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Alaska

7-Day Alaska Peninsula Wildlife Refuge

Tour:
7 Days
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$7,598
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Easy to Moderate

Alaska

7-Day Alaska Peninsula Wildlife Refuge

Destinations

  • Anchorage
  • Alaska Peninsula Wildlife Refuge

Highlights

  • Truly remote wildlife lodge accessible only by airplane, amidst 3 crystal-clear artesian rivers, with no other roads, trails, lodges, villages...or humans!
  • Bush plane fly-out and jet boat river excursions each day for full emersion in Alaska’s best wildlife habitat for wolves, fox, otters, caribou, moose and more.
  • Ilnik River Cabin Overnight Wolves & Wildlife Adventure – Exclusive! Fly into our remote cabin on the Ilnik River, to witness wolves hunting caribou! Wolf dens are within walking distance of the river, where Red Fox, beaver and river otter are often seen.
  • Witness scores of wild Alaska Brown (Grizzley) Bears attack tens of thousands of spawning salmon. These are truly wild, unhabituated bears, unlike those you encounter in the National Parks.
  • Visit a colony of up to 3,000 Pacific Walrus, each weighing a massive 2,000-4,000 lbs, and witness them feeding, fighting, breeding and more. This is as close and personal to wild walrus as it gets, and a once in a lifetime experience.
  • Rivers, beaches, tundra and alpine habitat – a wide variety of wildlife habitat means more species.

Itinerary at a Glance

  • DAY 1: Scenic 500 Mile Flight – Anchorage / Alaska Peninsula Wildlife Refuge, Ocean River Jet-Boat Wildlife Excursion, Ancient Native Village Ruins
  • DAY 2 - 6: Choose from Alaska’s Best Wildlife Photo Safaris

7-Day Alaska Peninsula Wildlife Refuge

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 – Scenic 500 Mile Flight – Anchorage / Alaska Peninsula Wildlife Refuge, Ocean River Jet-Boat Wildlife Excursion, Ancient Native Village Ruins
Your tour begins on Sunday with an early departure from Anchorage's Merrill Field for a scenic flight over Cook Inlet, named for its discoverer, Captain James Cook, and across the majestic Alaska Mountain Range through Lake Clark and Katmai National Parks and passing the volcano-studded Alaska Peninsula Wildlife Refuge to our remote lodge. Glacier-shrouded volcanos tower more than 10,000 feet above sea level along our route and can often be seen billowing sulfuric steam from their calderas. As your flight nears the lodge, watch for wildlife along the streams. After touching down on the lodge’s private runway, you will meet the lodge staff and check into your cabin with time to unpack before lunch and afternoon activities. After lunch by the lodge owner, Chief Pilot and Master Guide, who designed this special 7-day wildlife itinerary exclusively for Wild Planet Adventures.

Afternoon: Artesian Waters, Local Flora and Fauna with our River Guides.

Jet Boat to the waterfalls and artesian source of the Ocean River, Alaska’s largest artesian sport fishing river, flowing from ancient lava tubes beneath Mt. Veniaminof, the Peninsula’s largest glacier-shrouded volcano, towering 8,000 feet on our eastern horizon. Look for wildlife, colorful wildflowers, spawning salmon and abundant bird life.

Ancient Native Village Site: with River Guides and Local Village Historian.

Visit the site of an ancient civilization recently discovered near our lodge, dating back 4,000 years. Because of its perpetually clear drinking water and abundance of delicious salmon, trout, and char, this site was once home to many native Alaskans and shows evidence of nearly 400 prehistoric dwellings near the confluence of Ocean River and Wildman Creek. Walk the same paths as the Alutiiq hunter/gatherers, with our modern-day guides.

Day 2-6 – Choose from Alaska’s Best Wildlife Photo Safaris:
We keep our itinerary flexible, so we can take advantage of the best weather and wildlife-viewing opportunities during your stay. To minimize our impact on wildlife and best utilize our facilities, aircraft and boats, each activity has a maximum capacity, listed below.

Walrus & Wildlife Fly-Out: With Bush Pilots and Master Guides.

