Alaska, Wildlife & Wilderness

14 day Small Group Tour - from £4589

With flights from £5314

The ultimate Alaskan adventure complete with float plane flights, bear viewing, wildlife cruises and wilderness walks. Alaska contains glaciers, forests, lakes and rushing rivers as well as some of the most beautiful hikes on the continent.

Highlights:

  • Comfortable hotels each night
  • Wildlife cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Hike in the foothills of Mount Denali
  • Visit the magnificent Worthington Glacier
  • Explore remote Wrangell-St Elias National Park
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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Anchorage

Welcome to Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska with only 300,000 people. Now a bustling city fuelled by the oil boom and tourism, it wasn’t that long ago that Anchorage was the final outpost before heading into the ‘Last Frontier’. It’s not uncommon to find bears roaming the outskirts of the city.

A great way to spend your day is to wander around town getting a feel for the 49th state, speaking to the locals and checking out some of the great cafes and restaurants. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00, for you to meet your tour leader and fellow travelling companions.

Hotel: Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites or similar

Day 2 - Denali National Park (via Talkeetna)

From Anchorage, you enter the wilderness pretty much instantly and make your way towards Talkeetna where you stop for the opportunity to try a local delicacy, reindeer sausage, before arriving in Denali National Park. Home to the highest mountain in North America, legendary Mount Denali (6,194m), the park covers six million acres and houses some of the most unspoiled wilderness and spectacular scenery in the whole of Alaska.

Hotel: Carlo Creek Lodge or similar

Day 3 to 4 - Denali National Park

Enjoy two full days exploring the park with an included bus pass – the only way to get out into the incredible (and vast) wilderness. Try to spot Alaska’s ‘Big Five’: Caribou, Dall Sheep, Moose, Grizzly Bears and wolves. Denali is one of the only national parks where you are encouraged to find your own path off the trails, great for those looking for pure unadulterated adventure.

There are plenty of optional walks and activities in Denali or you can take to the skies on a scenic (and highly recommended) glacier landing helicopter flight. As the trails are wild and unmarked, the hiking opportunities are endless. Your tour leader will suggest some local spots of scenic beauty and the best spots to view wildlife.

Hotel: Carlo Creek Lodge or similar

Day 5 - Alaska Range

Head into the heart of the Alaska Range to spend the night in local cabins at Maclaren Lodge. With spectacular views of the surrounding valley, this rustic lodge provides the ideal setting for an authentic Alaskan experience. Although rooms are basic bunkhouse style, its remote location is something to savour with the chance to look out for grazing caribou near the quiet lakes of the tundra. This is also a birder’s paradise with many species often sighted.

Hotel: Maclaren River Lodge or similar

Day 6 to 7 - Wrangall-St Elias National Park

The scenery keeps on coming thick and fast and today is no different. Drive through the dramatic Copper River Valley and stop for a short walk on the Liberty Falls Trail, just off the Edgerton Highway en route to the small town of McCarthy (population 40 in the summer, 17 the remainder of the year). This quaint settlement at the centre of a mass of mountains, glaciers and wilderness will be your base to explore Wrangell-St Elias for the next two nights. Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve contains nine of the sixteen highest peaks in the United States, including the second-highest, Mount. St. Elias (5,488m), and is the most glaciated region in the North American continent.

You’ll discover an imposing area of glaciers, mountains, forest and wilderness, with wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities including Dall Sheep, mountain goats, caribou, moose, Grizzly and Black Bears. An optional experience and highly recommended is the chance to fix crampons to your boots and hike around the Root Glacier, exploring its deep blue pools and carved ice shapes.

Hotel: McCarthy Lodge or similar

Day 8 to 9 - Valdez

Your journey continues towards Valdez, passing through the Chugach Range. On the rivers, fish wheels have been built to catch salmon migrating upstream to spawn. Stop at the famous Worthington Glacier, adjacent to the Thompson Pass for a short walk. Explore the busy seaside town of Valdez, a return to civilisation after the mountainous isolation of McCarthy. Valdez is a new town, as a major earthquake destroyed the old one in 1964.

There are hiking trails in and around Valdez such as the Mineral Creek Trail or the Keystone Canyon Pack Trail. You can also visit the historical museum to learn about the native culture, gold rush history and the famous pipeline. Why not opt for a sea kayaking excursion to get up close to the glacier?

