Whitewater and scenic river rafting, Mt. biking, glacier/ wildlife cruises, horseback riding, dog sledding, flight seeing, sea kayaking and more!
First, we’ll head north to Denali National Park home of the largest mountain in North America and abundant wildlife. You will embark on a journey into the heart of the crown jewel of the National Park system in search of wildlife and vast wilderness. Denali, AKA Mt. McKinley, North America’s highest mountain, can be seen weather permitting. Not keen to leave this enchanted land, we will stay another day to explore the Denali region. Perhaps you will take advantage of an exciting whitewater rafting trip or take a flight seeing trip and land on a glacier.
Next, we’ll make our way south with an overnight stay near the Matanuska River at the base of the Chugach Mountains. En route we will take our time to explore, letting our vast knowledge and mother nature be our guide. This afternoon/ evening we will visit a Musk Ox farm.
Finally, we’ll explore Kenai Fjords National Park, one of the richest marine environments on the planet and encompassing the 300 square mile Harding Ice Field. For those interested in observing quintessential Alaska coastline and outstanding marine wildlife viewing, the Wildlife Glacier Cruise option is highly recommended. Humpback and orca whales, sea otters, sea lions, Dall porpoises, bears, sheep, Mt. goats, and colonies of nesting sea birds (in the thousands), including the adorable Puffin can be observed. The Glacier Cruise is highlighted with a stop at the face of an actively calving glacier. Listen and watch as ice calves right into the sea.
A full time Alaska Outdoors guide, hotel accommodations in Seward, top of the line camping equipment, all but 2 meals (taken at restaurants), transportation throughout, park entrance fees and specified included activities.
For the Adventurous:
Additional optional adventure tours will be available throughout your tour and little or no prior experience is needed to enjoy them.
The Classic Family Tour features whitewater and scenic river rafting and kayaking, Mt. biking, glacier/ wildlife cruise, dog sledding, flight seeing, sea kayaking, Alaska Sea Life Center and more!
These activities can generally be arranged during your trip with the local area experts at the places we visit. Your guide will make all of the arrangements and will recommend our favorite activities. See detailed itinerary description for optional trip descriptions and prices (all prices are approximate and subject to change). If you have any questions concerning these activities please contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss them with you.
Detailed Itinerary Description
Day 1: Denali National Park
Today we travel north to Denali National Park. Mt. Denali (Mt. McKinley) (20,320 ft.), Mt. Foraker (17,400 ft.), and Mt. Hunter (14,573 ft.) are all visible (weather permitting) from several vistas along the way. Continuing north, we will head over Broad Pass and into our first taste of the treeless north. On the north side of the Alaska Range we’ll meet up with the Nenana River which will lead us to Denali National Park.
This afternoon we’ll have time to explore the park entrance area. We recommend taking a hike in the park. There are multiple trails offering a variety of hiking experiences. Or you can visit the Park Visitor Center and explore the exhibits and learn about Denali. This evening you will have the opportunity to canoe from our campsite on Otto Lake.
Days 2 and 3: Denali National Park
We’ll spend two full days exploring the Denali National Park region.
One day is set aside for a wildlife viewing tour into the heart of Denali National Park (included in tour cost). Keep your camera ready as you search for grizzly bears, black bears, moose, wolves, caribou, Dall sheep, arctic fox, and if you’re lucky, tremendous views of North America's largest mountain, Mt. McKinley (Denali). Get off the bus for a hike in a wild and remote wilderness.
Our second day is set aside for recreational activities based near the park entrance. There are multiple hiking options within Denali National Park near the park entrance, including guided ranger hikes. Another popular activity is the sled dog kennel tour offered free by the National Park Service. If you are looking for additional adventure, we recommend a whitewater rafting trip on the Nenana River and/or a flight seeing trip around Denali Mountain.
Other popular activities in the area include:
Hiking- There are a number of great hiking options in Denali National Park. Hike up Mt Healy for sweeping views of Denali National Park and the Nenana River corridor. For those desiring a less strenuous hike there are multiple established trails surrounding the visitor center that are great hikes. Or, head into the park 15 miles on the free park shuttle and hike along the Savage River or hike up a nearby peak. Your guide will explain your hiking options and will make recommendations based on our many years experience exploring and guiding in this region.
Guided Ranger Hike- Guided ranger hikes are offered by the National Park Service. These vary in length and location. No Charge.
Sled Dog Kennels- Visit an active sled dog kennel. The Denali National Park sled dog kennel is responsible for the winter patrols of the Denali National Park wilderness- where no motorized vehicles are permitted. There is an informative talk along with a dog sledding demonstration. No Charge.
Denali Park Bus- You can head back into the park again for more wildlife viewing, perhaps a good view of Mt. McKinley, and/or another hike. $34.
River Rafting- Mild and wild whitewater rafting trips are offered on the Class II-IV Nenana River, the river that forms part of the Denali National Park Boundary.
MILD: Relax, and enjoy the scenery on a 2 plus hour float along the boundary of Denali National Park. Take in Mt Fellows, Mt Healy, Musher’s Monument and other surrounding peaks. Watch for wildlife along the river bank; moose, caribou, bears and wolves can be seen. $87, $57 Ages to 13.
