The Best Outdoor Activities in Alaska

Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.

Hike the McKinley Bar Trail

Alaska / McKinley Bar Trailhead

McKinley Bar Trail is a 5 mile roundtrip hike that is located 1/4 mile before Wonder Lake Campground. This hike is a great way to stretch your legs out after a long bus ride.

Lorene Voskinarian
219 Saves

Hike Byron Glacier

Alaska / Byron Glacier Trail

To begin on this adventure, you first have to find the trailhead. Drive out on the highway to Girdwood, and turn left at the sign that says "Portage Glacier".

Jack Consenstein
208 Saves

Hike to the Crow Pass Cabin

Alaska / Crow Creek Trailhead

Climb 3 miles from the parking lot at the Crow Creek Trailhead to Crow Pass. Waiting for you at Crystal Lake is the quaint A-frame Forest Service Cabin, along with an amazing view of Crystal Lake.

Noah Couser
162 Saves

Hike Exit Glacier

Alaska / Harding Ice Field Trailhead

It's hard to fathom how massive some Alaskan glaciers can be. But spend a day hiking along one and you'll start to get an idea of how much ice there is in Alaska.

Stephen Matera
146 Saves

Hiking a Trail of Blue Ice: The Mendenhall Glacier

Alaska / Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area

The Mendenhall Glacier, formerly known as Sitaantaagu ("the Glacier Behind the Town"), is a 12 mile long glacier about 12 miles outside Alaska’s capital Juneau.

William Woodward
146 Saves

Hike Winner Creek Gorge

Alaska / Alyeska Resort

Most people will start this trail behind the Hotel Alyeska and parking is available there if you're not a guest spending the night.

Mike Mihalik
128 Saves

Hike O'Malley Peak

Alaska / Glen Alps Trailhead

Parking is at the Glen Alps trail head and costs $5 if you don't have a yearly pass which is $40 and lets you park at all the state parks without paying every time.

Andrew Rigler
124 Saves

Hike Matanuska Glacier

Alaska / Matanuska Glacier

The glacier is adjacent to the Glenn Highway at milepost 101. Located about 93 miles northeast of Anchorage. There is a $20 entry fee where you can park your car and take a quick hike to the glacier.

Mike Mueller
118 Saves

Hut to Hut Across Alaska's Talkeetna Mountains

Alaska / Archangel Road Parking Area

Cooling temps and changing colors often prompt us to squeeze in one more trip. And in the mountains of Alaska, it really is a squeeze.

Matt & Agnes Hage
117 Saves

Hike up Flattop Mountain

Alaska / Glen Alps Trailhead

This moderate to difficult climb starts at 2200 feet and gets progressively difficult as you get closer to the top.

Dwayne Parton
112 Saves

Hike the South Fork Valley Trail, AK

Alaska / South Fork Valley Trail

The trail head starts out with a small climb but levels out shortly. The trail winds through forest at first, then opens up to beautiful Alaskan landscape.

Andrea Thornton
110 Saves

Hike Reed Lakes, AK

Alaska / Archangel Road Parking Area

The trail head starts at the small unpaved parking lot which is free, (it was very full though because of berry picking).

Andrea Thornton
108 Saves

Hike the Stampede Trail to the Magic Bus

Alaska / Stampede Trail, AK

The trail to the Magic Bus is roughly 18.6 miles long and starts at the point where you no longer can drive, which is typically Eightmile Lake.

Dwayne Parton
105 Saves

Hike Bird Ridge

Alaska / Bird Ridge Trail, Anchorage, AK, USA

The trail begins at sea level and winds its way through the forest gradually, occasionally allowing a peek at the Turnagain Arm behind you.

Kristen Pratt
85 Saves

Hike to Horseshoe Lake, Denali NP

Alaska / Horseshoe Lake Trailhead

Horseshoe Trail is located inside of Denali National Park in Alaska. This area provides a ton of lakes, open meadows, and free ranging wildlife, such as moose, grizzly bears, and caribou.

Austin Marlia
82 Saves

Hike to Thunderbird Falls

Alaska / Thunderbird Falls Parking Area

Thunderbird Falls is just 1 mile from the parking area off the Glenn Highway. The trail starts off with climb but quickly levels off.

Dwayne Parton
80 Saves

Hike the Crow Pass National Historic Trail

Alaska / Eagle River Nature Center Trailhead

Starting at an elevation of 600 feet from the Eagle River Nature Center, the trail runs through the Eagle River Valley and climbs over Crow Pass to Girdwood.

