Photo Credit: Alaska Ultimate Safaris Adventure Lodge

Guided Camping & Backcountry Adventure Tours in Alaska

Alaska’s backcountry – in the mountains, on the tundra, near a glacier, or along wild rivers or coastline – allows for a rare immersion into breathtaking surroundings, away from cities, roads, and crowds. You don’t even have to go far away from “civilization” to be surrounded by awe-inspiring views and nature’s sounds. Guided backcountry trips range from bare bones camping to upscale lodge retreats, and they all offer more of quintessential Alaska: more views, more quiet, and more opportunities to see wildlife.

Why Choose a Backcountry Experience?

A sense of place. On a backcountry adventure, no matter where you look, there’s no doubt that you’re in Alaska. You’re constantly connecting with your surroundings, whether you’re floating down a river and then sleeping in a tent along the banks, or retiring to a private room at an upscale lodge surrounded by miles of wilderness.

Make lasting connections. All of these guided adventures have small group sizes. And, you’re generally with the same group for the duration of your trip. You’ll form connections, friendships, and will bond over mealtime, shared challenges and new vistas.

Get out of your comfort zone. Backcountry adventuring is an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and learn something new. Have you ever tried ice climbing before spending the night on a glacier? How about finding your way over wide-open tundra on a backpacking expedition? Even cooking riverside on a float trip teaches you how delicious a meal can be after a day on the water. Alaska offers challenges and discoveries for even the most experienced hikers/rafters/campers.

Leave the planning to the experts. No need to spend hours on logistics trying to match up transportation, accommodations and meals. These trips are planned out for you, and are typically all-inclusive.

What Types of Trips are There?

Backcountry trips range from rugged to luxurious, with a variety of activity levels so you can choose the experience that suits you best. They’re also available at a variety of price points. If you are surprised at first by a total cost, keep in mind that it likely includes transportation from a hub city to your destination, along with meals and activities throughout the trip.

This table gives typical cost tiers according to the type of trip:

Cost (per person)AccommodationsBathroomActivity LevelMeals
Outfitted Trip (no guide)Varies based on gear rented and chartered airfareTentOutdoorsHighBackcountry fare, often freeze-dried
Guided Camping$1940 - $3950, 9-20 daysTentVaries; vault toilets or campground facilities with flush toilets & showersLow - MidCampground fare!
Guided Backpacking$900 - $2750, 2-5 daysTentOutdoorsMid - HighBackcountry fare, often freeze-dried (prepared by guide)
Guided Float Trip$575 - $3150, 2-7 daysTentOutdoors / port-a-johnMid - HighBackcountry gourmet (prepared by guide)
Glamping$999+, overnightTent with prepared sleeping spaceVault / port-a-johnLow - MidPrepared or catered, gourmet
Backcountry Skiing & Winter Adventures$895+Lodge or tentVariesLow - High

Backountry fare to prepared

Is Backcountry Exploring safe?

Absolutely! Exploring these wilderness areas safely takes common sense and knowledge of how to manage the risks - which can include everything from hypothermia to surprise encounters with wildlife. Guides will help you have an amazing time while showing you how to navigate Alaska’s land, ice and water safely. And even if you are already well versed in the mechanics of backcountry adventuring, a guide can help elevate your experience with insights into the specific geology, natural history, and flora and fauna around you.

Outfitted Trips

Season: May 01 to Sep 10 $295+ per person 30 min - 3.5 hrs

You’ll take off from Anchor­age, and Alas­ka will open up for you as you appre­ci­ate its vast­ness from the air. Where will you go? That’s up to you! Choose from a vari­ety of tours. Take one of the clas­sics, like flight­see­ing to Denali, or opt to explore one of the state’s hid­den gems. You can also fly to see glac­i­ers, go bear view­ing in Lake Clark Nation­al Park, or work with the pros at Alas­ka Air Ser­vice to cre­ate your own cus­tom itinerary.

Season: Year Round 1+ hours

Expe­ri­ence the thrill of flight­see­ing in areas that most tours can’t reach. Go with Gold­en Eagle Out­fit­ters and enjoy ful­ly cus­tomized flight­see­ing tours from Kotze­bue or Delta Junc­tion — or take advan­tage of their air-taxi drop-off and pick­up ser­vice to access some of the most beau­ti­ful and remote parts of Alaska.

