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.
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, orcas, and puffins; 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 - 7 Days
Day 1 — Fairbanks, Alaska/Denali National Park
Arrive in Fairbanks, and travel south through taiga forests to Denali National Park. Then drive into the heart of this pristine wilderness in search of moose, caribou, gray wolves, grizzly bears, and Dall sheep. Arrive at our remote lodge in the former mining settlement of Kantishna, surrounded by glacier-fed, braided rivers and the peaks of the Alaska Range.
Denali Backcountry Lodge (L,D)
Days 2 & 3 — Denali National Park
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 Mount McKinley, North America’s highest mountain, or hike to viewpoints to photograph its soaring 20,320-foot peak. Denali Backcountry Lodge (B, L, D daily)
Day 4 — Denali/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 Alaska village which serves as a launching point for
climbers of Mount McKinley. Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge (B,L)
Day 5 — 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 6 — 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. Hotel Alyeska (B,L,D)
Day 7 — 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)
Carl Tobin is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Outdoor Studies at Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage. He has studied human-caused damage in a riparian zone in Colorado, written a book on the climbing history of a section of the Alaska Range, and mentored students in a variety of Alaska's environmental issues. Carl loves Alaska and enjoys exploring the state through alpine-style climbing, extended wilderness bike rides, and mountain biking.
Carl will join the following departures:
Jun 15 - 21, 2013 Jul 21 - 27, 2013
Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $1,100. Airfare from/to your home city, trip leader gratuity, and the optional flightseeing trip around Mount McKinley are not included in the expedition cost.
What To Expect
This expedition is designed to accommodate guests at different activity levels. In Denali, guests can choose easy, moderate, or challenging hikes available each day, ranging from one to nine miles.