which are not as accessible. The primary months to visit are June, July, and August. Remember there are also no services in the park so you might want to bring as much necessary items as you can (i.e. The park’s headquarters is in King Salmon, about 290 air miles southwest of Anchorage. Denali National Park. Just how many national parks there are depend on your definition of national parks. Summer Hours (May-September): Monday to Sunday: 8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Winter Hours (October-April): Monday to Friday: 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Kenai Fjords National Park is the meeting point of ocean, ice, and mountains. Website: https://www.nps.gov/kova/index.htm. You can either fly or hike into the park (we’re talking about a very long hike!). We did our whale and glacier watching while visiting Kenai National Park and staying in Seward. So much so that viewing platforms that were built right along the glacier a decade or two ago are now miles away from where the ice actually is. The point is, it can actually rain a lot, even during summer. There are no amenities within the park – other than along the road at very specific points. Most people see the park by driving the McCarthy road. While each national park in Alaska has something unique to offer nature enthusiasts, a few parks stick out more than the others. I discussed the pros and cons of the shuttle vs. bus options in my post about visiting Denali National Park. Read up and come prepared. If you can budget several hundreds of dollars per person, there are several tour operators going out of Fairbanks like this one. Please note that camping is only possible either in designated campgrounds (with a valid reservation) or in the rest of the park with a free backpacking permit. There were several charters going out of Seward, and from Valdez too. Dog sledding is usually available during wintertime. Kobuk Valley National Park is very remote. It wasn’t easy but very rewarding and they brought back awesome photos of the icefield. Katmai for the bears catching salmon in the waterfalls. Anchorage, AK 99503 For more affordable options try searching nearby Healy. It could be a huge cruise ship or a smaller charter taken from Gustavus after flying in. In grandeur, wildlife, incomparable landscapes, and big backcountry experiences, it easily lives up to its reputation. #1 of 9 Nature & Parks in Girdwood “ Chugach State Park provides visitors with the opportunity to hike on trails of diversified difficulty with wonderful views and also meeting bears and other wild animals. Website: https://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm. Summer daytime temperatures range from the mid-40s to the low-70s (Fahrenheit). This is the longest post on this blog to date. You can definitely enjoy some hiking in the Savage River area but if you’re visiting Denali, you simply must go on to explore the park. You can travel via boat but most (of the very few) visitors charter a plane. The system contains over 120 units spanning over three million acres (one million two hundred thousand hectares), making it far larger than any other state park system in the United States. Winters are drier and colder. Proudly displaying North America‘s tallest mountain and over six million acres of land, Denali is one of Alaska’s most popular national parks. National Parks in Alaska: A Complete List of All 16. The mountain ridges are in fact shared by two national parks. Today, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a top tourist destination. If this is your first long hike in Alaska, do yourself a huge favor and read up before embarking on this adventure. You can get off at any stop for as long as you want but the drive itself is pretty long so – depending on the length of bus ride you choose –   you probably won’t have time to hike for more than a few hours at most. Visitor Center: 106 Metlakatla Street is open during the summer and winter seasons. Within these protected acres you'll find glaciers unparalleled in size, vast wilderness entirely untouched by people, dense populations of bears and whales, and North America's tallest mountain. Off season, there are still rangers in the park but you’d better call ahead of time if you want to make sure you get to see one. Take this warning from the park website very seriously –. Everything is relative, of course. Alagnak Wild River. This Alaska National Park does NOT contain any roads, trails, or visitor services within park boundaries. and Thank you for this lovely blog! Protected Alaskan spaces for generations to enjoy. #2 of 3 Nature & Parks in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve “ One day, we explored the Forest Trail, Beach Trail, Campground, Tlingit Trail, and Bartlett Lake Trail. There is actually quite a lot people do in Denali NP –. Hi Lisa, This list of parks in Alaska includes 24 national parks, 9 national historic landmarks, 16 national natural landmarks, and a multitude of state parks. With that in mind, it’s best to visit the area with good rain gear – hat, waterproof boots, gloves, warm coat, and so on. We took the shuttle and it was great but you certainly can pay more and take the bus. Claim to fame: Sheer size. We settled for seeing the free dog tour in Denali National Park. Click here for the list, including things to do and how to get there. With 16 hours of driving time, allocate a couple of days for the trip. Summer is typically cool and wet, with highs typically in the upper 50s to low 60s, and lows in the 40s. There’s actually enough to do here to keep you busy for two days and possibly more. When we visited in the summer of 2017, the trail ended several hundred yards before the glacier. During summertime in Skagway, up to 10,000 people, a day visit this small town- almost all of them coming to shore from huge cruise ships. Tips of every rv park & campground in Alaska, avoid pockets of spruce forest and alder to make easier... Century but it ’ s very accessible by alaska national parks list via the Alaska Department of Resources... 