Dates: 8/6 - 11, 2017
(6 days, 5 nights; Sun - Fri)
Assembly Point: Girdwood, AK
(airline service to Anchorage; Timberline van shuttle from Ancorage to Girdwood)
Meeting time: hotel 8:30 am
Drop off time: 6 pm
Tour Cost: $3,108
(includes all lodging, all meals, van shuttles, Kenai Fjord boat cruise, park entrance fees, leaders, trail maps & narratives)
Additional Single Occupancy Lodging Cost: $700
Alaska, perhaps more than any other region in North America, is cloaked in a mystical aura that ignites the imagination. To some extent, that aura obviously is the product of Alaska’s incredible, incomparable natural beauty. Its mountains, glaciers, coastline and wilderness are without equal. Arguably, though, without in any way diminishing its physical magnificence, Alaska’s irresistible attraction is that it symbolizes the “Final Frontier,” a last opportunity to experience the wilderness in its most pristine, unspoiled expression. Alaska still promises the opportunity to see a bear scramble through the brush of a mountain valley or to sit in a kayak and watch a massive glacier calve ice off its face into the fjords below.
Our Alaska Hiking tour assembles in Girdwood near Anchorage at noon of Day 1 (we’ll provide van transportation from Anchorage earlier in the day) and we’ll spend our first of two overnights at the Aleyeska Resort. The Winner Creek Trail is planned for Day 2 as we explore the historic Iditarod Trail that provided access to the gold fields near Crow Pass during the early years of the 20th century. We’ll continue to climb moderately along the upper reaches of the creek to the picturesque falls of Winner Creek Gorge (10 miles). Along the way, we’ll pass the remains of the Monarch Mine, a hardrock gold mine that ceased operations in 1948. Nearby Crystal Lake lies nestled beneath a steep mountain wall and then its on to the Raven Glacier overlook before descending to the trail- head.
We’ll spend a second evening at Aleyeska and then head out along the Course Creek Trail the following morning with its startling views of Right and Wrong Mountains. We’ll continue on to Crescent Lake and then return to our trailhead and a late afternoon shuttle to Seward, where we’ll spend our final three overnights (12 miles).
Lost Lake is our goal for Day 4 as we climb moderately along Box Canyon Creek. The snow- clad Resurrection Peaks hover above our trail as we approach the lake. Spectacular views of the Kenai Mountains and Resurrection Bay are added features of this exciting hike (8 miles).
A change of pace is planned for Day 5. Seward is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park and we’ll explore this extraordinary treasure in the context of a scenic boat cruise. The glacier-laced fjords offer an exceptional wildlife opportunity that, with a little luck, can include whale sightings.
Our visit to Kenai Fjords Park continues on our final day. We’ll hike the Harding Trail along Exit Glacier to the Harding Icefield, one of the largest icefields in North America (8 miles). The icefield is 35 miles long and 20 miles wide, and is the source of the glaciers of Kenai Fjords. Following our visit to the icefield, we’ll van shuttle back to Anchorage.
|Day 1||Group assembles in Anchorage; van shuttle to Girdwood; hike along Winner Creek Trail to the Gorge Bridge||4 miles|
|Day 2||Historic Iditarod Trail to Crows Pass||10 miles|
|Day 3||Lost Lake - Resurrection Peaks||14 miles|
|Day 4||Hike the Harding Trail along Exit Glacier to Harding Icefield||8 miles|
|Day 5||Kenai Fjord Boat Cruise|
|Day 6||Turnagain Arm||4 miles|
Total hiking mileage: 40
Routes, mileage and accommodations are subject to change due to safety, road/trail conditions, weather and availability.