1. Alaskaâ€™s fall foliage season on the horizon
At the terminus of Alaskaâ€™s intense, green summer is an equally stunning season of red, yellow and orange foliage covering the landscape. Through a variety of tours specifically created for this changing season, visitors can get an intimate view of Alaskaâ€™s dynamic landscape. Northern Alaska Tour Company explores Alaskaâ€™s Far North region with the Aurora Adventure, a four-day, three-night excursion into the Brooks Range. Guests can choose from a variety of activities based from Coldfoot such as exploring the Dalton Highway and aurora viewing in the village of Wiseman (www.northernalaska.com). Travelers wishing to experience Denali National Park and Preserve in the fall can go on Alaska Adventure Unlimitedâ€™s seven-day "Denali Fall Colors" small group adventure. Beginning in Fairbanks and ending in Anchorage, the tour combines photography with sightseeing excursions to glaciers, wildlife, marine life and even viewing Mount McKinley. The tour runs from Sept. 1 â€“ 7 (www.alaskaadventureunlimited.com). Finally, avid birders visiting the western region of the state can embark on an eight-day, seven-night tour to Adak, a 280-square mile island located 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage. This island, formerly a site of a naval base, is home to a wide variety of birds including eastern spot-billed ducks, marsh sandpiper, lesser sand-plover and gray wagtails, to name a few. Tour dates are either Sept. 8-15 or Sept. 15-22 (www.birdtreks.com). For more views of fall, visit Pinterest.com/VisitAlaska.
Contact: Tara Stevens, Thompson & Co. Public Relationsâ€¨
Facebook: Alaska Travel Newsâ€¨
Pinterest: Visit Alaska
Photo credit: Alaska Adventure Unlimited
2. Racing toward gold in the Klondike
Following the route of more than 40,000 gold rush hopefuls, racers after a different gold prize embark on the Klondike Trail of â€™98 International Road Relay, Sept. 6. Beginning in Skagway, more than 140 relay teams of 4-10 runners traverse the 109.5-mile route of paved highway throughout the night over the famous White Pass, through British Columbia and into the Yukon Territory. The race ends along the banks of the Yukon River in Whitehorse on Saturday, Sept. 7. The relay not only brings racers from all over the world to Skagway and through the Yukon, but also is one of the most successful volunteer events in this area, drawing more than 325 volunteers. Although this event is competitive, there are also categories for both walking teams and youth. Created in 1982, the raceâ€™s name is coined from the trail of the 1898 Klondike gold rush, where stampeders converged on Skagway, the base camp for the 600-mile journey to the goldfields. More info on the event is available here: www.klondikeroadrelay.com.
Contact: Buckwheat Donahue, Skagway Convention & Visitors Bureau
Facebook: Klondike Road Relay
Photo credit: Sport Yukon
3. Family fishing options expand in Seward
Adventure Sixty North out of Seward has beefed up its itineraries and gadgets this summer now offering fishing gear rentals, gold panning and the inReach Satellite Communicator for rent or purchase. For families who are interested in fishing at their own pace, Adventure Sixty North has fishing poles and hip waders that are great for day trips off the banks. Gold panning is another fun activity for the whole family. Guests are given a short demonstration as well as information on the history and whereabouts of gold from the staff of ASN with the advice: â€œif itâ€™s heavy, keep it!â€ ASN now carries inReach SE 2-way satellite communicator devices that can send and receive messages anywhere in the world. The device is also capable of tracking GPS locations, is waterproof and allows users to give their family and friends live updates of their adventure through social media capability.
Contact: Monica Cooper, Adventure Sixty North
Phone: (907) 224-2600
Photo credit: Adventure Sixty North
4. Alaska Railroad celebrating 90 years
On July 15, 1923 in Nenana, Alaska, President Warren G. Harding drove a golden spike into the rail, marking the official completion of the Alaska Railroad from Seward north to Fairbanks. This year commemorates 90 years of the Alaska Railroadâ€™s role as a key mode of transportation for cargo and passengers alike. To honor those who are of the same â€œbirthâ€ year as the railroad, passengers born in 1923 are awarded unlimited free passage on the railroad for the rest of 2013. The railroad is also hosting an anniversary First Friday event in Anchorage on Aug. 2, featuring a number of original pieces of artwork and historic annual prints highlighting the various landscapes and trains along the Railbelt. The Alaska Railroad is a full-service passenger and freight railroad that connects Alaskaâ€™s ports to various communities in the Southcentral and Interior regions of the state and also offers the nationâ€™s last flag stop train. As a popular attraction for travelers and locals alike, the railroad offers breathtaking landscapes and unparalleled wildlife viewing opportunities for more than 400,000 guests annually along seven different routes along the Alaska Railbelt.
Contact: Tim Sullivan, Alaska Railroad Corporation
Facebook: Alaska Railroad
Photo credit: Alaska Railroad