RSJU02 Alaska Wilderness Spirit Holiday

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Our Alaska self-drive and train tours have been thoughtfully designed by local experts for the vacation of a lifetime. Pairing the beauty of Alaska with the allure of the Yukon Territory, our tour packages allow you to explore the wide open road at entirely your own pace. Enjoy the magnificent scenery, fauna and flora Alaska has to offerr. Juneau is many things: a mountain town, a coastal community and the most scenic capital city in the U.S. A natural wonder, wildlife hotspot and cultural jewel, Juneau is rich in history, art, music and Native heritage.

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Itinerary

Juneau | Start Self Drive Tour ( Overnight: Juneau )

Welcome to Juneau ! Transfer to your hotel in downtown Juneau. You may join a sightseeing tour of Juneau including the visit to Mendenhall Glacier - a half-mile wide ice field - for many the most accessible and breathtaking glacier in Alaska. The Mount Roberts Tramway takes guests up to an observation deck, providing arguably the best picture-taking opportunities. Another option is the full day bear viewing tour to Admiralty Island, home to the largest concentration of brown bear in the world. Admiralty Island, also known as the "Fortress of the Bears" is the location for some of the finest brown bear viewing in Southeast Alaska. Depending on when you go, you’ll see bears foraging for clams or fishing for salmon.

Juneau ( Overnight: Juneau )

Journey through one of the most dramatic sites in the world - Tracy Arm Fjord. This narrow fjord twists and turns for over 30 miles, culminating in a spectacular view of the twin tidewater Sawyer Glaciers. Your captain will navigate as close as the ice floe allows, stopping for an extended stay at the face of the glacier. Watch for seals relaxing on the icebergs and bald eagles soaring above the cliffs. Learn about the natural history of the fjord, glaciers and the wildlife from our onboard naturalist. Gain insights into Tlingit Native culture. Overcast days will not dampen your enjoyment as clouds and mist only heighten the drama of the fjord and intensify the glacial blue color. Included: Tracy Arm Fjords Glacier Cruise

Juneau - Ferry to Skagway ( Overnight: Skagway )

This morning board the Alaska Ferry to Skagway. The famous goldrush town Skagway is home of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. Skagway has a historical district of about 100 buildings from the gold rush era. Board the historic narrow-gauge White Pass and Yukon Railway and ride along the White Pass Trail to White Pass Summit. The entire distance from Skagway to the summit was completed in only two years in 1900's. The steamer pulls the train a couple of miles, then diesels take the cars - some of them originals more than 100 years old - up steep tracks that were chipped out of the side of the mountains. In the afternoon walk around the historic townsite and check out the old buildings. You may even visit the grave of "Soapy Smith" and walk part of the famous Chilkoot Trail.

Skagway – Whitehorse ( Driving Distance: 110 miles | Overnight: Whitehorse )

Pick up your rental car this morning. Leave Skagway and continue your journey on the South Klondike Highway. Near the summit of the Klondike Highway Pass you'll encounter a scene that resembles a moonscape more than any earthly vista. Ancient, twisted trees cling to rocks polished smooth by prehistoric glaciers, or crumbled by years of erosion. Myriad waterfalls, several glaciers and glimpses of the White Pass Railroad and White Pass Trail are among the highlights of the drive to the summit. After crossing the Canadian border, you'll travel past the ruins of the Venus Mine on Windy Arm of Tagish Lake, visit the historic community of Carcross before arriving in Whitehorse. This afternoon visit the sights of Whitehorse: SS Klondike sternwheeler, the Yukon Beringia Center and visit Miles Canyon.

Whitehorse – Dawson City ( Driving Distance: 270 miles | Overnight: Dawson City )

The Klondike Highway often parallels the Yukon River as it winds its way to Dawson City. Water in the Yukon River travels more than 3,000 km from headwaters near the Chilkoot Pass to the mouth at the Bering Sea. As you travel you will leave country that has been glaciated many times to visit an environment, known as Beringia, which was ice free during the last major ice age. Steppe bison and woolly mammoths inhabited this cool, ice-free land that once connected the continents of North America and Asia. The highway passes through three communities on the way to Dawson City - and there is plenty to see along the way. Drive along Lake Laberge to Carmacks, a former trading post and stopover at the 5-Finger Rapids – a navigational hazard for many stampeder on their way to the gold claims

Dawson City ( Overnight: Dawson City )

A full day to explore the goldrush town Dawson City and the gold fields: Visit the historical buildings, Jack London and Robert Service cabins and old stores that were the pulse of the gold rush capital in its hey-days. As you walk through the heart of Dawson City, your imagination will run to the likes of Klondike Kate, Arizona Charlie Meadows and Diamond Tooth Gertie strolling down Dawson's boardwalks. Their spirit is as alive today as it was in 1898. From the one-time capital of the Yukon you'll follow history up Bonanza Creek (pan for gold) to Discovery Claim and Grand Forks once boasted a population of 10,000 where the Eldorado Creek and Upper Bonanza come together. Take a guided tour of the Gold Dredge #4 and visit the Diamond Tooth Gertie's Gambling Hall for evening entertainment.

