A lone road going through open field in denali national park with snow covered mountains behind
brown bear looking up through the red shrubs on the hillside in denali national park in alaska
Man smiling with his arms up in the air with a river and mountain range behind him in alaska's denali national park
Woman picking items out of the garden at the kantishna roadhouse wilderness lodge in denali national park with a school bus behind
Two up close caribou eating grass in alaska's denali national park
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North America Alaska Land Tour

Denali Backcountry Explorer

Spend 6 days delving into Alaska’s wildlands on this Denali Backcountry Explorer. Unbeatable wildlife viewing and landscape photography are highlights of each daily hike led by naturalist guides. Each evening, rest easy in style and comfort in a remote backcountry lodge 90 miles inside Denali National Park.

The tour begins with a 5-hour wildlife safari bus ride through 92 miles of Denali National Park, stopping for opportunities to see grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolves and more. From the Kantishna Roadhouse, a sprawling collection of cabins that date back to the early 1900s, the heart of Alaska’s wilderness is at your fingertips. Hike through alpine and tundra environments along rivers, lakes and ridge-top trails with panoramic views of the Alaska Range. Try dog sledding, gold panning, mountain biking or simply enjoy the informative evening presentations during your 3 days at Kantishna Roadhouse. Some may stay at the Denali Backcountry Lodge, a similar collection of cedar cabins, equally perfect for Alaska backcountry exploration.

After 3 days exploring Denali National Park, return to Anchorage by Alaska railroad or on a scenic flight. By train, some of the most lush and fertile Alaska lands can be seen from luxury dome cars, meals are available for purchase and a delightful conductor points out areas of interest along the way. By plane, fly over North America’s tallest mountain, Mt. Denali standing at 20,322 feet, and see Alaska with an eagle eye view.

AdventureSmith’s 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 backcountry lodge-based trip is perfect for small groups, couples or family travel. Contact our Alaska experts to add the Denali Backcountry Explorer to your schedule.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Alaska land tours.



Itinerary

Denali Backcountry Explorer Itinerary

Spend 6 days delving into Alaska’s wildlands on this Denali Backcountry Explorer inside Denali National Park. This trip begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska.

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Day 1
Arrive Anchorage, Alaska

Arrive independently at the Anchorage airport. A transfer to your downtown Anchorage hotel is included. The remainder of the day is yours to explore Anchorage on your own.

Accommodations

Westmark Anchorage, The Lakefront Anchorage or similar

Meals

n/a

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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 to catch the naturalist-guided wildlife safari bus for a tour through North America’s premier wilderness. Wildlife viewing opportunities are excellent while traveling overland deep into Denali National Park. Look for grizzly bear, moose, caribou and possibly wolves on this 92-mile, 5-hour trip with frequent stops for viewing and photographing wildlife. Wilderness lodges deep inside the park in the Kantishna Valley serve as home base for exploring the region.

Accommodations

Kantishna Roadhouse or Denali Backcountry Lodge

Meals

dinner

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Day 3
Denali National Park

Spend today exploring the heart of Alaska’s premier wilderness. A naturalist guide from your backcountry lodge leads explorations through alpine and tundra environments along rivers, lakes or ridge-top trails with 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, moose and more.

Accommodations

Kantishna Roadhouse or Denali Backcountry Lodge

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Denali National Park

Spend a second full day exploring the wonders of Denali from your backcountry lodge. Additional activities offered from the lodge include sled dog demonstrations, mountain biking, gold panning and evening presentations.

Accommodations

Kantishna Roadhouse or Denali Backcountry Lodge

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Alaska Railroad to Anchorage

Rise early for another chance to view wildlife on the return trip to the park entrance. Or choose to return to the Denali National Park entrance by plane, enjoying a scenic flight over North America’s tallest mountain at 20,322 feet, Denali (weather dependent and for an additional cost). Upon arrival at the Denali National 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. The conductor points out areas of interest along the way, with prime views from your luxury dome car. Meals are available for purchase on board. Arrive at the Anchorage Rail Depot around 8:30pm. A transfer is provided to your downtown Anchorage hotel.

Accommodations

Westmark Anchorage, The Lakefront Anchorage or similar

Meals

breakfast

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Day 6
Depart Anchorage

Transfer to the airport for your flights home or extend your stay with an AdventureSmith Explorations small ship cruise or another land adventure.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

n/a

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

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

Airfare; airport taxes; additional hotel nights in Anchorage; optional flight from Kantishna back to Denali entrance; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages; insurance of any kind; excess baggage charges (lodges in Denali National Park allow 1 piece of luggage per guest plus 1 small backpack. Each additional piece of luggage will incur a $50 charge. Excess luggage may be stored at the Denali train station for a fee); room taxes (2021 taxes per person: double occupancy $190, triple occupancy $175, quadruple occupancy $165, single occupancy $245).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $600 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, 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 Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The main Denali Backcountry Explorer adventure begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska (ANC). Plan to arrive anytime on day 1 and depart anytime on day 6. Transfers will be provided upon arrival on day 1 and departure on day 6.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the guides can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include daily hikes (choose from easy, moderate or challenging), bicycle rides, fishing, gold panning, sled dog demonstrations, wildlife observation and flight seeing (additional charge).

Room Configuration

Cabins and prices are listed for single, double, triple and quadruple use. 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.

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 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Details

From early June through early September.

2021 Rates
From $2365USD
Per Person
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Accommodations

Learn About the Lodges & Hotels on Your Itinerary

Lodge
Denali Backcountry Lodge

The remote Denali Backcountry Lodge located at the end of the 95-mile Denali Park Road in Kantishna, was named one of 2017’s top ten adventure lodges in Alaska by National Geographic. Daily optional activities include hiking, fly fishing, gold panning, biking, photography, flightseeing tours and more.

Lodge
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.

Hotel
The Lakefront Anchorage

This lodge-style hotel is known for its hospitality and upscale yet comfortable amenities. Set on the shore of Lake Spenard, The Lakefront Anchorage offers modern décor accented with classical hints of Alaska. Daily flightseeing and fishing pickups from the hotel dock offer specialized opportunities for Alaska-based adventures.

Hotel
Westmark Anchorage

With majestic views of the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet, the Westmark Anchorage Hotel offers guests top-rated customer service and convenient, comfortable accommodations in the heart of downtown Anchorage.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Chris Harter • June 3rd, 2008
Expert Review: Inside Passage Catalyst Plus Denali

An AdventureSmith crew member reports on his 7-day Inside Passage cruise aboard the Catalyst and trip to Denali National Park.

Testimonials

Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

"This Trip Exceeded Our Expectations!"

This trip exceeded our expectations! Everything was so organized and went so smoothly. I would highly recommend Adventure Smith for any trips. All the details were clearly explained and each step of the way went very smoothly.

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"Absolutely Marvelous"

My trip to Denali was absolutely marvelous. I am so glad I took this particular trip because everyone was taken care of and I didn't have to worry about anything. The resort was 1st class, the service and food excellent.

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"The Wildlife Spotting 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!!

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Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Land Tour

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On this 8-day adventure with National Geographic guides, watch for whales and calving glaciers and take kayaks and Zodiacs into protected fjords. Cruise aboard the 100-passenger National Geographic Quest or Venture.

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The 8-day Last Frontier Adventure cruise combines Glacier Bay National Park with active hikes and kayaking among rainforest and glaciers, with cultural insights along the way aboard 58-guest Admiralty Dream or 76-guest Chichagof Dream.

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Denali Backcountry Explorer

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