Arrive to our joining hotel at any time. Welcome meeting in the evening.
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. Approximate Distance: 357 km/222 miles Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
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.
Leave Homer in the morning and arrive at the tip of the Kenai Peninsula lies a land 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 entwined with the sea. Explore this site to discover Kenai Fjords, its history, science and remote splendor. Optional boat cruise. Approximate Distance: 270 km/168 miles Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs
After a hardy breakfast, we'll 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. The 7.4-mile round trip of the Harding Icefield Trail is a spectacular day hike. 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 breath-taking 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. Then what would be Alaska without bears? 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. Enjoy a dinner out and reflect on the spectacular natural wonders of the Alaskan Wilderness you experienced today on this amazing hike!
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
View the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline, located at Valdez, 800.5 miles from its origin on the Arctic Ocean. The 48 inch diameter pipeline was completed in 1977 at a cost of $8 billion, and is one of the largest pipelines in the world. It has a capacity of 2 million barrels of oil per day. Since the opening of the line, more than 19,000 oil tankers have loaded up at the terminal in Valdez, take crude to refineries along the coast in Washington and California. 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 and 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. We reach our final destination. McCarthy is surrounded by more mountains and glaciers than anywhere else in Alaska! Visit the historic town of McCarthy and discover the real Alaska! Approximate Distance: 233 km/145 miles Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs (including stops)
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 United States, six times the size of Yellowstone. Wrangell-St. Elias encompasses over 20,000 square miles of mountain wilderness - that's over 50,000 square kilometers, or 25% larger than Switzerland! The combination of ease of access, incredible natural beauty and great summer weather make Wrangell-St. Elias a great destination for your Alaskan itinerary! Spend a full day exploring this amazing National Park or choose from several optional activities such as scenic flights, glacier walks or ice climbing. Approximate Distance: 290 km Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs
You can explore Kennecott, a ghost town frozen in time on a guided tour. When the Kennecott Copper Corporation abruptly abandoned the town in 1938 they left behind their equipment, their buildings, and their personal belongings. However, their stories of discovery, perseverance, and ingenuity live on. Come see what it was like to live and work in this remote wilderness as you tour the town site with one of our knowledgeable guides; listening to tales of lucky fortunes, tenacious frontiersmen, and tragic endings. There will be an opportunity today 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 Kennicott 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.
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 Lake. Approximate Distance: 290 km/181 miles Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs
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 derives from its location near the Arctic Circle and the Pacific Ocean giving it 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 Himalaya, 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". Approximate Distance: 257 km/160 miles Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs
Full day to explore and hike Denali NP. With the parks shuttle service dropping us off in the heart of Denali National Park our adventure begins. Denali is well-known for its diversity of wildlife. 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! Yet there is more to come. On our hikes we 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 a picnic lunch and just be in awe of this amazing place.
Everything about Denali National Park is big: the scenery, the mountains, the incredible beauty, and the animals. Enjoy a full day exploring the Alaskan Wilderness in Denali National Park! We can enjoy hikes in the front country of the park. 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 it is possible to take a scenic flight over Mount McKinley.
Transfer to Anchorage. Anchorage is 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: They 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! Discover this city with an orientation tour until it's time to say good bye. For our final night in Anchorage, enjoy a shower and some good rest in a local hotel. Approximate Distance: 402 km/250 miles Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs (including stops)
Depart at any time.