In much of Alaska, a drive along the highway could be considered a sightseeing tour: Ocean, mountains, forests, fjords, animals. Sometimes, though, a little context can help to put all the state’s natural beauty into perspective. You learn something and maybe enjoy what you’re seeing a bit more. These are our favorite sightseeing tours in Alaska.
One of the best ways to see all that Denali National Park has to offer—without spending several days hiking—is to take the Denali Backcountry Adventure offered by Pursuit Alaska Collection. This full-day tour will take you deep into the heart of the park to Kantishna, where you’ll have the chance to glimpse the park’s megafauna and end with perfect views of Denali, herself.
Book a day trip with Alaska Travel Adventures to explore the Inside Passage on your way to Auke Bay to visit the whales and other marine mammals, such as seals and sea lions, that inhabit its waters. When the skies are clear, you can even see Mendenhall Glacier from the tour ship. An onboard naturalist will provide analysis and color commentary.
A wonderful way to get acquainted with all that Alaska’s biggest city has to offer is to jump on a trolley a tour. Anchorage Trolley Tours wind along 15 miles of Anchorage’s most scenic streets, covering the city’s history, present, and even its wildlife, like the urban moose.
Make the most of your trip to the country’s largest national park with a rafting trip down the McCarthy River. McCarthy River Tours and Outfitters will guide you along as you explore Wrangell-St. Elias National Park by raft, taking in 16,000-foot peaks, numerous glaciers, and gliding by wildlife as you float the McCarthy. Multi-day trips are also available.
Pursuit Alaska Collection’s Kenai Fjords Tours give you the opportunity to climb aboard a tour vessel and cruise the spectacular waterways and see the wildlife, such as orcas and otters, that calls Kenai Fjords National Park home (at least part of the time). You can take a naturalist guided tour that includes dinner at fabulous Fox Island, or go deeper into the park than any other cruise on the Northwestern Fjord Tour, which includes the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and calving glaciers.
In the fall, the Haines, Alaska, area sees the world’s largest congregation of bald eagles when literally thousands of the majestic raptors gather to hunt the Chilkat River’s late salmon run. Alaskan Nature Tours will take you into the preserve to observe the eagles and all the other wildlife that shares this habitat.
Explore the world’s largest temperate rainforest on foot with Mindfulness Rainforest Treks. Your guide will lead you on a hike into the Tongass National Forest, explaining the natural and spiritual significance of the forest.
What better way to explore the Alaskan Yukon than by train? The White Pass & Yukon Route offers scenic excursions up into the mountains, through White Pass and back. Hikers of the Chilkoot and White Pass Trails can even take the train up to and back from the trails.
See the best that the Inside Passage has to offer with a visit to Glacier Bay National Park. Take a tour with Glacier Bay Seak Kayaks to learn more about the area’s namesake glaciers, as well as the mountains, wildlife, and history that combined to make this park part of one of the Earth’s largest World Heritage Sites.
No Alaska tour may be as iconic as mushing a dogsled across the Interior as the aurora dances above you. Well, if you travel to Fairbanks, Black Spruce Dog Sledding Adventures can make that happen for you. Ride along and cozy up under a blanket or stand up and mush, with Black Spruce, you’ll have the opportunity to do both.
If you’re in Alaska, it’d be foolish to not see the Northern Lights. The Northern Alaska Tour Company’s Aurora Overnight Adventures brings guests on a trip to Alaska’s Brooks Mountain Range. The tour takes place across multiple days—guests can stay as briefly as three days and two nights or as long as six days and five nights. The longer you stay, the better the opportunity for seeing them.