4 Days in Girdwood Basecamp + Kenai Fjords
Mid-May through mid-September
Why This Trip?
Sample some of the highlights that make Alaska such a unique place: witness spectacular mountain scenery, explore a glacier up close, and go for an unforgettable glaicer and wildlife cruise out in Kenai Fjords National Park.
Arrive in Anchorage - Day in Girdwood
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Pick up your rental car in Anchorage and make the 40-mile drive to Girdwood. Along the way on this amazingly scenic drive, keep an eye out for wildlife like Dall sheep and beluga whales. Girdwood may be well-known as a winter skiing destination, but it has great adventures year-round. Visit the 1898-era Crow Creek Mine, where you can pan for your own gold; go for a hike; or ride the Alyeska Resort Aerial Tramway for a spectacular panoramic view!
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If you didn't have the chance yesterday to take the tram ride, definitely carve out some time today to make that happen. But your focus today is on the Spencer Glacier. Even better, this wilderness area is accessible only by riding the rails, and you'll take a fun train ride to get there—the special Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop. Once there, you can you take a guided or unguided hike, or opt to paddle a kayak out on a glacial lake with icebergs.
Girdwood - Seward - Girdwood
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Today will be a long one, but very memorable. You'll begin by leaving the driving to someone else and taking the scenic 3-hour train trip to the quaint, coastal town of Seward—the gateway to jaw-droppingly beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. The park plays host to some of the state's most spectacular fjords and glaciers. And several great tour operators offer half- or full-day cruises that take you out to witness their majesty and experience the thrill of a calving glacier. Then take the train back to Girdwood.
Girdwood - Depart from Anchorage
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Take your time on the drive back to Anchorage, taking in the scenery along the way. If you have time, drop by the 200-acre Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where you'll get an up-close view of some of the state's unique creatures. Once in Anchorage, learn more about the fascinating local history at the Anchorage Museum, or visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center for a dose of history and culture. And don't forget to do some souvenir shopping before you leave!