Bush Cabins are Disappearing From Alaska

The Alaskan wilderness has, thankfully, never experienced total civilization and human population. It remains in many areas a desolate, but hauntingly and enchantingly beautiful landscape of snow under the Northern Lights. Travelers from across North America dream of discovering the splendor of Alaskan wilderness; however, the wilderness is not a secure wonder. You need to be aware of the dangers that you may come across when journeying through the wilderness in your Alaska car rentals.

Yet, up until recently, there were also many safe houses across the wilderness and the bush that would help to ensure your safety. These bush cabins are areas of lodging and resources that will house the hungry or tired traveler. Unfortunately, these bush cabins are slowly disappearing from the maps of the northern regions – much to the risk of travelers. In any case, you’ll need to sure you keep an emergency winter kit in your Alaska car rentals. We will outline all you need to know below.

What are bush cabins?

Bush cabins are privately or publicly owned properties in the wilderness that are often unlocked and contain extra supplies, non-perishable food, and warm beds and heat that will be the refresher you need. However, while it’s common for owners of the bush cabins to allow travelers to use their cabins, make sure you let the owner know. Also, you should only use privately owned cabins in extreme cases or cases of necessity.

You can leave a note, and it may be respectful as well to leave a little money in order to replace the supplies that you used from the owners’ cabin. Don’t lock the door when you leave, and make sure to tidy up after yourself rather than leave a mess for the owner.

For those that are publicly owned, these bush and trapping cabins are welcome to any traveler who needs a place to stay to escape the cold. Run by the BLM or the state feel free

As mentioned, these bush cabins have been slowly ebbing off the Alaska wilderness scene. Owners are becoming concerned that if their cabins’ property is taken over by the state that liability may be transferred to the state as well. Public cabins are also being torn down, and the landscape is rapidly becoming more barren and more threatening.

Alaska car rentals emergency kits

As said above, it’s important to have a winter emergency kit inside your Alaska car rentals. On top of your regular emergency kit, you’ll want to ensure you have a wiper brush and gloves.

Also included in your winter emergency kit should be an electric blanket, enough artic temperatures sleeping bag for each you and the people you’re driving with, and heating candles. Also include snow pants, warm hats, gloves, scarves, and extra thick sweaters. This may seem like extreme preparations but when you’re traveling through the bush and there’s no guarantee of bush and trapping cabins, there’s no such thing as being too prepared.

You’ll also want a jug of fresh water and a package of juice boxes. Pack non-perishable food items, as well. The amount of food you pack should be adjusted depending on how long you intend to travel for. Good items include energy bars, dried fruit, nuts or trail mix, peanut butter, granola bars, dried legumes, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and for extended trips, canned foods may be smart to bring as well. Don’t forget toilet paper and a few bags of disposal, just in case! Finally, make sure you have a current, updated paper map in case signal fails on your GPS.

You’re set to head off into the bush. Keep in mind that your Alaska car rentals cannot go on off-road and unpaved highways, so if you’re driving stick to the main highways.

Start your adventure this month when you reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis.


Denali Doubles Dog Sled Race Was a Success

Every year since 2010 the Denali Doubles Dog Race brings the best mushing teams from across Alaska to run in an intensely competitive race across a 226-mile course. Experiencing this race for the first time will entirely change your perception of dog sledding, as you witness a race of epic proportions. Many who have followed this race have felt awe when watching the map online sliding across the state. Our Alaska car rentals are a great way to experience Alaska, but there’s nothing quite like dog sledding across the state to find out what it would have appeared as hundreds of years ago.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to experience anything quite like what the racing mushers experience. You can always take a dog sledding tour to get a small taste. Until then, Avis’s Alaska car rentals will certainly do the trick to reveal to you Alaska’s beauty. In the meantime, live vicariously through the Denali Doubles mushers.

When is the race?

The race began on February 4, 2016 at 4 p.m. It begins and ends in Cantwell. As you can see from this, the Denali Doubles Race is no walk in the park. For the closing ceremonies you’ll want to bring your Alaska car rentals to Cantwell in order to witness the champion take his prize.

Who are the mushers?

The Denali Doubles race is a team competition with sleds run by a team of two mushers. These pairs lead a team of 12 to 20 dogs in the 226-mile race. Teams range from professional pairs who have discovered their compatibility on a dog sledding course to husband and wife teams whose companionship has made them an ideal racing duo.

Many of these racers are champions from past races, and who are certainly no strangers to the intensely exhausting course.

Mushers must pay a $500 entry fee in order to register and compete. There is a 20-team limit in the Denali Doubles Race to prevent overcrowding. This year, only 17 teams competed in the event however, as a number of them withdrew.

