This two-week journey through Alaska is just the ticket to get you into the land of epic wildlife, soaring summits, and tundra stretching towards the horizon. Journey to the far north and make the most of the longer days by hiking and camping in the Alaskan wilderness. Explore Valdez, hike to a glacier, kayak past icebergs on Glacier Lake, wander through Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and get a true sense of the great outdoors.
- Marvel at the scenery and Hike in Denali National Park
- See dramatic views of a glacier on the Byron Creek trail
- Hike along the Worthington Glacier
- Grab your paddle on a kayaking excursion on Glacier Lake
- Explore Wrangell-St Elias National Park
- Camp under the stars and enjoy dinners by the fire
- Duration: 14 days
- Start/Finish City: Anchorage to Anchorage
- Service Level: Camping
- Camping most nights with some hotel/hostel stays to start and throughout; affordable public and private transport.
- Physical Grading: 4 – Demanding
- Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers.
- Travel Style: Active
- Hiking, trekking, biking, rafting, and kayaking adventures all over the world, made for outdoor types.
- Trip Type: Small Group
- Small group experience; Max 13.
Day 1 Anchorage/Seward
After a brief welcome meeting with your CEO, travel to Seward this morning for a trip to Churgach National Forest. Start out with a short, but rewarding hike on the Byron Glacier Trail. Hike along the Byron Creek amid aspen and cottonwood trees to the end of the trail where you’ll have a spanning view of the glacier.
Afterwards, the group will transfer to the Carter Lake trailhead and enjoy a picnic lunch before setting out on this longer hike through some of Alaska’s prettiest backcountry on the Kenai Peninsula. In the evening set up camp back in Seward and have dinner together around the campfire.
Day 2 Seward
Today is all about Seward. After breakfast, how the day will go is up to you. The morning will consist of a challenging hike up Mount Marathon or free time in town to do as you please if you aren’t in the mood for this hike.
In the afternoon, enjoy free time to find a lunch spot in Seward and then opt to walk around the waterfront of downtown, visit the Alaska Sealife Center, watch for otters playing in the water, or rent a kayak and explore Resurrection Bay. Dinner will be made back at camp in the evening.
Day 3 Seward
After a camp breakfast, spend the day hiking the Harding Icefield Trail. This spectacular 7.4 mile trail begins on the valley floor and then winds through cottonwood and alder forests, heather filled meadows, and climbs above the tree line for a breathtaking view of the Icefield. It will take 6-8 hours to complete and offers plenty of impressive views along the way to keep you going.
Day 4 Seward/Denali National Park and Preserve
Travel to Denali National Park with the group in the morning. Along the way make a stop to hike the Talkeetna Lake Trail through lush old-growth forest. Search for wildlife in one of the area’s most beautiful settings.
In the late afternoon continue on to Denali National Park where you’ll be staying in cozy cabins with shared bathroom facilities.
Day 5 Denali National Park and Preserve
Wake up in cabins this morning and eat a quick breakfast before heading out to explore today. Start with a hike up the Mount Healy Overlook trail which offers dramatic views over the Nenana Valley and surrounding mountains and ridges and gains 1700 feet of elevation in only 2.5 miles.
In the afternoon you’ll have free time to enjoy other activities in Denali National Park like ziplining and rafting before returning to the cabins in the evening.
Day 6 Denali National Park and Preserve
Breakfast this morning will be boxed so you can eat it on the go.The group will be taking the shuttle bus into the park to experience more of the scenery and wildlife that Denali has to offer.
After a picnic lunch, the group will hike the Horseshoe Lake trail. Highlights of this easy, but rewarding hike include the calm waters of the lake nestled in its forested surroundings and views along the edge of the Nenana River where you could watch whitewater rafters pass by.
Day 7 Denali National Park and Preserve/Anchorage
In the morning head out on the Mount Healy hiking trail before settling in for your drive back to Anchorage. Enjoy free time in Anchorage this afternoon and evening before heading out on the next leg of the adventure tomorrow morning.