You will fly in specially equipped bush planes with extra-large "Tundra Tires" so we can safely land you right on the black volcanic sand beach, within walking distance of Alaska's most rare and unique wildlife spectacle. Pacific Walrus haul out on the beach below sandstone bluffs which also serves as a nesting rookery for kittiwakes, cormorants, various raptors and numerous sea and shore birds. Take as much time as you like viewing and photographing while your guide explains the lives of the walrus. Seals and rare Steller's sea lions bask on the rocks; and bald eagles, falcons, puffins, occasional whales and numerous other unique species are commonly sighted. We often see fox or wolves on the beach as well! 8 person maximum

Brown Bear & Wildlife Jet-Boat Tour: with River Guides and Naturalists.

Explore the Ocean River and Ilnik River systems with our long time river guides, each with years of experience on this river and around Alaska's bears and wildlife. We use quiet, fuel efficient 4-Stroke jet-boats to minimize the impact of our presence on the river. You will depart the lodge after an early breakfast, searching for wildlife and stopping at each viewing opportunity for photos and to learn about the different species that make their home on the Alaska Peninsula's vast coastal plain. Wildlife that we’ll target for today’s photo-safari are wild Alaska Brown Bear fishing for spawning salmon, however, we normally also encounter Barren Ground Caribou, Red Fox, Wolves, Mink and River Otter. Whether you are into birds, incredible game or magnificent scenery, you will want to keep your camera handy because each bend of the river could present you with the photo opportunity of a lifetime. We plan a salmon bake and bit of beach combing along the black sand Bering Sea coast where you never know what will wash up and may even find a rare antique, glass fishing float, used by oriental gill netters. 8 persons maximum

Air-lift Coastal Brown (Grizzly) Bear & Wildlife Safari with Bush Pilots and Guides.

The Alaska Peninsula beaches are a smorgasbord for brown (Grizzly) bears, fox, wolves, wolverine and many raptors, all looking for an easy meal to wash up. This provides a unique opportunity for our lodge bush pilots to position adventurous wildlife viewers and photographs in close proximity to these feasting predators. With hundreds of miles of coastline as our back yard, we have a very high success rate finding rare wildlife as well as witnessing hunting, foraging, territorial conflict, nurturing of babies and other unique wildlife behaviors that make for a truly once in a lifetime wildlife encounters! 4 to 6 persons

“Fire & Ice” Upland Wildlife, Glacier & Volcano with Wildman Pilots and Guides.

After breakfast, depart the lodge with our pilot/guides for an all-day adventure to include flightseeing, hiking, wildlife viewing and photography. Our lodge sits at the base of Mt. Veniaminof, the largest active volcano on the Alaska Peninsula. We are also just 70 air miles from the Aniakchak Crater with its deep 6-mile diameter caldera. We have a number of options for this tour, but getting up close and personal with the volcano depends on the weather and how active the mountain appears that day. We’ll also land at an upland location for wildlife viewing which may include: moose, caribou, brown bear, wolf dens or beaver dams where these critters are most active during the wee hours of the morning and waning hours of the day. We plan a short hike to knock off a chunk of glacier ice to bring home for Muktuk hour and a picnic style lunch. 4 to 8 persons

Wild Planet Exclusive!

Ilnik River Cabin Overnight Wolves & Wildlife Adventure - with River Guides and Naturalists.
Select your days so everyone can get a stay. Our pilots will fly you and your guide to the remote Bering Sea beach, near the outlet of the Ilnik River, where we own a very comfortable two-bedroom cabin with kitchen & dining, six bunks and cozy wood stove. Spacious windows provide a panoramic view of an active river confluence. We keep two jet-boats here for use on this river expedition. This two day / one night excursion provides a unique opportunity to view and photograph several species of marine and coastal species. By jet-boat from our Ilnik Cabin, we have access to abundant waterfowl habitat where we find Sandhill Crane, the Alaska tundra swan and rare Emperor Goose as well as numerous species of sea and puddle ducks. Salmon are abundant in the river and attract brown bear, as well as both harbor and spotted seal up the river and into Ilnik Lake, providing excellent opportunities to photograph them out of the water, basking on the numerous sandbars. Barren Ground caribou enjoy the bug free breeze on the open coast, and this attracts the Wolves. There are usually wolf dens within walking distance of the river, where Red Fox, beaver and river otter are often seen as well. On the beach side we often spot whales close to shore, as well as playful seals and the occasional Stellar Sea Lion, an endangered species. There is a lot to see and two drainages to explore, so this makes an excellent overnight adventure! Overnight Capacity is limited to 4 to 6 persons

Tundra Trek: - with Wilderness Guide and Naturalist.

