Hiking Anchorage’s Chester Creek Trail

Hiking in Alaska is a top sport. If you’re visiting Alaska, then you would be seriously missing out if you didn’t check out at least a few trails before you leave. You don’t even need to take your Alaska SUV rental the metropolis of Anchorage – Chester Creek Trail is just outside of this city and is a gorgeous hike for both beginners and experts.

What to bring on the hike

Since you’re likely just going on a day hike, you don’t need to bring any more than you’d bring to any other day trip. A few snacks, a light sweater, and a large bottle of water will be plenty.

However, you may also want to bring a camera and a picnic blanket. This scenic trail is absolutely spectacular; more than one hiker has stopped for a relaxing picnic and a photo-op. Pack a basket will all of your favorite goodies to enhance the quality of your hike.

How long is the hike?

Chester Creek Trail is great for beginners, though experts still enjoy this easy stroll for its immense beauty. The walk runs only 4 miles and loops around from Westchester Lagoon to Goose Lake.

Terrain of Chester Creek

You certainly won’t need to worry about wearing intense hiking shoes for this trail. The terrain is flat, with a paved guided path. No directional skills? No problem here. Just follow the path and you’ll be find your way just fine. This is because technically the Chester Creek Trail is still within city limits, so there’s parking for your Alaska SUV rental.

Certainly, Chester Creek Trail isn’t exactly a dip into the wilderness. You’ll see the outskirts of Anchorage suburbs and neighborhoods, as well as plenty of spaces to stop and let the kids play. There are sports fields and picnic spots (where that blanket and loaded basket will come in handy!), and playgrounds to help wear out your kids’ extra energy before they have to get back in the Alaska SUV rental.

Be prepared to move out of the way for cyclists and joggers. This is a popular exercise trail for locals, because of the smooth path and beautiful surroundings, as well as its proximity to the city center.

Wild life in Chester Creek

Don’t expect to see the same kinds of scenes that can be found in other landscapes and hiking trails across Alaska, but that doesn’t mean Chester Creek isn’t beautiful in its own right. You may even catch a few wildlife sightings! Songbirds are common along the trails, ready to provide you with a soundtrack for your hike. Bird lovers will certainly want to bring along their bird whistle and book. They’ll have a great time spotting and naming birds along the 4 mile route.

Moose aren’t as common, but there is still a possibility that you’ll see one or two. Have the camera ready!

For a more challenging trip

If you want to roam off of the Chester Creek Trail to get a bit more of a challenge without having to get back into your Alaska SUV rental, take off down Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. This trail is nearly 3 times the length of Chester Creek, at 11 miles in total, and intersects with Chester Creek. It goes along a semi-urban route (like Chester Creek) to Kincaid Chalet. Here again you’ll find cyclists, runners, and rollerbladers enjoying the warm summer weather.

On the Tony Knowles Trail, you’re much more likely to see moose as you dig deeper into nature. You’ll also catch a variety of other wild sights, like beluga whales off the coastline. This trail remains suitable for beginners with a bit more stamina, and continues to have a relatively flat terrain.

Alaska is a world of wonders that is waiting to be explored. Reserve your Alaska SUV rental from Avis today to set out on a hiking tour of the state.

Halibut Fishing in Alaska is Back!

Seafood is Alaska is like lifeblood. With fresh seafood being a hot commodity in the state, the start of a new fishing season is certainly cause for excitement. This month, halibut is back in the waters and ready for the catch. There are plenty of great spots where you can take your Alaska car rentals for halibut fishing, but first you’ll need to know a bit about fishing in the state.

Fishing anywhere has unique challenges and locales that only the locals or frequent visitors really know. Unless you’ve been halibut fishing in Alaska many times before, it’s unlikely you’ll know the ins and outs of the fishing culture in the region. Below we’ve listed a few things you may need to know before you set off on a fishing adventure in your Alaska car rentals.

If you’re not much of a fisher, you won’t have to miss out on the fresh catch. Halibut will be back in the markets, ready for the grill. Rockfish and cod are also back in the waters and in the market for your dinner table. Cod and rockfish may be back in the market sooner than halibut as fishers from Kodiak return with their load.

Don’t wait around for fresh salmon. Hopefully you loaded up before the salmon season ended and packed up the freezer so you can appease your salmon cravings even in the spring months.

