Best Hiking Excursions in Alaska

By Barry Solomon , last updated December 18, 2011

If you have a passion for hiking and you want to explore America's largest and most scenically beautiful state, read on for some ideas about the best hiking excursions in Alaska for you to consider. Alaska has such an incredible range of scenic wonder and climate conditions that you will have to pick an excursion that delivers the best of what interests you. Denali National Park, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and Lake Clark National Park are just a few of the great hiking destinations you can find in Alaska.

Denali National Park

Denali National Park has over six million wild acres and is the home to the tallest peak in North America. It also has multiple rivers and glaciers. This is one of the most spectacular places on earth and has been visited by explorers and scientists from all over the world to study the unspoiled sub-arctic ecosystems. There is road access to the northern part of the park, but the southern part has no roads and is accessible only by bush airplane.

Alaska Pine Adventures offers a unique hiking experience to the southern part of this magnificent park, where you can visit Mt McKinley and camp on Ruth Glacier. This is a rare opportunity to explore a place where few have ever gone before. You will hike for miles on Alaska's vast tundra and see many glorious glaciers and Alaska's varied wildlife. This is a truly spectacular and magical experience that starts and ends in Anchorage and costs a modest $1,899 for four days. They also offer day trips to Denali National Park for $499.

Lake Clark National Park

If you want to combine kayaking with your hiking then the same company is offering a Twin Lakes Paddles excursion to Lake Clark National Park. According to no less of an authority as National Geographic, this is a tour of a lifetime. Hike along and kayak across the crystal clear waters of the lakes that are set at the base of majestic mountains and along Alaska's vast tundra. The wildlife includes a variety of birds of prey, moose and caribou, sheep, and black and brown bears.

This is primarily a photographic excursion into the wilds of this incredible national park. The kayaks are collapsible so that they can be strapped to a backpack and easily carried as you hike along the shores of the beautiful lakes. Kayak across the upper and lower twin lakes and hike into the valleys of Hope and Beech Creeks, and loop around through Alaska's own Death Valley. Alternating between hiking and kayaking will exercise different muscles and allow for the traversing of more territory each day. You will be surrounded by some of Alaska's most magnificent scenery. And the price for this seven-day trip is $3,800.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

If you want to experience polar bears, then the seven-day Arctic National Wildlife Refuge hike for $4,995 is the choice for you. You will get to experience and photograph this spectacular animal in its natural habitat. You will have the opportunity to hike through villages located within the Arctic Circle and actually live amongst the bears. The trip begins north of Fairbanks and goes along the Dalton Highway, which you might have seen on television if you are a fan of "Ice Road Truckers." You will then travel by van through the Brooks Range to the North Slope of Alaska. Finally, a short flight from Deadhouse at the end of the highway to Kaktovik will have you hiking at the top of the world.

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