Alaska may be America’s ‘Last Frontier’, but when it comes to untamed natural beauty its first without equal. The coast of Alaska is littered with amazing glaciers – none more breathtaking than the Mendenhall Glacier reached by helicopters which land on the ice field. Float planes also fly over the Norris and mighty Taku Glaciers offering an eagle-eye perspective of these ice-floes with deep crevasses, and sapphire-blue meltwater pools.
The Inside Passage is home to humpback whales, grizzly bears and bald eagles. Secreted within this hauntingly beautiful labyrinth is Glacier Bay. With its amphitheatre of tidewater glaciers and granite peaks, this National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Further north lays Tracy Arm Fjord, College Fjord and the mighty Hubbard Glacier.
At the head of a fjord, Skagway is the starting point for a trip on the narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon Railroad. Built in 1898 to enable prospectors reach their elusive bounty, a journey to the summit is via impossibly high trestle bridges and precipitous cuttings.
Much of the older part of Ketchikan is suspended on pilings over the water. Creek Street was once the town’s red-light district. In its heyday during the early 1900s, this winding neighbourhood of pubs boasted more than 30 bordellos.