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The United States’ northernmost state has always attracted those in search of untouched wilderness, but as Alaska becomes increasingly popular its most famous sites are beginning to get more crowded. If you’re looking for a completely isolated experience it would be good to hop on a plane within the next couple of years. There are countless national parks worth visiting, but if you only have time for one park try Denali, where you’ll also find the highest mountain in North America. Obviously summer and winter provide very different attractions, with more visitors during warmer weather, but consider plunging temperatures and very short days before booking tickets between November and March.
When to go
High season is mid-May to mid-September where the temperature is mild to warm and if you move into parts of the Arctic Circle the sun is visible 24 hours a day. Winter is the best time to go to see the northern lights or attend some of the festivals, like Yukon Quest Sled – a 1,000 mile dog sled race.
Who to take with you
Most likely to bump into…
A moose and lots of birds, such as great horned owls.
Denali is a must – you can hike, ice climb or go white water rafting – but don’t fall in, the water is freezing. They also offer flightseeing tours via small planes or helicopters.
An essential you need to bring with you?
This is not a time to be trendy – North Face, Patagonia and Canada Goose are all your best friends here. Bring clothing that you can layer, comfortable shoes with traction, suncream and a fishing license, which you’ll need to purchase ahead of time.
How to get there
Fly to Anchorage and use the city as a base to take trips by car or boat.
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