Highlights of Alaska
Highlights of Alaska information and booking
Tour description provided by G Adventures
A vast, rugged land of jaw-dropping beauty and abundant wildlife, Alaska remains America’s last truly unconquered frontier. Up to the challenge? This 15-day adventure will put you in touch with this massive state better than you’d imagined possible, mixing hotel stays with cabins typical of the Alaskan wilderness. Along the way, you’ll sample amazingly fresh seafood in Anchorage, hike Denali National Park, investigate glaciers and be blown away by the awesome majesty of your surroundings. Prepare to have your horizons expanded tenfold.
- Day 1 Anchorage
- Arrive to the joining hotel in time for an evening Welcome Meeting (usually around 6pm) and optional group dinner. There are no activities planned for today so check into the hotel and use any free time you have before the meeting to enjoy the city. Please keep in mind, a lot of what there is to see and do in Alaska is weather-dependent. We like to give our CEOs the opportunity to adjust the schedule as needed based on weather. For example, something scheduled on the itinerary for Day 2 may be better on Day 4, when the sun is shining. Please be flexible and enjoy the ride! *Hiking note: On this trip there are several options for hikes in each location. Your CEO will adjust the hikes according to weather and fitness level of the group.
- Days 2-3 Homer (1L)
- Travel around the coast of the Kenai Peninsula, where glaciers tumble down from the mountains towards the ocean. Keep an eye out for beluga whales playing out at sea while travelling along the Turnagain Arm on the journey to Homer. Homer may be the end of the road but it is the starting place for many wilderness adventures in a variety of public lands. The largest wildlife refuge in Alaska, the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is headquartered in Homer, offering bird viewing and experiences unmatched anywhere else. While in Homer, you can enjoy the wildlife whether it’s hiking on a local trail, exploring a tide pool, or halibut fishing in Kachemak Bay. Bald eagles, sandhill cranes, moose and shorebirds are just a few of the varieties of local watchable wildlife available to see. Approximate Distance: 357 km/222 miles Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
- Days 4-5 Seward (2L)
- Leave Homer in the morning and arrive at the tip of the Kenai Peninsula where the ice age still lingers. In Kenai Fjords glaciers, earthquakes and ocean storms are the architects. Ice worms, bears and whales make their home in this land of constant change. Native Alutiiq used these resources to nurture a life intertwined with the sea. Spend two days exploring this site to discover the fjords, their history, science and remote splendor. Head out on an amazing hike to the Exit Glacier and Harding Icefield. Considered one of the greatest hikes on the Kenai Peninsula, we'll experience glaciers and the forces that shaped the landscape up close, while exploring only a tiny portion of the nearly 1 million acres that make up Kenai Fjords National Park. Exit Glacier, the only area of Kenai Fjords National Park accessible by car, is one of thirty-five glaciers that flow off the vast Harding Icefield. The Icefield is the largest in North America, and it remains as a 300 square mile vestige of the last ice age. Starting on the valley floor, the trail winds through cottonwood and alder forests, passes though heather filled meadows and ultimately climbs well above tree line to a breathtaking view of the Icefield. The top of the trail is a window to past ice ages – a horizon of ice and snow that stretches as far as the eye can see, broken only by an occasional nunatak or lonely peak. This is bear country! The vegetation along the trail is dense and passes through thickets of salmonberries, a favorite food of black bears. Black bears are spotted almost every day from the Harding Icefield Trail. Those who are not up for hiking are welcome to relax and explore Seward on their own. A low-key active option for Seward is to hike along the beach on the Coastal Trail, about 2-3hrs or enjoy an optional boat cruise. Hiking details: The picturesque path to the glacier is a mix of back-country and on-trail trekking, with a spectacular view from the top. It is a 3 mile round trip hike which can be somewhat strenuous. Alternately, there is an easier hike in the area to the a viewpoint of the glacier. For those that continue on, the trail will leads to the Toe and/or Edge of the Glacier (Wall of Blue Ice). Due to the dangers of walking on glaciers we will not be hiking on the ice. Approximate Distance: 270 km/168 miles Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs
- Day 6 Valdez (1L)
- Indescribable adventure awaits at every bend of Alaska's incredible coastline. Each magnificent fjord, towering glacier, and historic waterfront town urges you to linger and discover its wonders. Give yourself the freedom to answer this "call of the wild" on an Alaska Marine Highway ferry, through the Inside Passage, across the Gulf of Alaska, into Prince William Sound. If weather permits, we may get a glimpse of the Columbia Glacier. Columbia Glacier itself is receding, leaving huge blocks of ice and an impassible moraine. It is always changing and each day the bay is filled with floating ice. Some of this ice floats all the way out to the Gulf of Alaska, where it becomes a hazard to shipping. Valdez is a must for your Alaska vacation itinerary. The crashing glaciers and towering Chugach mountains rising from the sea make Valdez absolutely picturesque. Come and see the spectacular natural beauty that entices people from around the world to visit. Prepare to be amazed! Approximate Distance: 290 km/180 miles Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
- Days 7-9 Wrangell-St Elias National Park (1B, 1L)
