PhotoSecrets Alaska

A Photographer’s Guide

Best classic places spots hotspots sites sights views photo locations to photograph for photography with maps tips ideas composition postcard photos cool beautiful pictures



Anchorage skylineFrank K/Wikipedia


77 views to photograph
Conoco-Phillips BuildingPaxson Woelber/Wikipedia
Creek StreetLee Coursey/Flickr
ice cave in Byron GlacierPaxson Woelber/Flickr
Mendenhall Ice CavesJoseph/Flickr
White Pass Scenic RailwayTony Hisgett/Flickr
Anan Wildlife ObservatoryAndrew E. Russell/Flickr
Attu Island Peace MonumentKurt Fredrickson/Wikipedia
Barrow Whale Bone ArchJeffrey Philip Roddy/Wikipedia
Bear and RavenJason Riedy/Flickr
Clam Shell MuralBernard Spragg/Flickr
Mount Roberts TramwayIan D. Keating/Flickr
Polychrome OverlookChristoph Strässler/Flickr
Robert B. Atwood BuildingPaxson Woelber/Wikipedia
Rotary Snow PlowJen Hunter/Flickr
White Alice TowersChris Lott/Flickr
Wonder Lake OverlookDenali National Park/Wikipedia
Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle PreserveJwgetchell/Wikipedia
Alaska Native Heritage CenterSusan Adams/Flickr
Alaska Raptor CenterJerzy Strzelecki/Wikipedia
Alaska State Liberty BellBernt Rostad/Flickr
Alaska’s Marine LifeWonderlane/Flickr
Arctic Brotherhood HallStacy Farley/Wikipedia
Brooks Camp BridgeBrocken Inaglory/Wikipedia
Captain Cook MonumentJwalsh/Flickr
Church of the Holy AscensionWanetta Ayers/Wikipedia
Denali National ParkMaureen/Flickr
Exit GlacierDubhe/Wikipedia
Golden North HotelBernard Spragg/Flickr
Inside PassageGillfoto/Wikipedia
Into the Wild busPaxson Woelber/Flickr
Kennicott Glacier and Mount BlackburnNPS/Wikipedia
Margerie GlacierEric E Castro/Wikipedia
Matanuska GlacierSbork/Wikipedia
Mount Saint EliasNeal Herbert/Flickr
Museum of the NorthAwyu322/Flickr
Railroad BuildingReywas92/Wikipedia
Ruth GlacierAndrei/Wikipedia
Salty Dawg SaloonDerek Ramsey/Wikipedia
Saxman Totem ParkMark Byzewski/Flickr
Snowbird Glacier MoulinPaxson Woelber/Wikipedia
Soapy Smith’sNotyourbroom/Wikipedia
Sons of Norway statueBrewbooks/Flickr
South Sawyer GlacierIan D. Keating/Flickr
St. Michael’s CathedralBarek/Wikipedia
St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox ChurchWknight94/Wikipedia
Worthington GlacierMr Hicks46/Flickr
The Alaska RailroadBernt Rostad/Flickr
Alaska State CapitolGillfoto/Wikipedia
Anchorage MuseumJames Brooks/Wikipedia
Mendenhall GlacierIan D. Keating/Flickr
North Suicide PeakPaxson Woelber/Flickr
Portage GlacierJosette/Wikipedia
Sitka National Historical ParkAndrew Malone/Flickr
Totem Heritage CenterJay Galvin/Flickr
Unknown First Family statueArthur Chapman/Flickr
Valley of Ten Thousand SmokesKatmai National Park And Preserve/Wikipedia
Mendenhall Glacier Visitor CenterReywas92/Wikipedia
Red Dog SaloonDiego Delso/Wikipedia



About PhotoSecrets



A great travel photo­graph, like a great news photo­graph, requires you to be in the right place at the right time to capture that special moment. Professional photo­graphers have a short-hand phrase for this: “F8 and be there.”

There are countless books that can help you with photo­graphic technique, the “F8” portion of that equation. But until now, there’s been little help for the other, more critical portion of that equation, the “be there” part. To find the right spot, you had to expend lots of time and shoe leather to wander around, track down every potential viewpoint, and essentially re-invent the wheel.

In my career as a professional travel photo­grapher, well over half my time on location is spent seeking out the good angles. Andrew Hudson’s PhotoSecrets does all that legwork for you, so you can spend your time photo­graphing instead of wandering about. It’s like having a professional location scout in your camera bag. I wish I had one of these books for every city I photo­graph on assignment.

PhotoSecrets can help you capture the most beautiful sights with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of enjoyment. So grab your camera, find your favorite PhotoSecrets spots, and “be there!”

About Bob Krist

Bob Krist has photo­graphed assignments for National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Travel/­Holiday, Smithsonian, and Islands. He won “Travel photo­grapher of the Year” from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1994, 2007, and 2008.

For National Geographic, Bob has led round-the-world tours and a traveling lecture series. His book In Tuscany with Frances Mayes spent a month on The New York Times’ bestseller list and his how-to book Spirit of Place was hailed by American Photo­grapher magazine as “the best book about travel photo­graphy we’ve ever read.”

The parents of three sons, Bob and his wife live in New Hope, Pennsylvania.


Thank you for reading PhotoSecrets. As a fellow fan of travel and photo­graphy, I hope this guide will help you quickly find the most visually stunning places, and come home with equally stunning photo­graphs.

