SDWT01 Denali Discovery – Road Trip from Whittier

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Denali National Park and Mt. Denali are a must see for visitors to Alaska. This 4 day driving tour allows time for you to explore and experience the pristine and untouched wilderness of Denali National Park. Arrive into Whittier by cruise ship or the Alaska Ferry and pick up your rental car.The tiny town Whittier is located 58 miles southeast of Anchorage at the head of Passage Canal on the west side of Prince William Sound. Popular with photographers, hikers and hunters thanks to its natural beauty and wildlife, Whittier is most visited as the embarkation/debarkation point for one-way cruises between Anchorage to Vancouver by Princess and other cruise lines. Whittier is also a port for the ferries on the Alaska Marine Highway. Enjoy the scenic drive along Turnagain Arm, past Anchorage towards Denali National Park. The name ''Denali'' means ''The Great One'' in the native Athabascan language. At 20,310 feet above sea level Denali is the highest peak in North America and is surrounded by one of the world's most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries. Denali  National  Park  is  the  natural  habitat  for many types of wildlife including caribou, moose, wolves, Dall sheep, bald eagles, and the mighty grizzly bears. Continue to the charming town of Talkeetna and join the flightseeing tour to Mt. Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley). Get a once in a lifetime view of some of the world’s largest and most incredible glaciers, glacial ice falls and sheer vertical cliffs. The finale to this tour is Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city and brimming with activities for the outdoorsy and adventurous. 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

Whittier - Denali National Park ( Driving Distance: 300 miles | Overnight: Denali Village )

Pick up your rental car in Whittier. Drive via Whittier Tunnel and take the scenic Seward Highway to Anchorage. Feel free to take a break at the designated photo stops to enjoy the panoramic views over Cook Inlet. The grandness of the nature starts right from Anchorage itself and driving every mile on the Parks Highway gets even better. It is a treat to watch the mountain peaks crowned with snow caps in the distance. On the way you travel across the fertile Matanuska Valley. Because of the immense amount of summer sunlight, vegetables grow to incredible sizes. Once you cross Denali State Park, you'll arrive at Denali Village. The parks office is your rich information chase and it provides details on ranger-naturalist programs, slide shows and sled dog demonstrations.

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 – Talkeetna ( Driving Distance: 150 miles | Overnight: Talkeetna )

Spend the morning at Denali Village and join a whitewater rafting tour, watch a sled dog demonstration presented by the Denali park rangers or go on a short hiking trip around the Denali Visitor Center. Leave for Talkeetna - the base for most climbing expeditions and spectacular glacier flightseeing activities within the Alaska Mountain Range. This afternoon take a flightseeing trip within 6-Miles of Denali's 20.320 ft summit and get a picture perfect view of the Kahiltna and Ruth Glacier with its Great Gorge - over 9.000 ft deep - as well as onto magnificent ice-falls. You will also see the Sheldon Amphitheatre - the largest of its kind in the world. Another highlight will be an adventurous glacier landing at the 5600 foot level of Ruth Glacier. Included: Mt. Denali Flightseeing Tour

Talkeetna - Anchorage, Depart Anchorage ( Driving Distance: 115 miles )

Join a jet boat safari on the Susitna, Talkeetna and Chulitna Rivers this morning. 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.