Probably, many of us, having got used to life in comfortable and warm latitudes, with suspicion look at possibility of travel to such severe region, as Alaska. But having come a long way between the largest cities of this state and got acquainted with the incredible nature of these places, I can confidently say that such fears are groundless. And it is not important to go there in winter or summer, because if properly equipped and prepared, you can enjoy a trip to this unique region without any problems, because the temperature at the height of the winter season here ranges from -12 to -5 degrees Celsius. Our route has begun in the state capital, Anchorage. First we went to Chugach State Park, and then left the city and headed for Fairbanks, on the way to Denali State Park. On our way we saw the most beautiful landscapes of mountains, fields, forests and rivers. Alaska's flora is very diverse, so once you get here in the summer, you'll be able to catch the flowering of various plants. Also, the region is very popular with fans of active recreation and fishing, so going on the road, it is worth thinking in advance what equipment to take with you.
We are arriving in Anchorage today because we don't have a lot of time left, and our plans for the evening are very modest, so after the car rental we plan to sit in the nearest restaurant, resting after the flight.
They came to Alaska, rented a car and decided to go to the Sullivan's Steakhouse bar and grill for dinner. I must say that the atmosphere here is very cozy and disposes to a comfortable rest. Meat and seafood dishes are served here. We liked the fried pork brisket and the French onion soup. There is also a large selection of salads, steaks and snacks.
Today we will go to the nearest place from Anchorage, which is also known for its incredible mountain scenery. We have planned our trip so that we can admire the nature of these places from several different places.
Early in the morning, before going out of town, we stopped for breakfast at Kriner's Diner. Classic American breakfast, consisting of an omelette with chicken and vegetables, made us very happy. In addition, the menu also includes various combinations of dishes, such as steak with boiled eggs, as well as pork chops with vegetables and omelette.
We arrived at the country's third largest park, Chugach State Park. Our way was along the coast, so on both sides of the bay we were surrounded by landscapes of mountains and forests, on the other side of the bay there was a fog on the rocks, and when we were high enough to see the way we passed, we still had an incredible panorama of the bay, going into the quiet ocean.
As we moved on, we watched the landscape change. Now we're at the foot of a mountain range. We had the opportunity to go down to the water and take a bigger picture of the snow-covered peaks on the other side. Also on this section of the road is a little winding, so it is possible to see in detail how to turn the mountains along the bay.
One of the most popular places in the park is Flattop Mountain. It's a mile and a half long trail to climb it. The top of the mountain is very large, with views of many kilometers in advance, for example, you can see the Denali State Park and even the Aleutian Islands.
Returning to Anchorage for lunch, they couldn't deny themselves the pleasure of visiting Kincaid Park in the city. Its area is quite large, the locals use it mainly for sports activities. During the Cold War, there was a missile base here. Walking along the coast, you can appreciate the beautiful views of Cook's Bay. Also, fishing is allowed in these places.
To diversify our diet, we chose Samurai Sushi from many restaurants on our way. The atmosphere is quite cozy and quiet. The menu has a large selection of rolls and other Japanese dishes. Personally, I chose salmon sashimi and oysters in the sauce, everything is delicious and nourishing. It's also nice that the menu has a large selection of different combos - a good option for a large company.
After leaving Anchorage, we headed north and decided to stop at the Eagle River Nature Center on the way. It's another run to Chugach State Park. Driving through the road inland, we saw a magnificent landscape - the mountain river flows rapidly near the road, and the distance is visible coniferous forest and mountain peaks, directed to the clouds.
The next stop for us was the Thunder Bird Falls Trail. It's about two miles long. It is notable for the fact that it passes in close proximity to the mountain river, which further leads to a small but very beautiful waterfall. More often than not, there are a lot of coniferous and deciduous trees growing in front of the waterfall, and the passage to the waterfall is not difficult.
On the way north, we stopped by a small town near Anchorage called Palmer. Here we went to dinner at the cozy cafe Noisy Goose Cafe. The interior is made with the inherent simplicity of these places. The menu has a lot of pleasant appetizers, such as fried onion rings, cheese sticks with sauce, as well as a lot of meat dishes, among which it is worth mentioning fried chicken.
Today we plan to pass through the park, which is rightly considered one of the most important natural objects in the U.S. - Denali State Park. The area of the park is incredibly large and many areas have no road connections, so we will see only a small part of it.
Latitude 62° Lodge is a small motel, which also houses a rather cozy and pleasant restaurant. This is where we decided to start our day. The menu offers the usual set of dishes for breakfast, namely, an omelette with bacon, sausages and vegetables, boiled eggs with toast, strong coffee, pancakes and waffles. Everything is modest, but qualitatively and with a soul.
