Experience the wildest region of the United States, with ancient mountain ranges, pristine lakes and rivers full of leaping Salmon, while staying at remote lodges.
Try your hand at dog mushing, go fishing for massive halibut, land on remote glaciers, and watch bears eating berries in open fields. The highlights are the services of knowledgeable local guides and pilots who will show you around this truly remarkable US state, also known as ‘The Last Frontier’.
Here’s an itinerary we’ve put together for the perfect Alaskan adventure…
Day 1: Checking into The Alyeska Hotel
Upon arrival at the Anchorage International Airport, meet your driver for your private transfer to Girdwood (Approximately 1 hour).
We recommend staying for four nights at The Alyeska Hotel. Nestled in a lush, green valley surrounded by mountain peaks, hanging glaciers, and water views, The Hotel Alyeska offers guests sumptuous accommodation and convenient access to the Alaskan wilderness.
A recent multi-million dollar renovation included improvements to all 304 guest rooms, which now feature all the creature comforts you’d expect from a luxury hotel. Amenities include a gym, full spa, boutique, and four restaurants, including the four-diamond Seven Glaciers.
The Alyeska Resort Aerial Tramway brings you to a viewing deck which provides breath-taking panoramic views of mountains, glaciers, streams, and an array of wildlife, plus access to myriad hiking trails.
A not-to-be-missed experience is a ride on the aerial tram to the summit of Mount Alyeska. The summit offers unrivalled views of the Chugach Mountains, Turnagain Arm and Glacier Valley.
The tram travels from the Hotel Alyeska to the upper tram terminal 2300 feet above the valley floor.
Day 2: Glacier Dog Sledding Tour & Nature Trail
This quintessentially Alaskan past time is hard to beat… and a great way to spend a crisp Alaskan morning. Experience the pure joy of Alaskan Huskies while mushing on an alpine snowfield. Take this exciting opportunity to learn about the dedicated dog sled teams of Alaskan Huskies over the course of a two-hour shared excursion.
Learn how the dogs are bred, see how they are trained to pull the sled, and learn how they keep up their everlasting endurance. Relax and enjoy the view as you ride on the sled around the glacier enjoying the scenic peaks and valleys surrounding you.
The dogs possess an inherent drive to run, and even if you pull on the brakes, it’s hard to hold them back!
In the afternoon, delight in a private nature hike in the nearby town of Girdwood (This should last for about three hours).
On this moderate and informative five-mile (8 kilometres) roundtrip hike along the Winner Creek Trail, you’ll experience North America’s northernmost temperate coastal rainforest, while exploring part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail. With graded boardwalks, including one over the Winner Creek Gorge, as well as plenty of rugged, rooty sections of trail, this trip is great for families and an exhilarating adventure for everyone.
With a naturalist guide to lead the way, you’ll learn about the native flora and fauna, nibble on edible leaves and flowers, explore traditional and contemporary herb lore, identify bird song and animal behaviours, and enjoy stories about Native and Alaskan history. (You may even spot a moose.)
During blueberry season, the trail is blooming with scrumptious delights. Make sure to dress in layers and don’t forget to bring your camera.
Day 3: National Parks, Nature and Alaskan Wildlife
Today you will meet your driver for your private scenic transfer to Seward (Approx. 3 hours). The 127-mile Seward Highway is itself a sightseeing highlight, revealing wildflowers and waterfalls, muddy waters and hanging glaciers, as it follows the stunning coastline of the Turnagain Arm.
Admission to Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre
Stop to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre (AWCC), a 140-acre preserve surrounded by mountains and hanging glaciers.
Dedicated to safeguarding Alaska’s wildlife through public education, the AWCC takes in injured and orphaned animals all year-round and provides spacious enclosures and quality care to animals that cannot be released back into the wild.
Residents include bears, bison, moose, caribou, elk, an eagle, owls, musk oxen, Sitka black-tailed deer, and a variety of game birds.