Dwayne Parton
79 Saves

Camp at Wonder Lake

Alaska / Wonder Lake Campground, Denali National Park

Sitting at mile 85 of the 92 mile park road through Denali National Park, Wonder Lake Campground is an oasis in the wilderness. Wonder Lake is also the the closest you can get to Denali.

Climb Divide Mountain

Alaska / Toklat River Contact Station, AK

The best time of year to do this is when the weather is cold and the river is low. I have had the best luck in late spring and early fall.

Jacob W. Frank
69 Saves

Camp at Chugach State Park

Alaska / Eagle River Nature Center Trailhead

All trails start from the Eagle River Nature Center, located in the Chugach Forest.

Andrea Thornton
68 Saves

Climb Sheep Ridge in Denali

Alaska / Toklat River Contact Station, AK

From the Toklat contact station walk east back across the bridge (crossing the river) and drop down onto the river bar heading north. Walk for about 75 yards north hugging the cliffs on the right.

Jacob W. Frank
62 Saves

Kayak Across Alaska's Prince William Sound

Alaska / Sound Paddler

The hundred mile paddle across PWS is a right of passage for Alaska kayakers.

Hike to Kennecott's Ice Caves

Alaska / Root Glacier Trail

Disclaimer: We do not recommend entering the caves as the ice can become unstable, especially in the warmer months.

Lucas Pols
61 Saves

Climb Mount Alice

Alaska / Mt. Alice Trailhead

This hike starts at 0 feet elevation on the side of Resurrection Bay opposite of Seward.

Jamie Trapp
60 Saves

Hike the Gold Mint Trail

Alaska / Gold Mint Trailhead

Hiking through this valley really shows off the amazing landscape of Alaska. The trailhead starts at mile 13.7 on Hatcher Pass Rd. There is a big parking lot ($5 for a day pass).

Andrea Thornton
59 Saves

Summit Igloo Mountain

Alaska / Igloo Mountain Trailhead

Make no mistake, this is a unkempt, social trail.

Mike Quine
54 Saves

Explore Independence Mine State Historical Park in Hatcher Pass

Alaska / Independence Mine State Historical Park

If you've only got time to do a few things when in Alaska, make sure you visit Independence Mine State Historical Park in Hatcher Pass. It is open year round, and beautiful no matter the season.

Dwayne Parton
51 Saves

Climb the Ridge Behind Toklat Road Camp in Denali

Alaska / Toklat River Contact Station, AK

From the Toklat Contact Station look due west and that is the mountain you are about to climb. Directly across the from the tent there is a drainage.

Jacob W. Frank
49 Saves

Snow Biking in Alaska's Arctic

Alaska / Colorado Creek Trailhead

White Mountains National Recreation Area is run by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and is best traveled during the winter months.

Backpack to Donoho Basin

Alaska / Donoho Basin Trailhead

If you’ve never been to the park, Wrangell is 13.2 million acres, the largest national park in the United States, roughly the size of Switzerland. Access is limited.

Jacob W. Frank
46 Saves

Backpack Wickersham Dome

Alaska / Wickersham Dome Trail

The trailhead is 28 miles on the Elliott Highway outside of Fox. It is clearly marked with a great parking area.

Annie Enderle
45 Saves

Hike the Eielson Alpine Trail, Denali NP

Alaska / Eielson Visitor Center

To get to this trailhead, you are going to have to take the Denali Park shuttle bus to the Eielson Visitor Center.

Mike Mihalik
43 Saves

Mountaineering on the Root Glacier

Alaska / Root Glacier Trail

Starting in the town of Kennicott you'll hike on the trail leading north outside of the town for a mile and a half.

Lucas Pols
43 Saves

Backpack the Caines Head Coastal Trail

Alaska / Miller's Landing

This hike begins near a family friendly visiting area, good bathrooms, and well kept parking lot. You will start out on a gravel path, which seems like it was created for horses, for about 1.

Tori Klotz
41 Saves

Hike the Pioneer Ridge-Austin Helmers Trail

Alaska / Pioneer Ridge-Austin Helmers Trail

Starting at less than 200ft above sea level, the trail starts off steep and never lets up. It climbs through forest until you are at about 2000ft.

Dwayne Parton
39 Saves

Watch the Sunset at Point Woronzof Park

Alaska / Point Woronzof Park

If you are visiting Anchorage, and you don't have time to get away from the city, the Point Woronzof Park offers some excellent views of Mt.

Hike Mt. Baldy in Chugach State Park

Alaska / Mt. Baldy, AK

Nestled in the mountains behind Eagle River, AK is Mt. Baldy. The hike to the top is an excellent choice if your time in Alaska is limited.

