Alaska Guided Walking Holiday

Explore a land of glaciers, towering peaks and captivating wilderness

Code: AKWHW

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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Outdoors
  • Rural peace
  • Wildlife

Level

  • 3
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £3,749.00 - 13 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Download Alaska Trip Notes 2018

A formidable landscape of towering glaciers, icy cold waters, snow-capped mountains and vast wilderness awaits. The vast Denali National Park stretches from forest in the lowlands through to snow-capped mountains, a diverse region that boasts an equally diverse mix of wildlife. Marvel at the 4000m peaks of Wrangell-St Elias, take a relaxing cruise across Prince William Sound and enjoy spectacular scenery from the Alaskan Railroad train.

Holiday highlights  

  • Explore the virtually untouched wilderness of Wrangell-St Elias, home to the the world's largest non-polar ice cap.
  • Walk along the exit glacier on the Harding Ice Field Trail to the massive pleistocene ice field that is its source.
  • Panoramic views in the Matanuska Valley of the mighty Matanuska glacier and river will leave you mesmerised.
  • Spot some of North America's largest mammals in Denali National Park, including grizzly and black bears, caribou, and moose. Overhead, bald and golden eagles ride the thermals in search of prey.

Price includes

  • 13 nights' accommodation in comfortable rooms (10 nights are en-suite, 3 nights in Kennicott are with shared bathrooms)
  • Full board from breakfast on day 2 to breakfast on departure
  • A full programme of guided walks led by a specialist local leader
  • Sightseeing, entrance fees, travel by minicoach, ferry and scenic flight, and Alaskan railway journey
  • Tips

In pictures...

Accommodation

Inlet-Tower-Hotel in Alaska

Inlet Tower Hotel, Anchorage - 3nts

The hotel is close to the airport, making it a quick transfer on our arrival and departure days. Rooms are comfortable, en-suite, with tea/coffee making facilities, TVs and hairdryers.

Breeze-Inn in Alaska

Breeze Inn, Seward - 2nts

This is motel style accommodation, but centrally located by the Resurrection Bay harbour with amazing views of the surrounding mountains. Rooms are clean and comfortable with flat-screen TVs, and a coffee maker. There is a restaurant on-site which is popular with locals and tourists alike, with many Alaskan influenced dishes.

Mountain-Sky-Hotel in Alaska

Mountain Sky Hotel, Valdez - 1nt

Located in the centre of town, the Mountain Sky Hotel is a short walk to the harbour and other Valdez attractions. This modern hotel has comfortable en-suite rooms, all with TVs and hairdryers. Fresh, local seafood is a specialty in the restaurant.

Kennicott-Lodge in Alaska

Kennicott Glacier Lodge, Kennicott - 3nts

Built in 1987, the Kennicott Glacier Lodge is a replica of one of the historic mining buildings from the copper mining boom town days. Located near the center of the ghost town of Kennicott, a company town built circa 1910. The Main Lodge has a 190 foot long front porch with a panoramic view of the Chugach and Wrangell Mountains. Each bedroom is decorated with old mining artifacts and photos, has a cold water sink, one or two beds, a nightstand and chair. All rooms in the Main Lodge have shared facilities.

 Majestic-Valley-Wilderness-Lodge in Alaska, USA

Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge - 1nt

A small and comfortable family owned lodge right in the Alaskan wilderness amidst the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains. En-suite bedrooms are in the main lodge, and in the adjacent cabins, offering spectacular views, TV, coffee maker.

McKinley-Creekside-Cabins in Alaska

McKinley Creekside Cabins - 3nts

An intimate lodge and restaurant situated on beautiful Carlo Creek beneath the breathtaking mountains of the Alaska Range. The Creekside Cafe has fantastic food, mountain views, and a great atmosphere.


On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.