PhotoSecrets is designed to show you all the best sights. Flick through, see the classic shots, and use them as a departure point for your own creations. Get ideas for comp­osition and interesting viewpoints. See what piques your interest. Know what to shoot, where to stand, when to go, and why it’s interesting. Now you can spend less time researching and more time photographing.

The idea for PhotoSecrets came during a trip to Thailand, when I tried to find the exotic beach used in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. None of the guidebooks I had showed a picture, so I thought a guidebook of postcard photos would be useful for us photographers. Twenty-plus years later, you have this guide. Thanks!

Now, start exploring — and take lots of photos!

About Andrew Hudson

Originally an engineer, Andrew Hudson started PhotoSecrets in 1995. His first book won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book and his second won the Grand Prize in the National Self-Published Book Awards.

Andrew has published 38 nationally-distributed photo­graphy books. He has photo­graphed assignments for Macy’s, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Men’s Health and Seventeen, and been a location scout for Nikon. His photos and articles have appeared in Alaska Airlines, National Geographic Traveler, Shutterbug Outdoor and Nature photo­graphy, Where, and Woman’s World.

Andrew has a degree in Computer Engineering from Manchester University and a certificate in copyright law from Harvard Law School. Born in Redditch, England, he lives with his wife, two kids, and two chocolate Labs, in San Diego, California.


At a Glance

GPS:64, -150
Nickname:The Last Frontier
Motto:North to the Future
Highest point:Denali

Alaska offers photographers glaciers, brown bears and gold-rush era towns. There are eight national parks and the tallest land-based mountain on Earth, Denali.

Alaska is the largest U.S. state by area (greater than Texas and California combined); the most northern and western state, and the most eastern, as the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere.

You really can see Russia from Alaska. From the hills of Tin City on the mainland, you can see mountains on mainland Russia, 60 miles (100 km) away, and from the top of the Alaska’s Little Diomede Island you can see Russia’s Big Diomede Island, three miles (4.8 km) away.

At least 11,000 years ago, people had crossed the Bering land bridge and settled in today’s Alaska. The area was occupied by numerous indigenous peoples well before the arrival of Russian seafarers, possibly in 1648. After Vitus Bering’s expedition in 1741, his crew returned to Russia with sea otter pelts judged to be the finest fur in the world and fur trading led to competing interests. Britain mapped Alaska’s southern and western coastline in 1778, Spain named Valdez and Cordova in 1790, and Russia took today’s Sitka from the Tlingit people in 1799.

The name “Alaska” was first used in the Russian colonial period and is derived from the Aleut (Unangam) term for the mainland of Alaska, meaning object to which the action of the sea is directed.

In 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States for $7.2 million. Gold was discovered near Sitka in 1880, and Joe Juneau’s mining village grew to become the capital in 1906. The Klondike Gold Rush (1896–1899) brought about 100,000 prospectors, mainly to the ports of Dyea and Skagway in Southeast Alaska. And a simultaneous gold discovery in Southern Alaska led to the 1914 founding of today’s largest city, Anchorage, as a railroad-construction port.

The U.S. welcomed Alaska as the 49th state in 1959. Oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay in 1968 and Royalty revenues from oil have funded large state budgets from 1980 onward.

Alaska’s economy is dominated by fishing, natural gas, oil, military and tourism. Approximately half of the state’s residents (738,432 in 2015) live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. 99% of Alaska’s land is publicly-owned — 65% by the U.S. federal government and the rest mostly by state and local government; only about one percent is private land.

Alaska is separated from Washington state by 500 miles (800 km) of British Columbia, Canada, and is generally reached by ship or plane. The capital, Juneau, is so isolated that no roads connect it to any other city.


Anchorage skyline

Alaska > Anchorage

The Anchorage skyline with Cook Inlet leading to Downtown Anchorage and the snow-capped Chugach Mountains. This postcard shot is taken from Point Woronzof Park, north of the airport.

Addr:9700 Point Woronzof Rd,
Anchorage AK 99502
Look:East-northeast Far:7 km (4.05 miles)

Downtown Anchorage

Conoco-Phillips Building

Alaska > Anchorage > Downtown Anchorage

The Conoco-Phillips building is the tallest building in Alaska and defines the Anchorage skyline. The 22-story, 90 m (296 ft) tower — home to the regional headquarters of energy company ConocoPhillips — is connected by an atrium to a second smaller tower. The complex was known as the ARCO Building when it opened in 1983.

Addr:700 G St,
Anchorage AK 99501
What:Office buildingWhen:Anytime
Look:Northwest ↖Far:320 m (1060 feet)
AKA:Arco buildingWik:Conoco-Phillips_Building

Bear and Raven

Alaska > Anchorage > Downtown Anchorage

Bear and Raven is a whimsical eight-foot-tall sculpture by Hugh McPeck in 2000. The plaque reads: “The Raven whispers to the Bear, ‘I really enjoy watching you fish for salmon in Ship Creek.’ The Bear’s large smile and tummy indicates that he loves it too!.”

Addr:315 E St,
Anchorage AK 99501
Look:East →Far:5 m (16 feet)

Alaska’s Marine Life

Alaska > Anchorage > Downtown Anchorage

Alaska’s Marine Life is a mural by artist Robert Wyland. Painted in 1994, it is number 54 in his series of 100 “Whaling Wall” murals. The mural is on the side of the JCPenney building, facing Town Square Park.

Addr:550 E St,
Anchorage AK 99501
Look:East →Far:30 m (100 feet)
AKA:Whaling Wall

Robert B. Atwood Building

Alaska > Anchorage > Downtown Anchorage

The Robert B. Atwood Building (formerly Bank of America Center) houses government offices for the State of Alaska. It is the second-tallest building in Alaska at 20 stories and 81 m (265 ft).

