Alaska Wildlife Tour (9 Days)

For those with wildlife viewing as a primary objective, this trip is a great one.

Our Wildlife Tour visits some of Alaska’s most wildlife rich areas and maximizes wildlife viewing potential.

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Explore Kenai Fjords National Park, one of the richest marine environments in the world, encompassing the largest icefield (700 sq. miles) contained entirely within the United States. Board the world-famous Alaska Marine Ferry and travel across Prince William Sound along the base of the towering Chugach Mountains past dozens of glacial fjords. Explore the temperate rainforest and fjords near Valdez- often referred to as the “Little Switzerland” of Alaska. Travel to the majestic Matanuska Valley and stay at a quintessential Alaska lodge. Explore the crown jewel of the National Park system, Denali National Park and Preserve and observe Alaska’s famed terrestrial mammals, and if you’re lucky, Mt Denali (McKinley)- the tallest mountain in North America.

Included Activities

  • 3 nights hotel and or lodge/ 5 nights camping
  • Kenai Fjords National Park- walk to the face of a retreating glacier
  • Scenic ferry across Prince William Sound past the Columbia Glacier
  • Denali National Park Wildlife Viewing Excursion- look for bears, moose, caribou, sheep, wolves and more
  • Excellent hiking opportunities throughout

Additional Optional Adventures Available

This is an action-packed trip. Add an additional optional activity or two and up the adventure factor.

Our trips are designed as full-service trips and include many opportunities for exploration, including pre-scheduled activities and terrific hiking opportunities. For those looking for a little more adventure, additional optional adventure tours are available and little or no prior experience is needed to enjoy them.

Several days are set aside for you to choose your activities based upon your interests. Some of the exciting activities available include:

World class ocean and river fishing, river rafting, sea kayaking, horseback riding, glacier/wildlife cruise, flight seeing, dog sledding, mountain biking, river kayaking and more!

Additional multi-sport adventure activities can be arranged during your trip. Your guide will make all of the arrangements with our long-time local travel partners at the places we visit. See detailed itinerary description for optional trip descriptions and costs. If you have any questions concerning these activities please contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss them with you. Do your research, you will find our trips to be excellent value.


Detailed Itinerary

Please Note: This itinerary may operate in a slightly different destination order depending on local conditions. All features of the itinerary will be the same, only the destination order will be altered.

★ indicates our favorite recommended extra activity

Day 1: Kenai Fjords National Park/ Seward

After a brief morning introduction, we’ll travel south on the scenic Seward Highway along the Turnagain Arm to Kenai Fjords National Park. The Chugach and Kenai Mountain ranges tower above us throughout our journey. In true adventure travel fashion, we’ll allow local conditions to guide us with stops along the way for wildlife sightings, short hikes and to marvel at the magnificent scenery.

This afternoon we’ll take a short hike out to Exit Glacier, and if you’re feeling up to the challenge, the Harding Icefield. This evening we’ll take in the quaint, historic Seward harbor.

Accommodations: Boutique Hotel.
Meals Included: Lunch
Drive Time: 2½ hours

Day 2: Kenai Fjords National Park/ Seward

Kenai Fjords National Park offers travelers the opportunity to experience a temperate rainforest where massive glaciers are carving their way to the sea. Where a rich marine environment, that parallels anywhere found in the world, is home to abundant marine wildlife; whales, sea lions, sea otters, porpoises, puffins and more. This is the quintessential Alaska coastline.

We’ll spend a full day here. You can choose from great hiking opportunities or consider the other activities available. The glacier/wildlife cruise is our favorite and the most popular activity in the area.

Accommodations: Boutique Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Drive Time: Minimal- local only

Hiking

We recommend one of two hikes in the Seward and Kenai Fjords National Park area. Choose between the Harding Ice Field Trail at Exit Glacier or Caines Head trail along the shore of beautiful Resurrection Bay. The Harding Ice Field Trail is a strenuous hike into Kenai Fjords National Park culminating in magnificent views of the icefield. The Caines Head Trail follows the shore of Resurrection Bay through dense temporal rainforest with towering trees and outstanding views of the ocean. Depending on the time of year spawning salmon can be seen. Both hikes are wonderful.

Other popular activities in the area include

★ Glacier/Wildlife Cruise- By far the most popular activity in the area is the glacier/wildlife cruise into the heart of Kenai Fjords National Park. Look for the abundant wildlife that can be observed including whales- orcas and humpbacks, sea otters, endangered Stellar sea lions, Dall porpoises, and colonies of nesting sea birds- including Puffins, cormorants, Oyster Catchers, and Bald Eagles to name a few. On the way you’ll visit an active tidewater glacier and watch and listen for falling ice. This is one of Alaska’s premier wildlife and glacier viewing trips and we highly recommend it! $154, $77 Age to 11.

