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All Alaska Classic Self Drive Tour

Explore Alaska's Scenic Byways at your own pace and visit unique towns that many Alaskans love to call home!

Tour Code: 1517CTA

Tour Overview

This ultimate “All Alaska” driving tour provides you with a vacation to see the best of Alaska’s scenic highways and features three of Alaska’s spectacular national parks. This Alaska roadtrip takes you from Anchorage to Talkeetna, Denali, Fairbanks, Kennicott, Seward and Homer.  You’ll enjoy a stay in the massive Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the largest national park in North America, a glacier and wildlife cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park, and a wilderness bus tour deep into the heart of Denali National Park.  This itinerary provides ample opportunities to add on optional excursions to round out a very comprehensive independent self-driving vacation in Alaska.

What's Included
  • 14 nights accommodation
  • 14 day midsize rental vehicle with unlimited mileage
  • 4-6 hour bus tour into Denali National Park (depending on weather and road conditions)
  • Roundtrip bush plane flights between Chitina and McCarthy
  • 6 hour Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise with lunch
  • All taxes and fees
What's Not Included

Meals, 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

Upon arrival in Anchorage pick up your rental car at the airport and drive to your hotel. 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.

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 Talkeetna

Drive the Glenn Highway northbound, connecting to the Parks Highway in Wasilla. A few interesting stops along way are the Alaska Native Heritage Center and the village of Eklutna. Talkeetna is a small and unique gold mining community, famous for its special charm and as the expedition base for mountaineers seeking to summit the mountain of Denali. You’ll have time for some great optional excursions, including Denali flightseeing tours and jet boat excursions (see Tour Add-ons). Overnight in Talkeetna.

Day 3
Talkeetna to Denali National Park

In the morning you may have time to take a sightseeing flight to the mountain of Denali, the tallest mountain in North America before continuing north from Talkeetna along the scenic Parks Highway. Your route will travel along the boundary of Denali State Park and Hurricane Gulch with massive peaks of the Alaska Range 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. Your hotel will be at the park entrance, where most of the park services and hotels are located. Optional tours include rafting trips and flightseeing by helicopter or bush plane (see Tour Add-ons). Overnight near the Denali park entrance.

Day 4
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 and flightseeing tours (see Tour Add-Ons). Overnight near the Denali park entrance. The rest of the day is at leisure. Check out the Visitor Center at the park entrance or relax. Overnight near the Denali park entrance.

Day 5
Denali National Park to Fairbanks

Drive north on the Parks Highway to Fairbanks. Accompanied by incredible forest and mountain landscapes you will drive through the communities of Healy, Nenana and Ester, an old mining camp. There are several optional Fairbanks activities available for today, including an Arctic Circle adventure or a sternwheeler riverboat cruise (see Tour Add-ons). Overnight in Fairbanks.

Day 6
Fairbanks

Today is at your leisure to explore Alaska’s second largest city, known as the “Gateway to the Arctic.” You may wish to add an optional activity, such as a tour over the Arctic Circle or a historical riverboat cruise (see Tour Add-ons). Attractions in Fairbanks include the Museum of the North, Pioneer Park, the Ice Museum, and the Santa Claus House in the nearby town of North Pole. Overnight in Fairbanks.

Day 7
Fairbanks to Kennicott / McCarthy

Travel south from Fairbanks along the Alaska and Richardson Highways to Chitina, where you will leave your rental car and board a bush plane for the scenic flight into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Your final destination is the spectacular Kennicott mines and Kennicott Glacier Lodge. Overnight in Kennicott / McCarthy.

Day 8
Kennicott / McCarthy

Enjoy a full day in this unique area, which has a year-round population of about 30 people. Kennicott is an abandoned copper mining town and was built by Kennecott Copper Corp in the early 1900s, and the miners lived in nearby McCarthy. Kennecott was the richest copper mine in the world until its closure in 1938. They processed more than 536,600 tons of copper ore and employed some 800 workers. Today it is preserved as part of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and is one of Alaska’s best kept secrets. We recommend taking an optional tour, such as a glacier hike and/or a guided tour of the mine’s Mill Building (see Tour Add-ons). Overnight in Kennicott / McCarthy.

