Teeming with wildlife and stunning scenery, discover the breadth and beauty of Alaska's national parks, varied landscapes, and cultural heritage on this special journey featuring Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, Kenai Fjords, and Anchorage.

Starting at: $7,097 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The magnificent Mt. Denali and the park road  Bear with cubs  The elusive wolf  Caribou in Denali National Park  Forests and mountains of Denali National Park  Float plane ready for take-off, Lake Hood  The city of Anchorage  Husky puppies  Performance, Alaska Native Heritage Center. Credit: Alaska Native Heritage Center  Dancers at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Credit: Alaska Native Heritage Center  Landscape of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park  Looking out on a glacier, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park  Kennecott Mines, Wrangel-St. Elias National Park  The marina at Seward  Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park  Orca whale sighting, Kenai Fjords National Park  Breaching whale  Puffins in the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park  Steller Sea Lions, Kenai Fjords National Park  Bald eagle  Sea otters in Prince William Sound

Alaska's Natural Wonders

11 days from $7,097 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Teeming with wildlife and stunning scenery, discover the breadth and beauty of Alaska's national parks, varied landscapes, and cultural heritage on this special journey featuring Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, Kenai Fjords, and Anchorage.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

[This journey] well exceeded our expectations - having our own personal Ph.D. geologist with us to answer our questions in real-time was a huge bonus. Our tour director kept everything running smoothly, allowing us time to enjoy the fauna and flora to the max. Truly a memorable trip!

- Diane K.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Anchorage Marriott Downtown

Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Centrally located in downtown Anchorage, this 393-room hotel sits just steps from shopping and dining, the Anchorage Museum, and the Performing Arts Center, and offers views of downtown, the Chugach Mountain Range, and Cook inlet. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, bar, café, fitness center, indoor pool, laundry and dry cleaning services, and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Each air-conditioned guest room features a private bath with hairdryer, TV, coffee maker, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Denali Park Village Lodge

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, United States

Located seven miles south of the Denali National Park entrance, the Denali Park Village Lodge property is nestled along the banks of the Nenana River. The lodge’s property is spread across 20 acres and offers light hiking and interpretive trails. Lodge amenities include a restaurant, Alaskan-style saloon, lobby with fireplace, outdoor seating area overlooking the wilderness, gift shop, and complimentary park shuttle service. Each of the 188 air-conditioned guestrooms features a private bath with hairdryer, TV, and phone.

Please note: only one of the property’s seven two-story buildings has an elevator.

Number of nights: 3

Kennicott Glacier Lodge

Kennicott, Alaska, United States

This family-owned lodge offers guests breathtaking Alaskan scenery, overlooking 25 miles of glacier and surrounded by 14 of the continent’s highest mountain peaks. A replica of one of the town’s historic copper mining buildings, the Kennicott Glacier Lodge sits in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park – America’s largest national park – and is the park’s only lodge. The main building offers a 190-foot-long front porch with a panoramic view of the Chugach and Wrangell Mountains, as well as a restaurant, reading/family room, TV/gathering room, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, and a number of outdoor activities. Each of the spacious guest rooms features a private bath.

Please note: guest rooms do not have phones, TVs, or minibars. However, they do offer electrical outlets.

Number of nights: 2

Knik River Lodge

Palmer, Alaska, United States

Surrounded by the dramatic Chugach Mountains, this European-style lodge presents incredible views of the Knik River Valley, which serves as a habitat for moose, Dall sheep, wolves, lynx, bears, and more. The lodge has two restaurants and offers complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Each of the 22 guest cabins has a private bath with hair dryer, private deck, kitchenette with mini-fridge, microwave, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and TV.

