Explore Alaska's backcountry during the two-week escorted van tour. Your guide will show you the most scenic places of central Alaska. Highlights are Kenai Fjords National Park, Homer, Denali National Park Wildlife Tour, Wrangell/St. Elias National Park with McCarthy & Kennicott, and the Denali Highway offering scenc views of the Alaska Range. You will be traveling with a maximum of 10 people in a 15 Passenger Van where all luggage is stored inside. This itinerary gives you plenty of time for activities including hiking, canoeing or rafting, fishing trips, ATV Tours and flightseeing.
Anchorage (Arrival Day)
Arrive at Anchorage Airport. Your guide will welcome and meet the group at the airport. After checking in your downtown hotel, we will visit some highlights of Anchorage including Lake Hood the world’s largest seaplane base – where you can watch floatplane land and take off, Ship Creek – where local Alaskans fish for salmon, and the colorful downtown court. Afterwards we may enjoy a stroll along the 12-Mile Coastal Trail with never ending view across Cook Inlet towards Mt. McKinley and the Alaska Range. The remaining day is at leisure. You can explore the downtown court or enjoy a seafood dinner with fresh crab, halibut or salmon in one of Anchorage’s restaurants.
Anchorage to Denali National Park In the comfort of the van we travel north on the Parks Highway towards Matanuska Valley. Stopover at Talkeetna whose wilderness location at the base of Mt. McKinley and at the confluence of three wild rivers makes an ideal center for outdoor enthusiasts, climbers, and tourists. The mountains, rivers, glaciers, and meadows in the area provide superb sightseeing, especially by air. Here we have the chance to join a flightseeing trip to Mt. McKinley including an optional glacier landing. We continue across Broad Pass, one of the lowest summits along the North American mountain system, but feeling very top-of-the-world, with its alpine valleys and mountain peaks on either side. Arrive at Denali Village at the border of Denali National Park.
Denali National Park Wildlife Tour
Today we can experience the wildlife and wonderful sceneries of Alaska's Denali National Park. Step onboard the Shuttle Bus at the Denali Visitor Center, sit back, enjoy the scenery and look out for wildlife. Our driver informs us about the history of Denali National Park, its diverse wildlife and flora. Once a bear, caribou or another animal has been spotted the bus will stop that everyone can watch and take pictures. Our wildlife tour runs all the way to Eielson Visitor Center, a four hour drive. You can get off the bus anytime you wish and take a stroll, go hiking and enjoy Denali's unique landscape. By hand signal the next available bus will stop for you to get on. Return to Denali Village in the evening.
Denali - Fairbanks
Today we leave Denali National Park and drive further north to Fairbanks. We arrive in Fairbanks, which enjoys almost 24 hours of daylight during the summer months. We have time to explore some sights of the former gold rush capital of Alaska: Visit a former gold mine, cruise aboard a sternwheeler on the Chena River or view the Alaska Pipeline. You can also fly in a bush mail plane over Alaska's vast, roadless interior. Enjoy the scenic flight above the arctic circle and experience how the Gwich'in Athabascan Natives live in "Bush" Alaska. Put your hand in the Yukon River, travel through the Wetlands and crest the rounded peaks of the Northern Edge of the Alaska Range looking out for moose and dall sheep.
Fairbanks - Dawson City
The Alaska Pipeline often parallels the highway as we travel towards Tok. From here an adventure begins as we travel on the gravel road towards the town of "Chicken". Enjoy scenic views from the "Top of the World" Highway before we cross the mighty Yukon River and reach Dawson City. Enjoy the long daylight hours and stroll through the historic townsite or along the banks of the Yukon River.
There is much to do and explore in the Dawson City area. Your tour leader tells you about the Goldrush times and famous vagabonds of the past. Visit the gold fields, pan for gold and take a guided tour of the Gold Dredge #4. Drive up to the Dome and enjoy amazing vistas of the Dawson area. In the evening we can join the "Diamond Tooth Gertie's" gambling hall and show, recreating an atmosphere of a goldrush saloon at the turn of the century.
Dawson City - Whitehorse
We say goodbye to Dawson City and travel along the Klondike Highway. We pass through small communities like Stewart Crossing, Pelly, and Carmacks before reaching the famous Five Finger Rapids. Here we can walk down to the Yukon River and see the rapids up close. and have time to linger just a little longer before finishing our drive to Whitehorse.
Whitehorse - Skagway
On your way to Skagway you pass through the historic community of Carcross and past the ruins of the Venus Mine on Windy Arm of Tagish Lake. Near the summit of the Klondike Highway Pass we'll encounter a scene that resembles a moonscape more than any earthly vista. Ancient, twisted trees cling to rocks polished smooth by prehistoric glaciers, or crumbled by years of erosion. Myriad waterfalls, several glaciers and glimpses of the White Pass Railroad and White Pass Trail are among the highlights of the drive from the summit to seaside Skagway. Option: Board the White Pass & Yukon Railroad at White Pass Summit for a breathtaking journey to Skagway.
A place exists in Alaska where the past lives on, where the cries of "Gold in the Yukon" still echo from steep canyon walls, where the sounds of barroom pianos and boomtown crowds ring out in the night. Explore the romance and excitement of yesteryear still lingering around every street corner. Enjoy the historic walking tour of Skagway. Overnight Skagway.
Skagway - Haines - Kluane National Park
This morning we board the ferry for a scenic trip across Lynn Canal. From Haines we continue on to Kluane National Park, a natural treasure and World Heritage Site. Encompassing breathtaking views of lush valleys, mountain ranges and the world’s largest non-polar icefields, the park offers many hiking and walking trails. Here we have the opportunity to take a flightseeing tour over the icefield or on a walking tour.
Haines Junction - Tok
After leaving Haines Junction we travel along the shores of scenic Kluane Lake. Stopover at Mount Wallace, better known as Sheep Mountain where we have the chance to spot the rare white dall sheep. We continue on the Alaska Highway, cross the Alaska border in Beaver Creek and reach Tok, home of one of the best breed of husky dogs.
Tok - Valdez
The Glen Highway offers a impressive scenery of the Wrangell Mountains. We visit the historic roadhouse in Copper Center before the Washington Glacier peeps into view. Arrive in Valdez, gateway to Alaska's Prince William Sound and southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline. High water falls, roughed scenery and magnificent peaks have given this region the name "little Switzerland". Overnight in Valdez.
Valdez - Prince William Sound - Anchorage
This morning we board the Alaska ferry for a scenic cruise across the Prince William Sound to Whittier. Along the way we will pass chunks of ice floating from the Columbia Glacier. Listen to the interpretation and programs of the National Forest Ranger. Upon arrival in Whittier we drive through Whittier Tunnel and stop at Portage Glacier. We continue along Seward highway traveling past salt water bays, ice blue glaciers and alpine valleys. You have a great chance to spot a bear, moose and dall sheeps along the way. Back in Anchorage we have the last chance to visit one of Anchorage excellent seafood restaurants. Bid farewell to your fellow travelers and your tou guide.
Anchorage (Departure Day)
After checking out of the hotel you will be transferred to the airport where it is time to say good-bye.
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