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Alaska: Denali to Prince William Sound

  • An immersive expedition from Alaska’s wild interior to the coast
  • Explore Denali National Park, Prince William Sound, and historic villages

Expedition Details

 

Encounter majestic landscapes and diverse wildlife on an expedition into the heart of Alaska’s untouched wilderness. Experience the rugged beauty of Denali National Park on naturalist-led excursions, and search for moose, caribou, wolves, grizzly bears, and Dall sheep. Hike amid the soaring peaks of the Alaska Range and journey along the stunningly scenic Seward Highway. Cap off your adventure with a cruise on Prince William Sound, home to humpback whales and towering tidewater glaciers.

Trip Highlights

    • Explore Alaska’s rolling tundra and taiga forests, spotting an array of wildlife, including caribou, moose, wolves, and Dall sheep.
    • Immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness of Denali National Park on a variety of hikes, taking in views of the mountain that gave the park its name.
    • Cruise through spectacular Prince William Sound to spot humpback whales and orcas, and experience the thunder of calving glaciers.
    • Stay in private cabins in the heart of Denali, and at a mountain resort surrounded by snow-dusted glaciers and peaks.

Itinerary - 8 Days

Days 1 & 2 — Fairbanks, Alaska/Denali National Park and Preserve

Arrive in Fairbanks and check into our hotel. The next morning, travel into the heart of Denali National Park in search of moose, caribou, gray wolves, grizzly bears, and Dall sheep. Settle into our remote lodge in the former mining settlement of Kantishna, surrounded by glacier-fed, braided rivers and the peaks of the Alaska Range.
Pike's Waterfront Lodge; Denali Backcountry Lodge (B,L,D)

Days 3 & 4 — Denali National Park and Preserve

Spend the next two days exploring Denali’s magnificent interior. Set out on hikes or walks of varying degrees of difficulty, or try panning for gold. While in the park, keep your eye out for migrating birds, including golden plovers, arctic loons, jaegers, and eagles. Weather permitting, take an optional flightseeing trip around Denali, North America’s highest mountain, or hike to viewpoints to photograph its soaring 20,237-foot peak.
(B, L, D daily)

Day 5 — Denali National Park and Preserve/Talkeetna

Take advantage of an early morning drive out of the park to catch wildlife during one of its most active periods. Then head to Talkeetna on the Denali Star train and explore this historic Alaskan village, a launching point for climbers headed up Denali.
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge (B,L)

Day 6 — Talkeetna/Girdwood

This morning, drive south of Anchorage along the stunningly scenic Seward Highway, past Turnagain Arm and the snowcapped Chugach mountains, which seem to rise out of the mirrored waters of Cook Inlet. This is part of a route that National Geographic has named one of its “Drives of a Lifetime.” Continue to the scenic town of Girdwood, and explore this glacial valley on a hike through lush rain forest.
Hotel Alyeska (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Prince William Sound

Embark on a day cruise on Prince William Sound, where the rich waters attract a variety of wildlife, from humpback whales and orcas to playful sea otters, puffins, and seals. Against a spectacular mountain backdrop, glide past towering tidewater glaciers, and listen for the telltale crackle and boom of impending glacier calving. Later this evening, celebrate your Alaska adventure with a farewell dinner.
(B,L,D)

Day 8 — Girdwood/Anchorage

Enjoy up-close encounters with Alaska’s wild residents at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, which rehabilitates injured and orphaned animals to the wild. After lunch, return to Anchorage and connect with your flight home.
(B,L)

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

Jason Matthews

Jason MatthewsJason is an environmental educator, wildlife photographer, and videographer who has been leading expeditions from the Equator to the Arctic Circle for more than 20 years. He is a certified Master Naturalist specializing in wolf and bear ecology. Called an "encyclopedia" by the New York Times, Jason's work has appeared on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD. He was recently part of a National Geographic grant team documenting brown bears and polar bears in the Alaskan arctic. Jason divides his time between Alaska and Montana, where he lives near Yellowstone National Park with his family and 70 sled dogs. Jason loves to share his passion for wild places!

Jason will join the following departures:

Aug 23 - 30, 2016
Sep 02 - 09, 2016

SEE OTHER EXPERTS »

Dates

2016
  • Jun 11 - 18, 2016 (waitlist only)
  • Jun 21 - 28, 2016 (waitlist only)
  • Jul 23 - 30, 2016 (waitlist only)
  • Aug 23 - 30, 2016 (waitlist only)
  • Sep 02 - 09, 2016 (waitlist only)

Expedition Cost

2016

$6,195

Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $1,950.

Airfare to Fairbanks and from Anchorage, and the optional flightseeing trip around Denali are not included in the expedition cost.

Featured Expedition Moment

What To Expect

This expedition is designed to accommodate guests at different activity levels. In Denali, guests can choose easy, moderate, or challenging hikes each day, ranging from one to nine miles.

Chugach National Forest note

This trip operates under a Special Use Permit in the Chugach National Forest. Backroads is an Equal Opportunity Provider.

Extend Your Stay

Extend your trip in Alaska with a stay at Winterlake or Tutka Bay, two members of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection. Please call for details.