TA-SD08 Alaska Self Drive Tour Package | 08-Day Alaska Highlights

Travel Alaska Self Drive Tour Program: Alaska's Top Travel Destinations

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Arrive in Alaska by Cruise ship and join our pre/post Alaska Self Drive Tour Program for in depth view of Alaska's National Parks, abundant wildlife, magnificent tidewater glacier, deep blue fjords, beautiful scenery and Alaska's great outdoors. Originating in Anchorage you'll travel north to Talkeetna and along the Alaska Mountain Range to Denali National Park. Enjoy your day inside the park with a hiking tour on the ridges above Eielsen Visitor Center, grizzly bear observation, a campfire program or a exciting rafting tour on the Nenana River. Continue your journey on the remote Denali Highway with a breathtaking mountain panorama as you travel towards the Wrangell and St. Elias National Park and on the adventurous Mc.Carthy Gravel Road to Kennicott. Explore the historic Kennicott Copper Mine and join us for a hike right on Root Glacier. Return to the Richardson Highway and drive to Valdez for a scenic day cruise onboard the Alaska Ferry through the beautiful Prince William Sound. The schedule leaves plenty of available time for side trips and outdoor activities including: river rafting, flightseeing, wildlife viewing, whale watching, fishing and guided hiking trips. This tour is also available in opposite direction.

Day 1: Anchorage – Talkeetna

Pick up your rental car in Anchorage. Enjoy sweeping views of snowcapped mountain peaks in the distance while traveling from Anchorage on the George Parks Highway to Wasilla - home of the Iditarod Headquarter "The Last Great Sled Dog Race on Earth". Continue to Talkeetna: Talkeetna was established as a mining town and trading post before either Wasilla or Anchorage existed. Several of its old log buildings are today historical landmarks. The community is internationally recognized as the base for many of the climbing expeditions that challenge Mt. McKinley, Mt. Hunter and Mt. Foraker during the summertime, so it is not unusual to find a larger number of international visitors walking these quiet streets. The Talkeetna and Chulitna Rivers join the Susitna River at Talkeetna and the town reportedly takes its name from an Indian word meaning "where the rivers join". A museum in The Little Red Schoolhouse, built in 1917. Local art, old books, and historical items are on display.  Tip: Reserve a spectacular Denali Flightseeing Tour | Kahiltna Glacier Landing into the Alaska Mountain Range. (Distance 110 Miles) Overnight: Talkeetna

Day 2: Talkeetna - Denali National Park

Leave Talkeetna and follow the highway through Denali State Park with good wildlife viewing, canoe rental and excellent hiking opportunities. Arrive at Denali National Park during the day and check in your hotel.  (Distance 120 Miles) Overnight: Denali National Park

Day 3: Denali National Park

Denali, the “Great One”, is the name Athabascan people gave the massive peak that crowns the 600-mile-long Alaska Range. Denali National Park and Preserve was created 1980 from the former Mt Mc.Kinley National Park. At over 6 million acres, the park is larger than the State of Massachusetts. It exemplifies interior Alaska’s character as one of the world’s last great frontiers for wilderness adventure and it remains largely wild and unspoiled, as the Athabascan knew it. Early (pre-reserved time) shuttle bus departure - the park road is closed for private vehicles - for a full day wildlife observation and sightseeing tour to the Eielson Visitor Center, Wonder Lake or Kantishna within the shadows of Mt. McKinley - with 20.320 ft. the highest mountain in North America. The views from here are just spectacular. Watch for grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolf, lynx, wolverine and fox roaming throughout the park or observe one of the 150 different bird species which inherit the Denali National Park area. Many hiking trails along the ridges and throughout the valleys are easily accessible from the road. Park ranger at the visitor center are conducting interesting campfire talks, sled dog demonstations and short guided nature walks on a regular basis. Return to the Park entrance anytime during the day. Overnight: Denali National Park

Day 4: Denali National Park - Wrangell/St. Elias National Park

Today you travel on one of the last great wilderness gravel roads, the Denali Highway. Offering truly magnificent sceneries: stop at the many glacier viewpoints and visit the Tangle Lakes district with dense concentrations of archaeological resources. Once you have reached the Richardson Highway, you may get - with some luck a breathtaking view of Mt. Deborah, Mt. Sanford and Mt. Drum. Watch native fish wheels at the nearby Copper River providing an excellent salmon run.  (Distance 250 Miles) Overnight near Copper Center.