Itinerary

Guided Walking & Sightseeing in Alaska

Download Alaska Trip Notes 2018

A good balance of half and full day walks and sightseeing. Walks are generally 4-9 miles (6.5-15km) long, with ascents of up to 3,800 feet (1160m). The ascent quoted in any daily itinerary is elevation gain, rather than cumulative ascent. There are some long travelling times between locations, and some travel on unsurfaced roads. These journeys include sightseeing strolls along the way.

Days 1-2: Anchorage

Mountains in the Chugach State ParkArrival in Anchorage (2nts), Alaska’s largest city, where we meet our leader for our short transfer to our accommodation.

The following day we'll take a short drive to the nearby mountains in Chugach State Park for our first walk.  There are lots of good walks to choose from, and the walk chosen will depend on the snow coverage, weather and other conditions (typically 8 miles, 4-5 hours, approx. 1200ft ascent gain).

Day 3-4: Seward & Kenai Fjords National Park

Glacier meeting the seaFrom Anchorage we continue to Seward (2 nts) where we'll enjoy an evening walk along the Exit Glacier Trail, or walk through the rain forest to Tonsina Creek. Walks in Kenai Fjords National Park, or the opportunity to join one of the marine wildlife watching tours (payable locally).

Day 5 Ferry to Valdez

Two Orcas jumping from the seaCruise across stunning Prince William Sound, spot some of the wildlife that makes its home here; orcas, seals, bald eagles. We stay at Valdez (1 nt) known as Little Switzerland, we take a walk to admire the Worthington Glacier before heading into town.

Day 6-8: Wrangell St Elias National Park 

Stunning mountains of Wrangell St Elias National ParkA stunning drive takes us to Kennecott, where we spend the next 3 nights, giving us access to Wrangell St Elias National Park, the USA’s largest park, and now a UNESCO site. We spend the next two days exploring this beautiful area, visiting the Kennicott mine and the glacier, walking surrounded by pristine wilderness and views of 4,000 and 5,000m peaks.

Day 9 Matanuska Valley

Alaskan bearAnother drive today takes us through awe-inspiring scenery to our next accommodation in Mat-Su, or the Valley, as it's known locally. We stay here for 1 night.

Day 10-12 Denali National Park

Snow capped mountains in the Denali National ParkWe head to Denali (3nts). During our stay we'll take a wildlife viewing tour, for an introduction to its wildlife (moose, golden eagles, caribou, grizzly and black bears, Dalls sheep and even the occasional wolf), and hopefully some cloud free views of majestic Denali. We'll also explore this wonderful National Park on foot.

Day 13: Alaskan Railroad to Anchorage

Train heading through AlaskaOur final day will be spent on the 8 hour journey on the Alaskan Railroad from Denali to Anchorage, a pleasant way to relax after what we're sure is going to be a wonderful trip in the Alaskan wilderness. Final night in Anchorage.

Day 14-15:

Return flight to UK

Optional Activities

Our Alaskan Explorer holiday is a packed programme, but there are also many other activities that you may wish to include in your holiday too. Here’s a list of some of them below, and some approximate prices:

ActivityPrice
70-minute flight-seeing trip to Denali (Mt. McKinley) $425 to $525
1/2-day guided glacier trek on Root Glacier, in Wrangell-St. Elias NP $90 plus guide gratuity
Full-day guided glacier trek on Root Glacier, in Wrangell-St. Elias NP $120 plus guide gratuity
Full-day introductory ice climbing course on Root Glacier, in Wrangell-St. Elias NP $145 plus guide gratuity
Historic Kennecott Mill Tour $28 plus guide gratuity
6-hour wildlife and glacier-viewing cruise to the face of an active tidewater glacier, in Kenai Fjords NP $162 plus tax
3-hour sea kayaking trip in Resurrection Bay $175 plus tax and guide gratuity
Alaska SeaLife Center $20 plus tax
Bicycle Rental, in Anchorage $15-$40


For flights information please see the Dates and Prices tab.

 

Essential Info

Passport
A full passport is required and must be valid for the duration of your stay.

As of June 2017 Immigration processes will now take longer due to enhanced security screening.

