At a whopping two cents per acre, it’s safe to say that Alaska is among the best investments the United States has ever made. Though the public at the time scorned the purchase as Seward’s Folly—a reference to Secretary of State William H. Seward—Americans have since flocked to their country’s Last Frontier to experience its litany of things to do, from camping in Denali National Park to recreational gold mining in Chugach National Forest just outside of Anchorage.
Even in Alaska’s coldest and darkest months, there’s never a shortage of ways to make the most of the icy wonderland. Glaciers continue to shape the state’s landscape, and sightseeing tours by car, cruise liner, or airplane afford up-close views of the readily accessible Mendenhall Glacier and the majestic Kenai Fjords, where as many as 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield.
Though not the most hospitable place to humans, Alaska’s wilderness poses less of a threat to the thick-coated huskies that run in the renowned Iditarod sled race. Travel to Jeff King’s Husky Homestead Tours in Denali to see what future Iditarod champions look like as puppies. A four-time Iditarod champion in his own right, Jeff offers regular tours and demonstrations at his log cabin and training ground.
As the weather warms up, Alaska transforms into a veritable playground for outdoorsmen. Try to catch a glimpse of one of the state’s 2,300 brown bears or 600 bald eagles while hiking through Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge or travelling along the Yukon River. The Class-IV rapids of Nenana River in Denali make for a wild white-water rafting experience that rushes headlong past caribou grazing by the riverbanks.