5 Best National Parks in Alaska

While many people visit multiple states when they embark on a national park adventure, there’s no need to leave the state of Alaska while visiting! Alaska covers more than half of national park land in the entire country as it is home to 16 national parks! It is a great place to go if you want to explore several parks in a single trip and the best part is that no entrance pass is needed. From seeing some of the tallest peaks in the country to exploring native history and glaciers, these are five of the best national parks in Alaska to visit in 2024.


Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

5. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

At 13.2 million acres, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the largest national park in the United States. It’s home to 9 out of the 16 tallest peaks in the country and is known for its copper history, glacier views, and remote wilderness areas.  With this being such a vast park, you can immerse into much of the area via a flightseeing tour with Wrangell Mountain Air. Vehicles can access the park by driving either the 60-mile McCarthy Road, which leads to the abandoned Kennicott Mine & Ghost Town, or the unpaved Nabesna Road, which offers 360 views of the tallest peaks, such as Mount Saint Elias and Mount Bona. While visiting the park, hike the Root Glacier Trail to walk right on a glacier!

Where to Stay



Kenai Fjords National Park

4. Kenai Fjords National Park

For centuries, Sugpiaq people survived off of the Kenai Peninsula by hunting marine mammals, fish, and animals for fur. This peninsula is located in Kenai Fjords National Park, a place where mountains, glaciers, and the Pacific Ocean connect. Here, history hangs on tight with almost 40 glaciers from the Ice Age spread across the landscape. Visit Exit Glacier off of Herman Leirer Road, the only part of the park accessible by road, and hike the 8.2-mile Harding Icefield Trail to explore meadows, lush forests, and glacier views from above. While here, experienced kayakers can plan a paddling trip to glide along the Fjord-filled Kenai Peninsula Coast.

Where to Stay



Glacier Bay National Park

3.  Glacier Bay National Park

With a total of 3.3 million acres of land, Glacier Bay National Park is a place of diverse scenery. Looking around, you’ll see everything from temperate rainforests and rocky mountains to whales and sea lions within the waterways. It’s also home to over 1,000 glaciers! This park is special for its history of the Tlingit tribe, who hunted and lived off the land—their traditions, songs, and stories still thrive in the park. While here, kayak along the Inside Passage’s only national park to fully immerse in this vast environment.

Where to Stay



Gates of the Arctic National Park

2. Gates of the Arctic National Park

For backcountry enthusiasts who live for those off-the-grid experiences, don’t overlook Gates of the Arctic National Park. Located north of the Arctic Circle, this 8.4-million acre park has no roads, no trails, and no campsites within the park. Those who choose to explore these remote, dense forests should only do so if they have extensive backcountry experience or want to go with a guide. This untouched wilderness can also be seen via a flightseeing tour for those who choose not to enter in by foot. No matter how you explore this park, you may spot caribou in the valleys, breathtaking rivers and streams, and beautiful views of the Endicott Mountains.

Where to Stay

There are no campsites in or near Gates of the Arctic National Park, but there are many hotels and lodges nearby you can stay at while visiting.



Denali National Park

1. Denali National Park

When it comes to national parks in Alaska, Denali National Park is a popular one. This park is home to Denali, the tallest peak in America at 20,310 feet, which can be seen while driving or biking Denali Park Road. While here, you’ll experience taiga forests at lower elevations all the way to snowy mountain peaks and glaciers. Hikers will love the Horseshoe Lake Trail, which goes around a lake. In addition, the park includes lots of wildlife, such as 169 bird species, grizzly bears, wolves, and moose. Sled dogs have been in the park for more than 100 years and were once utilized by families for trading and traveling in villages.

Where to Stay

With so many national parks to explore in a single state, Alaska has become an iconic bucket list destination. If you’re wondering if a trip to this remote landscape is worth it, we can most certainly tell you that it is. These are our five top picks, but there are 11 other national parks in Alaska that may be worth looking into as well.

See you on the road!

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