mountain ranges. Although Mt. McKinley is only visible 20% of the year, there's a chance you could even catch a glimpse. Anchorage is Alaska's most populated area yet it's shared with the likes of bears, moose, and wolves. After your flight into this urban wilderness, make your way to our accommodations for the 6 pm per-departure meeting followed by a group meal. Take this evening to get to know your fellow travelers and guides.
Included: Anchorage accommodation and transport from airport
DAY 2-4: Denali National Park
In the morning we head off to the amazing Denali National Park. Whether it's flora or fauna you came to see, this is the place to fulfill your hopes of seeing large and small wild animals living as they have for ages. We set up our campsite and the following two days you will have the opportunity to take a bus ride through the national park along its only road and hopefully spot bears, moose, caribou, or wolves. For those of you who are looking for a heart pounding and more strenuous adventure have the opportunity for trailblazing throughout the parks 6 million acres. No trip would be complete without adding the optional activity of flying over Denali National Park and around Mt. McKinley (20,320 ft/6194 m.) In the evenings we will sit around the campfire, listening to the sounds of the night and telling our adventures of the day.
Included Activities: 2-Day National Park Entrance and Shuttle Bus services, Guided Hiking in Denali National Park (short, long, off the beaten track, that's on you to decide!)
Optional Activities: Flights over Mt. McKinley $210-320 plus $75 for glacier landing
Rafting Nenana River $90-190 on whitewater or gentle float (2 hrs to all day)
Day 5-6: Maclaren River Lodge
From Denali, we drive the lightly traveled Denali Highway. First opened in 1957, this dirt road was the first to access Denali National Park (then known as Mt. McKinley National Park.) Located in the Maclaren river valley, you traverse through high alpine country on the states second highest highway pass. Here lies the Maclaren River Lodge run by Alan and Susie, who are fantastic hosts that will take us on a boat ride up to "The Glacier Camp." Here we'll stay overnight exploring and camping out underneath the stars. The next morning we'll take a casual canoe trip back down the river for our next night at this beautifully situated lodge. While most of us will spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing, some might want to try their luck in fishing, catching our dinner?
Included Activities: Boat Ride up to Glacier Camp, guided overnight stay at Glacier Camp sleeping under the stars, canoe trip on Maclaren River
Optional Activity: Fishing (pricing to be determined on number of people)
Day 7-8: Wrangell/St. Elias National Park
Visiting the largest national park in the United States and camping at the "End-of-the-road campground." Literally at the end of the McCarthy Road, this 60 miles of gravel road was built along the old Copper River and Northwestern railway. Most remnants left of this once thriving area were a part of the copper mines, but most people forget this was where the last great gold rush happened in Alaska. There's many optional activities like hiking, ice climbing, glacier walks, guided tours, rafting, and scenic flights around 16,000-foot peaks, 25-mile long glaciers and massive ice falls. So, day 8 is left for you to decide what to do: Take the optional historical tour and get carried away by the gold rush, hike on your own in the beautiful surroundings or try some crazy outdoor stuff like ice climbing or guided glacier hikes.
Included Activity: Hiking, Scenic Drive
Optional Activities: Ice Climbing $125 (full day), Root Glacier Hike $70 (half day) $100 (full day), Kennecott History Tour $25 (2.5 hrs)
Day 9-10: Valdez
The terminus of the 800 miles trans-Alaskan pipeline that begins at Prudhoe Bay, Valdez is an important gateway to the interior of Alaska. Valdez was brought to the forefront of national media March 1989. The Exxon Valdez ran aground causing an 11-million gallon oil spill. For many years, flora and fauna were devastated by this environmental catastrophe. Thankfully, order has been restored and the Chugach mountains set a gorgeous backdrop to this quaint little town. When we arrive in the afternoon you will find fantastic hiking opportunities just a short walk from town. If you are tired of hiking there is enough to explore in the history-filled little town. The next day is focused on optional activities. Highly recommended is the Iceberg Sea Kayaking for it's beautiful scenery and possibility of spotting all kinds of wildlife.
Included Activities: Hiking and Scenic Drive
Optional Activities: Glacier Hiking $110 (5-6 hrs), Glacier/Iceberg Sea Kayaking (prices to be determined), Glacier Wildlife Cruises $105 (half day)
Day 11-12: Seward
Located on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula and Resurrection Bay, Seward is known as the "Gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park." Day 11 will be one of our longest driving days, so prepare for an early start. Arriving late afternoon we will be preparing for our boat cruise the following morning: We will experience the national park by boat, cruising among the glaciers and wildlife. After hopefully spotting as much wildlife as possible we will be stopping along the way on island for Alaskan salmon and prime rib buffet. Wildlife safari in boats makes everyone hungry and enjoying the famous Alaskan salmon! Later in the day (if you don't have enough) you can hike alongside the picturesque Exit Glacier with a high probability seeing a few of the local black bear feeding on some berries.
Included Activities: Kenai National Park Entrance, Kenai Fjords National Park Wildlife cruise, All-You-Can-Eat Salmon/Prime Rib Lunch Buffet and Hiking Exit Glacier
Optional Activity: Karaoke $ free (well maybe a few drinks first!)
Day 13: Homer
Located on the other side of the Kenai Peninsula and Kachemak Bay, Homer is the launching point for our two-night Adventure Camp. But, don't overlook this artist inspired town with its many galleries along the spit. We will be arriving quite early so that there is enough time to explore the picturesque town and it's fishermen culture. For example, the Salty Dawg Saloon's lighthouse is a great place to sit belly-up to the bar along with posting your dollar bill on the ceiling or wall so that your friend, who will be by later, will have a drink on you.
Included Activities: Exploring the picturesque town of Homer and its fishermen culture
Optional Activities: "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World" $140 (half day) **Following morning**
Day 14-15: Adventure Camp
Take a boat ride from Homer to Seldovia, landing on this lovely and relatively untouched island. Camping is done in canvas tents with beds and all the amenities you'll need. There is a beautiful main house where meals, comfortable chairs, coffee and tea are always on tap. From there venture out into the pristine wilderness and explore the many coves and trails. The next day you'll have a full day of sea kayaking around Seldovia Bay, frequently visited by sea otters and harbor seals and watched overhead by bald and golden eagles.
Included Activities: 2-night stay at the Adventure Camp, canvas tents with beds, luxurious main house, full day sea kayaking Seldovia Bay, all meals cooked and served by Adventure Camp
Day 16: Hope
The adventure is coming to a close but first lets have a final meal together overlooking the Cook Inlet/Turnagain Arm and sharing our campsite with the local brown bears. A quaint little town situated a short drive from Anchorage yet, there is still plenty to do here from gold mining, hiking, salmon fishing, and bird watching. There will be enough time in the afternoon for you to spend your last day of the trip exactly like you would like to!
Included Activities: Town Visit, Time for souvenir shopping
Optional Activity: Salmon Fishing $80 (gear rental and license), Gold Mining
Day 17: Anchorage
Unfortunately we have to turn our back on you and leave you to your own devices. For most people, the next few days are disorienting because they have to make decisions for themselves! What time do they get up? What is the weather going to be like? Well, if you are truly perplexed, shoot me an email and I'll continue to tell you what to do. The returning time to Anchorage will be around noon.
***prices for optional activities are subject to change***