how to visit alaska national parks

How to Visit Alaska’s National Parks Your Ultimate Guide

Alaska, known for its vast wilderness, breathtaking landscapes, and diverse wildlife, is home to some of the most majestic national parks in the United States. With eight national parks spread across the state, each offering unique experiences, planning a visit can seem overwhelming. This guide aims to simplify the process, ensuring you make the most out of your Alaskan adventure, whether you’re looking to see all eight parks or planning a more focused itinerary.

how to visit alaska national parks


Key Takeaways

  • Planning is crucial for a successful visit to Alaska’s national parks, given their remote locations and the logistics involved in traveling between them.
  • A two-week itinerary can cover several key parks, offering a diverse experience of Alaska’s natural beauty.
  • An extended trip allows for the exploration of all eight national parks, offering a comprehensive Alaskan adventure.

How to See All 8 National Parks in Alaska

Embarking on a journey to explore all eight of Alaska’s national parks requires careful planning and a sense of adventure. The parks are spread out across the state, each accessible by different means, including road, boat, and small aircraft. An all-encompassing trip would likely span several weeks, allowing for travel time between parks and days spent exploring each park’s highlights.

2 Week Alaska National Park Itinerary

While seeing all eight parks in two weeks is a challenge, a well-planned itinerary focusing on the most accessible parks can provide a fulfilling experience. Key parks like Denali, Kenai Fjords, and Wrangell-St. Elias can be more easily visited within this timeframe, offering a glimpse into Alaska’s diverse landscapes from glaciers and fjords to vast wilderness areas.

All Alaska National Parks Itinerary

For those with more time, an extended itinerary that includes visits to all eight national parks will offer an unparalleled adventure. This includes:

  • Denali National Park
  • Gates of the Arctic National Park
  • Glacier Bay National Park
  • Katmai National Park
  • Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Kobuk Valley National Park
  • Lake Clark National Park
  • Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Traveling between these parks will introduce you to Alaska’s varied ecosystems, from coastal rainforests to arctic tundra, and the abundant wildlife that inhabits these areas.

how to visit alaska national parks

Planning Your Visit


The key to a successful trip is understanding the logistics of transportation in Alaska. Given the remote nature of many parks, small planes are often the most efficient way to travel. Road trips can be an adventure in themselves, offering spectacular scenery along Alaska’s highways.


Options vary widely, from camping in the parks to staying in nearby lodges or towns. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during the peak summer months.


Each park offers a range of activities, including hiking, wildlife viewing, kayaking, and cultural experiences. Tailoring your activities to each park’s unique environment will enhance your visit.


Q1:How do you visit the national parks in Alaska?

To visit the national parks in Alaska, you typically need to plan for remote travel, as many parks are accessible only by small aircraft, boat, or, in some cases, by road. It’s essential to research each park’s specific access points and available transportation options. For the more accessible parks, renting a car might be feasible, while for the remote ones, booking flights with local air taxis or guided tours may be necessary. Planning ahead, especially for accommodations and park permits, is crucial due to the remote nature and popularity of these destinations.

Q2:Which National Park in Alaska is easiest to get to?

The easiest National Park to get to in Alaska is Kenai Fjords National Park. It’s accessible by road from Anchorage, with Seward being the gateway to the park, offering boat tours and activities.

Q3:What is the best way to explore Alaska?

The best way to explore Alaska is by a combination of road trips and small plane flights. This approach allows you to experience the scenic highways, like the Seward and Denali Park Roads, and reach remote areas accessible only by air, offering a comprehensive view of Alaska’s diverse landscapes and wildlife.

Q4:Which Alaska National Parks are accessible by car?

In Alaska, Denali National Park and Preserve and Kenai Fjords National Park are the most accessible national parks by car. Denali can be reached via the Parks Highway, while Kenai Fjords is accessible from Seward, which is connected to Anchorage by the Seward Highway.

Q5:What is the best way to explore Alaska?’

The best way to explore Alaska is by combining road trips for accessible areas with small plane flights to reach remote locations. This approach allows you to enjoy Alaska’s stunning landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and wildlife both on the ground and from the air, offering a comprehensive and immersive experience of the state’s natural beauty.


Visiting Alaska’s national parks is an adventure of a lifetime, offering unparalleled opportunities to explore the natural beauty and wilderness of the Last Frontier. Whether you’re planning a two-week itinerary focusing on the most accessible parks or setting out to see all eight, preparation and a spirit of adventure are key. Alaska’s national parks are more than just destinations; they are experiences that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. With the right planning, you can embark on an Alaskan journey that you’ll never forget.