What's New in Alaska?
A World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve encompasses 3.3 million remote acres outside of Juneau in Alaska’s Inside Passage. Following a long hibernation in 2020, Glacier Bay Lodge, the only commercial accommodations in the park, will reopen in late May. The recently completed Huna Tribal House is the first permanent Hoonah Indian clan house since the original Tlingit villages were destroyed by a glacier over 250 years ago. A true Alaska experience, visitors can learn first-hand about the hand-carved Totem Poles, history, culture, dance performances and native foods from tribal elders. The Glacier Bay Day Boat tours will resume in late May as well, bringing visitors up-close to the Margerie and the Grand Pacific Glaciers to view 200-year-old ice calving from the glaciers’ faces. (the cruise ships cannot get this close and viewing is far away!) There are also guided hiking tours, bird watching tours, whale watching, kayaking and flightseeing options to give guests varying perspectives of this majestic land. Located in the tiny town of Gustavus Alaska, Glacier Bay Lodge can only be reached by plane or boat. There is a complimentary bus to Glacier Bay Lodge.
At Denali National Park, home to Mount McKinley--the tallest peak in North America. The Lodge & Cabins at Denali Park Village reopens in late May. Guide-led tours that go 62 miles deep into the Denali National Park include the Tundra Wilderness Tour, the Denali History Tour, Kantishna Experience Tour and the Eielson Excursion Tour. Other outdoor activities near Denali Village include Helicopter Flightseeing, Denali Wilderness Safari on heated jet boats, Denali Flyfishing, ATV trail rides and Midnight Golf on Black Diamond Golf Course. This is also an extensive ecological community, so Denali Park Village offers ranger-led walks and up-close experiences with the environment and its inhabitants including Grizzly Bear, Wolf, Caribou and Dall Sheep. There are also Bird Watching Tours, in partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, to help guests sight the region’s hawks, cranes, eagles, and owls. There are also a variety of guides hikes including the Triple Lakes Trail, Step Through Time Hike, and the Rock Creek Interpretive Hike. Other outdoor adventures include whitewater rafting tours and kayaking. Denali National Park is approximately 240 miles north of Anchorage and 125 miles south of Fairbanks. It is accessible by car/RV via the lone Park Road or the Alaska Railroad that departs from Fairbanks and Anchorage. A train station is located within Denali National Park, with shuttle service from train station to the Lodge & Cabins at Denali Park Village.
Photos Courtesy of Aramark