Explore Alaska from Anchorage through the Alaska Range and down the Kenai Peninsula

Prepare to discover the captivating beauty of Alaska on this 10-day journey through its icy heart. Travel from Anchorage through forests, around mountain ranges and down the spectacular coast to the Kenai Peninsula. Explore the unspoilt woodlands of the Denali National Park, wander the quaint streets of Talkeetna and keep your eyes open for grizzlies, caribou and moose. Kayak past icebergs and glaciers in Valdez, and experience the quiet, majestic calm of this vast wilderness of unique wildlife and striking landscapes.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Anchorage, United States
Finish
Anchorage, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
SSKT
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why you'll love this trip

  • Experience the rugged scenery of Alaska by land from the most populous city of Anchorage, through quaint towns like Talkeetna, all the way to the untouched back country.

  • Head on an Alaskan safari for a unique chance to see moose, caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep and wolves in their natural habitat in Denali National Park.

  • Witness the land mammals of Denali before getting up close to sea otters, puffins and humpback whales on an optional kayak trip among glaciers in Valdez.

  • Discover Seward, one of Alaska's oldest and most scenic communities, which offers a bustling harbour, quaint shops and galleries, and is a great base from which to explore Kenai Fjords National Park.

  • Sit back and take in stunning views along the dramatic coastlines of the Turnagain Arm from Seward to Anchorage, while someone else does the driving.

Is this trip right for you?

  • As Alaska is a huge state with long 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 be breaks along the way. This is all part of the adventure and 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, and also rain, which can (and does) happen year-round. Bring warm clothing with you, including base layers, a warm hat, gloves and a thick coat, as well as a rain jacket and waterproof shoes.

  • There are far more optional activities available on this trip than included activities. As not all of them are suitable for all budgets and activity levels, we prefer to leave the choice up to you.

  • 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.

Itinerary

Welcome to Anchorage, USA. Your Best of Alaska adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Located in south-central Alaska on the shores of Cook Inlet, Anchorage is a unique urban environment in the heart of the wilderness. If you arrive early enough, perhaps head to the Anchorage Museum or the Alaska Native Heritage Center, or try spotting a moose wandering the streets of town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the group meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
In the morning, head north along the old Denali Highway to Denali National Park (approximately 5 hours). During the drive keep an eye out for caribou and other wildlife in this amazing, unspoiled environment. You’ll stop by charming Talkeetna for a coffee and pastry (if you like) along the way. On arrival at the park, head to the visitor centre to plan your next day’s activities, then your evening is free to relax – perhaps sit down for dinner with the group and prepare for your days of exploration ahead.
Accommodation
  • Cabin (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Denali National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Denali National Park Visitor Centre
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Leave early in the morning for an 8-hour scenic bus journey through the back country of Denali National Park. Trips on the shuttle buses are quite relaxed and there will be no formal narration. It’s an Alaskan version of a safari, with drivers providing basic park and safety information, assisting you in spotting wildlife, answering questions and making the occasional restroom stop. Bring food and beverages with you, as there aren't any available on the tour. The bus will drive 106 kilometres (66 miles) deep into the park to the Eielson Visitor Center. 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. There are a wide range of optional activities available for all fitness and adventure levels, such as river rafting, dogsled demonstrations and hiking.
Accommodation
  • Cabin (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Denali - Scenic bus tour
Optional Activities
  • Denali Canyon Run Raft - USD92
  • Denali Glacier Landing Flight - USD550
  • Denali Half-Day Raft - USD129
  • Denali Mountain Bike rental - USD25
  • Denali NP hiking - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Rest stops occur around every 90 minutes throughout the bus trip. Bus riders are permitted to leave the bus to hike in the park (restrictions apply). Please be aware that if you wish to participate in some of the optional activities available, you may find there’s not enough time to also complete the included bus trip.
At 10 am, you’ll be treated to a dog sled mushing demonstration from Denali’s Alaskan Huskies, before heading out to drive to the centre of the Alaska Range (approximately 4 hours). We travel on the Denali Highway, but part of this journey is on a less-travelled, unpaved road which can be quite bumpy. The Alaska Range is the highest mountain range in North America and includes Mount Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley), which is the continent's highest peak. Experience the area's quiet lakes while keeping an eye out for wild caribou and birdlife. You could hire yourself a canoe and take a scenic trip on the Maclaren River, and perhaps even fish for grayling. In the evening, settle down for dinner before getting comfortable in the lodge.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Denali's Alaskan Huskies - Dog Sled Demonstration
Optional Activities
  • Maclaren River - Canoe rental (1 hour) - USD50
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight’s accommodation is a little more rustic due to lodging availability in this remote location. This true Alaskan wilderness lodge is unique and historic, but is of a lower standard than other hotels. The location more than makes up for it, delivering some of the most breathtaking views. Please also note this evening's accommodation is multi-share with shared bathrooms.
This morning, enjoy your long scenic drive over the Thompson Pass and down the valley to Valdez, visiting the Worthington Glacier along the way (approximately 4 hours). Surrounded on three sides by steep, snow-capped mountains, the blue-water port town of Valdez is best known as the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. On arrival in Valdez, check in to the hotel, and spend some time discovering this port town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free to do as you choose. Valdez is the best place to sea kayak among glaciers and icebergs, and you can paddle down the fjords through to waterfalls, with the setting of imposing mountains in the background. On land, perhaps visit the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive to learn about the town’s history.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Valdez - Glacier kayak trip - USD270
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, settle in for a scenic ferry from Valdez to Whittier. The journey takes up a large part of the day, but it’s a beautiful trip, passing by mountains, floating glaciers and secluded coves. Relax into it, perhaps read your favourite book and be sure to breathe in that fresh Alaskan air. After you’ve arrived in Whittier, transfer to a private vehicle, and continue the drive down the Kenai peninsula. Seward is one of Alaska's oldest towns, as well as one of the most picturesque. The town itself boasts galleries, boutique shops and a bustling harbour but it's perhaps best known as a gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Prince Willam Scenic Ferry Journey
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day. Perhaps head out on a wildlife marine boat tour exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. Head out among the fjords and glaciers, keeping an eye out for humpback and killer whales, sea otters, harbour seals, sea lions, and puffins. On land, head to the Alaska SeaLife Center to see some water mammals or take a hike to experience stunning views of the Kenai Peninsula. In the evening, enjoy your last night here before heading to Anchorage in the morning.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Seward - Wildlife marine tour - USD200
  • Seward - Alaska SeaLife Center - USD25
  • Seward - Hiking - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Depending on time, and the wishes of the group, there may be time for a short hike this morning before driving back to where your adventure started in Anchorage (approximately 2.5 hours). Keep an eye out for wildlife on the way back, stopping off to take photos of whales, waves, and volcanoes. Perhaps head out for dinner in the evening with your group and reflect on your adventure around Alaska.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
The morning is yours to enjoy at leisure before you check out. The authentic old-school charm of Anchorage is yours to explore, and if you didn’t have time before the tour, head to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, or simply check out the sights and sounds of the city and its nearby inlets and communities.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Cabin (2 nights), Lodge (1 night)

Included activities

  • Denali National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Denali National Park Visitor Centre
  • Denali - Scenic bus tour
  • Denali's Alaskan Huskies - Dog Sled Demonstration
  • Prince Willam Scenic Ferry Journey

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip (except on day 5).

Essential trip information

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