One of the main goals of this trip was originally Denali State Park, so we got here. There's a pretty little road in the park that leads inland. The first few hundred meters at the entrance we saw around the forest and mountains. The road sometimes looped, opening up the most beautiful landscapes in front of us. We even stopped at the first bridge, because the view of the outgoing river is really beautiful.
One of the stops in these places must be the observation deck Denali View South. In the nearest line you can take a short walk, and on the same site there are special binoculars, through which you can see the mountains, forested distance, as well as the river running to the horizon.
The day was in full swing and we got to a small village where we decided to have lunch at a local cafe 20,320 Alaska Grill. The food here in general is familiar, the menu is no different from the classic American restaurants - sandwiches, salads, burgers, steaks, fried meat. It is worth saying that there is a good choice of desserts, among which we liked fruit slices, as well as berry pie.
Byers lake is remembered for its incredibly beautiful views of the wooded mountains and slopes, which are probably often seen in documentaries about the nature of these places. Bathing here is not recommended, of course, but even a short walk through the forest along the coast will be appreciated by nature lovers and beautiful plans for photographs.
The last stop in Denali State Park for us was the Denali View North observation deck. Like her southern twin, there are stationary binoculars to view the panorama of mountains and forests. A small path leads from here to the thicket, so you can go down and take a little walk among the trees and flowers.
After leaving the park, he decided to make a short stop near the Huricane Gulch Bridge. To appreciate the beauty of the views, you can drive a little further and stop by the parking lot. You can also leave the machine and walk carefully along the ravine if you wish. From there you can enjoy beautiful views not only of the forest valley and the mountain river, but also of the bridge itself on the side.
Having come a long way today, we stopped at a restaurant on the way and were satisfied. The cafe building is a small, cute little house. Everything inside is just as modest, but nice. American cuisine is served here: fried meat, salads, steaks, soups and many snacks like fried potatoes and onion rings.
Today we're coming to Alaska's second largest city, Fairbanks. We plan to visit several natural places that this region is famous for, as well as make several excursions to the city museum, which is considered one of the best museums in the state.
We left the hotel and stopped by Rose's Cafe for breakfast on the way. Despite the simplicity of the building, there is a cosy atmosphere of hospitality inside. For the first time here you can order one of the many variations of the omelette. There are also many sandwiches and snacks to choose from. Ice cream and fruit pies are also available for dessert.
At the entrance to Fairbanks we decided to make a short stop in one of the remarkable places of the small town. Historic Alaska Railroad Depot is a small station where the same atmosphere that prevailed during the industrialization period has been preserved. There is a locomotive on the square as a monument and a souvenir shop.
To better understand the nature of Alaska, it will not be enough to drive through the nature reserves, the full picture will be lined up after visiting the University of Alaska Museum of the North. Expositions here tell not only about the natural diversity of the state, but also about art and technology. There are even exhibitions devoted to programming, dinosaurs and design. It is important to add that the museum is closed on Sunday.
After long excursions, we went to a cafe nearby for lunch. In addition to the usual sushi and sashimi, this restaurant serves delicious local fish - salmon are especially good. Rice or noodles are the standard variant for such establishments.
One of the main attractions of Fairbanks nature is its geothermal springs Chena Hot Springs. In some areas, even specialized rest homes have been established on these waters. However, it is possible to visit them, and without settling in there, passing by. Walking here can be supplemented by renting ATVs or other means of transport.
Another important stop in Fairbanks was the Creamer's Field Reserve. It's quite large, though not as large as Denali, but it's also a pleasant stroll through the fields and forests of Alaska, admiring the views of calm lakes and local farms. Here you can also often see herds of interesting breeds of livestock walking and grazing in the meadows.
Before going to dinner, we decided to go to a rather remarkable city park Golden Heart Plaza. The place is pretty lively, and it's not surprising. Nearby there are many different shops and museums, and the walk itself will take place on the tidy paths of the park, which are decorated with a variety of fountains and statues.
The day is nearing its end, and we decided to end it on a pleasant note - a trip to the restaurant Big Daddy's BBQ & Banquet. The facility is a real find for meat lovers - pork, beef, chicken, various sandwiches and burgers, steaks and chops, grilled and stewed with vegetables in a pan are served here.
Today will be the last day of our journey. Aiming to spend it with maximum pleasure, we have planned after breakfast a walk in the mountains near Fairbanks.
Getting up early today, we went to Sam's Sourdough Cafe for breakfast, which is not far from the hotel. The interior of the place is simple, but cozy. The menu offers traditional breakfast dishes - an omelette with bacon or vegetables, boiled eggs and toast, pancakes with syrup, fried potatoes and, most importantly, strong coffee.
Nevertheless, the nature of Alaska is amazing and unique, and it is unlikely that by visiting only a small part of the reserves, you can form a holistic view of it, because a significant part of it also lies outside the protected areas. To complement our impressions, we, without any doubt, went to the mountains to admire the next incredible landscape and did not regret it.