Go deep into the wild on this active Alaskan adventure

Alaska may be part of the USA, but it feels like another world. This trip gives the freedom to hike, kayak, climb or fly your way through the iconic Denali and Wrangell-St Elias national parks. It’s a big, bold landscape filled with incredible mountain ranges, diverse wildlife and shining glaciers. Delve well and truly deep into the wild before reemerging into civilisation with stops in Anchorage and Valdez. There’s also plenty of free time to explore this beautiful landscape at your own pace.


Start
Anchorage, United States
Finish
Anchorage, United States
Country
United States
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
SSRAC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why we love this trip

  • Alaska is unlike any other place on earth. Drive across frozen plains past massive peaks, walk across remote tundras to glacial rivers and kayak in the spectacular waters of Prince William Sound

  • Denali National Park is home to an abundance of native wildlife. Visit the park for a unique chance to see moose, caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep and wolves in their natural habitat

  • After witnessing the land mammals of Denali, get close to sea otters, puffins and humpback whales on an optional kayak trip among glaciers in Valdez. You might even see bald eagles wheeling in the sky above

  • Wrangell-St Elias National Park is the world's largest internationally protected area. See North America's biggest collection of glaciers and some of its tallest, most impressive mountains on a visit to the park

  • See both sides of the Kenai Peninsula, Homer on the west side, and Seward on the east. Homer is a cute artists' town and has remote beaches and the stunning Kachemak Bay State Park. The east coast has accessible glaciers and more marine life

  • Spend two nights at a remote hostel on Resurrection Bay that can only be accessed by kayak or water taxi

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a participatory trip. That’s a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride – you’re part of a team! You know the phrase ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’. Well that’s extra true on this trip. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and help out with camp activities like food prep and washing up. It’s all about giving your new travel mates a hand – everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!

  • That teamwork also extends to our optional food kitty of approximately US$90 per week, run to cover the cost of meals. This kitty saves you worrying about stuff like where to get food or what exactly sales tax is, and actually helps keep your costs down. Instead of paying individually as you go, it means we can bulk purchase items and cook our own food – though there’s always the chance to use it for the occasional pizza night! The kitty is optional and for your convenience, so if you've got specific dietary requirements you can opt out and purchase (and cook) your own food.

  • The United States is a world of endless possibilities – that’s why our Basix trips are designed so they fit together as (not quite endless) combinations. That means while you might just be starting your trip, some of your new travel mates may have been travelling together for a week or more (and so have some great tips for you). You can see how our trips fit together and all the different possible combinations at www.intrepidtravel.com/brochures. Simply click view/download on the North America brochure and look at the combo map on page 12.

  • Some of the roads on this trip can be extremely long and fairly bumpy. You could be driving down a remote dirt road for hours at a time, but that's all part of this Alaskan adventure.

  • As Alaska is a huge state with large distances between towns and cities, be prepared to spend a lot of your time in the car. Some journeys can take up to eight or nine hours, but there will breaks along the way. This is also a great way to see a variety of Alaskan landscapes.

  • While Alaska can experience warm summers, you should still be prepared for cold temperatures, especially at night. Bring warm clothing with you, including base layers, a warm hat, gloves and a thick coat.

  • Mosquitoes are found across the USA, even in the colder regions. They can be a problem a lot of the time, especially in July. It’s recommended that you bring insect repellent with you and anything else you think is applicable.

  • The summer months in Alaska see very long daylight hours, with the sun not completely setting until after midnight. As most people are likely to sleep before midnight, you might want to bring an eye mask to block out the light.

  • The weather around Denali can be extreme at times. Be prepared for blizzards, ice cold winds and quick shifts in weather. It is Alaska after all.