Addr:550 West 7th Avenue,
Anchorage AK 99501
What:Office buildingWhen:Afternoon
Look:North-northeast Far:90 m (280 feet)

Captain Cook Monument

Alaska > Anchorage > Downtown Anchorage

Captain James Cook (1728- 1779) was a British explorer who, on his last voyage (1776–79), identified what came to be known as Cook Inlet in Anchorage, where this statue overlooks. In a single visit, Cook charted the majority of the North American north-west coastline on world maps for the first time, determined the extent of Alaska, and closed the gaps in Russian (from the West) and Spanish (from the South) exploratory probes of the Northern limits of the Pacific.

Addr:Resolution Park,
320 L St,
Anchorage AK 99501
Look:East →Far:13 m (43 feet)

The Alaska Railroad

Alaska > Anchorage > Downtown Anchorage

The Alaska Railroad connects Seward in the south of Alaska to Fairbanks in the interior, passing through Anchorage.

Addr:421 W 1st Ave,
Anchorage AK 99501
Look:North ↑Far:19 m (62 feet)

Anchorage Museum

Alaska > Anchorage > Downtown Anchorage

Anchorage Museum has a unique façade of custom insulated fritted (ceramic) glass and is often ranked among Alaska’s top ten visitor attractions.

Addr:625 C St,
Anchorage AK 99501
Look:East-southeast Far:120 m (400 feet)

City Anchorage

Alaska Zoo

Alaska > Anchorage > City Anchorage

Alaska Zoo is a popular attraction in Alaska, with nearly 200,000 visitors per year. The zoo opened in 1969 after local grocer Jack Snyder won a contest offering a prize of “$3,000 or a baby elephant.” Guess which one he chose.

Addr:4731 O’Malley Rd,
Anchorage AK 99507

Ideas for Alaska Zoo

Alaska Native Heritage Center

Alaska > Anchorage > City Anchorage

Alaska Native Heritage Center is an educational and cultural institution opened in 1999, with six life-sized Native dwellings and a whale bone arch arround Lake Tiulana.

Addr:8800 Heritage Center Dr,
Anchorage AK 99504
What:Cultural institutionWhen:Afternoon
Look:North ↑Far:11 m (36 feet)

Ideas for Alaska Native Heritage Center

Chugach State Park

North Suicide Peak

Alaska > Anchorage > Chugach State Park

North Suicide Peak is a 5,065 feet (1,544 m) mountain on the southern edge of Chugach State Park.

Located east of downtown Anchorage, Chugach State Park is mostly within the Municipality of Anchorage.

Addr:18620 Seward Hwy,
Anchorage AK 99516
Look:East-southeast Far:3.00 km (1.86 miles)

Mount Rumble

Alaska > Anchorage > Chugach State Park

Mount Rumble (7,530 feet / 2,295 meters) as viewed from Peter’s Creek.

Addr:18620 Seward Hwy,
Anchorage AK 99516
When:AfternoonLook:Southeast ↘
Far:6 km (3.51 miles)

Bold Peak

Alaska > Anchorage > Chugach State Park

Bold Peak is a 7,522 feet mountain.

Addr:18620 Seward Hwy,
Anchorage AK 99516
What:Mountain peakWhen:Afternoon
Look:East →Far:2.05 km (1.27 miles)

Portage Valley

Portage Glacier

Alaska > Anchorage > Portage Valley

Portage Glacier is a glacier within the city of Anchorage. Take AK-1 54 miles southeast to Begich Boggs Visitor Center, then a boat ride across the lake.

Addr:Portage Lake Loop,
Girdwood AK 99587
Look:West ←Far:410 m (1360 feet)

Ice cave in Byron Glacier

Alaska > Anchorage > Portage Valley

Near to Portage Glacier is Byron Glacier, with ice caves and views of Portage Lake.

Addr:1500 Byron Glacier Rd,
Girdwood AK 99587
What:Ice caveWhen:Anytime

North of Anchorage

Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Glacier View

Matanuska Glacier

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Matanuska-Susitna Borough > Glacier View

Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier accessible by car in the United States. A two-hour (104 mile/167 km) drive east from downtown Anchorage.

Addr:Glacier Park Road,
Sutton AK 99674
Look:Southeast ↘Far:0.55 km (0.34 miles)

Talkeetna Mountains

Lower Reed Lake

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Matanuska-Susitna Borough > Talkeetna Mountains

Lower Reed Lake is one of a pair of turquoise alpine lakes in a dramatic glaciated wilderness landscape. From Fern Mine Road, take the Reed Lakes trailhead with a 1,900 ft. of elevation gain.

Addr:Fishhook AK 99645Where:61.842776
Look:Southeast ↘Far:280 m (930 feet)

Mint Hut

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Matanuska-Susitna Borough > Talkeetna Mountains

Mint Hut (Rainery Hut) is a popular mountaineering hut, built in 1971 with pre-cut parts flown in by helicopter.

Addr:Mint Glacier,
Palmer AK 99645
Look:South-southeast Far:0.93 km (0.58 miles)
AKA:Rainery Hut

Snowbird Glacier Moulin

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Matanuska-Susitna Borough > Talkeetna Mountains

Snowbird Glacier Moulin is a circular, vertical, well-like shaft into Snowbird Glacier. Don’t get too close!.

