Alaska is known for having some of the most impressive and beautiful landscapes in the world.
There are many national parks in Alaska, including one national preserve and seven national historic sites. We have compiled a list of our favorite 16 National Parks in Alaska!
1. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
The glacier bay national park and preserve is a beautiful, pristine area in southeastern Alaska. The land features all sorts of wildlife, dense forests, mountain tops with glaciers, and towering peaks. Visitors to this region will be able to experience some of nature’s most spectacular creations without having to travel too far from home. The glacier bay national park and preserve is a perfect place to explore, see the wildlife or just sit back in awe.
It’s easy to see why this National Park was named Glacier Bay, with 3 million acres of land and snowy peaks. The park is home to over 50 glaciers that reach down into the sea as well as a rugged coastline filled with wildlife such as whales, grizzly bears, and seals.
2. Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park and Preserve is the largest national park in America, spanning more than six million acres.
Denali is in the middle of Alaska and has no roads to its border. It includes glaciers, alpine tundra, and boreal forest. The centerpiece of Denali is Mount McKinley, which is the tallest mountain in North America.
There are animals in the park. Caribou, moose, wolves, and grizzly bears live there. Tundra swans and trumpeter geese come from Canada to visit during the summer.
The huge park is over 6 million hectares and has something to do for everyone. Guests can take tours of different places, go on hikes, or take a scenic drive in their car. They can also drive the bus! There are also some adorable dogs at the park who want to meet you.
3. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
The Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is one of the most remote parks in America.
This park has more than 2 million acres. It has seven mountain ranges with peaks that are higher than 13,000 feet. People will find wildlife that can only be found in this park from hiking to mountains to backpacking and kayaking.
This is the second-largest national park in Alaska and a perfect example of wilderness. The first stop for visitors should be Denali National Park, located right on the edge of Anchorage. Visitors will have an immersive experience with nature that will leave them breathless!
4. Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve is the largest national park in America, larger than Switzerland! The preserve also has the tallest mountain in North America: Denali (formerly known as Mt. McKinley).
The mountains are full of glaciers that have been around for over one million years. Some mountaineers call it “the last great American frontier.” The park has been in operation since 1980. There are many different animals that live there, such as moose and caribou.
One of the best things about this park is that they offer mining sites for all skill levels. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or have been to dozens, there’s something here for everyone who loves digging and discovering chunks of coal!
5. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is one of the most remote parks in America.
There is a park that people can go to if they want to get away from society. It has 16 million acres of land, so there are many places to explore.
Alaska is the perfect place to go if you want to see the Earth’s most beautiful natural wonders. You can hike or kayak in places like Lake Clark National Park and watch for black bears in Denali National Park. There are many different things that you can do!
6. Kobuk Valley National Park
Kobuk Valley National Park is a United States national park in northwestern Alaska. It was established in 1980 and consists of 19,000 square miles (49,940 km²). The borders of the contiguous protected area reach from the Kasegaluk Lagoon on the northwest to just east of Big Lake on the southeast. Much of its terrain is a flat, low-lying tundra. To the south of Big Lake lies Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.
The wilderness of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is a place where wild animals and people alike can thrive.
You can explore many places in this national park. If you backpack, winter ski, or fish for salmon and Dolly Varden there will be many opportunities to explore. There are lots of untouched lands that make up the beautiful national park.
7. Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park is a national park in the Seward-Homer area of Alaska. It extends from the Gulf of Alaska to Cook Inlet, and it includes about three million acres (12,000 km²) with over 100 glaciers that flow down into tidewater. The terrain at Kenai Fjords ranges from the coastal lowlands to three mountain ranges.
Kenai Fjords National Park is a home for many different types of animals. There are brown bears, caribou, Dall sheep, and moose. The park provides a place for salmon to spawn and wildflowers to grow.
If you’re looking for a different thing to do in Alaska, you can take a boat tour. You might see an Exit Glacier from the water and Harding Icefield. Animals you might see are sea otters, killer whales, brown bears, and black ones!
8. Katmai National Park and Preserve
Katmai is located in the southwest corner of Alaska, bordering on Cook Inlet. The park itself occupies 31,070 acres and preserves a variety of landscapes from mountain peaks to the coastal plains.
