From the iconic wonders of Denali National Park, to steaming hot springs, to the haunting maritime world of Prince William Sound, this unique tour offers a true sample of why this state is also one of mind. With two days to experience Denali, it's on to the vast Interior and the Golden Heart City of Fairbanks, with an overnight at the famous Chena Hot Springs Resort.
From there the route follows the historic trail to Valdez, traversing the spine of the Alaska Range through Isabel Pass and across the Copper River Basin to the coast. From Valdez we cross the inland sea past glacial fjords to Whittier to meet the road system again, and travel the longest tunnel in North America, shared with trains (-alternatively!). Alaska can take a lifetime to discover, but you have to start somewhere. This is a trip that will leave even veterans of numerous visits, wondering just what else they missed. As anywhere unique, it's the quality of the visit that distinguishes between deep satisfaction, or, a vague feeling otherwise. Only you can decide.
Day 1: Anchorage-Denali National Park: depart AM towards Park; Iditarod Headquarters; visit quaint Talkeetna, Mt. McKinley flightseeing available; Park Visitor Center and intro visit; overnight at Healy White Moose Lodge.
Day 2: Denali National Park: all day natural history/wildlife tour to heart of Park (hopefully The Mountain is out); optional hike to Horseshoe Lake; flightseeing option; White Moose Lodge.
Day 3: Denali-Fairbanks: visit historic town of Nenana; excellent University of Alaska Museum; Fairbanks city center; overnight magnificent Chena Hot Springs Resort, both covered indoor and open air, outdoor pools (spa time!).
Day 4: Fairbanks-Alaska Range: return to Fairbanks to visit Pioneer Park and sternwheeler Nenana; historic Rika's Roadhouse stop enroute to Delta Junction; overnight at the wonderful timberframe Black Rapids Lodge, adjacent to historic roadhouse and glacier of the same name.
Day 5: Black Rapids-Valdez; stops in Paxson, Glennallen; interpretive visit TransAlaska Pipeline; Worthington Glacier exploration; cross Thompson Pass; bed and breakfast in Valdez.
Day 6: Valdez-Anchorage; board ferry for spectacular trip across Prince William Sound to Whittier, glacial fjords, sea otters (and maybe whales!); drive through mountain tunnels; Portage Glacier; Turnagain Arm; Anchorage.
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