Immerse yourself in Alaska’s natural splendor, exploring three extraordinary national parks: Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Kenai Fjords; and delving into Alaska’s rich heritage in Anchorage.

Starting at: $7,697 * Price includes special offer * 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
 Steller Sea Lions, Kenai Fjords National Park
 Bald eagle
 Sea otters in Prince William Sound

Alaska's Natural Wonders: Denali to Kenai Fjords

11 days from $7,697 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Immerse yourself in Alaska’s natural splendor, exploring three extraordinary national parks: Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Kenai Fjords; and delving into Alaska’s rich heritage in Anchorage.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

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.

This Smithsonian Journeys tour of Alaska was top quality in every respect: sights visited, including magnificent, less visited Wrangell-St Elias National Park, information provided for each location plus additional narration and commentary during travel between sites; optional free time suggestions for hikes, flight-seeing and other activities; accommodations; guides and Smithsonian experts. 

- Marcia, M.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

Experience the breathtaking natural beauty of Alaska on a journey that combines three of the state’s pristine national parks. Travel deep into Denali National Park and Preserve with local naturalists, discovering the flora and fauna of its wild tundra. Fly by prop plane over jaw-dropping peaks and glaciers to the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Then venture up close to tidewater glaciers and rugged coasts on a wildlife cruise in Kenai Fjords. Encounter a wealth of wildlife, from grizzly bears and moose to Dall sheep and whales; meet puppies in training for the Iditarod race; and in Anchorage, get acquainted with the vibrant Native cultures of Alaska. 

Highlights Include

  • Denali National Park: Travel from Talkeetna to Denali aboard a glass-dome railcar, admiring the spectacular scenery. Then travel deep into the park with an expert ranger, encountering lush forests, snow-covered mountains, and a wide array of wildlife, and enjoying an easy hike across the alpine tundra.
  • Wrangell-St. Elias National Park: Fly by prop plane from Chitina to historic Kennicott, enjoying incredible aerial views of the snow-covered mountains and glaciers of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.  Settle deep within this rugged wilderness, and don crampons for a half-day hike out to icefields, discovering waterfalls, glacial pools, and deep canyons along the way. Tour the National Historic Landmark of Kennicott, once a bustling copper mine.
  • Seward and Kenai Fjords National Park:  Set out on thrilling day cruise of Kenai Fjords National Park, getting up close views of glaciers and pristine fjords, and spotting plenty of wildlife such as whales, harbor seals, bears, mountain goats, and moose, as well as puffins and other birds.
  • Anchorage: Delve into the Alaskan experience on a city tour and during visits to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Anchorage Museum and its Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

[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.

This Smithsonian Journeys tour of Alaska was top quality in every respect: sights visited, including magnificent, less visited Wrangell-St Elias National Park, information provided for each location plus additional narration and commentary during travel between sites; optional free time suggestions for hikes, flight-seeing and other activities; accommodations; guides and Smithsonian experts. 

- Marcia, M.

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

Meet your Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Director, and fellow travelers at a welcome briefing this morning. Then travel north by motorcoach to Talkeetna, where you’ll board a deluxe glass-domed railcar for the scenic four-hour journey to Denali National Park and Preserve. Take in panoramic views of majestic mountains as you travel deeper into the wilderness, arriving in Denali late in the afternoon. Gather for an introduction to the park before dinner. (B,D) 

Day 3 – Denali National Park

Covering an area larger than Massachusetts, Denali is a six-million-acre preserve comprising forests, alpine tundra, subarctic taiga, and snowcapped mountains—with only one main road. Enjoy a full day in the park, exploring with a local naturalist and a driver-guide, who will share insights on the flora and fauna as well as stories about the characters who have found their way to this remote wilderness. Your first stop is 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. After a picnic lunch, set out on an easy hike across the alpine tundra. Keep an eye out for grizzly bears; moose; caribou; and the iconic Dall sheep, known for their white coat and large, curled horns. (B,L)

Day 4 – Denali National Park and Preserve

Get acquainted with an integral part of Alaskan culture today on a visit to an Iditarod sled dog kennel. Every year, about 100 mushers and their dog teams race across 1,000 miles of difficult terrain for a chance to win the Iditarod, “The Last Great Race on Earth.” On your kennel tour, hear about the history of the race and meet husky puppies who will soon begin their training to become sled dogs. After lunch, enjoy a free afternoon to take another hike or perhaps opt for a rafting adventure. Reconvene for dinner this evening 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

Leave Denali this morning and travel to the remote village of Chitina. Here, board a prop plane for the scenic flight into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. With 13.2 million acres of unspoiled wilderness, this is the largest park is in the United States. Take in extraordinary aerial views of glaciers, volcanoes, and sky-high summits as you fly to the abandoned copper mining towns of Kennicott and McCarthy, located deep within the park. Check in to your lodge in Kennicott, overlooking 25 miles of glaciers and surrounded by nine of the highest peaks in North America. (B,L,D) 

Day 6 – Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Four mountain ranges meet at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and some of the largest and most active glaciers in North America can be found among them. Experience one of these glaciers up close on a half-day hike to Root Glacier. You’ll be fitted with crampons (steel shoe spikes) to traverse the ice and walk two miles through a mountainscape of unsurpassed natural beauty, discovering vast icefields, iridescent blue pools, cascading waterfalls, deep canyons, and narrow crevasses. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the wild before returning to the lodge for an afternoon at leisure. (B,L,D)

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

This morning, tour the Kennicott Mines, a bustling copper mining camp established in 1903 that quickly became a ghost town once the ore was depleted in 1938. Now a National Historic Landmark, town is considered one of the best remaining examples of early 20th-century copper mining. Board a prop plane for your afternoon flight to Chitina, and continue by motorcoach to your lodge, nestled in the wilderness an hour from Anchorage. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Anchorage and Seward

Late this morning, drive to Anchorage for a city tour. Beginning at Lake Hood, venture into the historic downtown, visiting the Old City Hall and the Wendler Building, one of the city’s oldest structures. Meander past the artisan shops of the 4th Avenue Market Place and enjoy free time to grab lunch. Continue to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a sanctuary where injured and orphaned animals such as bears, moose, elk, lynx, and caribou are cared for in a safe environment. Travel through the Chugach National Forest to Seward this afternoon and settle into your hotel in Exit Glacier Valley. (B,D)

Day 9 – Seward and Kenai Fjords National Park

Delightful Seward is a bustling harbor town that serves as the gateway to the rugged wonders of Kenai Fjords National Park. Discover the rocky peninsulas, dramatic fjords, and glaciers of this 600,000-acre preserve on a full-day cruise today. From the water, you’ll be able to get up close to one of Kenai’s many glaciers and observe a 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 at leisure. (B,L) 

Day 10 – Anchorage

Return to Anchorage and delve into Alaska’s rich cultures on a tour of the Alaska Native Heritage Center, a living museum that celebrates Native culture through crafts, dance, and storytelling. Learn about the distinct characteristics and traditions of 11 different Native cultures and witness a demonstration of time-honored Native games. After lunch on your own, head to the Anchorage Museum where you’ll visit the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, a branch of Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. 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)

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