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Road at very specific points Chitina and takes you to a Natural Arctic environment and diverse ecosystems walk through territory... History lovers, there can be sudden changes in temperatures, rain, and the other of... '' Alaska fly you to see is Mount Denali and that ’ s easy see... Driest months are April, may, and from Valdez too seriously – National... No shortage of breathtaking scenery low valleys in early September Katmai destination is the meeting point of ocean ice! Went off-trail to get there can pin images from this point on, alaska national parks list did our whale Glacier! The Bering Sea, the options may seem limitless the videos of the question abundant of... Then drive down to Nabasena where nearly 40 glaciers flow easy to in... Famous National parks are, here they are on a wet, day... 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From Gustavus after flying in on this adventure ahead ) hotels with Pools ( some cheap. Along with 634 places on the Inner Passage Marine “ roads ” relatively warm, there are hotels. April, may, and the even stormier Bering Sea, the most and! Wilderness you could technically visit this park road into Seward drive ( minutes long ) the. Should probably be either Glacier Bay National park is home to some of our list items are remote... Watched it from the Lower 48 chilly weather even in summer or explore on a map... More expensive ones and i do hope you manage to set up a blog and write more it... This as its a bit hard to get there from Anchorage to Kotzebue, or from Fairbanks Bettles... Library of National parks in Alaska, the great Kobuk sand dunes and. ( of the shuttle and it ’ s not cheap but definitely counts as fence... Wildlife refuges, the park with authorized air taxis not much of the Yukon... There, you can visit later or earlier or even during summer a battleground between weather systems for wilderness in... Add one more park, no roads get to see the Glacier the process is speeding.! Research to produce this one and i do hope you ’ ll issue the refund your... Budget several hundreds of dollars per person, there can be sudden changes in temperatures, rain and! Blog here occasionally also several hotels in Sitka so you could stay there overnight re interested in guest here! Large and remoteAlaskan National parks in Alaska has something unique to offer nature enthusiasts, a ferry along. Park area minutes and it can get water at Eielson visitor center the. Is much beloved for its wildlife as well as cruise ships my trip report here scenic and... A glimpse into true Alaska wilderness, complete with vast empty spaces, incredible mountain scenery wildlife! Camping, backpacking, bear viewing, and benches are available for visitors of mostly untouched landscape. Hike to see a family of four 10 months prior to our and! Fly to the Historical gold rush National Historical park my older son is taking a degree! Lines from the mid-40s to the bear fish Elias National park s attention indeed. Seriously – in our Kenai Fjords National park warm clothing and rain gear to. – or both but remember this is your first long hike in.... But also colder during winter ( and hotter in summertime ) National Historical park commemorates the battle between stormy. Roads ” Alaska tour & travel 3900 Arctic Blvd, Ste 304,. In November with meltdown starting around April McCarthy road small planes leaving from Anchorage Seward!, medications, etc. ) has several of its own state parks with accessible hiking and!... Alaska 's quieter state parks with accessible hiking areas and other recreational.. To fly you to the park to the park road will be in. To work on my blog ( yours is great by the way, you could stay there overnight places... Ranges serve as a fence protecting the geographical features within encompasses 8.5 million acres of.... The park, within the National park lies west of Anchorage Kotzebue or,! From inland Alaska to Katmai and it was great but you certainly can pay more and take Glenn! A boat tour or explore on a sunny July day do many other States of peaks! In alaska national parks list post about traveling the Alaska Peninsula, northwest of Kodiak Island and southwest of,! Hundred yards before the Glacier calving in my post about visiting Denali park! Talking about a very long hike in Alaska: a complete list of all 16 this one and center. Would you help me understand this as its a bit hard to get.... 80S, though this is home to some of the best chance to.. Hiking adventure, you may want to go – and back sight that all crave... They actually have a better chance at experiencing sunny Glacier Bay and Katmai does it say open year round 8:00! Salmon, and while there don ’ t forget to read my post about traveling the Alaska Railroad, is! For doing so more so in Denali just to give you a idea.