Day 1 Anchorage to Seward | 204 km/127 miThis morning travel along the Seward Highway towards scenic Turnagain Arm, a body of water featuring the world’s second highest tides at over 30 feet. Keep an eye out for Beluga whales chasing salmon in the bay or Dall sheep along the highway. A great stop for lunch is Alyeska Resort in Girdwood where you can take the tram up Mt. Alyeska (optional). Other stops we recommend include Portage Glacier and its visitor centre, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center which provides care and rehabilitation for injured and orphaned wildlife. Here you can safely get close, observe, and photograph some of Alaska’s largest land animals including moose, bison, elk, deer, caribou, bears, muskox and in Seward Exit Glacier and the SeaLife Centre.
Day 2 Seward | Freedom of Choice - Choose 1 of 5 ExcursionsToday you can personalize your day by choosing one of these excursionsOption 1. Tonsina Point Resurrection Bay Kayaking AdventureResurrection Bay is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and home to several Alaska state parks that offer abundant opportunities to hike, sea kayak and explore!Option 2. Bear Lake Kayak | Canoe TripKayak or canoe on this scenic local lake with fun-loving guides. Bear Lake is located just outside Seward, Alaska and normally offers flat calm waters, and a home for Sockeye salmon. On the way there is a stop to visit the salmon weir and learn about their life cycle. Eagles, loons, and bears are often seen while on this adventureOption 3. Wilderness Dog Sled ride TourVisit the Seavey Family Homestead in Seward, and tour the beautiful tether free summer camp for Iditarod athletes! Meet the dogs, feel their excitement as teams are hitched to comfortable summer sleds, then mush for two miles through the scenic rainforest.Option 4. Exit Glacier HikeThis moderate hiking adventure is great for viewing the jewel of the Resurrection River Valley - Exit Glacier. This massive wall of blue ice descends the mountainside from the Harding Ice Field, down to the Resurrection River.Option 5. Resurrection Bay Wildlife CruiseTreat yourself to an abundance of wildlife viewing with this 31/2 hour Kenai Fjords cruise in Resurrection Bay. Travel 55 miles (round-trip) along a rugged coastline and snap plenty of memorable photos as you sail past Bear Glacier. Sail close to sea lion colonies and seabird rookeries, and keep your eyes peeled for whales, sea otters, Dall’s porpoises, eagles and mountain goats.
Day 3 Seward to Talkeetna | 386 km/240 miHead back towards Anchorage today taking in the sights of the Seward Highway as you go. Pass through Anchorage and drive the Glenn Highway north to Wasilla and onto Talkeetna. Stops can include a visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Centre in Anchorage and the Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry in Wasilla. Talkeetna serves as a base camp for Denali climbers; the community of under 1000 residents is located at the confluence of the Talkeetna and Susitna Rivers. A turn-of-the-20th-century gold-mining centre, the town has retained much of its early Alaskan flavour.
Day 4 Talkeetna to Denali National Park Entrance | 257 km/153 miThis morning, embark on a Wilderness Adventure Jet Boat tour. Stand in the splendor of Denali and the great Alaska Range from a spectacular vantage point on the Susitna River! The folklore, artifacts and a panoramic view of Denali in the Alaska Range combine to make this an unforgettable and unique Alaskan river adventure. After your jet boat tour, drive the Parks Highway north to Denali National Park, passing by incredible forest and mountain landscapes.
Day 5 Denali | Freedom of Choice - Choose 1 of 4 ExcursionsOption 1. Denali Highway Jeep Excursion | Self-Drive Guided 4x4 ExcursionRanked #2 in Drives of a Lifetime by National Geographic Traveler magazine, experience the natural wonders of Alaska’s Denali Highway — this time by Jeep! This 4-hour guided excursion travels along a 135 mi (217 km) gravel road & takes you off the beaten path in a 4 x 4 to enjoy scenic views of Denali, the Alaska Range, glaciers and wildlife.Option 2. Tundra Wilderness Tour | Coach Tour This half day tour offers incredible scenery, a narrated history of the park road and opportunities to view the park’s wildlife inhabitants. Picturesque highlights include the craggy cliffside of Cathedral Mountain, wildlife rich Sable Pass and braided wash of the East Fork River in Denali National Park.Option 3. Upgrade Option: Denali Summit Flightseeing | Small AircraftGet a closer look at Alaska’s majestic Denali from the comfortable window seat of a small aircraft. Slip on your provided headset to hear commentary from your guide as you fly over the snow-covered peaks, jagged ridgelines, and glacier carved valleys of Denali National Park, and get within half a mile of the mountain peak.Option 4. Upgrade Option : Denali Glacier Landing | HelicopterBe immersed in the vastness of the Denali National Preserve. On your way to the massive Yanert Glacier, your pilot will serve as your guide through this unique glacially-carved environment. Soar over the rolling tundra, keeping an eye out for local residents – caribou, moose, bear, and Dall sheep. Snow capped peaks and glaciers abound on this journey before you set down on a river of ice.
