From epic skiing in Antarctica to a lazy beer-fueled canoe trip in North Carolina, these are the best places to visit this year
Alaska is inherently intimidating, which is why so many people are willing to cough up a small fortune to see the state’s greatest landscapes by bush plane. But if you fly into Anchorage and rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can put together a two-week, life-list-worthy itinerary complete with epic wilderness hiking, remote lodges, and heart-stopping raft trips. Much of the route presented here follows main arteries, with plenty of roadhouses for supplies or car repairs. But you should still know how to change a flat. And bring bear spray.
Explore the continent's most awe-inspiring place on a bold road trip across the last frontier.
Cruise ships and wildlife buses? The tourist staples miss the point of Alaska: It's the last real place to find an epic, crowd-free adventure on American soil. We've scoured the state for the best wilderness lodges, river trips, lonely highways, and DIY escapes. Bear mace not included.
2009 Travel Awards
Out on the far edge of the Alaska frontier, a man can hide his sins. Robert Allen Hale—a.k.a. Papa Pilgrim—bought a homestead outside the remote town of McCarthy where he imprisoned his family and conned the world with tales of a simpler life. But for the 15 children living the nightmare, the only choice was escape.
When he landed a rare permit to hunt bison deep in the Alaskan wilderness, our fearless forager thought he'd be living out a childhood dream. Wild buffalo, hungry grizzlies, nearly fatal hypothermiawhat more could a grown man ask for?
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