Number of nights: 1

Seward Windsong Lodge

Seward, Alaska, United States

Set in a glacial valley by the Resurrection River, just outside Seward and down the road from spectacular Exit Glacier, the Seward Windsong Lodge makes an ideal base for exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. Lodge amenities include a restaurant, bar, espresso bar, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. The hotel also provides shuttle service to Exit Glacier for guests interested in taking a walking tour. Each of the 180 guest rooms has a private bath with hairdryer, coffee maker, minibar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: Most trips will feature long touring days, many full-day excursions, and a full and active itinerary with a faster pace and longer distances. Some tours may have activities with higher intensity and more active choices/options. Excursions require standing and walking for extended periods of time over more difficult terrain (cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, limited or no access to elevators, muddy/slippery walking/hiking trails), and walking to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Specific itineraries may feature hiking, use of local transportation, extended overnight train travel, extensive use of Zodiac crafts or other smaller ship conveyances, or multiple internal plane rides. Some itineraries may require early morning departures and later evening returns. Travelers may be in remote and/or rugged regions, and may be touring at higher altitudes with steep ascents/descents. Leisure time may be limited (sometimes only in the later evenings). Certain tours feature more active excursions (such as moderate hiking, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, bicycling, rafting, or kayaking), though another choice may be offered for an alternate skill level. Walking/hiking tours may feature up to six-mile walks/hikes.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion.

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

[This journey] well exceeded our expectations - having our own personal Ph.D. geologist with us to answer our questions in real-time was a huge bonus. Our tour director kept everything running smoothly, allowing us time to enjoy the fauna and flora to the max. Truly a memorable trip!

- Diane K.
Reading List

Highly Recommended

The Nature of Alaska: An Introduction to Familiar Plants, Animals & Outstanding Natural Attractions (Waterford Press Field Guides) by Kavanagh, James (2005) Paperback
By: Waterford Press
New copy. Fast shipping. Will be shipped from US.
Coming into the Country
By: John McPhee
Coming into the Country is an unforgettable account of Alaska and Alaskans. It is a rich tapestry of vivid characters, observed landscapes, and descriptive narrative, in three principal segments that deal, respectively, with a total wilderness, with urban Alaska, and with life in the remoteness of the bush. Readers of McPhee's earlier books will not be unprepared for his surprising shifts of scene and ordering of events, brilliantly combined into an organic whole. In the course of this volume we are made acquainted with the lore and techniques of placer mining, the habits and legends of the barren-ground grizzly, the outlook of a young Athapaskan chief, and tales of the fortitude of settlers―ordinary people compelled by extraordinary dreams. Coming into the Country unites a vast region of America with one of America's notable literary craftsmen, singularly qualified to do justice to the scale and grandeur of the design.
Guide to Marine Mammals of Alaska: Fourth Edition
By: Kate Wynne
The authoritative book on Alaska marine life, Guide to Marine Mammals of Alaska is a clear and concise look at all twenty-nine of Alaska’s mammal species, including whales, dolphins, seals, walrus, and polar bears. Now in its fourth edition, this award-winning book is fully revised with updated information on range and status of all the species.Meant to be a user-friendly and travel-ready resource, the guide provides an overview of each species with data on body type, size, color, behavior, habitat, and more. Maps detail range and migration patterns while full color photos accompany each entry. A glossary, introduction to mammal types, and naming chart make recognizing the different Alaska mammals easy and accessible.  In addition to the extensive photographs, the book includes Pieter Folkens’s highly accurate illustrations to assist in precise identification.The book itself is a rugged tool that is waterproof and spiral bound, encouraging readers to get out and start spotting fascinating Alaska creatures from land or from sea.
Alaska: A Novel
By: James A. Michener
In this sweeping epic of the northernmost American frontier, James A. Michener guides us through Alaska’s fierce terrain and history, from the long-forgotten past to the bustling present. As his characters struggle for survival, Michener weaves together the exciting high points of Alaska’s story: its brutal origins; the American acquisition; the gold rush; the tremendous growth and exploitation of the salmon industry; the arduous construction of the Alcan Highway, undertaken to defend the territory during World War II. A spellbinding portrait of a human community fighting to establish its place in the world, Alaska traces a bold and majestic saga of the enduring spirit of a land and its people.   Praise for Alaska   “Few will escape the allure of the land and people [Michener] describes. . . . Alaska takes the reader on a journey through one of the bleakest, richest, most foreboding, and highly inviting territories in our Republic, if not the world. . . . The characters that Michener creates are bigger than life.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review   “Always the master of exhaustive historical research, Michener tracks the settling of Alaska [in] vividly detailed scenes and well-developed characters.”—Boston Herald   “Michener is still, sentence for sentence, writing’s fastest attention grabber.”—The New York Times

