Wildlife & Wilderness

This trip includes three nights at North Face Lodge, allowing you to experience Denali National Park and towering Denali itself from myriad vantage points. Highlights include a flightseeing journey, the luxurious train ride from Fairbanks, and a seven-hour wildlife tour deep into the park. Over three nights at Winterlake Lodge, you’ll be immersed in an entirely different landscape. The isolated oasis, a fly-in lodge, overlooks Finger Lake and the Tordrillo Mountains. Guided walks and leisurely explorations are complemented by such helicopter-supported activities as river rafting, sportfishing, and glacier trekking. Finally, a stop at Redoubt Bay Bear Sanctuary en route to Anchorage allows for up-close brown bear viewing.

Scroll down for a detailed itinerary

The Itinerary

Day 1

Upon your arrival at the airport in Fairbanks, you will take a courtesy shuttle to your hotel, you’ll make it an early start tomorrow. Accommodations are at Springhill Suites by Marriott.

Day 2

Following another short shuttle, you’ll catch the 8:15 Alaska Railroad GoldStar dome train bound for Denali National Park and Preserve. From the open-air platform or glass-covered observation deck, you’ll soak up views of tundra, deep river canyons, and mountains. Upon arrival, meet the North Face Lodge bus for your trip deep into the heart of Denali. Watch for black bear, grizzly, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, and more as you journey 90 miles into the Park. Accommodations are at North Face Lodge, in a Lodge Room.

Days 3-4

Apart from enjoying views of Denali (on clear days) and six other major peaks, your two days at North Face Lodge will afford you opportunities for independent adventures or naturalist-guided excursions. With countless alpine valleys and lofty ridges within your reach, you may opt to hike, bike along the park road, fish for Arctic grayling or Mackinaw trout, paddle a canoe along Wonder Lake, observe unique birdlife, or photograph Denali bathed in alpenglow. Accommodations are at North Face Lodge, Lodge Room.

Day 5

Mid-morning, meet your pilot for a scenic flight back to the park entrance. You’ll soar through the awe-inspiring Alaska Range, over glaciers, and past the North Face of Denali. From Denali National Park depot, you will board the Alaska Railroad GoldStar dome train bound for Talkeetna. In Talkeetna you will transfer to Fish Lake to board a floatplane bound for your next adventure. Accommodations are at Winterlake Lodge, in a Cabin.

Day 6

Engage in any number of activities at the Lodge: hike along the historic Iditarod Sled Dog Trail, or along Wolverine Ridge, which offers views of Denali and the chance to spot black bears, moose, and wolves; go kayaking or canoeing; take a yoga class or therapeutic massage; or enjoy a cooking class with the resident chef or perhaps lodge-owner, Kirsten Dixon. Accommodations are at Winterlake Lodge, in a Cabin.

Day 7

Today’s adventures are supported by a Robinson R-44 helicopter—allowing you to explore the pristine backcountry surrounding the lodge. Your options include sportfishing, rafting on the wild Happy River, hiking to a glacier ridge, glacier trekking on a rarely visited section of the Alaska Range, or dining on Wolverine Ridge. Accommodations are at Winterlake Lodge, in a Cabin.

Day 8

Take a scenic floatplane flight through the Tordrillo Mountains and Triumvirate Glacier to Redoubt Bay Bear Sanctuary. A trained naturalist will take you by boat for an up close and safe view of the feeding brown or black bears. Late afternoon, board another floatplane to Lake Hood in Anchorage, from where you will be transported to your hotel. Accommodations are at the Hotel Captain Cook, in a Junior Suite.

Day 9

Your driver will transport you from your hotel to the Anchorage airport in time for your return flight. Safe travels!

 

The Route

 

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