Day 6 Denali National Park to Fairbanks | 198 km/123 mi | Sternwheeler Riverboat CruiseContinue on the George Parks Highway north to Fairbanks. Accompanied by incredible forest and mountain landscapes, you drive through the communities of Healy, Nenana and Ester - an old mining camp. In the afternoon, climb aboard the Riverboat Discovery III for an unforgettable 3-hour cruise into the Alaskan Interior, traveling the Chena and Tanana Rivers on the only authentic sternwheeler riverboat operating in Alaska. This narrated tour provides background on the area’s natural history and the Athabascan Indian culture.
Day 7 Fairbanks to Chitina | 498 km/310 mi | Chitina to McCarthy | FlightDepart early this morning for an approximate 6-hour drive through broad, meandering river valleys characteristic of the north side of the Alaska Range. Reaching Copper River, you’ll find the scenery changes dramatically as Mt. Drum, Mt. Wrangell and Mt. Blackburn rise to stunning heights. A quick visit to Copper Centre is well worth the few extra miles off the main Richardson Highway – located at the confluence of the Klutina and Copper Rivers it offers classic Alaskan character and some interesting sites. Continue south to the town of Chitina, the main entry point by flight into McCarthy-Kennicott and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
Day 8 McCarthy | Kennicott | Root Glacier HikeSpend the morning exploring the dynamic features of nearby Root Glacier on a guided trail and ice hike. The afternoon is yours to visit the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark and the funky-rustic nearby enclave of McCarthy.
Day 9 McCarthy to Chitina | Flight | Chitina to Valdez | 194 km/120 miToday fly back to Chitina by bush plane while enjoying great views of the Wrangell Mountains. From Chitina continue south where you will begin to enter the Chugach Mountains that ring the coast of Alaska from Prince William Sound. At Thompson Pass you may wish to stop at one of the pullouts for the scenery and views of Worthington Glacier before you begin the descent into Valdez.
Day 10 Valdez | Prince William Sound Columbia Glacier Cruise with lunchDiscover the magic of Alaska on this 7-hour Columbia Glacier cruise from Valdez. A local captain and crew will guide you through the Trans Alaska Pipeline Terminal and Columbia Bay before arriving at Columbia Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in South Central Alaska. Look out for wildlife along the way; if you’re lucky you could spot porpoises, puffins, sea lions and sea otters among other creatures. (Lunch included)
Day 11 Valdez to Sheep Mountain Lodge | 309 km/192 miToday you will drive back north on the Richardson Highway with great views of the Wrangell Mountains as you return to Glennallen (weather permitting).Here you follow the Glenn Highway towards Palmer/Anchorage until you reach Sheep Mountain Lodge.
Day 12 Sheep Mountain Lodge to Anchorage | 172 km/107 miDrive the Glenn Highway south to Anchorage. Highlights include the Independence Mine in beautiful Hatcher Pass and the many communities in the Mat-Su Valley. This valley contains many farms with the remarkable growing season in Alaska and offers beautiful views of the Chugach Range. Upon arrival in Anchorage your incredible Alaska self drive adventure comes to an end
We saw spectacular sights, met warm and friendly people, saw the Northern Lights, and made a lifetime of memories. We want to thank you for the wonderful job you did in setting everything up, and also for your courteous assistance and recommendations along the way.
Nick Florida, United States
We are so grateful for the careful planning and ideal itinerary for our vacation. We had a complete portfolio of maps, places to visit, and reservations. We loved every hotel or mountain cabin we stayed in, the boat ride through the Seward fjords, the sternwheel ride in Fairbanks, the bush ride into Denali Park for a close enough encounter with a mama grizzly and her 2 cubs....and awesome scenery at every curve.
Wayne Michigan, United States
Alaska by Design created a perfect itinerary for my clients. They returned with great memories and were extremely pleased with all aspects of their trip.
Michael Figueriedo Spain
They were professional and pleasant to work with. When the fires starts in various areas that they would be touring Alaska By Design was great in helping to make adjustments to the clients reservations. The clients were thrilled with there trip.
Jemma L New York
Nothing was too much trouble for Jennifer or Karen when we were planning our holiday. They were able to tailor our trip to what we wanted. We have recommended Alaska by Design to our friends.
Anne Mathews Australia
Excellent services!Our clients were extremely satisfied with the itinerary, hotels and tours you have offered.We will contact you again for our next clients.Thanks again for all!
I enjoyed working with Alaska by Design, I was introduced to them by Debra Roberts and Karen did a great job for me with a couple of my reservations
Haleh M California, USA
Excellent service. Clients enjoyed a wonderful experience!
Tina M Los Angeles, CA
Alaska National Parks Self Drive Explorer
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