Also Recommended

Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land
By: Walter R. Borneman
The history of Alaska is filled with stories of new land and new riches -- and ever present are new people with competing views over how the valuable resources should be used: Russians exploiting a fur empire; explorers checking rival advances; prospectors stampeding to the clarion call of "Gold!"; soldiers battling out a decisive chapter in world war; oil wildcatters looking for a different kind of mineral wealth; and always at the core of these disputes is the question of how the land is to be used and by whom.While some want Alaska to remain static, others are in the vanguard of change. Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land shows that there are no easy answers on either side and that Alaska will always be crossing the next frontier.
Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast
By: Hilary Stewart
Bold, inventive and highly graphic, the indigenous art of the Northwest Coast is distinguished by its sophistication and complexity. It is also composed of basically simple elements, which, guided by a rich mythology, create images of striking power. This indispensable and beautifully illustrated book is the first to introduce everyone, from the casual observer to the serious collector of Northwest Coast prints, to the forms, cultural background and structures of this highly imaginative art. The elements of style are introduced; the myths and legends which shape the motifs are interpreted; the stylistic differences between the major cultural groupings are defined and illustrated. Raven, Thunderbird, Killer Whale, Bear: all the traditional forms are here, deftly analyzed by a professional writer and artist who has a deep understanding of this powerful culture.
Only Kayak: A Journey Into The Heart Of Alaska
By: Kim Heacox
In this coming-of-middle-age memoir, Kim Heacox, writing in the tradition of Abbey, McPhee, and Thoreau, discovers an Alaska reborn from beneath a massive glacier, where flowers emerge from boulders, moose swim fjords, and bears cross crevasses with Homeric resolve. In such a place Heacox finds that people are reborn too, and their lives begin anew with incredible journeys, epiphanies, and successes. All in an America free of crass commercialism and overdevelopment. Braided through the larger story are tales of gold prospectors and the cabin they built sixty years ago; John Muir and his intrepid terrier, Stickeen; and a dynamic geology professor who teaches earth science "as if every day were a geological epoch." Nearly two million people come to Alaska every summer, some on large cruise ships, some in single kayaks--all in search of the last great wilderness, the Africa of America. It is exactly the America Heacox finds in this story of paradox, love, and loss.
Into the Wild
By: Jon Krakauer
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir.  In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his  cash.  He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented.  Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away.  Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life.  Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless.  Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris.  He is said  to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.
Travels in Alaska
By: John Muir
“Most people who travel look only at what they are directed to look at. Great is the power of the guidebook maker, however ignorant.”
The Island Within
By: Richard Nelson
Here is Nelson's luminously wise account of his exploration of an unnamed island in the Pacific Northwest. This book revises our own relationship with nature, allowing us to observe it and also to participate in it with reverence and a sense of wonder.
Passage to Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings
By: Jonathan Raban
With the same rigorous observation (natural and social), invigorating stylishness, and encyclopedic learning that he brought to his National Book Award-winning Bad Land, Jonathan Raban conducts readers along the Inside Passage from Seattle to Juneau. The physical distance is 1,000 miles of difficult-and often treacherous-water, which Raban navigates solo in a 35-foot sailboat.But Passage to Juneau also traverses a gulf of centuries and cultures: the immeasurable divide between the Northwest's Indians and its first European explorers-- between its embattled fishermen and loggers and its pampered new class. Along the way, Raban offers captivating discourses on art, philosophy, and navigation and an unsparing narrative of personal loss.
Murder at Five Finger Light: A Jessie Arnold Mystery
By: Sue Henry