Addr:Snowbird Glacier,
Fishhook AK 99645
Look:North-northeast Far:30 m (100 feet)

Interior Alaska

Denali National Park

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Interior Alaska

Denali National Park and Preserve is centered on North America’s highest mountain, and other mountains of the Alaska Range.

Denali is home to a variety of North American birds and mammals, including grizzly bears and black bears. Herds of caribou roam throughout the park. Dall sheep are often seen on mountainsides, and Alaskan moose feed on the aquatic plants of the small lakes and swamps.

Private vehicles are restricted beyond Mile 15, which includes the major views of Polychrome Overlook (Mile 46), Eielson Visitor Center (Mile 66) and Wonder Lake (Mile 85).

Polychrome Overlook

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Interior Alaska > Denali National Park

Polychrome Overlook at Mile 46 provides fine views of Polychrome Glaciers, five parallel and colorful glaciers.

Addr:Park Road MP 46,
Healy AK 99743
Look:South-southeast Far:5 km (3.29 miles)


Alaska > north of Anchorage > Interior Alaska > Denali National Park

Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) is the highest mountain n North America, with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. From base to peak, Denali is taller than Mount Everest (which rises from a high plateau). It is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.

The Koyukon people who inhabit the area around the mountain have referred to the peak as “Denali” for centuries. In 1896, a gold prospector named it “Mount McKinley” in support of then-presidential candidate William McKinley; that name was the official name recognized by the United States government from 1917 until 2015. In August 2015, following the 1975 lead of the state of Alaska, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the change of the official name of the mountain to Denali.

Denali is a granitic pluton lifted by tectonic pressure from the subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the North American Plate.

This view is from Stony Hill Scenic Overlook at Mile 62.

Addr:Park Rd MP 62,
Healy AK 99743
Look:Southwest ↙Far:58 km (36 miles)
AKA:Mount McKinleyWik:Denali

Eielson Visitor Center

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Interior Alaska > Denali National Park

Eielson Visitor Center at Mile 66 has amazing views of Denali to the southwest. Built in 1960, it is named after pioneer Alaskan aviator Carl Ben Eielson. The center is open June to September.

Addr:Park Rd MP 66,
Denali AK 99755
What:Visitor centerWhen:Afternoon
Look:Southeast ↘Far:16 km (10 miles)

Wonder Lake Overlook

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Interior Alaska > Denali National Park

Wonder Lake at Mile 85 offers a calm and classic reflection of Denali.

Addr:Park Rd MP 85,
Healy AK 99743
Look:South ↓Far:48 km (30 miles)

Denali NP South

Ruth Glacier

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Interior Alaska > Denali National Park > Denali NP South

Ruth Glacier is on the southern slopes of Denali National Park, near Denali State Park. Its upper reaches are almost three vertical miles (4.8 km) below the summit of Denali. The glacier’s “Great Gorge” is one mile (1.6 km) wide with 5,000-foot (1,500-m) granite cliffs on either side. It moves about 3.3 feet (1 m) a day.

Addr:Ruth Glacier,
Denali NP AK 99683
Look:Northwest ↖Far:17 km (10 miles)

Denali Borough

Into the Wild bus

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Interior Alaska > Denali Borough

Into the Wild bus (Fairbanks 142) is an abandoned 1946 bus that is parked in a clearing along the Stampede Trail near Denali National Park. It is a 28 mile hike from Healy.

The bus was used by to provide remote shelter for constructions crew from Fairbanks that worked on road upgrades in 1960–1961. The engine was removed and the interior fitted with beds and a wood burning stove, which still remain today. While being towed to a construction site, the bus broke an axle and the crew abandoned it where it now serves as a backcountry shelter for hunters, trappers, and visitors.

The bus gained notoriety in 1993 when Outside magazine published an article by Jon Krakauer titled “Death of an Innocent” describing the death of Christopher McCandless, an American hitchhiker who lived in the bus during the summer of 1992 while attempting to survive off the Alaskan wilderness only to die of starvation four months later.

In recent years, the bus, also known as the “Magic Bus” according to McCandless’s writings, has seen a pilgrimage of visitors seeking where McCandless perished. The 2007 film version of Jon Krakauer’s 1996 book about McCandless, Into the Wild, has revived interest in the bus.

Addr:Stampede Trail,
Denali Borough
What:Movie locationWhen:Afternoon
Look:North-northeast Far:25 m (82 feet)
AKA:Fairbanks 142Wik:Stampede_Trail#Bus_142

Fairbanks North Star Borough


Alaska > north of Anchorage > Interior Alaska > Fairbanks North Star Borough

Fairbanks is the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). Located less than 120 miles (190km) south of the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks is the most northern U.S. metro area.

When his steamboat ran aground here, Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in 1901 as a trading post for gold prospectors.

Museum of the North

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Interior Alaska > Fairbanks North Star Borough > Fairbanks

The Museum of the North is a swooping contemporary building on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus designed by Joan Soranno to evoke alpine ridges and glacier.

Addr:907 Yukon Dr,
Fairbanks AK 99775
Look:Northwest ↖Far:60 m (200 feet)

Unknown First Family statue

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Interior Alaska > Fairbanks North Star Borough > Fairbanks

The Unknown First Family is an 18-foot-high statue in Golden Heart Plaza, by Malcolm Alexander in 1987.

