Wind your way into remote Alaskan wilderness on this awe-inspiring journey by train, boat and helicopter.
Days 1 – 2
Take the Railroad – Fairbanks to Denali
Located northwest of Canada, Alaska is the largest and least populated state in America. On your arrival into the gateway city of Fairbanks, prepare to leave behind habitation as you know it and enter a wild and remote landscape where snow-capped mountains tower, alpine forest teem with wildlife, valleys and tundras stetch endlessly and the ocean is a playground for marine life.
Step aboard the iconic Alaskan Railroad train, in GoldStar class. Not only will you have unrestricted views of the landscapes as they pass by, but you’ll enjoy picture windows, glass-domed ceilings, a tour guide plus delicious meals in the dining car. Watch as typical tundra topography flashes past, then get your camera ready as the train snakes along the high canyon walls of Denali National Park, providing a breath-taking panorama of Nenana river gorge.
Days 3 – 5
Isolated Immersion – Denali National Park
Parts of Alaska are so remote that you simply can’t get there by road. That’s where a helicopter comes in, allowing access to the secluded back country and giving you a fantastic bird’s eye view over the pristine Alaskan surroundings including Denali peak which stands at a staggering 20,310 feet tall – the highest in North America. Settle into your cabin at Denali Backcountry Lodge, deep in the national park. Incredibly peaceful and remote, it’s where wildlife roams free including grizzly bears, moose, caribou and wolves.
Get out and explore on foot, hiking up to Quigley Ridge for panoramic views, or have a go at gold panning or fly-fishing for salmon. Active types can bike down to Wonder Lake to marvel at its reflective surface, whereas history buffs will enjoy visiting Fannie Quigley’s cabin – the home of a female 18th century Alaskan pioneer and mining legend. Back at your cabin, it’s all about comfort with open fires, chef-prepared meals and a spa with wood-fired sauna.
Days 6 – 8
Across Country – Talkeetna to Seward
From here, your trip takes an even more isolated turn. For the next few days, journey by rail and road southwards towards Talkeetna, an artsy community and former gold-mining town that will facilitate your adventures in the nearby wilderness. Lift off in an Alaskan bush plane to see the magnificence of Denali from above, the highest mountain peak in North America.
Enjoy the thrills of a jet boat trip which takes you to Devils’ canyon. In this area, early settlers lived here around 100 years ago – examine authentic trapper’s cabins and locate the plants Native Americans used for medicine. After two nights, continue your journey, travelling south along the National Scenic Byway, keeping an eye out for wildlife such as moose and bears until you reach Seward and the next part of your journey.
Seaside Wilderness – Fox Island
A 12-mile boat ride from Seward brings you to Fox Island where adventure awaits on this mist-swathed, secluded isle, lapped by deep blue-green water. Stay at Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge in waterfront cabins, the views overlook Halibut Cove where sea lions cavort and humpback whales breach; inside there’s a cosy-luxe ambience where you can switch off from life.
Outside is where the real fun is though – enjoy a kayaking tour around rocky coves to glimpse nesting puffins and cormorants wheeling overhead or take a cruise into the fjords to discover the glacial wonderland which covers vast icefields, icebergs, steep cliffs and carved glaciers. Even a walk along the pebble beach can mean seeing a bald eagle swoop overhead or a seal pop up to the surface.