10 Day Alaska's Natural Beauty (Discovery Tour)
10 days with
Gate 1 Travel
DAY 1, Sunday - Arrive in Fairbanks
Depart for Fairbanks, Alaska; arrive and transfer independently to your hotel. Time to rest, relax and acquaint yourself with the "Golden Heart City," second largest city in Alaska.
DAY 2, Monday - Highlights of Fairbanks, Reindeer Ranch, Welcome Evening
Meet your fellow travelers and Tour Manager at this morning's orientation meeting about the spectacular experiences and discoveries that await you in Alaska. View the architecturally abstract Museum of the North with its glacier inspired design and the 48-inch wide trans-Alaska oil pipeline, truly a man-made wonder of the Last Frontier, traversing nearly 800 miles of frozen tundra, forests, rivers and rugged mountain ranges. A highlight of the afternoon is the visit to the Running Reindeer Ranch at the base of Moose Mountain. On this unique tour led by a lifelong Alaskan, you'll be guided through the birch forest accompanied by friendly reindeer that run freely through the woods. Tonight, attend a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 3, Tuesday - Deluxe Dome Rail to Denali, Rafting on the Nenana River
Fabulous vistas lie ahead today as you travel on world-famous deluxe dome rail on an extraordinary scenic journey to Denali National Park. After breakfast on board, enjoy the relaxing ambiance and magnificent panoramas of untamed wilderness. Later, after lunch, a rafting trip on the glacier-fed Nenana River. Picture perfect views surround you as you float serenely in the great Alaska wilderness and revel in the peace and quiet. At tonight’s dinner, share reflections of a glorious day. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 4, Wednesday - Denali National Park, Tundra Wilderness Tour, Iditarod Musher and Sled Dog Team
The day begins deep in Denali National Park on the Tundra Wilderness Tour. On a clear day, you can see the 20,310 foot Denali up-close! Look out for the most impressive animal in the park - the Alaskan moose, largest in the world, weighing up to 1,600 pounds. As you travel over mountain passes; the high point offers expansive views of the Alaska Range on the horizon. After lunch, an afternoon visit enlightens you about the legendary Iditarod, often called the "Last Great Race on Earth." Meet with an Iditarod musher and his sled dog team to hear about this annual Alaskan race that travels over 1,049 miles of extreme terrain that includes mountain ranges, frozen rivers and miles of windswept coast. Dinner is in Denali. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 5, Thursday - Denali Highway to Chitina, Flight to McCarthy
The drive today on the famed Denali Highway promises fantastic unending vistas. Much of the route lies above timberline, so the amazing panoramas go on forever. The mountains and glaciers of the Alaska Range form a majestic backdrop, with miles of rolling tundra punctuated by shallow lakes. This path takes you through some of Alaska's most fascinating wilderness, with possible animal sightings along the way. Arrive at the little historical town of Chitina at the confluence of the mighty Copper River, jumping off point to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and seasonal center of Copper River red salmon fishing. Enjoy lunch before getting ready for a spectacular flight to McCarthy through Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. You'll see soaring peaks of mountain ranges, massive glaciers, and mighty rivers. Later, on to Kennicott for your stay with its amazing views and warm and friendly hospitality. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 6, Friday - Glacial Hike to the Root Glacier
An unmatched adventure today. A half day hike with a mountain guide on the Root Glacier, one of the few accessible glaciers in North America. Your journey begins with an interpretive tour through historic Kennecott and a trail that leads you directly to the glacier. From stunning vistas of Mt. Blackburn and the mile high Stairway Icefall to fascinating blue pools and sculptured ice, truly an incredible experience. All of the essentials including crampons will be provided to make your hike easier on this most memorable day of fun and discovery. Dinner tonight is at the lodge. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
DAY 7, Saturday - Kennecott Mill, Travel to Valdez, Prince William Sound
This morning, visit the Kennecott mines, an abandoned copper mining camp designated a National Historic Landmark. Tour inside the iconic red 14-story mill and several other mining buildings to learn the history of one of the richest copper strikes in history; see mining equipment and personal artifacts left as they were in the early 1900s. Afterward a scenic flight back to Chitina. Your travels then take you on the route to Valdez, surrounded on three sides by snow-capped mountains. Valdez offers the most dramatic mountain views in Prince Williams Sound and is the southern terminus for the trans-Alaska pipeline. Situated less than 25 miles east of the Columbia Glacier, its location makes it justly an outdoor paradise. Drive through the Copper Valley, with its towering mountains, huge glacier valleys and fish filled rivers and lakes. Join the interesting conversation on board the bus about what is like living in remote towns. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 8, Sunday - Prince William Sound, Wildlife Conservation Center, Mt. Alyeska, Anchorage
