July 8-20, 2023
SAT, July 8: Arrive Anchorage, Transfer to the Hotel, Tour Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Arrive in Anchorage and transfer to the hotel centrally located in downtown Anchorage. The afternoon is free to relax, rest or wander the city. In the evening, gather for a Tour Orientation. Meet your fellow travelers, the Alaskan guides and learn more details about the trip. Afterward, enjoy a Welcome Dinner at one of Anchorage’s best-loved restaurants.
SUN, July 9: Anchorage City Tour, Alaska Heritage Center; Free Evening
Today, you will explore Alaska’s largest city. Take a city tour of Anchorage and learn about its history. Along the way, visit famous Lake Hood – the largest and busiest seaplane base in the world. Your guide will explain the importance of aviation in Alaska and how planes are used as a vital link in remote areas. Make a stop at Earthquake Park to hear about the 1964 earthquake and how it affected Anchorage. Visit Chugach State Park for amazing panoramic views of Anchorage, the Alaska Range, Cook Inlet and the Turnagain Arm. After lunch, you are off to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Hear the heartbeat of 10,000 years of Alaska’s indigenous people. Gain insight into their history and culture. Explore six authentic life-sized native dwellings situated in the wooded area around Lake Tiulana. Each village has a its own traditional structure with daily life artifacts from a particular native culture. Take in Alaskan native dances, game demonstrations and listen to intriguing storytelling. The evening will be at leisure.
Meals: B, L
MON, July 10: Matanuska Glacier Hike, Lunch, Arrive in Talkeetna, Free Evening
After breakfast, begin the journey northward. Along the way, stop at Matanuska Glacier. You’ll be outfitted with crampons to literally “walk on water” as you hike on the glacier with professional guides. View the features of the glacier including crevasses, seracs, falls and unique ice formations. Glacier hiking is for every ability – you don’t have to be an expert climber. Later, continue north through the Chugach State Park to Talkeetna, a classic Alaskan small town (and the gateway town to Denali) with plenty of its own history and tales about mountaineers, bush pilots and, most importantly, Stubbs the Cat. He was Talkeetna’s mayor for almost 20 years! Arrive in Talkeetna and head into town to visit historic sites and local shops. Or, sit back and relax for the rest of the afternoon at your mountain lodge with panoramic views of Denali.
Meals: B, L
TUES, July 11: Talkeetna ATV Homestead Visit, Alaskan Birch Syrup Factory, Free Evening
After breakfast, take a guided ATV ride through Talkeetna and the surrounding areas. This will be a scenic ride and a rare opportunity to visit an original and remote Alaskan homestead. In 1959, the DeVore family traded the comforts of their Michigan home for the harsh conditions of Alaskan homesteading. Dennis DeVore takes you back to yesterday on this fascinating and unique tour of his old family homestead that is accessible only by trail. You will view the original family cabin on Wiggle Creek and learn about the various tools used by his family. Hear about how early-day pioneers survived living in the wilderness of Alaska. After lunch, you may choose to pan for gold, relax with a game of horseshoes, croquette or berry picking. The fresh air, silent serenity of the forest and the murmur of Wiggle Creek take you a million miles away. After returning to Talkeetna, visit the Alaska Birch Syrup Factory to taste and learn about this syrup tapped from the local birch forest. They call it ‘goods from the woods’.
Meals: B, L
*OPTIONAL EXCURSION: DENALI & ALASKA RANGE SCENIC FLIGHT*
On this day in the later afternoon, you have the option of taking a scenic flight over the Alaska Range & Denali. This is considered the greatest flight on earth and it’s likely you’ll talk about it forever! This is a flightseeing tour out of Talkeetna to Denali. From the air, nature presents itself on a scale beyond your wildest comprehension! This is an optional excursion at an additional cost.
>WED, July 12: Alaskan Cooking Class at 229 Parks Restaurant, Arrive Denali National Park, Free Evening
Continue your journey northward as you travel through the Chugach State Park to Denali National Park. Weather permitting, enjoy views of the Alaskan Range including Denali. On the way, make a stop for an Alaskan culinary experience with award-winning chef, Laura Cole. Laura is the Owner/Executive Chef of 229 Parks Restaurant who has a passion for Alaska’s ingredients and combines it with her culinary talents. She has appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef. Alaska’s bounties are large both from land and sea. Participate in a hands-on cooking class and take advantage of freshly harvested, locally grown seasonal offerings. Afterward, arrive at Denali National Park at your mountain lodge to enjoy the evening at leisure.
