Tour four of Alaska’s best National Parks on this independent adventure by car! First, enjoy scenic drives along the Seward Highway to visit Kenai Fjords National Park where you’ll take a whale, glaciers and wildlife cruise. Then hop on the Glenn Highway on to Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Make a stop in Denali National Park and visit the remote Kantishna area while scoping for wildlife on a bus trip into the park. Take a scenic flight up to Kennicott-McCarthy to tour an historic mining center. Conclude your in-depth Alaska roadtrip and self-driving tour by viewing bears in their natural habitat. Depending on the time of the year, you will visit either Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park or Lake Clark National Park.
Ask us about customizing this tour to include other Alaska national parks as well!
Today is yours to explore Alaska’s largest city. Pick up your rental car at your leisure from the downtown rental station. Go shopping, visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center, take a walk or bike ride along the Coastal Trail, or drive to Chugach State Park. Overnight in Anchorage.
Today, drive to Seward along scenic Cook Inlet’s Turnagain Arm. Few roads in the United States can match the diversity of scenic landscapes and unique natural feature. Take a leisurely pace with recommended stops along the route include the aerial tram up Mt. Alyeska, the Begich-Boggs Visitor Center at Portage Lake and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Just before you reach Seward you have a chance to visit Exit Glacier, one of the few glaciers that is an easy walk from the parking area. This afternoon you may also choose a guided kayaking tour or dog sled ride (see Tour Add-ons). Overnight in Seward.
Enjoy a leisurely morning before departing on a 6 to 7.5-hour cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park, one of Alaska’s treasures. As you cruise through the park and the Chiswell Islands National Wildlife Refuge watch for Stellar sea lions, harbor seals, puffins, eagles, and orca and humpback whales. During the cruise you will see examples of Alpine, Cirque, Piedmont, and Tidewater glaciers. A stop will be made at either Holgate or Aialik Glacier to witness ice falling off the glacier face with a thunderous sound into the pristine waters below (known as glacier calving). Lunch is included on board during your cruise. Overnight in Seward.
Today you will travel back up the Seward Highway and continue into the lush Matanuska Valley and onto the breathtaking Glenn Highway. This is one of the oldest and most scenic highways in Alaska. The Glenn, as it is known by locals, follows the Matanuska River up to its beginning at the Matanuska Glacier. Along the way, there is an opportunity for a helicopter glacier dog sled adventure from Knik River Lodge (see Tour Add-ons). This is a perfect day to plan a picnic! Overnight in the Sheep Mountain area or Copper Center area.
Sheep Mountain Area to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Start the day with a drive to the small town of Chitina, where you will leave your rental car and board a bush plane for the scenic flight into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. At 13.2 million acres, Wrangell-St. Elias is the largest national park in the United States and equivalent in size to the country of Switzerland! Your flight route provides a birds-eye view of this tremendous park which includes four mountain ranges containing 9 of the country’s 16 highest peaks along with massive ice fields. Overnight in Kennicott/McCarthy (standard program has room with shared bath).
Take a step back in time today on a 2.5-hour historical tour of Kennicott, built by the Kennecott Copper Corporation in the early 1900’s. Catch a glimpse of what it was like to live and work in this remote wilderness and 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/McCarthy (standard program has room with shared bath).
You will return to Chitina by bush plane this morning then your day continues driving on the Richardson Highway. This route was established in 1898 as a gold rush trail to Eagle, Alaska located on the Yukon River not far from the Klondike Goldfields. The road follows the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, still known as one of the world’s greatest engineering feats. Along the way there are several rest stops including historic roadhouses and scenic viewpoints. This evening explore the historic gold mining town of Fairbanks, also known as Alaska’s “Gateway to the Arctic”. Overnight in Fairbanks.
Drive south on the Parks Highway to the Denali National Park entrance area. Accompanied by incredible forest and mountain landscapes you will drive through the communities of Healy, Nenana and Ester, an old mining camp. At 6 million acres, Denali National Park is one of the world’s last great frontiers for wilderness adventure. Your hotel will be at the park entrance, where most of the park services and hotels are located. This afternoon you have the opportunity to enjoy optional tours include rafting trips and flightseeing by helicopter or bush plane. Overnight near the Denali park entrance.
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 at the Denali National Park entrance. Overnight near the Denali park entrance.
You will drive south to Anchorage today. Take your time and enjoy the drive. Along the way are some scenic viewpoints where you can stretch your legs and make some breaks. Then reach Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Overnight in Anchorage.
For many Alaska visitors, seeing bears in the wild is the highlight of their vacation. Today’s planned trip to bear country is programmed to offer you best possibilities and varies by location depending on the time of year. Please keep in mind that even though we endeavor to schedule the bear viewing to the best possible areas for good viewing, we cannot guarantee any bear sightings. Transfers to and from your hotel are on your own. Overnight in Anchorage.
Visit to Katmai National Park – package start dates June 8 to July 19
Depart Anchorage in the morning between 7:00 and 9:30am aboard a scheduled flight to King Salmon. Upon arrival, a local representative will transfer you to a seaplane for a 20-minute flight to Brooks Camp. At Brooks Camp, you will meet with Park Service staff for a brief orientation in bear safety before spending about 4-6 hours exploring Katmai National Park viewing brown bears from observation platforms and hiking to Brooks Falls. Your return flight to King Salmon will depart this afternoon, typically between 3 and 4pm. You may not return to Anchorage until 9:30 pm. The tour is approximately 10 to 12 hours long in total.
Visit Lake Clark National Park – package start dates July 20 to August 29
Depart from Lake Hood Sea Plane Harbor 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. Redoubt and Mt. Iliamna – before landing in Crescent Lake within Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. You will disembark at Redoubt Mountain Lodge where knowledgeable guides escort you by boat to lakeside areas to view bears feeding on spawning Alaska salmon. About 6 to 7 hours will be spent of guided bear viewing. This bear watching flight safari offers a great adventure for wildlife enthusiasts of all ages! The tour is approximately 10 to 12 hours long in total.
*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.
Children must be 7 years old to participate in this tour.
Standard program: Accommodation during the 2 night stay in Wrangell St. Elias National Park has shared bath only. Families or parties of 4 wanting to share a room and book the standard program, please contact us!
Contact us to book this Tour.
Thank you for your interest in this tour! At this time, it is not currently available to book online. Please feel free to continue to peruse our website for more Alaska travel ideas. If you would like options and information from our team of Alaska experts, please call 1-866-317-3325 or fill out the form below.
Browsing optional excursions for the Alaska’s National Parks Tour by Car:
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This flightseeing trip from Fairbanks in the evening takes you to the Gates of the Arctic National Park and the Arctic Region. You first fly from Fairbanks to Coldfoot, 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle. During the quick stop in Coldfoot you will receive an orientation about the park. Afterwards, the 1-hour flightseeing tour... Read more
This Seward day trip provides an Alaska dog sledding “insider’s tour.” Tour 2017 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... Read more
All I want to say is: save yourself some time and let Alaska Tours do the planning for you. Their pricing was much better than if I had booked everything separately myself.
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