Alaska: Anchorage to Fairbanks

Destination: South Central Alaska

| Activities: Hiking

Join us in a journey from Alaska's largest city of Anchorage to its Golden Heart city of Fairbanks, along the historic Parks Highway. Along the way, we'll soak in therapeutic hot springs, hike through boreal forests and over alpine tundra, raft a white-water river, and explore unique Alaska treasures, not least of which is Denali National Park and its abundant wildlife. During our week we will discover the wide diversity of Alaska's natural beauty and meet a few of its characters along the way.

NOTE: This is the same itinerary as Alaska: Fairbanks to Anchorage but in reverse and a week later!


  • Hiking diverse trails in Alaska's interior, to passes, overlooks, lakes, and panoramic views
  • Visiting spectacular Denali National Park and quirky Talkeetna
  • Seeing an amazing diversity of wildlife, including moose, bear, Dall sheep, caribou, and bald eagles
  • Soaking in famous Chena Hot Springs


  • 1 - 3 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • 8 nights double occupancy lodging
  • All activities on the itinerary unless specified as optional at additional cost
  • All meals from dinner the first day through breakfast the last with the exception of one lunch and 2 dinners as specified on the itinerary
  • All transport within Alaska
  • National Park Entrance fees

Not included: Airfare to Anchorage or from Fairbanks, alcoholic beverages, one dinner and one lunch, guide gratuities, optional activities, travel insurance, items of a personal nature.

Trip Documents

Trip Intro

This trip is designed for women in good health and physical condition who want to see Alaska. We have designed the itinerary to minimize time in the van and all activities are moderate. The rating for this trip is a 2, but at the highest level of 2. While the activities are moderate, some of the hiking is on uneven footing and with significant changes in elevation. This rating of 2 is suitable for any woman who regularly walks at a brisk pace 4 days a week for 45 minutes. Rating: 1 [2] 3 4 5.

On this trip we combine hiking and searching for wildlife that, in Alaska, is distinctly wild. We will combine time in Denali National Park, the best known of Alaska's National Parks, with excursions into some of its hidden corners.

With the exception of the first night at the Hampton Inn, we will be staying at several different family run lodges and hotels in double occupancy rooms (or single occupancy if you selected a single supplement) with ensuite bathrooms. The exception is in Talkeetna where bathrooms are down the hall and shared among multiple guests. All are clean, comfortable, and will give you a feel for the real Alaska.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Arrive to Anchorage, Alaska. By area, Anchorage is one of the largest cities in the U.S., encompassing 1,961 square miles – nearly the size of the state of Delaware. With a population of around 300,000, Anchorage is Alaska's largest city and home to more than 41 percent of the state's population. Although the sun technically sets for about three hours on this day, it never really gets dark. You may find yourself exploring long past your bedtime! Meet at the Hampton Inn at 5pm for introductions and orientation. Group dinner together tonight at 6:30 pm. (D) Overnight: Hampton Inn
Load up the vans after breakfast and head for the quirky town of Talkeetna that lies at the confluence of 3 rivers. Along the way we will visit one of Alaska's hidden jewels: Hatcher Pass. (Drive time approximately 90 minutes). Home to a historic gold mine, Independence Mine, Hatcher Pass offers splendid opportunities for hiking in alpine tundra while gawking at rugged mountains, glacial erratics, and lichen- covered boulders left behind when the glaciers receded. We'll enjoy a picnic during our hike, and then continue our drive. (Remaining drive time 90 minutes). Tonight’s dinner is on your own, a great chance to check out the quaint downtown (which sits on the registry of National Historic Places) This unique (even by Alaskan standards) community is home to festivities such as the annual Moose Dropping Festival (no moose are harmed) and the Bachelor Auction and Ball (presumably no bachelors are harmed). (B, L) Overnight: Susitna River Lodge
After a delicious breakfast at the local bakery, we'll load up the vans to drive to Denali National Park (2.5 hours away). While en route, we will take a break to hike through the alpine tundra on Little Coal Creek Trail. Here we may get our first opportunity to glimpse Denali. Hiking time: approximately 3 hours. Drive time: 2 hours total (B, L, D) Overnight: Denali Grizzly Bear Resort
We'll have this morning free to pursue our own explorations of Denali. Options included flight seeing, ATV adventures, visiting with sled dogs, local hikes, and much more. After lunch (on your own), we'll meet back at our cabins to go rafting on the Nenana River. On this splash tour, everyone paddles the boat down a scenic 11 mile stretch. Rafting here is loads of fun with class II and III rapids. There's always a chance of seeing bears, moose, sheep, and caribou. Over dinner we can toast to our adventures of the day. (B, D) Overnight: Denali Grizzly Bear Resort
Today we'll have more time to explore the wonders of Denali National Park. The park visitors' center and Murie Science Center can teach us a great deal about the area's history, geology, plants, and animals. Once we've educated ourselves, we'll continue our explorations by hiking up Mount Healy for lunch and, hopefully, views of Denali, The Great One. We can choose to bag a peak today, or turn around at a lower elevation - the views are great either way. Hiking distance: 5.5 miles, 1,700 ft. elevation gain, or less if we choose. (B, L, D). Overnight: Denali Grizzly Bear Resort
For our final day in Denali, we'll venture fully into the park. There's only one road into this 6-million-acre park, and we'll traverse it with a knowledgeable driver who will tell us all about what we're seeing as we drive to the Eielson Visitors Center. There will be many opportunities to take photos, and short stops along the way will allow us to stretch our legs. Once again, keep your eyes open for wildlife, and shout out if you see anything so everyone else can see it, too. Driving time: 7 - 8 hours. (B, L, D) Overnight: Denali Grizzly Bear Resort
Before bidding farewell to the “Great One” (Denali), we’ll hike the Triple Lakes Loop to stretch our legs. Then we’ll hit the road toward Fairbanks with lunch along the way. Along the way we’ll travel through a variety of Alaska’s ecological biomes and cross the mighty Nenana and Tanana Rivers. Keep your eyes open: moose, bears, beavers and more are all residents of this area, so hopefully we’ll get lucky and them all. We’ll picnic lunch along the way and then head to the hot springs for some much-deserved relaxation. Hiking Distance: approximately 5 miles. Driving time: approximately 4 hours. (B, L, D) Overnight: Chena Hot Springs Resort
We'll spend the day in the vicinity of Chena Hot Springs, so there will be ample opportunity to enjoy the heat before breakfast and after we hike. We'll earn our picnic lunch by hiking up to explore the rugged beauty of the granite tors (unusual rock outcroppings) on Angel Rocks Trail. If you still have energy at the end of the day, there may be time to go for a horseback ride or ATV ride at the hot springs. Hiking distance: 4 miles. (B, L, D). Overnight: Chena Hot Springs Resort
After an early breakfast and maybe a final soak, we’ll pack up for the airport. Our trip ends in the Golden Heart of Alaska, Fairbanks. You can book your flight for anytime after 12pm. (B)

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  1. Where do we eat?

    Most of your meals will be at your lodging or at restaurants where you can order off the menu; the guides will prepare some of the meals. Most lunches will be packed lunches or picnic style.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    We can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-intolerant although we can not guarantee a completely gluten-free diet, if we know well in advance. If you're severely allergic or if you have other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register. If you're vegan, you may want to bring some additional protein bars.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we'll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.