This all-encompassing trip definitely delivers the 'wow factor'! This is 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. The wildlife is legendary, thriving both in the sea and on land. With Alaska being one of the last bastions of true wilderness, it's the perfect place to see animals in their natural habitat. Visit the vast expanse of peaks and glaciers in Wrangell-St Elias and Denali National Park, where you'll hike in the shadow of the highest peak in North America, Mount Denali. Enjoy excellent opportunities to see marine life in Kenai Fjords National Park and take a float plane into the wilderness to search for Black and Grizzly Bears on this once in a lifetime tour.
We offer a whole range of travel extras, from additional hotel nights to flights and insurance, so you can organise everything you'll need for your trip.
Our tours depart at designated hotels in our gateway cities, so it's a great idea to book a room for the night before and after your tour. It's also worth staying extra nights to explore the city more. You must book these hotels in advance either online with your tour or by contacting our friendly sales team. ANCHORAGE - INLET TOWER HOTEL & SUITES1020 W 12th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501Conveniently located at 12th Ave and L Street, The Inlet Tower Hotel and Suites is your doorway to Downtown Anchorage. This hotel offers& large rooms including Wi-Fi and refrigerator plus a gym, Pubhouse Gastopub and free shuttle service within 5 miles. Please contact our Sales Team for a quote. AIRPORT TRANSFER INFORMATIONThe hotel offers a 24 hour free shuttle. Contact the hotel directly upon arrival, or request the shuttle service at the information desk. It is normal to tip the driver US$1-2 per person.
Our specialist flights department can offer UK customers a great airline fare to all of our destinations. We have preferred contracts with many international carriers and have secured some of the most competitive prices in the industry. Why Book Your Flights with Grand American Adventures?Secure your flight with a deposit of only £125 per personDate changes free of charge (subject to terms)We are ATOL protected and IATA licensedPersonal service - you're more than just a numberCall us now on 0330 162 4410 for today's special offers or request a flight quote online
At Grand American Adventures we believe that your safety and enjoyment are the most important parts of your holiday. That's why we recommend you take out insurance as soon as your booking is confirmed. We can offer you a comprehensive travel insurance policy which is completely tailored for your trip and is specially designed to include all the activities listed we do.If you do not take our policy, you must ensure that the policy you do take offers an equivalent level of protection and covers you for the activities involved - be aware that some policies do not include, or restrict, coverage for this type of travel. ?See our insurance page for more information.
There are loads of exciting optional activities available for you to choose from during your trip giving you the flexibility to do the things you want to and leave out the things you don't. A list of optional activities and approximate costs are shown at the end of each day by day itinerary descriptions above.Your tour leader will arrange your chosen activities during the tour so no need to pre-book. You'll also pay for these locally so ensure you budget for the bucket list items!As local weather conditions and seasonality can change not all optional activities may be available on your trip and prices can be subject to change.
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 bear roaming the outskirts of the city - this is one truly wild place. 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 hrs, for you to meet you tour leader and fellow travelling companions.
Leaving 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.
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 of you 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.
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.
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. Dall Sheep, mountain goats, caribou, moose, Grizzly and Black Bears are just some of the parks inhabitants. 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.
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 various 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?
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.
Set off on a full day wildlife viewing cruise around Resurrection Bay and the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. To maximise your experience on board 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 and prime rib lunch on board (vegetarian options available).
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.
Head to Soldotna, your launch site for the bear float plane activity. Float planes 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. Float planes 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, almost completely untouched wilderness with a backdrop of ice-clad mountains and active volcanoes.
After breakfast and packing up camp, 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.This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We recommend booking post-tour accommodation if time allows. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Grand American Adventures specialises in small group holidays to the Americas, with their fountains of knowledge and experience they are committed to bringing you some of the finest small group adventures. They believe in doing more than just visiting a place, it’s about really getting out there and having an adventure. It's not just about where you go, it's how you experience it. Tours encompass the most exciting sights and highlights, visit off-the-beaten-path locations not found if travelling alone and a whole range of exciting activities.
They offer one of the widest ranges of small group holidays in North America, along with adventures through Central and South America. With more than 60 exciting itineraries, you can experience epic journeys travelling the USA through the national parks, celebrate the music and history of the deep south or Cuba, delve into cowboy life on a traditional ranch stay, walk in the Canadian Rockies or the Inca Trail, cruise the Amazon or raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
With a maximum group size of just 13 on most tours, it feels more like travelling with friends than being on an organised tour. These small group adventures are made up of singles, couples and friends from all around the world. You'll meet like-minded people where everyone is guaranteed to share a passion for travel and discovery, and a small group will allow you to get further off the tourist trails for a more intimate experience. Plus, there are no single supplements if you’re happy to share a room or tent with a fellow traveller of the same gender.
Grand American Adventures’ Tour Leaders are chosen for their professionalism, unbridled passion to explore and a desire to travel while sharing the experience. They have hiked hundreds of miles of national park trails, slept under the stars and done almost every activity there is, and are keen to introduce you to the places that they call home. They will get you from A to B, organise activities and no doubt show you secret spots along the way. Ultimately they are there to make sure you get the most out of your adventure.
The company has always had a level of concern and commitment to the natural surroundings and the local people they encounter on their tours. They endeavour to operate tours that create a positive impact on the areas they visit and a lasting impression for those who travel with them. This is achieved with their philosophy of 'leave no trace', constant reviews of operational processes, and working with locals to give something back to the communities they come into contact with. They support a number of responsible charities and organisations wherever possible and they also give you the option to offset your carbon emissions for your tour.
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