Alaska is filled with jaw dropping, spectacular scenery. And as the largest state in the country, it’s no surprise that we are also home to seven of the 10 largest national parks in Alaska! Take a tour of these gorgeous, unique national parks that should be on everyone’s bucket list, and try and pick your favorite!
7. Kobuk Valley National Park
This stunning and ethereal park is located north of the Arctic Circle. It’s also home to the most active sand dunes in the Arctic. It encompasses 1.75 million acres of beautiful tundra, and is known as one of the most isolated wilderness known in existence, as there are no roads in or out. The only access is by air. It’s also home to 400,000 caribou, all of which make their home here in this gorgeous area.
6. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve covers 3.3 million acres of wild beauty. The most famous aspect of this park, and the area seen the most, are the tidewater glaciers that drop into the ocean. The park is the highlight of the Inside Passage, and visited by cruise ships every summer, to the delight of many. The park is so special it’s been included inside a World Heritage Site of 25 million acres. This is one gorgeous park that you’ll want to see in person!
5. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve encompasses 4 million acres. It ranges from sea level all the way up to 10,000 foot peaks. There’s something for everyone in this stunning area. It’s most well known for the turquoise lakes, and the giant Lake Clark. There are two active volcanoes, Mount Redoubt and Mount Iliamna, and the land is as wild as it is beautiful. If you have the chance to fly into the remote national park, it’s one experience you won’t ever forget.
4. Katmai National Park and Preserve
Kayla National Park and Preserve sits at an impressive 4.3 million acres. It’s famous for its grizzly bear sightings. Thousands of bears show up every year to feast on salmon, and many visit for some of the best bear viewing in the world. It’s also well known for its volcanoes. If you’re visiting the park, you’ll want to visit the famed Valley Of 10,000 Smokes, a 40 square mile deep ash flow.
3. Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park and Preserve, 6.1 million acres large, is probably one of the most famous of the largest national parks in Alaska. Its crown jewel is Mt. Denali, the largest mountain in all of North America. It rises up to 20,310 feet. There’s only one road in the entire park, and it’s only accessible by park bus, unless you win the annual lottery. Visitors to this wilderness will fill their cameras with photos of grizzly bears, moose, wolves, sheep, and more. A visit to this spot is one you’ll never forget.
2. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
Gates of the Arctic is a stunning wonderland consisting of the jagged mountain peaks of the Brooks Range. This incredible national park is located north of the Arctic Circle, and is only visited by a few intrepid souls. The Dalton Highway skirts the edge of this wilderness, but there’s no roads in this park. You’ll want to plan this once in a lifetime visit in advance, and don’t forget to take some photos!
1. Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Not only the largest national park in Alaska, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve holds the designation at the largest national park in the entire United States! At a whopping 13.2 million acres, it’s so huge, we have to share some of it with Canada. There’s only one town you can drive into within park boundaries, McCarthy, otherwise you need to fly or hike into this stunning wilderness to see it first hand. But it’s worth the trip!
Have you visited all of the largest national parks in Alaska? Which one is your favorite? Is there one that you’re dying to see, but haven’t visited yet? Let us know in the comments below!
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