Top 10 Things to Do in Alaska in August


August is a great time to visit Alaska and experience its breathtaking natural beauty and unique culture. From exploring stunning glaciers to witnessing wildlife in their natural habitat, there are plenty of exciting activities to do in Alaska in August. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a cultural explorer, Alaska has something for everyone. Here are the top 10 things to do in Alaska in August.

Key Takeaways

  • Cruise to Glacier Bay National Park
  • Go Whale Watching in Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center
  • Salmon Fishing in the Kenai River
  • Drive the Seward Highway

Explore the Stunning Glaciers

Cruise to Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park is a must-visit destination in Alaska. Cruising through the park allows you to witness the breathtaking beauty of the glaciers up close. The park is home to numerous glaciers, including the famous Margerie Glacier and the Grand Pacific Glacier. As you sail through the icy waters, keep an eye out for wildlife such as seals, sea lions, and whales. The park offers various cruise options, ranging from day trips to multi-day excursions. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a unique experience, a cruise to Glacier Bay National Park is sure to leave you in awe.

Hike on the Mendenhall Glacier

Hiking on the Mendenhall Glacier is a truly unique experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Alaska’s icy landscapes. As you traverse the glacier’s frozen surface, you’ll be surrounded by towering ice formations and stunning blue hues. The Mendenhall Glacier is located near Juneau, the capital city of Alaska, making it easily accessible for visitors. Exploring the glacier provides an opportunity to witness the power and majesty of nature up close. It’s a thrilling adventure that shouldn’t be missed!

Take a Helicopter Tour to the Juneau Icefield

One of the most thrilling experiences in Alaska is taking a helicopter tour to the Juneau Icefield. As you soar through the sky, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the icy landscape below. The helicopter will land on the icefield, allowing you to step out and explore this frozen wonderland up close. Feel the chill in the air and witness the vastness of the ice as far as the eye can see. It’s a truly unforgettable adventure that will leave you in awe of the natural beauty of Alaska.

Witness the Wildlife

Go Whale Watching in Kenai Fjords National Park

Whale watching in Kenai Fjords National Park is an unforgettable experience. The park is home to a diverse range of marine wildlife, including humpback whales, orcas, and porpoises. Cruising through the park’s pristine waters, you’ll have the opportunity to witness these majestic creatures up close in their natural habitat. The sight of a humpback whale breaching the surface or a pod of orcas swimming gracefully is truly awe-inspiring. It’s a chance to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of Alaska’s marine ecosystem.

Spot Grizzly Bears in Denali National Park

Denali National Park is home to a thriving population of grizzly bears, making it a prime destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The park offers various opportunities to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Whether you choose to embark on a guided tour or explore on your own, keep your eyes peeled for these magnificent animals. You might even catch a glimpse of them fishing for salmon in the rivers or grazing in the meadows.

Observe Sea Lions in Resurrection Bay

Resurrection Bay is a stunning location along the coast of Alaska, known for its abundant wildlife and breathtaking scenery. One of the highlights of visiting Resurrection Bay is the opportunity to observe sea lions in their natural habitat. These fascinating creatures can often be seen lounging on the rocky shores or swimming gracefully in the bay. Watching them play and interact with each other is a truly memorable experience. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a sea lion pup! The best way to see the sea lions up close is by taking a boat tour that explores the bay. Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, is a convenient starting point for your adventure to Resurrection Bay. From Anchorage, you can easily book a tour or rent a car to drive to Seward, the gateway to the bay. Once in Seward, you can join a guided tour or rent a kayak to explore the bay at your own pace.

Experience Native Alaskan Culture

Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center

When visiting Alaska, a trip to the Alaska Native Heritage Center is a must. This cultural center provides a unique opportunity to learn about the rich history and traditions of the Native Alaskan people. Immerse yourself in the vibrant displays and exhibits that showcase the diverse cultures and art forms of the indigenous communities. From traditional dances to storytelling sessions, there are plenty of interactive experiences to engage in.