Sea Kayaking- Explore Resurrection Bay by sea kayak with a shoreline paddle along Caines Head State Recreation Area. Look for sea otters, spawning salmon, eagles, seabirds and many others while enjoying the tranquility of the water from your kayak. From $74. For those seeking a more robust sea kayaking experience, consider the full day trip to Aialik Glacier and paddle in the fjord fronting the glacier. There are terrific wildlife viewing opportunities to and from the glacier including whales, sea lions, sea otters, bird rookeries and more. $425 minimum age 12.

Dog Sledding- Fly out to a glacier for a ride with a team of sled dogs. Breathtaking scenery of Resurrection Bay treats you during the entire helicopter ride to the Godwin Glacier; upon landing you will find over 80 dogs waiting to take you for a ride. Your guide will explain the history of the legendary Iditarod Sled Dog Race and the fundamentals of dog sledding and then off you go with a dog team across the glacier. $520.

Alaska Sea Life Center- Visit a world class marine research facility. The many exhibits at the Alaska Sea Life Center immerse visitors in marine ecosystems and provide opportunities to watch animals in naturalistic habitats as well as research settings. This is a great ½ day activity. $29.95 Ages to 12 $17.95.

Day 3: Prince William Sound

Today we’ll cross Prince William Sound on the Alaska State Ferry along the base of the towering Chugach Mountains past dozens of glacial fjords. We'll look for humpback and killer whales, sea otters, Dall porpoises, sea lions, harbor seals, and mountain goats as we relax and enjoy the scenery.

Accommodations: Camping
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Drive Time: 1 ¾ hour drive, 6-hour relaxing scenic ferry

Day 4: Valdez

Often referred to as the “Little Switzerland" of Alaska, Valdez is beautifully situated at the base of the towering Chugach Mountains on the shores of Prince William Sound. Made famous by the Alaska Pipeline, and later the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Valdez has since become a popular tourist destination. Visitors are attracted to the lush landscape, high concentration of glaciers, and great outdoor recreation.

You will have a full day here to participate in a variety of recreational activities. We recommend taking advantage of the great hiking in the area. For those feeling like being a bit more adventurous; getting out in a sea kayak is a must.

Accommodations: Camping
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Drive Time: Local Only

Other popular activities in the area include:

Sea Kayaking: There are two sea kayaking trips from Valdez that we highly recommend.

An outstanding sea kayaking trip to the face of Shoup Glacier: view wildlife and a tidewater glacier, perfectly suitable for beginners. On this full day trip you will paddle within a protective cove past one of the largest Kittiwake rookeries in the area up to the face of Shoup Glacier. If you are lucky ice from the glacier will calve into the sea. $209.

Or, consider the slightly longer trip to the Columbia Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier in Prince William Sound! Here you can paddle among the icebergs and through some remote bays that are completely inaccessible by motorized boats. $259.

Glacier/Wildlife Cruises: Look for wildlife and enjoy the outstanding glacial scenery while you cruise Prince William Sound. Not only will you see South Central Alaska’s largest tidewater glacier, the Columbia Glacier, you will have the opportunity to view fantastic wildlife of that area including; sea lions, whales, seals, puffins, sea otters, eagles, goats, bears and much more. $130, $65 Ages to 12.

Ocean Fishing: Fish for halibut and/or salmon. Your choice of either an all day Halibut fishing trip, approximately 12 hrs, between May and September; or a silver salmon charter between July and September. Halibut- $300 Salmon- $225.

Day 5: To Matanuska River Valley

In route we'll cross beautiful Thompson Pass, hike at the road accessible Worthington Glacier and view the Alaska Pipeline. After a great day exploring, we’ll settle into our comfy accommodations in a beautiful setting and be treated to a gourmet meal prepared by their awesome chefs. This evening you can hang out at the fire pit, relax in the outdoor hot tub, and/or walk miles of trails right from the property.

Accommodations: : Local lodge in basic, yet comfortable rooms set in a majestic location
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Drive Time: About 4 1/2 hours

Day 6: Denali National Park

Our next destination is the crown jewel of the National Park system, the 6.1 million acres Denali National Park contains a complete sub arctic ecosystem. Denali’s beauty, wildness, and wildlife offer a glimpse of unchanged natural history- wildlife and landscape live mostly undisturbed from human activity, the way they have for thousands of years. This afternoon we’ll explore the park entrance, visit the Denali National Park Visitor Center, participate in activities, and/or go on a short hike before heading to our campsite for the next 3 nights.

Accommodations: Camping
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Drive Time: About 2 1/2 - 3 hours

Days 7-8: Denali National Park

We’ll spend two full days exploring Denali National Park.

