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Alaska: Kenai Peninsula
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeCamping, Discovery, Guided Tours, Trekking, Wildlife
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
If Mother Nature had a favorite state it would probably be Alaska. After all, it was she who showered it with love—in the form of skyscraping mountain summits, tranquil glacial lakes, enchanting temperate rainforests, black sand beaches and other breathtaking vistas. This tour of the Kenai Peninsula allows us to experience many Alaska adventures without spending hours and hours traveling by car; within 4 hours of Anchorage we will kayak with icebergs, fish for trout & salmon, do some yurt campaign, paddle board in Prince William Sound, find wildlife – bears, moose, caribou and eagles – amongst the glaciers and rainforest, and hike to amazing overlooks.
All transport from Day 1-8, and drop-off on Day 9 anywhere within Anchorage.
All accommodations for 8 nights
All food & beverages from Days 1-8, excluding alcohol
All activity & entrance fees and taxes
Personal hiking and fishing guides
Any activity not described in this itinerary
Airfare to and from Anchorage
Arrival in Anchorage
We will meet you at the airport and immediately start our Alaskan Adventure. We will head south of Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula, a place filled with diverse landscapes, flora and fauna. The drive to Whittier takes about 1.5 hours, along the way we will have chances to get out for short hikes or walks – there are rivers, mountains and glaciers the whole route to Whittier (depending on your jet-lag). We will spend the evening in a small, family owned inn, on the pier overlooking the port.
Trains, kayaks and helicopters
The Spencer Glacier is located just South of Portage Valley and the Turnagain Arm in the Kenai Mountains and the Church National Forest. It is entirely off the road system, so we ride a train from Girdwood with breathtaking views of glaciers and towering alpine peaks. We will be outfitted with all the equipment necessary to safely paddle amongst the icebergs from Spencer Glacier. Once at the Glacier, we will transition to crampons so we can explore the caves, crevasses and mysterious blues of the 1000-year old moving ice. You will have extra time to explore the ice, take photos or longer time to paddle your kayaks at your pace. You will
enjoy dining on the glacier during the midnight sun with panoramic glacier, mountain and lake views eating a memorable locally sourced Alaskan salmon dinner. Your sleeping arrangements will be in a comfy weather port or Space Station tent on the glacier with cots, pillows and sleeping bags.
Seward and Orca Island
The next morning will bring a hot breakfast and a helicopter pickup for a scenic flight back to Girdwood. The early morning will get us on the scenic drive to Seward (1.5 hours
south), where we will stop along the way for one of our signature Alaska hikes.
In Seward, we will be meeting a boat, which will be taking us to Orca Island for an incredible yurt-camping experience. Situated in a protected cove, you can enjoy Alaska whale watching, fishing, kayaking, birdwatching, tidepooling, and exploring by paddle or foot. Watch mountain goats grazing on the mountainside, bald eagles overhead and Orcas (killer whales), humpback whales, Dall’s porpoise, Harbor porpoise, Steller sea lions and sea otters as they feed and play in Humpy Cove and Resurrection Bay. Your guide will prepare meals with your assistance and will make sure to bring marshmallows and chocolate for some campfire s’mores
Halibut and Salmon Fishing
Today’s excursion will bring us out into Resurrection Bay (part of Prince William Sound) by fishing boat. A local charter will
pick us up from Orca Island for a day of fishing salmon and halibut. This all day adventure will hopefully result in some delicious bounty, which we will cook up for
dinner back at Orca Island.
The long summer days will provide plenty of time for enjoying Orca Island, which hosts two moderate hiking trails and salmon- spawning streams where black bear and eagles congregate in late July and August.
Our Alaska-Kenai Peninsula tour will continue with a drive further into the National Forest. A stop along the way will allow us to hike to the Harding Icefield, one of the most
beautiful panoramas in this part of the world. A picnic lunch at this overlook will keep up going toward Cooper Landing and the Russian River. This area is well-known for its large Brown Bear (Grizzly) population in the summer salmon spawning season. While they are happily munching on fish, we can safely watch them. The drive between Seward and Cooper Landing is about 1.5 hours. Our accommodations will be rustic, traditional wood-log cabins, with some of
our favorite hosts.
River & stream fishing
Waking up along the Russian River, we will have a private fishing guide for the next two days. Ian will be providing all the gear and knowledge to teach us how to catch trout and salmon along this river’s reaches. The fishing will naturally move us toward Cook Inlet and the town of Kenai, where we can
enjoy a walk along the sand dunes.
Rafting or fishing?
We will make our way back toward Portage & Girdwood. We will have opportunities to fish along the way, hike, or if we we decide for some high adrenaline, we can go whitewater rafting in Hope. Six mile Creek is a run for whitewater enthusiasts desiring the fantastic rapids in a guided whitewater trip. Dropping over 50 feet per mile as it flows
out of the Chugach Mountains, Six mile Creek, close to Anchorage, has cut its way through three separate canyons, one of which is appropriate for children 12 and under. There is an al float trip on the Granite and Bertha Creek Drainages for guests preferring a raft trip that does not have a lot
of whitewater. Enjoy sweeping views of the Turnagain Pass area as you meander through the narrow channels of the Six Mile Creek headwaters.
From Hope, we will make our way back to Anchorage, about a 2 hour drive. If there are animals we haven’t seen yet, we can stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. AWCC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife through public education. AWCC takes in injured and orphaned animals year-round and provides spacious enclosures and quality animal care. Animals that cannot be released into the wild are given a permanent home at the center.
Depending on the time it takes to get back to Anchorage (with the stops along the way), the Alaska Native Heritage Center is worth a visit. The center provides an opportunity to explore the Native history, culture and art of the indigenous people of Alaska. This final evening with Big Chill Adventures, we will choose one of our favorite local restaurants and hotels before you head to your home port.
- Download full itinerary pdf available
Seven out of eight nights will have us in warm beds, for the ultimate adventure, we will have one night sleeping in a warm sleeping bag on a glacier.