A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Anchorage: 34°/50°/Mostly cloudy
Fairbanks: 31°/46°/Partly cloudy
Juneau: 40°/52°/Mostly cloudy
Southcentral towns outside Anchorage often have a wide selection of lodging to accommodate visitors who come to town for a weekend's relaxation, to fish or to show off the state to relatives.
Western Alaska's grand expanse of terrain, water and wildlife attracts many visitors with an interest in the outdoors. Its larger cities -- Kodiak, Bethel, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor and Nome -- put up quite a few visitors and governmental and commercial guests for the night.
Hotels in Barrow and Kotzebue, in Northern Alaska, cater to tour groups, which arrive by plane from Anchorage or Fairbanks.
Interior Alaska has a broad range of accommodations, from rustic cabins to hotel suites with kitchens.
Planes and helicopters take tourists into the scenery
The lure of seeing a really big mountain up close draws tourists to flightseeing businesses in the Denali National Park area.
From Anchorage to Fairbanks, but mostly from Talkeetna, Healy and airstrips near the park entrance -- small planes and helicopters ferry visitors to both glacier landings on Mount McKinley and simple fly-bys that happen to pass through gorgeous gorges and past astounding cliffs.
The park and all the flightseeing companies are reached from the Parks Highway. In Talkeetna's case, follow the Talkeetna Spur from the junction at Mile 99 (measured from Anchorage). The park's entrance is at Mile 237.
Helicopter tours are launched from two Era Aviation stations, one overlooking the Nenana River at Mile 238 just north of the park entrance and one near the Mount McKinley Princess Lodge where the Chulitna River crosses the Parks Highway at Mile 134 (mileage from Anchorage).
Fixed-wing flights come from mostly from Talkeetna, where several companies focus on Denali flightseeing. The 20,320-foot mountain, known popularly as Denali, stands only 60 air miles to the northwest and is easily seen from town.
Healy, just to the north of Denali National Park, also launches flightseers from its riverside airport.
Flightseeing companies offer a choice of routes to fit different desires, timetables and budgets.
From Talkeetna, a 60-minute flight over the Alaska Range to McKinley and the enormous Ruth Glacier will cost $120 to $140 per person. Add a landing at the mountain climbers' base camp on Kahiltna Glacier for $25 to $50.
A 80- to 90-minute tour around the summit will cost $160 to $205 per person. Glacier landings are extra.