Katmai National Park and Preserve were established in 1980 by an act of Congress as one of America’s newest national parks. It is the home of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a caldera that erupted on June 20th, 1912.
Katmai National Park and Preserve is a place where there is no one. You can explore through its trails or fish for salmon and trout.
9. Sitka National Historical Park
The Sitka National Historical Park is a place that is in Alaska. The area was first established as the national historical site on April 22, 1906, when President Theodore Roosevelt created it by presidential proclamation.
The park is made up of two parts: Fort Simcoe and Sheldon Jackson College Historic District. Fort Simcoe is located on about 300 acres (with a small amount to SJC).
The park has a village that shows how people lived before 1867. It was taken over by the Russians.
A trip to the Sitka National Historical Park will take you on a forest adventure with beautiful views of the sea. Russian fur hunters would fight Tlingit people here.
10. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a park managed by the NPS. The park preserves and tells about an important part of America’s past, the Klondike gold rush.
It started in 1896 and ended in about 4 years as people found less gold than expected. In 1898, President McKinley set aside the land that became Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
The Klondike Gold Rush Museum has many places to see the history of this famous event. If you want to get outside into nature, there are hiking trails and a scenic drive for you.
11. Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve
Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve is a remote monument in Southwest Alaska. It harbors the most impressive geothermal features in North America.
This is a place where there was an eruption. It has hot water that stays warm even when you go away. And it has other things like geysers and boiling pools that are very cool to see.
There is a volcano in the Anaiakchak National Monument and Preserve. It has been active for 3,500 years. People can do many things there, like fishing, hiking, canoeing, and more. There are also spectacular views of the landscape. You can search for fossils at Fossil Lake too.
12. Cape Krusenstern National Monument
Cape Krusenstern is a U.S. national monument in Alaska. It is on Wrangell Island, and it is within the city of Sitka.
The park preserves an area with many animals. There are bears, moose, caribou, and more than 200 different birds that migrate. The park also has totem poles from the Tlingit Indian culture on display.
It offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, from bird watching and wildflower viewing in the summer to fishing during winter.
13. Noatak National Preserve
Noatak National Preserve is a place in Alaska where there are forests, rivers, and lakes. There are many other animals like elk and moose that live there as well.
There are over 300 miles to explore with hiking trails for all levels- from easy day hikes to strenuous multi-day adventures. Even the most experienced hikers will find something here.
It is a great place for you to go backpacking. You can explore nature, see wildlife, and go to community events while in the peace of mind that comes with being in the backyard of nature.
14. Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Some people think of this place to be their home. They have many animals like grizzly bears, wolves, elks, and moose that live there.
The Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve has many different types of plants. If you are a bird watcher or want to see animals, this is a good place to visit.
This place is a place where animals live. There are many different types of animals. Some of the trees and plants here are from North America, but there are also some that only grow in this place, like the Siberian ginseng plant.
15. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
The Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is a part of the Alaskan wilderness, and it’s only accessible by airplane. But what you find when you arrive at this remote location in North America is breathtaking. It was once home to an ice-age bridge that connected Asia with today’s Alaska. The glaciers receded around 11,000 years ago. The preserve is also home to the largest concentration of animal life in Alaska and it’s full of other geological features you don’t want to miss.
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is a remote place with diverse wildlife. For those who are not afraid of adventure, snowmobile trips and multi-day hiking tours can be enjoyed there!
16. Alagnak Wild River
The Alagnak Wild River is a remote river in the northern Yukon Territory of Canada. It starts at Atanarjuat Lake and flows north to Kotzebue Sound, draining an area of about 12 300 km². The name Alagnak means “long country.” The Alagnak Wild River is one of the largest rivers in North America, but most people don’t know about it.
This place is a mecca for fishermen. They come here to catch wild salmon and trout. There are lots of animals including bears, moose, beavers, foxes, otters, and other animals in their natural habitat.
Visitors to national parks should wear appropriate clothing and bring gloves and a heated jacket. Wear clothes that are good for the type of weather. Check the forecast before planning your visit, and bring a National Park Pass or National Parks Senior Pass with you if you are eligible.
If you are not planning on visiting Alaska anytime soon, this blog post might have inspired you to do so. The natural beauty of the state is amazing and it would be a shame to miss out on such an opportunity!