Alaska is the largest state in the U.S., and oftentimes airplanes are the most efficient way to travel between communities. Jet service is available from many cities in Alaska, including Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Glacier Bay/Gustavus, Yakutat, Cordova, Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, Adak, King Salmon, Dillingham, Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Barrow and Prudhoe Bay.
Smaller regional carriers serve hundreds of other areas. For many remote towns, planes aren’t just the preferred way to travel, but the only way! Air is the best mode of transportation for reaching many Alaska Native villages, especially in the Arctic and Southwest regions and in some coastal communities.
“Bush planes” are small airplanes serving hundreds of remote communities. These flights offer a truly authentic wilderness experience and give visitors a glimpse into life in rural Alaska. While multi-day visits are feasible in some locations, many remote communities don’t have hotels or other tourism infrastructure and are best visited on a day trip. Several tour operations offer flightseeing and charter trips with short stops in Alaska Native villages. Other tours include the chance to ride along on a “mail run,” a flight that delivers mail and packages to remote locations by seasoned Bush pilots.
Flightseeing is one of the most popular day trips in Alaska, and can be done by small plane or helicopter statewide. Helicopter tours often feature landings on mountaintops or glaciers, and many incorporate hiking, dog mushing and more.