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Alaska

7-Day Classic Alaska: Kenai Fjords & Denali

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7 Days
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Alaska

7-Day Classic Alaska: Kenai Fjords & Denali

Destinations

  • Anchorage
  • Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Denali National Park
  • Seward
  • Talkeetna

Highlights

As wildlife specialists, we've carefully paired two of Alaska’s most popular and iconic national parks while avoiding crowds and maximizing wildlife possibilities. Kayak, canoe, hike and spot wildlife amongst the spectacular glaciers and fjords of Kenai Fjords National Park. Then avoid the massive crowds of people who stay at the entrance to Denali National Park, and instead travel 90 miles deep into Denali’s heart at Kantishna for maximum wildlife viewing!

  • Explore two of Alaska’s favorite National Parks – Kenai Fjords and Denali – with special access to the most remote deluxe wilderness lodges in both parks
  • Sensational coastal Alaska wildlife viewing of Orca and Humpback whales, Stellar’s sea lions, puffins and more, along with the chance to paddle a canoe or kayak among bergy bits near stunning glaciers
  • Avoid the crowds who stay at the entrance to Denali National Park, and instead travel 90 miles deep into the heart of Denali – Kantishna - for maximum wildlife viewing!
  • Exceptional tundra hiking amidst unforgettable mountain vistas of the Alaska Range, including the grandeur of Mt. Denali – North America’s tallest peak at 20,322 ft.
  • Journey across sea and land in comfort and style aboard custom small ships, comfortable touring vehicles and the historic Alaska Railroad
  • A Wildlife Photographer’s Dream Trip! Our experienced naturalist guides are experts in maximizing wildlife sightings!

Itinerary at a Glance

  • DAY 1 Anchorage / Kenai Fjords National Park: Marie Wildlife & Glacier Cruise
  • DAY 2 Explore Kenai Fjords National Park
  • DAY 3 Kenai Fjords / Seward
  • DAY 4 Seward / Talkeetna
  • DAY 5 Denali National Park - Kantisha Region
  • DAY 6 Denali National Park
  • DAY 7 Return to Anchorage on the Alaska Railroad

7-Day Classic Alaska: Kenai Fjords & Denali

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 Explore Kenai Fjords National Park
Meet your trip leader at 6:30 a.m. this morning, then enjoy a scenic drive south along Turnagain Arm to Seward, a picturesque seacoast town situated at the head of Resurrection Bay. Embark on a marine wildlife and glacier cruise bound for Kenai Fjords National Park, home to an array of glaciers and marine wildlife such as whales, Steller sea lions, sea otters, puffins and more! Enjoy lunch in front of a tidewater glacier before arriving at our exclusive lodge destination: Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. Overnight at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge.

DAY 2 Marine Wildlife & Glacier Cruise
Enjoy a full day of exploration at the lodge and choose from an array of activities to match your interest and energy level. Guided options include interpretive nature walks, sea kayaking amid glacial ice, canoeing in the lagoon and coastal explorations. Or relax at the lodge by the wood stove, peruse the natural history library or take a leisurely stroll along the beachfront. Overnight at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge.

DAY 3 Kenai Fjords / Seward
This morning allows for a final half-day activity at the Glacier Lodge before boarding our boat for the return wildlife cruise to Seward. Enjoy a fine dinner with your group and spend the evening relaxing at Seward Windsong Lodge this evening. Overnight at Seward Windsong Lodge.

DAY 4 Seward / Talkeetna
Begin the journey north through the scenic Chugach State Park to Talkeetna, gateway to the Alaska Range. Once there, you'll have the freedom to choose from several activities, including a guest favorite - flightseeing! Take to the skies on an optional flightseeing tour of Denali and its adjacent glacial canyons or wander through "downtown" Talkeetna and learn about mountaineering and Talkeetna's history. Tonight, you have the flexibility to dine with the other members of your group or enjoy a great meal on your own. Overnight in Talkeetna.

DAY 5 Denali National Park – Kantishna Region
We’ll avoid the massive crowds at Denali near the park entrance where thousands of other guests congregate, and instead travel 90 miles deep into the heart of Denali National Park where we can maximize wildlife viewing. After breakfast, continue traveling north to Denali National Park and stop for lunch at the Denali Park entrance. After lunch, board a private bus and embark on a 5-6 hour Denali wildlife drive through the park, where you can watch for caribou, moose, Dall sheep, grizzly bears, resident and migratory birds and - if weather permits - gaze upon the splendor of Denali. Upon arrival to Denali Backcountry Lodge, enjoy dinner and settle into your cabin accommodations. Overnight at Denali Backcountry Lodge.

