Alaskan Wildlife & Wilderness
Cruise across the wildlife rich Prince William Sound
Reviews 5 Reviews5/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
Group Size Small Group
Enjoy the ultimate Alaskan active adventure complete with float plane flights, bear viewing, wildlife cruises and wilderness walks. Alaska is a land of endless forests, colossal glaciers and thundering rivers which combine to offer some of the most rewarding walks on the continent. See the highest peak in North America, Mt McKinley, as gentle walks offer views of peaks and glaciers that form the Wrangell St Elias Mountains. We also fly deep into the wilderness to look for Black and Grizzly bears.
* 11 nights participatory camping, 1 night in multi-share cabins, 1 night hotel
* All meals while camping (excluding 2 dinners)
* Transportation including 1 float trip and 1 cruise
*Group leader, group normally 1 to 13, plus leader. Min age 18 yrs
* All camping equipment (excluding sleeping bags)
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Airport transfers
- Optional activities (paid locally)
- Travel by float plane to spot Grizzly bears
- Wildlife viewing cruise around Resurrection Bay
- Be awe-struck by the mountains, glaciers and rivers
Welcome to Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska with only 300,000 people and a city which has undergone quite a change since the earthquake of 1964. Now a bustling city fuelled by the oil boom and tourism, it wasn’t that long ago that Anchorage was the last outpost before heading into the ‘Last Frontier’, this is a city mixed with metropolitan luxuries and unrivalled natural wonders. It’s not uncommon to find bear roaming the outskirts of the city, this is one truly wild place. A great way to spend your day is to wander around town getting a feel for the 49th state, speaking to the locals and checking out some of the great cafes and restaurants. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs for you to meet your tour leader and fellow travelling companions.*Optional Activities:*• Alaska Native Heritage Center US$25• Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center US$15• Tony Knowles Coastal Trail US$free• Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum US$10*Comfortable Hotel*
To Denali N.P. via Talkeetna
Leaving Anchorage, you enter the wilderness pretty much instantly and make your way towards Talkeetna where you stop for the opportunity to try a local delicacy, reindeer sausage, before arriving in Denali National Park. Home to the highest mountain in North America, legendary Mount Denali (6,194m), the park covers six million acres and houses some of the most unspoiled wilderness and spectacular scenery in the whole of Alaska.*Optional Activities:*• Denali scenic flight US$524• Dogsled demonstration in Denali US$free• Mountain biking in Denali, US$20-$57• Whitewater rafting in Denali US$92-$187*Basic Camping*
Optional activities in Denali N.P.
Enjoy two full days exploring the park with an included bus pass – the only way to get out into the incredible (and vast) wilderness. Try to spot Alaska’s ’Big Five’; Caribou, Dall Sheep, moose, Grizzly Bear and wolves. Denali is one of the only national parks where you are encouraged to find your own path off the trails, great for those of you looking for pure unadulterated adventure. There are plenty of optional walks and activities in Denali or you can take to the skies on a scenic (and highly recommended) glacier landing helicopter flight. As the trails are wild and unmarked, the hiking opportunities are endless. Your tour leader will suggest some local spots of scenic beauty and the best spots to view wildlife.*Basic Camping*
Another day of optional activities in Denali N.P.
Another day of optional activities in Denali N.P.*Basic Camping*
To the Alaska Range
Head into the heart of the Alaska Range to spend the night in local cabins at Maclaren Lodge. With spectacular views of the surrounding valley this rustic lodge provides the ideal setting for an authentic Alaskan experience. Although rooms are basic bunkhouse style, its remote location is something to savour with the chance to look out for grazing caribou near the quiet lakes of the tundra. This is also a birder’s paradise with many species often sighted.*Optional Activities:*• Canoeing (unescorted) US$50-$65*Multi-share cabin included*
To Wrangell-St Elias N.P.
