Just the word Alaska brings to mind images of snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and untouched wilderness. And that’s what you’ll get – and more – over the course of 13 adventure-filled days. More than twice the size of Texas but with the population of less than North Dakota, Alaska is an outdoor-lovers paradise. We’ve designed Alaska Mountains & Coast to strike the perfect balance of stunning backpacking in the Chugach Mountains, idyllic sea kayaking through coastal fjords, and awe-inspiring glacier hiking and ice climbing on the legendary Exit Glacier. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoors person or just excited to explore “The Last Frontier”, there’s no shortage of adventures to be had.
Hiking & Backpacking Chugach State Park
On arrival, we’ll head straight from the Anchorage airport to the nearby Chugach State Park – the third largest State Park in the country. Over the next several days, we’ll hike and backpack the Chugach Mountains, taking in panoramic views of the Alaska Range, Talkeenta Mountains, and, of course, Denali, the highest mountain the United States. Our trails will take us through glacier-cut valleys, we’ll sleep on the shores of pristine backcountry lakes, and we’ll keep our cameras at the ready for moose, mountain goat, and Arctic ground squirrel sightings. After three nights in the Chugach backcountry, we’ll transit to our next basecamp in coastal Seward.
Sea Kayaking Aialik Bay
Upon arrival in Seward, we’ll meet our kayaking guides and prepare for our two-day sea kayaking expedition. Two full days of paddling the numerous, stunning fjords of Aialik Bay, highlighted by a visit to the massive Holgate Glacier, will follow. We’ll watch for snuggling sea otters, playful seals, iconic eagles, and adorable puffins. Paddling along the shoreline of towering mountains, we’ll gaze in awe at aquamarine waters of the Pacific Ocean. We’ll spend the night camping under the stars while listening to nearby glaciers calving before eventually heading back to basecamp, scanning the sea for humpback or orca whales.
Exit Glacier Hiking & Ice Climbing
Returning to Seward, our final adventure will bring us to the Antarctica-like landscape of Exit Glacier, one of the most notable glaciers branching from the Harding Icefield, the largest contained icefield in the country. After a gorgeous warm-up hike to our entry point onto the glacier, our professional guides will provide crampons and other safety equipment, along with a detailed safety briefing, before we head onto the ice. In addition to exploring the various features of the glacier by foot, we’ll also have an opportunity to ice climb out of the crevasses. After our day on the glacier, we’ll spend our last full day together working on a service project with a local organization before celebrating our two weeks of adventures in Anchorage.