Experience two of Alaska’s great treasures—its unspoiled wilderness and its rich cultural heritage—on a journey that will have you hiking in Denali, spotting wildlife while cruising the Prince William Sound, and getting acquainted with Alaska Native cultures in Anchorage.

Starting at: $6,290 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Chilkat dancer in traditional dress. Credit: Kim Heacox/Accent Alaska
 The city of Anchorage
 The Alaska Native Heritage Center. Credit: Alaska Native Heritage Center
 Dancers at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Credit: Alaska Native Heritage Center
 Performance, Alaska Native Heritage Center. Credit: Alaska Native Heritage Center
 View of Denali from Talkeetna
 Talkeetna Lake with mountains in the distance
 Denali National Park
 View of Mt. Denali from the park road
 Bear with cubs
 Caribou in Denali National Park
 Moose sighting in Denali National Park
 The Alaska Railroad
 The town of Whittier
 Heading toward Harvard Glacier, near Whittier
 Harriman Glacier, off Prince William Sound
 College Fjord, near Whittier
 Breaching whale
 Pod of Orca whales
 Puffins
 Sea otters in Prince William Sound
 Seals lounging on an ice berg
 Bald eagle in flight

Alaska: The Last Great Frontier

A Stay in Anchorage and Denali National Park

8 days from $6,290

Experience two of Alaska’s great treasures—its unspoiled wilderness and its rich cultural heritage—on a journey that will have you hiking in Denali, spotting wildlife while cruising the Prince William Sound, and getting acquainted with Alaska Native cultures in Anchorage.

or Call 855-330-1542

SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person when you book by February 10, 2023!

Overview

The majestic landscapes of Alaska harbor a wealth of wildlife as well as a vibrant cultural heritage derived from its indigenous peoples and from its history as a destination on the American frontier. In Anchorage, focus on the ancient traditions and everyday life of native Alaskans. Then enjoy two full days to explore Denali National Park and Preserve on hikes, wilderness tours, and a variety of optional activities. Ride a scenic railway back to Anchorage and end your trip with a wildlife cruise amid the glaciers of Prince William Sound.  

Highlights Include

  • Anchorage: Delve into Alaska’s rich indigenous cultures on a private tour of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, housed within the Anchorage Museum. Then get a firsthand look at local culture at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, a living museum that celebrates Native crafts, dance, storytelling, and everyday life. 
  • Talkeetna: In the lively town of Talkeetna, take a guided tour of the Talkeetna Historical Society, or head to the Mountaineering Ranger Station to learn about the history of climbing Denali.
  • Denali National Park and Preserve: Explore Denali’s boreal forests and vast tundra with a naturalist on guided wilderness excursions, and learn about the park’s history and geography during a talk by a local mountain climber or naturalist. During a free day in the park, choose from a host of optional activities, from fly-fishing to flightseeing.
  • Alaska Railroad: Take in the views from a glass-domed car as you journey from Denali to Anchorage, and learn about the flora and fauna and passing sites from an onboard expert
  • Prince William Sound: Visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to hear about efforts to protect Alaska’s endemic creatures; then set sail amid glacier-topped peaks on scenic cruise of the wildlife-rich Prince William Sound. 

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart for Anchorage, Alaska

Fly to Anchorage and transfer to your hotel upon arrival. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 2 — Anchorage

Gather this morning for a tour briefing and an introductory lecture by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. Then head into the heart of historic Anchorage on a walking tour. During a private tour and presentation at the Anchorage Museum, trace 10,000 years of Alaskan history, shaped by indigenous people as well as the gold seekers and adventurers who flocked here in centuries past. Hear about ongoing ethnological and archaeological fieldwork at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, a branch of the Natural History Museum housed within the Anchorage Museum.  

Get acquainted with local culture at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, a living museum that celebrates Native culture through crafts, dance, and storytelling. Meander through a recreated Native village for a glimpse of everyday life, and visit a typical longhouse where families would sleep. Sit down to a welcome dinner tonight. (B, D) 

Day 3 — Talkeetna and Denali National Park

Poised at the junction of three rivers, Talkeetna was once a supply stop for steamers on their way to the hinterland. Now it is a lively town with a creative atmosphere, brimming with art galleries, log cabins, breweries, and charming boutiques. Travel here by road from Anchorage, and enjoy a guided tour of the Talkeetna Historical Society for a closer look at the personalities who made their way to this remote town. Alternatively, visit the Mountaineering Ranger Station on your own for a look at historic attempts to climb Denali, or Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America. Continue your journey into Denali National Park and Preserve, watching for wildlife on the way to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the park. (B, L)

Day 4 — Denali National Park and Preserve

Set out with a naturalist on a thrilling wilderness excursion across the vast, untamed tundra where bears, moose, wolves, caribou and Dall sheep roam. Discover unique flora and fauna; learn about the history of the park; and take in astonishing views of Denali, which soars to more than 20,300 feet. Back at the lodge, join a local mountain climber or naturalist for an engaging talk on the unique geography of the park. Then gather for a dinner featuring stunning views. (B,D)  

Day 5 — Denali National Park and Preserve

Enjoy a full day to experience Denali according to your interests. Choose from a host of activities (at additional cost) such as fly-fishing, guided hikes, a glacier trek, river rafting, or flightseeing over the Arctic Circle.  You may also remain at the hotel to enjoy its amenities, or ride the shuttle to a nearby town to explore.  Gather late in the afternoon for a presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. (B)

Day 6 — Denali to Anchorage

Begin the day on a naturalist-led walk through the Denali’s boreal forests. As you hike beneath towering spruces, your guide will point out landmarks and explain the geology and glacial history of the area. Keep an eye out for wildlife and rare plants, and learn how they have adapted to the sub-arctic environment. Board a glass-domed car on the Alaska Railroad late this morning and admire the spectacular scenery as you make your way south to Anchorage. A delicious lunch is served on board, and a regional expert is on hand to point out natural history and significant sites you pass. Transfer to your hotel in Anchorage and enjoy an evening at leisure. (B, L) 

Day 7 — Anchorage and Prince William Sound

Follow the Seward Highway to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Hear about efforts to protect Alaska’s endemic creatures through conservation, education, research and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned animals. Continue to the waterside village of Whittier, where you’ll board a local boat for a scenic cruise including lunch on the wildlife-rich Prince William Sound. Watch for whales, sea otters, harbor seals, and a variety of bird species against a dramatic backdrop of glacier-topped peaks.  Return to Anchorage this afternoon and gather for a farewell dinner in the evening. (B,D) 

Day 8 — Depart Anchorage for flights home

After breakfast, transfer to the Anchorage Airport for your homeward flights. (B) 

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

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