Addr:516 1st Ave,
Fairbanks AK 99701
Look:North-northeast Far:18 m (59 feet)

Pioneer Park

SS Nenana

Alaska > north of Anchorage > Interior Alaska > Fairbanks North Star Borough > Fairbanks > Pioneer Park

SS Nenana is a sternwheel paddleship that carried passengers and pushed freight on Alaskan rivers from 1933 to 1954.

Addr:Pioneer Park,
Fairbanks AK 99709
Look:North-northeast Far:40 m (130 feet)

East of Anchorage

Valdez-Cordova Census Area

Worthington Glacier

Alaska > east of Anchorage > Valdez-Cordova Census Area

Worthington Glacier is a 5,774-acre valley glacier that can be seen from Richardson Highway, 33 miles (53 km) east of Valdez.

Addr:28.7 Richardson Hwy,
Valdez AK 99686

Wrangell–St. Elias National Park

Alaska > east of Anchorage > Valdez-Cordova Census Area

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is the largest area managed by the National Park Service in the United States (20,587.186 sq mi; 53,320.57 km2), an expanse that could encapsulate a total of six Yellowstone National Parks. The park includes the Wrangell Mountains (with the second and third highest volcanoes in the United States, Mount Blackburn and Mount Sanford) and the Saint Elias Mountains (including Mount St. Elias, the second tallest mountain in both the United States and Canada) which are within 10 miles (16 km) of tidewater, one of the highest reliefs in the world. Wrangell–St. Elias borders on Canada’s Kluane National Park and Reserve to the east and approaches the U.S. Glacier Bay National Park to the south.

The main base in McCarthy, 307 miles (500km, an 8 hour drive) from Anchorage.

Mount Sanford

Alaska > east of Anchorage > Valdez-Cordova Census Area > Wrangell–St. Elias National Park

Mount Sanford is the third highest volcano in the United States and has one of the steepest gradients in North America.

Addr:Wrangell–St. Elias National Park,
What:Shield volcanoWhen:Afternoon
Look:East →Far:62 km (38 miles)

Kennicott Glacier and Mount Blackburn

Alaska > east of Anchorage > Valdez-Cordova Census Area > Wrangell–St. Elias National Park

Kennicott Glacier trends from Mount Blackburn to the Kennicott River. It was named in 1899 for Robert Kennicott, pioneer Alaska explorer with the Western Union Telegraph Expedition in 1865. Nearby is Kennecott ghost town.

Look:North-northwest Far:6 km (3.69 miles)

Mount Saint Elias

Alaska > east of Anchorage > Valdez-Cordova Census Area > Wrangell–St. Elias National Park

Mount Saint Elias is the second highest mountain in both Canada and the United States, being situated on the Yukon and Alaska border. This view including Taan Fjord is from a flight between Anchorage and Juneau, as there are no roads nearby.

Addr:Wrangell–St. Elias National Park,
Look:Northeast ↗Far:32 km (20 miles)


Alaska > east of Anchorage > Valdez-Cordova Census Area > Wrangell–St. Elias National Park

Kennecott (Kennicott, Kennecott Mines) is an abandoned copper mining camp at the world’s richest known concentration of copper at the time it was discovered in 1900. The copper was depleted by 1938, leaving a ghost town.

Addr:McCarthy AK 99566Where:61.483869
What:Ghost townWhen:Afternoon
Look:North ↑Far:210 m (690 feet)
AKA:Kennicott, Kennecott MinesWik:Kennecott,_Alaska

Ideas for Kennecott

South and west of Anchorage

Kenai Peninsula

Kenai Fjords National Park

Exit Glacier

Alaska > south and west of Anchorage > Kenai Peninsula > Kenai Fjords National Park

Exit Glacier is an accessible “drive-up” glacier, 12 miles (32 km) west of Seward. It is a visible indicator climate change, having retreated 187 feet (57 m) from 2013 to 2014 alone.

Addr:24620 Herman Leirer Rd,
Seward AK 99664
Look:South ↓Far:380 m (1250 feet)

Aialik Glacier

Alaska > south and west of Anchorage > Kenai Peninsula > Kenai Fjords National Park

Aialik Glacier is a tidewater glacier, flowing into Aialik Bay and the Gulf of Alaska.

Addr:Kenai Fjords National Park,
Look:West-northwest Far:1.33 km (0.83 miles)


Home Spit

Salty Dawg Saloon

Alaska > south and west of Anchorage > Kenai Peninsula > Homer > Home Spit

The Salty Dawg Saloon is a well-known landmark on the Homer Spit in Homer. The city of Homer lies 218 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula, and is known as the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World.”

Addr:4380 Homer Spit Rd,
Homer AK 99603
Look:North ↑Far:19 m (62 feet)

Katmai National Park and Preserve

Brooks Camp

Brooks Falls

Alaska > south and west of Anchorage > Katmai National Park and Preserve > Brooks Camp

Brooks Falls is a renowned place to photograph Alaskan brown bears during salmon migration season. In July, salmon swimming upstream to their spawning grounds have to leap up the 1.8 m (6 foot) falls, providing airborne food for bears. Up to 25 bears at one time have been seen in July, with about 18 at a later salmon run in September. Salmon make up the majority of the brown bear’s diet during spring.

There is a one-mile-long boardwalk connecting three viewing wooden platforms: the Lower Platform, the Riffles Platform, and the Brooks Falls Platform. The iconic photos are taken from the Brooks Falls Platform, which faces northeast about 10–50 feet from the bears. There are upper and lower tiers and both can get crowded during July.

Getting an even exposure on the dark bears against the bright waterfall is tricky, so overcast days and early mornings out of direct sunlight are best. Photographer Thomas Mangelsen made a famous photo here called “Catch of the Day.”