Hotel: Best Western Valdez Harbor Inn or similar

Day 10 - Seward

Board the Alaska state ferry, leaving Valdez behind and crossing Prince William Sound to reach Whittier. The views of the mountains, bays, fjords and glaciers are unforgettable and the water is home to a unique array of marine life, Harbour Seals and sea lions. On arrival, explore the small fishing town of Seward. In its past life, Seward was a railroad port which means there is now plenty of great shopping and a picturesque old-time downtown area.

Hotel: Harborview Inn or similar

Day 11 - Seward

Set off on a full day wildlife viewing cruise around Resurrection Bay and the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. To maximise your experience onboard your guide will give a detailed commentary on the wildlife you see and the local area.

On previous trips, travellers have spotted sea lions, otters, Dall’s Porpoise and an endless variety of seabirds including puffins and eagles. Orcas are often spotted and if you’re lucky, Humpback Whales can also be seen! Enjoy an included fresh salmon or prime rib lunch on board (vegetarian options available).

Hotel: Harborview Inn or similar

Day 12 - Kenai Fjords National Park

The staggeringly beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park offers wonderful wildlife and bird watching opportunities amidst dramatic fjords and glaciers. Within the park is the huge Harding Icefield, claiming 300 square miles in its entirety.

If weather conditions permit, take a spectacular walk from Exit Glacier to the Harding Icefield for views of deep crevasses and huge seracs. At an elevation of 900m you will eventually reach a lookout point over the icefield and the views will be out of this world. The walk is strenuous and entirely dependent on weather conditions; if there is too much snow and ice on the trail, it may be impassable.

There’s an easier option available if you prefer, using an accessible trail to reach a different viewpoint of the glacier. For those who want to explore Seward a little more, the impressive Alaska SeaLife Center, which houses a remarkable public aquarium and ocean wildlife rescue centre, is a fun place to visit.

Hotel: Harborview Inn or similar

Day 13 - Soldotna

Head to Soldotna, your launch site for the bear floatplane activity. Floatplanes are a way of life for many of the more remote Alaskan communities, particularly those who still have no road access and too little space amongst the mountains to build runways.

Floatplanes generally seat a maximum of 10 people and you’ll take to the air for a beautiful flight across the Cook Inlet. Land in the Big River Lakes area and transfer to the waiting boats to explore the river and lake system keeping your eyes open for bears. The lakes are just on the fringe of the Lake Clark Park and Wilderness Reserve but a long way from any roads and civilisation and the chance of bear sightings is excellent; you can usually see Brown (Grizzly) or Black Bears here.

You may see thousands of salmon pushing upstream to spawn and if you’re lucky, you’ll see bears catching and feeding upon them. This is Alaska at its best, an almost completely untouched wilderness with a backdrop of ice-clad mountains and active volcanoes.

Hotel: Best Western King Salmon Motel or similar

Day 14 - Depart Anchorage

After breakfast you’ll drive for a couple of hours to Alyeska in the Chugach Mountain Range which is ideal for a final wilderness walk before returning to the state’s capital, Anchorage. Containing around half the population of the state, Anchorage in some ways looks just like any other sprawling American town and after nearly two weeks in the small towns and villages, the bustling streets of the city will feel somewhat different. Explore the art galleries and craft shops where you can see the beautiful Eskimo handicrafts being made.

14 day Small Group Tour - from £4589

With flights from £5314

OPTIONS

  • Choose to enjoy this Alaska, Wildlife & Wilderness adventure as a Camping Tour from £3099
  • Extend your stay in Anchorage from £99
  • Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class

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All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a twin room, and include meals where shown. Call Freedom Destinations for departure dates and availability. Seasonal variations may apply – call or enquire now for more details. Itineraries may vary for tours departing from 1 April 2021 onwards.

Alaska Wildlife & Wilderness

YOUR TOURING EXPERIENCE

First class small group touring with the company of others. Our experienced guides will make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Your Small Group Tour includes:

  • Superb sightseeing, walks and activities
  • Air-conditioned vehicle with free WiFi
  • 13 nights hotel accommodation
  • 1 lunch, all other meals paid locally
  • A friendly and knowledgeable tour leader

See more small group tours in Canada…

Departure Dates

Check for departure dates that suit you:

2020-07-06

2021-06-13

2021-07-04

To confirm availability call 0333 234 0943

For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to an Canada Expert on 0333 234 0943

Coronavirus – Notice for Customers

We are currently contacting all customers whose holiday may be affected by the current travel restrictions in place due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

For the latest Government advice regarding travel to any particular country please visit the Gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice