Get Up & Go! Alaska Adventure Tours
Alaska Multi-Sport, Hiking, & Family Adventure Camping & Lodge Trips
ALASKA TOUR SELECTOR
Download our 32-page ALASKA 2018 ONLINE BROCHURE
Please call us at 1.888.868.4147 or 1.907.245.0795,
or email us: email@example.com to reserve your place
CONSIDERING AN ‘ACTIVE, INFORMATIVE, FUN!’ ALASKA ADVENTURE VACATION with GET UP AND GO! but unsure which particular tour to choose? This page has been designed to help you select the tour that is best for you, depending on your interests and time frame. It’s easy: Simply decide the following three things (in whatever order seems appropriate):
1. CAMPING, ‘CAMP & CABIN,’ OR LODGE-BASED ACCOMMODATIONS? Do you want to camp out, combine camping with the occasional night in a cozy cabin, or stay indoors in local lodges and hotels during your Alaska adventure? We offer a variety of affordable Camping-based, ‘Camp & Cabin’-based and Lodge-based tours for you to choose from.
2. WHEN TO TRAVEL / WHICH TOURS FIT YOUR VACATION SCHEDULE? This second section provides information about the different ‘seasons within a season’ that characterize Alaska summers. We have tours scheduled from late May to early September, but are usually available for custom and private tours earlier or later as well. Especially if your travel dates are already determined, please also consult our ALL TOURS BY DATE web page for a complete, chronological listing of all of our scheduled tour departure dates.
3. WHICH DESTINATIONS AND TOUR ITINERARY ARE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN? We offer five distinctive 3, 6 and 10-day Multi-Sport / Hiking tours, and numerous 9 to 18+ day combination tours (as well as our 8-day Alaska Family Explorer trip; see the Family Tours page of this website for more information). This section provides you with specific tour itinerary details, tour destination & activity comparison charts, and all the other information you need to decide which itinerary is best for you.
IT’S THAT SIMPLE! Simply select a Camping, ‘Camp & Cabin’ or Lodge-based accommodation style; one or more of our 3, 6 or 10-day tour itineraries (combination trips of up to 18+ days are possible); and a specific tour departure date; and you’re all set to actively experience the real Alaska you’ve always dreamed of, with Get Up and Go! Tours.
“Dave and I recently looked at our photos from Alaska and we definitely rate that trip as one of the best we’ve ever taken! We consider ourselves so very lucky to have found you!!!! We would love to travel with you again some day, so please do keep us informed of your trips.”
–Carol Pasternak, Aspen, Colorado
1. CAMPING, CAMP & CABIN OR LODGE-BASED TOUR?
First decide which style of accommodation you want
Camping, ‘Camp & Cabin,’ or Lodge-based, the only real difference in the experience is where you lay your head at night, as all of our trips are activity-oriented and feature great daily hiking and uniquely Alaskan multi-sport activities. For more details, read on, or click on any of the underlined links for more detailed information.
ALASKA CAMPING AND ‘CAMP & CABIN’-BASED TOURS: Even if you’ve never camped before, be assured that it’s easier and more comfortable than you might think (and considerably cheaper than staying in lodges or hotels, as well). The beautiful natural settings of our campgrounds, the magical long hours of Alaska summer daylight, our helpful guides, quality gear, and the tremendous homemade camp food we serve up all make camping in Alaska a pleasurable and unforgettable experience! Sleeping bags and pads are the only gear you need to bring (or rent them cheaply from us if you prefer), and showers are available almost every day.
Camp & Cabin-based tours also feature 1 to 3 nights per week (depending on which itinerary you select) of comfortable, indoor lodging in remotely located, charming, and cozy cabins, some of which also include access to wood-burning saunas! Our popular 10-day Alaska Explorer, 6-day Kenai Explorer, Mountains & Glaciers, and Alaska Ranger trips, and 8-day Alaska Family Explorer trips are all available in Camp & Cabin format. Camp & Cabin-based trips are our most popular and economical tours, and are easily combined to form longer adventures.
ALASKA CAMPING TOURS: Custom, all-camping trips are always an option: Give us a call and we’ll put one together for you and your group!
ALASKA LODGE-BASED TOURS: 3, 8, 10 or 13 days in length (or whatever length you like for private/custom tours). If you love being active in the Great Outdoors but are just not a camping kind of person, a lodge-based tour is the way to go! Lodge-based tours offer the same great hiking and adventure activities as our other trips: the only real difference is the end-of-the-day accommodations.
Our lodges, cabins, hotels, and B&B’s are all friendly, welcoming, locally owned places chosen for their scenic locations, proximity to places of interest, friendliness, charm, and value. We choose locally owned and operated establishments over chain or cruise ship-owned hotels and lodges in every instance, to give you a more authentic Alaskan experience, and to help support the local economy. Depending on their location, most are quite comfortable and feature private baths and showers, while a few are more rustic, with clean, shared facilities.