Innovation is part of the appeal of the Denali Doubles. With a variety of interpretations on “sled” in the past, including two sleds pulling a trailer and caboose, three-runner sleds, sleds with a skier, and every other variant you can imagine, you’re bound to see something to boggle your mind.

The course

As mentioned, the course begins in Cantwell. It stretches to Tangle Lakes Campground at Swede Lake Trail, before returning back to Cantwell. There are rest stops along the way, where both viewers and mushers can rest in warm lodgings to regain their energy before continuing on their journey.

The two lodgings on the course are Maclaren River Lodge at mile 42, Denali Highway, and the Alpine Creek Lodge at Mile 68, Denali Highway. These two checkpoints are also points where mushers may drop off their dogs on their outbound journey to rest, before picking them up again inbound on the way back to Cantwell.

The prize

The prize for this exhausting journey is no slight matter. Now dispersed among the top 5 mushing teams rather than only the top champion, the prize has not necessarily decreased for the champion who takes home a hefty $5000.

The next race

The next race to check out is the Iditarod, which begins a month after the Denali Doubles on March 5. A single musher race, each musher gets 16 dogs for their journey to Nome.

Why not start on a tour of dog races in your Alaska car rentals. This is a great way to experience the state and the ancient sport that has made Alaska renowned. Reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis today.

Take a Nature Tour of Alaska

Every year, travelers from all across North America – and even parts of the globe – journey to Alaska to see the spectacular natural wonders. The vistas of the state are renowned for their incredible beauty, which, at times, is seemingly untouched by the human world for miles beyond the extent of human vision. In fact, you really can drive your Alaska car rentals for miles upon miles without seeing another human soul.

It’s no secret, then, that Alaska’s natural landscapes are bursting and blooming with a unique array of plant and animal species. Alaska offers insight into the varied wonders that are in the natural world that you can only fully experience with travel. Of course, knowledge of what you’re witnessing is also important. Below, we’ve outlined some of Alaska’s plants that can be spotted as you drive around in your Alaska car rentals.

Before reading on, please be advised that the state of Alaska does not condone picking wild flowers – particularly not our lovely state flower, the forget-me-not. Please leave these in their natural habitat. If you’d like to add fragrance to your Alaska car rentals, pick up flowers at the nearest garden center.


These gorgeous little blue blossoms have been recognized as Alaska’s state flower, and once you see them you’ll understand why. Forget-me-nots grow best in alpine meadows in clusters. They are blue with white and yellow centers. If you can, take a tour of a forget-me-not patch after dusk – these flowers present their alluring scent most after dark.

Pond Lily

Alaskan pond lilies can be found in both alpine valleys – possibly alongside forget-me-nots – and in meadows at sea level. Pond lilies are blue with 5 lobe-like petals and a blue hood shrouding the flower.

False Hellebore

While it’s great to know which flowers are the most beautiful and likely to enhance your nature tour, it’s also extremely important to know which flowers and plants to avoid. The false hellebore is one such plant that may be nice to view at a distance, but from which you’ll want to keep your distance. With 6 green petals that take the shape of either a bell or star, depending on the flower, this little herb looks similar to a young corn stalk.

Western Columbine

The western columbine is a unique flower with red, orange, and yellow petals. You can see these flowers from around April until August, with the blooming period taking place from around June until July. The plant can stretch up to 30” high, extending to gorgeous and slim proportions. Hummingbirds are likely to be around these flowers, as well as the Sphinx moth, both of which love the pollen of the western columbine.


A combination of one of Alaska’s favorite fish and a lovely petite flower, the salmonberry is a popular plan across the state. Salmonberries are delicious little morsels of fruit that offer up a sweet-tart flavor. They resemble salmon roe (hence the name!), with a pinky-salmon colored flesh on long leaves and stems. If you do happen to come across these delightful little berries, certainly pick some to experience the taste. You may even want to pack some into a jar or container to take as a snack in your Alaska car rentals nature tour. While you’re out, look for the Alaska blueberry, trailing raspberry, or thimbleberry to complete your snack!

This is just a small taste of the wide variety of splendidly singular berries and plants that roam free across Alaska. Others include the bunchberry, the nagoonberry, swamp gentian, whorled lousewort, starry cassiope, dwarf fireweed, monkey flower, white bog-orchid, bog rosemary, single delight, pretty shooting star, and northern grass-of-parnassus. Others include the deerberry, Unalaska paintbrush, clasping twisted-stalk, beach pea, common butterwort, the bluebells of Scotland, and Jeffrey’s shooting star. And this is only a small selection of a vast array of blossoms.

Enjoy Alaska’s natural beauties. Reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis today.