Glacier Bay and Skagway, Alaska | Travel Guide

In Travel

Planning a trip to Glacier Bay or Skagway, Alaska? Here’s our travel guide with what to see and do. The beauty of Alaska’s wilderness awaits!

Glacier Bay, Alaska | A Couple Cooks

Two rugged, beautiful places stole our hearts this year: Utah and Alaska. Neither were originally on our radar, but we’re now singing the praises of both. Our last post on Juneau showed our time in the Juneau area; we took two day trips from there to Glacier Bay National Park and the tiny town of Skagway. Here are some shots from both — again, we’ll let the photos do most of the talking.

Related: 8 Secrets: How to Take Better Pictures on Vacation

Glacier Bay was a one-of-a-kind adventure: we took a boat ride through a glacier-filled national park with wildlife sightings at every turn.

Glacier Bay, Alaska | A Couple Cooks

Within minutes, we saw our first whale flukes, and Alex nabbed this picture. It was one of the highlights of the day, for sure.

Glacier Bay, Alaska | A Couple Cooks

We also saw seals, puffins, orcas (killer whales), mountain goats, grizzly bears, and all sorts of birds, all in their natural habitat. A bit surreal.

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Snack time was salmon chowder, which was perfect after standing out on the chilly upper deck.

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And then, the glaciers! This is mile-wide Margerie Glacier. As we sat and stared, chunks of the glacier would break off and fall into the water (called “calving”).

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Skagway, Alaska | A Couple Cooks

The next day, we were ready for another adventure, this time to the mining town of Skagway with my family and my sister’s fiancé’s family, who are Juneau natives. They must have been trying to show off, and it worked — at their request, the pilot of our tiny plane flew directly over the glaciers and ice fields to get to Skagway. We looked down on amazing IMAX-style views that few people have seen so closely. Here’s what we saw (the paths that look like roads are actually made by glaciers.).

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After that ride, Skagway was a liiiitle bit of a let down (agreed upon by all), but it was a sweet little mining mountain town. We stayed the night in a quaint hotel, went hiking on a peat moss trail, and took a ride on the old train that carried gold-rushers  to the Klondike in the 1890’s.

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After all that hiking and train riding, fish and chips was in order. This halibut was delicately-breaded perfection.

Skagway, Alaska | A Couple Cooks Skagway, Alaska | A Couple Cooks

The way home to Juneau was a bit harried, jumbled about by the turbulence of a rainstorm in a tiny 5-seater plane. Luckily we made it back to solid ground and I still had time to catch my fish (though during that flight I’d already decided my life had been long and fulfilling and I was ready, if need be!).

Alaska is a gem and we couldn’t have asked for more.  Thanks again to my parents for arranging everything, to my sister for coming home, and for her fiancé and his parents for being the best tour guides we could imagine. Let us know if you have any questions about the area! There is so much more of Alaska to explore – we can’t wait!

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Summer
    August 5, 2015 at 2:38 am

    It’s so lucky to find and read your blog. I’m from China and check your lovely couple’s blog often. My fiance and I will get married in Oct15. We all love photography and cooking and travel. We have our own apartment now and look forward to have a beautiful life together going farward. Your photos and words are inspired me a lot. Thanks so much to share us your fabulous life and wonderful travelling experience.

  • Reply
    joanna // jojotastic
    August 5, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    i LOVE this!! i’m dating a salmon fisherman and he’s up there for the summer…. i might go up to visit soon and this was all the inspiration i needed!

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 6, 2015 at 8:25 am

      Go! It’s just a quick jaunt for you. Where is he fishing out of? We have some good friends documenting life of some fishers in Sitka right now.

      • Reply
        joanna // jojotastic
        August 6, 2015 at 1:48 pm

        wow – your friend is super close to where he is – he’s just off the coast of in craig! i’m checking out flights ;)

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    August 5, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Alaska has just been bumped to the top of my places-to-visit-list. Amazing pictures you guys! Loved hearing about all the wildlife you got to see. Who needs safaris when you’ve got Alaska?! Okay, they’re two very different experiences, but still. ;-)

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 6, 2015 at 8:20 am

      It’s a good haul away from Swizerland–but you should do it! We were blown away by the wildlife. One morning there were about 10 bald eagles right outside our window while we were drinking our coffee.

  • Reply
    Joanna
    August 6, 2015 at 5:34 am

    I love the calmness in all these pictures…stunning! Plus such a trip is much better than staying on the beach all day! :)

  • Reply
    Cady | Wild Heart of Life
    August 6, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    The beauty of these photos surpasses breathtaking. That train, those mountains, and not to mention that WHALE shot! Ugh. I have always wanted to visit. Wanderlust to the next level. Beautiful.

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