To make the most of your visit, consider attending a traditional Native dance performance. These captivating performances bring to life the ancient stories and rituals of the Native Alaskan tribes. You’ll be mesmerized by the intricate movements and colorful costumes. Don’t forget to explore the Native art and crafts section, where you can admire and purchase authentic handmade items.

Whether you’re interested in history, art, or simply want to gain a deeper understanding of the Native Alaskan culture, a visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center is an enriching experience that should not be missed.

Attend a Traditional Native Dance Performance

Immerse yourself in the rich Native Alaskan culture by attending a Traditional Native Dance Performance. Experience the vibrant energy and mesmerizing movements as dancers showcase their traditional dances and songs. This is a unique opportunity to witness the deep-rooted traditions and storytelling of the indigenous people of Alaska. The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a great place to learn more about the diverse cultures and history of Alaska’s native communities. Through interactive exhibits and demonstrations, you can gain a deeper understanding of their art, language, and way of life.

Learn about Native Art and Crafts

When visiting Alaska, taking the time to learn about Native art and crafts is a must. The rich cultural heritage of the Native Alaskan people is reflected in their beautiful and intricate artwork. From traditional carvings to stunning beadwork, there is so much to discover.

One way to immerse yourself in Native art is by visiting the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Here, you can explore exhibits that showcase the diverse artistic traditions of Alaska’s Native peoples. You’ll have the opportunity to see incredible pieces up close and learn about the stories and symbolism behind them.

Another way to experience Native art is by attending a traditional Native dance performance. These performances are not only entertaining but also provide a glimpse into the cultural significance of dance in Native Alaskan communities. You’ll be captivated by the rhythmic movements and vibrant costumes.

If you’re interested in learning more about Native crafts, you can also participate in workshops and classes offered by local artisans. These hands-on experiences allow you to create your own piece of Native art under the guidance of skilled instructors.

By exploring Native art and crafts, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of Alaska’s Native peoples.

Embark on an Epic Fishing Adventure

Salmon Fishing in the Kenai River

Salmon fishing in the Kenai River is a must-do activity for any fishing enthusiast visiting Alaska in August. The Kenai River is known for its abundant salmon population, offering anglers the opportunity to catch various species of salmon, including the prized king salmon. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, the Kenai River provides an exciting and rewarding fishing experience.

Halibut Fishing in Homer

Halibut fishing in Homer is a thrilling experience that allows you to catch these massive flatfish in the waters of Kachemak Bay. The waters around Homer are teeming with wildlife, including various species of birds, seals, and sea otters. While you’re waiting for a bite, keep an eye out for bald eagles soaring overhead. The thrill of reeling in a halibut can’t be matched, and the feeling of accomplishment when you finally land one is truly exhilarating.

Fly Fishing in Bristol Bay

Bristol Bay is a paradise for fly fishing enthusiasts. With its pristine rivers and abundant salmon population, it offers an unforgettable experience for anglers. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there are plenty of opportunities to cast your line and reel in some impressive catches.

Here are some reasons why Bristol Bay should be on your fly fishing bucket list:

  • Abundance of Salmon: Bristol Bay is home to one of the largest salmon runs in the world. Each year, millions of salmon migrate to the rivers of Bristol Bay, providing ample opportunities for anglers to test their skills.

  • Variety of Fish Species: In addition to salmon, Bristol Bay is also home to other fish species such as rainbow trout, grayling, and Arctic char. This diversity makes it an ideal destination for anglers looking to target different species.

  • Stunning Scenery: The natural beauty of Bristol Bay is unparalleled. Surrounded by majestic mountains and untouched wilderness, the scenery alone is worth the trip.

  • Local Guides: To make the most of your fly fishing adventure in Bristol Bay, consider hiring a local guide. They have extensive knowledge of the area and can help you navigate the rivers and find the best fishing spots.

So, if you’re looking for an unforgettable fly fishing experience, make sure to add Bristol Bay to your list of must-visit destinations.

Take in the Majestic Landscapes

Drive the Seward Highway

The Seward Highway is a scenic route that offers breathtaking views of Alaska’s stunning landscapes. Driving along this highway is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Alaska in August. As you travel along the highway, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of mountains, forests, and coastal areas. Keep an eye out for wildlife sightings, as the highway passes through prime wildlife habitats.