Meals: B, L
THUR, July 13: Denali National Park Bus, Wildlife Viewing, Arrive Eielson Visitor Center, Hike, Return to the Lodge
Today, board the park bus for a trip through Denali National Park’s prime wildlife habitat. Winding through the Alaska Range deep into the heart of the park, travel the Denali Park Road which offers opportunities to see Denali’s famed wildlife: grizzlies, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, wolves, eagles and more. On a clear day, view the highest peak in North America – Denali (elevation 20,310’) and the Alaska Range. On arrival at Eielson Visitor Center, enjoy the ‘gallery of art’ inspired by Denali’s wilderness and wildlife. Take an easy hike with the summer wildflowers in bloom. Breathe in the mountain air and relish the awesome views. In the afternoon, return to the lodge for an evening at leisure.
Meals: B, L
FRI, July 14: Free morning in Denali, Alaska Railroad Dome Car to Anchorage, Drive to Alyeska Resort in Girdwood
After breakfast, enjoy a free morning. You can visit the Denali Visitor Center close to the hotel to see the exhibits or hear the park rangers speak about the mountain and wildlife habitat. Other options are to hike from the Visitor’s Center or relax at the hotel. In the early afternoon, board the Alaska Railroad dome car for a scenic ride back to Anchorage. Once in Anchorage, transfer to Girdwood for an overnight stay at Alaska’s beloved ski resort – Alyeska Hotel & Ski Resort.
Meals: B, L
SAT, July 15: Mt. Alyeska Tram, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Drive to the Kenai Peninsula, Arrive Seward
Start the day with a 7-minute tram ride from Hotel Alyeska to the top of Mt. Alyeska. At an elevation of 2300’, witness stunning views of the Turnagain Arm, hanging glaciers and endless peaks in the Chugach Mountain Range. This is the top of the world! Once back down, travel south along the edge of the Turnagain Arm on the Seward Parkway. This road is considered America’s most scenic crossing mountain passes and majestic valleys. Along the way, you will likely spot moose, eagles and other wildlife. Stop the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center – a sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife. Visit the sanctuary to learn about the rescued animals that live in a 200-acre natural habitat. The last part of the day will take you southward down the Kenai Peninsula to arrive in Seward.
Meals: B, L
SUN, July 16: Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise, Free Evening
Welcome to Seward nestled between the Kenai mountains and Kenai Fjords National Park. Seward is one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic seaside towns. It offers a bustling harbor, quaint shops, art galleries, a sea life center and outdoor activities. Today, board a sightseeing vessel to explore the wonders of Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park. Learn about this glacially carved region known for its tidewater glaciers, spectacular scenery, steep cliffs and rich waters abundant with wildlife. Visit a tidewater glacier to search for marine wildlife including sea otters, puffins, sea lions, harbor seals and whales. The cruise will be approximately 6 hours. The evening will be at leisure in Seward.
Meals: B, L
MON, July 17: Alaska Sea Life Center, Iditarod Sled Dog Kennels, Dinner in Seward
After breakfast, visit the Alaska Sea Life Center – a world-class marine science facility. The center serves to rehabilitate sick, stranded or injured sea mammals and birds. Observe marine research as it is being conducted. After lunch, visit Iditarod Champion Mitch Seavey’s kennel, where you’ll take a two-mile sled ride (summer version). Feel the power, excitement and energy of the dogs. Mush through the Alaska wilderness to the base of Resurrection Mountain and along Box Canyon Creek. The guide will tell stories from the trail and explain how the dogs are trained. Upon return to the kennel, see the facilities and cuddle with his adorable husky puppies.
Meals: B, D
TUES, July 18: Resurrection Bay Kayaking, Free Afternoon, Dinner in Seward
Head out in the morning to Resurrection Bay for a quiet morning kayak. Mornings are often calm making this a great way to be in nature and take in the beauty of Resurrection Bay. Launch your kayak to take in turquoise blue waters and beautiful mountain vistas. It’s common to encounter sea otters, harbor seals and bald eagles in Resurrection Bay. Stop and walk along Tonsina Creek to see the salmon spawning stream. Once back in Seward, enjoy the afternoon to relax, shop or take a hike with the guide. In the evening, join the group for dinner at one of Seward’s best-loved restaurants.
Meals: B, D
WED, JULY 19: Free Morning; Late Lunch; Return to Anchorage; Alaska Railroad Dome Car to Anchorage
The morning will be free to hike, visit Seward on your own or relax at the hotel. Enjoy lunch in Seward. In the later afternoon, travel back to Anchorage on the Alaska Railroad Goldstar Dome Car. This is a beautiful ride and a chance to sit back and relax while enjoying the stunning scenery. Remember, it will still be light out.
Meals: B, L
THUR, July 20: Free Day in Anchorage; Transfer to the Anchorage Airport; Fly Home (Meals: B)
Today will be a free day to relax or visit downtown Anchorage on your own. You will be within walking distance to the Anchorage Museum, city parks and other attractions. Depending on your own flight schedule, you will be transported to the Anchorage airport to fly home. Many flights leave at night. We trust you will have had a memorable journey to Alaska!