DAY 6 Denali National Park
Enjoy a full day of exploration and hiking in the Kantishna region of Denali National Park. The activities available at Denali Backcountry Lodge include guided hiking, natural history programs, gold panning and mountain biking. Optional add-on flightseeing tours will be offered during your stay at the lodge (this activity is weather and space-dependent and does not require advance reservations). Overnight at Denali Backcountry Lodge.

DAY 7 Return to Anchorage on the Alaska Railroad
After an early breakfast, embark on a return Denali scenic drive and watch for wildlife while heading for the entrance of the park. Bid farewell to Denali and board the historic Alaska Railroad for your comfortable return journey to Anchorage, arriving at approximately 8:30 p.m.

 

Alaska Activities

At a Glance

We know you've chosen to travel with us for our wildlife emphasis, so we've included a wide variety of adventure activities designed to educate, inspire, and bring out the wonder in you. All of our Alaska vacation's activities are flexibly designed to accommodate different skill levels and interests, while exposing you to a variety of unique eco-systems in order to see the most amount of wildlife. And did we mention fun?

Unparalleled Wildlife Viewing

Spot brown bears, moose, snowshoe hares, bald and golden eagles, mountain goats, spawning salmon, river otters, ptarmigan, sea lions, seals, Dall porpoises, humpback & minke whales, orcas and more.

Exclusive Wildlife Activities

Marine wildlife and glacier-viewing cruise:

A half-day cruise for marine wildlife and natural wonders along the spectacular coastal fjords and glaciers.

Canoeing at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge’s Pedersen Lagoon:

A casual paddling experience with no experience necessary

Kayaking:

Half-day and full-day kayaking options include the calm waters of the protected Pedersen Lagoon and the more moderate to challenging kayaking near Aialik Glacier, in open-sea conditions. No experience is necessary for either, and our guides will help discuss each kayaking route and option with you in advance to help you select the best option for your desired activity level.

Hiking:

Choose from amongst casual, moderate and challenging hikes with varying altitude gain, from a few hundred feet to a few thousand feet. Many hikes will offer the opportunity to access alpine tundra with excellent mountain views.

Optional, unguided activities include:

Beach combing, gold panning and mountain biking.

Optional Flight-Seeing:

Available on the afternoon of Day 4 through the morning of Day 7, either in Talkeetna or in Kantishna sector of Denali National Park. a 60 plus minute flight throughout the Alaska Range starts at about $300/per person and up, depending on the flight pa

 

Alaska Wildlife

Rare or Endangered Possible Sightings

  • Wolves and Arctic foxes
  • Porcupines
  • Lynx
  • Beluga, Fin, Sperm and Blue Whales
  • Wolverines
  • Muskox

Likely Sightings

  • Whales (Orca, Humpback, Dall’s Porpoises)
  • Stellar’s Sea Lions
  • Harbor Seals
  • Sea Otters
  • Puffins, Bald Eagles, Owls, Ravens and a wide variety birds
  • Dall Sheep and mountain goats
  • Black and Grizzly Bears
  • Moose
  • Caribou
  • Ground Squirrels, Ermines and Ptarmigan
 

Alaska Guides

Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards; Expert Naturalist Guide

Brooke Edwards started guiding in 1998 and has shared her travel expertise in various roles throughout the years. With a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Whitman College and a Master’s degree in Environmental Education specializing in Ecotourism from The Audubon Expedition Institute, she loves sharing her passion and knowledge of the natural world and wildlife with intrepid travelers, building meaningful relationships along the way. In addition to being an expert naturalist guide throughout The Last Frontier, Brooke can also be found guiding skiing tours in Japan or surfing in Central America. Her guiding has led her on adventures all over the world from Antarctica to Alaska. She calls Girdwood, Alaska home and looks forward to sharing her favorite Alaska stories with you, all while helping scan and point out Alaska’s charismatic wildlife along the way.

 

Alaska FAQ

Alaska Facts for Visitors

Location:

Alaska is a U.S. state located on the northwest extremity of the North American Continent, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. An exclave of the U.S., it borders the Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon to the east and southeast and has a maritime border with Russia's Chukotka Autonomous Okrug to the west. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas of the Arctic Ocean, while the Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest.

Geography:

Alaska has more than three million lakes. Marshlands and wetland permafrost cover 188,320 square miles (487,700 km2) (mostly in northern, western and southwest flatlands). Glacier ice covers about 28,957 square miles (75,000 km2) of Alaska.[17] The Bering Glacier is the largest glacier in North America, covering 2,008 square miles (5,200 km2) alone.

Population:

Alaska is the largest U.S. state by area and the seventh-largest subnational division in the world. It is the third-least populous and the most sparsely populated state, with an estimated population of 738,432. Approximately half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. The state capital of Juneau is the second-largest city in the United States by area, comprising more territory than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware.

