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Denali Backcountry Explorer

From: $1995
6 days Denali Backcountry Explorer
Experience Denali National Park in style from a wilderness lodge located 90 miles inside the park. Enjoy naturalist guided hikes and walks, wildlife viewing, scenic views of Mt. McKinley, fishing, gold panning, dog sled demonstrations and more with three full days inside Denali National Park. Your up-close exploration is enhanced by a trip aboard the historic Alaska railroad, two nights in Anchorage and an optional scenic flight over Mt McKinley.

Our Denali Backcountry Explorer is an independent exploration of Anchorage and Denali that includes all transfers, hotels and activities. This trip can be customized to depart any day or crafted with custom hotels and lodges to suit any travel style. This Denali lodge-based trip is perfect for small groups, couples or family travel.
read more Experience Denali National Park in style from a wilderness lodge located 90 miles inside the park. Enjoy naturalist guided hikes and walks, wildlife viewing, scenic views of Mt. McKinley, fishing, gold panning, dog sled demonstrations and more with three full days inside Denali National Park. Your up-close exploration is enhanced by a trip aboard the historic Alaska railroad, two nights in Anchorage and an optional scenic flight over Mt McKinley.

Our Denali Backcountry Explorer is an independent exploration of Anchorage and Denali that includes all transfers, hotels and activities. This trip can be customized to depart any day or crafted with custom hotels and lodges to suit any travel style. This Denali lodge-based trip is perfect for small groups, couples or family travel.
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From the Blog

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Day 1 - Arrive Anchorage

Day 2 - Denali National Park Wildlife Safari

Days 3 - 4 - Denali National Park

Day 5 - Alaska Railroad to Anchorage

Day 6 - Depart or Begin Trip Extension


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Day 1 - Arrive Anchorage

Arrive independently at the Anchorage airport. A transfer to your downtown Anchorage hotel is included. The remainder of the day is yours to explore this cosmopolitan city on your own.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Clarion Suites or similar
MEALS:
n/a

Day 2 - Denali National Park Wildlife Safari

Enjoy a scenic, narrated drive along the Parks Highway from Anchorage to Denali. Arrive at the Denali National Park train depot midday before you catch the naturalist-guided wildlife safari bus for a tour through North America’s premier wilderness. Wildlife viewing opportunities are excellent as you travel overland deep into Denali National Park. Look for grizzly bear, moose, caribou and possibly even wolves on this 95-mile, 5-hour trip with frequent stops for viewing and photographing wildlife. Our preferred wilderness lodge, the Kantishna Roadhouse, serves as your base for exploring the region.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Kantishna Roadhouse or Denali Backcountry Lodge
MEALS:
breakfast and dinner

Days 3 - 4 - Denali National Park

Two days are spent exploring the heart of Alaska's premier wilderness. A naturalist guide from Kantishna leads you through alpine and tundra environments along rivers, lakes or ridge-top trails with magnificent panoramic views of the Alaska Range. The beautiful scenery of Denali National Park is also habitat for grizzly bear, black bear, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, Arctic fox and moose. Activities offered in Kantishna include sled dog demonstrations, mountain biking, fishing, gold panning and evening presentations in the library.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Kantishna Roadhouse or Denali Backcountry Lodge
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5 - Alaska Railroad to Anchorage

Rise early for another chance to view wildlife on the return trip to the park entrance. You may instead choose to return to the park entrance by plane, enjoying a scenic flight over North America’s tallest mountain, Mt McKinley (additional cost). Upon arrival at the park entrance board the historic railroad for the return trip to Anchorage, crossing over Alaska's highest bridge at Hurricane Gulch. Skirt past the Matanuska Valley, the most fertile farming area in Alaska, which produces bushel-basket-sized cabbages along with other huge vegetables due to long hours of sunlight. Your conductor will keep you posted on points of interest along the way, with prime views from your luxury dome car. Meals are available for purchase on board. Arriving at the Anchorage Rail Depot around 8:00pm, a transfer is included to your downtown Anchorage hotel.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Clarion Suites or similar
MEALS:
breakfast

Day 6 - Depart or Begin Trip Extension

A return transfer to the airport is included or begin your Alaska adventure cruise or trip extension.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
n/a
MEALS:
breakfast

Alternative Itinerary

The Denali Backcountry Explorer can also be customized to fit your interests, ability and budget. For instance it could begin and/or end in Fairbanks instead of Anchorage, we can add days in Denali or at the Denali National Park Entrance, or we can add custom activities like fishing or flightseeing. Call our experts to plan your perfect Denali trip.

Itinerary Notes

We may occasionally alter itineraries slightly for safety, or to take advantage of weather, wildlife, and unplanned discoveries. Our ability to be spontaneous makes our style of travel unique.

Arrival & Departure

Your Denali Backcountry Explorer adventure begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska. Arrivals may be at anytime on Day 1 and departures may be at anytime on Day 6. Transfers will be provided both upon arrival on Day 1 from Anchorage International Airport (ANC) and on Day 6 for your return flight home.