Homer, Alaska

If you’re really interested in engaging in some superb halibut fishing then head on up to Homer, Alaska. This is the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World” with charter services available to take you out on your halibut fishing expedition.

Every year, Homer is home to a halibut fishing derby. The derby runs from mid-May until mid-September but you’ll have to make sure you buy tickets so you can enter. Remember if you don’t have a ticket, you cannot enter for a chance to win – you don’t want to be faced with the disappointment that comes from a good catch without being able to offer it up for competition in the derby.

Each tagged fish that you catch is worth $50 and any fish caught from the 2015 derby this year will be worth $100. You will also have an opportunity to catch the GCI worth $50,000 and the Stanley Ford F-150 tagged halibut. This year, 130 fish have been tagged in the water as part of the derby which offers you pretty decent odds at catching at least one fish. So pack up the Alaska car rentals for your chance at a prize in the Homer Halibut Derby!

Halibut fishing tips

The first thing you need to know is that there’s a two fish limit per person in Homer. You also need to make sure you have a proper license for Alaska.

Good equipment for halibut fishing is the circle hook, rather than the treble hook or j-hook. This is a cheaper hook that won’t be a big loss when you have to cut the hook free from the mouth of your catch. You may add on red or white hoochies, beads, and skirts in order to attract halibut. If you’re looking for a really good one, use a skirt that glows in the water to draw halibut in.

We would recommend avoiding bait scent canisters for your fishing trip. As much as these can be effective at times, they also tend to leave an unfortunate odor in the surrounding area. We personally don’t like when clients of our Alaska car rentals are using these scent canisters as they can leave a malodorous atmosphere in the vehicle that other renters will have to deal with.

We’d recommend bait injectors instead. These little needles allow you to insert the scent into your bait, beats, skirts, and other equipment. These are more effective than scent canisters and won’t leave a scent in the Alaska car rentals.

You’re ready for a great fishing trip! Now all you need is a great Alaska car rentals from Avis.

New Butterfly Species Uncovered in Alaska

It’s easy to think that we have already discovered all that there is to discover in the natural world, but it’s just not true. This month, researchers have uncovered a new butterfly species in Interior Alaska. It’s the first one to have been discovered in Alaska in almost 30 years. Take your Alaska car rentals through the interior of Alaska to try to catch a glimpse of the state’s newest butterfly.

The butterfly is a hybrid species that was created before the last ice age. It is called the Tanana Arctic, and it appears as though this species is specific to this region, which means your only opportunity to see it is when you’re traveling in your Alaska car rentals.

What does the Tanana Arctic look like?

The Tanana Arctic is a bronze-brown color, with shite specks and veins on its underside. It looks almost as if snow has dusted the base of the butterfly with waves of white and dark brown.

Where can you find the butterfly?

The butterfly may have been found in ancient Alaska’s strip of land known as Beringia. Currently the butterfly can be found in the forests around Tanana-Yukon River Basin. Spruce and aspen trees are the homes of these butterflies, and if you take your Alaska car rentals around the basin you may have an opportunity to see one these butterflies.

These butterflies love the cold temperatures, and need to stay in an area where they can stay cool. This area was a prime place for many species to live during the most recent Ice Age. It remained free of ice during the Ice Age and butterflies could survive in the cold without being frozen.

A hybrid of the two

The Tanana Artic butterfly is likely a hybrid of the Chryxus Artic and the White-veined Artic. In fact, the butterfly remains very similar in appearance to the Chryxus Artic. This is part of the reason that the Tanana Artic had not been uncovered previously, despite being around since the last ice age.

How will this tell us about global warming?

These butterflies may be able to act as strong indicators of global warming. Having survived since the last ice age, their resilience is evident and death of the butterflies could indicate a dramatic shift in the environment. A more significant indicator of climate change will be if the butterflies begin to migrate out of the area. As we are already aware that the permafrost is melting, if the climate continues to worsen the Tanana Arctic will eventually begin to migrate to find climates more suitable to them.

The Tanana was hiding

Oddly enough, the Tanana Arctic was on display in the museums as soon as 1955, and went undetected. Its similarity to the Chryxus Arctic allowed it to hide right beneath the careful gaze of the scientists and researchers.

The butterfly species of Alaska

This butterfly species may be unique to the region, but it certainly isn’t the only butterfly in the region. In fact, there are roughly 75-80 butterfly species in the state. If you drive around in your Alaska car rentals, you’re sure to see at least one of them. In fact, there are as many as 40 different species in Anchorage alone.

