Alaska Tour Destinations
Denali National Park • Kenai Fjords National Park • Wrangell St. Elias National Park
Denali National Park is six million acres. Travel into the park is along a single road where low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains. Wildflowers begin blooming in early June, and continue until late July. Most flowers have gone to seed by early August, making way for a variety of berries and fall colors. By early August, tundra plants at high elevation will change color first; brilliant reds, oranges and yellows march downhill into the valleys, where trees change color in turn by early September. Animals are at their most active and visible from May to September, as they squeeze in as much living (and eating) as they can before the onset of another cold winter. Days are at their longest in summer, with the solstice in late June offering over 20 hours of daylight. The summer sun provides so much light, the Aurora Borealis is unlikely to be seen until late August. As daylight hours rapidly decrease in the fall, however, chances of seeing the Northern Lights increase.
- Denali National Park Tour
- Wildlife viewing
- Sled dog Kennel tour and ride
- Ride the Alaska Railroad
- River Rafting – whitewater or scenic
- ATV Wilderness Adventures
Created in 1980, Kenai Fjords spreads over 587,000 acres and is crowned by the massive Harding Ice Field from which countless tidewater glaciers pour down into coastal fjords. The impressive landscape and an abundance of marine wildlife make the park a major tourist attraction.
Kenai Fjords Activities
- National Park tour
- Wilderness Seakayaking Adventures
- Ocean Fishing Charter
Wrangell-St. Elias / Kennicott / McCarthy Imagine yourself at the center of America’s largest national park, overlooking 25 miles of glacier, and surrounded by 14 of the highest mountain peaks on the continent! You could be one of the few people to explore this spectacular part of Alaska when you visit Kennicott. Kennicott, is located in the center of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park at the Kennicott National Historic Landmark.
Wrangell-St. Elias Activities
- Kennicott Mill Tour
- Guided Glacier Trekking
- Guided Alpine Hikes
Southcentral Alaska: Anchorage • Seward • Whittier • Homer • Girdwood • Palmer • Talkeetna
Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, features many urban amenities including fine restaurants, music, art and nightclubs. It’s unique location lies between the mountains and the sea making this urban center no stranger to the wilderness. There is simply no other city like Anchorage. Anchorage airport is the main point of entry and departure for flights in and out of mainland Alaska. Anchorage features dozens of parks, trails and 122 miles of paved bike paths. Warmed by a maritime climate, you can spend the day fishing Ship Creek downtown, hiking the nearby Chugach mountains, photographing glaciers and dining at a four-star restaurant. Within 15 minutes drive it is possible to drive from downtown to the tree-lined trail-heads of Anchorage’s most popular hike, Flattop Mountain located in the Chugach Mountains. ATG tours do not spend much time touring Anchorage. We instead leave this area to be explored on your own pre or post tour. We’re happy to provide assistance with additional nights hotels and activity reservations.
Seward, flanked by rugged mountains to one side and sparkling Resurrection Bay on the other, offers fantastic hiking nearby, a quaint downtown, the amazing Alaska SeaLife Center, kayak, hike, fish, whale-watch and glacier-view. Located at the terminus of both the Alaska Railroad and the Seward Highway, Seward is an embarkation/disembarkation port for many cruises. The city also serves as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park.
Connected to the rest of Alaska by road, rail and the Alaska Marine Highway, Whittier is the port of call for Princess Cruise Lines. Whittier’s history is nothing short of fascinating. Not long after the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands during World War II, the U.S. Army began looking for a spot to build a secret military installation. The proposed base needed to be an ice-free port and as inaccessible as possible. Whittier fit the bill perfectly, thanks to 3,500-foot peaks that surround it and keep it hidden in cloud cover for much of the year. To provide access to the Seward Highway to the north, the Army blasted a supply tunnel out of solid granite, and the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel remains one of Alaska’s great engineering marvels. Construction of the tunnel led to construction of what at the time was the largest building in Alaska to house more than 1,000 workers.
