For those who love the outdoors, Alaska offers endless adventure.
It’s a land of vastness, extreme cold, and extreme heights, providing a perfect trip destination.
However, if you love solo travel, you probably wonder if it’s safe to travel to Alaska alone.
So, Is It a Good Idea to Travel to Alaska Alone?
Yes, however, you will need to be well prepared to book most of the tour ahead and get some wilderness guidelines. You also need to ensure you have the appropriate vehicle and ensure it’s the right time of the year ideal for your plan.
Ultimately, the biggest thing is ensuring you are well prepared by having
- the right clothing
- sufficient food and water
- fire starters
- a solid tent
- sleeping bag rated for the climatic conditions
- a map and ability to use it
- alternate communications
- and plan when you are out of service
If you want to keep safe, stick to the main roads and trains, and you will be okay.
Alaska is not as dangerous as the television makes it seem.
Read on for more tips on traveling to Alaska alone.
Six Alaska Solo Vacation Travel Considerations
1. Getting to Alaska
With the rugged terrain, most areas can only be reached by sea or air.
Therefore, if you are planning to drive to the Juneau capital, you will need to take a ferry.
It’s common for travelers to arrive in Alaska by cruise, with the main cruise lines providing amazing meals, cabins, entertainment, and incredible views.
Direct flights are available from the United States.
During summer, direct flights are also available from Canada and Germany.
2. Driving in Alaska
Driving across Alaska is more relaxing than in most states.
The roads are relatively empty
. There might be some gaps or potholes in the pavement, but major roads are fine to drive on.
3. Getting Around in Alaska
Since Alaska doesn’t have lots of public transportation options, getting a rental car is probably your best best.
Therefore, your best option is to hire a rental car.
This will be great because you will be free to stop anywhere along the way and take photos and reach any of the awesome destinations that incidental coach service or trains cannot reach.
But as a solo traveler, you can use railroad tours, air and buses, and water taxis.
4. Pack Practical Clothes
The climatic conditions of Alaska can be unpredictable, and the conditions and temperature can vary greatly with latitude and altitude.
Pack a waterproof jacket, warm fleece, and leggings even in the summer.
Take gloves and a hat and ensure your footwear is durable and warm, with a good grip.
So, you would better leave the tux and high heels at home.
5. Best Time to Visit Alaska
The most popular times to go to Alaska are during the summer months, June to August, since the weather is warmer, and the backcountry tends to be more accessible.
While summer is the most famous, the fall seasons of May and September are excellent months to visit Alaska.
6. View Animals from A Safe Distance
Alaska is popular with bears everywhere.
Brown, black and polar bears are found for the most part.
While you don’t want to allow any irrational fear of bears to limit your adventure, it is essential to keep a safe distance to minimize the probability of a dangerously close encounter.
If you meet a bear on a trail, stand still and don’t run as well as carry a bear spray during the hike.
Other than bears, there are other potentially dangerous animals such as cougars, moose, elk, musk oxen, and wolves that you should be careful around.
Generally, all wild animals are unpredictable, so always keep a safe space.
Why Can Alaska Be Good To Solo Travelers?
1. Alaskans Are Friendly
Alaskans are known to be friendly people.
If you get a flat tire in your rental car, you are sure someone will pull over and help you out.
If you get confused by your GPS, you will surely be given directions and an added secret shortcut.
While it’s not recommendable to have poor preparation, what this means is that the Alaska locals have your back and are happier to lend you a helping hand.
2. Do Anything You Want
One of the best things about traveling alone is that you get the opportunity of doing whatever it is you want to do without any compromise.
You won’t have any arguments or compromise over the path to take or even turn back early when one individual is tired. Alaska is full of opportunities that you will hardly find anywhere else.
When visiting Alaska alone, it offers you the best environment to spend a lot of time outdoors reflecting on nature.
We are not discounting the fun of a group hike but walking solo around the pristine glacier with natural smells and sounds of the summer trees and wildflowers wafting through the air.
Here, you will find any adventure you are after.
Traveling alone means following all your desires and dreams and not allowing anyone to get in the way.
3. Alaska Is Easy to Get Around
Alaska is an easy state to get around, given its well-maintained highway system.
Although every drive can take some time, getting from one destination to another is like driving down a single stretch of road.
So, if you are concerned about turns, twists, and confusing road signs from your past experiences, you won’t have to worry about it when traveling to Alaska.
4. A Good Opportunity to Meet New People
While traveling with friends is fun, you tend to socialize with only the people you are familiar with instead of branching out.
Traveling solo forces you to start conversations with total strangers which could evolve into lasting friendships.
5. Get Away from Your Comfort Zone
When you travel with family or friends you are comfortable with, you have difficulty getting from your comfort zone.
It is difficult to push yourself past your unfamiliar zone and boundaries, even in a new environment. Traveling alone to Alaska can itself be a new experience.
Most travelers are scared to travel to Alaska alone because of safety or the unknown but return from the trip with enhanced confidence and the yearning to push the limits even more.
Ultimately, Alaska is a good destination for solo travelers. Although the state has over three times the population of bears and has more than 5000 earthquakes per year, Alaska is not as intense and scary as you think. Also, the climatic conditions are not always harsh, and summertime and fall months are travel friendly. Whatever the type of adventure you want, you will find it in Alaska.