Alaska's indigenous population is proportionally the highest of any U.S. state, at over 15 percent. Close to two dozen native languages are spoken, and Alaskan Natives exercise considerable influence in local and state politics.

Language:

English is the official language and is spoken commonly across the statee. According to the 2011 American Community Survey, 83.4% of people over the age of five spoke only English at home. About 3.5% spoke Spanish at home, 2.2% spoke another Indo-European language, about 4.3% spoke an Asian language (including Tagalog), and about 5.3% spoke other languages at home.

Entry Requirements:

Whether you can travel to Alaska without a visa will be determined by your country of origin. Meaning, if you are a citizen of one of the 39 countries member of the Visa Waiver Program you do not have to apply for a tourist visa to Alaska. Instead, you can obtain the ESTA Alaska by completing an online form with your personal details and passport info.

Though Alaska is not a common destination, it is still part of the United States and travelers must follow US immigration regulations and laws. Upon arrival in Alaska, travelers will be required to present a valid passport and a valid ESTA or US tourist visa.

Please contact your local US Embassy / Consulate for up-to-date entry requirements.

Banking and Currency:

The currency of United states is the United States Dollar (USD). Current exchange rates can be found at http://x-rates.com. Many, but not all, locations accept credit cards, mainly Visa and MasterCard.

Climate and Weather:

The climate in Southeast Alaska is a mid-latitude oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb) in the southern sections and a subarctic oceanic climate (Köppen Cfc) in the northern parts. On an annual basis, Southeast is both the wettest and warmest part of Alaska with milder temperatures in the winter and high precipitation throughout the year. Juneau averages over 50 in. (130 cm) of precipitation a year, and Ketchikan averages over 150 in. (380 cm). This is also the only region in Alaska in which the average daytime high temperature is above freezing during the winter months.

The climate of Anchorage and south-central Alaska is mild by Alaskan standards due to the region's proximity to the seacoast. While the area gets less rain than southeast Alaska, it gets more snow, and days tend to be clearer. On average, Anchorage receives 16 in. (41 cm) of precipitation a year, with around 75 in. (190 cm) of snow, although there are areas in the south-central region which receive far more snow. It is a subarctic climate (Köppen: Dfc) due to its brief, cool summers.

Summer in Alaska begins in June and lasts through early September. Travel during these months is usually very comfortable. Each month has its features - June's daylight, July's flowers, August's berries, September's fall colors and northern lights - so there's always a "best time!"

Electricity and Plug Standards:

Electrical outlets, plugs and voltage are all exactly the same as in the rest of the United States (120V).

WIFI - All the hotels we use have wifi. Some places have faster/better service than others, but it is generally available.

Time Zone:

Most of Alaska falls withing the Pacific Time Zone (PST) while the western Aleutian Islands observe Hawaii-Aleutian Time, 1 hour behind the remainder of the state.

Sales Taxes:

The State of Alaska does not levy a sales tax; there are, however, several municipal governments that do. Inidividual municipalities have wide authority to set their own taxation rates, and sales tax can be as high as 7.5%.

Tipping:

Tipping is never expected, but always appreciated. General guidelines are:

  • Hotel housekeeping staff: US$2 per day per room
  • Guides: US$20/person/day
  • Drivers and Boat Captains: Half what you prefer to tip your guide
  • This Trip's Exclusive Wildlife Features:

    Choose Your Alaska Travel Style! Any of our wildlife adventures are also available as fully customizable private trips, honeymoons or family wildlife adventures.
    CONTACT US | EMAIL US | CHAT NOW | RESERVE A TRIP | 1-800-990-4376
    We're Wild for Wildlife...
    • Wildlife-focused ecotour, packed with specially-designed activities to maximize wildlife viewing
    • Explore two of Alaska’s favorite National Parks - Avoiding the crowds at the entrance to Denali National Park, and instead traveling deep into the heart of Denali for maximum wildlife viewing!
    • Sensational coastal Alaska wildlife viewing of Orca and Humpback whales, Stellar’s sea lions, puffins and more, along with the chance to paddle a canoe or kayak among bergy bits near stunning glaciers
    • Journey across sea and land in comfort and style aboard custom small ships, comfortable touring vehicles and the historic Alaska Railroad
    We're Wild for Wildlife...
    • Wildlife-focused ecotour, packed with specially-designed activities to maximize wildlife viewing
    • Explore two of Alaska’s favorite National Parks - Avoiding the crowds at the entrance to Denali National Park, and instead traveling deep into the heart of Denali for maximum wildlife viewing!
    • Sensational coastal Alaska wildlife viewing of Orca and Humpback whales, Stellar’s sea lions, puffins and more, along with the chance to paddle a canoe or kayak among bergy bits near stunning glaciers
    • Journey across sea and land in comfort and style aboard custom small ships, comfortable touring vehicles and the historic Alaska Railroad
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