Day 9
Kennicott / McCarthy to Sheep Mountain or Wasilla area

Fly back to Chitina to retrieve your rental vehicle and then drive the Richardson Highway 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 10
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 11
Seward

This morning you will depart on a 6 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 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 glacier calving – when large ice chunks fall off the glacier. Lunch is included onboard. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight in Seward.

Day 12
Seward to Homer

Spend the day touring Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. You will travel along the turquoise blue Kenai River, a world-class salmon fishing area. Continue to Homer with opportunities to stop in historic villages, or take advantage of great photographic opportunities along the Cook Inlet coastline. Homer is a picturesque seaside town located on the shores of Kachemak Bay. Overnight in Homer.

Day 13
Homer

Spend a free day exploring all that Homer and Kachemak Bay have to offer. Highlights include the Homer Spit, a local winery, the Islands and Ocean Center, the Pratt Museum, fresh seafood restaurants, and views from East End Road. Or you may prefer to participate in optional excursions, including halibut fishing or a bear viewing flight safari (see Tour Add-ons). Overnight in Homer.

Day 14
Homer to Anchorage

This morning, drive north on the scenic Sterling and Seward Highways back to Anchorage. Possible stops include the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Portage Glacier or the quiet ski village of Girdwood for a tram ride up Mt. Alyeska. Overnight in Anchorage.

Day 15
Anchorage Departure

Depending on your departure time, you might have free time for some souvenir shopping or additional excursions. Return your car to the Anchorage airport rental car station. Depart or start an additional program.

Tour Map

 

Dates & Rates


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

Accommodation in Kennicott: the Kennicott Glacier Lodge opened in 1987 and is a replica of a historic mining building from the town's copper mining days. The 'main lodge' has comfortable rooms with a sink and cold running water. Bathrooms at the lodge are private use, but shared by all guests. The Standard Program tour will have the shared bathroom.

In 2004 a separate building was added offering 10 rooms, each with a private bathroom. The Upgraded Program tour will have a room with a private bathroom.

 

Excluded from any flexible terms or special offers.

 

Tour Add-ons

Browsing optional excursions for the All Alaska Classic Self Drive Tour:

Arctic Circle Fly & Drive Tour from Fairbanks

Enjoy a small group day tour from Fairbanks into Alaska’s Arctic Region by air and land. Depart in the afternoon from Fairbanks in a small plane which will give you a sense of the vast scale of Alaska’s Arctic region. Enjoy a walk on the arctic tundra and visit the Arctic Circle Trading Post in the rural... Read more

Bear & Wildlife Viewing Flight Safari from Homer

Enjoy a scenic 1 to 1 1/4 hour flightseeing trip out of Homer, Alaska on a scenic flight by small plane which takes you over volcano and glacier-rich scenery to either Lake Clark National Park or the east coast of Katmai National Park. [The location will be based upon the where most bear activity will... Read more

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... Read more

Riverboat Discovery Sternwheeler Cruise in Fairbanks

The perfect Fairbanks day tour combines river views and Alaska Native history and traditions! Climb aboard the Riverboat Discovery III for an unforgettable 3-hour cruise into Alaska’s history. Travel the Chena and Tanana Rivers on the only authentic sternwheeler riverboat operating in Alaska. This guided Alaska tour provides background on the area’s natural history and... Read more

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... Read more

Root Glacier Hike with Kennecott Mill Tour

On this day tour out of Kennicott-McCarthy, experience the best of Kennicott’s history and landscapes on this hiking and sightseeing combination tour! First enjoy a spectacular half-day hike on the Root Glacier, searching for deep crevasses, shimmering blue pools and waterfalls. After about 5 hours of hiking, you will return to Kennicott where you will... 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

The train ride to Denali was worth every penny! Food was great, tour guides were interesting, train was clean and well appointed. But Denali... I'm not sure how to describe the vastness, the tundra, the wildlife, the rivers, the vistas, and Denali itself, which peeked out of the clouds for... Read more  

Sherri | Trip Advisor