Our 10-day Alaska Explorer, and 8-day Alaska Family Explorer tours are available as lodge-based trips (as well as in Camp & Cabin format, if you prefer), and our new, 3-day Kenai Hiker is a great shorter trip, featuring a beautiful lakeside lodge in a camp-like setting, some truly great hikes and a fantastic, included, 6-hour whale, wildlife, and glacier-viewing cruise in stunning Kenai Fjords National Park!
“Hey folks, Truly outstanding and unforgettable experience! I just wanted to thank you and (the) guides for a wonderful 10-day journey. They were the consummate professionals and always saw to the comfort and well being and experience of all participants. Am looking forward to my next trip with you folks. Thanks again.”
–Reginald M. Hsu, San Francisco. Alaska Explorer Lodge
The Land of the Midnight Sun:
The Alaskan Summer Climate and Travel Season
ALASKAN SUMMERS ARE NICE! Ever since Secretary of State William Seward shrewdly negotiated the purchase of Alaska by the US from Russia in 1867, there have been a lot of misconceptions about this remote northern land. Perhaps the greatest of these concerns the Alaskan climate and weather. While it’s certainly true that the northern winters are long, dark, and cold, summers are just the opposite. While occasional rain showers are to be expected, the long days are truly beautiful, with warm, mostly mild temperatures, lush greenery, and a dramatic explosion of life. Wildlife is active, and the wildflowers, especially in July, are spectacular. Finally, the quality (and quantity!) of northern summer light is a thing that one must experience for him or herself to believe.
There’s an old joke that Alaska enjoys four seasons: June, July, August, and Winter! It is true that given the short and intense sub-arctic summers, each month is noticeably different from the next. But there is exaggeration as well: May and September are being shortchanged! Basically, any time from early May to mid-September is a good time for a trip to Alaska (the winter is good too, if you like snow sports). Read on for a comparison of the different ‘seasons within a season.’
BUGS? First, a word about bugs: the voracity of the Alaskan mosquito is over-rated! They are around, mostly from mid-June through mid-July, but most places we visit really aren’t so bad (and not a single mosquito-borne disease or illness has ever been reported in Alaska). A little deet-based mosquito repellent goes a long way, and with long sleeves and pants and a hat, you’ll be fine. Don’t let an exaggerated fear of mosquitoes keep you from experiencing the natural wonder that is Alaska!
‘SEASONS WITHIN A SEASON’: Generally speaking, May through mid-June offers spring and early summer conditions, with the clearest, sunniest, driest weather, the famous Midnight Sun (virtually perpetual daylight), the fewest tourists, active wildlife, the first budding wildflowers, and beautiful, snow-capped mountains. Days are cool to warm (mostly 50-70 F / 10-21 C), and evenings, especially in the mountains, can be a little chilly (down to the low 40′s F / 5-9 C), although it’s nothing a decent 3-season sleeping bag can’t handle.
The second half of June through mid-August is the main travel season, with the warmest, most “summery” weather (55-80 F, 12-27 C, and nighttime temperatures–generally in the 50′s F / 10-13 C–are especially pleasant), the most greenery, and the most impressive wildflower displays (you’ll be amazed, especially in July). The Midnight Sun continues to reign, although by August the days are getting noticeably shorter (sunset at ~9 pm in Kenai or ~11:45 pm in Denali!).
The second week of August through mid-September brings the first signs of autumn, and is especially beautiful. The tundra, aspens, birches, and cottonwoods are turning red, yellow and golden, the wild berries are ripening everywhere, and, as the days grow shorter and actual darkness/night returns, viewing the Northern Lights / Aurora Borealis becomes a very real and exciting possibility. The wildlife is active, getting ready for the fall ruts and for winter, the bugs are mostly dead, and for some inexplicable reason almost all of the tourists are gone. The days are still mostly warm (50-70 F, 10-21 C), but nights are noticeably chillier. We call our last week of August and September departures “Fall Colors” tours, and if you travel with us then you’ll see that in terms of color and sheer natural beauty, New England has nothing on Alaska!
Early, middle, or late season, there’s always something special to experience in Alaska.
3. ALASKA TOUR ITINERARIES
ONCE YOU’VE PICKED A LODGING STYLE (Camping, ‘Camp & Cabin‘ or Lodge-based), and considered your range of dates of travel, the next step is to choose one or more of our specific 3, 6 or 10-day Alaska MultiSport / Hiking Tour itineraries.
