There’s no better time to hit the water than June, when river levels–and daily temps– are up. Pack up now to enjoy the best of both worlds with these surf-and-turf journeys.
Nancy Lake SRA, AK
Dip into beginner-friendly waters
The Lynx Lake Loop, an eight-mile route just two hours from Anchorage, is a perfect starter course for wilderness paddling in Alaska: no sat-phone or shotgun required. Start at Tanaina Lake and head south to Milo Pond, following orange portage signs in a counterclockwise circuit. In between each of the 14 lakes, short trails (the longest is a half-mile) cut through dense forests sprinkled with Alaskan rose and wild iris. You’ll cross honey-colored meadows where brown bears sometimes snack on blueberries–though moose sightings are more common. Hit the primitive campsites between Little Noluck and Big Noluck Lakes. From there you can watch the midnight sun set on one lake while its soft afterglow illuminates the other.
Tippecanoe, at the South Rolly Lake Campground (907-495-6688, paddlealaska.com)
The Way From Anchorage, take the Parks Highway 67 miles north. Go 4.5 miles west on Nancy Lake Parkway to the canoe trailhead at Tanaina Lake.