Alaska is the largest city by area in United States but the least densely populated one. The city is located at the North West limit of North America. Winter Vacations in Alaska comprise of various winter activities and travelers from far and near flock to the ‘land of snow’ to be a part of these amazing activities.
Here are some of the activities that you can enjoy during winter in Alaska.
North Lights Viewing
Winter Vacations in Alaska attracts thousands of travelers every year to get a glimpse of the spectacular Northern lights or the Aurora phenomena. Summers with their continuous day light hide the spectacular waves of light and winters are the perfect time to view them on the clear night sky.
These lights transpire above the earth’s surface and are a result of charged particles colliding with each other. The light phenomenon is typically produced near the magnetic poles that produce the charged ions. Under a clear night sky, the Aurora is seen as a wave of yellowish green light that can extend for miles and miles.
In Alaska, the aura is popular by the name of aurora borealis. Aurora activity directly depends on the movement seen on the sun spot. The movements get enhanced every eleven years and as such the next polar peak is schedules to occur in 2012.
It is advisable that when watching the night lights, travel to the city outskirts as the city lights tend to demure the polar light effect. There are lodges and small rooms available at the outskirts that have been specially constructed for uninterrupted viewing of the aurora borealis.
Winter in Alaska is the best time to commemorate the ‘spirit of Alaska’. It is also the busiest season, with events, winter sports and cultural extravaganza’s planned throughout the season.
Dog mushing is the National sport of Alaska and one of the most featured events. Throughout winter a number of short distance and mid-distance competitions are organized. Two of the most popular dog races get organized from February to March. These races are long distance races that test the Mushers stamina against the harsh winter conditions. The Iditarod Trail Sledge and the International Yukon Quest Sledge Dog Race are two of the popular Mushing competitions that boast of an International audience.
Winter Events and Festivals
Winter Vacations in Alaska is the time for numerous events and festivities. Here are some of the most eventful activities-
Ice Carving Championships
The annual ice carving championship is held every year in winter. It is a beautiful amalgamation of outdoor activity and creative skills that gets captured in ice. Die hard ice carvers collect at Fairbanks, Alaska, from far and near places. You will be amazed by the host of detailed carvings that flank the snow white land. Very little gets charged for visiting the outdoor display. If you have arrived in Alaska in the early winter days, you can still enjoy the view of hundreds of sculptures practicing on the snow.
The Cordova Ice Worm Festival
The Annual ‘Ice Worm Festival’ is held in the beginning of every winter in Cordova, Alaska. The Festival first started in the year of 1961 and since then it is treated as an answer to the start of the long winter days. The festival is aimed at lifting the spirits of the residents of Cordova. As such the festivities include basket ball tournaments, variety show, and survival suite race. This is the time when the very popular Miss Ice worm Coronation function is held.
The best feature is the long ice worm that snakes down the roads of the city. It resembles the Chinese dragon parade. This is a must visit and so schedule your visit to Alaska with the timing of the festival.
Anchorage’s Fur Rendezvous is another of the important events that show case snowshoe softball, the ‘Miners and Trappers Ball’, ice bowling events and also you can enjoy Tripod Days organized in Nenana. This is a very fun filled event in which gamblers from all around the world bet on the time and place where the surface of the Nenana River ice breaks. A Winter Carnival is held at Fairbank’s, Alaska that has some very fun filled events lined up.
Winter Sports In Alaska
Outdoor winter sports are a major tourist attraction in Alaska. Heliskiing can be a very adventurous sport where skiing enthusiasts are brought to the center of some remote mountain ranges in Alaska. Get ready for an unforgettable experience as you traverse the virgin terrains of Alaska.
Fairbank, Alaska, offers a number of cross country trails for skiing. You can borrow ski equipments on rental basis. For travelers who take pleasure in downhill skiing, the town has two customized downhill areas for skiing. You can also avail the pleasures of staying in some of the popular skiing resorts in Fairbanks.
Snowmobilers and snow-shoers can enjoy the grandeur of backcountry scenes and scenery. If you are well accustomed with the area then pack your bike with essentials and schedule a meeting with nature’s beauty. Guides are also available to help you through the stillness and peace of the place.
Winter Sightseeing in Alaska
Alaska winters have much to offer and sightseers will enjoy the visual delights of the place. With the first snow fall, the entire valley gets covered in crystal clear snow. You will get mesmerized by the extended twilight hours that dazzle the sky line in different shades of color that ranges from pink to orange with glimpses of purple traversing the evening sky. Looking from a height everything appears in black and white. The trees covered with crystalline snow create a picturesque aura across the snow filled region.
You can also view the land from the comforts of a plane ride. Trained professionals organize tourist trips to get them have a feel of the flora and fauna of the winter Wilderness. Just at the beginning of the winter months, the delayed sunrise provides the ideal setting for viewing polar bears getting ready to hibernate.
An unhurried trip over the summit of Mount McKinley which is North America’s highest peak will be the perfect rendezvous with nature. If you are the adventurous short then join in camping programs that are organized by the various tourist centers. This will actually help you to get a real feel of the winter wilderness with nothing but the snow surrounding you for miles and miles. Enjoy your Winter Vacations In Alaska!