Alaska is a big place with lots of attractive adventure destinations. Spectacular Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Kenai Fjords National Parks; Prince William Sound; Tangle Lakes and the Denali Highway area; the Matanuska Valley and Glacier; Kenai Lake; the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge; and Kachemak Bay State Park are all premier Alaska hiking and adventure destinations, each with its own unique attractions and activities. We have exciting and well-considered itineraries that go to all of them: it’s simply a matter of deciding which one you want!
A VARIETY OF 3 TO 18+ DAY ALASKA ITINERARIES: While some might lead you to believe you can see and do it all in a week, we know better! At Get Up and Go! Tours we are firm believers that it is the quality of the experience, rather than the number of places visited, that makes a tour worthwhile and enjoyable. It’s your vacation, after all: you probably rush around enough while you are at home.
We are thus pleased to offer five different 3, 6, and 10-day Multi-Sport / Hiking tour itineraries (plus our 8-day family trip). Each of these highlights a different set of attractive Alaska destinations, hikes and included, uniquely Alaskan multi-sport adventure activities.
Want to see and do more? It’s easy to combine two or more of these shorter trips to form a more wide-ranging 9 to 18+ day combination tour. See the descriptions of the shorter trips for details.
As mentioned above, different tours are available in either Camping or ‘Camp & Cabin’ format, and our ten-day Alaska Explorer, 3-day Kenai Hiker, and eight-day Alaska Family Explorer tours are available in lodge-based format as well.
3 & 6-DAY ALASKA TOUR ITINERARIES
If you only have a few days, or up to a week, choose from the following 3 and 6-day tours:
- KENAI HIKER (3 days: Hiking, with an included whale, wildlife and glacier-viewing day cruise; Lodge-based)
- KENAI EXPLORER (6 days: Multi-Sport/Hiking; ‘Camp & Cabin’-based)
- MOUNTAINS & GLACIERS (6 days: Multi-Sport/Hiking; ‘Camp & Cabin’-based)
- ALASKA RANGER (6 days: Multi-Sport/Hiking; ‘Camp & Cabin’-based)
- ALASKA FAMILY EXPLORER (8 days: Family; ‘Camp & Cabin’ or Lodge-based)
10-DAY ALASKA TOUR ITINERARY
- ALASKA EXPLORER: Available in both ‘Camp & Cabin‘ and lodge-based formats, the 10-day Alaska Explorer is our most popular trip, combining much of the best of our 6-day Mountains & Glaciers and Alaska Ranger tours. If you have ten days and want to experience the best of Alaska, this exciting Multi-Sport/Hiking tour is the one for you!
9 TO 18+ DAY ALASKA COMBINATION TOUR ITINERARIES
HAVE MORE TIME AND WANT TO SEE AND DO MORE? You’re coming all this way, you might as well make the most of it! It’s easy to combine two or more of our shorter trips to form a more wide-ranging, 9 to 18+ day combination tour.
All three of our six-day tours can be combined (in various combinations) to form a two or three week adventure, without repeating any destinations: KENAI EXPLORER; MOUNTAINS & GLACIERS; ALASKA RANGER. The latter two of these can also be combined with our 3-day, lodge-based KENAI HIKER trip to make a 9 or 15-day adventure, with a combination of Camp & Cabin and Lodge-based accommodation styles.
When you sign up for any combination tour with us, you will receive a $50 per person lodging credit/ discount, to be applied to the Anchorage hotel or hostel of your choice (and a second credit for a 3rd tour).
See the descriptions of the various 3, 6 and 10-day tours that compose the longer combination tours for all the details, tour dates and prices.
WHICH TOUR ITINERARY DOES WHAT & WHERE?
The charts below compare the destinations and included and optional activities of all of our various tour itineraries at a glance. More detailed tour descriptions follow the comparison charts. Still unsure? Give us a call, we’re happy to answer your questions and help you decide: 1.888.868.4147 or 1.907.245.0795. Or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACTIVITIES COMPARISON CHART
Use this chart to compare the included & optional activities on our various tour itineraries
- Included : means this activity is included on this tour
- Optional : this activity is optionally available (at additional cost, payable locally, credit cards accepted)
- Optional* : this activity is an especially recommended optional activity
- – : this activity is not available on this tour
|Kenai Hiker||Alaska Family
|Exceptional Daily Hiking||Included||Included||Included||Included||Included||Optional|
|Ice Climbing Course||Optional*||Optional*||–||Optional*||–||Optional|
|Hike to the Face of a Glacier||Included||Included||Included||Included||Included||Included|
|Prince William Sound Ferry||–||Included||–||Included||–||–|
|Denali Wildlife Shuttle Bus||Included||–||–||Included||–||Included|
|Kenai Fjords NP Wildlife/Glacier
|River and/or Lake Fishing||Optional||–||–||Optional||–||–|
|Salmon or Halibut Fishing Charter||–||Optional||Optional||Optional||Optional||Optional|
|Helicopter-accessed Dog Mushing||–||–||Optional||–||–||Optional|
|Alaska Railroad Train Trip||–||–||–||–||Optional*||Optional*|
DESTINATION COMPARISON CHART
Use this chart to compare the destinations of our various tour itineraries.