WILD: The Nenana River Canyon is packed with over 10 Class III and IV rapids over a stretch of river 11 miles long, fun whitewater that is very suitable for beginners. Paddle rafting and oar rafting options are available. $87, $67 Ages 10-13.
River Kayaking- For a little more intimacy in your river experience, paddle an inflatable kayak down the float section of the Nenana River. Navigate a few class two rapids and practice your kayaking strokes while enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery. $89.
Flight Seeing- Flying is the most impressive way to view Mt McKinley (Denali) and the incredible scenery within Denali National Park. On a good weather day the views are truly breathtaking. Add a glacier landing for an experience beyond description. From $350 per adult, $175 Ages to 12.
Mountain Biking- Rent a Mt. Bike for a ride into Denali National Park- ride the park road or take the bus in and ride back. $40 full day $8 hour.
Day 4: Matanuska River Valley
After two full days exploring Denali National Park we’ll head south to the Matanuska River Valley. We will make multiple stops enjoying a leisurely travel pace in order to take advantage of good weather and local hiking/ sightseeing conditions. Tonight we will camp near the Matanuska River at the base of the Chugach Mountains and visit a Musk Ox farm. The Musk Ox is an ice-age animal that roamed the earth alongside saber tooth tigers and woolly mammoths. This is a unique chance to observe these fascinating creatures found only in Arctic environments.
This evening we can walk along the river to look for moose, bald eagles, spawning salmon, beaver, and more.
Day 5: Seward
We’ll travel south on the scenic Seward Highway (a National Scenic Byway, Alaska Scenic Byway, and All American Road) along the Turnagain Arm to Seward, gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. The drive itself is notable for its outstanding beauty, often named as Alaska’s most scenic drive. En route we’ll look for moose, Dall sheep, Beluga whales, and more.
Seward is a beautiful and quaint harbor town located on the Kenai Peninsula where the Kenai and Chugach mountains meet the sea. We’ll arrive this afternoon with time to explore. We recommend a walk to the face of Exit Glacier to get within a stone’s throw of the glacier’s snout. This is an outstanding opportunity to observe a glacier up close. Or you may opt to visit a marine research center with great marine exhibits, go sea kayaking along the coast, or helicopter up to a glacier on a dog sledding excursion, the choice is yours. See below for more complete tour descriptions.
Tonight we’ll stay at a Seward hotel.
Day 6: Seward/ Kenai Fjords National Park
There is outstanding hiking here for those who didn’t get enough the past few days. Hikers can choose between the Harding Ice Field trail at Exit Glacier (walk right to the face of a glacier!) or, Caines Head trail along the shore of beautiful Resurrection Bay.
Or consider the other activities available. The glacier/wildlife cruise is a must for those interested in experiencing quintessential Alaska coastline and wildlife.
Other popular activities in the area include:
We recommend one of two day hikes in the Seward and Kenai Fjords National Park area. Choose between the Harding Ice Field Trail at Exit Glacier or Caines Head trail along the shore of beautiful Resurrection Bay. The Harding Ice Field Trail is a strenuous hike into Kenai Fjords National Park up the side of Exit Glacier; the higher you go the more sweeping the views. The Caines Head Trail follows the shore of Resurrection Bay through dense temporal rainforest with towering trees and magnificent views of the ocean. Depending on the time of year spawning salmon can be seen. Both hikes are wonderful.
By far the most popular activity in the area is the glacier/wildlife cruise into the heart of Kenai Fjords National Park. Look for the abundant wildlife that can be observed including whales- orcas and humpbacks, sea otters, endangered Stellar sea lions, Dall porpoises, and colonies of nesting sea birds- including Puffins, cormorants, Oyster Catchers, and Bald Eagles to name a few. On the way you’ll visit an active tidewater glacier and watch and listen for falling ice. This is one of Alaska’s premier wildlife and glacier viewing trips and we highly recommend it! $144, $72 Age to 11.
Sea Kayaking- Explore Resurrection Bay by sea kayak with a shoreline paddle along Caines Head State Recreation Area. Look for sea otters, spawning salmon, eagles, seabirds and many others while enjoying the tranquility of the water from your kayak. From $65.
Dog Sledding- Fly out to a glacier for a ride with a team of sled dogs. Breathtaking scenery of Resurrection Bay treats you during the entire helicopter ride to the Godwin Glacier; upon landing you will find over 80 dogs waiting to take you for a ride. Your guide will explain the history of the legendary Iditarod Sled Dog Race and the fundamentals of dog sledding and then off you go with a dog team across the glacier. $419.
Alaska Sea Life Center- Visit a world class marine research facility. The many exhibits at the Alaska Sea Life Center immerse visitors in marine ecosystems and provide opportunities to watch animals in naturalistic habitats as well as research settings. This is a great ½ day activity. $20 Ages to 11 $10.
We will depart Seward in the afternoon for our final scenic drive to Anchorage and will arrive by 5:00-5:30 pm and will bring you to the Anchorage location of your choice.
We believe that our trips are outstanding, but we don’t expect
you to take our word for it. Many of our past guests have offered to
act as references for us. If you would like to contact our past guests
we encourage you to. Get in touch with our office and we’ll be
happy to send you their info.
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