Teeming with wildlife and stunning scenery, discover the breadth and beauty of Alaska's national parks, varied landscapes, and noteworthy cities.

Starting at: $6,195 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The magnificent Mt. Denali and the park road  Puffin perched on an outcropping  Forests and mountains of Denali National Park  Young grizzlies in Denali National Park  Caribou in Denali National Park  Husky puppies  Float plane ready for take-off, Lake Hood  The city of Anchorage  Landscape of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park  Looking out on a glacier, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park  The marina at Seward  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  Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park

Alaska's Natural Wonders

11 days from $6,195

Teeming with wildlife and stunning scenery, discover the breadth and beauty of Alaska's national parks, varied landscapes, and noteworthy cities.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Awe-inspiring natural beauty and outdoor adventure await as you explore Alaska’s varied landscapes and noteworthy cities. From Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Kenai Fjords national parks, to the energy of Anchorage and scenic Seward, your small group encounters the breadth and beauty of America’s Last Frontier.

Activity Level 3: Advanced

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart for Anchorage, Alaska

Depart today for Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Upon arrival, check in to your centrally located hotel then have time to explore on your own. As guests’ arrival times may vary, there are no group activities or meals planned.

Day 2 – Anchorage and Denali National Park

This morning meet your Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Director, and fellow travelers at a welcome briefing about the journey ahead. Then depart by motorcoach for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska’s – and America’s – true Last Frontier. First travel to Talkeetna, where you board a deluxe domed railcar that provides you with panoramic views of the passing landscape on the four-hour journey. Upon arrival in Denali late this afternoon, enjoy a special interpretive presentation, “Welcome to the SubArctic,” introducing you to the park. (B,D)

Day 3 – Denali National Park

It’s a day of extreme beauty as you encounter Denali National Park up close. This six-million-acre preserve, larger than the state of Massachusetts, comprises forests, alpine tundra, subarctic taiga, and snow-covered mountains. Begin your full day of touring as you board a Denali bus for the drive along the lone road deep into the park. Stop at the Eielson Visitor Center, where, weather permitting, you may see one of the most dramatic views of grand Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley), North America’s tallest peak standing at more than 20,000 feet. Throughout your journey, a local naturalist and your driver-guide will share stories about the park and the historic characters who found their way to this remote wilderness. After stopping for a box lunch, set out on an easy hike through the park’s tundra, where you may see grizzly bear, moose, caribou, and the iconic Dall sheep known for their white coat and massive curled horns. (B,L)

Day 4 – Denali National Park

Today enjoy an authentic Alaska experience as you visit a local Iditarod sled dog kennel. Covering 1,000 miles of some of the roughest terrain in the world, the grueling Iditarod, “The Last Great Race on Earth,” draws nearly 100 competitive mushers and their dog teams annually. At the kennel, learn about the history of the race and meet the kennel’s Husky puppies, who will soon start their training to become working sled dogs. Return to the lodge for lunch followed by an afternoon at leisure; perhaps to do some hiking or take an optional rafting excursion. This evening reconvene for dinner and a lively show at the Denali Dinner Theater housed in an authentic log cabin. (B,D)

Day 5 – Denali National Park and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Depart Denali by motorcoach this morning for the day-long journey to remote Chitina (pop. 126!). Here board a prop plane for the scenic flight deep into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, at 13.2 million acres the largest national park in the United States. Your destination: the historic copper mining towns of Kennicott/McCarthy, sitting deep within the park. During your 30-minute flight, get your first views of the park’s rugged wilderness, including 5,000 square miles of pristine glaciers, volcanoes, and mountain after mountain. Upon landing, transfer to your lodge in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias, overlooking 25 miles of glacier and surrounded by 14 of the highest mountain peaks in North America. Dine tonight at the lodge, the only one in Kennicott. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Home to more than 150 glaciers, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park contains the largest collection of these ice masses in North America. See one of these glaciers up close today on a singular half-day hike to Root Glacier. After being fitted with crampons – steel shoe spikes created to traverse ice –begin the two-mile excursion to the glacier and behold the natural beauty before you: unspoiled icefields, blue pools, cascading waterfalls, deep canyons, narrow crevasses. Eat a sack lunch in the wild then return to the lodge for an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, enjoy dinner together at the lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Knik Valley

This morning, explore Kennicott, a National Historic Landmark District. Established in 1903, Kennicott was once a bustling mining camp that became a ghost town after the ore was depleted in 1938. The town is now considered one of the best remaining examples of 20th-century copper mining. See this firsthand on your tour of the 14-story concentration mill and other historic mining buildings. This afternoon board a prop plane for the return flight to Chitina, where you then board a motorcoach for the four-hour drive to your European-style lodge in pristine wilderness just an hour from Anchorage. We dine together tonight at our lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Knik Valley, Anchorage, Seward

Late this morning journey by coach to the coastal town of Seward. En route, stop for a city tour of Anchorage, beginning at Lake Hood, the largest and busiest seaplane base in the world with more than 190 float planes taking off and landing daily. Also explore the city’s historic downtown, including Old City Hall; the Wendler Building, a popular women’s-only bar from the 1940s and ’50s; and 4th Avenue Market Place filled with local artisan shops. After time for lunch on your own in this city known for its fresh local salmon, halibut, and snow crab, continue on to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality animal care and preserving Alaska’s wildlife. With 200 acres of spacious enclosures, the center offers an opportunity to see injured or orphaned bears, moose, elk, lynx, caribou, and more display their natural behavior in a safe environment. Then continue on to Seward and your hotel nestled in the Exit Glacier Valley. (B,D)

Day 9 – Seward

One of Alaska’s most scenic communities, Seward features a bustling harbor, inviting shops, and plenty of outdoor activities. The city also serves as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, a 600,000-acre preserve comprising rocky peninsulas, long fjords, primeval glaciers, and tranquil bays and coves. Explore this rugged park today on a glacier and wildlife cruise. On board, get up close to one of Kenai’s many glaciers and keep an eye out for some of the park’s diverse array of mammals and marine life, including bears, mountain goats, moose, otters, porpoises, sea lions, harbor seals, and whales. Enjoy lunch onboard before returning to Seward, where the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration and dinner on your own. (B,L)

Day 10 – Seward and Anchorage

Today return to Anchorage, where you visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center representing 11 of Alaska’s major native cultural groups. Here enjoy a tour of the center and watch a dynamic Native Games demonstration. Then have lunch on your own followed by a visit to the Anchorage Museum including the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. Tonight, celebrate your journey through Alaska at a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day 11 – Depart Anchorage

Transfer this morning to the Anchorage airport for your flights home. (B)

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