Experience the wildlife, geology, history, and culture of southeast Alaska on this new Active Journey! You'll venture into Glacier Bay National Park by catamaran, take hikes high above Juneau and near Mendenhall Glacier, and explore the area's history and culture in Sitka.

Starting at: $4,895 Register Interest or Call 833-254-6678
 Glacier hike in Alaska. Credit: Martina Birnbaum  Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park  Glacier Bay National Park  Calving glacier  Breaching whale  Glacial Valley  Mendenhall Glacier, outside Juneau  The town of Sitka. Credit: ©State of Alaska/Mark Kelley  Bald eagles  St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Church in Sitka. Credit: ©State of Alaska/Mark Kelley

Alaska Adventure

7 days from $4,895

Experience the wildlife, geology, history, and culture of southeast Alaska on this new Active Journey! You'll venture into Glacier Bay National Park by catamaran, take hikes high above Juneau and near Mendenhall Glacier, and explore the area's history and culture in Sitka.

or Call 833-254-6678

Overview

Level 3:  Moderate / Active

Expectations: This trip is part of the Smithsonian Active Journeys collection. These trips feature a daily schedule of physical activities—such as hiking, rafting, and/or bicycling—in addition to activities designed to offer context to the culture, history, or natural history of your destination. Each trip entails a different level of physical expectations. The following information outlines a general overview for Activity Level 3. More specific information will be posted soon. Please contact an Active Journeys Specialist to discuss the trip at more length, including details on the Activity Level.

Almost anyone who is reasonably fit should be comfortable on a Moderate/Active tour (Level 3), which generally features daily hikes of two to four hours through landscapes and small towns in Europe. Our Active Journey to Alaska and river rafting trip on the Colorado River are also Level 3. These trips are great for those travelers starting out on groups hikes and include our most popular Active Journeys. Hikes are taken at a leisurely to active pace over various types of terrain that may include groomed or gravel trails, and alongside roads or through open meadows. Some hikes are coastal or mountainous, which can entail being exposed to wind and rain. Surfaces can be uneven, with uneven steps, rough limestone bedrock, mud, and exposed roots. A few long travel days with early morning departures may be expected.

Hiking boots and day packs for daily necessities are a must; some travelers may wish to bring hiking poles. Hikes are generally not long enough to require support vehicles so once a hike is begun it is necessary to finish. (However, depending on the tour, it is sometimes feasible to skip a day’s activities and relax at the hotel, if desired.) Leisure time can be limited to the evenings.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, expect a slightly vigorous pace, are comfortable participating in up to four hours of hiking per day, and enjoy challenging themselves physically. 

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Gustavus, Alaska

Your day begins with a short flight from Juneau, Alaska to the frontier town of Gustavus. Upon arrival at the airport, transfer to the hotel for a brief orientation.

This afternoon, set out to explore the surrounding areas of the frontier town of Gustavus. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow guests. Walking 1-2 hours (D)

Day 2 – Glacier Bay National Park

Prepare for an epic day of iconic Alaska scenery and wildlife! Following breakfast at our lodge, board a stable catamaran for a full day of boating among the namesakes of Glacier Bay National Park. A Park Ranger will join us on board to provide commentary as you gaze at glaciers, stopping to visit seabird and sea lion colonies. If you’re lucky, you might catch sight of curious whales or porpoises.

We will spend an hour at a tidewater glacier watching as huge chunks of ice calve into the bay, a truly awe-inspiring sight, before returning to Gustavus for dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 3 – Gustavus Forelands / Juneau

Today offers stellar Alaska hiking! Following breakfast, embark on a hike along the newly constructed Nagoonberry Trail on Nature Conservancy land. Schedule permitting, a local naturalist may join us to provide a historical perspective on the receding glaciers that cleared this area. Be on the lookout for summer berries, wildflowers, and tiny mushrooms as well as wildlife including moose, bears, and perhaps an owl or two.

After a picnic lunch, we will return to Gustavus for a scenic flight to Juneau where our adventure continues. Ride the Mount Roberts Tram into the alpine above Juneau where your guides will bring to life the early mining history of this area as you walk among wildflowers. Be sure to look for marmots, bears, and ptarmigan.

We will return to Juneau and check into our hotel in time for dinner. 3-4 hours total hiking, 5-7 miles and 200’ - 800’ elevation gain (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Explore a Living Glacier

Get ready for a thrilling day of glacier exploration! The Mendenhall Glacier is located just 12 miles outside of Juneau. Your knowledgeable guides will choose from one of the many trails available to hike close to the glacier's face. Learn about the geology of this unique landscape, see the glacier’s recession, and enjoy a packed lunch before returning to Juneau this afternoon.

Take time to explore quaint Juneau where dinner will be yours to explore on your own. 3-4 hours hiking, 3-6 miles (B,L)

Day 5 – Sitka

Wave goodbye to Juneau today and board a commercial flight to Sitka, a small fishing town of about 8,000 residents. Sitka’s historic sites are administered by the National Park Service and are all within walking distance of our downtown hotel.

Visit the Old Russian Bishop’s House to see a model of Sitka during the time of the Russian American Company. Learn about Sitka’s early history when the Russians battled the Tlingit tribe for control of this geographically strategic area, and then continue to Baranof’s Castle where the American flag was raised for the first time.

Dinner is on your own tonight, and your guide will be sure to point out the town’s best eats. (B,L)

Day 6 – Sitka National Historic Park

Sitka National Historic Park was the first unit of the National Park System in Alaska. We will explore it today, visiting the totem poles and discussing both their significance and their artistry.

Next, enjoy a guided tour of the Sheldon Jackson Museum, the oldest in Alaska. Learn about the life of Mr. Jackson, the “mushing parson,” as your guide highlights pieces from his impressive collection of first-contact artifacts.

Following lunch, visit the Alaska Raptor Center for an up-close look at bald eagles and other birds of prey and meet the team working to conserve and rehabilitate injured birds. Finish the day with a nature walk on one of Sitka’s many local trails before returning to town for our farewell dinner. 3-4 hours walking (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Departure

After a final breakfast, a group transfer is provided to the Sitka airport for your homeward-bound flight. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)