SDAN04 Best of Kenai Fjords & Denali Road Trip

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If  there  is  a  super  simple  way  to  combine  the  great  beauty  of  Denali  and  Kenai  Fjords  in  one  single  road  trip,  then  ‘SDAN04  –  Best  of  Kenai  Fjords  &  Denali  Road  Trip’  is  it!  You  start  in  Anchorage,  which  is  filled  with  lot  of  adventures  along  with  metropolitan  amenities.  With  thousands  of  moose,  very  many  national  parks  nearby  and  60  glaciers  in  a  quick  drive  away,  it's  one  of  the  best  places  to  start  your  vacation.  From  Anchorage  you  go  to  Seward  with  an  optional  highly  recommended  stopover  at  Alaska  Wildlife  Conservation  Center  (great  for  lots  of  rescued  wild  animals  including  some  grizzly  and  black  bear).  Seward  is  situated  at  the  head  of  Resurrection  Bay  on  the  Kenai  Peninsula  and  it  is  one  of  Alaska’s  oldest  and  most  scenic  communities.  Trophy  sport  fishing,  glacier  and  wildlife  cruises,  sailing,  hiking,  kayaking,  flightseeing,  summer  dog  sled  rides  and  lots  more  is  possible  to  do  from  Seward.  But  the  major  attraction  is  the  Kenai  Fjords  Wildlife  &  Glacier  Cruise,  which  on  a  clear  day  will  be  a  trip  that  you  would  remember  forever!  From  Seward  you  drive  to  Talkeetna,  which  has  convergence  of  three  major  glacial  rivers.  Susitna  River,  just  outside  the  town  is  a  good  place  to  experience.  Denali  National  Park  nestling  in  the  shadows  of  towering  20.320  ft.  Mt.  Denali  will  be  your  next  stop.  Denali  National  Park  mesmerizes  every  one  with  its  pristine  beauty  amazing  hikes  and  great  wildlife  spotting.  From  Denali  you  head  back  to  Anchorage  to  conclude  the  trip. Please  read  our  itinerary  to  have  more  detailed  day-to-day  experience.  On  request,  this  trip  can  be  customized  and  can  be  organized  in  reverse  order. 

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Itinerary

Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Arrive in Anchorage during the day. Transfer to your hotel and pick up your rental car. Nestled along the Chugach Mountains, the coastal city of Anchorage is not the frozen tundra of Alaska you might imagine. You will find it’s brimming with activities for the outdoorsy and adventurous. Being the largest city in Alaska, it is rich in indigenous culture; spend your day enjoying the Alaska Native Heritage Center, visiting the Anchorage Museum, or browsing through the Saturday Market. Visit the Lake Hood Floatplane base, go for a walk along the Coastal Train and try out one of Anchorage popular seafood restaurant. With so much of variety of things, for a first time visitor to Alaska or a seasoned traveller, Anchorage has more to offer and is the perfect start point for your journey into Alaska

Anchorage - Seward ( Driving Distance: 130 miles | Overnight: Seward )

The drive on the scenic Seward Highway offers incomparable vistas of fjords, glaciers and mountains as you follow the Cook Inlet and Turnagain Arm. Arrive in Seward, a small fishing community at the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Kenai Fjords is named for the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains from the ice field. The field is the source of at least 38 glaciers, the largest of which is Bear Glacier. This afternoon you have time to visit Exit Glacier. Short trails lead to the edge of the glacier where you can to get a good photo in front of glacier ice. You may spend some time at the Alaska SeaLife Center – the world’s first cold water marine search institute, try your luck halibut or salmon fishing or attend a kayaking tour from Lowell Point. Enjoy a delicious seafood dinner on the harbor.

Seward ( Overnight: Seward )

This morning board the stable catamaran for a spectacular cruise deep into Kenai Fjords National Park with actively "calving" glaciers and magnificent scenery. Covering 110-miles, the trip is narrated by a National Park Ranger, who is highly adept at spotting wildlife and pointing out the many sights. Kenai Fjords showcase the best of Alaska’s marine world in a compact package. Sea otters float belly-up eating mussels while Harbor seals haul out on icebergs off Aialik and Northwestern Glacier. Look out for Steller sea lions on Chiswell Island as well as Humpback and killer whales. After reaching the tidewater glacier, guests witness "glacier calving" a process by which glaciers shed giant slabs of ancient ice. Included: Kenai Fjords Wildlife & Glacier Cruise

Seward - Talkeetna ( Driving Distance: 240 miles | Overnight: Talkeetna )

On your drive north, stopover in Girdwood where you can take the Alyeska Tramway to get a bird's eye view of the surrounding glaciers and Turnagain Arm. Follow the George Parks Highway via Wasilla (Iditarod Museum) to Talkeetna. The town was established as a mining town and trading post before either Wasilla or Anchorage existed. Several of its old log buildings are today historical landmarks. The town is known as the base for climbing expeditions that challenge Mt. Denali. While at Talkeetna, join a flightseeing tour to the summit of Denali. Get a picture perfect view of the Kahiltna and Ruth Glacier with its Great Gorge - over 9.000 ft deep - as well as magnificent ice-falls. Highlight of the flight will be an adventurous glacier landing near the Sheldon Amphitheatre.

Talkeetna - Denali National Park ( Driving Distance: 150 miles | Overnight: Denali Village )

The journey from Talkeetna to Denali National Park offers a lot of possibilities of wildlife sightings. Even if you are not eagle eyed, a few cars stopped over somewhere means that there could be a possibility of wildlife spotting! Byers Lake on the way offers visitors the choice to rent a canoe or kayak. Once you cross Denali State Park, you'll arrive at Denali Village. The Denali Park office is your rich information chase and it provides details on ranger-naturalist programs, slide shows and sled dog demonstrations. Jeff King’s Husky Homestead Kennel is a very popular choice for a personal tour with four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King and his sled dogs. Visitors can also choose a rafting trip on the Nenana River as well as an ATV Tour in the backcountry adjacent to Denali National Park.

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 Visitor Center

Denali National Park - Anchorage ( Driving Distance: 240 miles | Overnight: Anchorage )

Spend the morning at Denali National Park and watch a sled dog demonstration presented by the park ranger or join an exhilarating rafting trip on the Nenana River. Return to Anchorage via the Parks Highway and take a break in Wasilla - Home of the Iditarod Trail Headquarter. The museum features historical displays of the "Last Great Race on Earth", videos and a gift shop with unique souvenirs. Stopover at Eklutna Indian village which is an Athabascan Indian settlement. It houses a unique cemetery, in which each grave is surrounded by a small, decorative burial house. Alternative Routing: From the Parks Highway drive via Hatcher Pass Road to the Independence Mine Historical Park - operated from 1938 - 1941 by one of the largest gold producers in the Willow Creek Mining District.

Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Spend some time at the Alaska Native Heritage Center: the Gathering Place is center stage for Alaska Native dancing, compelling Native Games demonstrations and intriguing storytelling. The Hall of Cultures features exhibits and demonstrating Alaska Native artists. Visitors discover more about each of the five major culture groups through engaging exhibits. The Theatre hosts a variety of movies all day, including the Heritage Center produced film, “Stories Given, Stories Shared.” Guests stroll through six authentic life-sized Native dwellings around beautiful Lake Tiulana and are introduced to the traditional life ways of the native people. Your vacation ends with the return of your rental car at the airport or downtown Anchorage.