Visitors to Alaska talk a lot about the amazing wildlife, but the animals are only half of the reason why Alaska is remarkable. The other half lies within its exquisite landscapes. If the postcard pictures have not convinced you yet, let’s see if our list of amazing sights does.
Also known as aurora borealis, these colorful bands of light in the sky are a rare and mystical event, and well worth missing a few hours of sleep. The optimum time to see these lights is from the tail end of September up until April, when the weather is cold and dark, between 11:30 p.m. and 3:30 a.m, with a peak at 1:30 a.m. Fairbanks is the place to go to witness such magical beauty, because geographically Fairbanks is located just under the “aurora oval.” Keep in mind that in order to see the northern lights, skies must be clear and the weather, mild.
A glacier is a slowly moving mass of ice formed by the accumulation and compaction of snow on mountains or near the poles. This natural phenomenon is on many people’s bucket list. The means of getting to a glacier vary…you can take a shuttle bus, car, helicopter, train, or even a small cruise vessel; you can raft, hike, or even kayak to any of the multitude of glaciers found all around Alaska. Some permit casual walk-ups by passers-by to take the perfect photograph, while others are only accessible through guided tours telling about the nuances and history of glaciers. You may learn that the deep blue holes in glaciers are called moulins and the blue icebergs in fresh water are called growlers. Whichever route you go, you will not be disappointed.
The Inside Passage is a coastal route for ship vessels wishing to avoid bad weather from the open ocean for better efficiency and safety. However, for travelers, this spectacular network of passageways runs throughout the inlands of British Columbia to the Glacier Bay in Alaska and offers views of lush wildlife and scenic fjords. By definition, fjords are long, narrow, deep inlets of the sea between high cliffs, typically formed by the submergence of a glaciated valley. However, we define fjords as magnificent, astonishing, and jaw-dropping. The Inside Passage is the ideal destination for kayakers, canoeists, and adventure-seeking individuals who wish to embark on the journey of a lifetime.
The Arctic Circle:
At 66 degrees, 33 minutes latitude, you can stand in the most northerly of the five major circles of latitude on Earth, known as the Arctic Circle. This imaginary circle brings a unique phenomenon where the sun does not rise on the winter solstice nor set on the summer solstice, which translates to 24 hours of daylight in the summer and 24 hours of darkness in the winter. Many people take day trips along Dalton Highway to visit…usually on a guided tour, because no cars are allowed to drive on this unpaved highway. However, it is worth the full-day trip, especially after receiving a certificate from your guide with bragging rights that you officially crossed the Arctic Circle.
Landscapes are a remarkable reminder of how huge this world is and how small we are. They can flip our perspective in an instant when we see something out of our daily routine and appreciate someone else’s backyard scenery. As we all know, sometimes pictures cannot do a place justice, especially a place as beautiful as Alaska. So let us help get you face-to-face with its impressive landscape by setting up a consultation online. Or, for more about Alaska on our blog, be sure to read about the qualities of an idea Alaskan traveler, and also our post about rare wildlife in the area.
Ready to plan your Alaska adventure? Set up a consultation with one of our Alaska specialists today!