Enjoy Outside Sports


Many tourists come to Alaska to enjoy walking outside in the clean, cold air. And they come to do extreme sports — sports that are exciting but also dangerous.

Some people come to Alaska to climb Mount McKinley in Denali National Park. This mountain is 6,194 meters high, the highest in North America.

It isn’t easy to climb to the top of Mount McKinley. It takes about three weeks! It’s really cold when you get to the top, so most people stay there for only a short time. You need very warm clothes. And you must be careful.

Between 1932 and 2012, 120 climbers died on the mountain. In June 2012, four Japanese climbers died in an avalanche.

Whitewater rafting is also a popular sport. The Nenana River, also in Denali National Park, is very fast in some places.

Mount Alyeska is a good place to go paragliding. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to paraglide.

A teacher goes on the paraglider with you so you can enjoy the beautiful mountain and forests below you.

Skiing is popular in Alaska. There is a lot of snow and there are many good places to ski. Eagle Crest, only 20 kilometers from the state capital, Juneau, is an excellent mountain for skiing.

There are many other interesting things to do in Alaska. Some of these are less exciting than paragliding or whitewater rafting, but they are great fun:

-look for gold in the rivers in the Kenai Peninsula

-fly over the glaciers in a plane or a helicopter

-visit the Sea Life Center in Seward. You can see wonderful sea animals only a meter from where you are standing.

Some people enjoy traveling across Alaska as well. In 2010, Andrew Skurka traveled 7,600 kilometers across Alaska and the Yukon in 176 days. That’s 43 kilometers a day! Most of the time he walked. He used six pairs of boots! But he also went on rivers on a raft, and he skied, too. He slept in a tent.

When Andrew skied in Denali Park, he was very worried about avalanches and snowstorms. He didn’t see any avalanches, but one night, there was a really bad storm and his tent blew away! Andrew has traveled 48,000 kilometers in his life, and he doesn’t want to stop. When he isn’t working, he writes books about his travels.


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