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Alaska is the largest state in the American union and shares the western part of the North American Arctic with Canada. Though it has all the technological benefits of the modern age, “The Land of the Midnight Sun” retains the frontier spirit of the pioneers who went there in search of gold and adventure. Of course, Alaska adventure travel is much easier today than it was in the late nineteenth century. Magnificent wilderness parks are just a few miles drive from the downtown areas of Alaska’s major cities.

One great type of Alaska adventure travel is cruising. There are cruises in Prince William Sound and through the islands of Alaska’s panhandle, that strip of coastal land between British Columbia and the ocean. Cruise passengers see some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the world, and can witness the “birth” of an iceberg when huge chunks of ice fall from glaciers into the sea. This is called “calving”. The waters off Alaska are also splendid for whale watching.

If you would like your Alaska adventure travel to be on water but in smaller craft, there are canoe trips that will take you up mighty rivers and across jewel-like lakes. Some canoe tours include overnight camping on islands. You can canoe for days on Alaska’s river and lakes, and not see another human being.

Of course, in this wilderness land backpacking is a very popular form of Alaska adventure travel. There are well-marked, easy trails for those who do not want too strenuous an experience. For hikers who are in good physical shape, are well experienced, and want something more challenging, there are trailless hikes. This means that about three-quarters of Alaska’s boundless outdoors is there for you to explore. However, this type of backpacking can be dangerous unless you really know what you are doing. Before venturing on such a hike, contact an Alaska Public Lands Center.

Alaska’s Mount McKinley is the highest mountain in the United States, so it is not surprising that mountain climbing draws people to Alaska adventure travel. For anglers, Alaska is a paradise for fly fishermen and bait fishermen alike. In fact, almost everybody in Alaska fishes for recreation. The principal game fish are salmon, halibut and trout.

Winter sports, of course, are popular in this most northern state. There is only one actual ski resort for the simple reason that snow covered mountains are everywhere. Cross-country skiing is much more popular among Alaskans than downhill skiing. For something really different on your Alaskan adventure travel, there are dogsled outfitters who can guide you on a dog-mushing expedition into the back country. Summer or winter, Alaska is a great place for an adventure vacation.

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