Itinerary

Welcome to Anchorage, Alaska, in the USA. Your 'Explore Alaska' adventure begins with a welcome meeting in the hotel lobby at 6 pm. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Located in south-central Alaska on the shores of Cook Inlet, Anchorage is a unique urban environment situated in the heart of the wilderness. As there's no time spent in Anchorage on this trip we recommend you arrive a few days early to see the sights. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be able to assist (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
In the morning, head north along the Parks Highway to Denali National Park (approximately five hours). During the drive keep an eye out for caribou and other wildlife in this amazing, unspoiled environment. Your evening is then free to relax.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Leave early in the morning for the eight-hour bus journey through Denali National Park and to the Eielson Visitor Centre. The scenic bus tour takes you through the backcountry of the park. Trips on the shuttle buses are quite relaxed and there will be no formal narration. The drivers provide basic park and safety information, assist you in spotting wildlife, answer questions and make restroom stops. Bring food and beverages with you, as there aren't any available on the tours. The bus will drive 66 miles deep into the park to the Eielson Visitor Centre. This epic journey is worth it, as National Park Service rangers and interactive displays provide insight and information about the park and its myriad of resources.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Denali - Scenic bus tour
Optional Activities
  • Denali - Glacier Landing Flight - USD525
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Notes: Rest stops occur around every 90 minutes throughout the bus trip. Bus riders are permitted to depart the bus within regulations to hike in the park.
Located in the Maclaren river valley, traverse through high alpine country on the state’s second highest highway pass to Maclaren River Lodge. You'll then take a canoe up to the remote 'Glacier Camp' in the wilderness, where you'll explore and spend the night camping out beneath the stars.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maclaren - Scenic Canoe Trip
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Canoe back to the lodge in the morning. Leave the main highway and head deep into Wrangell-St Elias National Park on one of the longest drives of the trip. This is the largest national park in the USA and is nearly six times the size of Yellowstone. On your way to the park, keep an eye out for an abundance of wildlife. Once you've arrived at your campsite, your evening is then free. Today's driving time will take a total of around eight hours.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is free to explore Wrangell-St Elias National Park, but there are a whole host of optional activities to take part in (at an additional cost). Perhaps take a flight-seeing tour of the park or venture out on a glacier walk, on the spectacular Root Glacier. There's also the opportunity to do some ice climbing. If you're just looking to explore the area, head out on a hike in search of moose, bears and caribou. In the evening, head back to the campsite for some much needed rest.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Wrangell-St Elias - Scenic flight (50 mins) - USD150
  • Wrangell-St Elias - Ice climbing - USD140
  • Wrangell-St Elias - Flightseeing (90 min) - USD270
  • Wrangell-St Elias - Full-day Glacier Hike - USD115
  • Wrangell-St Elias - Half-day Glacier Hike - USD90
  • Maclaren - Kennecott Copper Mill Tour - USD30
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning begin your long drive to Valdez, which should take around seven and hours, including a stop at Worthington Glacier along the way. Surrounded on three sides by steep, snow-capped Chugach Mountains, the blue-water port town of Valdez is best known as the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. On arrival into Valdez, set up camp and relax for the rest of the evening.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is free to do what you like in Valdez. Kayaking is hugely popular here, and you can paddle on Prince William Sound, among the glaciers, down the fjords through to waterfalls and with the setting of imposing mountains in the background. On land, possibly visit the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive for an interesting history of this important port city.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Valdez - Glacier kayak trip - USD270
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning take the long drive back to Anchorage, which usually takes around six hours. This may be a tiring journey, but it's also a spectacular one as youc ross the immense Thompson Pass.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet any new travellers that join the group.
Depart Anchorage and take a scenic drive along the Turnagain Arm and the National Forest Scenic Byway on your way to Homer. This route is considered one of the most scenic drives in the world. Homer will be your gateway to the Kenai Peninsula. Keep an eye on the water because today you might snatch a glimpse of beluga whales.

Notes: The drive covers 380 kilometres and takes approximately 5.5 hours.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Make the most of a free day in Homer. Perhaps explore the area by kayak and watch sea otters, or visit the beautiful rock arches, cliffs and remote beaches surrounding the city. Homer is a good place for animal watching, with bald eagles, puffins and moose plentiful in the area. Some of the activities around Homer are expensive, but they are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The Kachemak Bay Adventure included sea kayaking, a tour of the old Russian settlement of Seldovia, and a flight over the bay. The Bear Viewing Flight can sometimes sell out, but if you can afford it, the feedback from previous travellers to this area is that it is a highlight.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Homer - Day on Kachemak Bay Adventure - USD220
  • Homer - Halibut fishing (half-day charter) - USD105
  • Homer - Bear Viewing Flight - USD600
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Journey to the coastal town of Seward and the surrounding Kenai Fjords National Park (approximately 4 hours; 125 kilometres). Seward is one of Alaska's oldest towns, as well as one of the most scenic. The town itself boasts galleries, boutique shops and a bustling harbour, but it's perhaps best known as a gateway to exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. On arrival, jump into a water taxi across to Resurrection Bay, where you will spend the next two nights staying in a hostel. This accommodation is so remote it can only be accessed by kayak or water taxi.
Accommodation
  • Basic hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Our hostel in Resurrection Bay isn't your typical hostel. You may need to climb a ladder to reach your bed, and should note that bathrooms are external to the main building. It's rustic, but that's made up for by the remote location.
Enjoy a free day to explore the stunning Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay. Head out among the fjords and glaciers, keeping an eye out for humpback and killer whales, sea otters, harbour seals, sea lions, and puffins. In the evening, enjoy your last night here before heading to Anchorage in the morning.
Accommodation
  • Basic hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Seward - Kayak rental - USD25
  • Seward - Hiking - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Return to Anchorage via the Turnagain Arm (approximately 2.5 hours; 200 kilometres). There will be time to explore some of this Arctic wonderland, with its numerous lakes, glaciers and fascinating coastline. The area is also famous for its many anglers, who follow the salmon on their annual migration up the peninsula's many wide rivers. This trip finishes on arrival in Anchorage. For those wishing to stay on in Anchorage, please speak to our reservations team who can assist in booking extra nights of accommodation.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

No meals are included on this tour

Transport

Boat, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Camping (with facilities) (8 nights), Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Denali - Scenic bus tour
  • Maclaren - Scenic Canoe Trip

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Alaska Adventure trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Jump to a departure month

Important notes

1. This trip finishes on arrival into Anchorage in the afternoon on day 14.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.