The Natural Beauty of Alaska

by Ed Forteau /
Ed Forteau's picture
Jan 15, 2013 / 0 comments

The frozen majesty of Alaska is difficult to capture in words, but the beauty of the biggest state in America attracts thousands of tourists each year. Alaskan holidays take visitors through thousands of miles of frontier territory - and showcase the richness of a land untouched by the modern world.


For anyone searching for exciting Alaska holidays 2013 could be the year you discover the northernmost state, by road, rail or sea tour. Escorted tours are front row seats to the drama and spectacle of Alaska and centuries of fascinating natural history. Humans have made the Alaskan wilderness their home for 40,000 years, developing fishing and farming traditions to survive its harsh terrain. 19th century adventurers made trips north, but the territory became part of the US proper in 1959. Today, Alaska rail and coach tours weave through rocky trails and over picturesque fjords as bald eagles soar overhead – while sea cruises sail through crystal-blue waters and past silent, hulking icebergs teeming with wildlife.


Trips to the state head through America’s Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, giving visitors a chance to sample the metropolitan charm of Seattle and the stylish modernity of Vancouver before arriving in Alaska. The capital, Junea, is a gateway to the beckoning wilderness: you’ll be able to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the city - or take a trip to Medenhall Glacier, where museums and other attractions offer a fascinating glimpse into the natural history of the region.


Alaska has a rich gold-mining past, which saw thousands of fortune hunters descend on the Klondike. The White Pass Railway takes visitors into the Yukon goldfields - which lured so many - and reveals a wilderness of remote valleys, waterfalls and unforgettable views. Looking west, towards the coast, cruises glide through Glacier Bay and reveal, aside from the startling beauty of the ice flows and sparkling blue waters, a diversity of wildlife, including birds, seals and mountain goats. It’s not uncommon for some cruises to be accompanied by breaching humpback whales, moving serenely beside the ship.


With so much natural beauty on show, it’s easy to forget about Alaska’s human side. Tours to southern town of Ketchikan, nestled beneath the imposing Deer Mountain, are like stepping back in time. The only way to reach Ketchikan is by air or sea - you’ll find a colourful, welcoming community, steeped in connections to native Alaskan tribes and only a short drive from the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary. Every stop on your Alaska holiday promises adventure - and will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the drama and spectacle to be found at the furthest reaches of the world.