5 Great Day Hikes to Take on an Alaskan Cruise

Hiking is a great way to connect with Alaska's natural beauty.
Hiking is a great way to connect with Alaska's natural beauty.

While on your Alaskan cruise, you will have a chance to experience some of the most picturesque places on earth. Hiking is a great way to connect with Alaska's natural beauty, and there are plenty of options for every skill level.

1. Kincaid Park, Anchorage

Kincaid Park, a 1,400-acre forest on a glacial moraine, is referred to as "one of America's top trail systems." This park also has the largest moose population in Anchorage. The Kincaid Ski Trails offer some interesting diversity in that they can lead you to either a sandy beach or the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.

2. Mount Ripinski, Haines

Experienced hikers should take advantage of the chance to climb Mount Ripinski, which towers above the community of Haines. The 3,000-foot climb to the summit will probably take you between three and four hours. Along the way, you'll see everything that hiking in Alaska is about, from a rocky summit to a dense forest. You may also encounter some of the mountain goats that dwell along the alpine cliffs.

When you hike Mount Ripinski during a late-summer Alaskan cruise, you might even have the opportunity to pick blueberries along the way.

3. Mount Roberts Alpine Loop, Juneau

The trail system at Mount Roberts offers all levels of hiking in Alaska. The Alpine Loop is among them, which features handicap-accessible trails. From the Mountain House, which is at 1,800 feet, you can take a set of steps to find views of such breathtaking sites as the Southeast Alaskan panhandle and the Admiralty Island National Monument. The Mount Roberts Alpine Loop even affords you opportunity to view the Glacier Bay Mountains in British Columbia — so you can stand in the United States and look across to Canada.

4. Deer Mountain Trail, Ketchikan

Originating at the base of a mountain, the Deer Mountain Trail is a challenge worth accepting. Along the path, you will wind through a rainforest and head up the mountainside while enjoying the views at each stop.

The trail doesn't end until you get past the steep climb and reach an elevation of over 3,000 feet. Here, you can stop and enjoy panoramic views of the Tongass Narrows and the city of Ketchikan. If you have time left, continue on to Blue Lake.

5. Laughton Glacier, Skagway

If you stop at Skagway on your Alaskan cruise, you will be given the chance to take a helicopter ride to see unforgettable views of the landscape carved from glaciers, mountains, and valleys. Once you land, this excursion continues with a nearly five-mile hike alongside the upper Skagway River that ends with a view of the Laughton Glacier. Your guide will explain the area and point out the resident wildlife, which includes bears and moose.