Visas

You’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport, either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme. It’s your responsibility to know and understand the entry rules before you travel.

Visa Waiver Programme (VWP)

The VWP allows most British Citizen passport holders to visit the US for up to 90 days. The types of journey allowed under the VWP include tourism, certain types of business visit and transit to another country. Other nationals should check with their nearest United States embassy or consulate for details of entry requirements.

You’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport, either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme. It’s your responsibility to know and understand the entry rules before you travel.

You’ll generally qualify to enter the USA using the VWP if your British passport:

  • describes your nationality as a ‘British Citizen

(From 1 April 2016 all passengers entering the US under the VWP will need to have an ePassport with an integrated chip)

If your current British passport is not an ePassport you can contact Her Majesty’s Passport office for a replacement to allow you to use the VWP. Otherwise, you’ll need to apply for a visa to enter the United States on your current passport.

and you:

  • aren’t a dual national of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen.
  • haven’t travelled to Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since March 2011
  • have received authorisation from the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation at least 72 hours before you travel (see below)
  • can show that you have enough funds available on arrival to support yourself during your stay, even if you’re staying with family and friends

Certain exemptions apply on a case-by-case basis to those who have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 2011. For more information about these exemptions, see the website of the US Embassy in London or contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.

You will instead need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.

If you’re arriving by air or sea you should provide details online at least 72 hours before travel. This is known as an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation or ESTA. Getting an ESTA is a separate process to providing your airline with advance passenger information (details of your passport, country of residence, address of your first night’s accommodation in the US etc). For more information, and to apply online, visit the official ESTA website. Please note that this is the only official ESTA website. There are third-party companies that operate websites which look like the ESTA application site, but which charge a processing fee on top of the official fees.

Health advice

Health advice
Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk  www.traveldoctor.co.uk

Recommended vaccines: Tetanus.

Visitors must pay for all medical services. Adequate health insurance is therefore essential.

Climate
Although everyone associates Alaska with ice and snow, the summers are quite warm. Anchorage has a temperate maritime climate. Temperatures in Interior Alaska usually get higher than in Anchorage or in other coastal areas. Fairbanks' average high is 21ºC in June and 22ºC in July.

Money
The local currency in the United States of America is the US Dollar. Credit cards widely accepted. ATMs are widely available across the country. Traveller’s cheques are not advised.

Tipping
Tips are included on this holiday, for key suppliers like the driver/guide, restaurants. Any other tips are at your own discretion. Porterage is not included in the holiday price.

Liability waivers
Companies operating outdoor or adventure activities in the USA now commonly require their clients to sign a liability waiver form before participating in the activity. These forms have been introduced by American insurance companies as a means of offering protection against ‘frivolous’ or ‘opportunistic’ legal claims.

During the course of your holiday you may be asked to complete a liability form with your name, address and signature. This form indicates that by signing it you are waiving your rights to pursue legal action against our agents, in the event of personal injury or loss. However, as all of the activities included in your itinerary are part of a pre-arranged holiday, booked and paid for in the UK, this waiver form has no legal weight whatsoever. Your holiday contract is with HF Holidays and as stated in our Booking Conditions, is therefore governed by UK law.

We must ask you to sign the waiver forms presented to you by our agents, as not doing so could effectively invalidate other key aspects of the insurance cover they hold. But please be reassured that in the unlikely event that you had cause to make a claim for negligence arising from your holiday, your signing of these waiver forms would in no way undermine or alter your legal rights.

Meals
Meal arrangements for breakfasts and dinners in hotels and restaurants will vary. At some you may be able to select from the full menu, at others there may be a restricted choice, or there may be no choice (with the exception of course of previously advised special dietary requirements). These arrangements are dictated by the policy of the particular hotel or restaurant in dealing with groups – some feel that in order to provide efficient service, they need to concentrate on a limited menu. We endeavour where possible to ensure that a good choice is available, but find some venues more flexible than others.

