Our friends at MSNBC Travel are reporting that Denali National Park is maxing out on visitors. We knew Alaska was a popular summertime destination, but it seems travelers are turning its most famous (and accessible) park into the next Yellowstone. So with all the people exploring the 49th state, we thought we’d give you the heads up on a great app we found to research your trip and use while you’re there.
The Alaska App is not only free, but also the most comprehensive Alaska travel app that we could find. Published by the website Alaska.org, the app covers 17 popular cities, towns, and (of course) Denali, with a full range of hotels, restaurants, and attractions in each—many with photos, and some with video. You can filter by type of listing (i.e. fishing lodge or B&B), share your favorites on Facebook and Twitter, or send a “postcard” of the place. Dig deeper and you’ll find some unexpectedly cool stuff, like flyover videos of glaciers, weather cams from around the state, and audio tours given by experts. The app also geo-locates you, so you’ll know how far away you are from that restaurant or hiking trail you want to check out, and see everything on a map. (Here in New York, the app tells us, we’re 3,357 miles from the busy park’s Camp Denali.) You’ll also find recommended wildlife-viewing hot spots, how-to articles (like when to visit, what to pack, and what to do if you see a bear), and users posts that you can sort by distance from your current location. There’s even search functionality. The one thing it can’t do is clear the crowds out of Denali.
And if you’re getting to the 49th state on Alaska Airlines, download their free app as well. There’s no travel guide info, but it’s good for all the usual airplane-app stuff, like schedules, flight status, and check-in.