Woman in Denali National Park

Alaska Unplugged: Where to Disconnect & Get Away From it All

Alaska Unplugged: Where to Disconnect & Get Away From it All

Looking to unwind, unplug, and get away from it all? Leave the distractions of everyday life behind and enjoy one of the many unplugged experiences that Alaska has to offer. Here, the great outdoors and tranquility go hand-in-hand, year-round. Whether you’re looking to bask under the aurora-lit skies and count the stars or relax while soaking up the midnight sun – Alaska is the perfect place to unplug.

Disconnect in Nature

There’s a reason Alaskans love Alaska: you’re never more than a few minutes’ drive away from leaving behind the responsibilities and distractions of everyday life by escaping into nature – and that certainly goes for visitors, too! All destinations, whether big-city or off-the-beaten-track, give you the option of unplugged experiences in nature. While it might feel a little unusual at first, getting off-the-grid in places without internet or cell service is a freeing feeling that is uncommon in today’s connected world, giving you the chance put away your phone, look up, be present, and soak up the natural beauty around you. No matter the season, location, or experience you’re looking to enjoy, there are many options to choose from to disconnect and find a deeper connection with yourself and your fellow travelers.

Two people in front of a lake and glacier in Alaska

Wilderness Lodges & Resorts

One of the best ways to unplug in Alaska without sacrificing any creature comforts is at a wilderness lodge or resort. From the Inside Passage up to the Arctic, there are wilderness lodges statewide that give you the option of unplugging for a few days while being pampered with excellent food, comfortable lodging, and fun activities - without the distraction of TVs and constant cell service. Many lodges offer wellness options that enhance your unplugged experience, including yoga sessions, massage and spa treatments, saunas, hot tubs, and more. These lodges are often accessible only by boat or plane and give you the unique opportunity to fly out to beautiful and remote locations in Alaska to spend your days fishing, hiking, and bear viewing, along with northern lights viewing in winter. Wilderness lodges can be found statewide and within most of Alaska’s eight national parks

Wildnerness Resort in Alaska's Inside Passage
Wilderness Lodge in Alaska's Inside Passage region outside of Ketchikan.


Yurts, Cabins, and Glamping

Yurts, cabins, and glamping are also very popular choices for getting off-the-grid in Alaska. Typically catering to more independent travelers, these experiences give you the feeling of camping in Alaska with some added comfort and without having to pack as much gear. These types of accommodations vary widely in amenities offered so you can find the experience that best suits your adventure level. Private yurts, cabins, and glamping are available throughout the state and in a wide range of accessibility, whether you want to drive, hike, boat, kayak, or fly out to your destination. Depending on the type of accommodation, you may have amenities included like bedding, cooking gear, and space heaters or firewood for stoves. For an even more rustic experience you can book one of the many public use backcountry cabins located throughout the state where you pack in your own gear and can enjoy a roof over your head and solitude in nature. Without the distractions of Wi-Fi and TVs, an overnight at a yurt, cabin, or glamping trip allows you to unplug, enjoy some peace and quiet, and take in the beautiful views around you.   

Yurt in Alaska in winter
Yurt in Southcentral Alaska. Photo Credit: Travel Alaska, Matt Hage



Both guided and unguided backpacking trips in Alaska are an incredible way to unplug and get away from it all. Guided backpacking tours can be booked through a variety of outfitters, depending on location, length, and season. These tours allow you to get off-the-grid in Alaska’s wilderness areas with the guidance of a local expert. These are a great option for those who are new to backpacking or who prefer to leave the planning and logistics to someone else. Guided backpacking trips are also one of the best ways to explore some of Alaska’s more remote areas like Gates of the Arctic National Park and the Brooks Range. Backpacking guides plan the route, meals, transportation, and often supply the gear – taking the stress out of planning and packing so you can enjoy the experience to the fullest. 

