Hotel · Campsite · Wild camping · Lodge
This is an easy-going adventure. You'll need to be able to hike for 4 or 5 hours a day, be comfortable in wild spaces and be a happy camper!
Journey into the great expanse of Denali National Park beneath the towering backdrop of North America's highest mountain, eyes peeled for grizzly bears, moose and caribou
Kayak Alaska's spectacular, wildlife-packed coastline to get up close to giant crackling glaciers and tumbling waterfalls
Take an exhilarating jetboat ride up the Maclaren River to reach a remote camp for a sleepout deep in Alaskan backcountry
Settle in for quintessential road trips watching America's jaw-droppingly beautiful 49th state go by as you pack in a hitlist of highlights from mountains to coast
Welcome to Alaska
Get your first glimpses of Alaska as you fly north with the great national parks of Katmai and Lake Clark out the left hand window and the Chugach Mountains out the right. The sense of a true adventure about to start is palpable as you descend into Alaska, a once-in-a-lifetime trip that will evoke all the great American wilderness stories from John Muir to Jack London. Muir wrote in his journal that "you should never go to Alaska as a young man, because you'll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live". Over the next 10 days you'll see what he meant. Anchorage is your gateway to the 49th state and your host will meet you at the airport and transfer you downtown to your hotel for the night before you set off into the wild first thing tomorrow.
Road trip to Denali
Roll out of Anchorage this morning and hit the open road into the great expanse of Alaska's interior. Heading north, keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of North America's tallest mountain, Mount Denali as you reach the small community of Talkeetna. Gold miners and fur trappers have been replaced by artists and adventurers in this part of Alaska, while the world's best mountaineers plan their ascents up Denali from Talkeetna. Take a look around the town which looks like a film set for an old Western movie before warming heading off for a short hike along the Talkeetna Lake loop. Continue north to your campground outside Denali National Park, pitch the tents and enjoy your first campsite dinner as you settle into the adventure.
Denali National Park
Denali National Park is different to America's other national parks for many reasons, one being that there is a single road in and out of the park, keeping the six million acres of land truly wild. Denali's animals run the place, while human visitation is tightly managed by a network of iconic green national park buses which will shuttle you into the vast wilderness in search of grizzly and black bears, wolves, caribou, moose, and Dall's sheep. Guiding is not allowed inside the park, however you can hop on and off the bus at various points to head off for hikes to soak Denali up. The road finishes up at Eielson Visitor Center deep in the park where you can tackle a short hike on the Tundra Loop Trail or a longer one on the Thorofare Ridge Trail. Both will have incredible views of Mount Denali if the weather is clear. Bus back out of the park later and head to a nearby restaurant for dinner.
Jetboat to wilderness camp
Kick off the morning with a guided hike along a portion of the Triple Lakes Trail, witnessing more of the Denali ecosystem on display with chances to spot moose and beaver. Hit the road later to travel along the unpaved Denali Highway, crossing open tundra with the epic Alaska range coming into view as you bid farewell to Mount Denali. Reaching the Maclaren River you'll board a jetboat to be whooshed up the river on an exhilarating journey deeper into the wilderness surrounded by peaks. Eventually you'll reach a remote wilderness camp just off the river where you'll settle in for the night, soaking up being a long, long way from anywhere and telling tales round the campfire beneath the Alaskan summer.
Journey to Valdez
Wake up in the Alaskan backcountry, take in the surroundings and tuck into breakfast at camp before hitting the water back to the Maclaren River Lodge and then back on the road for the journey to Alaska's coast. The scenery is relentlessly stunning as you cross the alpine tundra of Thompson Pass in the Chugach Mountains, stopping to explore the Worthington Glacier. The final leg of the road trip leads you in to Valdez, a beautiful location which holds a dark past and an inspiring story of planet Earth's capacity for recovery - see FAQs for details.
