Wide expanses of snow, ice and glaciers are what we think about when most of us think about Alaska. Going hiking in Alaska probably isn’t something most of us would consider. Surprisingly, Alaska does actually have a summer, and it is possible to hike there then. Alaska also has some fabulous hiking trails in incredibly beautiful country where you can get back to nature more than anywhere else in America. If you’re thinking of hiking in Alaska though, you really should consider these two hiking trails: the Kachemak Bay State Park near Homer and the Kenai Fjords near Seward.
The Kachemak Bay State Park is stunning and easily reachable from Homer but only by plane or by boat. Here there are two options for trail hiking. Either stick to the well-maintained trails, which will take you up mountains and glaciers and around hidden coves, or branch out to the eastern part of the park. Here it’s basically completely Alaskan wilderness with no marked trails, making it a huge challenge but really gorgeous. The Kachemak Bay State Park is also home to loads of wildlife and birds, so don’t forget your camera and notebooks. Oh, and be careful of the bears! They may look cute and cuddly, but they can kill you.
The Kenai Fjords are something else entirely. These fjords will rival anything Norway has to offer, with trails cut through the woodland as well as a lot of hikes that cross the glaciers. If you do these hikes make sure you’re fully prepared for glacier hiking. It can be somewhat dangerous for those with no experience. (You don’t want to fall down a crevasse or break a leg and have to get the Alaskan rescue service to save you.) Near the Kenai Fjords is also one of the most popular places in Alaska for hikers, a coastal defense depot that operated during World War II. Check out the old buildings and pretend you’re a WWII soldier. You can also camp in the Kenai Fjord National Park overnight. Just make sure you stock up on provisions in Seward before you set out, because there’s nothing to buy in the national park itself.
There are many more amazing hiking trails in Alaska. Your best bet is to start out in Anchorage, Homer, Seward or Juneau and branch out from there.