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Alaska Lodge Driving Tour

An immersion in nature, visit three of Alaska's amazing National Parks.

Tour Code: 1515CTA

Tour Overview

During our Alaska Lodge tour you will stay in three Alaska wilderness lodges located at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Denali National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park. This unique lodge-centered itinerary treats the Alaska visitor to an in depth experience in Alaska’s pristine back country. First, stay at a lodge in the historic Kennicott-McCarthy are and visit Kennicott Copper Mill and the towering peaks and glacier-filled Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Then stay at the Denali Park entrance at Tonglen Lake Lodge and use your free day to take a bus tour into the National Park. Your national parks lodge tour concludes in Kenai Fjords National Park at the custom-built Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, a private and luxurious seacoast lodge where you have the opportunity to view marine wildlife and kayak in the lagoon overlooking Pedersen Glacier and Aialik Bay. Take in the grandeur, wildlife, and scenery of Alaska’s wilderness!

What's Included
  • 12 nights accommodation
  • 11 days midsize rental vehicle with unlimited mileage
  • Roundtrip scenic flights in a bush plane between Chitina and McCarthy
  • Roundtrip transfer and wildlife cruise between Seward and Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge
  • On-site activities such as performances, presentations, art exhibits, classes and workshops while at Tonglen Lake Lodge
  • Day excursions and guided activities at the Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge
  • Kennicott Mine Tour
  • Meals as noted in itinerary
  • All taxes and fees
What's Not Included

Transfers in Anchorage, meals other than noted, optional excursions, lodge and tour gratuities. Car rental coverage (such as LDW or liability insurance), additional driver fees, gas and GPS rental.

 

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Anchorage Arrival

Arrive into Anchorage. Transfer to your hotel by shuttle or on your own. Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city, nestled between the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet. Offering an abundance of shopping, cultural attractions, and gourmet restaurants, Anchorage provides an excellent start to your vacation. Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 2
Anchorage

Today is yours to explore Alaska’s largest city. Go shopping, visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center, take a hike or bike ride in one of Anchorage’s many parks, or step aboard an Anchorage Trolley for a lively and informative one-hour sightseeing tour of the city. Another option is a bear viewing tour such as to the Chinitna Bay area. Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 3
Anchorage to Kennicott / McCarthy

Pick up your rental car and then start your driving tour today. There are numerous photo stops and hiking trail options as you drive along the Glenn Highway, recognized as a National Scenic Byway. Enjoy beautiful views of the Matanuska Glacier along your route to the small community of Chitina. In Chitina you will leave your car and take a short flight to McCarthy, located in the heart of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. The small plane flight provides stunning views of the mountains and glaciers that make this park unique. Plan 5.5 hours driving time, not including stops, plus a 30 minute flight from Chitina to McCarthy. Overnight in Kennicott. (Dinner included).

Day 4
Kennicott / McCarthy

Take a step back in time today on a two-hour historical walking tour of Kennecott. Your guide will take you to the 14 story Mill Building of the Kennecott Copper Corporation which was built in the early 1900’s. You will also visit the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park Visitor Center, see mining artifacts, and tour historic buildings. Catch a glimpse of what it was like to live and work in this remote wilderness while hearing tales of lucky fortunes, tenacious frontiersmen, and tragic endings. This afternoon you have plenty of time for an optional guided glacier hike (see Tour Add-Ons). Overnight in Kennicott. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

Day 5
Kennicott / McCarthy to Fairbanks

Begin your day with a return scenic flight to Chitina where you will pick up your car. Your drive takes you north on Alaska’s oldest highway, the Richardson Highway, which began in 1898 as a gold rush trail to Eagle. The route follows the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline, one of the world’s greatest engineering feats. Along the way there are several rest stops, including historic roadhouses and scenic viewpoints. Spend the remainder of the day exploring the historic gold mining town of Fairbanks, also known as Alaska’s “Gateway to the Arctic.” We suggest a visit to the University Of Alaska Museum of the North and the Musk Ox farm. Overnight in Fairbanks. (Breakfast included).

Day 6
Fairbanks to Denali

Today, drive along the scenic Parks Highway to the park entrance area of Denali National Park. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the Denali Park entrance that has numerous optional tours such as rafting, flightseeing, or ATV tours to offer. This evening you will stay just outside the park at Tonglen Lake Lodge, located 7 miles south of the Denali park entrance along the Parks Highway. Tonglen Lake Lodge offers premium lodging in Alaska-style log cabins for visitors seeking an exclusive Denali experience. The cabins feature handcrafted log furniture, quilts, pottery, paintings and glass created by talented local artists. (Dinner included).