This morning, embark on a cruise to Whittier, Alaska on majestic Prince William Sound. En route, Disembark and stop at the magnificent 200-acre Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center set on the shores of Turnagain Arm, surrounded by mountains and hanging glaciers. The center’s mission is to provide refuge for orphaned, injured and ill animals that cannot survive alone in the wild and educate visitors about Alaskan wildlife. Animals that cannot be released are given a permanent home here, located in different areas of the park. Continue to Mt. Alyeska. Ascend 2,300 feet on a tram to the peak for panoramas of majestic mountains, sparkling streams, and towering spruce. On to Anchorage, the state's largest city nestled between the Chugach Mountains and the waters of the Cook Inlet. Tonight, discover this lively city and its trendy international restaurants on your own. (Breakfast, Lunch)
DAY 9, Monday - Anchorage, Bird TL Center Animals, Alaska Native Heritage Center
The exploration of Anchorage begins in the vibrant downtown area and its history. View the monument to President Eisenhower commemorating Alaska’s admission to the Union in 1959. Meet with a local organization that rescues wild birds, and provide medical treatment and rehabilitative care. Continue to the Alaska Native Heritage Center to see how humans survived before central heating. In addition to exhibits in the main house, outside you walk around authentic structures from the Aleut, Yupik, Tlingit and other tribes arranged around a picturesque lake. Tonight at dinner, bid farewell to your newfound friends and to your fabulous discovery of Alaska. (Breakfast, Dinner)
DAY 10, Tuesday - Return Home
Transfer independently to the airport for your departure flight. (Breakfast)
All This Included
Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
All intra-flights: Chitina-McCarthy* & McCarthy-Chitina*
9 nights accommodations
Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
21 meals: 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners (including welcome & farewell dinners)
Deluxe Dome Rail from Fairbanks to Denali National Park
Services of English-speaking tour manager
Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
Active itinerary with unique cultural features
*Small passenger planes (3, 4, 6 or 15 seat planes) are used for flights to and from Kennicott
Our most complete tour of Alaska featuring its most popular attractions, ample wildlife viewing opportunities and rarely visited sites including remote, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This tour is designed for guests who want to spend part of their time far from the crowds in a small-group setting.
Walk with frolicking reindeer through the beautiful boreal forest of the Goldstream Valley
Celebrate interior Alaska's people, land, and culture at the Morris Thompson Cultural Center
Travel in deluxe Dome Rail to Denali National Park
Meet an Iditarod musher and his sled dog team who enlighten you about this legendary race
Enjoy a breathtakingly beautiful day in Denali National Park on the Tundra Wilderness Tour
Rafting on the Nenana River reveals picture perfect views and serenity of the wilderness
A spectacular flight through Wrangell-St. Elias National Park will take your breath away
Hike on the Root Glacier with a professional mountain guide - a unique adventure!
Visit the Kennecott Mines abandoned copper mining camp named a National Historic Landmark
Travel to Valdez through Thompson Pass, considered the 'snowiest' place in Alaska
Cruise on majestic Prince William Sound
Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to see some of Alaska's famous wildlife up-close!
Ascend 2,300 feet by tram to the peak of Mt. Alyeska for stunning panoramic views
In Anchorage, meet with a local organization that rescues wild birds and provides medical care
At the Alaska Native Heritage Center see authentic dwellings from the regional tribes
Fairbanks: Pike's Waterfront Lodge
Denali National Park: Denali Park Village
Kennicott: Kennicott Glacier Lodge
Valdez: Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn
Anchorage: The Voyager Inn
Land only price includes flights Chitina-McCarthy & McCarthy-Chitina. Some domestic flights arrive late at night on Day 1. Due to the use of small passenger planes (3, 4, 6 or 15 seat small planes), there is a weight restriction for luggage of 30 pounds per person (including hand luggage) for flights. Please pack your belongings in a soft-sided duffel bag. Traditional suitcases with rigid frames or hard plastic sides should not be used. The route and program may vary according to weather condition, season changes and safety issues.
Triple rooms consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway.
This itinerary is very active and will require walking 5 or more miles over uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes. This adventurous trip includes several early morning starts, full-day excursions and many different modes of transportation, including bush plane, railroad, ship, river raft and tram car, which require agility to embark and disembark. This program covers a lot of ground each day, and we spend most of our time driving over roads that are often rough and bumpy. The Denali Highway is partially paved with gravel and one of lesser traveled highways. There is a significant amount of walking areas visited during your trip. This itinerary is designed for those who are interested in a faster-paced, adventure-filled experience. It is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking, sitting, or who have heart conditions. Some of the most memorable sightseeing can only be accomplished on foot. Route and program may vary according to weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety issues and wildlife. Airport transfers are not included. Consider a taxi or shared ride service as the least expensive options. This is a Small Group program.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
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The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.