Addr:Brooks Camp,
Katmai NP AK 99613
Look:North-northeast Far:40 m (130 feet)

Ideas for Brooks Falls

Brooks Camp Bridge

Alaska > south and west of Anchorage > Katmai National Park and Preserve > Brooks Camp
Addr:Brooks Camp,
Katmai NP AK 99613
Look:South ↓Far:40 m (130 feet)

Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes


Juneau is the capital city of Alaska and the second largest city in the United States by area. Located in the Alaskan panhandle, downtown Juneau is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau and across the Gastineau Channel from Douglas Island.

Due to the rugged terrain, there are no roads connecting the city to the rest of Alaska or to the rest of North America (although ferry service is available for cars), making Juneau a de facto island city in terms of transportation, since all goods coming in and out must go by plane or boat.

The city is named for prospector Joe Juneau who, in 1880, found gold nuggets here “as large as peas and beans,” according to partner Richard Harris. A town quickly sprang up and became the territory’s capital in 1906.

Downtown Juneau

Alaska State Capitol

Alaska > Juneau > Downtown Juneau

The Alaska State Capitol was the territory capitol when it opened in 1931, and became the state capital when Alaska gained statehood in 1959.

Addr:120 4th St,
Juneau AK 99801
What:State capitolWhen:Morning
Look:North-northwest Far:70 m (220 feet)

Alaska State Liberty Bell

Alaska > Juneau > Downtown Juneau > Alaska State Capitol

The Alaska State Liberty Bell, outside the capitol, is a replica of the Liberty Bell given by the federal government in 1950 to help raise support for savings bond drives.

Addr:120 4th St,
Juneau AK 99801
What:Liberty bellWhen:Morning
Look:North ↑Far:5 m (16 feet)

Mount Roberts Tramway

Alaska > Juneau > Downtown Juneau

Mount Roberts Tramway is an aerial tramway. In operation since 1996, the tram makes a six-minute ascent of 3,819-foot (1,164 m) Mount Roberts from the cruise ship docks (just feet above sea level) to a height of about 1,800 feet (550 m). A restaurant, theater, nature center and retail shops are located at the top of the tramway.

Addr:490 S Franklin St,
Juneau AK 99801
Look:West ←Far:0.79 km (0.49 miles)

Ideas for Mount Roberts Tramway

Clam Shell Mural

Alaska > Juneau > Downtown Juneau

The Clam Shell Mural is a colorful painting on the west side of Juneau’s City Hall. The 40-foot-long mural, painted in 1986 by Bill Ray, depicts the Tlingit creation story. On the left, Raven and Man emerge from a shell. On the right follow Bear, Frog, Eagle, Killer Whale and Wolf.

Addr:155 S Seward St,
Juneau AK 99801
Look:North-northeast Far:15 m (49 feet)

Ideas for Clam Shell Mural

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church

Alaska > Juneau > Downtown Juneau

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church is an octagonal church in Juneau built in 1893.

Addr:326 5th St,
Juneau AK 99801
Look:Northwest ↖Far:19 m (62 feet)

Red Dog Saloon

Alaska > Juneau > Downtown Juneau

The Red Dog Saloon is the oldest man-made tourist attraction in Juneau.

Addr:278 S Franklin St,
Juneau AK 99801
Look:West-northwest Far:30 m (100 feet)

Juneau Icefield

Mendenhall Glacier

Alaska > Juneau > Juneau Icefield

Mendenhall Glacier (Sitaantaagu) is a 13-mile-long (22 km) glacier about 12 miles (19 km) from downtown Juneau. It is named for Thomas Mendenhall, superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey who defined the exact national boundary between Alaska and Canada.

Addr:6000 Glacier Spur Rd,
Juneau AK 99801
Look:North ↑Far:2.50 km (1.56 miles)

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center

Alaska > Juneau > Juneau Icefield > Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center was the first U.S. Forest Service visitor center, opened in 1962. There are hikes to the glacier, Nugget Falls, and ice caves.

What:Visitor centerWhen:Afternoon
Look:North ↑Far:9 km (5 miles)

Nugget Falls

Alaska > Juneau > Juneau Icefield > Mendenhall Glacier

Nugget Falls, also known as Nugget Creek Falls or Mendenhall Glacier Falls, is a waterfall downstream of the Nugget Glacier.

Addr:6000 Glacier Spur Rd,
Juneau AK 99801
Look:North-northeast Far:1.02 km (0.63 miles)

Mendenhall Ice Caves

Alaska > Juneau > Juneau Icefield > Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Ice Caves are beautiful blue caves formed in the melting Mendenhall Glacier.

Addr:6000 Glacier Spur Rd,
Juneau AK 99801
What:Ice caveWhen:Anytime

Ideas for Mendenhall Ice Caves

Southeast Alaska

Alexander Archipelago

Baranof Island


Alaska Raptor Center

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Alexander Archipelago > Baranof Island > Sitka

The Alaska Raptor Center (one of the largest in North America) rehabilitates sick and injured eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, and other birds of prey which are brought in from all over Alaska.

Addr:1000 Raptor Way,
Sitka AK 99835

Ideas for Alaska Raptor Center

St. Michael’s Cathedral

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Alexander Archipelago > Baranof Island > Sitka

St. Michael’s Cathedral is the earliest Orthodox cathedral in the New World, founded in 1808 and built in 1848 when Alaska was under the control of Russia. It was rebuilt following a fire in 1966.

