Helicopter landing on a hillside in a very remote region of alaska with tall mountains behind
man snowshoeing on top of a glacier in alaska on a sunny day
black bear walking through the tall green grass in alaska
Winterlake lodge in the alaska range with a green lawn in front and a reflection in the still water
group sitting on the rocky beach enjoying refreshments while listening to the guide with rafts and a helicopter also on the with
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North America Alaska Land Tour

Within the Wild

The 7-day Within the Wild luxury Alaska adventure offers guests intimate exposure to Alaska’s backcountry using two incredible lodges: the Winterlake Lodge and Tutka Bay Lodge, which are both National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. Depart Anchorage by floatplane and immediately take in three distinct mountain ranges, including Mount Denali. Exploratory hikes, helicopter- and floatplane-assisted adventures, glacier trekking, summer snow sledding and snowshoeing, fishing and bear viewing are followed by relaxation and comfort in two beautiful lodges. Each day begins and ends with world-class dining, inspired by the landscapes just explored, as well as relaxation classes, yoga, massages, hot tub soaks or time in the wood-fired sauna. 

Winterlake Lodge is nestled in the Alaska Range along Alaska’s historic Iditarod Trail, with views of the expansive valley below and Mount Denali beyond. Sled dogs in training, and trails leading to a lake that is home to nesting swans and loons, are just a few of the lodge’s attractions. World-class salmon and rainbow trout fishing is located nearby. And a wellness program offers complimentary yoga, massages and cooking classes, as well as afternoon wine tasting.

Tutka Bay Lodge, adjacent to Kachemak Bay State Park, offers hikes through an old growth Sitka spruce forest right from the front door. Sea kayaks and fishing boats launch from the lodge deck into renowned waters known for halibut and salmon. An in-house massage therapist, yoga instructor and personal guide provide guests with plenty to do after a day spent deep sea fishing or bear viewing on the Katmai Peninsula.

Throughout the Within the Wild experience, expert naturalist guides and expedition leaders enhance daily excursions while award-winning chefs deliver unforgettable cuisine, daily wine and cheese tastings and culinary sessions to create an atmosphere of refinement. Whether interested in a coastal seaside escape or a rustic interior excursion, this luxury Alaskan land adventure is perfect for travelers seeking an upscale and intimate Alaska experience surrounded by nature and wildlife. Custom trips are also available.

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



Itinerary

Within the Wild: Mountains & Sea Itinerary

This Alaska land-based 7-day adventure begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska.

Map of Within the Wild luxury Alaska land tour showing the Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage & 2 lodges: Winterlake & Tutka Bay.
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Day 1
Anchorage to Winterlake Lodge

This morning at 7:15am, meet your complimentary transfer streetside with bags ready for a quick ride to Lake Hood, the world’s largest floatplane base and your departure point for Winterlake Lodge. At approximately 8:00am, depart by floatplane for a 1-hour flight northwest of Anchorage, ascending with views of three distinct mountain ranges. Lodge managers greet you dockside and invite you to the main lodge for a brief orientation over coffee, tea and fresh pastries. Settle in and start your day with a morning walk on the trail system, stopping to meet sled dogs and learn about the National Historic Iditarod Trail that runs through the property.

Lunch is served in the main lodge. Chefs craft each dish to articulate local wild flavors and inspire continued exploration of Winterlake Lodge. After lunch, explore around the lodge. Enjoy a 3-hour saddle hike and take in the views of the Tordrillo Mountains and the Skwentna River Valley. Return for an afternoon yoga class while settling into the serenity of the lodge’s surroundings.

Evening appetizers are served in the main lodge followed by a three-course dinner served table d’hôte style. After din­ner, gather around the table for games, drinks and conversation. Finish the evening paddling on Winter Lake, keeping an eye out for loons, swans and shore wildlife.

Accommodations

Winterlake Lodge

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
Winterlake Heli-Day

Begin today with optional morning yoga at 7:00am, followed by 8:00am breakfast served in the main lodge. Then join your guide for a helicopter-supported adventure. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Options today include the following:

Heli-hiking

Board a Robinson R-44 helicopter with your guide to the summit of Wolverine Ridge or the surrounding area mountains in the Tordrillo Range. Spend the day hiking along the ridge or exploring the tundra ecosystem, watching for caribou, brown bear and moose. Other favorite spots include Lupine Falls and Glacier Ridge for views of Tremble Glacier and delightful patches of blueberries and wildflowers.

Glacier Trekking

Explore the features and ancient beauty of your precious glacial surroundings. During the flight, search for moulins, glacial pools, animals traversing the moraine and dramatic crevasses. Land on the ice to explore a 1000-year-old glacier. No prior glacier experience is needed for this opportunity and you may try sledding or snowshoeing in the summertime!