Winter Camp at Wonder Lake

Alaska / Denali National Park Headquarters

There are multiple ways to do this trip - ski, mush, or by flying in a bush plane and then meeting up with a group of mushers.

Jacob W. Frank
33 Saves

Backpack the Mt. Eielson Loop

Alaska / Mt Eielson Loop Starting Point

If you are looking for an overnight backpacking trip in Denali National Park with spectacular views of Denali, this is a great option. There is no trail and if you happen upon one, DO NOT follow it.

Devin K
33 Saves

Hike the Twin Peaks Trail

Alaska / Eklutna Lake

The lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains that host a variety of interesting wildlife. If you look closely, it is not uncommon to see a Dall's sheep or two on the mountain side.

Hike to Callisto Canyon Cabin

Alaska / Callisto Canyon Trailhead

Follow the signs south of Seward to Lowell Point. This is the trailhead. The first mile of the trail is about a mile long.

Anna Ferntheil
28 Saves

Climb to the Summit of Mount Katolinat, AK

Alaska / Brooks Camp, Katmai National Park

This adventure begins long before you start climbing the mountain. First you need to make your way to Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park on the Alaska Peninsula.

Crystal Brindle
26 Saves

Kayak in Pedersen Lagoon

Alaska / Pedersen Lagoon Landing Beach

Hikers are used to being confined to hiking trails most of the time. Kayakers ... not so much. How you get to Pedersen Glacier is the part that requires the most planning.

Mike Mihalik
26 Saves

Hike Harbor Mountain via the Gavin Hill Trail

Alaska / Harbor Mountain Trailhead

The first part of the trail involves a series of switchbacks through gorgeous forests of Sitka spruce.

Michael Gabbert
24 Saves

Hike Herring Cove Trail to Beaver Lake

Alaska / Herring Cove

From the trailhead, you’ll travel along a cascading creek ascending through gravel, rocks steps and a couple boardwalks within a dense hemlock, spruce and yellow cedar forest.

Michael Gabbert
24 Saves

Kayak the Blank Islands

Alaska / Ketchikan Dock Area

You'll start your journey from the docks of Ketchikan, Alaska, where there are plenty of outfitters willing to rent boats to experienced paddlers looking to make the 14-mile out and back trip.

Eve Bee
23 Saves

Hike to Lower Dewey Lake

Alaska / Lower Dewey Lake Trail

Lower Dewey Lake is located in the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park near Skagway Alaska. The hike to the lake has a few steep switchbacks and you should plan on it taking about 1-2 hours.

Rob Witt
22 Saves

Kayak Mendenhall Glacier Channel

Alaska / Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area

Kayaking in the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area is an exciting and breath-taking experience.

Porter Grant
22 Saves

Ski Touring in the Ruth Amphitheater

Alaska / Talkeetna Airport, Alaska

The Ruth Amphitheater is a lesser known, but spectacularly beautiful glaciated part of Denali National Park.

Stephen Matera
22 Saves

Hike and Camp at Upper Dewey Lake

Alaska / Lower Dewey Lake Trail

The Dewey Lake trail system leads visitors to Skagway on adventures to multiple remarkable destinations, including Lower Dewey Lake, Sturgill's Landing, Icy Lake, Upper Reid Falls, Upper Dewey Lake a.

Amber Locke
21 Saves

Hike Mount Healy Overlook Trail

Alaska / Denali Visitor Center

The trailhead for the Mt Healy Overlook Trail is located at the visitor center, just inside Denali National Park. Take the Taiga Trail, and follow signs to the Mt Healy Overlook Trailhead.

Christie Kay
16 Saves

Hike to Rabbit Lake and the Suicide Peaks

Alaska / Rabbit Lake Trailhead, Anchorage

The best part about this trail other than the stunning views is it's easy access from Anchorage; it is about a 20 minute drive from the center of town.

Eric Hedstrand
14 Saves

Explore the Knik Arm's Ice Fields

Alaska / Peters Creek, Alaska

Alaska's Knik Arm has an impressive tide. When out, the mudflats appear, and in the winter, massive, beautiful pieces of ice are left behind.

Chase Huntzinger
13 Saves

Ice Climb Exit Glacier

Alaska / Exit Glacier Nature Center

You could climb Exit Glacier a hundred times and never see the same crevasse twice. This glacier is constantly changing, so you never know what kind of climbing you're in for.

Hike Angel Rocks Trail

Alaska / Angel Rocks Trailhead

Angel Rocks is a moderately difficult trail in the Chena River State Recreation Area. The 3.5-mile loop is a great day hike and is frequented by many locals after work.