The number in the boxes beneath the tour names indicates how many nights are spent at each destination on each tour.
|Kenai Explorer||Alaska Explorer||Kenai Hiker||Alaska Family Explorer|
|Denali National Park||3 nights||–||–||3 nights||–||3 nights|
|Wrangell-St. Elias NP / McCarthy / Kennecott||–||2 nights||–||3 nights||–||–|
|Kenai Fjords National Park / Seward area||–||–||2 nights||–||2 nights||2 nights|
|Prince William Sound / Valdez||–||2 nights; ferry crossing*||–||2 nights; ferry crossing*||–||–|
|Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center||–||–||–||–||–||entrance included|
|Kenai National Wildlife Refuge||–||–||1 night||–||–||–|
|Matanuska Valley/Glacier||1 night||1 night||–||–||–||2 nights|
|Kachemak Bay State Park||–||–||2 nights||–||–||–|
|Denali Highway/Tangle Lakes Area||1 night||–||–||1 night||–||–|
|tour starts & ends||tour starts
|Valdez||–||2 nights||–||2 nights||–||–|
|Kennicott & Root Glaciers||–||yes||–||yes||–||–|
Detailed descriptions of each of our tours can be found just below,
or click on the underlined tour names to download even more detailed and colorful tour description sheets.
Our Most Popular Tour!
‘CAMP & CABIN’ OR LODGE-BASED, MULTI-SPORT / HIKING TOUR
10 days, starts and ends in Anchorage
2018 TOUR DATES & PRICES
ALASKA EXPLORER MULTI-SPORT / HIKING TOURS: ‘CAMP & CABIN’-BASED
$2,495 (no sales tax). No single supplement.
May 24-June 2; May 31-June 9; June 7-16; June 17-26; June 24-July 3; July 1-10;
July 12-21; July 22-31; July 31-August 9; August 5-14; August 9-18*; August 14-23*; August 19-28*; August 23-September 1*; August 30-September 8*. (*Fall Colors & Northern Lights!)
ALASKA EXPLORER MULTI-SPORT / HIKING TOURS: LODGE-BASED
$3,395 (no sales tax). Single Supplement: $875
June 21-30; July 5-14; July 19-28; August 2-11; August 16-25*; August 30-September 8* (*Fall Colors & Northern Lights!)
ALASKA EXPLORER: For those with more than a week of vacation time, the 10-day Alaska Explorer is our most wide-ranging and popular tour. This tour features the top highlights of both our Mountains & Glaciers and Alaska Ranger itineraries, including visits to two of the world’s largest and most spectacular national parks: Denali and Wrangell-St. Elias. We’ll spend 3 nights at each of these mountain refuges, as well as traversing the Alaska Range on the spectacular Denali Highway, and drop down to the heavily glaciated coast of Prince William Sound at Valdez for 2 nights. There is a day here for a spectacular (and included) sea kayaking trip to Shoup Glacier. On the last day we’ll take a scenic ferry trip across the Sound, before continuing back to Anchorage. Glacier trekking, whitewater rafting and canoeing are additional included multi-sport activities, and sensational day hiking is also a highlight of the tour.
As mentioned above, Denali preserves what is perhaps the continent’s richest wildlife habitat: the north side of the mighty Alaska range in the vicinity of Mt. Denali (formerly McKinley), North America’s tallest and most spectacular peak. With it’s ages-old food chain still intact from bottom to top, Denali is the home to a huge variety of wildlife, including hundreds of grizzly bears, 14 wolf packs, thousands of caribou, Dall sheep, moose, foxes, beavers, and numerous smaller mammals, as well as over 200 species of birds. You’ll spend a day traveling through the park and observing this wildlife on the park shuttle bus, with chances for hiking. The following day will be spent hiking (or you can take a second wildlife-viewing shuttle trip in the park). We’ll also enjoy an included whitewater rafting trip on the Nenana River before carrying on. “Flight-seeing” over the park to Denali, with a possible glacier landing, is another option.
Next, we’ll traverse the gravel Denali Highway, paralleling the south side of the mighty Alaska Range and bisecting some of the wildest road-accessible country on earth, on our way to Tangle Lakes. Here we can hike across the rolling tundra, canoe and fish on the lakes (bring your own pole), and marvel at the mountain scenery, wildflowers, and varied bird and wildlife. This is a beautiful, remote and little-known spot rich with wildlife that you will long remember.
