Day 1: Arrival in Anchorage
Arrive in Anchorage today and transfer on your own from the airport to the Copper Whale Inn, conveniently located in downtown Anchorage. Overnight at the Copper Whale Inn.
Day 2: Camp Denali Naturalist Bus to Kantishna
Today we journey from Anchorage to the heart of Denali National Park. A comfortable shuttle takes us 5 hours to the Denali park entrance where we meet the Camp Denali naturalist bus. Resident naturalist guides narrate this 90-mile, 7-hour drive deep into Denali National Park stopping frequently to learn about the park’s glaciology and flora, cultural heritage and legends, and its incredible mega-fauna. We have good chances of seeing grizzly and black bear, moose, caribou, loons, beaver, Dall sheep, and possibly wolves. We learn how different species adapt to life in the subarctic and studies of the impacts of climate change in the high latitudes of North America. Overnight in the heart of Denali National Park in your own authentic wilderness cabin heated by a wood-burning stove and lit by propane lamp with an outhouse just outside the door—flush toilets and hot water showers are in a communal building a short walk to the main lodge
Days 3-4: Denali National Park
Our days are spent exploring around Kantishna in the heart of Alaska's premier wilderness with resident naturalist guides leading easy to strenuous hikes through alpine and tundra ecosystems. We delve into this rich natural habitat along rivers, lakes and ridge-top trails with magnificent panoramic views of the Alaska Range. The beautiful scenery of Kantishna is also habitat for grizzly and black bear, caribou, dall sheep, wolves, Arctic fox, and moose. Activities offered include guided hikes, and opportunities to use canoes, mountain bikes, fishing gear, try your hand at gold panning, and evening presentations in the lodge. Overnight in your own cabin at Camp Denali.
Day 5: Mt. McKinley Scenic Flight to Anchorage
Our morning bush plane back to Anchorage is a spectacular scenic flight passing over vast glaciers, through mountain passes, and around the snow-covered peaks of the Alaska Range including Mt. McKinley (20,320 ft), the tallest mountain in North America and the highest mountain from base to summit in the world! Overnight at the Copper Whale Inn.
Day 6: Arrival in Juneau
Transfer on your own to the Anchorage International Airport this morning for your flight to Juneau. [Not included in land cost, this flight is booked as part of your personal flight arrangements to Alaska.] Upon arrival in Juneau take a taxi on your own to the Silverbow Inn, a charming newly remodeled 1914 building in the heart of historic downtown Juneau. Your afternoon is free to hike behind the down to an old mine, or stroll through this historic gold rush capitol and visit the Red Dog Saloon! Overnight at the Silverbow Inn.
Day 7: Glacier Walkabout
Embark this morning on an unforgettable Alaska adventure. Glacier trekking is an exciting way to experience the extraordinary glaciers flowing from the Juneau Ice Field. After being outfitted with the proper clothing and gear, take off in a helicopter for an exciting flight over the coastal range. As soon as the helicopter touches down professional mountain guides demonstrate basic glacier skills and proper use of ice axe and crampons and lead you on an easy and exciting ice walk. Those not interested in trekking on the glacier can still enjoy the scenic helicopter flight on the Juneau Ice Field. This afternoon fly to Gustavus and transfer to the Bear Track Inn, a family-run lodge constructed from hand-crafted spruce logs in the middle of Alaska wildland.
Day 8: Point Adolphus Whale Watching
Embark on an exciting half-day journey aboard a local whale-watching vessel. Across Icy Strait from Glacier Bay lies Point Adolphus, one of the premier Humpback Whale watching sites in the world. Each year these magnificent cetaceans gather here to feed in krill and herring-rich waters. Minke and orca whales, porpoise, seals, sea lions, sea otters, are present, as well as the numerous birds, bears and deer that populate the shore. Return to the lodge for lunch and a free afternoon to relax or explore. Overnight at the Bear Track Inn.
Day 9: Glacier Bay National Park
Board the M/V Spirit of Adventure and navigate into the far end of Glacier Bay's beautiful West Arm. The national park naturalist guide shares the ecological, natural and cultural history of the park and helps us imagine how it looked just 200 years ago when it was completely covered in ice. Since that time it has endured the fasted retreat of glaciers in recorded history, almost 70 miles. Throughout the journey you will be witness to the succession of habitats from old growth temperate rain forest at the entrance of the bay to bare rock near the glacier's face. Watch for resident wildlife including bear, whales, harbor seals, otters, bears, mountain goat, and moose. Dinner and overnight at the Bear Track Inn
Day 10: Free Day at the Bear Track Inn
Today is open to plan your own activity at the Bear Track Inn. Options include sea kayaking in Icy Strait or Glacier Bay, a biking tour, flight seeing, or charter fishing in either salt or fresh water. (Activities at additional cost.) Overnight at the Bear Track Inn.
Day 11: Departure
Your flight back to Juneau is included this morning to connect with your onward departure from Alaska after noon.