Map of Walk Denali National Park including United States Of America

From ice cleats to mountain peaks in the Alaskan wilderness

Fall in love with the untamed beauty of Alaska on a 6-day walking tour that loops you inland from coastal Anchorage to the spectacular Denali National Park, where the tallest mountain on the continent reaches high into the sky. Hike tundra trails that weave through wildflowers and maybe even spot some wildlife living among the landscape. Walk across a massive glacier of ancient ice and choose your own hiking adventure with a self-guided day at the Eielson Visitor Center. By the end of your tour you’ll understand why, in the indigenous Aleut language, Alaska means “The Great Land.”

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Start
Anchorage, United States
Finish
Anchorage, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Original
Theme
Walking & Trekking
Code
SAXD
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Experience the rugged beauty of Denali National Park, home to the tallest peak in North America and starring some of the most scenic photo ops you’ll find anywhere.

  • Walk atop the ice of the largest car-accessible glacier in Alaska, the Matanuska, on an educational tour led by a local glacier expert and with all technical gear provided.

  • Tackle an out-and-back scenic hike into the Alaskan wilderness along the Curry Ridge Trail and keep your eyes peeled for a diverse array of wildlife living among the tundra.

  • Spend a day exploring the wilds of Alaska at your own pace, with a self-guided hike along a well-marked and well-monitored trail from the Eielson Visitor Center.

  • Enjoy a free night in Anchorage, where you can discover cultural sites like the Alaska Native Heritage Center, dine on some of the best pizza in the USA (really!) or take a sunset stroll along the city’s coastal trail.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a walking trip. Please carefully read descriptions of all walks. A good level of fitness is desirable to fully enjoy all included hikes.

  • Be sure to bring appropriate gear: good walking boots, rain gear, warm clothing and sun protection for glacier hikes, including sunglasses.

  • This trip starts on Day 1 at 10 am in Anchorage and travels to the Matanuska Glacier immediately after the welcome meeting. If you are at risk of being late, please consider arriving a day earlier and staying in Anchorage before the tour begins.

  • On Day 4 you will have an opportunity to board the Eielson bus to reach a park visitor centre from which many self-guided trails commence. These are well-marked and popular for individual trekkers. Please note a guide will not be trekking with you on this day.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Itinerary

Welcome to Alaska! You’ll meet your leader at 10 am at the Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites in Anchorage for a welcome meeting before embarking on a scenic drive along the Glenn Highway towards the town of Palmer, a trip that’s packed with gorgeous mountain vistas and plenty of time for photo ops. You’ll eventually reach the famed Matanuska Glacier, Alaska's largest road-access glacier – it’s a jaw-dropping 27 miles long and 4 miles wide and has some of the most accessible walking areas of any glacier in the state. Don your ice cleats and helmet (included) and begin exploring the glacier on foot with the help of an Alaskan guide and glacier expert. Marvel at ice that formed thousands of years ago, high in the Chugach Mountains as you walk for about 2 hours, covering 3 miles. Amazingly, every day is unique at Matanuska, due to the dynamic nature of the glacier. Similarly, your tour will be customised to suit your group’s interests. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at a local eatery with stunning views of the glacier and surrounding scenery, before heading to Palmer for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Matanuska - Glacier guided walking tour
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Special Information
Please come with sturdy shoes, layered non-cotton clothing and light hat and gloves. Sunglasses are a must as well. This trip starts on Day 1 at 10 am in Anchorage and travels to the Matanuska Glacier immediately after the welcome meeting. If you are at risk of being late, please consider arriving a day earlier and staying in Anchorage before your tour begins.
Today you explore the wild beauty of Hatcher Pass for a hike among the alpine tundra of the Talkeetna Mountains. While Hatcher Pass used to be one of Alaska’s best-kept secrets, it’s become fairly popular in recent years. Luckily, you’ll have your expert leader with you, who will know which trails to take to avoid the crowds! After your hike, sit back, relax and take in the scenery outside your window as you drive onwards to Denali National Park. Enjoy sweeping landscape views of mountains, rivers and forests – and maybe even spot some Alaskan wildlife.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Talkeetna Mountains guided hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s hike is approximately 5 miles (8 km), with moderate elevation gain.
It’s another scenic day today in the Great Land, with a moderate-level hike and stunning views through the front country of Denali National Park. Curry Ridge is a 6.5-mile out-and-back scenic hike into the rolling tundra of the Alaskan wilderness. On a clear day, you can expect spectacular views of the surrounding mountain range and the towering Denali Mountain (formerly known as Mt McKinley), the highest peak in North America.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Curry Ridge out-and-back scenic hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s out-and-back hike is 6.5 miles (10.5 km), gaining 2417 ft (737 m) in elevation.
Today is truly an adventure! You’ll embark on the Eielson transit bus to reach the Eielson Visitor Center. The ride is approximately 4 hours, but with plenty of stops and opportunities to stretch your legs and explore along the way. There are many hiking opportunities available from the visitor centre – and they’re all entirely up to you! You’re free to head off on your own unguided adventure taking the trail of your choice. Ask your guide for recommendations or get inspiration from one of the rangers. After your hike, catch the bus back to your accommodation, and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Eielson Bus ticket & Visitor Center
  • Self-guided walk out of Eielson Visitor Center
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today you will be hiking without a guide, but all necessary information is available from the Eielson Visitor Center. The hiking trails you will be choosing from are constantly monitored by park rangers. Roundtrip to Eielson Visitor Center takes about 8 hours.
Head back to Anchorage with a stop at the iconic Denali Viewpoint (depending on conditions) for one last look at the highest point in North America. You’ll also stop for a walk into the Alaskan woods to take in the picturesque Thunderbird Falls at the end of the trail. Then load back into the tour van and make your final stretch to Anchorage. Your leader will drop you off at your hotel for your last night and you may want to gather the group for a goodbye dinner. For good food and great views, 49th State Brewing Co. is an excellent option, or you could go for pizza at Alaska’s most famous restaurant, the chilled-out Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria. If you’d like to get in more walking time, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is a perfect sunset activity and is easily accessible from downtown.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Thunderbird Falls visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your tour ends after breakfast and you’re free to depart at your leisure or stay and explore more of Anchorage on your own.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

5 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights)

Included activities

  • Matanuska - Glacier guided walking tour
  • Talkeetna Mountains guided hike
  • Curry Ridge out-and-back scenic hike
  • Eielson Bus ticket & Visitor Center
  • Self-guided walk out of Eielson Visitor Center
  • Thunderbird Falls visit

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Walk Denali National Park trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 10am on Day 1. Please consider booking extra pre tour night in Anchorage to make sure you will be on time for the start of your adventure.
2. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
3. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
4. Many Alaska businesses are facing an unprecedented shortage of workers as customers return and the pandemic retreats. Hotels and restaurants are amongst the most affected. Please be aware this may result in a longer than usual hotel check-in procedures. If you face any issues with hotel or restaurant services while on the tour, please advise your Tour Leader immediately.

Essential trip information

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