Thinking about Alaska doesn't necessarily come along with swimming, beaches and bikinis. Usually you think about glaciers, snow and ice cold water. Well, you are not wrong thinking about ice and cold water, bu you can combine both: jumping in ice cold water and doing a polar plunge on a sunny day! Alaska in summer can have temperatures up to 80 Fahrenheit / 27 Celsius...
Maybe start with a mountain lake on a sunny day for a couple of laps, then jump into a glacially fed river to finish off with a polar plunge into a crystal clear pool on a glacier: This is Alaska!
Cooling off in a mountain lake
A beautiful sunny day in Alaska and we were on an easy hike in the surrounding mountains of Valdez. We came across this small mountain lake - perfect for rock skipping, having lunch and cooling down in the water. Yes, you heard it right: Alaska can be really hot especially hiking in the sun uphill!
Actually it felt pretty warm, we were more worried about a bear showing up having the same idea: cooling down!
Jumping into a glacially fed river
When we decided to jump into Maclaren River, the sun was already setting down. So this experience was a little colder! Usually we canoe the river and float for some miles watching caribou, moose or beavers along the shore of the braided river.
With a lot of screaming and Dakota, the dog, jumping around us, we finished the challenge to warm up inside the rustic Maclaren Lodge having some hot chocolate and a well earned Alaskan Summer Ale.
Polar Plunge into a pool on Root Glacier
We ususally head out onto the Root Glacier in Wrangell/St. Elias National Park to do some hiking or ice climbing. But on a sunny and warm day, you have the chance to not only tick off ice climbing from your bucket list: you can also do a polar plunge into a crystal clear pool on the glacier!
I definetely have to admit: it takes some guts to jump into a pool where you know the bottom might lead into a river underneath the glacier. But you know,... it's that once in a lifetime thing: Do it now or never! The water is so cold, you can't stay in for long: just a quick dip. But I promise, your body will tell you to get out of there in no time!