Explore Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Kennecott Mines

Alaska / Kennecott Visitor Center

If you have already stepped foot into Wrangell-St. Elias, you probably arrived via bush plane or by heroically navigating the relentlessly brutal, pothole smothered McCarthy Road.

Mike Quine
12 Saves

Camp at Bartlet Cove Campground in Glacier Bay NP

Alaska / Bartlett Cove Campground

Depending on how you arrive to Gustavus, (which may or may not be the most difficult part of this adventure) you'll want to head to the Visitor Information Center at Bartlett Cove within the park to .

Brittany Weber
11 Saves

Snorkle Ketchikan's Tongass Narrows

Alaska / Ketichikan Visitors Bureau

If you find yourself in the quaint town of Ketchikan, Alaska you HAVE to check out this awesome outdoor adventure.

Porter Grant
9 Saves

Kayak the West Arm of Glacier Bay National Park

Alaska / Glacier Bay National Park (West Arm Starting Point of Scidmore Bay)

Ever wanted to sleep beside a calving glacier? Wake up with a humpback whale feeding along the shoreline of your private beach? Watch the sunset for hours until midnight?Witness bears foraging in the.

Hike Byer's Lake Loop

Alaska / Byers Lake Campground

The Byers Lake Loop Trail begins in the Byers Lake Campground.

Christie Kay
8 Saves

Snowshoe the Granite Tors Loop Trail

Alaska / Granite Tors Trailhead

The Granite Tors Loop Trailhead is located at Milepost 39 on Chena River Road east of Fairbanks. It starts at about 700ft above sea level and climbs to about 3200ft, peaking around the 8 mile mark.

Dwayne Parton
8 Saves

Hike Skilak Lookout

Alaska / Skilak Lookout Trail

This was my very first afternoon in Alaska. By myself just meandering around the state by car with a map in my lap. Alaska - what a limitless place of adventure.

Abby Vohaska
7 Saves

Summit Bonanza Peak, Wrangell-St. Elias NP

Alaska / Root Glacier Trail

This journey begins at the northern terminus of the historic Kennecott Mines, following the Root Glacier trail to the north. Follow this trail between 1-2 miles until you reach a split in the trail.

Mike Quine
7 Saves

Fly Fish the Buskin River

Alaska / Buskin River, Kodiak Alaska

The Buskin River Recreation Site provides camping, wildlife and an abundance of Salmon fishing. See Kodiak Bears, Bald Eagles, Sitka Deer, Harlequin Ducks and even harbor seals near the mouth.

Alex Anderson
6 Saves

Hike Alpine Trail, Caines Head State Recreation Area

Alaska / Alpine Trailhead

The Alpine Trail is only accessible via the Caines Head Trail System, located at Lowell Point.

Christie Kay
4 Saves

Hike to the Bonanza Mine in the Wrangell St-Elias National Park

Alaska / Kennecott Visitor Center

This 9 mile strenuous hike will reward the intrepid hiker with a serene setting and in-tact mining ruins for any and all to explore at will.

Eric Hedstrand
2 Saves

Summit Harp Mountain in Chugach State Park

Alaska / Harp Mountain Trailhead

Starting from the South Eagle River valley east of Anchorage, trudge 2650 ft. up to the summit of Harp Mountain for unbeatable views of the Chugach and the Knik arm. Park at the end of Hiland Rd.

Brian Pinkard
2 Saves

Backpack to Stairway Icefall at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Alaska / Kennecott Visitor Center

We began our trek at the Kennecott Mines, which is a short van ride from the town of McCarthy, which is (semi) road accessible.

Eric Hedstrand
2 Saves

Hike Spruce Cape

Alaska / Spruce Cape Trailhead

This hike is 1.4 mile out and back hike that leads to great island views and a fun beach to explore. This is one of the easiest hikes on Kodiak Island.

Harrison Finds
2 Saves

Hike to the Summit of Sharatin Mountain

Alaska / Sharatin Mountain Trailhead Parking

From downtown Kodiak drive southeast on W Rezanof Dr, turn onto Anton Larson Bay Rd north towards Buskin Lake.

Alex Anderson
1 Saves

Hike the Root Glacier to the Donoho Lakes

Alaska / Kennecott Visitor Center

Traversing the glacier can be a whole day experience in and of itself. Make sure to set aside enough time to explore. I'd plan on at least 3-4 hours total travel time round trip on the glacier alone.

Eric Hedstrand
1 Saves