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Alaska is a beautiful destination that is changing rapidly—the climate is shifting faster there than many places around the world. Ice is melting, storms surge more violently and ecosystems are altering according to the Alaska Conservation Foundation. However, locals and experts are pushing back by sheltering their precious land, preserving culture and encouraging practices that take the load off the planet. But there’s no denying this great state is morphing, and who knows what that could mean. Any of these eco tours demonstrate a unique, ever-changing aspect of Alaska.
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Propelling through the Lynn Canal, difficult to spot nooks of Alaska can be seen from this vantage point. Making several stops, abundant opportunities to snap pictures of birds, seals and waterfalls will present regularly. Seats are saddle style and the ride at times can be downright thrilling. An onboard environmentalist will highlight details of the landscape, and their experiences as a local.
Wolverine Creek is home to breathtaking bears, and this excursion will get guests as close as they’ll probably ever want to be. A flight over the glacial waters is an exciting kickoff, and after landing, a boat awaits to take you downstream. Here, the bears feed, and they can be truly witnessed in their natural state. Pictures are allowed, just don’t miss any of the fascinating information the guide has to offer.
Offering a glimpse at nearly every bucket list site in Alaska, a big school bus donning new aesthetics is ready to carry you through the 12-day camping adventure. Cover Denali and Wrangell St. Elias—two of the most stunning national parks in the world. Canoe down the Maclaren River, and kayak around the icebergs of the coast. Words don’t do the adventure justice, but we’re sure you’ll certainly want to write home about it.
Venture through Turnagain Arm in the winter and be dazzled by the frozen foliage and white powdery hills. Along the route, some of the state’s most beloved animals can be spotted. But if the animals aren’t too active, there will be an opportunity to greet rehabilitating creatures at the conservation center, which rescues injured wildlife that would otherwise not have survived. Memorable, educational and thorough, it’s hard not to leave with a deeper appreciation of these tough species.
Delve deep into either Katmai National Park or Lake Clark National Park, for one of the highest-rated Alaska bear tours listed on Viator. Bears thrash through the water to catch fish or just interact with one another, and this makes for quite the display when trying to snap an unforgettable photo. Depending on the park, tours can be anywhere from four to seven hours, after descending into the area via bush plane. The plane ride itself is a highlight moment.
Probably the most sought after natural phenomena would be the Northern Lights. Departing from Fairbanks, this expedition will take guests along the incredible Dalton Highway, to Coldfoot where a few days will be spent marveling over the rainbow of nighttime colors. Immerse into some of the most mesmerizing sites of the state, from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline to the glistening Yukon River.
Whale watching in Alaska is a must, and Auke Bay is one of the best spots to see a lot of action. The large creatures pierce through the surface and fall back down, inducing some serious splash. Also noted to be seen along the trip are sea lions, Dall’s porpoises, bald eagles and sea birds—you’ll witness different aspects of the incredible ecosystem. To finish off the day, guests are served one of the more sustainable proteins available—Wild salmon. Campfires will be rolling and marshmallows served in abundance.
See the south portion of Denali…from the sky. Not in a seaplane, but while whisking over the treelike via multiple zip lines. Leap from one platform to the next on the three-hour journey, which offers a different perspective, and appreciation, of Alaska’s great wilderness and waters. Securely clipped into a harness system, even those spooked by heights can have fun.
Departing from Ketchikan, groups are given their own boat to steer through the inlets of southeast Alaska. Pretend you are a sea captain, like the ones on nearby boats, who are featured in “Deadliest Catch”, or just scan the shore and ocean for sea lions, whales or bald eagles. Having control of your own boat is more exhilarating than one can imagine.
Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people had a great impact on the Alaskan territories, and much of the cultural history is left in tact to this day. In a totem pole, one can discover much about different families of that time period. Who were they, what did they achieve, what legacy did they want left behind? Understanding this makes viewing a totem quite moving. Secondarily, you’ll get to wander through a mystical rainforest that houses dramatic trees and a waterfall.
Glaciers are an uncertain part of Alaska’s landscape, and the wavering ice sculptures of nature are a depiction of the ever-changing environment. Scientists say these iconic attributes are disappearing, and if the trend continues, you’ll want to explore them while you can. Matanuska Glacier is a sizable option to traverse. And this tour will provide the essentials for your adventure.