Two Ways to Explore the Great Northwestern Fjord

Kenai Fjords National Park is unlike any other park in the country. No roads enter it. Only one established hiking trail wanders within, and that ends after four miles. Some parts of the park are thick with temperate rainforest, while more than half is covered in a thousand feet of ice. And even though it draws upwards of 300,000 visitors a year, very few people ever explore beyond its perimeter.

There’s a good reason, though, and it’s not just because it’s impenetrable. It’s because that perimeter, especially the dramatic mountains and jagged glaciers of the remote Northwestern Fjord, is extraordinary in its own right. (more…)

Three Roads Rental Car Companies Ban in Alaska (Except Alaska 4×4)

There’s enough to see along Alaska’s well-traveled main highways to fill more than one Alaska vacation. But Alaska’s road system offers even more past where the pavement ends, and only Alaska 4×4 vehicle rentals provide access to those otherwise banned highways. Curious where you can take a backroads-approved rental? Read on.

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Spotlight on Alaska’s Wilderness Express Dome Rail Service

Once a service only cruise line passengers could experience, today the Alaskan-owned and operated Wilderness Express welcomes everyone—large group and independent travelers alike. Those travelers are treated to some of the swankiest service on the rails. The Wilderness Express also offers both adult and child fares, making this premier rail option ideal for families traveling with children ages 2 to 11.

What exactly is the Wilderness Express? It’s a private rail car service that travels with the Alaska Railroad’s Denali Star train between Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali, and Fairbanks. Check-ins and luggage are handled the same as Alaska Railroad passengers, but Wilderness Express ticketholders enjoy their own spacious private car and dedicated staff.

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Quick Q&A – Our 2018 Photo Contest Winner

Several of the finalist photographs in our 2018 photo contest were shot by casual photographers, but it turned out that our winning photo came from a professional. Matt Meisenheimer specializes in landscape photography. He travels extensively in his search for beautiful vistas and because of that frequently finds his way to Alaska. Here’s what he has to say about his winning photo “Chugach” and traveling in Alaska. (more…)

Stumped for Gift Ideas? Here’s How to Give the Gift of Alaska

What makes a great gift?

Is a great gift unique? Is it meaningful and heartfelt? Is it exchangeable? Or is a truly great gift all those things?

We know of a gift that’s all those things: Alaska. Or rather … a well thought out, perfectly planned trip to Alaska.

Here’s how you do it.

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A $500 Winning Alaska Photo

After three weeks of rigorously rating and ranking hundreds of photos submitted for our annual photo contest, we’re pleased to announce our 2018 grand prize winner: “Chugach” by Matt Meisenheimer of Janesville, Wisconsin!

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Infamous Alaskans: The Witch of Kantishna

Fanny Quigley Cabin

Alaska’s history is full of characters whose stories are as wild and fascinating as the land in which they lived. Fannie Quigley, a wilderness woman whose colorful reputation earned her the “Witch of Kantishna” nickname, is one of them.

Fannie came to Alaska in the late 1800s. She was an expert drinker and cusser whose famed foul language she picked up while working more than 15 years in railroad camps and lawless mining towns. She was also industrious, funding her way along the gold rush trails by making and selling meals out of a canvas tent she hauled on a sled. Fannie eventually made her way to Kantishna on the northern side of Denali. It was in this remote wilderness that she made her home.

Having quite the green thumb, Fannie proved that with a little care and effort you could grow bountiful produce even in Alaska. She built her gardens on top of the tundra, hewing planks and digging stones to form terraced beds she later filled with soil up hauled up from the valley floor. A cold frame extended the scant 10-week growing season. In these beds she cultivated rhubarb, cabbage, onions, rutabagas, cauliflower, potatoes, lettuce, and even warm weather crops like corn, tomato, and cucumber.

Fanny Quigley CabinHer gardens weren’t all for sustenance. In a show of whimsy for an otherwise pragmatic woman, Fannie also grew flowers, propagating poppies, pansies, and wildflowers that she’d later press and dry. In the winter she worked on a fine embroidered tablecloth, recreating those pretty flowers in thread. (more…)

Your Alaska Travel Update: Here’s What’s New for 2019

Totem Inn Valdez

At Alaska Tour & Travel, we’re always looking for new accommodations, activities, and ways of getting around in this beautiful state. For the 2019 travel season we’re excited to add several new options to the list of more than 200 quality products we book for you. (more…)

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