This past July we visited Alaska for the first time, and we were blown away by Alaska’s vastness, beauty, wildlife, and solitude. Alaska is truly a frontier.
We planned our vacation as three parts:
- Denali National Park (NP): see Denali, the highest peak in North America; revel in the vastness; see grizzly bears and moose. Yesterday President Obama renamed the mountain Denali, the native American name.
- Brooks Lodge, located in Katmai National Park: in July sockeye salmon swim upstream to spawn, where they have to jump Brooks Falls while evading fishing brown bears.
- Inside Passage cruise: cruise on a small boat to get close to fjords, glaciers, whales, orcas, and temperate rain forests; hike, kayak, and polar plunge.
A year and a half ago, we were finally able to reserve a cabin at Brooks Lodge during the sockeye salmon run. We arranged our reservation to connect with a weekly Inside Passage cruise, and we visited Denali at the beginning of our trip.
We landed in Anchorage, then drove to Denali NP where we rode a bus into the park to see wildlife and a better view of the Denali peak. We returned to Anchorage to fly to Brooks Lodge. Back at Anchorage we flew to Juneau to catch the cruise boat to Ketchikan. From there we flew home.
Of course we ate as we went, especially enjoying Alaskan salmon, halibut, and shrimp.