Visitors can walk or drive through the area in their vehicles; both experiences offer unparalleled opportunities to view and photograph Alaskan wildlife up close, and behaving as though in the wild.
Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise
6 hours departing at 11:30
Upon arrival at the Kenai Fjords Tour office, you will board a vessel (125-person capacity) for this six-hour cruise up into the Park, some 580,000 acres of pristine beauty on the rugged outer Kenai Peninsula coastline.
The Harding Icefield covers over 300 square miles, with 40+ outlet glaciers and snow and ice accumulations thousands of feet thick. Thousands of seabirds, including puffins, kittiwakes, and murres, seasonally inhabit the cliffs and rocky shores.
The park’s wildlife also includes mountain goats, moose, bears, wolverines, marmots, and other land mammals, and seeing them in their natural habitat is spectacular. You may also spot Steller sea lions, harbour seals, Dall porpoises, and sea otters, plus humpback, killer, and minke whales. At the end of the day, you’ll be returned to Seward.
Board the Kenai Fjords Tours shuttle for your shared transfer to the Seward Railway Station.
Alaska Railroad’s Coastal Classic, Seward to Girdwood, GoldStar Service (Approx. 3 hours departing at 18:00).
On this journey from Seward to Girdwood (considered by many to be the most scenic route in the state) you will travel by rail aboard the world-famous Alaska Railroad dome train.
The double-deck railcar features a glass-covered observation deck that is the first of its kind in the world, and your GoldStar service guarantees you upper-level dome car seating, priority check-in and boarding, outdoor viewing, exclusive lower-level dining, and complimentary non-alcoholic beverages, two alcoholic beverages, and dinner.
As you depart Seward, enjoy views of 16-mile-long Kenai Lake, whose turquoise colour is a result of sunlight striking suspended glacial silt in the water. Later, the track enters some of Alaska’s most pristine wilderness area.
Be sure to have your camera ready as you pass Spencer Glacier, Bartlett Glacier, and through Grandview Pass. The last leg of the route follows the Turnagain Arm, where beluga whales can often be seen following salmon on the incoming tide, and Dall sheep frequent rocky mountainsides.
Upon arrival at Girdwood Railway Station, board the Hotel Alyeska shuttle service for shared transfer back to the hotel.
Day 4: Hotel relaxation
After a busy day exploring the Alaskan wildlife, take a day to relax and, recoup and reset at the hotel.
Make the most of Hotel Alyeska and its amenities, which include a saltwater pool, whirlpool, fitness centre and spa.
Day 5: Transfer to Tutka Bay Lodge
Meet your driver at the hotel for your transfer to the Anchorage International Airport.
Scheduled commercial flight from Anchorage International Airport to Homer Airport (approximately 40 minutes). Upon arrival at the Homer Airport, you will board the Tutka Bay Lodge shuttle for your shared transfer to Mako’s Water Taxi.
Scheduled water taxi from Homer to Tutka Bay Lodge (approximately 30 minutes), the place you’ll be calling home for the next three nights.
Tutka Bay Lodge
Esteemed as one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, this 4-star property is situated on Tutka Bay and nestled at the head of the rugged seven-mile fjord in Kachemak Bay. About 25 minutes by boat from Homer, the lodge sits on eleven acres surrounded by tide pools, natural estuaries, and twenty acres of old-growth Sitka spruce, which provides a unique trail system right from the large oceanside deck.
The property has a distinctly Alaskan maritime feel with the quiet cove offering a serene space in which to observe the resident marine life. The family-owned and operated lodge offers a remote, genuine, and transformative stay within Alaska’s coastal wilderness by pairing their regional expertise with guests’ envisioned objectives. Guests can launch from the deck for adventures within the region and neighbouring communities by kayak, boat, plane, or helicopter, or simply drink in the views of Broken Knife peak and Grace Ridge, a perfect junction of mountain and sea.