From Tangle we’ll drive to the ghost town of Chitina, where a few small planes will meet us for an amazingly scenic flight across the volcanic and glacier-clad Wrangell Mountains into immense Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Our destination? The copper rush village of McCarthy (pop. ~25), everyone’s favorite Alaskan ghost town! We’ll spend three nights at the historic and charming McCarthy Lodge on Lodge-based tours, or in shared cabins at a beautifully set lodge with spectacular glacier view and wood sauna on ‘Camp & Cabin’-based tours.
Here we will venture out onto the ice with local mountaineering guide and crampons to explore the blue crevasses, moulins, and the rest of the fascinating glacial geography. For a ~$55 supplemental fee you can upgrade to an introductory ice-climbing course on the glacier. A guided tour of the historic Kennecott Mine, now a National Historic Landmark undergoing Park Service renovation, is another option.
On the next day we can hike up to the abandoned Bonanza Mine for a spectacular view of the 26-mile long Kennicott Glacier, 16,390′ Mt. Blackburn, and many other Wrangell Mountain peaks. This vigorous hike is one of our favorites anywhere. Less strenuously, you can walk along the glacial moraine or out to the toe of the huge glacier, and watch it as it actually moves, as it deposits the boulders and debris it’s carried from the mountains into the terminal lake that it has formed (headwaters of the Kennicott River). You won’t want to leave McCarthy.
Dropping down out of the mountains to the picturesquely set town of Valdez, we’ll get our first taste of magnificent coastal Alaska. The young and geologically very active Chugach range rises up literally out of the sea, ringing the super-scenic Prince William Sound. Glaciers are all about, some of them spilling their loads of prehistoric ice directly into the sea. Here you can try your hand at sea kayaking, to the face of the dramatic Shoup Glacier. No previous experience is required for this easy but breathtaking trip which is an included highlight of the tour. Alternatively you can enjoy a spectacular day cruise to Columbia Glacier with great marine wildlife viewing opportunities. Fishing charters for salmon or halibut are optional alternative activities.
Finally, Alaska Explorer is climaxed by a scenic ferry crossing of Prince William Sound (or, on some departures, a scenic overflight). The ferry trip features amazing scenery, wildlife (sea otters, sea lions, bald eagles, salmon, and if we’re lucky, orcas or humpback whales), and a view of the icebergs to Columbia Glacier, at 400 square miles, one of the largest tidewater glaciers in the state.
With Denali NP, Wrangell-St. Elias NP and Prince William Sound all included, Alaska Explorer combines three of Alaska’s top highlights. Spectacular scenic beauty, unparalleled wildlife viewing opportunities, superb hiking, and exciting adventure multi-sport opportunities make this most popular trip hard to beat.
If you wish to extend the adventure into new territory, Alaska Explorer can also be combined with our 6-day Kenai Explorer (Camp & Cabin-based), or our 3-day Kenai Hiker (Lodge-based) to make a more comprehensive 13 or 16+ day tour.
‘CAMP & CABIN’-BASED, MULTI-SPORT / HIKING TOUR
6 days, starts and ends in Anchorage
2018 TOUR DATES & PRICES
KENAI EXPLORER MULTI-SPORT / HIKING TOURS: ‘CAMP & CABIN’-BASED
$1,450 + local sales tax. No single supplement.
June 3-8; June 17-22; July 8-13; July 29-August 3; August 19-24; September 2-7
KENAI EXPLORER: The beautiful Kenai Peninsula, projecting into the Gulf of Alaska between Prince William Sound and the Cook Inlet, is Alaska in microcosm. Featuring dramatic mountains and glaciers, rugged coast line, lush forests, tens of thousands of lakes, bountiful bird and wildlife and superb hiking and multi-sport adventure possibilities, the Kenai is an outdoor lovers paradise. It’s only natural then that the Kenai Explorer has a tremendous amount to offer, highlighted by visits to dramatic Kenai Fjords National Park, to the lake-studded Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and to little-known Kachemak Bay State Park, across the bay from the fishing village/artist colony of Homer (with stunning views of glaciers and Aleutian Island volcanoes).
GET UP & GO! Dramatic scenery and wildlife are not the tour’s only attractions, however, as Kenai Explorer also includes fantastic daily hiking and multi-sport activities. Multi-sport highlights include a beautiful sea kayaking day trip in beautiful Kachemak Bay State Park. Bald eagles are all about, as are lolling sea otters; whales, bears and other mammals and sea birds are also frequently sighted. A Class IV whitewater rafting trip is another unforgettable and included tour highlight (or you can upgrade to a Class V trip for a small additional fee).