Season: May 15 - Oct 1 Private Air Charter $1160+ (Up to 5 Guests)

Fam­i­ly-owned and oper­at­ed, Des­ti­na­tion Alas­ka Adven­ture Com­pa­ny, has a pas­sion for show­ing peo­ple Alas­ka. Whether your must-see list includes nation­al parks, glac­i­ers, vol­ca­noes, great fish­ing, bear view­ing, or more, Homer is not only a great base for flight­see­ing but also a great home base for your trip. Browse avail­able tours, dream up an adven­ture of your own, or let the pros at Des­ti­na­tion Alas­ka help you cre­ate one!

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Guided Camping

Season: February - March and June - July $5,400+ Summer Packages 3 Nights +, $350+ / Night Winter A La Carte 3 - 9 Nights

Vis­it­ing Alaska’s old­est recre­ation lodge — found­ed in 1937 and set 125 air miles north­west of Anchor­age — is like step­ping back in time. Rus­tic log cab­ins pep­per the land­scape, the staff gets around by horse, and every­where you turn you’ll find shim­mer­ing water and tow­er­ing peaks. It’s tru­ly a place to unplug.

Season: May 20–3rd week of September Exit Glacier Shuttle $15 | Guided Hikes & Glacier Treks $59+ 2.5 - 9 hrs

Tra­verse the majesty of Exit Glac­i­er by ice hik­ing or ice climb­ing, or opt for a nature hike in the gor­geous ter­rain around Seward, Alas­ka. Nev­er ice climbed or hiked on a glac­i­er? Not a prob­lem. All trips include instruc­tion to get you started.

Season: June–early September
$2990+
Land Package Type: Guided Backcountry Adventures

The unique trips offered by Infi­nite Adven­tures begin with trans­porta­tion in a con­vert­ed school bus that’s been trans­formed into a spa­cious, com­fort­able char­i­ot for 16 trav­el­ers. Accom­mo­da­tions are most­ly in tents, and itin­er­aries have been designed for camp­ing lovers (and those who would like to try it). Plus, the own­ers run most trips them­selves — a hus­band and wife who are pas­sion­ate about show­ing off Alaska!

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Guided Backpacking

Season: Year Round Custom pricing, contact for rates Full Day & Multi-Day

Explore Anchorage’s best kept secrets with a local guide. Tra­verse Alaska’s pri­vate, cus­tom adven­tures are designed to take vis­i­tors off the beat­en path and away from the crowds. Adven­tures can incor­po­rate a full day of hik­ing or a com­bi­na­tion of scenic dri­ving and out­door activ­i­ties. Each trip is cus­tom designed to meet your inter­ests and desired activ­i­ty level.

Season: July 2 - Sep 10 $1,295 per person 4 days

Get a unique view of the Alaskan wilder­ness on a four- or sev­en-day back­pack­ing trip through the back­coun­try. You’ll be trekking on Kesu­gi Ridge in Denali State Park, with mag­nif­i­cent views of Mt. McKin­ley and of course plen­ty of wildlife to spot along the way. Your expe­ri­enced nat­u­ral­ist guide will be with you the whole way, cook­ing up great meals at your camp­sites. You should be fit enough to car­ry a pack up mod­er­ate hills, though you’ll  ...more

Season: Year Round $125+ 3 hrs to Multi-Day Options

Set off with a small group and an expe­ri­enced guide for an unfor­get­table explo­ration of the Mat-Su Val­ley area on foot. Nes­tled between the Chugach Moun­tains to the south and the Tal­keet­na Moun­tains to the north, there are crag­gy, snow-capped peaks and rush­ing rivers every­where you turn: a clas­sic Alaskan set­ting that comes packed with a rich his­to­ry. Opt for a half-day or full day hike, or choose a hike & brew or a town tour to learn the  ...more

Season: Year Round Custom pricing, contact for rates Full Day & Multi-Day

Tra­verse Alas­ka can craft ful­ly-guid­ed cus­tom adven­tures, or set you up on a trip into the Alas­ka wilder­ness arm­ing you with some know-how — and pro­vid­ing you with the inde­pen­dence to freely explore. Excur­sions include pri­vate day hikes, raft­ing and pack­raft­ing, and mul­ti-day backpacking. 

