Getting the Most Out of your Alaskan Wilderness Vacation

by Margaret Adsit

What do you need to get the most out of 13 nights in Alaska? Follow this Alaskan wilderness guide to make sure you're properly prepared.

Get a Good Night's Rest

These three Alaskan lodges get top marks when it comes to providing a quality place to stay and outstanding views of the Alaskan wilderness.

Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge

You may have to pinch yourself to realize that this isn't a movie set, and that Mount McKinley, standing at over 20,000 feet, is North America's tallest mountain. Enjoy the majesty of the view from the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, and try to spot the black bears, grizzly bears, and wolves that call Denali National Park home.

Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge

Nestled in the heart of Denali Canyon and just minutes from the entrance of Denali National Park & Reserve is Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. As the ideal spot to relax and to embrace the exquisite landscape, you'll also have front row seats of the Nenana River with views into the park. The best part is that you can take in the serene setting from one of the lodge's relaxing outdoor hot tubs.

Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge

The Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge overlooks the meandering Copper River, where bald eagles fish for sockeye salmon and the sun shines over the Wrangell Mountains. The lodge is adjacent to the Wrangell–St. Elias National Park, the largest national park in the United States. Look out from your room and enjoy the vista of millions of untouched acres of Alaskan wilderness.

Pack Smart

Even though these Alaskan lodges provide excellent accommodations, going on an Alaska land and sea vacation is about getting to explore its natural beauty. Interior Alaska, where these wilderness lodges are located, is often hot and sunny in the summer — but there's always the chance of rain now and then. Bring the following so that you're prepared for your Alaskan wilderness adventure:

  • Good Rain Gear. Bad weather can come on pretty fast. Make sure to pack a good rain jacket that can double as a mosquito protector.
  • Mosquito Spray. Whether you opt for organic lemongrass spray or 40 percent DEET, make sure you don't go without it.
  • Binoculars. For the Alaskan wildlife you can't see close-up, bring binoculars to watch these animals (especially bears) from afar.
  • Walking Shoes. Bring good walking shoes that you trust will be comfortable and get you far. The Alaskan wilderness is not the place to break out those heels — walking shoes, running shoes, or hiking boots will serve you much better.
  • Camera. Alaska is such a beautiful, scenic locale, you should always be ready to capture the shot of a lifetime — even if you're just going out for a morning stroll. You never know where you'll be when the light hits just right.
  • Clothes for Layering. Although Interior Alaska can be sunny and warm in the summer, temperatures can dip down as low as 50 degrees. Bring layers so that you can keep yourself comfortable in any situation.
  • Field Guide to Alaskan Plants. There are a ton of amazing flowers in bloom during the summer in Alaska. Be in the know about all the state's beautiful flora.
A couple enjoys the Alaskan wilderness at Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge
A couple enjoys the Alaskan wilderness at Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.