After years of hearing about the incredible wilderness that is Alaska, I finally got to see it for myself! From standup paddle boarding in an iceberg-laden lagoon, to hiking though some magical forests, I was not let down. Read on for more details of my trip!
The flight from Long Beach to Anchorage was an easy 5 hours. The unfortunate part is that the flights to Alaska get in just after midnight. It’s that awkward timing that forced us to chose sleeping in the airport over spending extra money to sleep in a hotel for 5 hours. I would say that was the “worst” part of the trip, but my sleepy eyes easily opened as we boarded our early morning train on the old Alaskan Railroad to Seward.
The 3 hour train ride was stunning. I saw my first glaciers and eagles’ nests on the ride, as well as seeing towering mountains and winding waterways. When we pulled in to Seward, we were able to store our bags, and enjoy our first meal at the Smoke Stack. This old train car only had eight tables and made an outstanding curry vegetable burrito. It was so delicious, we went back another morning, and it was then I had one of the best breakfasts of my life: King Crab Benedict. Think baguette bread topped with a fresh crab cake, perfectly cooked egg, and an original take on Hollandaise sauce. I would definitely go back for that!
Now for the activities! We did two amazing hikes through the forest: the Caines Head Trail and the Lost Lake Trail. The first was a magical forest, filled with wild blueberries and raspberries, all different kinds of vibrant mushrooms, moss hanging off the trees, and another bald eagle. We saw salmon swimming up stream, and saw an expansive beach with statuesque driftwood washed up on the shore.
The second hike, the Lost Lake trail, started in another abundant forest. We crossed streams and came out of the forest into a lush valley. Birds of all kinds were soaring overhead, and the views were breath taking.
By far the greatest adventure we took on this trip was stand up paddle boarding through a lagoon of icebergs. Bear Glacier is where this can happen. You arrive at Liquid Adventures and they start suiting you up in your gear. You are given a dry suit that covers your feet to your neck. The only skin exposed is your hands and your head, so even if you fell in, your warm base layers would stay dry.
After gearing up, we took a 45-minute boat ride to the glacier. There, you grab your paddle board, or kayak, and set out for the lagoon. The water and the wind were calm, making the paddle out fairly easy.
As we approached the lagoon, the most beautiful blue icebergs greeted us. I have seen and felt this shade of blue in meditations and in crystals, such as Hemimorphite, but my eyes had never seen such beauty before. Some of the icebergs were towering giants, while others were small enough to get close to. I was humbled by the beauty of Mother Earth, and these ever-changing works of natural art. The surrounding mountain allowed us to hear the thundering echoes of the glacier calving off into the lagoon two miles away, and on the paddle back to our boat I saw a bald eagle perched in a tree just off shore. As we cruised back to the port, my soul was filled with wonder and gratitude for the experience.
On this trip, I only visited this one small fishing town. Alaska is the largest state in the United States, over twice the size of Texas, so there is much more exploring to do! Stayed tuned for more adventures soon!
Recommendations in Seward
Where to stay: We stayed at the Nauti Otter, a hostel about 10 minutes out of the main town. They offered breakfast (make your own), it was affordable, and the owner was friendly, but I would recommend trying to stay closer to town. Next time we will Airbnb, or trying staying at another hostel called Moby Dick, which is within walking distance to town.
Where to eat: Smoke Shack and Thorn’s Showcase Lounge
How to get around:
There is no Uber or Lyft in Seward, so you have to take taxis to get around. There is a free school bus that will take you from the train station area to the downtown, but that’s it. We also had no problem hitchhiking as this is common for the area.
Where did you travel this summer? I would love to hear! Comment below.