Day 5: McCarthy / Kennicott

Take your time when you drive on the famous McCarthy Road deep into Wrangell / St. Elias National Park. Beyond Chitina, the 60-mile gravel road follows the abandoned Copper River and Northwest Railroad bed to the Kennicott River. Drive slowly, as traffic and weather may create ruts and washboard surfaces. In some places, old railroad ties may surface, along with their anchoring spikes, creating unexpected hazards. The road is narrow in places, and slower moving traffic is encouraged to allowing passing at road turnouts. Under normal summer conditions, most two-wheel drive vehicles can make the trip. In wet weather, the road often becomes muddy and slippery. Portions of the road may be subject to washouts after heavy rains. The road finally ends at footbridge across Kennicott River. From there it is about a 1/2 mile walk to the historic community of McCarthy and only a short transfer away from the Kennicott Copper Mines. You have the unique opportunity to go on a guided glacier hike on the Root Glacier. Option: Take a scenic flight from Chitina to McCarthy instead of driving. (Distance 110 Miles) Overnight McCarthy / Kennicott

Day 6: McCarthy - Valdez

Return to the Richardson Highway and stopover at Worthington Glacier. Valdez is the gateway to Prince William Sound and provides world-class salmon and halibut fishing as well as narrated cruise tours to the magnificent Columbia Glacier. Miners and supply packers founded the community of Valdez at the turn of the century. In 1899, a pack trail was opened from the town to the gold fields in the upper Yukon basin and became Alaska's first highway, the Richardson.  It had several names as it was known first as the Eagle Trail, and later as Valdez-Fairbanks Wagon Road. Hard-hit by the 1964 earthquake, Valdez was left perched precariously on a ledge shaped perfectly for a future landslide. Rather than abandon their town, Valdez residents elected instead to simply move it - literally - four miles away. They chose a rock-firm area who had been suggested as an alternate location for the town in 1911. Visit the terminus of the Alaska Pipeline Terminal or enjoy some excellent kayaking or short hiking trips. After you see the breathtaking mountain scenery you'll understand why this area has, for decades, been dubbed the "Switzerland of Alaska" and has been a favorite with visitors. In one survey of visitors homebound from Alaska, this scenic seacoast town rated among the state's top attractions, right along with Mt.McKinley, and Glacier Bay. Valdez (pronounced "val DEEZ") was the center for the massive oil-spill cleanup after the "Exxon Valdez" disaster in March of 1989. Overnight this tiny serene community was changed into a frenzied center of activity not unlike the turn-of-the-century gold rush camp who started the town. (Distance 180 Miles) Overnight: Valdez

Day 7: Valdez – Prince William Sound | Ferry - Seward

Scenic cruise from Valdez to Whittier onboard the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry. Prince William Sound encompasses 3,800 miles of coastline, bounded to the east and north by the Chugach Mountains and to the west by the Kenai Peninsula. Commercially important for the fishing and oil industries, the sound is also prized for its abundance of marine and coastal life, its rain forest of Sitka spruce and western hemlock, and its glacier-studded landscape. The sound contains 150 glaciers including 17 tidewater glaciers, known for dramatically calving huge ice chunks into the sea. More than 220 species of birds, 30 species of land mammals, and at least a dozen marine mammal species are found in the region. Bald eagles are plentiful along treetops and shorelines. Among the estimated 200,000 seabirds that summer in the sound are marbled murrelets, black-legged kittiwakes, and glaucous-winged gulls. Resident marine mammals include humpback, sei, fin, minke, and killer whales as well as Steller sea lions, harbor seals, and sea otters, all of which reach some of their greatest numbers in Prince William Sound. In the distance you'll see Columbia Glacier - one of the largest tidewater glaciers in Alaska. 
Arrive in Whittier. Short drive to Seward - gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Seward is a coastal community 125 miles south of Anchorage. Abrupt mountain slopes cloaked in shaggy summer greens and perpetual snows form an impressive backdrop for this  progressive city of some 4,000 people. Shipping, fishing and tourism provide Seward's economic base. Large passenger cruise ships and freight ships call frequently at the Alaska Railroad dock. Cargos are transferred to and from the Alaska Railroad. Three modern fish plants process salmon, caviar, crab, herring, halibut and other bottom fish. Seward's history is among the oldest in Alaska. The great Russian governor Alexander Baranof stopped here in 1793, named Resurrection Bay, and built a ship, which later sank, probably because Baranof's workers didn't have proper materials. Gold prospectors blazed trails from here to finds on Turnagain Arm starting in 1891, and in 1907 the army linked those trails with others all the way to Nome, finishing the Iditarod Trail. The broken concrete and twisted metal you see on the beach walking north are the last ruins of the Seward waterfront, which was destroyed by a tsunami wave in the 1964 earthquake. (Distance 80 Miles + Ferry) Overnight: Seward

