Take Alaska’s true measure on an overland journey from Fairbanks and Denali National Park in the Interior, to Prince William Sound and Homer on the southcentral coast.
- July 9-17, 2020
DAY 1: FAIRBANKS: Meet your guide and fellow travelers for an early welcome dinner, then meet Iditarod veteran Mary Shields at her home outside Fairbanks. Mary will introduce us to her sled dogs and share some of her 40 years of Alaska stories. Tomorrow, Denali!
DAY 2: DENALI NATIONAL PARK: A scenic, four-hour ride on the Alaska Railroad takes us to the entrance of Denali National Park, where we meet the Camp Denali bus. The Denali road is closed to private traffic, so our ride into the heart of the park is unhurried and uncrowded. Sightings might include caribou, golden eagles, grizzly bears, and more. There are plenty of chances to stop for wildlife sightings, photo opportunities, rest breaks, and a hearty picnic-style dinner. You’ll know you’re someplace extraordinary when you arrive at your lodge.
DAYS 3-4: DENALI NATIONAL PARK: Each morning you can select from a number of guided activity options to fit your interests and energy level. You may want to hike to a ridgeline summit for commanding views, strike out across the tundra, meander in a lush valley looking for ground-nesting birds and meadow wildflowers, or canoe across Wonder Lake on your own. The camp’s naturalists and your OBP guide are there to share their deep knowledge and help you experience this rich setting.
DAY 5: DENALI TO ALYESKA: Get a real feel for the size of this state and watch the landscape change over the miles as we drive through the Alaska Range, down the mighty Susitna River, and along Turnagain Arm to Alyeska resort, tucked into the Chugach Mountains. There are lots of opportunities along the way to stop and watch wildlife, take photos, and picnic. Relax with dinner on your own tonight in one of Alyeska’s many restaurants.
DAY 6: ALYESKA AND PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND: Stretch your legs this morning on a 3-mile rainforest hike on the Winner Creek Trail, with its fun bridge and hand tram over the creek. Then properly invigorated, we drive 45 minutes to embark on a cruise of Prince William Sound, known for its concentration of glaciers and deep fjords. We’ll see more than 20 named glaciers and also watch for marine wildlife and birds from our smooth-sailing high-speed catamaran. Tonight, compare notes on the day over dinner in Girdwood.
DAY 7: HOMER: We break up the four-hour drive to Homer with two interesting stops. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a visitor favorite, is a nonprofit sanctuary where you can see wildlife up close as you learn about the animals. Next stop is Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, where a short hike gives us long views. We end the day at our hotel on the end of the famous 4.5-mile-long Homer Spit, which juts out into Kachemak Bay.
DAY 8: FLY-OUT BEAR VIEWING: Feel the joy this morning on an iconic Alaskan experience—landing on a beach and spending time with coastal brown bears on their own turf. Depending on weather and bear activity, you’ll either go to Lake Clark or Katmai National Parks to observe bears as they dig for clams, wade in the water, play, and just be bears. Tonight is yet another special treat, catching the ferry across Kachemak Bay to an island for dinner at the Saltry, a Homer institution and great restaurant.
DAY 9: ANCHORAGE FOR DEPARTURES HOME: A quick 30-minute flight gets us back to Anchorage to catch connections home.
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