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Alaska “On A Dime” Self-Drive Tour

Visit two of Alaska's National Parks on a budget!

Tour Code: 111CTA

Tour Overview

This Alaska “On a Dime” tour is designed for a smaller Alaska vacation budget but packs in fun on a self-drive tour featuring two popular National Parks, Kenai Fjords National Park and Denali National Park. Enjoy stunning drives along scenic Alaska highways. You’ll explore Kenai Fjords National Park on a wildlife and glacier cruise in Resurrection Bay and then travel to Denali National Park for a guided and highly educational 4-6 hour bus tour to learn about the history of the parks, their ecosystems, and wildlife. The affordable price of this driving tour allows you to add on optional Denali flightseeing, rafting, and other excursions everyone can enjoy.

Note: If you like this tour’s driving route, we have two additional self-drive tours you may also like: our  Great Alaskan Road Trip or our Family Fun Vacation by Car.

What's Included
  • Seven-night accommodations in tourist class/budget hotels
  • Seven days midsize rental car
  • 4-hour Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise from Seward
  • Approximately 4-6 hour bus tour into Denali National Park (in Sept tour may be shorter due to road conditions)
  • All taxes and fees
What's Not Included

Airfare, meals other than those mentioned, optional excursions, and gratuities. Car rental coverage (such as LDW or liability insurance), additional driver fees, gas, and GPS rental.


Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Anchorage Arrival

Arrive at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and transfer to the hotel by courtesy shuttle. There are no activities planned, so the remainder of the day is yours to explore on your own or to participate in optional excursions. Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 2
Anchorage to Seward

This morning, pick up your rental car in downtown Anchorage and drive south to Seward on the Kenai Peninsula. As you depart Anchorage you will have time to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, home to bears and moose, as well as other animals native to Alaska. There are plenty of opportunities to stop along the way for a short hike or picnic. Overnight in Seward.

Day 3

This morning, there is time to explore the small, friendly port city of Seward, or learn more about competitive dog mushing and take a trail ride by dog team at Mitch Seavey’s Iditarod Racing Kennel (see add-on tours!).  At 12:30pm, depart on a 4-hour Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise. Search for whales, sea otters, Steller sea lions, Dall’s porpoises, harbor seals, bald eagles, puffins, and many other types of marine birds as you cruise the protected waters of Resurrection Bay. Rather than following a set route, this cruise travels to the best whale and wildlife viewing areas that day based on reports from other vessels. The experienced captains will explore the area’s wildlife hot spots to maximize chances of viewing whales and other wildlife in Resurrection Bay. Beverages and snacks are available for purchase on board.  Overnight in Seward.

Day 4
Seward to Anchorage

After breakfast you have a chance to visit Exit Glacier just outside of Seward. The Exit Glacier area is the only part of Kenai Fjords National Park accessible by road. Walk the interpretive trail to reach views of the glacier or book a guided glacier hike to explore the stunning glacier ice (see add-on tours)! As you drive back to Anchorage, you may also want to stop at the small mountain town of Girdwood, also called Alyeska. Several scenic trails give you great hiking opportunities. Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 5
Anchorage to Denali National Park

Depart Anchorage and follow the Glenn Highway northbound. A few interesting stops along the way are the Alaska Native Heritage Center and the village of Eklutna. Continuing on the Parks Highway towards Denali National Park, you will drive through the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and Denali State Park. You can take a side trip to the small community Talkeetna for an optional jet boat tour or a ski-plane flight to land on Denali along the route to Denali National Park. This afternoon you may wish to take an optional Denali River rafting tour or attend a dinner theater (see Tour Add-ons). Overnight near the Denali park entrance.

Day 6
Denali National Park

Today enjoy a bus tour into Denali National Park. This tour takes you through the best wildlife viewing portion of the Park Road, approximately 43 miles into the 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 and make stops during your approximately 4-6 hour tour*. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight near the Denali park entrance.

Day 7
Denali National Park to Anchorage

Continue your driving adventure by heading back to Anchorage. If you did not stop on the way to Denali, you still have the opportunity to visit Talkeetna for optional tours such as a jet boat tour or a flightseeing tour to land on Denali. Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 8
Anchorage Departure

Today return your rental car at the airport in time to meet your departure flight, or extend your Alaska vacation by adding additional days to your trip.

* Please note that in September the bus tour into Denali National Park may be shorter due to road and weather conditions.

Tour Map


Dates & Rates

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.

This program is designed to give you the opportunity to see Alaska on a rather lower budget. Please keep in mind Alaska has a short tourism season and costs are higher in comparison to many other destinations. In this program we have included reasonably priced services that allow you to explore and see what Alaska has to offer. Accommodation will be in clean and comfortable but not necessarily updated budget hotels.


Tour Add-ons

Browsing optional excursions for the Alaska “On A Dime” 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 adventure in early 1900s Alaska. This dinner theater fun combines colorful storytelling, spirited music, and... Browse tour

Exit Glacier Ice Hike

During this guided glacier hiking tour from Seward, Alaska, you’ll follow a scenic hiking trail through an alpine valley to Exit Glacier which is a mixture of back-country and on-trail trekking (about 1.5 – 2 hours). The elevation gain on this Alaska hike is 1500 feet and the view from the top is stunning. You’ll... Browse tour

Wilderness Dogsledding Ride & Tour

This Seward  day trip provides an Alaska dog sledding “insider’s tour.” Tour Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey’s Iditarod Racing Kennel, meet famous sled dogs, cuddle adorable puppies, dress up as an Iditarod musher, and take in the spectacular Alaskan wilderness as you mush for two miles with an Iditarod racer. This tour was voted “Best Dog... Browse tour

Alaska Tours was prompt in answering our inquiries, as we had never been on a cruise like this before. The tour was fantastic and far beyond our expectations.

Doug | Trip Advisor