Alaska: From Anchorage to Fairbanks

Destination: South Central Alaska

| Activities: Hiking & Wildlife Viewing, with a day of whitewater rafting

Join us in a journey from Alaska's largest city of Anchorage to its Golden Heart city of Fairbanks, along the historic Parks Highway. Along the way, we'll soak in therapeutic hot springs, hike through boreal forests and over alpine tundra, raft a white-water river, and explore unique Alaska treasures, not least of which is Denali National Park and its abundant wildlife. During our week we will discover the wide diversity of Alaska's natural beauty and meet a few of its characters along the way.

NOTE: This is the same itinerary as Alaska: Fairbanks to Anchorage but in reverse.

Highlights

  • Hike diverse trails in Alaska's interior, to passes, overlooks, lakes, and panoramic views
  • Visit spectacular Denali National Park and quirky Talkeetna
  • See an amazing diversity of wildlife, including moose, bear, Dall sheep, caribou, and bald eagles
  • Get a thrill on a Rafting Tour in Denali
  • Soak in famous Chena Hot Springs

Departures and Prices

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Inclusions

  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • 8 nights double occupancy lodging
  • All activities on the itinerary unless specified as optional at additional cost
  • All meals from dinner the first day through breakfast the last with the exception of one lunch and 2 dinners as specified on the itinerary
  • All transport within Alaska
  • National Park Entrance fees

Not included: Airfare to Anchorage or from Fairbanks, alcoholic beverages, one dinner and one lunch, guide gratuities, optional activities, travel insurance, items of a personal nature.

Trip Documents

Trip Info

This trip is designed for women in good health and physical condition who want to see Alaska. We have designed this itinerary to include moderate hikes on most days. The rating for this trip is a 3 due to altitude, weather, mileage and hiking conditions. The trails we will explore are on uneven terrain and with significant changes in elevation. A rating of 3 requires aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. Rating: 1 2 [3] 4 5

On this trip we combine hiking and searching for wildlife that, in Alaska, is distinctly wild. We will combine time in Denali National Park, the best known of Alaska's National Parks, with excursions into some of its hidden corners.

With the exception of the first night in Anchorage, we will be staying at several different family run lodges and hotels in double occupancy rooms (or single occupancy if you selected a single supplement) with ensuite bathrooms. All are clean, comfortable, and will give you a feel for the real Alaska.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
Welcome to Alaska! Arrive anytime today in Anchorage. By area, Anchorage is one of the largest cities in the U.S., encompassing 1,961 square miles – nearly the size of the state of Delaware! With around 300,000 residents, Anchorage is also Alaska's most populous city and home to more than 41 percent of the state's population. Although the sun technically sets for about three hours on this day, it never really gets dark. You may find yourself exploring long past your bedtime! There are no planned activities today so you are free to explore or rest early. If you have time, there is a fun trolley tour of the city and lots to learn at the Alaska Native Heritage Center .

Overnight: Comfort Inn - Ship Creek, Anchorage, or similar
DAY 2
Load up the vans after breakfast and head for the quirky town of Talkeetna that lies at the confluence of 3 rivers. Along the way we will visit one of Alaska's hidden jewels: Hatcher Pass. (Drive time approximately 90 minutes). Home to a historic gold mine, Independence Mine, Hatcher Pass offers splendid opportunities for hiking in alpine tundra while gawking at rugged mountains, glacial erratics, and lichen- covered boulders left behind when the glaciers receded. We'll enjoy a picnic during our hike, and then continue our drive. (Remaining drive time 90 minutes). Tonight's dinner is on your own, a great chance to check out the quaint downtown (which sits on the registry of National Historic Places) This unique (even by Alaskan standards) community is home to festivities such as the annual Moose Dropping Festival (no moose are harmed) and the Bachelor Auction and Ball (presumably no bachelors are harmed).

Driving time: 3 hours. Hiking: 3.86 miles round trip, 334-foot elevation gain. Overnight: Talkeetna Inn, Talkeetna, or similar (B, L)
DAY 3
After a delicious breakfast at the local bakery, we'll load up the vans to drive to Denali National Park (2.5 hours away). While en route, we will take a break to hike through the alpine tundra on Little Coal Creek Trail. Here we may get our first opportunity to glimpse Denali.

Driving time: 2 hours. Hiking: 3.20 miles round trip, 632-foot elevation gain. Overnight: Denali Grizzly Bear Resort (B, L, D)
DAY 4
We'll have this morning free to pursue our own explorations of Denali. Options include flight seeing, ATV adventures, visiting with sled dogs, local hikes, and much more. After lunch (on your own), we'll meet back at our cabins to go rafting. On this splash tour, everyone paddles the boat down a scenic 11 mile stretch. Rafting here is loads of fun with class I, II, and III rapids. There's always a chance of seeing bears, moose, sheep, and caribou. Over dinner we can toast to our adventures of the day.