The scenery keeps on coming thick and fast and today is no different. Drive through the dramatic Copper River Valley and stop for a short walk on the Liberty Falls Trail, just off the Edgerton Highway en route to the small town of McCarthy (population 40 in the summer, 17 the remainder of the year). This quaint settlement at the centre of a mass of mountains, glaciers and wilderness will be your base to explore Wrangell-St Elias for the next two nights. Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve contains nine of the sixteen highest peaks in the United States, including the second highest, Mount. St. Elias (5,488m), and is the most glaciated region in the North American continent.*Basic Camping*
Another day of optional activities in Wrangell-St Elias.
Another day of optional activities in Wrangell-St Elias.An imposing area of glaciers, mountains, forest and wilderness, with wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities including Dall Sheep, mountain goats, caribou, moose, Grizzly and Black Bear are just some of the parks inhabitants. An optional experience and highly recommended, is the chance to fix crampons to your boots and hike around the Root Glacier, exploring its deep blue pools and carved ice shapes.*Optional Activities:*• Ghost Town tour – Kennecott Copper Mill US$28• Scenic flight US$120-$270*Basic Camping*
To Valdez; via the Worthington Glacier and Thomson Pass in the Chugach Range.
Your journey continues towards Valdez, passing through the Chugach Range. On the rivers, fish wheels have been built to catch salmon migrating upstream to spawn. Stop at the famous Worthington Glacier, adjacent to the Thompson Pass for a short walk. Explore the busy seaside town of Valdez, a return to civilisation after the mountainous isolation of McCarthy. Valdez is a new town, as a major earthquake destroyed the old one in 1964. There are various hiking trails in and around Valdez such as the Mineral Creek Trail or the Keystone Canyon Pack Trail. You can also visit the historical museum to learn about the native culture, gold rush history and the famous pipeline. Why not opt for a sea kayaking excursion to get up close and personal to the glacier?*Optional Activities:*• Valdez Sea Kayaking US$259*Basic Camping*
Free day exploring Valdez
Free day exploring Valdez.*Basic Camping*
Ferry to Seward.
Board the Alaska state ferry, leaving Valdez behind and crossing Prince William Sound to reach Whittier. The views of the mountains, bays, fjords and glaciers are unforgettable and the water is home to a unique array of marine life, Harbour Seals and sea lions. On arrival, explore the small fishing town of Seward. In its past life, Seward was a railroad port which means there is now plenty of great shopping and a picturesque old-time downtown area.*Basic Camping*
Full day wildlife cruise around Resurrection Bay and the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
Set off on a full day wildlife viewing cruise around Resurrection Bay and the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. To maximise your experience on board your guide will give a detailed commentary on the wildlife you see and the local area. On previous trips, travellers have spotted sea lions, otters, Dall’s Porpoise and an endless variety of seabirds including puffins and eagles. Orcas are often spotted and if you’re lucky, Humpback Whales can also be seen! Enjoy an included fresh salmon and prime rib lunch on board (vegetarian options available).*Basic Camping*
Walk the Harding Icefield Trail to Exit Glacier.
The staggeringly beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park offers wonderful wildlife and bird watching opportunities amidst dramatic fjords and glaciers. Within the park is the huge Harding Icefield, claiming 300 square miles in its entirety. If weather conditions permit, take a spectacular walk from Exit Glacier to the Harding Icefield for views of deep crevasses and huge seracs. At an elevation 900m you will eventually reach a lookout point over the icefield and the views will be out of this world. The walk is strenuous and entirely dependent on weather conditions; if there is too much snow and ice on the trail, it may be impassable. There’s an easier option available if you prefer, using an accessible trail to reach a different viewpoint of the glacier. For those who want to explore Seward a little more, the impressive Alaska SeaLife Center, which houses a remarkable public aquarium and ocean wildlife rescue centre, is a fun place to visit.*Basic Camping*
Float plane flight for bear observation at Big River Lakes.