Kayak the Alaskan coastline
Head down to the harbour to get kitted out for cold-water kayaking by an expert team of kayaking guides who know the waters in this part of Alaska like the back of their hand. Hop in a boat heading out of the harbour and along the coast, passing dense treelined mountains on your right hand side as you sluice through the emerald waters. Glimpse the spectacular Anderson Falls ahead before turning into Shoup Bay and getting your first sight of its stunning glacier. Hop out of the boat on a beach and switch into kayaks and push into the bay for the most surreal paddle of your life. Getting closer to the glacier you'll likely hear it rumble and crackle as it calves - an incredible natural phenomenon which has been happening for millennia, though is becoming more frequent due to climate change. Marine life is abundant in this whole area and you'll be sure to spot seals, sea lions, sea otters and - if you are lucky - sightings of orca are not uncommon in the Prince William Sound. Paddle up to a stunningly situated beach for a picnic lunch before enjoying more time exploring the bay before heading back to Valdez. Tuck into dinner at camp and maybe a beer in town to toast an unforgettable day.
Off to America's biggest national park
Wave goodbye to Alaska's coast as you head back inland along the McCarthy Road, a rugged 60-mile unpaved route with various stop opportunities for short hikes which your guide will punctuate the journey with. This route allows you to delve into the history of the largest National Park in the United States. Back in the early 20th century, McCarthy thrived as a bustling town, serving as a place where copper miners from the Kennecott Mines sought leisure activities not permitted in Kennecott itself. After the mine closed in 1938, the town was nearly abandoned. As you travel, you'll come across historic structures that have retained much of their original charm from that era, with only a few permanent residents still living there. You'll set up base for the next few days at a campground near the river with views of the Kennecott Glacier. Stretch your legs with a short hike to the river and across the bridge to explore McCarthy.
Hike the Root Glacier Trail
Wrangell St Elias is as an adventurer's playground due to its rugged landscape of massive mountains, seemingly endless glaciers, powerful rivers and expansive forests spanning an area that ranges from sea level to 5500m in elevation. The park itself is larger than Switzerland, has the largest concentration of 'fourteeners' - mountains over 14,000 feet - in North America and is home to the largest glacier system in the US. The 4996m Mount Blackburn looms in the backdrop as you explore the area this morning on a hike along the Root Glacier Trail towards the edge of the glacier. After the hike you can enjoy some downtime just soaking up camp or adventuring further: there are so many things to do here and optional activities are a common occurrence for adventurers visiting McCarthy. You can join a guided hike onto the Root Glacier itself to see glacial waterfalls, canyons of ice and magnificent blue pools or a guided walk around the abandoned copper mining town of Kennecott, hearing legends of the tenacious people that lived and worked here. Or maybe the ultimate splurge on a classic Alaskan wilderness plane to see Wrangell St Elias's majesty from the air. Your guide will advise on and help you arrange an extra activities during your time in this part of Alaska.
Wrangell hikes and journey along the Copper River
Enjoy breakfast and coffee at camp taking in the surroundings one last time before heading off to soak up the wilderness some more with a hike along the West Kennecott Glacier Trail through a beautiful forest before reaching an epic view over the glacier and have the chance to spot bears hanging out on the lateral moraine below you. Afterward you'll pack down camp and hit the road again, making a few pit stops along the Copper River. The red salmon here are top-notch and highly coveted in North America, leading to disputes among commercial fisheries, the State of Alaska, and The Ahtna people who've lived a subsistence lifestyle on the land here for over 5,000 years. The fish wheels along the Copper River tell tales of Russian fur trappers and other outsiders who flocked in to exploit the resources. As today's journey unfolds you'll dig deeper into the history of the Indigenous peoples integral to Alaska and the entire continent.
Final road trip back to Anchorage
One last drive with spectacular views across the Matanuska Valley and along the Chugach Mountain Range awaits today before arriving mid-day back in Anchorage to say farewell.
Expert, local, English-speaking guides
7 night camping, 1 night in a hotel, 1 night in a lodge
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners
Airport transfers and everything in between
All your e-biking and canoeing equipment
All national park entry fees
Flights to and from the meeting point
Tips for your guides
Some meals as described
Visas where required
Day 5 – Day 7
What is the food like?
Whilst camping, your guide will rustle up nutritious and varied meals. As it is participatory camping, your help washing up afterwards will be appreciated by the guide! Breakfasts are served buffet style each day with varying items, allowing for a quick start before getting out on the trails, and typically include hot drinks, fruit juice, bread, croissants, cereal, granola, yoghurt and fruit. Lunches will be cold picnics, prepared earlier so that you can carry them with you and stop somewhere during the hikes. These usually involve wraps, sandwiches, salads, cereal bars and fruit. For dinners, the guide will plan a starter, main and dessert. The main dish is typically meat or fish with sides of rice or potatoes and vegetables. Some nights they may make a pasta or curry dish.