The hiking throughout this tour is especially good, with hikes alongside glaciers, through old growth rain forests, up to alpine lakes, and along beautiful beaches all part of the scheduled itinerary.
A six-hour glacier and wildlife-viewing cruise through the stunning fjordlands of Kenai Fjords National Park is a highly recommended, optional highlight. Deep-sea salmon and halibut fishing charters, and dogsled mushing on a helicopter-accessed glacier, are optionally available activities.
You’ll be glad you chose the Kenai Explorer, a beautiful tour with exhilarating multi-sport adventure activities, hiking, and glacier and wildlife-viewing opportunities, in one of Alaska’s most diverse and attractive regions. Please join us!
MOUNTAINS & GLACIERS
‘CAMP & CABIN’-BASED, MULTI-SPORT / HIKING TOUR
6 days, starts and ends in Anchorage
2018 TOUR DATES & PRICES
MOUNTAINS & GLACIERS MULTI-SPORT / HIKING TOURS: ‘CAMP & CABIN’-BASED
$1,595 (no sales tax). No single supplement.
May 28-June 2; June 25-30; July 16-21; July 23-28 (kids age 10+ okay this trip only); August 6-11*; August 27-September 1*.
(*Fall Colors & Northern Lights!)
MOUNTAINS & GLACIERS: It won’t take long for you to see how this action-packed tour got its name. Ranging from the glacier-carved Matanuska Valley to the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park–North America’s premier mountain and glacier wilderness– to the heavily glaciated coast and wildlife-rich seas of Prince William Sound, Mountains & Glaciers will get you ‘up and going’ in some of the most ruggedly beautiful country anywhere!
We’ll kick off the tour with a great alpine hike up to some glacial tarns and waterfalls near Hatcher Pass in the Talkeetna Mountains (or perhaps across the valley in the equally compelling Chugach Mountains). After over-nighting near the Matanuska River, it’s on to little known and seldom visited Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, where the Wrangell, St. Elias, Alaska and Chugach mountain ranges converge to form the most heavily glaciated non-polar region on earth. A scenic small plane flight transports us into the park, up the Chitina River valley and past several glaciated volcanoes (including 16,390′ Mt. Blackburn, the fifth tallest peak in the US), giving you an awe-inspiring hint of the immensity of this dramatic mountain and glacier wilderness.
Ever looked down into a glacial moulin? Deep in the heart of the national park the mountain hamlet of McCarthy will cast its spell on you with its friendliness and genuine Alaskan character. We’ll spend two nights here, giving us a full day to go glacier trekking (or ice climbing), learn about the area’s fascinating history, and explore. We’ll strap on crampons and go trekking on the fascinating and otherworldly local glacier. For an additional ~$55 you can upgrade and try your hand at an introductory ice climbing course, an experience you won’t soon forget!
A guided historical tour of the Kennecott Mill and other mining buildings, at one time the richest copper mine on earth, but now a National Historic Site, managed and being restored by the National Park Service, is an interesting option, as is a flight-seeing trip over the sprawling mountain and glacier wilderness of this magnificent national park.
We spend two nights in spectacularly situated cabins near the Kennicott Glacier, in the authentic Alaska mountain village of McCarthy, everyone’s favorite Alaska ghost town! You’re not going to want to leave McCarthy!
But leave we must, and the trip across the Chugach Mountains to Valdez is another highlight, as is the hike up the lateral moraine of the Worthington Glacier to its source ice field, near Thompson Pass.
In Valdez we will take one of the most spectacular day sea kayaking trips available anywhere, past the waterfalls and the black-legged kittiwake rookery (home of nearly 20,000 nesting sea birds!) to the face of the beautiful Shoup Glacier, on Prince William Sound. No previous experience is necessary for this easy yet breathtaking trip, which is an included highlight of the tour. If you don’t want to kayak, there’s you can alternately enjoy a scenic day cruise to the massive Meares or Columbia Glaciers, or try a salmon or halibut fishing charter (additional charge and license required for fishing).
Finally, the trip is climaxed by a scenic ferry crossing of Prince William Sound (or, on some departures, a scenic overflight), from Valdez to Whittier, and following a short hike, a short drive back to Anchorage. The ferry trip features stunning scenery, wildlife (sea otters, sea lions, bald eagles, salmon, and if we’re lucky, orcas or humpback whales), as well as views of tidewater glaciers and floating icebergs.
As the Mountains & Glaciers itinerary takes you not only through the mountains, but also down to the coast and across Prince William Sound, it arguably offers the best variety of scenery-mountain, valley, and coastal–as well as the most (and most spectacular) glaciers, of any of our shorter itineraries. It also has good wildlife viewing possibilities (and a good variety of birds and animals, with interior and coastal habitats), and truly great hiking and included multi-sport adventure activities. Please join us!