For both guided and unguided backpacking, some of the most popular locations are found in Alaska’s incredible parks and public lands, including Alaska’s eight national parks. Denali National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Katmai National Park, and Lake Clark National Park are some of the top destinations, along with other public lands in the Brooks Range, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Denali State Park, Chugach State Park, Chugach National Forest, and more. The nearly endless amount of trails and backcountry routes provide a wide range of options for backpackers to enjoy. 

Keep in mind that backpacking in Alaska is very different from backpacking in the Lower 48, as the terrain, weather, and wildlife are very diverse. Backpacking in Alaska is best done mid-June through September, depending on your destination, elevation, and snow levels. Always be prepared with the proper gear and be bear aware. With the proper preparation, gear, and experience level (or guide), backpacking in Alaska is one of the best ways to disconnect from the ”real world” and truly immerse yourself in nature. 

Backpacking in Alaska

Getting Off-The-Grid in Alaska’s National Parks

All of Alaska’s national parks offer opportunities to unplug. Even the state’s most accessible national parks allow you to disconnect – weather you’re out for a day trip or spending a couple of nights backpacking or at a wilderness lodge. In Denali National Park, cell service is only available within three miles of the park entrance, meaning that all tours into the park give you the opportunity to unplug, even if just for part of the day. Aside from Wi-Fi available at park headquarters, there is no cell service in Kenai Fjords National Park or Glacier Bay National Park. So, while you are out on a glacier & wildlife cruise, kayaking trip, or glacier trekking excursion, you’ll get to enjoy a few hours of being disconnected. 

Alaska’s more remote national parks offer even more opportunities to unplug, unwind, and connect with nature:

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

As one of the three national parks accessible on the Alaska road system, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is still a remote park with endless opportunities to unplug and explore. The largest national park in the United States offers non-stop views of immense mountain ranges, glaciers, wildlife, fascinating mining history, and rushing rivers. The vast majority of the park is without cell service, even along the two roads into the park (the Nebesna Road and the McCarthy Road) and in the historic mining town of Kennicott. The small town of McCarthy located within the park has limited cell service. Visitors can stay at wilderness lodges both on and off the road system or embark on guided and unguided backpacking, packrafting, and glacier hiking trips. 

Glacier hiking in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Glacier trekking on Root Glacier in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Photo Credit: Travel Alaska, Ben Prescott

Lake Clark National Park & Katmai National Park

These two national parks are located in Southwest Alaska and offer the chance for visitors to enjoy bear viewing, hiking, fishing, backpacking, float trips, and more. Accessible by boat or by plane only, these remote parks are home to wilderness lodges along with endless opportunities for backcountry camping. Popular destinations include Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park and Port Alsworth in Lake Clark National Park. With some of the best bear viewing in Alaska, fly-in day trips to both parks are available from Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak, and King Salmon

Fishing in Lake Clark National Park
Fishing in Lake Clark National Park

Gates of the Arctic National Park & Kobuk Valley National Park

Looking to really get off the grid? Head to Gates of the Arctic National Park or Kobuk Valley National Park in Alaska’s Arctic region. Accessible only by plane, these two remote parks offer over 10 million combined acres of cell phone-free landscape. With no visitor services, roads, designated hiking trails, or campgrounds, these parks are some of the best places in Alaska to unplug in remote and rugged wilderness settings. Guided multi-day backpacking trips and raft trips are available here, where groups are flown out to remote locations to spend several days hiking, paddling, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Due to the remote nature and rugged terrain of these parks, only those with backcountry experience should embark on independent trips. 

Backcountry camping in Gates of the Arctic National Park
Backcountry camping in Gates of the Arctic National Park. Photo Credit: Alamy Stock Photo, Nature Picture Library

If you feel like you need some time off-the-grid, even if just for part of the day, you are in luck! Alaska’s vast wilderness areas, and even many areas along the road system, are cell service free, giving you the chance to escape from the real world, put away your distractions, and connect more with yourself and your surroundings.


Alaska: AKA Your Next Adventure

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