Our choice of places to eat is reviewed for each tour based on the experiences of each group, with the aim of ensuring the optimum arrangements at each stop on the tour.

It is worth noting that portions may well be larger than you are used to – it is generally considered acceptable to share, for example, a pudding or cake. Meals are often not served as hot as in the UK.

Breakfasts at some hotels in America are now becoming large continental buffet affairs where you self-select items and eat them on disposable plates.

Evening meals are normally arranged for between 7pm and 8pm to save rushing the day’s activities and to give you time to refresh beforehand.

What to pack

Alaska is a very informal and practical destination. It's not uncommon for locals to wear their hiking clothes for dinner in the evenings, even in cosmopolitan Anchorage people wear outdoor clothes to the theatre. So, please pack lightly - your luggage will be stored on the covered roof rack of the vehicle. This is the usual way of getting around in Alaska, particularly when the nature of the terrain requires a vehicle that can access it.  It will be really appreciated by our local guide if you can take soft sided luggage. 

Suggested kit list

One or two pairs of walking trousers, waterproof overtrousers and jacket, shorts (optional), 3-5 short sleeved 'wicking' shirts, fleece, 2 long sleeve shirts, and one change of clothes to wear in the evening. Please do not take a different outfit for each evening, this is wilderness Alaska, and really, no-one cares.

Packing and what to bring When packing for your Alaska adventure, keep in mind that Alaskans are extremely casual. “Nice clothing” of any kind is completely unnecessary (although lodge-based tour clients may want to bring one additional set of comfortable clothes to wear to restaurants). Your best bet is to wear comfortable, versatile, non-cotton clothing that can be layered. On sunny days, shorts and t-shirts are often sufficient. Many people enjoy the convenience and comfort of convertible, zip-off pants/trousers (zip off the pants legs to convert them to shorts without having to remove your boots). On cooler or wet days and evenings, you may want to layer long underwear, pants and shirt, a warm fleece or wool sweater, and your waterproof outerwear. If you become too warm, simply peel off a layer. 

Having a good rain jacket is very important (goretex or another breathable material recommended). A sun/rain hat is also essential. It’s also nice to have rain pants handy to pull over your regular trousers if it rains (or if the trailside bushes are wet, etc). These allow you to continue hiking or doing whatever else you were doing dry, and in comfort. A bulky ski jacket is not advised (although a compact down vest or an extra fleece jacket is a possible additional layer, especially on Arctic trips, or if you tend to get cold, or if you’re coming in late May, early June or late August). Umbrellas and ponchos are impractical, and are discouraged. 

Cotton and denim clothing is not recommended, although jeans and a t-shirt around  the lodges are fine. "Cotton Kills!" is a melodramatic, but nonetheless accurate Alaskan buzz phrase, as cotton absorbs water and cold (rather than evaporating it), and doesn’t keep you warm when wet, potentially leading to hypothermia. By wicking away perspiration and water, lightweight silk or synthetic first layers (e.g. polypropylene, capilene, nylon, polyester and nylon, etc.), medium-weight fleece or wool tops, and breathable (e.g. goretex or similar) outerwear will keep you warmer, drier, and much more comfortable than damp or soggy cotton.

Your light or medium-weight hiking boots should be well broken-in (if they’re new, start wearing them now), and it would be a good idea to waterproof them (as well as your other outerwear: try Nikwax) before the trip. Thick wool or synthetic hiking socks with or without thin, synthetic sock liners are much, much better than cotton socks, and your feet will thank you. A daypack, metal or nalgene water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, and your camera are all essential, and a pair of binoculars will be much appreciated for viewing wildlife and scanning the big Alaskan landscapes. You may also want to bring something to read, and a notebook or journal is often appreciated. If you already have, and are accustomed to using them, bring along your collapsible hiking pole/s, and/or gaiters. Running or other lightweight shoes or sandals are nice to change into at the end of the day.