‘CAMP & CABIN’-BASED, MULTI-SPORT / HIKING TOUR
6 days, starts and ends in Anchorage
2018 TOUR DATES & PRICES
ALASKA RANGER MULTI-SPORT / HIKING TOURS: ‘CAMP & CABIN’-BASED
$1,575 (no sales tax). No single supplement.
June 10-15; July 22-27; August 12-17*; September 2-7*
(*Fall Colors & Northern Lights!)
ALASKA RANGER takes you into the Alaskan Interior, a largely pristine region of immense mountains, huge, glacier-scoured valleys, endless, rolling tundra, and almost no towns or inhabitants at all. The trip is highlighted by a 3-night stop at Alaska’s first and most popular national park: Denali, in the heart of the Alaska Range. With its ages-old food chain still intact from bottom to top, this huge park teems with readily view-able mega-fauna and other wildlife like no other region of the North American continent. Grizzlies, wolves, moose, caribou, and Dall mountain sheep, along with many smaller mammals, as well as more than 200 species of birds are all abundant. And above this Vermont-sized wilderness park towers mighty Denali itself (formerly known as Mt. McKinley), the continent’s largest (20,320′) and most spectacular massif.
A full day will be spent riding into the park on the wildlife viewing/access shuttle (private cars aren’t allowed in the wilderness park, keeping the animals nearby and at ease), with opportunities for hiking as well. More great hiking and an included whitewater raft trip on the fun and beautiful Nenana River will keep us happily occupied during the rest of our visit to this justly famous park. There is also an option to go on a scenic “flight-seeing” trip to “The Mountain,” Mt. McKinley/Denali, an unforgettable experience in clear weather.
Denali is not the only highlight of the trip, however, as you’ll quickly realize when we head east on the so-called Denali Highway, a gravel road which parallels the south side of the Alaska Range and traverses some of the wildest and most scenic road-accessible terrain anywhere. Referred to by locals as “Denali without the crowds,” this region offers great hiking, huge views, and good wildlife viewing possibilities. As the road travels mostly above tree line, the views across the tundra are expansive, and hiking possibilities are virtually unlimited.
Alaska Ranger now also features a fantastic night at a remote, riverside wilderness camp, in the eastern Alaska Range tundra foothills. We’ll travel upstream on a beautiful glacial river in jet boats to our remote camp, where we’ll enjoy excellent hiking and wildlife-viewing opportunities, before canoeing back downstream to (relative) civilization the next morning: a trip highlight!
Next we’ll head toward the tremendous Matanuska Glacier, nestled between the mighty Talkeetna and Chugach mountain ranges. Here we’ll spend the final night of the tour in rooms or cabins at a spectacularly situated local lodge. During our time here we’ll strap on crampons and go on a guided hike across the glacier to a lake and a glacial ice fall, a beautiful trek into another world. If you want a little more adventure, you can alternatively test your grit on a 6+ hour introductory ice climbing course on the glacier (requires a ~$80 supplemental payment).
Alaska Ranger traverses the wildest and least developed terrain of any of our tours, and especially at Denali, offers the best wildlife viewing possibilities. The hiking is excellent, and the rafting, canoeing, and glacier trekking (or optional) ice climbing make for exciting included multi-sport adventure activities.
LODGE-BASED, HIKING & WILDLIFE-VIEWING TOUR, WITH AN INCLUDED 6-HOUR WHALE, WILDLIFE & GLACIER-VIEWING CRUISE
3 days, starts and ends in Anchorage
2018 TOUR DATES & PRICES
KENAI HIKER LODGE-BASED
$975 (+ local sales tax). $215 single supplement.
June 17-19; July 1-3; July 15-17; July 29-31; August 12-14; August 26-28
KENAI HIKER takes you to the beautiful Kenai Peninsula, home of Kenai Fjords National Park, the charming gateway community of Seward, and Kenai Lake. This active, small-group trip features two great day hikes, a fantastic six-hour glacier, whale and wildlife-viewing day cruise in the fjords of the national park, jaw-dropping scenery, great food, and good times!
For any active, adventurous person with just a few days, or anyone looking to extend their Alaska visit after doing one of our longer trips, this new trip gets you up and out there, hiking and experiencing the jaw-dropping beauty of Kenai Fjords National Park. We spend two nights in comfortable, recently remodeled cabins on the shore of Kenai Lake, and venture out from there, returning at night for delicious barbecued salmon and other home-cooked meals, as we enjoy the camp-like setting of our wonderful lodge. Enjoy a canoe or paddle boat, or take a swim, and then sit around a cozy campfire enjoying s’mores and the beautiful Alaska evenings!
