Why This Trip?
This itinerary gives you extra time to explore two iconic—and very different—Alaskan landscapes. You'll first head to Seward and see the glaciers and marine wildlife of gorgeous Kenai Fjords National Park. Then you'll head to world-famous Denali National Park and experience the soaring peaks, lush tundra, and wildlife of this very special area.
Arrive & Overnight in Anchorage
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Welcome to Anchorage! Take today to explore Alaska's largest city. Walk or bike the dramatic, 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Go on a city tour via trolley or bike to get an overview, or join a brewery tour and sample some of the innovative suds being brewed here. Of course, you'll also want to experience the city's fantastic bars and restaurants.
Drive from Anchorage to Seward
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From Anchorage, it's a 2.5-hour drive to the quaint seaside town of Seward. Be sure to stop along Turnagain Arm to look for Dall sheep and beluga whales. Once in Seward, you can walk right up to the face of a glacier! Exit Glacier is just a 10- to 15-minute drive from town; a 20-minute walk brings you right up to the mountain of blue ice, where you can listen to it crackle. And be sure to make time for a visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center—an aquarium and research facility where you can get an up-close view of Alaska's unique marine creatures, like Stellar sea lions and harbor seals, as well as birds like puffins.
Day in Seward & Kenai Fjords National Park
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Jaw-droppingly beautiful, Kenai Fjords National 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. You'll also be on the lookout for willdife like whales and sea otters. Interested in fishing? Book a charter and head out angling for halibut, salmon, lingcod, and rockfish.
Seward - Girdwood - Talkeetna
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Today you'll travel to the authentic pioneer town of Talkeetna. It's about a 4.5-hour drive or 7 hours by motorcoach; if you're taking the train you'll have to overnight in Anchorage. If you're driving, make a stop in the scenic town of Girdwood, about 90 miles from Seward. Here, you can visit the 1898-era Crow Creek Mine and pan for your own gold, go for a hike, or ride the Alyeska Resort Aerial Tramway for a spectacular panoramic view! Then continue on to Talkeetna and explore the one-block main street, with its century-old roadhouse and general stores. If there's time, take a tour. You're close to Denali, so go flightseeing and check out the mountain up close; you could also take a guided walk, a rafting trip, try ziplining, or go for a thrilling jetboat ride.
Talkeetna - Denali National Park
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Depart from Talkeetna for iconic Denali National Park, either by car (2.5 hours), train (4.5 hours), or motorcoach (4 hours). Head to the park's visitor center to start getting acquainted with this vast expanse of nature. And try an activity! Go flightseeing and get a bird's-eye view of the vast Alaska Range as well as the summit of Denali. Enjoy some river rafting, or go for a guided hike.
Denali National Park
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Today, you'll spend all day exploring the beauty of this park. Private vehicles are not allowed beyond mile 15, so you'll explore by bus. Opt for the National Park Service's hop-on, hop-off transit bus, or take a narrated tour. Spend 7-8 hours traveling 62 miles into the park on the Tundra Wilderness tour, or take 12 hours and go all 92 miles to the end, at Kantishna. Along the way, look for wildlife and of course, North America's tallest peak.
An alternative to a bus on the Park Road is to ride a bike! Bike Denali offers afternoon, full-day, and multi-day rentals. Bike from the park entrance, or put your bike on a shuttle to catch a ride into the park and then pedal out!
Travel from Denali National Park to Anchorage
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If there's time in the morning, take advantage and squeeze in an extra tour. Many activities have half-day options, while others, like flightseeing, can be short but spectacular—the perfect sendoff for your Alaska experience. After that, it's time to make the trip back to Anchorage. If you're taking the train, it departs at 12:30 pm and gets into Anchorage at 8 pm.
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It's your last day in Alaska—spend it exploring any parts of Anchorage you didn't get to see. You can finish your trip with an in-depth picture of the city and state at the Anchorage Museum, or visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center for a dose of history and culture. Don't forget to pick up some souvenirs before you depart.