Traveling in Alaska

Alaska. Also known as the Last Frontier, the Great North, the Land of the Midnight Sun... so many attempts to encapsulate the expansiveness of this land. It's overwhelming to try to identify or pinpoint the essence of it. Alaska is BIG. How big, might you ask? It is the largest state in America - by far. It's roughly twice the size of Texas and three times the size of California! It's a place that holds over 3 million lakes, 3,000 rivers, 100,000 glaciers, 70 potentially active volcanoes, the tallest peak in North America (Denali at 20,310 feet) and 15 national parks.

Backroads Walking and Hiking trip in AlaskaIt's a place so big, it makes you feel small. Nature runs its course here - she is in charge and we feel lucky to witness it. What better way to experience this beauty than on foot. It seems most appropriate to walk the land, to be among the ever-changing landscape. Each person has a unique experience because the land itself changes every day. From the dramatic tidal difference, changing weather, abundance of wildlife, melting glaciers, active volcanoes, immense biodiversity of plant life, earthquake activity, shifting daylight, and flowing rivers, the only thing constant is change. The summer season is short but the days are long. The midnight sun invites you to play in the mountains without a time line. A sense of freedom sweeps over the beaming landscape and it is liberating.

There is no other place I've encountered that has made me come more alive.

It is easy to express the beauty of Alaska in words but seemingly difficult to articulate the impression this place leaves on the soul. Some say, once you visit Alaska you will never be the same. That's not to say it will lead to a dramatic life change, but a change nonetheless, in deep and subtle ways.  It's a genuine encounter with the wild that often brings you closer to your true self.

Backroads hiking trip in AlaskaFor me though, Alaska has presented a rather large shift in my life. It's a place that stirs within, one that roars to climb mountains, seize the day, to go the distance, explore new lands, to jump in freezing water... constantly waking up to the moment, to the refreshing gift of being alive. There is no other place I've encountered that has made me come more alive. It is a place that has taught me to find a peak and climb it. To figure out what I want and do it, without necessarily focusing on the hardships along the way. People here work hard to live and don't complain about it. This notion has trickled into my life and encouraged me to challenge my limits, push past them and discover new frontiers of my own self.

There is a rush to experience the wild land of Alaska since people feel it slipping away... my rush is to preserve it. I understand how delicate our wilderness is and how easily it can be lost. I invite people to witness the unique beauty and encourage them to take it home with them through perspective. I know that you can leave Alaska, but it can't leave you once you've encountered such a wild place. My hope is for guests to leave their Backroads trip and re-enter their day-to-day world with more "life" in their step. That after walking through the forests and mountaintops of Alaska, a new breath, a new step will move you forward. Alaska does not have nature, Alaska is nature. If you want to come alive to such a place, discover it for yourself.

Backroads Alaska Trips

Backroads Alaska Walking and Hiking Tour

4 Responses

  1. Josh

    Wow. Alaska really looks like a great place for cyclists. I would love to go there and ride under the open sky. Do you think there are special bike guided tours available easily in the remote areas?

    Josh from Aurumania

    • Jenny Uphoff Jenny Uphoff

      Hi Josh! Yes, Alaska is also a great place to ride under the open sky. We have a 6 day, 5 night biking trip from Anchorage to Prince William Sound. Here is a link for more information, https://www.backroads.com/trips/BALQ/alaska-biking-tour

      I hope you get to experience the great land of Alaska!

  2. Peter Carr

    Jenny,
    Thanks so much for introducing your Alaska to my wife Debra and myself this past summer. Yours,and Kate’s passion for the largest state in our union rubbed off on us. It is at once humbling, beautiful beyond words, incredibly huge as well as dangerous. I hope to be back in the future, but for now will have to be satisfied with my subscription to Alaska magazine. Hope you have a great winter.
    Stay passionate,
    Peter Carr

    • Jenny Uphoff Jenny Uphoff

      Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your message! It’s great to hear how Alaska has rubbed off on you and Debra. I hope you are able to visit Alaska again in the future, until then…enjoy Alaska magazine 🙂 Happy holidays!
      -Jenny

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