Alaska Highlights - Self Drive
per person onwards
Alaska Highlights - Self Drive
Pick up your rental vehicle at the Anchorage airport upon your arrival and drive to your hotel. Overnight in Anchorage.
Distance/driving time: 237 miles / plan 5 hours driving time, not including stops.
Drive the Glenn Highway northbound at your leisure. A few interesting stops along the way are the Alaska Native Heritage Center and the Eklutna Indian Village. As you travel on the Parks Highway towards Denali National Park, you drive through the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and Denali State Park. You can take a side trip to the small gold mining community Talkeetna for an optional jet boat tour or a ski-plane flight to land on Mt. McKinley. Continue on to Denali National Park. This afternoon, you may wish to take an optional rafting tour or attend a dinner theatre. Overnight near the Denali Park Entrance.
Today enjoy a 6 to 8 hour bus tour into Denali National Park (approx. 55 miles/88 km into the park). The park is inhabited by many different animal species, and with some luck you may see bears, caribou, moose, sheep, wolves and a variety of birds. Mt. McKinley may also be seen, weather permitting. A snack is provided during your tour. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight near the Denali park entrance.
Distance/driving time: 125 miles / plan 2.5 hours driving time, not including stops.
Continue on the Parks Highway north to Fairbanks. Surrounded by forests and mountains, you drive through the communities of Healy, Nenana and Ester, an old mining camp. In Fairbanks, explore the town on your own or participate in optional excursions like the Riverboat Discovery Cruise. Another option is to drive to Chena Hot Springs and visit the Ice Museum or take a relaxing bath in the hot springs. Overnight in Fairbanks.
Distance/driving time: 366 miles / plan 7 hours driving time, not including stops.
Today your journey continues as you head southeast toward Delta Junction. As you depart Fairbanks, you will drive through North Pole, home of the Santa Claus House. In Delta Junction, take the spectacular Richardson Highway south towards Valdez. Part of the route parallels the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Weather permitting, you'll have incredible views of the Alaska Range and the St. Elias Mountains. Drive by Worthington Glacier and through Keystone Canyon with its many cascading waterfalls. Overnight in Valdez.
Today is at your leisure to enjoy Valdez and its surroundings. Try a scenic kayaking trip or a wildlife and glacier cruise into Prince William Sound. Overnight in Valdez.
Distance/driving time: Ferry from Valdez to Whittier (3 or 6 hours). Drive Whittier to Seward 85 miles / plan 2 hours drive time, not including tunnel waiting period or stops.
Today you'll depart Valdez on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry and travel through beautiful Prince William Sound. Upon arrival in Whittier, drive through the Whittier-Portage Tunnel (one-lane tunnel, open to traffic during certain hours only) to meet up with the Seward Highway, a nationally recognized Scenic Byway. We recommend a stop at Portage Glacier and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre. Continue along south through scenic landscapes and a mountain pass to Seward. Possible side trips include visiting the Gold Rush community of Hope and walking to Exit Glacier. Overnight in Seward.
Distance/driving time: 127 miles / plan 3 hours driving time, not including stops.
There is plenty of time today to enjoy optional excursions, including a cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park, or a visit to an Iditarod musher homestead and dog sled ride. Later you will return to Anchorage. Before reaching the city, you have the option of visiting the resort community of Girdwood for a guided (glacier) hike or tram ride up Mt. Alyeska. Overnight in Anchorage.
Return your car to the Anchorage airport car rental station. Depart or start an additional program.