Head to Soldotna, your launch site for the bear float plane activity. Float planes are a way of life for many of the more remote Alaskan communities, particularly those who still have no road access and too little space amongst the mountains to build runways. Float planes generally seat a maximum of 10 people and you’ll take to the air for a beautiful flight across the Cook Inlet. Land in the Big River Lakes area and transfer to the waiting boats to explore the river and lake system keeping your eyes open for bear. The lakes are just on the fringe of the Lake Clark Park and Wilderness Reserve but a long way from any roads and civilisation and the chance of bear sightings is excellent; you can usually see Brown (Grizzly) or Black Bear here. You may see thousands of salmon pushing upstream to spawn and if you’re lucky, you’ll see bear catching and feeding upon them. This is Alaska at its best, almost completely untouched wilderness with a backdrop of ice-clad mountains and active volcanoes.*Optional Activities:*• Fishing with licence US$50*Basic Camping*
Walk at Alyeska; to Anchorage; end.
After breakfast and packing up camp, you’ll drive for a couple of hours to Alyeska in the Chugach Mountain Range which is ideal for a final wilderness walk before returning to the state’s capital, Anchorage. Containing around half the population of the state, Anchorage in some ways looks just like any other sprawling American town and after nearly two weeks in the small towns and villages the bustling streets of the city will feel somewhat different. Explore the art galleries and craft shops where you can see the beautiful Eskimo handicrafts being made.This tour ends at our gateway hotel in Anchorage at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book your post-tour accommodation if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs. People booking Flight Inclusive with Exodus will have an extra night in the hotel and depart tomorrow.*Comfortable Hotel*
Participatory Camping & Multi-Share Cabin
Our US camping tours use national and state park campsites and also a wide assortment of private campgrounds. Most will have flush toilets and hot showers. Please note your campsite in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is more basic in nature without showers and has a long drop toilet. The campsite in Seward charges an additional fee of $1-$3 for showers. You will sleep in high quality, heavy duty tents which single travellers share with one other passenger of the same sex.
Our camping equipment also includes field kitchens, inflatable sleeping pads, food storage and camp lanterns. Most campsites have a quiet time from 22:00 hrs to 07:00 hrs. Please respect your fellow campers who are there to enjoy the peace and tranquility of camping.
An essential part of a camping tour is helping out with the day to day camp duties and everyone will assist with the setting up and packing up of the campsite. Your Tour Leader will provide guidance on what to do, and typically it will only take 15 minutes to set up or break down the tents and camp kitchen. Before you know it you’ll be enjoying ‘home sweet home’ in the great outdoors.
Your tour leader will also co-ordinate and assist the group with food shopping, preparing meals and cleaning up. Sharing the camp duties is a great way to bond with your fellow travelers and the group camaraderie is all part of the experience.
11 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 9 dinners included. Your tour leader will coordinate local shopping and assist the group in preparing healthy, hearty breakfasts, picnic lunches and delicious dinners. Occasionally, you will eat out in local restaurants. To help you budget for these meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from US$6-$12, lunches from US$8-$15 and dinners from US$13-$30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately US$5 per glass and beer US$4 per bottle. Please be aware that a tip of approximately 17%-20% is added to group meals in North American restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices. Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling. We will do all we can to accommodate for various dietary requirements but in certain parts of Alaska, specific food types can be limited.
This is an active and varied trip, suitable for people of all levels of experience and fitness. You will be able to choose from a whole range of optional activities. Walks, hikes and activities cater to everyone from beginner to expert, ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous.
Your tour leader will organize the optional activities on your behalf and you will pay locally in cash. You’ll find the main optional activities listed under each itinerary day description, along with guideline prices which although correct at the time of publication, can fluctuate throughout the season. It may not be possible to do all optional activities listed on each tour.
Although each tour follows an itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility and from time to time your tour leader may suggest changes. This may be due to road conditions, weather or a visit to a special attraction or event that happens to be in progress. Flexibility is key and often a side diversion will be a highlight of the tour. Hikes and optional activities cannot be guaranteed and may vary depending on ability, group interest, local weather conditions and time of year.
All travelers over the age of 70 will be requested to complete a self-declaration of fitness form prior to travel. Our tours are a unique holiday experience and much of your enjoyment will come from the team spirit of your group and the fun you’ll have together, as well as from the local setting. We cannot stress strongly enough the importance of bringing a positive attitude with you on tour; a sure guarantee to enjoying each and every moment, even in the adversity of the odd rainstorm!