Alaska is known for its wide variety of plant species dotted across the state. What you may not be aware of though, is that Alaska is rich in naturally and wildly growing food. Many natives of Alaska love to go berry picking in the summer to supplement their fresh Alaskan diet that is hunted and fished. Bring a few baskets in your Alaska car rentals to pick fresh wild berries right from the landscape.
While the name doesn’t sound particularly appealing, salmonberries are an iconic Alaskan fruit as its name mixes two of the things that Alaskans love so much: salmon and wild berries! Berries are everywhere in Alaska, and as an added bonus, Alaskan wild berries are absolutely loaded with antioxidants. For some reason, there are far more antioxidants found in Alaskan wild berries than any berry you’ll be able to find in any store.
This is the perfect time to go salmonberry and crowberry hunting. Salmonberries get their name from their reddish pink hue and close resemblance to salmon roe. In fact, if you mix these two delicious treats together, you’ll get cured tasty snack. The berries are a little tough and not very juicy, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally smashing them in your Alaska car rentals. They are slightly sour, but are finished with sweetness to balance out the tartness of the first bite.
Common uses for salmonberries include pies or tarts, syrups, jams, and other preserves. However, they are absolutely delicious on their own, fresh and raw. Of course, you can also experiment by adding a sweet, tart flavor to savory entrées.
Lingonberries are known for their Swedish origins, but they are also found in Alaska. They look similar to cranberries, but taste a little less tart and sour than the latter. These berries are simply delicious in jams, pies, and other preserves. They also taste delightful when made into syrup and poured over pancakes or crepes.
You’ll have to do a little hiking to find these berries. They are often found on mountain slopes, in the woods, and across the tundra. They ripen throughout August.
Other August berries
Many berries ripen throughout the month of August. Right now you’ll likely only be able to find salmonberries and crowberries. Crowberries are little bit boring when eaten raw alone, but they’re perfect for adding to a sweet pie or tart. They are purplish-blue like blueberries, without the full flavor that is offered by blueberries.
Other berries that you’ll be able to find later in the month of August are blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries.
Bring bear protection
Remember that you’re not the only one foraging for berries in the forest. Bears love to pick berries as a delightful dessert to compliment their fishing adventures. It is crucial that you bring something to protect yourself from the bears. Mace and bear-bells are good starts to ensuring you don’t get caught in a sticky situation. Make lots of noise as you wander around foraging, to scare bears off.
Stay on trails and highly populated areas. This isn’t always protection, though, as bears often come close to these areas as well – something you may have already noticed this in your Alaska car rentals. Pay attention to noises around you, and leave the headphones in your Alaska car rentals.
Bring a stool
Regardless of how tall you are, sometimes berries are just a little bit out of reach. Bring along a stool to help you reach those high up little gems.
A few good spots
Every Alaskan has their own preferred berry-picking spot which, as a visitor, you won’t have the advantage of knowing. However, there are a few spots around Alaska where we can guarantee you’ll find an abundance of berries. They are listed below:
- Turnagain Pass
- Crow Pass Trail
- Rendezvous Peak
- Rabbit Creek
- Indian Valley Trail
- Kincaid Park
- Eagle River Valley
- Lazy Mountain
- Hatcher Pass
- Old Johnson Trail
- Crow Pass Road
- Prospect Heights, Chugach State Park
Pack up your Alaska car rentals and get picking! Reserve your vehicle today.