With the idyllic North Face Lodge as your base camp, you’ll experience Denali National Park as few visitors get to. Set deep in the heart of the park, this unique wilderness retreat offers unparalleled views of Mt. McKinley, a wide range of outdoor activities and nightly presentations that emphasize Denali’s natural and cultural history, locally-sourced cuisine and special access to the park. The North Face Lodge’s relationship with the park ensures exclusive opportunities for you to explore Denali's most pristine backcountry areas for prime hiking and wildlife viewing. Additionally, the small group size of eleven guests per every naturalist enhances the intimacy of outings and opportunities for in-depth learning about Denali National Park.
Itinerary - 7 Days
Day 1 — Fairbanks, Alaska
Arrive in Fairbanks, transfer to your hotel and settle into your river view room at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge. This evening meet your leader and traveling companions at a welcome dinner. (D)
Day 2 — Fairbanks/Denali National Park
In the morning visit the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum featuring collections that represent over 11,000 years of cultural traditions in the North. In the late morning we depart on a wilderness drive to our temporary home located within the heart of the park, the North Face Lodge. We’ll travel in the lodge's private bus, on the otherwise highly restricted Denali Park Road, in order to access prime wildlife viewing areas; a privilege extended to the owners of North Face Lodge and their guests. The seven-hour, 90-mile drive is rife with opportunities to look for Denali's famed wildlife: grizzlies, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, wolves, eagles, Arctic terns and more. We’ll enjoy a hearty, picnic-style dinner, served at the midpoint of the drive alongside the East Fork River. (B,L,D)
Days 3, 4, & 5 — Denali National Park
Spend three full days exploring the wonders of Denali. Follow naturalists on hikes into the spectacular mountains to spot wildlife and identify native flora, canoe on pristine rivers and lakes, take a fly fishing excursion, or set off on bikes to discover hidden wonders. Attend nightly talks about the natural and cultural history of Denali.
Day 6 — Denali National Park/Anchorage
This morning we depart the North Face Lodge and enjoy the scenic drive back out the park entrance. Continue to experience the grandeur of Alaska aboard the Alaska Railroad, enjoying the first class, GoldStar Service en route to Anchorage. Lavishly appointed cars feature custom-designed interiors highlighted with original Alaska art and a private outdoor viewing deck. Dinner will be served on board the train. Overnight at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Anchorage/Sitka, Juneau or home
This morning fly to either Sitka or Juneau to begin your Alaska voyage. Or if your extension is taken after your voyage, transfer to the airport for connecting flights home. (B)
Some dates follow a reverse itinerary, please call for details.
Denali pre-trip extensions aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird and post-trip extensions aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion require one additional night's lodging, not included in the extension cost which also excludes internal Alaska airfare.