Season: Year Round $99+ 2 hrs - Multi-Day

Get out there on one or more of these super-acces­si­ble trips, which range from easy nature walks to stren­u­ous alpine mul­ti-day treks. You’ll not only get a healthy dose of scenery, you’ll also exer­cise your body, mind, and soul. In win­ter, mar­vel at frozen water­falls, snow­shoe treks and even heli-snowshoeing!

Season: June – September $550+ per person 2 - 8 Days

Fly in and out of remote loca­tions in the gor­geous Wrangell-St. Elias Nation­al Park and expe­ri­ence the true wilder­ness of the Alaskan back­coun­try. Keep­ing it min­i­mal and unplug­ging com­plete­ly, you’ll sleep in a tent and wake up refreshed and exhil­a­rat­ed by the sights and sounds of these raw wilds. Mod­er­ate mini-Back­pack­ing excur­sions for begin­ners, or point-to-point hikes for expe­ri­enced back­pack­ers that match your abilities.

Season: Late June - Early September  $1,960+ all-inclusive packages Multi-Day Excursions

Explore the Alaskan wilder­ness while car­ry­ing your pack and camp­ing out — it’s a way to tru­ly get in touch with nature. Choose a 1‑night or 2‑night trek leav­ing from the town of Ken­ni­cott — your expe­di­tion will be led by expert guides, who will take you on hikes that can wind past gor­geous lakes and stun­ning water­falls. Work with your guide to per­son­al­ize your adven­ture — they know the must-see high­lights of this area and can fill you in on the human  ...more

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Glamping

Season: May 19 -Sept 10 3+ hrs

Scenic vis­tas, glacial lakes, and Gold Rush his­to­ry come togeth­er in the Moose Pass area, just north of Seward, mak­ing it an ide­al spot to kayak, pack­raft, and hike. Trav­el with the experts of Moose Pass Adven­tures and you’ll expe­ri­ence this mag­i­cal area on a day tour or overnight get­away to a back­coun­try yurt with an inti­mate group with expe­ri­enced, pas­sion­ate guides.

Season: Jun 01 to Sep 04 $6595 to $6795 (+ internal air) 6 Days / 5 Nights

In the best way pos­si­ble. you’re out­num­bered by bears dur­ing your stay at this pri­vate fly-in wilder­ness camp. Fly by char­tered plane from Homer to Alas­ka Bear Camp on a 5‑night, 6‑day all-inclu­sive pack­age. This deluxe back­coun­try camp accom­mo­dates just 14 guests in some of the best bear habi­tat in the world. In con­trast to day trips cater­ing to dozens of vis­i­tors at a time, Bear Camp offers a rare and exclu­sive wilder­ness immersion.

Season: May 30 - Sept 4 Day Hikes $120 | Multi-day $2,695+ Day & Multi-Day

Dri­ve your own Jeep equipped with a rooftop tent while guides lead­ing the way in a sep­a­rate vehi­cle take care of the details as you go. Along the way you’ll enjoy some of the most icon­ic spots and expe­ri­ences that the 49th state has to offer.

Season: July 1 - Aug 20 $1050+ per person 1 - 6 nights

See the bears of Lake Clark and Kat­mai Nation­al Park on their own turf at this bliss­ful­ly remote cab­in-based eco lodge. This is a glamp­ing expe­ri­ence with incred­i­ble views — both of the bears liv­ing in their own habi­tat, and of the nat­ur­al scenery that you get from your hosts, who also run Homer’s only heli­copter-based adven­ture safari company.

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Guided Float & Sea Kayaking Trips

Guided Float & Sea Kayaking Trips
Season: May - September $135+ 4 hrs - 8 days

Guid­ed sea kayak­ing in Alaska’s South­east opens up the mag­i­cal world of water-based tour­ing. Glide through a marine envi­ron­ment with gor­geous views in every direc­tion, and many oppor­tu­ni­ties to spot wildlife – from eagles and salmon to bears, whales and sea lions. Options include day tours for busy sched­ules and mul­ti-day immer­sions, all under the expert guid­ance of nat­u­ral­ists who help you under­stand the com­plex work­ings of a unique and amazing  ...more

Season: May 19 - Sept 7 $125+ 4 hrs - 7 days

Mem­bers of 1% For The Plan­et, Kayak Adven­tures World­wide strives to ful­fill their mis­sion to inspire an active stew­ard­ship of our nat­ur­al world. Through small group sea kayak tours in Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, they focus on safe­ty, edu­ca­tion, and con­nect­ing guests with the unique and frag­ile ecosys­tems you’ll visit.

