Operated by Explore Tours

Alaska Explorer Journey

9 Days / $4195 and up

For those travelers seeking an authentic - and educational - Alaska experience, we introduce a twist on our original trip..

When we started operating tours more than 30 years ago, we explored most national parks by tent. This nine-day journey visits all our favorite places but replaces camping with the comforts of Alaskan lodging. Visit our original Kenai Riverside Lodge, the wilderness of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge with two nights at Kenai Backcountry Lodge and a special adventure in Denali National Park. 


Day 1 Anchorage Arrival / Kenai Riverside Lodge

Meet your guides and fellow travelers at 1:00 p.m. in the hotel lobby (meeting location confirmed at time of reservation). Enjoy a scenic drive along Turnagain Arm and through the Chugach National Forest to the quaint community of Cooper Landing, home to our Kenai Riverside Lodge. Arrive at the lodge in time for dinner and trip orientation. Overnight at Kenai Riverside Lodge. (D)

Day 2 Kenai Riverside Lodge

Enjoy a scenic drive to the coastal town of Seward and embark on a full day small boat exploration of Kenai Fjords National Park. Explore a coast rich in wildlife and scenic beauty as you search for whales, Dall's porpoises, sea lions, otters, puffins and more. Photograph twilight-blue glaciers as they creak and crash toward the sea. Overnight at Kenai Riverside Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 3 Kenai Backcountry Lodge

Raft down the scenic Kenai River into the heart of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Along the way, watch for moose, bald eagles and other bird species and salmon. The Kenai River is famous for its salmon and depending on the time of your visit, you may witness the incredible spawning runs. A gourmet picnic lunch is served along the river or on the shore of Skilak Lake. Motor across turquoise Skilak Lake for a late afternoon arrival to your home for the next two nights: the remote Kenai Backcountry Lodge. This evening, settle into your private accommodations and enjoy the rustically elegant setting in the wilderness. (B,L,D)

Day 4 Kenai Backcountry Lodge

A full day to enjoy this remote setting. Hike a secluded trail and travel through several fascinating ecological communities. At the top of the trail explore the tundra and enjoy great views of the lake and surrounding wilderness. Or explore the lake by boat, stopping for scenic views and short walks. (B,L,D).

Day 5 Kenai Backcountry Lodge / Talkeetna

Depart Kenai Backcountry Lodge after breakfast and journey north through the scenic Chugach National Forest and Chugach State Park to Talkeetna, gateway to the Alaska Range. Take to the skies on an optional flightseeing tour of Mt. McKinley (Denali) and its adjacent glacial canyons, or wander through "downtown" Talkeetna and learn about mountaineering and the town's history. Overnight in Talkeetna. (B,L,D).

Day 6 Talkeetna / Denali

Continue the journey north and arrive at Denali National Park mid-day. We will make a special visit to the renowned Husky Homestead, home to sleddog teams raised and raced by Jeff King, recognized as the "Winningest Musher in the World." Get the chance to learn more about the local sport of dogsledding while meeting new pups that will become future sledding stars. In the late afternoon, we'll check in to our "home away from home" for the next three nights - Denali Education Center, located just outside Denali's park entrance area. Enjoy an orientation of the property with a special "Welcome to the Subarctic" presentation, which will help guide the way for our explorations in Denali during the next few days. Enjoy a tasty dinner and relaxing this evening. Overnight at Denali Education Center. (B,L,D)

Day 7 Denali

Today, we will hike Denali's front country areas with local expert guides to learn more about the area's unique flora, fauna, ecosystems and geology. Along the way, scan for wildlife such as moose, ptarmigan, playful ground squirrels, marmots and more. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch in the field. This evening, recap the day's adventure during dinner. Optional evening flight seeing tours of Denali National Park and the Alaska Range are available (weather-dependent, at extra cost). Overnight at Denali Education Center. (B,L,D) On Days 7 and 8, Park regulations limit our guides from leading hikes inside the Park. However, your guides will facilitate self-guided hiking parties to match your level of adventure.

Day 8 Denali

Get ready to travel deep inside Denali National Park today on board a Park Service bus bound for Mile 66's Eielson Visitor Center. Along the way, gain breathtaking views of the Alaska Range and its many peaks, and - weather permitting - glance at the majestic Mount McKinley. Make sure to have your cameras ready to take pictures of ample wildlife, which may include caribou, grizzlies and black bears, Dall sheep, moose, wolves and more. Return to Denali Education Center for our final overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 9 Denali / Anchorage Departure

After breakfast, you'll have some free time to relax this morning near the park entrance area. Bid farewell to your guide and board the Alaska Railroad bound for Anchorage for passage on a memorable 365-mile route of scenic unspoiled backcountry. Along the way, traverse stunning river gorges via single-span bridges, make old-fashioned whistle stops and arrive in Anchorage at approximately 8:30 p.m. Lunch, dinner and transfers not included. Lunch and dinner are available for purchase on the train. (B)

Note regarding departure: You will arrive at the Anchorage train station by approximately 8:30 p.m. on the last day of your trip. See the "Alaska Travel Information" section of your Trip Planning Booklet for recommended lodging. If you choose to fly home this night, we suggest you book a flight that departs after 11:30 p.m. in case of possible transportation delays.


Package departs from:

2015 Validity dates:
June 5 to 13*
June 19 to 27 
July 03 to 11
July 17 to 25
July 31 to August 08

*Subject to early season savings of $200 per person. Subject to change and availability.

Tour Price

2015 Pricing Starting at:

$4295 per adult, based on double occupancy
$3295 per youth, age 7-18 with paying adults

Package Includes

Rate Includes
All accommodations, transportation, activities and meals as outlined above. Listed trip price does not include gratuity or taxes.