Addr:240 Lincoln St,
Sitka AK 99835
Look:South-southwest Far:20 m (66 feet)

Sitka National Historical Park

Revillagigedo Island


Creek Street

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Alexander Archipelago > Revillagigedo Island > Ketchikan

Creek Street is an historic stilt-mounted boardwalk on the slopes of Ketchikan Creek.

Creek Street is infamous as being Ketchikan’s red light district, roughly between 1903 and 1954, and some of its attractions are commemorations of this past. Its origins lie in a 1903 city ordinance banishing brothels from the city center to the “Indian Town” area on the east side of the creek, and it operated until the brothels were outlawed and shut down in 1954. Numerous houses of prostitution sprang up on this difficult terrain, supported by wooden stilts. Famous among them is The Star, which was one of the largest of these businesses, and Dolly’s House, which is now a museum.

Winding into the hills above Creek Street is Married Man’s Way, a trail used by patrons of the brothels to escape raids.

Addr:13 Creek St,
Ketchikan AK 99901
Look:East-southeast Far:60 m (200 feet)

Ideas for Creek Street

Totem Heritage Center

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Alexander Archipelago > Revillagigedo Island > Ketchikan

The Totem Heritage Center houses one of the world’s largest collections of unrestored 19th century totem poles. Sixteen of the museum’s thirty-three totem poles are on permanent display, recovered from uninhabited Tlingit settlements on Village Island and Tongass Island.

Addr:601 Deermount St,
Ketchikan AK 99901
Look:South-southeast Far:28 m (92 feet)


Saxman Totem Park

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Alexander Archipelago > Revillagigedo Island > Saxman

The Saxman Totem Park in Saxman just south of Ketchikan has 19 relocated or reconstructed totem poles.

Addr:2660 Killer Whale Ave,
Saxman AK 99901
Look:Northeast ↗Far:40 m (120 feet)

Ideas for Saxman Totem Park

Kupreanof Island


Sons of Norway statue

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Alexander Archipelago > Kupreanof Island > Petersburg

The Sons of Norway statue stands by a Viking “Valhalla” ship and Alaska’s first Sons of Norway lodge, built in 1912.

Addr:23 Sing Lee Alley,
Petersburg AK 99833
Look:East →Far:23 m (75 feet)

Wrangell Island

Anan Wildlife Observatory

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Alexander Archipelago > Wrangell Island

The Anan Wildlife Observatory is located 30 miles southeast of the town of Wrangell on Wrangell Island. Anan Creek has the largest run of pink salmon in Southeast Alaska thus lots of black and brown bears. The facilities consists of a covered viewing shelter, decks, and a photo blind.

Addr:Wrangell AK 99929Where:56.178588
What:Wildlife observatoryWhen:Anytime
AKA:Anan Bear Observatory


Skagway Historic District

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Skagway

The Skagway Historic District and White Pass is a National Historic Landmark District encompassing a significant portion of the area within the United States associated with the Klondike Gold Rush.

Skagway is a borough on the mainland in Southeast Alaska and was part of the setting for Jack London’s book The Call of the Wild. The port of Skagway is a popular stop for cruise ships, and the tourist trade is a big part of the business of Skagway.

In 1887, William “Billy” Moore on a boundary survey expedition believed that gold lay in the Klondike because it had been found in similar mountain ranges in South America, Mexico, California, and British Columbia. When he was proven right in 1896, prospectors flooded in to Moore’s wharf, preparing for the 500-mile journey to the gold fields in Canada. But Moore was overrun by lot jumping prospectors and had his land stolen from him and sold to others.

By June 1898, with a population between 8,000 and 10,000, Skagway was the largest city in Alaska. But it was a lawless town, described by one member of the North-West Mounted Police as “little better than a hell on earth,” ruled by con artist Jefferson “Soapy” Smith. His telegraph office charged five dollars to send a message anywhere in the world, and unknowing prospectors sent news to their families back home without realizing the wires went only to the wall.

Officials in Canada required prospectors to bring a year’s supply of provisions to survive the winter, which was literally a ton of stuff to haul over the mountains. In 1898, the White Pass and Yukon Route railway began construction, but when completed in 1900, the gold rush was mostly over.

Much of the gold rush town was saved and preserved by early residents, such as Martin Itjen, who ran a tour bus around the historical town.

White Pass Scenic Railway

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Skagway > Skagway Historic District

White Pass Scenic Railway is a narrow-gauge railroad linking the port of Skagway, Alaska, with Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon. The railroad began construction in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush as a means of reaching the goldfields. With its completion in 1900, it became the primary route to the interior of the Yukon.

Addr:888 Congress Way,
Skagway AK 99840
Look:Southwest ↙Far:20 m (66 feet)

Rotary Snow Plow

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Skagway > Skagway Historic District > White Pass Scenic Railway

Snow piercer: How to clean snow from a railroad.

Addr:271 Broadway,
Skagway AK 99840
Look:North-northeast Far:20 m (66 feet)

Arctic Brotherhood Hall

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Skagway > Skagway Historic District

The Arctic Brotherhood Hall is an 1899 building with its front covered in driftwood.

Addr:245 Broadway,
Skagway AK 99840
Look:West ←Far:14 m (46 feet)
AKA:Camp Skagway

Golden North Hotel

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Skagway > Skagway Historic District

The Golden North Hotel was built in 1898 by the Klondike Trading Company. It was moved to its present location in 1908 and a third story and golden dome were added.

