- Challenge yourself with 5 full days of backpacking along glaciers and tundras with mind-blowing views of some of Alaska’s biggest peaks.
- Experience privately guided backpacking in the remote wilderness of Denali National Park – an incomparable experience in America’s last frontier.
- Access remote and little-explored wilderness via a small float plane – with incredible views of glaciers and mountains along the way.
- Explore Alaska’s stunning seacoast teeming with marine wildlife from a cozy eco-lodge nestled in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, an exclusive seacoast lodge situated within Kenai Fjords National Park.
Your trip begins with arrival into Anchorage and a welcome dinner nearby your hotel. You will get to know your fellow hikers and learn about the adventure ahead.
Plan to get a good night’s sleep before taking off for Denali the next morning.
Meet your Trip Leader and fellow travelers at 7:00 a.m. in the hotel lobby. You’ll start the day with an orientation and gear check at our Anchorage facility before heading to Lake Hood for the exhilarating floatplane flight from Anchorage to Moraine Lake, deep in the heart of Denali National Park.
You’ll enjoy spectacular views of Denali, the highest peak in North America as you travel up the mighty Ruth Glacier, to the entrance of the Great Gorge – the deepest trench on earth! The skilled bush pilot will then take you down to a small lake nestled in a cleft between the Ruth and Tokositna Glaciers, where you will unload your gear on a small beach and then wave the airplane goodbye. You’ll set up camp near the lake, bask in the first glow of solitude, and take a short afternoon hike to help acclimate.
Spend the next 4 days completing a 30+mile circuit. The route will take you through gun sight passes, over open tundra benches, down spectacular creeks, and along big Alaska Range glaciers.
You will camp near small lakes, drink from alpine streams, and walk through country that has seen few human footsteps. You will bask in the majesty of the Alaska Range and scan mountainsides for black & grizzly bears as we hike through North America’s crown jewel, completely immersed in the wild.
When the weather permits, views of North America’s highest mountain range will dominate your panorama, and you will be able to savor the incomprehensible vastness of Alaska.
By the afternoon of day 6, the group will arrive at our last campsite near the lake, and we’ll spend the evening truly enjoying final moments of solitude in Denali. The average daily distance will be 5-7 miles, with an average daily elevation gain of 1000-3000’ .
Too soon for most, the sound of the floatplane fills the massive canyon of the Alaska Range. And as the pilot touches down on the lake, taxis up to the beach, and steps out of the cockpit onto the floats, everyone will recognize this as the first phase of the transformation of coming out of the wilderness – a combination of excitement, accomplishment, relief, and for some sadness. The spectacular flight out of the range will take us from the stunning magnificence of the lake, down the Ruth Glacier, directly past much of the real estate you just explored, over the Tokosha Mountains, and along the mighty Susitna River. In that way, the flight is both exhilarating and rewarding! Within 1/2 hour, you’ll be touching down on Fish Lake – a small lake near the frontier town of Talkeetna, AK! After de-planing, you’ll make our way to where you’ll settle into your accommodations before heading downtown for a celebratory dinner at a local restaurant & brewery.
After breakfast and coffee, enjoy a scenic drive south along Turnagain Arm and through the Chugach National Forest to Seward, a picturesque seacoast town situated at the head of Resurrection Bay. Board a small boat bound for Kenai Fjords National Park, home to an array of glaciers and marine wildlife such as whales, Steller sea lions, sea otters, puffins and more!
A four-hour cruise allows time to explore the dramatic glacial coastlines. Enjoy lunch in front of a tidewater glacier before arriving at our exclusive lodge destination.
Nestled on the edge of a protected tidal lagoon, the Glacier Lodge offers miles of pristine beachfront and breathtaking views of stunning Pedersen Glacier. This afternoon, meet your guides for a tour of the lodge and property before settling into your private cabins.
After breakfast in the main lodge, choose from an array of activities to match your interest and energy level.
Guided options include interpretive nature walks, canoeing, sea kayaking and coastal explorations; or, relax at the lodge and peruse our natural history library, take a leisurely stroll along the beachfront or relax in a rocking chair taking in the spectacular view.
This morning allows for another opportunity to kayak, canoe or beachcomb for a half-day before boarding our boat for the return wildlife cruise to Seward. Begin the journey north along Turnagain Arm back to Anchorage, where you will enjoy a farewell dinner, connect over what you have experienced as a group and say your goodbyes before departing for home in the morning.
If travelers choose to depart this evening, we recommend booking flights after 11 pm to help ensure that they won’t be missed.