Vegetarian diets can be catered for – please request this in advance on your passenger info form. However, catering for vegan and other dietary requirements cannot be guaranteed and would require a surcharge for sourcing extra ingredients – therefore, any specific dietary requests should be checked prior to booking.
What is the accommodation like?
You'll stay in organised, permanent, 'front-country' campgrounds. This is participatory camping, so you'll be expected to pitch in and get your own tent set up, although your guide will be on hand to help out! Tents are allocated on a twin-share basis, although you have the option to upgrade to a sole occupancy tent should you wish – see the Optional Extras section. You'll use the campsites as basecamps from which to go off and do day hikes in nearby locations.
For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).
Your host will meet you at Anchorage Airport at 20:00 on day 1 to transfer you to your hotel downtown. If you are arriving earlier or later than the group transfer at 8pm, you'll need to take a taxi downtown to the hotel. This should cost around $20.
On day 10 you'll depart Glennallen at 09:00, arriving at Anchorage Airport at approximately 15:00. We recommend you book a flight that departs no earlier than 17:00.
There are various flight options into Anchorage, with regular departures from Seattle and Vancouver which connect well to long haul flights to and from major European hubs. Sadly, there is no rail connection to reach Alaska through Canada, though you are able to road trip there along the pan-American highway. If you have time on your hands and fancy taking a scenic route to the start of the trip, it is possible to reach Valdez by ferry from Bellingham in Washington State, north of Seattle.
What about all the carbon?
We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.
Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear
In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.
- Twin sea kayaks & paddles
- Rubber boots & gloves, rain pants & jacket for the kayak day
- Twin-share tents, self-inflating mattress, cooking equipment
What's available to hire?
- Sleeping bags (please request upon booking - payment is taken locally, in cash)
What do I need to bring?
- Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack (main luggage)
- Daypack for hikes (20-30 litres)
- Waterproof liner for daypack
- Small drybag if you wish to take cameras or phones on the kayaks
- Down jacket
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Breathable wicking layers
- Fleece jacket or similar
- Thermals (merino best)
- Warm hat
- Buff or neckscarf
- Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
- Underwear and socks
- Something to sleep in
- Hiking boots (worn-in)
- Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner
- Sleeping bag (3 season, 0ºC to –7ºC)
- Travel pillow or pillowcase
- Universal travel plug adapter
- Power bank or solar charger
- Passports (and visas)
- Travel insurance documents
- Ear plugs
- Insect repellent
- Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
- Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
- Quick-dry towel
- Alcohol hand-gel
- Headtorch or torch
- Reusable water bottle x2 litre
- Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
No optional extras are available for this trip.
We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.
Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:
Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
(make sure tips are itemised if porters/drivers etc not included in the above)
Link to this if useful https://www.muchbetteradventures.com/magazine/7-of-the-best-water-filters-for-adventurers-a-guide/
No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of hiking.
** ^ use above text for generic trips that require a day pack. Or delete and add in text for other setups, multi-day hikes carrying own pack etc... **
You'll be using what is commonly known as a 'Canadian' canoe – an evolution of the original birch bark canoes used by the indigenous peoples of North America. You'll be in twin canoes; the Canadian is a lightweight, mostly open-top canoe with plenty of space for baggage as well as two passengers. Your personal gear is kept in large drybags (supplied by your host) which are then secured to the inside of the canoe. The weight limit is approximately 100kg per person.
You'll be looked after by three different expert local guides, each qualified for the relevant activity (hiking, cycling and canoeing). This means there won't be a single local tour leader throughout the trip but a team of different friendly and professional guides.
So in Selva di Cadore, you'll be accompanied by a mountain guide on the two hiking trails, and by a local cycling guide for the thrilling e-bike ride up Mount Fertazza. In Lago del Mis, you'll be led by a qualified kayaking and canoeing instructor.
Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.
Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.
We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!
We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.
If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.
All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.
You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.
Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.
Pay In Installments
You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.
Full Financial Protection
Your money is safe. Every booking is fully financially protected.