If you only have a few days, and want to get active and enjoy the beauty of the fjords, this is the trip for you!
ALASKA FAMILY EXPLORER
8 days, starts and ends in Anchorage
2018 TOUR DATES & PRICES
‘CAMP & CABIN’-BASED TOURS
$1,525 (adults); $995 (ages 17 and under); plus local sales tax
June 10-17; July 1-8; July 22-29; August 12-19.
Additional and private dates are possible; please call or email to discuss.
$2,125 (Adults); $1,495 (ages 17 and under); plus local sales tax
June 17-24; July 15-22; July 29-August 5; August 4-11; August 26-September 2.
Additional and private dates are possible; please call or email to discuss.
Click here to go to our Alaska Family Explorer web page
While our other tours are for adults only, our 8-day Alaska Family Explorer is specially designed with active children (ages 10 and older, or ages 6 and older on select and private departures, please inquire) and adventurous families in mind. Highlighted by multi-day visits to Denali and Kenai Fjords National Parks, and to the huge Matanuska Glacier, as well as the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC), Alaska Family Explorer features a full-time guide (or two, for Camp & Cabin-based groups of 8-12), exceptional opportunities to view Alaskan wildlife and glaciers, as well as several fun and exciting included and optional activities that your family will remember forever!
We start the tour by heading south along the dramatic Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, toward the Kenai Peninsula. An included visit to the fantastic Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, near Portage, affords great, close-up views of Alaskan wildlife, including bears. From here it’s on to the lush Kenai Peninsula, and to the coastal community of Seward, gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, for a two-night stay. Here we can walk out to the gigantic Exit Glacier, and take a short hike through the coastal rain forest down to a pristine beach. Optional activities in Seward include a fantastic wildlife and glacier-viewing cruise in the fjords of the national park, on the lookout for whales, sea otters, sea lions, bald eagles, puffins, and more. A visit to the excellent Alaska SeaLife Center; a salmon or halibut fishing charter; an easy 3-hour sea kayaking paddle; and even a helicopter-accessed dog-mushing trip on a glacier are additional optional activities available here. Like all the other activities on this trip, included or optional, no previous experience is necessary to participate in any activity.
From Seward we’ll head northeast to a beautifully set lodge near the huge Matanuska Glacier, for a two-night stay. In addition to plenty of family time, there is a highly recommended option to strap crampons onto your boots and venture out onto the blue glacier ice on a guided trek, or even to try an introductory, and confidence-building, ice-climbing course. A new zip-line course is another exciting option.
Next we head to Denali, one of the world’s most famous and inspirational national parks, for a three-night stay. Here you will ride on the park’s wildlife-viewing/access shuttle bus, on the lookout for grizzly bears, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, wolves, foxes and more. There will also be optional opportunities here to go river rafting (white or calm water); to take a scenic flight to Mt. McKinley (also known as Denali, this is the highest peak in North America), and to hike.
On the final day of the tour we visit the famous Denali dogsled kennels in the morning before making the drive back to Anchorage, where the tour ends at ~6 pm. A final and highly recommended option is to forego the drive, and instead board the Alaska Railroad, for a beautiful wilderness train ride from Denali back to Anchorage (~8 pm Anchorage arrival if you take the Alaska Railroad).
Both ‘Camp & Cabin’ (C&C) and lodge-based versions of this tour are available (on different dates, see above). Other than the nightly lodging, the itineraries of both versions of this 8-day, 7-night tour are identical. On the C&C version we will camp at established campgrounds five nights and stay in rooms at a beautifully set lodge two nights (two or three family members per room). The camping equipment we provide is of high quality; you need only bring sleeping bags and pads (or you can rent these cheaply from us with advance notice). On the lodge version of the tour we spend seven nights in comfortable lodges, generally three to five family members per room/cabin.
NORTH TO ALASKA!
ARE YOUR ALASKA VACATION DATES FIXED? Especially if your travel dates are already determined and inflexible, please consult our ALL TOURS BY DATE web page for a complete, chronological listing of all of our scheduled tour departure dates.
STILL UNSURE? If you can’t decide or simply have questions, please click on an itinerary or trip type that sounds good and learn a little more about it. Better yet, give us a call and let us help you decide which trip is best for you. We’re here to help!
Whichever tour you decide on, we’re confident that you’re going to be happy with it, and that your Alaska experience with Get Up and Go! Tours is going to be something that you remember forever!
CALL US TOLL FREE: 1.888.868.4147 or, outside of the USA and Canada, call 1.907.245.0795. You can also email us at: email@example.com. If you’re ready to book a tour, we can of course help you with that, too. See you in Alaska!
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