National Parks

Alaska's National Parks

Alaska's National Parks Map
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Comparing Alaska's National Parks

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Location: Inside Passage.

Known for: Massive tidewater glaciers that are often "calving" (sending sheets of ice plunging into the bay).

Biggest crowds: May through September.

Accessibility: Though you can't drive to them, you can catch the glaciers in almost every other way; boats and helicopters are the main ones.

Why kids like it: The calving iceberg sends tons of water and spray skyward, propelling mini-tidal waves outward. What hikers say: There's wilderness here, too, and it's a wonderland for naturalists of all persuasions.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Location: South Central Alaska. Known for: A rare up-close view of blue tidewater glaciers as well as some remarkable ocean wildlife.

Biggest crowds: Summer.

Accessibility: Limited, unless you charter a boat or plane, or take a tour.

Why kids like it: If you take a tour boat, you can be sure of seeing otters, sea lions, bald eagles, and on occasion, humpback whales and orcas.

What hikers say: Check out the trail to the vast Harding Icefield.

Best of Alaska's National Parks

Lodging

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