One day is set aside for a wildlife viewing tour into the heart of Denali National Park (included in tour cost). Keep your camera ready as you search for grizzly bears, black bears, moose, wolves, caribou, Dall sheep, arctic fox, and if you’re lucky, tremendous views of North America's largest mountain Mt. McKinley (Denali). Get off the bus for a hike in a wild and remote wilderness.

The other day is set aside for recreational activities based near the park entrance. There are multiple hiking options within Denali National Park near the park entrance. Another popular activity is the free sled dog kennel tour offered by the National Park Service.

Accommodations: Camping
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Drive Time: Local driving only and Denali Bus Tour (about 4-5 hours)

Other popular activities in the area include:

Hiking: There are a number of great hiking options in Denali National Park. Hike up Mt Healy for sweeping views of Denali National Park and the Nenana River corridor. For those desiring a less strenuous hike there are multiple established trails surrounding the visitor center that are great hikes. Or, head into the park 15 miles on the free park shuttle and hike along the Savage River or hike up a nearby peak. Your guide will explain your hiking options and will make recommendations based on our many years experience exploring and guiding in this region.

Guided Ranger Hike: Guided ranger hikes are offered by the National Park Service. These vary in length and location. No Charge.

Sled Dog Kennels: Visit an active sled dog kennel. The Denali National Park sled dog kennel is responsible for the winter patrols of the Denali National Park wilderness- where no motorized vehicles are permitted. There is an informative talk along with a dog sledding demonstration. No Charge.

Denali Park Bus: You can head back into the park again for more wildlife viewing, perhaps a good view of Mt. McKinley, and/or another hike. $34.

River Rafting: Mild and wild whitewater rafting trips are offered on the Class II-IV Nenana River, the river that forms part of the Denali National Park Boundary.

MILD: Relax, and enjoy the scenery on a 2 plus hour float along the boundary of Denali National Park. Take in Mt Fellows, Mt Healy, Musher’s Monument and other surrounding peaks. Watch for wildlife along the river bank; moose, caribou, bears and wolves can be seen. $92, $62 Ages to 13.

WILD: The Nenana River Canyon is packed with over 10 Class III and IV rapids over a stretch of river 11 miles long, fun whitewater that is very suitable for beginners. Paddle rafting and oar rafting options are available. $92, $72 Ages 10-13.

River Kayaking: For a little more intimacy in your river experience, paddle an inflatable kayak down the float section of the Nenana River. Navigate a few class two rapids and practice your kayaking strokes while enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery. $92.

Flight Seeing: Flying is the most impressive way to view Mt McKinley (Denali) and the incredible scenery within Denali National Park. On a good weather day the views are truly breathtaking. Add a glacier landing for an experience beyond description. From $315 per adult, $195 Ages to 12.

Mountain Biking: Rent a Mt. Bike for a ride into Denali National Park- ride the park road or take the bus in and ride back. $40 full day $25 half day.

Day 9: Scenic trip to Anchorage

Casual drive to Anchorage with time to stop for sightseeing and day hikes. Mt. Denali (Mt. McKinley) (20,320 ft.), Mt. Foraker (17,400 ft.), and Mt. Hunter (14,573 ft.) are all visible from several vistas along the way. We will arrive in Anchorage by 5:00 pm and will bring you to the Anchorage location of your choice.

Accommodations: No accommodations included
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunc
Drive Time: About 4 hours

Alaska Wildlife Tour Itinerary & Dates

2022 Tour Dates


June
29-July 7
August
10-18

$2,595 per person


Single Supplement $300 may apply to single travelers

9 Days / 8 Nights


  • Days 1-2: Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Day 3: Prince William Sound
  • Day 4: Valdez
  • Day 5: Matanuska Glacier Valley
  • Days 6-8: Denali National Park
  • Day 9: Denali National Park and Anchorage
Reserve This Tour View Gallery

“ An amazing value. An inexpensive way to see the real Alaska without compromising our experience or comfort. The Wildlife Tour had it all; there wasn’t one thing on my list of things and animals to see that I didn’t see. A lot of that has to do with luck, but a big part of it is having guides that know where to put their guests to increase chances of seeing the most wildlife. Alaska Outdoors certainly did that. ”

Theresa Agozzino

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★★★★★

I am glad I chose Alaska Outdoors, definitely a key factor in making my time up in Alaska very memorable.

-Maya Puliyanda

★★★★★

This was an amazing and unforgettable trip. I enjoyed every minute of it! Thanks and keep up the good work!

-Antoine Linssen

★★★★★

Keep up the good work. I will definitely recommend you if next year’s class wants to go to Alaska.

-Chris Elliott