Not every family is going to want to make the trek to Alaska for a family vacation but if you want a vacation that is exotic and far away without having to travel too far then Alaska might be just perfect for you. Even though Alaska is in the U.S. it feels like it’s worlds away from the rest of the country because of the breathtaking scenery and splendor that encompasses that state.
Denali National Park and Preserve covers more than 6 million acres, including a portion of Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in the U.S. The park it broken down into three sections: Denali National Park, Denali Wilderness, and the Denali Preserve. Hunting is prohibited in the Wilderness but is allowed under certain conditions in the other sections of the park.
There are lot of activities to keep you and the family busy in the park, and close to the park. Hiking is the main activity, with trails ranging from those easy enough for very small children to tougher back country trails that aren’t appropriate for young children or inexperienced hikers. Wildlife is extremely abundant and you can expect to see wolves, bears, caribou, moose and smaller animals like ground squirrels. You can also find dozens of species of birds include eagles, raptors, owls, ravens, plovers, gyrfalcons and more. At last count more than 157 species had been sighted in Denali National Park.
Guided tours and demonstrations are happening daily in the park and you and the kids can have a great time watching a dog sled demonstration and learning about this uniquely Alaskan mode of travel. You can get a ride on a dog sled too. You can also take guided hikes and tours around famous Horseshoe Lake, or walk through the Alaskan frozen tundra with a native guide.
If you and your family like to snowshoe or cross country ski then a vacation to Denali can be a dream come true. Spend days dog sledding or skiing and nights in a traditional igloo or “camp” at one of nearby lodges. Want to see the best possible views of this stunning glacial park? Then head to the nearby areas and book a flightseeing tour, where a small plane or helicopter ride will give you the most amazing views of Mt. McKinley and Denali National Park that you could ever dream of.
Camping at Denali National Park is a little bit different than at other national parks. You need to stay at a lodge, and the prices of the lodges vary depending on the season that you go. You will also need to pay for shuttle service to and from the park from the closest airport, which is in Anchorage. A National Parks Pass that you will need to get into the park costs $50, but it good for 12 months and will also get you into any other national parks that you want to visit during those 12 months.