Rafting: 11 miles. Overnight: Denali Grizzly Bear Resort (B, D)
DAY 5
For our final day in Denali, we'll venture fully into the park. There's only one road into this 6-million-acre park, and we'll traverse it with a knowledgeable driver who will tell us all about what we're seeing as we drive. There will be many opportunities to take photos, and short stops along the way will allow us to stretch our legs. Once again, keep your eyes open for wildlife, and shout out if you see anything so everyone else can see it, too.

Driving time: 7-8 hours. Hiking: 4 miles, 261-foot elevation gain. Overnight: Denali Grizzly Bear Resort (B, L, D)
DAY 6
Today we'll have more time to explore the wonders of Denali National Park. The park Visitor Center and Murie Science Center can teach us a great deal about the area's history, geology, plants, and animals. Once we've educated ourselves, we'll continue our explorations by hiking up Mount Healy for lunch and, hopefully, views of Denali, The Great One. We can choose to bag a peak today, or turn around at a lower elevation - the views are great either way.

Hiking: 5.37 miles round trip, 1700-foot elevation gain. Overnight: Denali Grizzly Bear Resort (B, L, D)
DAY 7
Before bidding farewell to the "Great One" (Denali), we'll hike the Triple Lakes Loop to stretch our legs. Then we'll hit the road toward Fairbanks with lunch along the way. We'll travel through a variety of Alaska's ecological biomes and cross the mighty Nenana and Tanana Rivers. Keep your eyes open: moose, bears, beavers and more are all residents of this area, so hopefully we'll get lucky and see them all.

Hiking: Triple Lake Trail – 4.6 miles, 600-foot elevation gain. Overnight: Hampton Inn - Fairbanks (B, L, D)
DAY 8
Our day will start on Angel Rocks Trail, where we will earn our picnic lunch by hiking up to explore the rugged beauty of unusual rock outcropping called the granite tours. We'll spend the day in the vicinity of Chena Hot Springs, so there will be ample opportunity to enjoy the heat after our morning hike. A long relaxing soak will be a perfect way to commemorate our wonderful trip together. If you still have energy, there may also be time to go for a horseback ride or ATV ride at the hot springs.

Hiking: 4.11 miles round trip, 850-foot elevation gain (863-foot elevation loss). Overnight: Hampton Inn - Fairbanks (B, L, D)
DAY 9
After an early breakfast and maybe a final soak, we’ll pack up for the airport. Our trip ends in the Golden Heart of Alaska, Fairbanks. You can book your flight for anytime after 12pm.

 (B)

4.7

(9 reviews)
4 Food
3.4 Lodging
4.9 Safety
5
(7)
4
(1)
3
(1)
2
(0)
1
(0)

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Phyllis T.
0 months ago

Cecelia D.
0 months ago

Our wonderful guides Emily and Elysee along with wonderful woman from all different walks in life and their stories. Alaska was pretty nice too.

Becky A.
0 months ago

It was my first time to Alaska and the AGC itinerary was perfect for getting to see and do as much as possible in our time there while also giving us down time and keeping the pace comfortable with plenty of rest breaks on the hike. PLUS- we had the most awesome weather the whole trip. It was beautiful every single day and the fires did not impact us - thankfully! We were able to see Denali 5 days in a row. Also- our guides were the best. They took care to be sure we knew what was going to happen, if they needed to adjust the itinerary and their compassion, concern, knowledge, guidance was great.

Elizabeth M.
1 year ago

Both guides were fabulous, the hikes were good - I saw many animals.

Linda B.
1 year ago

The natural breathtaking beauty of Alaska, the incredibly fun activities, the delicious food (halibut and salmon in particular) and two absolutely wonderful, supportive, kind and informative guides. A truly awesome and fun adventure trip!

Katy M.
1 year ago

The guides were fantastic and did an amazing job of accommodating everyone’s requests and additional activities.

Elizabeth L.
1 year ago

The guides, River rafting and all outdoor activities.

Vickie M.
1 year ago

We had great weather and wonderful group of women. Alaska was beautiful and our guides were amazing.

Maxanne W.
1 year ago

Scout and Emily, the expansiveness of AK

  1. Where do we eat?

    Most of your meals will be at your lodging or at restaurants where you can order off the menu; the guides will prepare some of the meals. Most lunches will be packed lunches or picnic style.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    We can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-intolerant although we can not guarantee a completely gluten-free diet, if we know well in advance. If you're severely allergic or if you have other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register. If you're vegan, you may want to bring some additional protein bars.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we'll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.
  4. Can you tell me more about the trail conditions and fitness required for this trip?

    Your trip in Alaska is filled with hiking and sightseeing! Alaska is known for its expansive vistas and Wild West feel. In other words, it is not just 'a walk in the park' and does require a certain level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the experience. The trails and terrain you will encounter will be well developed trails with rocky terrain and the occasional steep section with un-even footing. The hikes will have a combination of woodland and wide open nature areas; even though we are very far north the sun can be strong - don't forget your sunscreen! You will be spending between 2-6 hours each day hiking. To fully enjoy your trip, please continue your regular fitness program and consider adding some of the suggestions below.
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