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Hiking in Denali National Park


Fall in love with the untamed beauty of Alaska on this six-day walking and hiking trip that loops you inland from coastal Anchorage to the spectacular Denali National Park – home to the tallest mountain on the continent, Denali. Hike tundra trails that weave through wildflowers and maybe even spot some wildlife living among the landscape (is that a grizzly bear?). Walk across a massive glacier of ancient ice and choose your own hiking adventure with leader-led walks through the park. By the end of your trip, you’ll understand why, in the Indigenous Aleut language, Alaska means ‘The Great Land.’

6 days, from

$2,660

per person

GROUP SIZE

11 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

4
Trip code: SAXD
Style: Original
Theme: Walking & Trekking

Details

Countries Visited:  United States Of America
Accommodation: Hotel (5 nights)
Transportation: Private Van
Included Meals:

  • 2 breakfasts
  • 2 lunches
  • 1 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 11
Minimum Age: 15

  • Experience the rugged beauty of Denali National Park, home to the tallest peak in North America and starring some of the most scenic photo ops you’ll find anywhere.

  • Walk atop the ice of the largest car-accessible glacier in Alaska, the Matanuska, on an educational tour led by a local glacier expert and with all technical gear provided.

  • Tackle an out-and-back scenic hike into the Alaskan wilderness along the Curry Ridge Trail and keep your eyes peeled for a diverse array of wildlife living among the tundra.

  • Spend a day exploring the wilds of Alaska at your own pace, with a self-guided hike along the well-marked Savage Alpine Trail.

  • Enjoy a free night in Anchorage, where you can discover cultural sites like the Alaska Native Heritage Center, dine on some of the best pizza in the USA (really!) or take a sunset stroll along the city’s coastal trail.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Matanuska Valley

Welcome to Alaska! You’ll meet your leader at 10 am at the Springhill Suites by Marriott Anchorage Midtown in Anchorage for a welcome meeting before embarking on a scenic drive along the Glenn Highway towards the town of Palmer, a trip that’s packed with gorgeous mountain vistas and plenty of time for photo ops. You’ll eventually reach the famed Matanuska Glacier, Alaska's largest road-access glacier – it’s a jaw-dropping 27 miles long and 4 miles wide and has some of the most accessible walking areas of any glacier in the state. Don your ice cleats and helmet (included) and begin exploring the glacier on foot with the help of an Alaskan guide and glacier expert. Marvel at ice that formed thousands of years ago, high in the Chugach Mountains as you walk for about 2 hours, covering 3 miles. Amazingly, every day is unique at Matanuska, due to the dynamic nature of the glacier. Similarly, your tour will be customised to suit your group’s interests. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at a local eatery with stunning views of the glacier and surrounding scenery, before heading to Palmer for the night.

Day 2: Hatcher Pass / Talkeetna

Today you explore the wild beauty of Hatcher Pass for a hike among the alpine tundra of the Talkeetna Mountains. While Hatcher Pass used to be one of Alaska’s best-kept secrets, it’s become fairly popular in recent years. Luckily, you’ll have your expert leader with you, who will know which trails to take to avoid the crowds! After your hike, sit back, relax and take in the scenery outside your window as you drive onwards to the charming town of Talkeetna, Alaska. Enjoy sweeping landscape views of mountains, rivers and forests – and maybe even spot some Alaskan wildlife.

Day 3: Denali National State Park – Curry Ridge

It’s another scenic day today in the Great Land, with a moderate-level hike and stunning views through the front country of Denali National Park. Curry Ridge is a 6.5-mile out-and-back scenic hike into the rolling tundra of the Alaskan wilderness. On a clear day, you can expect spectacular views of the surrounding mountain range and the towering Denali Mountain (formerly known as Mt McKinley), the highest peak in North America.

Day 4: Denali National State Park – Savage Alpine Trail

Today is truly an adventure! You’ll embark on the Savage Alpine trail transit bus to reach the trailhead of this popular but strenuous self-guided hike. The ride is short and sweet since you'll be disembarking between Miles 13 and 15 on the National Park Road. The most common place to begin the hike it at the river. It will allow you to gain altitude and views in the least amount of time. Beginning from the river you gain around 900ft in elevation in the first mile. Once on the ridge it's a gentle hike with fantastic views of Denali on a clear day! Following the side of the mountain, you’ll descend back down to the valley, arriving at Savage Campground. While this is an unguided hike today, your leader will clearly describe the trail and set up a meeting point and time so you can meet back up with the group at the end of the day. Then catch the bus back to your accommodation, and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife along the way!

Day 5: Anchorage

This morning, set off for one last hike along the Horseshoe Lake Trail before heading back to Anchorage. This short but scenic walk frames Horseshoe Lake with viewpoints along the way and the chance to check out a beaver dam. After your walk, hit the road with a stop at the iconic Denali Viewpoint (depending on conditions) for one last look at the highest point in North America. Then, load back into the van and ease into your final stretch to Anchorage. Your leader will drop you off at your hotel for your last night and you may want to gather the group for a goodbye dinner. For good food and great views, 49th State Brewing Co. is an excellent option, or you could go for pizza at Alaska’s most famous restaurant, the chilled-out Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria. If you’d like to get in more walking time, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is a perfect sunset activity and is easily accessible from downtown.

Day 6: Anchorage

Your tour ends after breakfast and you’re free to depart at your leisure or stay and explore more of Anchorage on your own.