Lodging comprises of the main cabin, six private guest cabins, a large viewing deck, cooking school, a boathouse, a sauna, and hot tub, all interconnected by a boardwalk. All guest cabins are adorned with ocean treasures, have large living rooms, bedrooms, private bathrooms, and boast views of Tutka Bay and the Kachemak Bay State Park.
Note: All meals (breakfast, lunch, appetizers, dinner, and snacks), house wine (during lunch & dinner), and premium wine, beer, and soda (during appetizer hour) are included during your stay.
Day 6: See the Tutka Bay brown bears
This morning you explore the most populated wild habitat of Alaskan brown bears. The day starts with an early rise at Tutka Bay Lodge and a water taxi to meet your pilot and guide.
At the hanger, you’ll be provided with waders for the day and then take off for a one-hour scenic flight. The destination flight takes you over glaciers, volcanoes, and the rugged coastlines of Katmai National Park and Lake Clark National Park to land on a remote beach.
Walk alongside bears in their natural habitat and depending on the time of year, you can see bears grazing on sedge grass, digging up clams, playing together, courting, resting, and fishing.
Day 7: Design your own adevnture
Alaska has a lot to offer by way of activities and adventure. Spend this day trying out something different, making new memories and trialling those unforgettable experiences!
Optional activities (payable locally) for the day include:
Guided Sea Kayaking
There is no better way to experience the Kenai Coast. Paddling areas may include the Herring Islands, as well as Kachemak Bay State Park. Sea kayaking provides close view of intertidal species and marine life, fast access to trails and beaches, and distinctive perspectives of surrounding terrain.
Kayak or Pack Raft Grewingk Glacier Lake
Boat across the bay to the glacier lake trail and stop by Gull Island along the way. The short, moderately strenuous hike opens up to a stunning view of the Grewingk Glacier.
See a dozen shades of blue as you paddle next to giant chunks of ice calved from a thousand-year-old glacier. The inflatable kayaks or pack rafts are easy for beginners to manage and your expert naturalists will share secrets of this ancient place.
Coastal Safari by boat
View stunning vistas, fascinating geologic formations, birds, and wildlife. This is a fantastic opportunity to photograph everyone’s favourite wild neighbours, endearing sea otters and bald eagles.
You may also see porpoise, whales (humpback, minke or orca), sea lions, seals, and sea birds such as puffins, harlequins, and oystercatchers. Visit the picturesque communities of Halibut Cove and Gull Islands, where boardwalks with art galleries hug the shoreline and the cove buzzes with summer visitors.
Stroll through Seldovia Village
Visit this quaint town where early Russian invaders established a sea otter hunting station in the late 1700s. Stroll the boardwalk, photograph 120-year-old St. Nicholas Russian Church, visit local shops, and hike the scenic Otterbahn Trail to Outside Beach.
Other activities at Tutka Bay Lodge:
- Kachemak Bay State Park Walking and Hiking
- Award-winning sea to table cuisine inspired by Chef Kirsten Dixon.
- Explore the intertidal zone at low tide for sea stars, anemones, chitons, and mussels.
- Forage for wild edibles and learn to create an Alaskan dish with the chefs.
- Soak in the hot tub, or try a muscle relaxing, body warming session in the wood-fired banya.
- Therapeutic massage, yoga, and stretch classes.
Day 8: Depart for Anchorage
Scheduled water taxi from Tutka Bay Lodge to Homer (30 minutes).
Upon arrival in Homer, you will board the Tutka Bay Lodge shuttle for your shared transfer to the Homer Airport. Here you can take a scheduled commercial flight from Homer Airport to Anchorage International Airport (40-minutes).
Note: we recommend allowing a minimum of three hours of layover in Anchorage for any connecting flights.
Want to head off to Alaska for your own adventure? Get in touch with a Camel Collection rep today and let us help you make the most of your trip.
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