Flight Seeing Tours
There is something humbling about drifting on the wind hundreds of miles from the nearest human settlement, soaring above the shifting patterns of nature while in the seat of a plane hardly bigger than a car. In Alaska, this may be a common experience, as one in every forty residents is equipped with an aircraft license, but even "common" experiences in Alaska can give grand perspectives.
In a state one-fifth the size of the Lower 48 with less than 10,000 miles of road, flying is a way of life. Air taxis are to Alaska what yellow cabs are to New York and water taxis are to Venice. So much of Alaska is remote, that taking a flight tour, or flightseeing, provides a view of the state that is impossible to get while still on the ground. Anchorage, the nerve center of Alaska with its quarter-million residents, quickly disappears into a sea of wilderness just minutes after take off, and what at first seem like big mountains fast become gargantuan pyramids of rock and snow. The adage, "Fly an hour or walk a week" is never truer than when, minutes out of town, you soar above the massive buttresses of Mt. McKinley or glide over the iceberg-choked waters of Columbia Glacier.
Experience the natural history below you as you watch rivers run from valleys filled with melting glaciers, and fly over young birch and aspen forests which fade into ancient spruce bogs or endless rolling tundra. Beauty takes on a new scale in the air, as you travel not just to get from here to there, but to see every living thing in between. Civilization fades into distant memory as you float over jagged peaks that have never felt the press of a human footprint or spot a bear foraging in the wild.
Some small planes are equipped with floats to land on mountain lakes, remote rivers, or ocean bays. Others deploy skis to land on snowy glaciers. Most flights offer all window seats, pilot narration, and individual headsets. Operators offer set prices for seats on flightseeing trips to popular destinations. You can also charter by the hour for trips to remote wilderness destinations.