The Jessie Arnold mysteries offer “real thrills set against the wild beauty of Alaska” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)—and this time, Jessie unscrambles a deadly puzzle along the Alaskan Inside Passage… Two of Jessie’s friends are throwing a party at their new digs—an old lighthouse on the Alaskan Inside Passage. Not a party in the typical sense, but one where guests earn their keep by scraping, painting, and generally restoring Five Finger Light, named after the long, low islands around it. So Jessie decides to leave her partner-in-crime, Alex, alone for a few days and lend a hand. With the company of old friends and a view to die for, Jessie won’t soon forget this weekend—especially when she stumbles across a dead body. Looks like an accident. But even as a frantic Alex learns that someone’s cut the phone lines and wrecked the radio, Jessie realizes there’s a killer loose on the island. Worse yet, the killing spree might not be over—even though the party certainly is....
The Reader's Companion to Alaska
By: Alan Ryan
The Alaskan frontier is revealed at its most inspiring and unforgiving, through the eyes of its awestruck visitors. An enraptured John Muir first glimpses Glacier Bay; Jon Krakauer marvels at the sight of a grizzly’s footprints in the snow; Erma Bombeck comments on the “cruise from hell,” and more. Map.
Alaska: Tales of Adventure from the Last Frontier
By: Spike (editor) Walker
For thousands of years Alaska has called to us. The hardy souls who first answered that call endured bitter temperatures, maddening isolation, and often harrowing adventures for the privilege of living there, and many lost their lives in the process. From the earliest human explorers to Russian fur trappers, from Klondike gold seekers to today's miners and oilmen, from Alaska's native people to the millions of tourists who visit the state every year, people have come to Alaska to marvel at its beauty, rejoice in its riches, and measure themselves against its challenges. The wonder of Alaska, as well as its terrifying dangers, come to life in this anthology, featuring true adventures described by some of the best writers in the world, each hand picked by bestselling writer and Alaska aficionado Spike Walker. Alaska: Tales of Adventure from the Last Frontier will open your eyes and stir your soul as it celebrates the untamed beauty of Alaska.Inside you will find unmatched tales of adventure by the following authors:Spike WalkerJack LondonLarry KaniutRoger A. CarasLew FreedmanDana StabenowGary PaulsenJean AspenAnn Mariah CookJohn MuirWashington IrvingAnd many more...
Guide to the Birds of Alaska, 6th edition
By: Robert H. Armstrong
GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF ALASKA has been a must-have for Alaska birders for more than thirty years. In the sixth edition, Robert Armstrong provides hundreds of new photographs. Every bird is now illustrated including the casuals and accidentals. This comprehensive guide provides the most current knowledge about the birds in Alaska.
Travellers' Wildlife Guides Alaska
By: Dennis Paulson, Dr Les Beletsky
Alaska has both vast wilderness tracts and a modern transportation system, making eco-travelling in the state easy as well as exciting. From the broad expanses of tundra in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the rich seabird colonies of the Bering Sea to the glacier-bedecked snowy mountains and magnificent forests of the Southeast, wildlife viewing opportunities abound. In this book is all the Information you will need to find, identify, and learn about Alaska's magnificent animal life.
Alaska Birds: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
The Last Frontier State is the permanent or migratory home of 493 species of birds, including the state bird, the willow ptarmigan and the bird with the longest migration route in the world, the artic tern, who winters in the Antarctic (2,200 miles each way). This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 140 familiar and unique species and includes an ecoregion map featuring prominent bird-viewing areas. Laminated for durability, this lightweight, pocket-sized folding guide is an excellent source of portable information and ideal for field use by visitors and residents alike. Made in the USA.
Alaska Wildlife: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
The state marine mammal, the bowhead whale, is one of thousands of species of animals inhabiting the diverse ecosystems found throughout the Last Frontier State. This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 140 familiar and unique species of mammals, birds, amphibians, fishes and seashore creatures and includes an ecoregion map featuring prominent wildlife-viewing areas. Laminated for durability, this lightweight, pocket-sized folding guide is an excellent source of portable information and ideal for field use by visitors and residents alike. Made in the USA.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.