Alaska Highlights Self-Drive Tour

Visit some of Alaska's most popular places in just 10 days!

Tour Code: 1519CTA

Tour Overview

This tour offers a leisurely pace for exploring Alaska’s scenic roadways and significant highlights. Visit Denali National Park with North America’s tallest mountain, Denali. Drive alongside the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, transporting oil from the North Slope to Valdez. Visit the picturesque town of Valdez, Alaska’s “Little Switzerland.” From here, you can take a boat cruise into Prince William Sound. Continuing, you travel through the scenic Matanuska Valley. At the end of the tour, you see Seward, the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park!

What's Included
  • 9 nights accommodations
  • 9-day midsize rental car with unlimited mileage
  • 4-6 hour bus tour into Denali National Park (depending on weather and road conditions)
  • All taxes and fees
What's Not Included

Transfers in Anchorage, meals unless otherwise noted, and gratuities. Optional car rental coverage (such as LDW or liability insurance), additional driver fees, fuel, or GPS rental. Car rental category upgrades available at additional fee.


Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Anchorage Arrival

Pick up your rental vehicle at the Anchorage airport upon your arrival and drive to your hotel. Overnight in Anchorage. You will stay in the midtown area of Anchorage or near the Anchorage airport.

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
Anchorage to Denali Park Entrance

In the morning depart Anchorage at your leisure. As you travel there are interesting stops along the way including the Alaska Native Heritage Center and the village of Eklutna. Continue towards Denali National Park through the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and Denali State Park. You can take a side trip to the small gold mining community Talkeetna for either an optional jet boat tour or a ski-plane flight to land on Denali.  This afternoon, you may wish to take an optional rafting tour or attend a dinner theater. Overnight near the Denali park entrance.

Day 3
Denali National Park

Today, depart on a narrated bus tour into Denali National Park.  As you travel through the pristine wilderness, look for wildlife, such as bears, caribou, and moose, as well as views of the mountain. Your experienced driver/guide will provide commentary.  The tour is approximately 4-6 hours long and takes you approximately 30 – 43 miles into the park, depending on weather and road conditions. The rest of the day is free for optional tours, such as river rafting, ATV tours or flightseeing tours. Overnight near the Denali park entrance.

Day 4
Denali National Park to Fairbanks

Surrounded by forests and mountains you will continue north to Fairbanks through the communities of Healy, Nenana and Ester, an old mining camp. In Fairbanks, you may explore the town on your own or participate in optional excursions like the Riverboat Discovery cruise. Another option is to drive to Chena Hot Springs and take a relaxing bath in the hot springs. Overnight in Fairbanks.

Day 5
Fairbanks to Valdez

Today your journey continues as you head southeast toward Delta Junction. You will pass through North Pole, home of the Santa Claus House, as you take the spectacular Richardson Highway south towards Valdez. Part of the route parallels the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Weather permitting, you’ll have incredible views of the Alaska Range and the St. Elias Mountains. Drive by Worthington Glacier and through Keystone Canyon with its many cascading waterfalls. Overnight in Valdez.

Day 6

Today is at your leisure to enjoy Valdez and its surroundings. Try a scenic kayaking trip or a wildlife and glacier cruise into Prince William Sound (see Tour Add-ons). Overnight in Valdez.

Day 7
Valdez to Sheep Mountain or Wasilla area

Today drive the Richardson Highway back north to the Glenn Highway. Take the Glenn Highway towards Anchorage to either the Sheep Mountain or Palmer/Wasilla area (depending on accommodation availability). Check out scenic Matanuska Glacier before you relax for the evening. Overnight in Sheep Mountain or Palmer/Wasilla area (depending on accommodation availability).

Day 8
Sheep Mountain or Wasilla area to Seward

This morning continue driving the Glenn Highway to Anchorage and continue south on the Seward Highway. The Seward Highway takes you first along beautiful coastal scenery and then through scenic mountain areas. When arriving in Seward, check out Exit Glacier. Overnight in Seward.

Day 9
Seward to Anchorage

This morning there is time to enjoy optional excursions, including a cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park, an Exit Glacier hike, or a visit to an Iditarod musher dog sled ride (see Tour Add-ons). Later you will return to Anchorage but before reaching the city you may want to stop at the resort community of Girdwood for a tram ride up Mt. Alyeska. Overnight in Anchorage. You will stay in the midtown area of Anchorage or near the Anchorage airport.

Day 10
Anchorage Departure

Return your car to the Anchorage airport car rental station. Depart or start an additional program.

Tour Map


Dates & Rates

Please provide us with your flight arrival information (arrival time, flight number and name of airline) when you make your reservation. That way we can book the rental car accordingly.

*Child prices are valid for children 11 years and younger, sharing a room with at least 2 full paying adults with the existing bedding. Maximum of 4 people per room.

Our Standard Program Includes:

2 and 3 star hotel accommodations.

The program will include a combination of hotels or motels that are considered moderate to standard tourist class. Please be aware not all hotels have shuttle services.

Standard train car seating on all rail services (reserved seats).

If you would like to book the standard program but with upgraded rail seating, the option and surcharge will be listed when you save to your cart.

Our Upgraded Program Includes:

* 3 and 4 star hotels (best available) wherever possible.

The program will include standard rooms at this category of hotel where possible. Alaska has very limited hotel choices in remote areas and small towns. The properties will typically offer a wider range of services such as a full-service restaurant, room service and perhaps a pool or spa facilities. Please be aware the upgraded accommodations in downtown Anchorage do not have hotel shuttle services. Many of the upgraded hotels also offer guaranteed view rooms for additional cost. If you would like a specific room type, in addition to the upgraded program, please ask us about availability and cost difference.

Deluxe dome train car seating between Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks, or Anchorage and Seward.

All journeys between Anchorage and Whittier are in standard seating as deluxe dome cars are not available on that route.


Tour Add-ons

Browsing optional excursions for the Alaska Highlights Self-Drive Tour:

Cabin Nite Dinner Theater

Enjoy old-time Alaska as you enjoy a popular dinner theater performance in Denali National Park set in an authentic Alaska log-paneled roadhouse. Join heroine Fannie Quigley and an unforgettable cast of characters in this true-to-life Alaska Gold Rush tale of […]... Browse itinerary

Columbia Glacier Cruise

This Valdez day tour with a glacier and wildlife cruise through Prince William Sound features a visit to Columbia Glacier. On board, you can view Prince Williams Sound’s diverse wildlife, including sea lions, sea otters, and whales. Learn about mining, […]... Browse itinerary

Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise

On this exciting day cruise from Seward, hop on this unforgettable glacier and wildlife boat trip into Kenai Fjords National Park! This Alaska national park boasts abundant wildlife, alpine and tidewater glaciers, and breathtaking scenery. As you cruise through Resurrection […]... Browse itinerary

Shoup Glacier Kayaking Tour

This Valdez kayaking tour to Shoup Glacier offers an intimate experience at one of Prince William Sounds’ many calving tidewater glaciers. This day trip is perfect for both beginner and experienced kayakers. Climb aboard a motor boat for a 40-minute […]... Browse itinerary

We returned from our trip yesterday and everyone wanted to thank you for making it so enjoyable. The accommodations, connections, tours, timing, etc. were all more than we expected. Your attention to detail was a great factor in making our trip extremely enjoyable. You can be sure that we will recommend you... Read more  

Frank | New Jersey