Homer is a truly incredible panorama of mountains, white peaks, glaciers and the famous Homer Spit, a long strip of land that stretches into that beautiful deep blue bay. Downtown Homer is strung along Pioneer Avenue on a sloping hill between high bluffs to the north and Kachemak Bay to the south. The scenery is inspiring and the climate is mild. The Homer Spit, a 4.5-mile long needle of land stretching halfway across Kachemak Bay. During summer it bustles with throngs of tourists, people camping on the beach, charter boats heading out to catch a record-breaking halibut, beachcombers, and birders amazed at how many bald eagles they can spot. ATG includes travel to Homer as custom trip planning for private group travel.
Girdwood is Alaska’s only true resort town. 30 minutes south of Anchorage, and home to the luxurious Alyeska Resort that attracts skiers in the winter, hikers in the summer and artists year-round. Alaskans and visitors alike are drawn to its restaurants and local color. Girdwood’s quintessential experience is to ride the tram at Alyeska Resort to the top of Mount Alyeska. The 60-passenger tram provides a scenic ride to the 2,300-foot level, where a fine-dining restaurant and museum overlook dramatic views of Turnagain Arm and seven glaciers nestled in the surrounding peaks. In the winter, skiers and snowboarders then head downhill. In the summer, hikers enjoy an easy stroll through the alpine world or ride the tram back to the bottom.
The Matanuska-Susitna Valley (Mat-Su) encompasses 23,000 square miles of pure Alaska wilderness with towering mountains, huge glacier valleys, fish-filled rivers and lakes, abundant Alaska wildlife, glorious hiking country, and quaint frontier communities. This area is not commercially developed for the large coach companies and is where you can enjoy true gems without the large groups as company.
Wasilla may be equally famous and infamous – well known as the headquarters of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, it gained a new level of notoriety when Sarah Palin was named as John McCain’s running mate during the 2008 presidential election.
Born at the height of the Great Depression as a component of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal relief program, the South-central Alaska town of Palmer is the result of one of the country’s greatest social experiments. At the time of its establishment, the mission was to transplant 200 struggling farming families from the Midwest to Alaska where they would cultivate a new agricultural economy. In 1935, the down-on-their-luck families stepped off the Alaska Railroad in the Matanuska and Susitna valleys, deemed suitable by the government for farming. The soil was rich by Alaska standards but the growing season was just long enough for cool-weather grains and certain vegetables and there was little margin for error. Palmer is famed for its 90-pound cabbages, seven-pound turnips and other monster root vegetables, the result of the midnight sun that shines up to 20 hours a day during the summer.
Willow is a sleepy little village located on the George Parks Highway whose claim to fame is its drop-dead gorgeous view of Mount McKinley. On a clear day, “the Great One” dominates the Willow skyline like nowhere else in Alaska. Willow is also in the heart of mushing country and home to several sled dog kennel tour operators.
Talkeetna is straight out of many visitors’ mental picture of life in small-town Alaska. Located 115 miles north of Anchorage in the Mat-Su Valley, it’s a not-to-be-missed stop in South-central Alaska. Its artistic, outdoorsy and creative residents proudly portray the character of their community and celebrate the influence of North America’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley. A turn-of-the-20th-century gold-mining center, Talkeetna has retained much of its early Alaska flavor. Log cabins, a roadhouse and clapboard storefronts line the dirt streets. Main Street, the only paved road in town, greets visitors with a hand-hewn sign reading “Welcome to Beautiful Downtown Talkeetna.”
Interior Alaska: Denali • Fairbanks • North Pole
Fairbanks, Alaska’s second-largest city, the Golden Heart City is the second-largest population center in Alaska. The city features a university, an Army base and an Air Force Base and is known for dog mushing, northern lights and its extremes of light, dark, warmth and cold. In winter, temperatures as low as -62 degrees have been recorded; temperatures in the 80s are common in summer. Summer days are also long – Fairbanks enjoys more than 22 hours of daylight when the solstice arrives on June 21. ATG tours seldom include travel to Fairbanks. This destination is typically by request for a private group tour that is either arriving or departing from the Fairbanks airport. For custom tours we make the following things to do available as time allows in the schedule.