Alaskan butterflies live for as long as (or even longer than!) a year in the state because of the cold. In fact, the butterflies can even use the winter months as their growth period in the chrysalis form.

Take advantage sight seeing the myriad incredible species across the state when you reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis.

April in Alaska: Tips, Trips, and the Transition

April is a bit of an odd time in Alaska and for those with Alaska car rentals. It’s not quite spring yet, but the snow is certainly starting to melt. In what is know as the “break up” of ice, you’ll find that more and more lakes are beginning to melt. But be aware – you will still discover huge mounds of snow next to the road as you drive your Alaska car rentals around the state.

Because this month is such an odd period of weather for Alaska, we’ve provided you with tips and trips you can take to survive the transition.

Don’t expect tours

At this time of year, you’ll be hard pressed to find many guided tours and day trips around the state. Many tour guide companies close up shop until summer, and don’t reopen until May. That said, you may still be able to find some tours that were open specifically for winter and that haven’t closed yet for the transitional time between the seasons.

For instance, the Turnagain Turnaround Arm Tour from Anchorage runs until April 15 before reopening for the summer season on May 20. If you’re visiting before April 15, we would recommend this tour as a great way to experience a scenic winter drive without having the personal stress of being the driver.

Don’t bank on winter sports

With some snow left, some tourists believe that winter sports are still an option. Unfortunately, you may find when you set out that there isn’t quite enough snow to make your snow-shoeing journey an enjoyable one.

Prepare for both seasons

Especially if you’re an outdoorsy sort, it’s important to prep your Alaska car rentals with the appropriate clothing and equipment for both winter and spring. Don’t remove the winter emergency kit yet – temperatures can still drop quite low at night and you’ll need to be able to stay warm in case of emergency.

If you’re going hiking make sure to pack the appropriate winter-weather shoes with a good tread on the bottom. Keep a few extra sweaters around, also, just in case the temperature decides to play a little trick on you and dip rather than rise through the month.

Fishing has begun

Winter activities like ice fishing and skiing definitely are not the only outdoor entertainment. Now that spring has arrived, fishing has started up again – and this time you don’t have to sit in a warmed hut in order to fish. Around now, you’ll be able to start fishing for halibut and cod.

However, it’s important that you stay off the ice for your fishing trip. Some fisherman attempt to get in a few last ice fishing trips before spring fully sets in without thinking of the danger a slowly thawing ice poses to their safety. In reality, just because the ice looks thick, doesn’t mean it is. These fishermen in Russia got a first hand experience of breaking sheet ice, and it almost cost them their lives.

Avoid overconfidence in your Alaska car rentals

This tip is one that is important whether you’re in Alaska or Oklahoma. It’s easy to become an overconfident driver with the changing season. However, you must remain vigilant in your Alaska car rentals. The winter season hasn’t quite faded, and there will still be slippery sections of the road that must be accounted for.

Continue to leave a respectable amount of distance behind the drivers in front of you, and take sharp turns with caution. Be particularly careful if driving along mountain roads or areas that don’t get as much maintenance. Overall, use your best judgment but try to drive as if winter were still here.

April may not be a popular time to visit Alaska, but we think this state is great all year long. Reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis and we’ll help to make sure your trip is a thrilling adventure no matter the month!

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.

Experience Dogsledding in Alaska

It’s no secret that dogsledding – or dog mushing as it’s also called – is a popular draw for Alaska tourists. This centuries old form of transportation is well known across the country, and isn’t found in too many states outside of Alaska. Many people would be willing to drive miles in their Alaska winter car rentals to find a guide. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

Because of the popularity and commonality of dogsledding there are outing options available in most of the large cities across the state. The dogsledding season varies depending on the tour company that you decide upon. Below we have listed several options for winter tours in the state.

Anchorage dogsledding tours

Anchorage is one of the most common tourist spots, so it’s likely you’ll end up here in your Alaska winter car rentals. Good thing too! There are two winter tour options where you can get a taste of glacier dog sledding.

The season at Salmon Berry Tours Dog Sledding rungs from around November 1 until March 3 each year. The tour will take you through Chugach State Park, where you’ll be able to enjoy a sled dog ride as well as snowshoeing through the trails. Salmon Berry Tours provides on-the-trail s’mores to keep you energized and happy.