Addr:253 Broadway,
Skagway AK 99840
Look:West ←Far:17 m (56 feet)

Railroad Building

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Skagway > Skagway Historic District

The Railroad Building, built in 1900, was the White Pass & Yukon Route Administration Building and is now the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Visitor Center.

Addr:291 Broadway,
Skagway AK 99840
Look:Southwest ↙Far:20 m (66 feet)

Soapy Smith’s

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Skagway > Skagway Historic District

Soapy Smith’s was “the real city hall” during the Klondike Gold Rush, a saloon opened in March 1898 as a veritable den of thieves for Jeff “Soapy” Smith and his gang.

Famous in Denver for a street con selling soap bars apparently wrapped in $100 bills, Soapy arrived in January 1898, paid off the town’s deputy U.S. marshal and assembled a gang that soon claimed 317 members.

Pretending to be a newspaper reporter or clergymen, Smith’s men would befriend new arrivals and steer them to dishonest shipping companies, hotels, or gambling dens.

Soapy was challenged by a vigilante committee and, in July, he was killed in an unexpected gunfight, known as the Shootout on Juneau Wharf. His saloon and grave (several yards outside the city cemetery) are on most tour itineraries of Skagway.

Addr:380 6th Street,
Skagway AK 99840
What:Historic buildingWhen:Morning
Look:West-southwest Far:10 m (33 feet)
AKA:Jeff Smith’s Parlor, Soapy Smith’s Olde Tyme Photo ParlorWik:Soapy_Smith

Glacier Bay National Park

Margerie Glacier

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Glacier Bay National Park

Margerie Glacier is one of the most active and frequently-visited glaciers in Glacier Bay. Flowing 21 miles from the border with Canada, the terminus is about one mile wide. The steep dropoff allows cruise ships and smaller park tour boats to anchor nearby providing close-up views of ice calving.

Addr:Glacier Bay NP,
Gustavus AK 99826
Look:West-southwest Far:1.08 km (0.67 miles)


Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve

Inside Passage

Tongass National Forest


Russell Fjord Wilderness

Hubbard Glacier

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Tongass National Forest > Mainland > Russell Fjord Wilderness

Hubbard Glacier is a glacier in Disenchantment Bay named after Gardiner Hubbard.

Most the ice is underwater, so newly carved icebergs the size of a ten-story buildings often shoot up quite dramatically.

Addr:Russell Fjord Wilderness,
Tongass NF AK 99901
Look:Northeast ↗Far:4.00 km (2.49 miles)

Tracy Arm

South Sawyer Glacier

Alaska > Southeast Alaska > Tongass National Forest > Mainland > Tracy Arm

South Sawyer Glacier is one of a pair of glaciers on the Tracy Arm, about seven miles (11 km) from the Canadian border.

Addr:Tracy Arm,
Tongass NF AK 99901
Look:Southeast ↘Far:3.45 km (2.14 miles)

Ideas for South Sawyer Glacier

Remote Alaska

Alaska North Slope


Barrow Whale Bone Arch

Alaska > Remote Alaska > Alaska North Slope > Barrow

Barrow Whale Bone Arch is an arch of whale bones at the historic Point Barrow Refuge Station built in 1889 as a rescue and support station for whaling ships.

Addr:Point Barrow Refuge Station,
Barrow AK 99723
Look:East-southeast Far:19 m (62 feet)

Aleutian Islands

Near Islands

Attu Island

Attu Island Peace Monument

Alaska > Remote Alaska > Aleutian Islands > Near Islands > Attu Island

[start]The Peace Monument on Attu Island honors all those who died in the WWII Aleutian Campaign. The 18-foot titanium monument was erected by the Japanese Government in 1987. It is located four miles from the U.S. Coast Guard Loran-C Station.

The Battle of Attu was the only World War II land battle fought on an incorporated territory of the United States. In 1942, Japanese forces took Attu and Kiska islands, holding them for 11 months. After a prolonged air campaign, U.S. forces landed on Attu Island in 1943 and the Battle of Attu lasted 18 days. Of the 12,500 American soldiers, 1,700 were killed or wounded, another 2,100 were taken out of action due to frostbite, disease and non-battle injuries. Of the 2,665 Japanese soldiers, over 500 committed suicide and only 27 survived. This was the second deadliest battle in the Pacific Theatre (in proportion to the number of troops engaged), falling just behind Iwo Jima.

Addr:Engineer Hill near Clevesy Pass,
Attu Station,
Attu Island AK

Fox Islands

Unalaska Island


Church of the Holy Ascension

Alaska > Remote Alaska > Aleutian Islands > Fox Islands > Unalaska Island > Unalaska

Church of the Holy Ascension (Holy Ascension Orthodox Church) is a red-roofed landmark in Unalaska. Built in 1894, the church is one of the oldest in Alaska. From here, missionaries converted the local Aleut people, where the population is still strongly Orthodox.

Addr:W Broadway Ave,
Unalaska AK 99685
Look:East →Far:12 m (39 feet)
AKA:Holy Ascension Orthodox ChurchWik:Church_of_the_Holy_Ascension

Seward Peninsula


White Alice Towers

Alaska > Remote Alaska > Seward Peninsula > Nome

White Alice Towers, near Nome, is the last intact site of a Cold War-era early-warning system (1958–1978) which used parabolic tropospheric scatter antennas for over-the-horizon links.

Addr:Nome AK 99762Where:64.5635856
Look:West ←Far:90 m (280 feet)
AKA:White Alice Tropo AntennaWik:White_Alice_Communications_System


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