- Stop at Worthington Glacier. Located in the Chugach Mountains near Thompson Pass—the snowiest place in Alaska. Worthington Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska, passing within a few feet of the parking lot with a viewing shelter right off the Richardson Highway. Like most of Alaska’s glaciers, this valley glacier has been steadily retreating for the last 150 years, but not as dramatically as many others. The upper basin sits at 5,500 feet and collects about 28 feet of snow each year. McCarthy is a small historic town surrounded by more mountains and glaciers than anywhere else in Alaska. Enjoy a visit to this charming town. Wrangell-St Elias National Park is located in the eastern region of south-central Alaska. The Chugach, Wrangell, and St Elias mountain ranges converge here in what is often referred to as the 'Mountain Kingdom of North America'. It is the largest national park in the US at six times the size of Yellowstone. Wrangell-St Elias encompasses over 20,000 square miles of mountain wilderness– that's 25% larger than Switzerland! Spend a full day exploring this stunning national park or choose from several optional activities such as scenic flights, glacier walks or ice climbing. Optional activity to explore Kennecott, a ghost town frozen in time. When the Kennecott Copper Corporation abruptly abandoned the town in 1938 they left behind their equipment, their buildings and their personal belongings. Their stories of discovery, perseverance, and ingenuity, however, live on. See what it was like to live and work in this remote wilderness as you tour the town site with a guide, listening to tales of lucky fortunes, tenacious frontiersmen and tragic endings. There is also an opportunity to walk the Bonanza Mine Trail, a fairly strenuous walk that follows the ridges and tram lines to the old mine, taking in the magnificent panoramas of the Chugach Mountains, Mt Blackburn and the Kennecott Glacier along the way. From the ridge above the mine there are some spectacular views across to the University Range in the St Elias Mountains. This hike is about 4.5 miles one way with an elevation gain of 3800ft. Expect a strenuous 6-7hrs. The Root Glacier Trail in the area is another option. The trail follows the right lateral moraine and starts at the far end of the mining town. It's a fairly level 4-8 roundtrip (depending on where you turn back) with great views of the Root Glacier (3-6 hrs). Approximate Distance: 233 km/145 miles Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs (including stops)
- Day 10 Tangle Lakes (1L)
- Copper River salmon are fattier than others because they have to travel hundreds more miles, and need more reserves. Yes, they’re considered the best in the world. Salmon from any Copper River Valley river, no matter what its name, are Copper River. Copper River Country is where the wilderness meets the road in roadside Alaska. Far enough away from both Anchorage and Fairbanks to develop a certain independent self-reliance, people are unfettered by local government. When something needs to be done you don’t wait for somebody else to do it here. You step up to the plate and pitch in. Then continue to Tangle Lakes. Approximate Distance: 290 km/181 miles Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs
- Days 11-13 Denali National Park (3L)
- Enjoy plenty of time to explore and hike Denali National Park. The area is well-known for its diversity of wildlife and Mt McKinley, the highest peak in North America. There are 39 species of mammals, 167 species of birds, 10 species of fish, and one species of amphibian known in Denali. Summer is a time for raising the young and preparing for migration, hibernation or survival during the winter and with a little luck, we witness it all. On our hikes we'll discover the dynamic glaciated landscape providing large rivers, countless lakes and ponds, and unique landforms which form the foundation of the ecosystems that thrive in Denali. Enjoy picnic lunches and revel in the awesomeness of this place. For those that do not want to hike, options include rafting on the Nenana River, a visit to the dog-sled kennels run by the park rangers or opt to take a scenic flight over Mount McKinley. The highest mountain in North America, Mt McKinley has been the goal of aspiring high altitude climbers since it was first climbed in 1913. Its reputation as a highly coveted summit is due to its location near the Arctic Circle and the Pacific Ocean, creating some of the most ferocious weather in the world. Because of its weather and ease of access, some climbers use McKinley as a training ground for climbing the 8,000 meter peaks of the Himalayas, including Everest. Mt McKinley is also known by its Athabascan name Denali meaning "The Great One" and some climbers refuse to use "McKinley" when referring to this mountain. In fact, at least half a dozen names exist for the highest mountain in North America and most translate to "The Great One". Hiking option- Mt Healy overlook trail- An easy to moderate hike after the first third of it. It's about 2.5 miles one way with an elevation gain of about 1700ft. Gorgeous view of the Alaska Range and Mount McKinley on a clear day. In total, it'll be a strenuous hike of 4.5 miles roundtrip (3-4hrs). Approximate Distance: 257 km/160 miles Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs
- Day 14 Anchorage (1L)
- Drive to Anchorage, a rugged city beautifully settled between the base of the Chugach Mountain Range and Cook Inlet. An urbanized wilderness, humans are not the city's only inhabitants. Residents share the city with bears, moose and a small wolf pack. Year-round outdoor recreation is very accessible and venues are well-maintained to make the most of the city's setting. Anchorage is something rugged and wild, beautiful and urban all at once, so enjoy all it has to offer, and be sure to watch out for the wildlife. Opt to enjoy a final dinner with your travel mates and reminisce about your epic journey into the wild. Approximate Distance: 402 km/250 miles Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs (including stops)
- Day 15 Anchorage
- Depart at any time.