Also available near Anchorage is Alpine Air Alaska Glacier Dogsledding. Their season runs year round, and is accessible only by helicopter traveling from Girdwood Forest. What makes this trip so desirable is that you’re offered the chance to lead the sled yourself. Step up to a place at the reigns, or if you’re tired from driving your Alaska winter car rentals, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Dogsledding options in Fairbanks

Cotter’s Sled Dog Kennel is another year-round option to test out this classic sport. This kennel is one of the more affordable tour options, particularly throughout the summer months. You certainly won’t need to break your budget to experience this crucial activity in Alaska’s culture and history.

Running Cotter’s Sled Dog Kennel is the 1987 Yukon Quest Champion, Bill Cotter. He has a wealth of knowledge that he is ready and willing to share. Any questions? Bill Cotter is definitely the one to answer them.

Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race

So Bill Cotter is a Yukon Quest Champion, but what exactly does that mean? Starting on February 6, 2016, you’ll soon find out. Each year, the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race spans 1,000 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon to test the skills and endurance of the world’s best mushers. This year, there are 23 competitors from across the globe, ranging from rookies to seasoned veterans.

The race takes just under two weeks to complete. While of course you’re not going to be following the mushers in your Alaska winter car rentals to see the entire thing play out, there are events you can go to in order to get a sense of the race. On February 3 from 6:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. you can meet the mushers at the Alpine Lodge in Fairbanks. Ask questions, offer encouragement, and learn more about this great sport.

On February 4, the Start and Draw Banquet opens its doors at the Westmark Gold Room in Fairbanks at 5 p.m. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. Two days later on February 6, head down to Chena River at Cushman St. Bridge in Fairbanks to see the Yukon Quest race start. The race begins at 11:00 a.m. sharp, so don’t be late!

If you want to follow this even straight through, you’ll need to take your Alaska winter car rentals down to Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. There your children will be able to get a free mushing ride on February 14 from 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Shipyards Park. Four days later on February 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in Mount MacIntyre Recreation Centre, meet the mushers again to hear about their journey. Finally, the Finish & Awards Banquet starts at 5 p.m. on February 20 in the Yukon Convention Centre to round out the event.

No Alaska experience would be complete without testing out the ancient tradition of dogsledding, but you won’t be able to rely on mushing for transportation. For a way to get to and from your destination when you’re not on the sled, reserve your Alaska winter car rentals from Avis today.

Challenge Yourself: Try Ice Climbing in Alaska

Are you visiting Alaska looking for an adventure? Every year, travelers and tourists alike flock to Alaska to discover new challenging sports, and we can assure you they’re never disappointed. One of the sports that draws attention is ice climbing – and for good reason! This sport will show you new sides of yourself and of the state in ways that are impossible to gain elsewhere. Most importantly, you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy this sport. Whether your Alaska car rentals are full of family members or just you and a friend, ice climbing is accessible for most over the age of 12.

MICA Guides

MICA Guides is known for making ice climbing as accessible as possible to both youth and adults. Their professionals will teach you everything you need to know about this sport, and ensure your safety and fun along the way. They begin all of their students with the basic skills, and then adjust the climbing slopes to suit your advancing skills. By the end of the day, you’ll have challenged yourself and uncovered your limits.

If you’re headed to MICA, don’t worry about packing your Alaska car rentals with more than your luggage. All of your essential equipment, including climbing boots, crampons, helmets, and ice tools are counted in the cost of your ice climbing session. A session is 6 hours, throughout which you will progress from basic to higher levels of difficulty. All climbing sessions start with beginner bouldering.

MICA Guides is at the Matanuska Glacier. They offer a variety of glacial and outdoor activities alongside ice climbing, including ATV-ing and zip lining. They also offer lodgings at Alpenglow Luxury Camping, which will grant you a truly Alaskan experience. You’ll have the chance to stay in a boutique canvas tent and test out authentic traditional Alaskan food and drink before finishing off the evening in a dip in their handmade wood-burning hot tub. You’ll never again have an opportunity quite like the one provided by MICA and Alpenglow. So park the Alaska car rentals and unload your luggage for spectacular glacial views and unforgettable adventure.

Alaska Mountain Guides & Climbing School, Inc.