Activities

Activities in Kantishna include daily hikes (choose from easy, moderate or challenging), bicycle rides, fishing, gold panning, sled dog demonstrations and flight seeing (at additional charge).
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Departs Any Day:
From early June through early September. Prices are per person for 2014, based on double, triple or quadrouple occupancy rooms.

1 guest: $3095

2 guests: $2295

3 guests: $2095

4 guests: $1995


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Included

Airport hotel transfer, coach transportation to Denali, Alaska Railroad transportation from Denali, accommodations, local guides, entrance fees and meals as specified in itinerary.

Exclusions

Taxes (2014: 1 guest $119. 2 guests $91 per person. 3 guests $81 per person. 4 guests $75 per person); airfare to Alaska; airport taxes, excess baggage charges; any additional hotel nights in Anchorage; optional flight from Kantishna back to Denali entrance; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages; and insurance of any kind.

The remote wilderness lodges in Denali National park will only allow guests to bring 1 piece of luggage per person. Additionally, guest are allowed 1 small backpack that they may take with them on the bus journey into the park. Each additional piece of luggage will incur a cost of $50. Prior to boarding the bus trip into the national park, excess luggage can be stored at the baggage storage facility across from the Denali train station for a fee.

Room Configuration

Triple and quad accommodations are available. Wheelchair accessible rooms are available.

Families & Children

Families and groups with younger travelers are welcome on this trip. Call our experts to plan your Denali family vacation.

Payment & Cancellation

Deposits required for each traveler are $600. Inquiries and cabins held for Camp Denali and North Face Lodge will require a $100 per person non-refundable fee. A Reservation Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days - 50% of deposit
90 to 31 days - 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days - 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 21 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.
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Kantishna Roadhouse

Kantishna Roadhouse

The Kantishna Roadhouse lies deep in the heart of Alaska’s pristine wilderness of Denali National Park and dates back to the early 1900s. 32 full service cabins dot the landscape set on Moose Creek.
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Denali Backcountry Lodge

Denali Backcountry Lodge

The remote Denali Backcountry Lodge is located at the end of the 95-mile Denali Park Road, past Wonder Lake, in Kantishna. The lodge offers 30 comfortably appointed cedar cabins.
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Clarion Suites

Clarion Suites

The Clarion Suites Hotel in downtown Anchorage features 112 hotel suites less than half a mile from Cook’s Inlet and only seconds from Delaney Park.
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Special Offers
• Land & Sea Offer Combine and Save $100 on Alaska
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Trip Reviews

OVERALL: 5 stars ACCOMMODATIONS: 5 stars MEALS: 5 stars

Overall Trip Review

I was a bit concerned shortly before I left for Anchorage and Denali on August 5...that two new "players", InnerSea Discoveries and Knightly Tours, were introduced but AdventureSmith and "my" agent, Chris Harter, continued to coordinate everything beautifully. The number 1 experience was Glacier Bay National Park section of our "un-cruise" on the AdventureExplorer....Why: Because of the variety of activities: hiking, kayaking, wildlife spotting..just one thing after another...and because we had a TERRIFIC Natl. Park Service guide, Andrew, with us...
Number two best experience was Denali National Park: Highlight was the presentation at the Kantishna Roadhouse August 7 and 8 on dogsledding and the Ididarod by Emmett...whose Dad has won the Ididarod four times..It was informative and entertaining..and then he took us out back to meet the sled dogs in training...all rescue animals! The least enjoyable part was the LONG bus ride...over six hours into and out of Denali...but the stay at Kantishna Roadhouse and the wildlife spotting..though often DISTANT..made it worth the trip...  Both segments of the trip were well organized and superb and very relaxing...Imagine being away from cell phones and Internet for days at a time..and not minding at all!! And we were also blessed with remarkably good weather for August...Don't know who is responsible for that (Actually, I do!) but thank you!

Accommodations Review

The cabins at Kantishna were quite comfortable..we needed a coat hanging rack in our Cabin 5..it was missing... The cabin on the AdventureExplorer was fine...good shower pressure and lots of storage space (!) in our Trailblazer cabin

Meals Review

All meals..at both Kantishna Roadhouse in Denali and onboard ship were EXCELLENT...I particularly liked the fact that each night on the ship we were offered a choice of meat, fish, or vegetarian...
2. Re: Kantishna..the breakfast buffet was a bit disorganized at times..not ready as early as it was supposed to be...

Crew & Guides review

At Kantishna, we had no principal trip leader...took two easy hikes..particularly enjoyed the second one with Darryl..along an old mining road...
Onboard the Adventure Explorer...chief activity honcho was Randall..he was well organized but a seemed a bit distant at times..Very adequately supported by an excellent team: Jeremy, Julie, Hannah, Jen, Debi..sorry if I have left anyone out! They were great!
AdventureSmith Explorations Review

AdventureSmith Explorations Review

Chris Harter managed my Denali extension and also the AdvertureExplorer booking...He was immediately responsive to my questions and gave full and helpful answers. Wedded the two trips together seamlessly...we especially appreciated the Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau..very centrally located and nice rooms...

Traveler Advice

Take along your sense of adventure and be willing to leave the world at home behind..then you can really enjoy it!

M. Meyers - Washington, DC