Season: June 15 – September 1 $115+ 3+ hours

Raft the gor­geous glac­i­er-fed rivers and ice­berg-filled lakes of the Alaskan back­coun­try out of McCarthy, an his­toric town in the heart of America’s largest nation­al park, Wrangell-St. Elias. Going with St. Elias Alpine Guides — the park’s longest-oper­at­ing raft­ing com­pa­ny — is a great way to expe­ri­ence the wilder­ness on every­thing from half-day out­ings to 15-day expe­di­tions. No expe­ri­ence is required, and all food and gear are provided!

$875+ per person 2 - 7 days

Sprawl­ing Wrangell-St. Elias Nation­al Park has huge moun­tains, North America’s largest con­cen­tra­tion of glac­i­ers, and thou­sands of rivers — but just two roads. That’s why tak­ing to the local rivers is such an excel­lent way to explore the park: this oper­a­tor out of McCarthy offers mul­ti-day adven­tures that embrace the rugged won­ders of the park, while keep­ing you com­fort­able enough so that you relax and enjoy it.

Season: May 20 - Sept 15 $99+ 2 hr - Multi-Day

Tal­keet­na Riv­er Guides has offered expert­ly guid­ed raft­ing day trips for over 20 years. Float through the remote wilder­ness of Denali State Park, just a stone’s throw away from Denali Nation­al Park’s wild south side. Choose the two-hour Tal­keet­na Riv­er Nat­ur­al His­to­ry Float Trip, the four-hour Chulti­na Riv­er Raft Tour, or an overnight or mul­ti-day excursion.

Season: May 1 – 3rd week of September $199+ 3-10 hrs

Take a bou­tique, small-group kayak­ing trip with expe­ri­enced guides at Liq­uid Adven­tures and get close to glac­i­ers in kayaks or pad­dle­boards while look­ing for whales and oth­er marine mam­mals. You can even com­bine your adven­ture with a jet­boat, heli­copter, or wildlife cruise. There’s noth­ing quite like it in all of Alaska!

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Winter Adventures

Season: February - April Custom, Call for Quote 3+ Days

Tra­verse Alas­ka cre­ates cus­tom tours in the Denali Nation­al Park area that allow trav­el­ers to enjoy the mag­ic of Alas­ka at their own pace. Win­ter itin­er­aries include icon­ic Alaskan cold-weath­er activ­i­ties in South­cen­tral and Inte­ri­or Alas­ka. After all, Alas­ka in win­ter is a very spe­cial time of year — qui­eter, full of snow-frost­ed trees, and frozen snow-cov­ered ground cre­ates an out­door play­ground in every direction.

Season: Year Round $90+ per person 30+ min - Multi-Day

Take part in the thrill of win­ter and fall dog sled­ding out of Fair­banks. You’ll expe­ri­ence the sport with one of Alaska’s longest-run­ning dog tour com­pa­nies. Go for a ride, attend mush­ing school, or go on a mul­ti-day adven­ture to the his­toric Tolo­vana Roadhouse.

Season: Year Round Summer 2 hrs | Winter 2-7 days

Vis­it the world’s old­est Siber­ian Husky ken­nel any time of the year with tour options rang­ing from a cou­ple of hours in the sum­mer to mul­ti-day win­ter adven­tures explor­ing Fairbanks.

Season: February 20 - April 10 $9,895+ per person, all-inclusive 3-5 nights

This fam­i­ly-owned, fly-in lux­u­ry wilder­ness lodge is 200 miles north of Fair­banks and 60 miles above the Arc­tic Cir­cle. Stays are all-inclu­sive and exclu­sive — they only accept one group at a time. Go dogsled­ding, snow­shoe­ing, or scan the skies for the north­ern lights. The lodge’s huge pic­ture win­dows make it easy to keep a look­out for the auro­ra from a warm, com­fort­able interior.

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