If you’re looking for a longer trip that travels to a variety of mountains around Haines, then the ice-climbing guide you’re looking for is the Alaska Mountain Guides & Climbing School, Inc. With trips stretching from 1 to 5 days, you’ll gain on-location ice-climbing experience.

In their program you will learn the skills of anchors, belaying, crampon and ice axe techniques, knots, protection systems, rappelling, and rope managements. Their goal at Alaska Mountain Guides is to ensure you know all the skills you need for ice climbing, and that you can use them on your own with confidence. They’re all about safety – not just while you’re under their guidance, but even after you’ve ventured off on your own in years to come.

The fees include your camping and climbing equipment, food throughout your trip, and ground transportation in Haines. You will begin in their center in Haines and travel up to the mountains that overlook 27 million acres around the Glacier Bay National Park. You certainly will never get a view such as this one anywhere else.

Alaska Mountain Guides provides other sporting services that you can enjoy while you’ve stopped your Alaska car rentals in Haines. Opportunities include sea kayaking, mountaineering and mountaineering expeditions, backpacking and canyoneering, whitewater, skiing and snowboarding, and hiking and trekking.

Alaska is a place of opportunities. Ice climbing can reveal the beauty of the glaciers to you beyond the scope of sightseeing. You’ll get a glimpse at the core of Alaskan culture, tradition, and natural glory. Don’t wait a minute longer. Reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis to begin on an expedition to remember.

Camping with Alaska Winter Car Rentals

Are you looking for a new kind of challenge? Are you an experienced camper that needs a bit more a thrill than the typical, warm-season camping can offer? We are with you. At Avis, we’re adventurers and thrill-seekers, outdoorsy types looking for new ways to enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re taking out one of our Alaska winter car rentals, then you’re likely looking for an adventure or journey to get to know the state in all its glory.

But before loading up your Alaska winter car rentals and hit the snow for the adventure of a lifetime, there are some things you need to know. Winter camping can be tough for amateurs. If you’ve never done it before, then you’ll want to start slow and work your through tougher levels. Here are a few of our tips for winter camping.

Don’t overdo it

Don’t challenge yourself too much. Challenge is good, but within reason – you don’t want to push your limits into the realm of danger, and there certainly is real danger in Alaskan winters.

Test out winter camping with an easier locale before you go out further into the wild. Keep your cellphone on you, and your Alaska winter car rentals nearby so you can escape back to society if need be. Choose an area that you’re familiar with, even if it’s only slightly more familiar than other camping spots. There’s no room for pride in winter camping – be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot handle, or at what level your camping skills are rated.

Keep an eye on your packing

It’s always better to over pack when it comes to warm clothing, than under pack. Your survival depends upon your warmth and you won’t have your Alaska winter car rentals with you the whole time. Keep under layers, fleece and down, and thermo socks to ensure your warmth.

Your body isn’t the only thing you need to keep warm. Thermo layers and insulated sleeves are essential for ensuring fuel and water stays warm. You need the fuel for your stove, as hot meals are certainly not something you want to miss out on when traveling in such cold weather.

Don’t skimp on equipment

The equipment you bring camping will make the difference between a good trip, and a horrible experience. Your sleeping bag is one of your most important pieces of gear to ensure you stay warm at night. Do your research. Find a sleeping bag that is good for negative 20 degrees F temperatures and a solid tent with tarp that will prevent leaks. It’s important that you keep your sleeping bag zipped to the top throughout the night and wrapped around your head.

Always buy a sleeping bag that has a head piece that ties up so that you are completely protected from the cold. The only areas of your body that should be exposed to the cold are your mouth and nose, to allow for both breathing. This will also help to prevent moisture from your breath getting into your bag. We’d recommend either the Mountain Hardwear Ghost sleeping bag or the Western Mountaineering Lynx sleeping bag to keep you warm in the arctic temperatures.

Just as important is your sleeping pad. Get a good, strong sleeping pad to act as both comfort while you sleep and a barrier between you and the cold ground. If you are looking for a little extra protection, also bring along a hard cell foam pad to place underneath your sleeping pad for added insulation and leak protection.

When in doubt, cabins are available

If you doubt your abilities, or if you cannot get the appropriate equipment, we’d recommend starting with yurts or cabins. Two good choices for cabins are the Eagle River Nature Center or the Byers Lake Cabins.

Enjoy a real taste of the outdoors with Alaska winter car rentals from Avis.