Day 8 Anchorage/Valdez
This morning the group will leave Anchorage and travel to the Matanuska Recreation Site where you will be able to view the glacier along the interpretive nature trail. After a picnic lunch the group will continue travelling onward to Valdez where you will have the opportunity to walk and visit the Worthington Glacier. Set up camp in the evening and have dinner as a group around the fire.
Day 9 Valdez
What’s in store today will certainly be an adventure. After a quick breakfast at camp head to Glacier Lake in Valdez where you’ll go on a hike and guided kayak tour of the lake. If you have yet to set your eyes on an iceberg, this might just be your chance. This gorgeous lake in Valdez is often home to large chunks of floating ice coming from the Valdez Glacier. With great views and miles of open water to paddle there’s no better way to get in touch with nature.
Upon returning to camp you’ll have free time to walk, journal, hang out with friends, and simply relax while keeping warm by the fire.
Day 10 Valdez/McCarthy
You’ll spend time today in a private vehicle en route to McCarthy, but don’t worry there will be plenty of epic road trip worthy stops along the way. First up is a stop at Thompson’s Pass viewpoint to start the day with stunning vistas. As you continue driving highway 10 there will be plenty of quick stops at worthy viewpoints all along the Copper River. Then enjoy a visit to Liberty Falls State Recreation Site where you can stretch your legs and visit the falls, which plunge 20 ft into the Liberty Creek. Continue along the scenic highway to McCarthy. Stop and see the fish wheels at Kuskulana River Canyon and Bridge, along Gilahina River, and at Gilahina Trestle Wayside. Arrive in McCarthy, visit the town, maybe catch some live music before setting up camp and having dinner as a group around the fire.
Day 11 McCarthy
Visit Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and spend the day hiking along the Bonanza Mine trail. A hike that includes stunning scenery, a trek to the top of a mountain and 1930’s mining ruins all in a frontier Alaskan setting. Coming in at 9 miles total, the hike is strenuous, but with the views you’ll be admiring, you might not notice at all. In the evening relax back at camp and have dinner as a group.
Day 12 McCarthy
Hiking is unique in its ability to nourish the body and the mind, but it’s nice to have a free day every now and then to let your body recover and your mind wander. Spend today in McCarthy choosing from a variety of optional activities to keep you busy. Head out on a guided ice walk tour, visit the Kennicott Mills Town on a guided tour, hop on a scenic flight of the national park, or set out on a rafting trip. Unwind at camp in the evening and talk about your adventures.
Day 13 McCarthy/Glennallen
Leave McCarthy behind and travel along a scenic highway to Glennallen. There will be stops along the way to embark on short hikes that lead to lakes, streams, or fishing holes. Visit the Copper Visitor Center and go for short walks in the area while there and make sure not to miss the amazing viewing platform that can be reached from the Visitor Center. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening staying at-and exploring-Alaska’s oldest continually operating roadhouse.
Day 14 Glennallen/Anchorage
In the morning transfer with the group from Glennallen to Anchorage, tour ends on arrival.
Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Meeting – Meet Your CEO and Group. A visit to Churgach National Forest. A hike up Mount Marathon in Seward. Harding Icefield Hike. Talkeetna Lake Trail hike. A hike up the Mount Healy Overlook trail. Hike along Horseshoe Lake. Visit to Matanuska Recreation Site. Worthington Glacier hike. Glacier Lake guided hiking and kayaking trip. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park visit. Bonanza Mine trail hike. Copper Visitor Center trip. National Park entrance fees. All transport between destination and to/from included activities.
Marvel at the scenery and Hike in Denali National Park, See dramatic views of a glacier on the Byron Creek trail, Hike along the Worthington Glacier, Grab your paddle on a kayaking excursion on Glacier Lake, Explore Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Camp under the stars and enjoy dinners by the fire.
Images courtesy of G Adventures
GADV – NUSM