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Anchorage is a launching point to other cities in the state for those in search of outdoor adventure and stunning scenery. It sits on the cusp of mountains, glaciers, and iconic foliage, so it’s a convenient place for outdoor enthusiasts to base. To give you an idea of just how much there is to do, we’ve rounded up a list of the best nature tours nearby.

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Anchorage Northern Lights Tour Anchorage Northern Lights Tour
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Anchorage Northern Lights Tour

Anchorage Northern Lights Tour

The Northern Lights are a spectacular natural phenomenon that can be seen in Alaska from the right spot at the right time. With included transportation from Anchorage, guides take guests to a cozy shelter where sightings are likely, but still not always guaranteed. Even then, the tour is highly touted with former attendees singing the praises of the hosts and their photography instruction on capturing the night sky.

Matanuska Glacier Winter Tour Matanuska Glacier Winter Tour
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Matanuska Glacier Winter Tour

Matanuska Glacier Winter Tour

Imagine being encapsulated by icy walls while wandering throughout the great Matanuska Glacier. Being more navigable than any other in Alaska, the glacier offers a deeper glimpse into what is much more than just frozen water. Don’t worry about traversing the dicey roads in the snow—let experts take care of that. You’ll also be taken to a nearby restaurant to try some of the local’s favorite eats.

Glacier Discovery Tour Glacier Discovery Tour
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Glacier Discovery Tour

Glacier Discovery Tour

This adventure will hit highly notable spots near Anchorage, from Turnagain Arm to Beluga Point, before embarking on a lake cruise for up-close observation of Portage Glacier. Then it all becomes about wildlife when dropping in at the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, followed by meeting animals at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. It’s the tour that keeps on giving, with snacks and perks at more natural sites such as Mt. Alyeska and the Chugach Mountains.

Turnagain Arm Scenic Winter Tour with Aerial Tram Ride Turnagain Arm Scenic Winter Tour with Aerial Tram Ride
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Turnagain Arm Scenic Winter Tour with Aerial Tram Ride

Turnagain Arm Scenic Winter Tour with Aerial Tram Ride

Take in some serious landscape eye candy along the famed Seward Highway of Alaska. Turnagain Arm is next on the agenda, followed by an aerial tram ride where you may see wildlife, but will definitely see some wild folks taking on the heart-pounding North Face double black diamond hills. Learn more about musk ox, wood bison, and bears at the conservation center, and head to the included lunch with a deeper appreciation of these species.

Glaciers and Wildlife: Super Scenic Day Tour from Anchorage Glaciers and Wildlife: Super Scenic Day Tour from Anchorage
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Glaciers and Wildlife: Super Scenic Day Tour from Anchorage

Glaciers and Wildlife: Super Scenic Day Tour from Anchorage

Head into the wilderness of the Chugach and Kenai mountain ranges in hopes of spotting some of Alaska’s most mesmerizing creatures, like caribou, moose, bears, bison and link. But until animals make their appearance, drink in the dramatic peaks, translucent lake waters (which you’ll get to cruise as well), and the captivating misty haze.

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail Scenic Bike Tour Tony Knowles Coastal Trail Scenic Bike Tour
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Tony Knowles Coastal Trail Scenic Bike Tour

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail Scenic Bike Tour

Biking is a sustainable way to see nature up close, and this excursion guides cyclists along the beloved Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage. Rather than from a car, travel at a slower pace and truly appreciate Denali, and Cook Inlet. Guides know quite a lot about the area and are excited to share information with you. Keep an eye out, because a grand animal could pop out of nowhere.

Anchorage to Whittier Cruise Transfer and Private Tour Anchorage to Whittier Cruise Transfer and Private Tour
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Anchorage to Whittier Cruise Transfer and Private Tour

Anchorage to Whittier Cruise Transfer and Private Tour

Turnagain Arm, Bird Point, the Alyeska Scenic Tramway, and Portage Lake are all on display for this thorough jaunt from Anchorage to Whittier. Prepare to see goats, whales, bears and moose, while on the private exploration. A private tour ensures an unforgettable time, tailored to up to nine people in total.

Wilderness, Wildlife & Glacier Experience Wilderness, Wildlife & Glacier Experience
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Wilderness, Wildlife & Glacier Experience

Wilderness, Wildlife & Glacier Experience

While venturing out with goals of spotting a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat, brown bears, wolves, bison, and belugas to make a few, the guide makes even the ride from each location, an absolute treat. Covering the history, culture, and other fun facts, you’ll leave with an overall better understanding of Alaska. This means that taking this tour at the beginning of your stay would be a great intro.

Bears, Trains, & Icebergs Tour Bears, Trains, & Icebergs Tour
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Bears, Trains, & Icebergs Tour

Bears, Trains, & Icebergs Tour

All the best methods for seeing the nature of this otherworldly state are a part of this thrilling day through the surrounding beauty of Anchorage. Chug along in a train as the landscape changes rapidly before your eyes, enjoy two different water journeys, and a stop by the conservation center to see native bears. Lunch and snacks are included!

Summer Glacier Dogsledding Tour Summer Glacier Dogsledding Tour
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Summer Glacier Dogsledding Tour

Summer Glacier Dogsledding Tour

Not only is the helicopter ride extremely scenic, but you’ll land in a glacial area of Alaska, for an exhilarating activity through an alpine snowfield. A team of sledding dogs awaits your arrival, and you’ll learn a bit about what makes them so special. While galavanting over the terrain, you too will have a chance to take the reigns.

Kenai Fjords Glacier Dinner Cruise from Seward Kenai Fjords Glacier Dinner Cruise from Seward
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Kenai Fjords Glacier Dinner Cruise from Seward

Kenai Fjords Glacier Dinner Cruise from Seward

Dine on salmon and other Alaskan favorites aboard the partially enclosed boat that traverses the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park. Cruising proximal to glacial walls, stunning picture opportunities are just one of the perks. Wildlife nestles along the shores, and sightings of sea lions and puffins are possible. Don’t be surprised to spot a whale emerging from the blue sea.

Fat Tire Biking in Chugach State Park Tour Fat Tire Biking in Chugach State Park Tour
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Fat Tire Biking in Chugach State Park Tour

Fat Tire Biking in Chugach State Park Tour

Fat biking, which uses much wider tires, makes riding over tumultuous roads and snow easier. This ride, in particular, can be adjusted to fit the comfort levels of all kinds of travelers, and overall is a far more detailed way to see Chugach State Park. Moose graze not far from the paths, eagles swoop overhead—part of the allure is the chance of seeing animals from a safe, but closer distance than in a vehicle. It just turns out that fat biking is ridiculously fun, so it’s a major win-win.

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