As space on and in the vehicle is limited, please do not over-pack. A medium-sized suitcase, (preferably soft sided) backpack, or duffle bag will hold everything you need. You won’t need as many clothes as you might think, and most tours offer opportunities to do laundry mid-trip. You do not need any gear not on the packing list. If you will be travelling independently before or after our tour and have additional clothing, gear, gifts, or other items, we strongly suggest packing these extra things in a separate bag, suitcase or cardboard box and checking it at your Anchorage hotel. There is almost always someone with an unnecessarily large bag filled with extra clothes, gear, and other things that they don’t need and never even use. Please don’t let that person be you! Thank you.

LUGGAGE: A single, medium-sized, zippered, top-opening, soft, duffel-style bag with a shoulder strap is your best choice. If you already have one, an internal frame backpack is also ok (but not necessary). Please do not bring a hard suitcase or an oversized bag. A small daypack for walks and for carrying necessities with you inside the van is the only other luggage you’ll need.

CARRY ON BAGGAGE—YOUR HANDY DAY PACK: When travelling to Alaska, you should carry anything that you absolutely cannot afford to do without (or have the airlines lose) in your carry-on daypack with you on the plane. Having your rain gear, hiking boots, hiking clothes, camera, binoculars, eyeglasses, important papers (make copies), medications, and other vitals with you will minimize inconvenience if your baggage is lost or delayed by the airline. If your luggage doesn’t arrive with you, it is the airline’s responsibility to transport it to you, but this sometimes takes longer than seems fathomable. Be prepared!

Leaders

Cheryl Antenucci

Cheryl is our local guide who will be leading all our Alaskan Explorer departures in 2018.

She came to Alaska from what Alaskans refer to as "the Lower 48" nearly twenty years ago, and has called it home ever since, living in various regions of this Great Land. A trained nutritionist, Cheryl is passionate about the health and well being of all Alaskans, and has worked in a variety of social service fields, as well as in tourism, for many years.

Coupled with her passion for a healthy Alaska, Cheryl loves the beauty and scale of the great Alaskan outdoors, and particularly enjoys hiking and exploring with friends and her tireless little terrier. Cheryl has been guiding hiking tours in Alaska for the past three summers. 

Friendly and people loving, Cheryl is a wonderful travel companion and leader! 

 

Reviews

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Dates & Prices

Here at HF Holidays, we pride ourselves in offering a unique holiday full of experiences that you can’t find with anyone else. Find out what's included in this holiday.

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
10 Jun 2019 AKWHW - Alaskan Explorer
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 10 Jun 2019, 3:30 p.m.
  • Arrive: 10 Jun 2019, 9:27 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Anchorage International

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 23 Jun 2019, 1:12 p.m.
  • Arrive: 24 Jun 2019, 12:40 p.m.
  • Depart from: Anchorage International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
13 £4,729.00 £4,579.00 £150 off per person special Early Booking Offer Book Now
10 Jun 2019 AKWHW - Alaskan Explorer - Without Flight 13 £3,899.00 £3,749.00 £150 off per person special Early Booking Offer Book Now
29 Jul 2019 AKWHW - Alaskan Explorer
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 29 Jul 2019, 3:30 p.m.
  • Arrive: 29 Jul 2019, 9:27 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Anchorage International

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 11 Aug 2019, 1:12 p.m.
  • Arrive: 12 Aug 2019, 12:40 p.m.
  • Depart from: Anchorage International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
13 £5,229.00 £5,229.00 Book Now
29 Jul 2019 AKWHW - Alaskan Explorer - Without Flight 13 £3,899.00 £3,899.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Price includes

  • 13 nights' accommodation in comfortable rooms (10 nights are en-suite, 3 nights in Kennicott are with shared bathrooms)
  • Full board from breakfast on day 2 to breakfast on departure
  • A full programme of guided walks led by a specialist local leader
  • Sightseeing, entrance fees, travel by minicoach, ferry and scenic flight, and Alaskan railway journey
  • Tips

Additional important information

  • Single room: £980 (2018), £929 (2019)
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

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