Freedom to Roam

The key to finding fresh adventure in the national parks? These ten strategies will get you far beyond the camera-toting hordes to where empty peaks, forgotten trails, and lonely rivers await.

Parking in Alaska's Lake Clark National Park     Photo: Photo by Corey Rich/Aurora

10. Look North
DENALI NATIONAL PARK, KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK, AND LAKE CLARK NATIONAL PARK, ALASKA
Two of the year's most exciting new trips are in the great white north. OARS's eight-day trip from Denali to Kenai Fjords includes a two-day raft down 30 miles of Class III–IV water on the Matanuska River, which drains the 13,000-foot Chugach Range. Guests spend the last three days camping and sea-kayaking in Kenai Fjords' 22-mile Aialik Bay, where orcas rise and the Holgate Glacier calves. $3,699; two departures in June and July; oars.com Great Alaska Adventure's weeklong Wilderness Safari trip sets 12 guests up at Bear Camp—eight feather-bed-and-lantern-equipped tents in grizz-heavy Lake Clark National Park. After arriving via a 45-minute bush-plane flight from Soldotna Airport, 140 miles southwest of Anchorage, you'll stand on 15-foot viewing platforms and watch 70 resident brown bears pull salmon out of Chinitna Creek. Post-safari, float ten miles of Class IV Six Mile Creek, near the boundary of Kenai Fjords National Park. $3,295; weekly departures from June 5 to September 10; greatalaska.com

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