If you’re looking for a memorable experience, consider stopping at some of the scenic viewpoints along the way. These viewpoints provide the perfect opportunity to capture Instagram-worthy photos of the surrounding beauty. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Pro Tip: Check the weather conditions before embarking on your drive. The Seward Highway can be affected by unpredictable weather, so it’s important to be prepared with appropriate clothing and supplies.

Explore the Kenai Fjords

The Kenai Fjords is a breathtaking destination that offers a unique opportunity to witness the beauty of Alaska’s coastal landscapes. Glacier-carved fjords, towering cliffs, and crystal-clear waters create a stunning backdrop for exploration.

One of the best ways to experience the Kenai Fjords is by taking a boat tour. These tours allow you to get up close to the magnificent glaciers and observe the abundant marine wildlife that call this area home. Keep your eyes peeled for whales, sea otters, and puffins as you cruise through the fjords.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, consider kayaking in the Kenai Fjords. Paddle through the calm waters and navigate around icebergs as you explore the hidden coves and secluded beaches. It’s a truly immersive way to connect with nature and appreciate the serenity of this remarkable place.

Whether you choose to explore by boat or kayak, the Kenai Fjords is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Marvel at the Denali National Park

Denali National Park is a must-visit destination in Alaska. With its breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife, it offers a truly unforgettable experience. The park is home to the highest peak in North America, Mount Denali, standing at an impressive 20,310 feet. Exploring the park is like stepping into a pristine wilderness, where you can witness the raw beauty of nature up close.

One of the best ways to explore Denali National Park is by taking a guided tour. A knowledgeable guide can provide valuable insights and enhance your experience. They can take you to the best viewing spots for wildlife sightings and share interesting facts about the park’s history and ecosystem.

While exploring the park, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls Denali home. From majestic moose to elusive wolves, there is a chance to spot a variety of animals. Remember to bring your camera to capture these incredible moments.

If you’re feeling adventurous, consider embarking on a hiking expedition in Denali National Park. There are numerous trails that cater to different skill levels, allowing you to immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings. Just make sure to be prepared with proper gear and follow safety guidelines.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check the weather conditions before your visit and dress accordingly. The weather in Denali can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for changes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, August is the perfect time to explore the wonders of Alaska. From stunning glaciers to abundant wildlife and rich Native Alaskan culture, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re embarking on an epic fishing adventure or simply taking in the majestic landscapes, Alaska offers a truly unforgettable experience. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness the beauty of this remarkable state in August!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Alaska?

The best time to visit Alaska is during the summer months, from May to September. August is particularly popular as the weather is generally mild and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.

Do I need a visa to visit Alaska?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a visa to visit Alaska as it is part of the United States. However, if you are an international traveler, you will need to check the visa requirements for your country.

What should I pack for a trip to Alaska in August?

It is recommended to pack layers of clothing for unpredictable weather, including a waterproof jacket, warm sweaters, and comfortable hiking shoes. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat.

Are there mosquitoes in Alaska in August?

Yes, there can be mosquitoes in Alaska in August, especially in areas with standing water. It is advisable to bring insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

Can I see the Northern Lights in Alaska in August?

While the Northern Lights are more commonly seen in the winter months, it is still possible to catch a glimpse of them in Alaska in August, especially in the northern regions with clear skies.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when exploring glaciers?

When exploring glaciers, it is important to follow safety guidelines and listen to the instructions of experienced guides. Avoid going too close to the edge of the glacier and be aware of crevasses and unstable ice.

What wildlife can I expect to see in Alaska in August?

In August, you can expect to see a variety of wildlife in Alaska, including whales, bears, sea lions, eagles, and moose. Keep a safe distance and respect their natural habitat.

Are there any cultural events or festivals in Alaska in August?

Yes, there are several cultural events and festivals in Alaska in August, showcasing Native Alaskan traditions, music, and arts. Check the local event calendars for more information.

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