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Alaska’s Finest Self Driving Tour

Independent travel for visitors seeking the best Alaska hotels in popular locations.

Tour Code: 1548CTA

Tour Overview

This independent self-driving tour from Anchorage features Alaska’s finest accommodations. You’ll first stay at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood and spend your day enjoying the newly opened Nordic spa, riding the aerial tram up the mountain, or hiking nearby nature trails. Then drive to Whittier for a cruise to view the glaciers of Prince William Sound. Travel north to Talkeetna via the scenic Turnagain Arm to enjoy a wilderness lodge experience at Kantishna Roadhouse in  Denali National Park with your choice of activities  including scenic drives to see the grandeur of mountain Denali and to go wildlife viewing. After your Denali fun, travel south back to Anchorage for some final urban adventures.

What's Included
  • 5 nights deluxe accommodation in Girdwood, Talkeetna and Anchorage
  • 2 nights at the Kantishna Roadhouse inside Denali National Park
  • 7 day midsize car rental with unlimited mileage
  • Prince William Sound glacier cruise with lunch
  • Roundtrip bus transfer from the Denali National Park entrance to the lodge
  • All meals and guide services while at the Kantishna Roadhouse in Denali
  • All taxes and fees
What's Not Included

Any insurances for rental car, additional driver fees, gas. Meals, optional excursions, park/admission fees other than mentioned, gratuity.

 

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Anchorage to Girdwood

Today you pick-up your rental car and drive to the nearby resort village of Girdwood, nestled in a picturesque valley surrounded by the Chugach Mountains and pristine wilderness. Relax and enjoy the remainder of the day pampering yourself in the spa, riding the aerial tram up the mountain, or taking a walk on a nature trail. The town offers both casual and fine dining choices. Overnight in Girdwood.

 

Important Note: Please provide us with your flight arrival information at time of booking, so that we can schedule the car rental pick up time correctly.

Day 2
Girdwood

This morning drive south through a one-lane toll tunnel to the small port town of Whittier. Embark on the magnificent 26 Glacier Cruise, which takes you over 135 miles into Prince William Sound. Here you will see 26 “named glaciers” and many more unnamed. The specially designed catamaran gets you within 500 feet of the face of the tidewater glaciers. Your captain will turn off the ship’s engines so you can “hear” the glaciers move, as well as see the brilliant blues in the ice. Glacier calving, where large pieces of ancient ice break off and fall into the sea, is normally seen during each cruise. You will see three types of glaciers on each trip including Alpine, Piedmont, and Tidewater glaciers. A hot lunch is included while on board. Return to Girdwood after the cruise. Overnight in Girdwood.

Day 3
Girdwood to Talkeetna

Drive north from Girdwood along scenic Turnagain Arm, traveling through Anchorage and the agricultural region of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, to the small, picturesque town of Talkeetna. Historic Talkeetna is best known as the jumping-off point for Denali climbing expeditions. Given clear weather, views of the Mountain are breathtaking. Upon arrival, you will have the rest of the day to explore the town on your own or participate in optional activities such as an exciting jet boat tour, fishing, or a ski-plane flight to Denali (see Tour Add-Ons). Overnight in Talkeetna.

Day 4
Talkeetna to Denali National Park

Continuing northward from Talkeetna, tour the scenic Parks highway along the boundary of Denali State Park and Hurricane Gulch. The massive peaks of the Alaska Range are in view nearly the entire route. At 6 million acres, Denali National Park is one of the world’s last great frontiers for wilderness adventure. It is at the park entrance that most of the park services are located. However your journey takes you to a lodge located deep inside the park. In the afternoon the lodge shuttle will transfer you from the park entrance to the Kantishna Roadhouse. During your lodge shuttle transfer your driver/guide will offer expert insights into the park’s natural history and wildlife. The famous park road offers your best chance for seeing the wildlife and scenery which that makes the Denali area so unforgettable. Arrive in time for dinner and orientation for tomorrow’s guided activities from the lodge. Enjoy comfortable accommodations with a private bathroom, and other unexpected modern comforts for such a remote location. Overnight in Kantishna.

Day 5
Denali National Park

Spend a full day inside Denali National Park enjoying a naturalist-led guided hike or walk, panning for gold, mountain biking through the backcountry, or fishing. Activities are included with your stay (except for optional flightseeing tours). In the evening, enjoy a presentation focusing on the local area, read a book from the extensive natural history library, or just relax and share stories from the day. All meals are included today. Overnight in Kantishna.

Day 6
Denali National Park to Anchorage

Enjoy a light breakfast early this morning before departing on the bus back to the park entrance. Or, you can upgrade to a scenic return flight for an aerial tour of Denali National Park to the park entrance (additional cost). Upon return to the park entrance, collect your rental car and drive south to Anchorage. Points of interest along the way include the Iditarod Museum and the Reindeer Farm in Palmer. Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 7
Anchorage

Today is yours to explore the city. Go shopping, tour local attractions, or take a hike or bike in one of Anchorage’s many parks. City highlights include the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Anchorage Museum, the Log Cabin Visitor Center, the Alaska Zoo, local breweries, and the Coastal Trail. Experience more by adding an optional bear viewing excursion or guided sightseeing tour (see Tour Add-Ons). Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 8
Anchorage Departure

Depending on your departure time, you might have free time for some souvenir shopping or additional excursions. Transfer on your own to the airport for your flight departure, or extend your vacation an additional program.

Tour Map

 

Dates & Rates

 

Tour Add-ons

Browsing optional excursions for the Alaska’s Finest Self Driving Tour:

Bear Viewing Flight to Lake Clark from Anchorage

Enjoy a bear viewing day tour out of Anchorage to Lake Clark National Park via seaplane. An Alaska experience of a lifetime! Depart from Lake Hood Floatplane Airport in Anchorage and fly southwest over Cook Inlet toward the Chigmit Mountains. Enjoy spectacular views of the Alaska and Aleutian Mountain Ranges and two active volcanoes – Mt.... Read more

Chinitna Bay Bear Viewing

Depart from Anchorage by wheeled plane for a 90-minute scenic flight southwest over Cook Inlet toward the Chigmit Mountains. Enjoy spectacular views of the Alaska and Aleutian Mountain Ranges and two active volcanoes – Mt. Redoubt and Mt. Iliamna – before landing on the beach in Chinitna Bay on the southern end of Lake Clark... Read more

Katmai and Brooks Falls Bear Viewing

Fly from Anchorage to one of Alaska’s most famous bear viewing destinations, Katmai National Park and Brooks Falls! Depart Anchorage early in the morning on a scheduled flight to King Salmon (approximately 1.5 hours). On arrival, a local representative will transfer you directly to a seaplane for the 20 minute flight to Brooks Camp. After a... Read more

Wilderness Excursion Jetboat Tour

This day tour from Talkeetna treats you to a scenic journey aboard a 15- to 52-passenger jetboat on the Susitna River and will give you the opportunity to experience wildlife, folklore, and historic artifacts. Conditions permitting, enjoy panoramic view of Denali and the Alaska Range. Along the way, look for bald eagles, beavers, or moose.... Read more

We had a fabulous time in Alaska on our life quest to get to all the National Parks! I cannot rave about our trip enough!!!

Irene | Trip Advisor