You don’t have to see the same places everyone else does. Here’s our guide to the coolest glaciers, biggest bears, and best small town
In a state of superlatives, Mt. McKinley, in Denali National Park & Preserve, is the most super of all: 20,320 feet of continent-topping grandeur. The average visitor sees it in a big group on a guided bus tour. You can do better.
To grasp McKinley’s vastness, rise above it on a plane. Talkeetna-based outfitters offer many flight-seeing options: Go for the longest (and most expensive) flights that circle the entire peak. K2 Aviation ($385; flyk2.com) is one reliable outfitter.
Spend the night: Kantishna Roadhouse gives you easy access to the park’s backcountry, and the kind of hearty Alaskan meals you need for exploring. From $440/person, including meals; 2-night minimum; Jun 4–Sep 12;