Get Inspired / Alaska Alaska's Wild Side Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook Get Inspired / Alaska Alaska's Wild Side story by: Inspire USA A world away from the typical tourist routes, Alaska is a holiday destination quite unlike any other. Leave your comfort zone behind as your explore remote Alaskan communities and enormous national parks teeming with untouched wildlife. THE ARCTIC CIRCLE Far, far north, balanced on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, lies the town of Barrow, one of the largest native communities in Alaska. Between May and August, the sun never sets on Barrow, and the town is flooded in sunshine 24 hours a day. During these summer months, take a nature tour to catch a glimpse of polar bears, snowy owls and other fascinating creatures. The town is also rich in Alaska Native culture and history, with evidence suggesting human presence dates back to 800 AD. Coldfoot, an isolated Alaskan community, sits partway along the Dalton Highway, a stunningly scenic stretch of road made famous by the hit TV show, Ice Road Truckers. Coldfoot is unique in that it’s one of the few towns north of the Arctic Circle that is accessible by road. It’s a great base from which to explore the surrounding parks and experience the northern lights in all their shimmering majesty. PEAKS AND PARKS Alaska is a showcase of jaw-dropping landscapes and untouched wildlife, and nowhere is this more evident than in its national parks. Denali National Park consists of six million acres and features dramatic, snow-capped peaks, rising to a crescendo with the 6194 metre Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain on the continent. If that’s still not big enough for you, check out Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Hosting a staggering 13.2 million acres (a good deal bigger than Denmark), Wrangell St. Elias is the largest national park in North America. Mountains, rivers and glaciers await you at every turn. WILD ABOUT WILDLIFE Alaska’s isolation has allowed its wildlife to thrive in natural ecosystems without human influence. There are a number of tours of Alaska’s national parks and beyond, which allow you to get up close with the state’s diverse fauna. More than 1,000 vertebrate species can be found in Alaska, including bears, caribou, wolves, bald eagles and whales, among many others. INSIDE PASSAGE TOWNS With so many natural wonders to absorb, it’s easy to skim past the colourful towns dotted throughout the state. Take some time out to explore these memorable towns of the Inside Passage that are accessible by air, on board a cruise or the Arctic Highway ferry service. Skagway is steeped in history as a gold mining town of the late 1800s, the buildings have been beautifully preserved to evoke a sense of timelessness in the town. There are a few treks that take you on a journey through the past and out to the old gold mines. For further insight into Alaskan history, you’ll want to consider spending time in Sitka. The town has a rich culture and much of its architecture reflects its unique Russian and Native heritage. St. Michael’s Cathedral and the Sheldon Jackson Museum are both worth a visit. Then there’s the state’s intensely isolated capital, Juneau, with not a single road connecting the town to the rest of the world. It might be a challenge to access, but your efforts are rewarded with brilliant landscapes and the perfect portal to the rest of Southeast Alaska. Be sure to check out the nearby Mendenhall Glacier and Mount Juneau. Feeling Alaska inspired? Give us a call on 0800 838 747, visit houseoftravel.co.nz or come instore today. Click here for HOT USA deals. Click here for HOT Canada and Alaska deals. Enquire Now First name* Last name* Email* Phone How can we help? 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