Alaska is a popular travel destination. With glaciers, an abundance of wildlife and the tallest mountain in North America, the diversity of things to see and do is as big as the state. But for most people, an Alaska journey usually takes place in the summer months. Not for my husband and I. Always on the lookout for unique travel experiences, we chose to visit Fairbanks in winter.
One of the experiences I enjoyed most during my winter visit to Denali National Park a few years ago, was spending some time with the park’s sled dogs. Since Denali NP is under snow for so many months of the year, the rangers use sleds pulled by Alaska huskies to patrol the park. The day we were there, most of the dogs were out with the rangers, but a few were taking it easy in their little wooden dog houses. We were told that if the dogs come out and get on top of their dog houses, they are willing to be social and get attention. This beautiful pup was quite friendly and happy to have us provide some love. And since we were the only people in the park that day because it was the middle of February, we had the dogs all to ourselves.
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The tallest peak in North America can often be difficult to see. But on a visit to Alaska one winter, I was fortunate to see Denali peeking out above the clouds. In fact, the 20,310 foot tall mountain was visible from almost 200 miles away as I was driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks.
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Luxury comes in many forms. There is the obvious five star hotel with concierge service and private infinity pool type of luxury. But for me, a more important form of luxury is the ability to easily experience the solitude of pristine, unspoiled wilderness for three days. A lodge to lodge Rogue River rafting trip gave me that experience with the added comfort of sleeping in a bed and hot showers at the end of each day, along with good home cooked meals and fine local Oregon wines. Now that is luxury indeed.
I have been fortunate to be able to visit Yellowstone National Park a number of times. Each trip has been different and each time I learned how to do things better the next time. I am sharing my tips for planning a trip to Yellowstone to help you plan your perfect bucket list itinerary.
I’ve been fortunate to visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park twice in the last few years. On my first visit I flew into and out of Jackson and did one big loop through the two parks. This time, as I was planning a Yellowstone road trip focusing primarily on photography, I decided to do a one way Salt Lake to Yellowstone itinerary, which I am sharing here.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to visit Yellowstone National Park a number of times in the last few years. A couple of times were in September, which I think is an ideal time to visit the park – the weather was pleasant and the park was not as crowded as it gets during the summer months. Mid to late September also has the added advantage of seeing the aspen and cottonwood trees turn gold. On my first trip to Yellowstone, I planned a 4 day Yellowstone itinerary which I am sharing here.
I had all but given up on a nice sunset while visiting Yellowstone on this day. It had been cloudy and raining all day and I did not think it would clear up. Then, all of a sudden a rainbow came out just before sunset and the clouds miraculously started to clear up just as the sun started going down. It resulted in one of the most fiery red sunsets I have ever seen – appropriate for a (potentially) fiery geyser area.
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The usual photos of the Grand Prismatic Spring are aerial shots that show this highly colorful hot spring from above. The reality is that the highest you can get to see and photograph this spring is about 100 feet from an overlook on an official new trail that the Park District established in 2017. Still, that does not make this iconic hot spring any less impressive.
I am not sure why we have a fascination with watching the geysers erupt at Yellowstone National Park, but we do.