Dawson City – Fairbanks ( Driving Distance: 380 miles | Overnight: Fairbanks )

Cross the Yukon River by ferry (no charge) after leaving Dawson City and enjoy a scenic drive on the Top of the World Highway offering endless views into spectacular alpine valleys. Stopover in Chicken - a former mining camp and trading post on the banks of the Fortymile River. Explore some old remnants of the old frontier Alaska such as: the mercantile emporium, Chicken Creek Saloon and the historic Tisha's Schoolhouse. Continue your journey on the famous Alaska Highway #1 and drive via Tok towards Fairbanks. Stopover at Santa Clause House in North Pole where Christmas is celebrated year round. In the evening enjoy a dinner at the Pump House on the banks of the Chena River. Please Note: We can add an overnight in Tok if you wish to drive the distance in two days.

Fairbanks | End of Self Drive Tour ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

The allure of crossing the Arctic Circle becomes a possibility once you reach Fairbanks. Guided van tours along the Dalton Highway or flight tours to the Arctic Circle and Yukon River is a super popular choice. Join a bushplane flight to Fort Yukon to understand as well as experience how the Gwich'in Athabascan Natives live in "Bush" Alaska. As mentioned earlier Fairbanks becomes a hub for very many activities and the list keeps going on. Visiting Chena Hot Springs Resort can be added to the 'To-Do' List! Chena Hot Springs Resort offers a large indoor heated pool and a natural outdoor rock lake for relaxation. The on-site Aurora Ice Museum is a special attraction and was created from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow, all harvested at the resort. Drop of your rental car this evening.

Fairbanks – Denali National Park | Rail Tour ( Overnight: Denali Village )

Enjoy the scenic ride onboard the Alaska Railroad to Denali National Park. Choose between the standard rail car or the glass-dome compartments with large panorama windows ensuring unobstructed views of snowcapped mountain ranges, pristine scenery and abundant wildlife. The train passes through the small community of Nenana, known for the Nenana Ice Classic Lottery. Just north of the Denali park, the train winds along Healy Canyon, following the curves of the Nenana River below. Arrive at Denali Village at noon. Transfer to your hotel and check into your room. Once you settled take a stroll through Denali Village, join a flightseeing tour, wildwater rafting trip or visit Jeff King’s Husky Homestead Kennel for a personal tour with four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King and his sled dogs.

Denali National Park ( Overnight: Denali Village )

Denali National Park offers excellent wildlife viewing and spectacular sceneries. Pick up your tickets, board the bus and watch out for grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolf and fox moving along the ridges and river beds. Your driver informs about the history of Denali National Park, its diverse wildlife and flora. Once an animal has been spotted the bus will stop that everyone can watch and take pictures. The bus turns around at Eielson Visitor Center - 66 miles one way/8 hours round trip. You can get off the bus anytime to go for a hike. Return to the Denali Park entrance anytime during the day. Optional: We can extend the transit bus tour to Wonder Lake or exchange to the Tundra Wilderness Tour, Kantishna Wilderness Trails or Backcountry Lodge Tour. Included: Denali Transit Bus to Eielson Center

Denali National Park – Anchorage | Rail Tour ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Board the Alaska Railroad and relax in your comfortable reclining seats, have a delicious lunch onboard or listen to the commentaries from an onboard interpreter. Just south of Denali you'll enter Broad Pass, offering majestic views of the Alaska Range in all directions. Your rail tour continues via Wasilla and crosses the Knik River with the Chugach Mountains as a backdrop before arriving in Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. Nestled along the Chugach Mountains, the coastal city is brimming with activities for the outdoorsy and adventurous, as well as the more relaxed. Visit the Log Cabin Visitor Center and its Crossroad, Ship Creek Viewpoint overlooking Cook Inlet and the Resolution Park with its Captain Cook Monument. Try out one of the popular seafood restaurants this evening.

Anchorage

Time for your favourite activity - join a bear viewing day tour to Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park or to Silver Salmon Creek in Lake Clark, take a scenic glacier & wildlife cruise deep into Prince William Sound or explore the local attractions. A picture-perfect flightseeing trip takes you over Cook Inlet to Katmai Coast. Watch bears digging for clams, wandering the sedge grass, or nursing their young. Another option is the day trip to iconic Brooks Falls in the middle of Katmai, famous for bears swatting at Salmon making their way upstream. The Prince William Sound is one of the few places left in the world where a concentration of glaciers can be found in such abundance. View majestic alpine and tidewater glaciers covered with ancient ice and observe a large variety of marine wildlife.