Day 8: Seward - Anchorage

Board our comfortable and stable tour boat in the morning at 8:00 AM with in/outside seating areas, multiple viewing decks and fog-free windows for your exciting glacier and wildlife day cruise into magnificent Aialik Bay with actively "calving" glaciers and a magnificent scenery. Covering 110-miles, the trip is narrated by a National Park Ranger, who is highly adept at spotting wildlife and pointing out the many spectacular sights. The fjords and rugged islands of Kenai Fjords National Park and the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge showcase the best of Alaska’s marine world in a compact package. Murres, kittiwakes, puffins and other seabirds perch and nest along cliff faces just above the swells. Sea otters float belly-up eating mussels and clams. Harbor seals haul out on icebergs off Aialik and Northwestern glaciers. Humpback whales spend the summers fattening on forage fish such as herring. Gray whales pass in April on their epic migration to the Arctic. Steller sea lions mate and raise pups on Chiswell Island. In early and late summer, pods of fish-eating resident killer whales roam the region in pursuit of salmon. After reaching the mighty Aialik Glacier guests witness "the calving" a process by which glaciers shed giant blocks and slabs of ancient ice. A delicious Alaska salmon and prime rib lunch is served buffet style with guaranteed reserved table seating in a heated cabin for every guest. Return to Seward around 2:00 PM. Leisure drive to Anchorage  and return your rental car. End of tour program. (Distance 130 Miles)

Tour Includes

  • 7 Nights Superior OR First-Class Accommodation
  • Hotel and State Taxes
  • 8 Day Compact Rental Car
  • Unlimited Free Mileage
  • Rental Car Licensing Fees
  • MOA - State Vehicle Rental Taxes
  • Full Coverage CDW Insurance | Int'l Clients Only
  • Prince William Sound Ferry Whittier - Valdez
  • Denali National Park Fee
  • Denali Shuttle Bus Ticket to Eielson Visitor Center
  • McCarthy Sightseeing Walking Tour
  • Tour Documentation

Rates per Person in US $ from Anchorage

Tour Number | TA-SD08 | Daily Departures
Single Double Triple Quad

May 15 - May 31 | Superior Hotels

June 01 - August 31 | Superior Hotels

September 01 - September 20 | Superior Hotels















Tour Number | TA-SD08 | Daily Departures
Single Double Triple Quad

May 15 - May 31 | First Class Hotels

June 01 - August 31 | First Class Hotels

September 01 - September 20 | First Class Hotels













Optional Sightseeing Tours

Rates in US$ / per person

Talkeetna: Mt. McKinley Flightseeing Tour - 1 hr (Add on Glacier Landing $75)

McCarthy: Round Trip flight from Chitina - McCarthy

McCarthy: 1/2 Day Guided Root Glacier Hike

Seward: 6 hr Kenai Fjords Wildlife & Glacier Cruise including lunch





Tour Package | Rental Car Upgrades

Rental Car Category | Taxes + Unlimited Free Mileage Included
Upgrade Extra Day

Compact Car | Chevrolet Aveo or similar

Mid Size Car | Toyota Corolla or similar

Full Size Car | Chevrolet Malibu or similar

Mid Size SUV | Ford Escape or similar

Full Size SUV | Jeep Grand Cherokee or similar

Mini Van | Dodge Grand Caravan or similar