Why These 3 National Parks In Alaska Are Setting All-Time Visitor Records

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While hordes of travelers will be flocking to beaches this spring, let’s not forget how awesome U.S. National Parks can be.

Tourism records are being shattered all across the globe, but some surprising statistics released by the National Park Service showcase one state with a few records of its own.

Alaska may seem far-flung and inaccessible, but that’s really not the case at all.

sweeping views of glacier bay national park in alaska

This massive state may be set apart from the mainland, but it’s not stopping travelers from exploring what some say is the last frontier of America.

Glacier Bay National Park

It’s hard to comprehend the sheer size of Alaska. Try to wrap your brain around this – Alaska is home to 8 National Parks and Glacier Bay alone is 3.3 million acres of scenic fjords, breathtaking mountains, pristine calm waters, and crystalline glaciers.

@nicolemsunderland Prettiest National Park in my opinion 🥰 #glacierbaynationalpark #glacierbay #glacier #alaska #alaskancruise #hollandamerica ♬ original sound – Nicki | Luxury Travel

That is both figuratively and literally the tip of the iceberg, as this massive park is just a fraction of a 25 million-acre World Heritage Site, which is one of the biggest protected natural areas in the world.

One glance at Glacier Bay makes it easy to see why it’s worthy of a bucket list. The park welcomed 703,659 visitors, and among the most common ways to visit is by cruise, a mega-popular method of seeing Alaska’s top natural wonders.

Who wouldn’t want to wake up to some of the most stunning scenery in America? And of course during cooler months, it’s nice to have a heater!

@erikconover POV waking up in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Doesn’t this view make you want to sail with @Princess Cruises #PrincessPartner #MedallionClass #RoyalPrincess #PrincessCruises #CruiseTok #Cruise #CruiseShip #AlaskanCruise #realestate #luxurylife #luxurytravel #luxuryrealestate ♬ Sky Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

Although, it’s just as fun, if not more, to get up close and personal exploring the wild, remote land for the ultimate adventure.

There are no designated trails in the park, yet beaches, meadows and glacier-free areas are mostly walkable.

Klondike Gold Rush

Visitors trekking through the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park get a history lesson, all while enjoying the incredible sights and sounds of nature.

@kelseyrosedeleon White Pass Railway | Skagway, Alaska #alaska #ak #usa #travel #traveltiktok #cruise #alaskacruise #alaskatravel #trip #vacation #holiday #hollandamericaline #traveler #mountain #whitepassrailway #adventure #alaskalife #cruiseship #train #trainride #skagway #skagwayalaska #skagwaywhitepass ♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

Throughout the park are remnants of its historical past as thousands of miners took part in an extensive gold rush well over a century ago.

Klondike, as we’ll call it, begins in the small charming town of Skagway home to about 1,000 locals and over 1 million annual visitors.

The park itself received 1.3 million visitors in 2023 to be exact. Although small in size, this town packs a punch with awesome attractions.

While it’s no epic European train, inarguably, the White Pass & Yukon Route doesn’t receive the attention this unbelievably stunning route deserves.

@travelwithmevbylisar Beautiful train ride #royalcaribbean #ovationoftheseas #skagway #whitepassrailway #train #snowmountain ♬ Beautiful Nature – Steven Solveig

Rave reviews abound for both the train and Klondike with park guests highlighting horseback riding, wildlife viewing and ‘gorgeous views’.

Parks Of The Northwest Arctic Borough

Even some of the least visited National Parks are seeing a surge and setting new records. The Northwest Arctic Borough is the perfect example of why some may see Alaska as a far flung destination.

While cities such as Fairbanks and Anchorage are relatively easy to reach, going off-path in Alaska is another story entirely.

@timmertravels Follow for more travel inspiration! #travel #vacation #alaska #nationalpark #wildlife #kobukvalley #mountains #hiking #outdoors #explore #rivers #wilderness #sanddunes #tundra ♬ snowfall transition remix – cropz

But as the famous Ralph Waldo Emerson saying goes, “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey”.

Reaching the Northwest Arctic Borough can be a trek, but this stunning region of the state is home to a cluster of parks not often visited, yet visited enough last year to claim new records.

Kobuk National Park is only reachable by plane, giving these parks ultimate bucket list status. The other pair are Noatak National Preserve and Cape Krusenstern National Monument, reachable by plane or boat in the summer.

Compared to mega popular National Parks, like Yellowstone, the parks visitation numbers look low simply due to the fact they’re harder to reach.

@outdoor.kirbys #kobukvalley #sanddunes #kirbysclass #nature #awesome ♬ midnight city (slowed reverb) (feat. kadirhho) – ciaffa & fedo DJ

Those who have made the arduous trek loved ‘flightseeing’ and immersing themselves in the wild to see untouched nature in its finest form, where some parts are so remote you could hear a pin drop in the forest.

Kobuk, in particular, is home to stunning sand dunes that are completely unexpected in this climate.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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