Stretch your legs and walk off your big breakfast on a one hour walk along our tundra, birding and wildflower loop. This will be your last chance to walk on Aleutian Tundra where along the river you will see the spawning salmon and typically brown bear feeding in the clear artesian waters near our Lodge. Your flight will depart for Anchorage at about 11:00 a.m. Upon boarding our speedy twin engine aircraft for the scenic flight back to civilization, be sure to set your watch ahead one hour and prepare yourself to rejoin the human race and the crazy world you managed to escape during your stay with us.

 

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

Bush-plane fly-outs

to Pacific walrus colony and other wildlife habitat.

Jet boat river excursions

to see grizzly bears feasting on salmon and more.

Rare wildlife excursions

highlighting wolves, fox, otter, caribou, moose and more.

Hiking alpine tundra,

riverine and wildlife habitat for maximum wildlife viewing.

 

Alaska Wildlife

Rare or Endangered Possible Sightings

  • Canadian Lynx
  • Wolverines

Likely Sightings

  • Pacific Walrus
  • Brown (Grizzly) Bears
  • Wolf packs
  • Fox (2 species)
  • Beaver
  • Moose
  • Caribou
  • Snowshoe hare
  • Salmon (5 species)
  • Stellar’s Sea Lions
  • Seals
  • Sea Otters
  • Ground Squirrels, Ermines and Ptarmigan
  • Grey and Migratory Whales
  • Birds include Puffins, Bald Eagles, Owls, Falcons, Sandhill crane, kittiwakes, guillemots, emperor geese, harlequin ducks, Steller’s eider and more.
 

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...
    • Exclusive, extremely remote 5-star fly-in wilderness lodge in pristine wildlife habitat, hundreds of miles from any other tourists.
    • Private Ilnik River Cabin Overnight Wolves & Wildlife Adventure – Exclusive! Your trip includes an exclusive overnight fly-out from the lodge to our remote cabin on the Ilnik River to witness wolves hunting caribou! Wolf dens are within walking distance of the river, where Red Fox, beaver and river otter are often seen.
    • Pacific Walrus “haul-out” A colony of up to 3,000 Pacific Walrus, each weighing a massive 2,000-4,000 lbs, feeding, fighting, breeding and more. This once in a lifetime encounter with wild walrus is as exciting and up-close as it gets!
    • Truly unhabituated wildlife - Nowhere else in Alaska will you find unhabituated wild animals roaming as they did a century ago. Unlike any of Alaska’s National Parks, here the bears never see people, and neither will you!
    We're Wild for Wildlife...
    • Exclusive, extremely remote 5-star fly-in wilderness lodge in pristine wildlife habitat, hundreds of miles from any other tourists.
    • Private Ilnik River Cabin Overnight Wolves & Wildlife Adventure – Exclusive! Your trip includes an exclusive overnight fly-out from the lodge to our remote cabin on the Ilnik River to witness wolves hunting caribou! Wolf dens are within walking distance of the river, where Red Fox, beaver and river otter are often seen.
    • Pacific Walrus “haul-out” A colony of up to 3,000 Pacific Walrus, each weighing a massive 2,000-4,000 lbs, feeding, fighting, breeding and more. This once in a lifetime encounter with wild walrus is as exciting and up-close as it gets!
    • Truly unhabituated wildlife - Nowhere else in Alaska will you find unhabituated wild animals roaming as they did a century ago. Unlike any of Alaska’s National Parks, here the bears never see people, and neither will you!
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