Depart London; arrive Anchorage. Group members should make their own way to the hotel.
The largest city in Alaska with only 250,000 people, Anchorage has gone through quite a change since the earthquake of 1964. Now a bustling city fuelled by the oil boom and tourism, it was not that long ago that Anchorage was the last outpost before heading into the 'Last Frontier' and it is not uncommon to see wildlife including moose and bear in and around town. After leaving Anchorage you travel north to Denali National Park, first stopping en route to try gold panning with the tour leader in Caribou Creek located on the Matanuska River Area. The lure of gold has firmly written itself into the history.
Surrounding the tallest mountain peak in North America, grizzly bears, caribou, Dall sheep, marmots and wolves all roam the park. Enjoy an included dog sled demonstration. Activities such as river rafting, or walking on a quiet nature trail are available near our lovely campground setting bordering the park. Today you can head off to explore the backcountry of Denali National Park. Your tour leader is unable to guide you in Denali however, will provide you with all the necessary information required prior to setting on this the morning. The difference in Denali to other parks is you are encouraged to leave the path, and your leader will take you on a walking adventure to discover the park and in search of wildlife. For a real treat why not try an optional scenic flight to get a good view of Mount McKinley's towering peak. You could even opt for a glacier landing!
We head into the heart of the Alaska mountain range where we then spend the night camping under the stars. Here we experience the quiet lakes of the tundra and look out for grazing caribous. This is a birder's paradise with many species often sighted and there is a chance to experience excellent fishing for grayling. This range is actually the highest mountain range in North America and includes Mount McKinley - the highest peak in North America.
Venture off the main highway into the heart of Wrangell-St Elias National Park. Bordering Canada's Yukon Territory, this stunning national park is the largest in the country, containing glaciers five times the size of Manhattan and nine of the sixteen highest peaks in North America! You will camp on the banks of the Kennecott River in the shadow of Mount Blackburn with a beautiful view of Root Glacier. The next day is free to explore this vast wilderness region including the historic area of McCarthy and Kennecott. Optional activities available include ice climbing, hiking, sightseeing and glacier walking.
Enjoy a free day with numerous optional activities to choose from.
From here you make your way to Valdez which has incredible access to rawness of Mother Nature, as well as home to many land animals, sea life, and birds including Humpback and orca whales that make their home in the Prince William Sound. Glaciers nest atop towering mountains as majestic waterfalls pour forth from the melting ice and snow. Some glaciers reach all the way to the ocean and greet the tide with their impressive size. Top on the list is to experience the Prince William Sound, which contains various tidewater glaciers including Columbia Glacier; the largest tidewater glacier in South central Alaska.
This morning we board our awe-inspiring ferry ride through Prince William Sound before arriving to the colourful fishing village of Seward, the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. On board the cruise it is common place to see humpback and killer whales and birds riding the wild currents.
We spend the day visiting and exploring the trails of Exit Glacier. Here you can walk extremely close to an active glacier, or take a ranger-led walk. During your visit it is evident to see how glaciers can re-shape a landscape and see how plant life reclaims the barren rocky land exposed by retreating glaciers. A visit to a tidewater glacier to experience the sights and sounds of icebergs being calved into the sea are all part of this perfect day out.
For the next two nights you have the rare privilege of travelling to Homer, and then taking a boat to our wilderness camp overlooking remote Kachemak Bay. Here you experience a true Alaskan adventure in this remote wilderness paradise, with optional activities such as mountain biking, beach combing and included four hour guided sea kayaking. You'll love the home-cooked meals including a salmon bake, while basking in the breath-taking scenery. You'll have plenty of time to be adventurous and explore the surrounding area on your own by bike or on foot.
Another day to enjoy optional activities at the wilderness camp.
We have a free morning before making our way back to Anchorage where our tour ends upon arrival at approximately 17:00 hrs. (for Land Only pax). Any Land Only clients that are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs as we cannot guarantee that you will make it on time. Fllight Inclusive clients will have an extra night in Anchorage and depart tomorrow.
Flight Inclusive clients check out of hotel and depart to airport.