Grizzlies, Glaciers and the Great Outdoors
We explore the best spots to experience Canada and Alaska’s wilderness highlights.
Canada certainly knows how to turn it on when it comes to natural wonders. It's home to the bluest of lakes, where glacial ice has crept down mountains over millennia, carving out deep valleys in its wake. Across the border, North America’s Alaskan state promises wilderness adventure, packed with wildlife and natural wonder. Here are our top picks on where to find grizzlies, glaciers and more in Canada and Alaska’s great outdoors.
1. Canada’s Rocky Mountains
Is there anything quite as magical as slipping through the countryside on a rail journey? Especially when its exploring the Canadian Rockies’ storybook scenery. Board the Rocky Mountaineer train, from Vancouver to Banff. Sit back in GoldLeaf cabin comfort and gaze at the views from your bi-level glass-dome carriage. Trackside you’ll enjoy one-of-a-kind outlooks including Spiral Tunnels, Kicking Horse Canyon and Fraser Valley.
2. Athabasca Glacier
Come face to face with Mt Robson's sheer beauty before travelling through the Canadian Rockies along the Icefields Pathway, on our 25 Day Rockies with Alaska by Sea and Land tour. Stop off to ride across the giant Athabasca Glacier on an Ice Explorer, experiencing what it’s really like to skim over a glacier’s surface. Continuing to Banff National Park, discover that the scenery is equally staggering in Jasper and Banff – especially at turquoise glacier-fed Lake Louise.
This year-round wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts offers every imaginable mountain thrill, from floatplane flights to skiing, biking to gondola rides. So Whistler’s Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centreserves as a reminder and fascinating insight into the region’s rich cultural heritage. This gallery showcases Whistler’s two First Nations communities, here long before the ski slopes and snowcats arrived. Explore the centre’s interpretive displays, learn about native produce and try local dishes, on our 15 Day Winter in the Rockies and Northern Lights tour.
A dark-sky preserve, remote Yellowknife is a city in Canada’s Northwest Territories, perfectly placed for northern lights viewing. By night, sit outdoors in Aurora Village, rugged up on heated seats, skyward facing as the heavens dance and swirl above you. You can also enjoy dinner and entertainment in a private ‘ViTeepee'. By day, dog sled over a frozen lake, strap on a pair of snowshoes for guided walks on back trails, ride a snowmobile or ice fish. Rarely, will you feel so at one with nature, and there’s always a warm welcome on your return from each adventure.
5. Glacier Bay National Park
On our 19 Day Rockies Explorer & Alaska Cruise, discover how Canada’s heritage, mountains, glaciers and wildlife are just an introduction to the scenic drama that unfolds when you board a cruise ship from Vancouver bound for Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park. Here, in the heart of Alaska’s coastal wilderness, some 13,520 square kilometres of mountains, fjords and glaciers are a haven for wildlife from bears to whales, and clouds of seabirds, as your onboard guide will explain.
6. Denali National Park
A Tundra Wilderness Tour deep in Alaska’s Denali National Park is the ideal opportunity to see grizzlies, moose, caribou, eagles and wolves in their natural habitat. With Mt Mckinley, North America’s tallest peak at its centre, Denali’s tundra interior shelters wildlife within its forests and along its riverbanks, where grizzlies are more frequently spotted. If the scenery isn’t enough of a distraction, stay on the lookout for park wildlife, great and small, and revel in Denali’s vast open spaces.
7. Kenai Fjords National Park
Mountains, ice, cliffs and forest collide with ocean at Alaska’s Kenai Fjords. Glaciers crack and heave into the sea, sometimes in spectacular-sized chunks. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d reached the ends of the earth rather than the edge of the Kenai Peninsula. There’s barely a trace of human life, bar the occasional hiking track. But this is the domain of bears, moose, beavers and bald eagles as a float trip down the Kenai River reveals on our 28 Day Rockies and Alaska Adventure.
Wilderness adventures never looked so good after recent lockdowns and travel bubbles. Canada and Alaska offer a winning combination of outdoor escapes to naturally blessed destinations. They're all the more enticing thanks to travel styles and accommodation that work seamlessly with their rugged environments, ensuring your Canada and Alaska journey is exceptional, as you explore these lands of grizzlies and glaciers.