Day 7
Denali

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. Overnight Denali park entrance (not inside the park). (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

Day 8
Denali to Talkeetna

After breakfast, your scenic drive today takes you south to Talkeetna known for its special backcountry-town charm. Weather permitting, Talkeetna can have one of the best views of the mountain Denali as well as the Alaska Range. From Talkeetna there are spectacular flight-seeing tour options or a jet boat excursion. Overnight in Talkeetna. (Breakfast included).

Day 9
Talkeetna to Seward

Today you will drive south through the Matanuska Valley before reaching Anchorage. Continue south along the Turnagain Arm on the Seward Highway, an American Scenic Byway. There are beautiful views of the Chugach Mountains on this route where you can frequently see Dall sheep perched on roadside cliffs. You may decide to visit Exit Glacier, one of Alaska’s most accessible glaciers. There are numerous interpretive trails in the area including one that leads to the face of the glacier. Overnight in Seward.

Day 10
Seward to Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge

In the morning depart from the scenic port of Seward. A four to five-hour glacier and wildlife cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park takes you to Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, the only lodge inside Kenai Fjords National Park. On your cruise look for whales, porpoises, sea lions, sea otters, bald eagles, puffins, and other wildlife. Enjoy lunch in front of the impressive Aialik Glacier and watch for ice to calve off into the ocean. After arriving at the shores near Pederson Glacier, the lodge and guest cabins are an easy 20 minute walk from the outer coast along a maintained trail; motorized travel is provided if desired. After an orientation you have the afternoon available for optional activities. Evening programs are also available. Overnight at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. (Lunch and dinner included).

Day 11
Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge

Choose from a variety of activities offered daily, including sea kayaking (short and long tours), short hikes, canoeing across the lagoon, and interpretive programs. Take a sack lunch for extended activities or join an in-camp lunch in between shorter trips. Alternatively, choose time to relax and enjoy the views of the lagoon and glacier from the lodge. Dinner and evening programs are hosted in the main lodge. Overnight at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

Day 12
Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge to Anchorage

Choose a short morning activity to suit your interest. Lunch is either in camp or a packed lunch while on an activity. After lunch, board the boat for a scenic cruise back to the town of Seward. Upon arrival drive back north along the scenic Turnagain Arm to Anchorage to return your car rental. Overnight in Anchorage. (Breakfast and lunch included).

Day 13
Anchorage Departure

Depending on your departure time, you may have free time for some souvenir shopping or additional excursions. Transfer on your own to the airport and return rental car. Depart or start an additional program.

Tour Map

 

Dates & Rates

Due to the special properties selected for this tour and their limited availability, please contact us before you book a non-refundable airfare and check availability. We will try to make this program work with your desired travel dates but may have to change the order or change some of the lodge stays to hotel based stays.


Minimum child age for this program is 7 years.

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.

Cancellation Policy:
Up 91 days prior: 20% cancellation fee
90 to 46 days prior: 50% cancellation fee
45 to 0 days prior: 100% cancellation fee / non-refundable

 

Tour Add-ons

Browsing optional excursions for the Alaska Lodge Driving Tour:

Canyon Run Whitewater River Rafting from Denali

Hang on – there’s Denali National Park whitewater ahead at Canyon Run! Choose to paddle as a river rafting team or let an oarsman rafting guide do all the work on this exciting Class III-IV whitewater rafting day trip near Denali National Park in Alaska. Enjoy every minute of your river rafting journey as you... Browse tour

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... Browse tour

Denali Flyer Tour from Talkeetna

This Denali flightseeing tour from Talkeetna by bush plane is an extended version of the Denali Experience Tour. In addition to covering that entire flight route, you will fly to the remote western end of Denali National Park. You’ll then explore the south side of Denali (20,310 feet), Mt. Foraker (17,400 feet) and Mt. Hunter... Browse tour

Root Glacier Hike (Half Day)

On this half-day glacier hiking out of Kennicott-McCarthy, depart Kennicott hiking down a two-mile trail that was originally built in the 1920’s as a wagon road. Along the way, stops will be made to discuss glaciology and local geology and enjoy spectacular views of the rock-covered Kennicott Glacier and the surrounding mountain peaks. At the... Browse tour

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.... Browse tour

I just want to thank you again for planning an amazing trip for my family and me. We reluctantly returned to Texas yesterday after being in Alaska for 10 days. It was the most amazing trip we have taken! My kids and I enjoyed every minute of them, especially the helicopter ride... Read more  

Karin | Texas