Next, you will continue touring by car along the route leading to Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Valdez. A trip across Prince William Sound aboard the Alaska ferry gives a taste of Alaska’s glaciers and marine wildlife. And a visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward is both educational and exciting, for old and young alike. Due to the ferry schedule, you can begin this itinerary on any day of the week except Tuesday.
Day 1: Arrival Anchorage
Transfer to your downtown area hotel by courtesy shuttle. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure. Within walking distance of your hotel is the Anchorage Museum of History and Art and other downtown attractions as well as many choices for restaurants. You may also wish to participate in an optional activity such as Flightseeing or Mountain Biking. Overnight Anchorage.
Day 2: Anchorage to Denali National Park
Depart Anchorage this morning for Denali National Park aboard the Alaska Railroad. The train departs at 8:15 and arrives in Denali at 3:15 p.m. A hotel courtesy shuttle will meet the train. The remainder of the afternoon is free for optional tours at Denali such as Helicopter Flightseeing or a Jeep Safari. Your hotel provides free transportation to the park's Visitor Access Center, which is just a short walk from hiking trails and the ranger station with its Alaska husky dog kennels. Overnight Denali.
Day 3: Denali National Park
Today you have an early morning Tundra Wilderness Tour. The travel time into the park is 6-8 hours, which varies due to the spotting of wildlife within the park. Sightings may include moose, bear, wolves, caribou, Dall sheep and many small mammals such as fox. Your experienced driver will provide narration about Denali's natural history and unique sub-arctic desert terrain. Overnight Denali.
Day 4: Denali to Fairbanks
Free morning to explore on your own and take advantage of many optional tours in the Denali area. You depart Denali for Fairbanks at 3:45 via the Alaska Railroad, arriving at 8:15 p.m. A dining car is available on the train. A local transfer on arrival is provided by your hotel. Overnight Fairbanks.
Day 5: Fairbanks
This morning you pick up your rental car at the Fairbanks airport. Spend the remainder of the day exploring this historic gold mining town, also known as Alaska's "Gateway to the Arctic." We suggest a visit to the University of Alaska Museum of the Arctic and the Musk Ox farm. You have several options for gold panning and gold mine tours such as the El Dorado Gold Mine or the Discover the Gold City Tour. This afternoon, take a ride aboard a classic sternwheeler riverboat. On this 3 1/2 hour river cruise you see an Athabaskan fish camp, Alaskan bush pilot demonstration and a championship sled dog team. Overnight Fairbanks.
Day 6: Fairbanks to Glennallen/Copper Center/247 miles
Plan 6 hours drive time, not including stops. Enjoy a scenic drive along the Richardson Highway, one of the oldest and most scenic highways in Alaska. Just outside of Fairbanks, stop at the Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska. This route follows the Alaska oil pipeline, one of the world's greatest engineering feats. Along the way, there are several rest stops, including historic roadhouses and scenic viewpoints. As you near your final destination of Copper Center, you are very near the boundary of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve. This region of Alaska offers impressive vistas of several of North America's tallest peaks. This is a perfect day to plan a picnic! Overnight Glennallen.
Day 7: Glennallen to Valdez/119 miles
Plan 2.5 hours drive time, not including stops. Take some time today to explore and visit the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park headquarters and ranger station, then continue into the Chugach Mountains and through Thompson Pass. There are several places to stop and enjoy the amazing landscapes. Look for Worthington Glacier and Bridal Veil Falls. Overnight Valdez.
Day 8: A Day on Prince William Sound
6.5 hours aboard the ferry from Valdez to Whittier then drive 85 miles from Whittier to Seward. Plan 2 hours drive time, not including tunnel wait or stops. Drive your car aboard the Alaska Marine Highway ferry from Valdez to Whittier. As you depart Valdez, you will sail past the huge oil tankers which transport Alaskan oil to the "Lower 48." Enjoy the scenery and relaxing pace as you cruise into Prince William Sound, where playful sea otters and lazy sea lions abound - don't forget your binoculars! On arrival in the port of Whittier, drive off of the ferry and into a mountain tunnel which takes you to Portage Glacier Valley. From here, it is a beautiful drive to Seward. Along the way, you can stop at Portage Lake or Exit Glacier. Overnight Seward.
Day 9: Seward
Start the day with some time to explore the quaint town of Seward, known as the gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park. Admission is included into the state-of-the-art marine science facility at the Alaska SeaLife Center. Here you will get an up close look at Alaska's diverse marine life and sea birds. You also have the option to take a Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise or a Glacier Dog Sled Adventure. We also suggest a visit to the Exit Glacier, a massive ice sheet flowing out of the Harding Ice Field. There you can literally walk to the face of the glacier along an interpretive trail illustrating the historical path that the glacier has followed as it has receded over the last 100 years. Overnight Seward.
Day 10: Seward to Anchorage/127 miles
Plan 3 hours drive time, not including stops. First drive through the Chugach Mountains and then along Cook Inlet's Turnagain Arm, scene of the second highest tidal flow in North America (behind Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy). En route we suggest a few worthwhile stops, including the ski resort village of Girdwood and the Potter's Marsh bird sanctuary. Depending on your arrival time, there is ample time to explore Alaska's largest city. Anchorage's Alaska Native Heritage Center is a great facility to see and learn about Alaska's varied native cultures and traditional lifestyles. Overnight Anchorage.
Day 11: Departure; Return the car to the airport rental station today.
Child rate - $250 per child under 12 sharing a room with adults.
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