It’s hard not to agree with John Muir, who said: “For the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.” I must add, so is Anchorage with its endless outdoor adventures.
The Best Outdoor Adventures in and near Anchorage
We landed at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on a late Friday afternoon. Among five international airports, Anchorage Airport is the largest and busiest airport in the state. Most domestic and international flights have their first stops in Anchorage. And for most visitors of Alaska this city is their final destination. Why Anchorage? The reason must be all those outdoor adventures that wait for you in and near Anchorage.
Being the biggest city in the state, this Alaska’s gateway on Cook Inlet introduces you to the Last Frontier like no other places. Along with one of the best climates in the state, Anchorage boasts abundance of wildlife, scenic national parks nearby, and famous glaciers just a short drive away.
Doesn’t it sound like the best place for your next visit to Alaska? Then let’s jump on the bandwagon and have the best outdoor adventures in and around Anchorage.
7 BEST OUTDOOR ADVENTURES WAITING FOR YOU IN AND AROUND ANCHORAGE:
Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
Eager to have your first outdoor adventures in Anchorage? Trust me, you aren’t alone here. The best place to embark on your Anchorage outdoor adventures is the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Named after the former governor Tony Knowles, this costal paved trail spreads for 11 miles, winding from Second Avenue in downtown Anchorage to Kincaid Park. The trail ensures the best views of the downtown, the Chugach Mountains, and Denali, the tallest mountain in North America. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be one of your greatest outdoor adventures in Anchorage if not for the scenic views of Mount Susitna and Fire Island. Additionally, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail provides a perfect opportunity to observe beluga whales, swimming on the surface during the summer months, and encounter moose, sneaking out of Kincaid Park in winter.
Many outdoor lovers can’t get enough of one of the most panoramic adventures that start at Anchorage Depot, a major Alaska Railroad depot. Once you get on the train and bid farewell to the city, the Alaska Railroad makes your dreams of scenic landscapes, intersected with the towering mountains and salmon-packed rivers, come true. Covering 470 miles, the train starts its journey in Seward and takes you to Fairbanks, a gateway to famous aurora borealis. Meanwhile, you can enjoy Denali National Park and half a dozen other accessible-only-by-train destinations.
Kincaid Park is an oasis of the outdoor adventures in Anchorage. The scenic views of Denali and Cook Inlet and a chance to see moose and black bears are just a few things to expect here. Moreover, you don’t need to get outside the city to reward yourself with a healthy doze of exercises. Kincaid Park has all you need for hiking, running, biking, paddling, fishing, archery, and soccer games. Furthermore, Jodhpur Motocross Track invites all speed-loving visitors. Come snowy winter, and Kincaid Park transforms into one of the best places for skiing and ski racing.
Located at the southern end of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, Potter Marsh is a half-mile wooden boardwalk over marsh and watery openings. This sturdy structure enables all Anchorage’s outdoor enthusiasts to observe Alaska’s wildlife without getting covered in mud. There’re only three requirements: stay clean and safe, take many pictures, and enjoy the company of the animals and birds. Some of Alaska residents to meet here are migratory and nesting birds, moose, beavers, muskrats, brown and black bears.
Chugach State Park
Welcome to unspoiled Alaska praised in travel magazines such as National Geographic and Lonely Planet! This is Alaska that suits all your expectations of the great outdoor adventures in and around Anchorage. One of the largest state park in the USA, Chugach State Park encompasses the mountains, glaciers, scenic lakes, and rivers. It’s a place worth visiting and revisiting.
Situated in Chugach State Park east of downtown Anchorage, Flattop Mountain is one of the most popular and climbed mountains in Alaska. Starting at Glen Alps Trailhead, a steep 1.5-mile trail winds to a flat peak with the spectacular views over Denali and the Aleutian Islands. Additionally, the overlook area with no less impeccable vistas perfectly fits your Anchorage’s outdoor adventures.
Eagle River Nature Center
The next destination for your biggest outdoor adventures is located about 40 minutes away from Anchorage. Settled in Chugach State Park, Eagle River Nature Center focuses on increasing awareness and connection with nature. It makes sure to engage its visitors through guided nature programs and information services. However, you’re more than welcome to hit the trail without any supervision. There is no entrance fee except for small parking fee.
Anchorage might be the largest city in Alaska, but it doesn’t make it less popular among the nature enthusiasts. On the contrary, combining the convenience of the city with the great outdoors, it further emphasizes the advantages of both of them.
Recommended Tours in Anchorage