Happy River Float

Fly from the lodge to meet your river guide on the Happy River. Meander along this rarely visited glacier-fed class III river while looking for bears, eagles, Dall’s sheep and salmon. This is a favorite spot because the deep gorge and surrounding mountains offer outstanding views and serenity.

Fly Fishing

Set out to one of the many secluded rivers – all gear included. Throughout the summer, guides scout the top-secret spots to fish for salmon, rainbow trout and Dolly Varden. Float, walk or wade down a quiet Alaskan river in this pristine region.

In the evening, join lodge managers for a wine and cheese tasting, appetizers, local Alaskan brews and gourmet sodas. Dinner is server at 7:00pm, after which you may choose to relax in the hot tub or enjoy the wood-fired sauna.

Accommodations

Winterlake Lodge

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Red Lake or Wolverine Ridge

Start the day with optional morning yoga at 7:00am, followed by 8:00am breakfast served in the main lodge. Then choose to either explore Red Lake or go on a big adventure challenge to summit Wolverine Ride (a full-day adventure). For Red Lake, hike down an old trap line trail; spot for moose, black bears, swans and loons. Canoe the lake with your guide and paddle to the Iditarod trail. Along the way, fish for grayling in the lake. The return route will loop you back to the lodge through an old growth boreal forest filled with wild berries. Forage as you explore!

Return to the lodge for lunch. After lunch, enjoy complimentary massage and join the afternoon stretch class. Grab a stand-up paddleboard with your guide to explore or read a book on the deck rocking chairs. At 4:00pm, meet back in the kitchen to learn a new recipe using Alaskan ingredients. In the evening, join fellow travelers over appetizers and wine to share stories of the day’s adventures. Dinner is served at 7:00pm. After dinner, practice your fly fishing cast on the lake in the Minn Kota.

Accommodations

Winterlake Lodge

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Winterlake to Tutka Bay Lodge

Enjoy 7:00am optional morning yoga followed by 8:00am breakfast served in the main lodge. After breakfast, take one last walk through the sled dog yard and bid farewell to your fellow travelers and lodge employees. At 9:00am, meet your floatplane at the dock for an 1.5-hour flight south to Tutka Bay Lodge.

After settling into the Tutka Bay Lodge, meet with your guide to plan adventures. Take a morning walk on the trail system and learn about the old-growth Sitka spruce forest that surrounds the property. Hike to Tutka Lake to forage and enjoy views of the surrounding peaks. Sea kayak from the lodge to the Herring Islands to look for otters, whales, seals and eagles.

Lunch, crafted to articulate the local and wild flavors of Tutka Bay, is served in the main lodge. After, board M/V Sea Salt for a ride to the neighboring bay and a visit to an oyster farm. Learn the unique conditions of raising oysters and mussels in the cold waters of Alaska and taste them fresh out of the water. At 4:00pm, join a cooking class with remarkable chefs. Participate in preparing a featured house recipe inspired by Chef Kirsten Dixon.

Appetizers are served in the main lodge in the evening, followed by a three-course dinner served table d’hôte style. After dinner, join the lodge manager for a sea life safari and educational discussion about the area. If the tides are right, head to the beach and learn about the 13 intertidal zones distinctive to Kachemak Bay, where sea stars abound in an array of colors.

Accommodations

Tutka Bay Lodge

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Tutka Bay Lodge Excursion

After an early 6:00am breakfast at the lodge, depart for your full-day excursion: either deep sea fishing in Kachemak Bay or bear viewing on the wild coastlines of Katmai National Park.

Deep Sea Fishing

With an early start, this excursion will take you to the deep, pristine waters of Kachemak Bay. Spend the day fishing for salmon and halibut alongside informative local captains with all gear included. Kachemak Bay is home to one of the most productive fisheries in the world due to intense tidal fluctuations. Listen to stories from your guide about this unique region. A specialty lunch will be provided from the lodge chefs for your day on the water. At the end of the day, your captain will clean and fillet your catch at the dock. Ship it home or take it to the lodge for the chefs to prepare.

Bear Viewing

This excursion provides an amazing opportunity to explore one of the most populated wild habitats of Alas­kan brown bears. The day starts with an early rise at Tutka Bay Lodge and a water taxi over to Homer where you meet your pilot and guide. At the hanger, you will be fitted with waders for the day, then take off for a 1-hour scenic flight. The destination flight takes you over glaciers, volcanoes and the rugged coastlines of Katmai National Park and Lake Clark National Park. Land on a remote beach where you may walk alongside bears in their natural habitat and, depending on the time of year, see bears grazing on sedge grass, digging for clams, playing together, courting, resting and/or fishing. Expect to make some stream crossings and do light hiking (2-6 miles) alongside highly knowledgeable and helpful guides. (Please note this is a remote trip and there is no access to facilities.)

