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

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

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 20,237-foot peak.
(B, L, D daily)

Day 5 — 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 Alaskan village, a launching point for climbers headed up Mount McKinley.
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.

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.

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

Carl Tobin

Carl  TobinCarl 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 11 - 18, 2016
Jun 21 - 28, 2016
Jul 23 - 30, 2016



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

Expedition Cost



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 Mount McKinley are not included in the expedition cost.

Operating under Special Use Permit on the Chugach National Forest. Backroads and National Geographic are Equal Opportunity Providers.

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

Operating under Special Use Permit on the Chugach National Forest. Backroads and National Geographic are Equal Opportunity Providers.