When you get back to lodge, enjoy a hot sauna or soak before your complimentary massage. This evening, join the lodge managers for wine, local Alaskan brews and gourmet sodas during appetizer hour. Following dinner, take a walk to Sunset Beach to relax before views of Mt. Illiamna.

Accommodations

Tutka Bay Lodge

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Grewingk Glacier

Begin today with optional morning yoga at 7:00am, followed by 8:00am breakfast served in the main lodge. After breakfast, explore one of the many trails through Kachemak Bay State Park or travel by boat with your guide to the Grewingk Glacier. View the glacier’s exposed gravel field and learn the anatomy of an Alaskan glacier. Take the Glacier Lake hike and admire icebergs in the lake nestled up in the mountains. Make it a full-day adventure and bring a picnic lunch, or plan to return to the lodge for lunch after exploring.
Venture out on stand-up paddleboards from the dock for marine life viewing, or walk the beach tide pooling with your guides.

This evening, join fellow travelers for appetizers and wine and tell stories of the day’s adventures. After dinner, join tje boat captain for a sunset cruise around the neighborhood, watching for whales and other sea life.

Accommodations

Tutka Bay Lodge

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Return to Anchorage

After optional morning yoga at 7:00am, enjoy breakfast at 8:00am in the main lodge. Bid farewell to your fellow travelers, favorite lodge employees and resi­dent sea otters. Maybe enjoy one last low tide experience as you await your floatplane ride back to Anchorage. At 10:00am, take your included floatplane flight back to Anchorage.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All float plane travel between Anchorage and lodges; all meals, snacks, coffee, tea and house wines; one day Robinson R-44 helicopter-assisted excursion; one bear viewing excursion to Katmai Peninsula or one deep sea fishing day in Kachemak Bay; one 50-minute massage per guest per lodge; twice-daily yoga classes; daily cooking class; accommodations in private cabin; wireless internet in the Main Lodge; in-room amenities; daily housekeeping and evening turndown services; all lodge guided activities; use of adventure gear; Mat-Su Borough tax; staff gratuity.

Exclusions

Airfare to and from Alaska; fishing licenses; premium wines and alcohol; lodge staff gratuity (at your discretion); insurance of any kind (strongly recommended); additional excursions (can be supplemented or added for extra cost; please inquire for custom interests).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 50% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days prior to your arrival at the lodge. 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 60 days – full refund less a $100 administrative fee
59 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 Within the Wild adventure begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska (ANC). Plan flights to arrive to Anchorage prior to the 7:15am meeting time on day 1 of the itinerary in order to maximize time at Winterlake Lodge; custom pick-up arrangements can be arranged. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to depart Anchorage no earlier than 2:15pm on day 7, following a 10:00am departure from Tutka Bay Lodge (11:15am arrival into Anchorage). This trip may require additional (excluded) overnights in Anchorage. AdventureSmith experts can assist with any additional hotels or transfers.

Internal Flights

All internal flights on this trip are included in the rate, including the floatplane flights between Anchorage, Winterlake Lodge and Tutka Bay Lodge; the optional scenic flight from Homer to go bear viewing; and a helicopter excursion. The flight between Anchorage and Winterlake Lodge is booked aboard a small plane. While these are regularly scheduled flights they are almost like a flightseeing excursion and we feel this is part of the Alaska experience. Baggage limits on these flights are 50 pounds per person + one carry on item. For travelers opting to return to Anchorage by seaplane (additional fee), additional baggage can be stored with the airline at Lake Hood.

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 hiking, meeting sled dogs, morning yoga and stretching, cooking classes, kayaking, glacier trekking, sledding, snowshoeing, river rafting, fly fishing, wildlife observation, day boat excursions, deep sea fishing and visiting an oyster farm.

Room Configuration

Triple occupancy rates are not available.

Families & Children

Children 12 years old and under receive a discounted rate reflected in child price.

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

The above is a sample itinerary. Actual adventure offerings and schedule may vary due to guest interests and weather. Itineraries should be used as a guide only and 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

Trips run daily, June through September. Contact us for current rates and availability.

Accommodations

Learn About the Wilderness Lodges on Your Itinerary

Lodge
Winterlake Lodge

Situated near the western edge of the Alaska Range, Winterlake Lodge offers seclusion and spectacular scenery. Winterlake Lodge is only accessible by float plane so getting there is half the fun.

Lodge
Tutka Bay Lodge

Tutka Bay Lodge sits at the entrance of a rugged seven-mile fjord at the southern end of Kachemak Bay near Homer, Alaska, on an 11-acre property, accessible only by floatplane. Six private guest cabins, boat house, sauna, hot tub and main lodge are all connected by boardwalk.

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Within the Wild

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