Denali National Park
Journey into the scenic wilds of America's most northern state, through Alaska's rugged forests and wildlife. Your destination: the magnificent, six-million acre Denali National Park and Reserve. Familiarize yourself with the park, walking its trails with a guide, and choose from optional excursions to personalize your adventure. Keep binoculars close at hand: this dazzling and vast wilderness is home to Dall sheep, eagles, wolves, migrating caribou, and grizzly bears—and catching sight of them is a thrill not soon forgotten. A final highlight of this adventure includes an afternoon traveling aboard the historic Alaska Railroad with superior viewing from your upgraded GoldStar glass-dome seat.
Day +1: Arrive Fairbanks, Alaska
Welcome to Fairbanks! The city is also known as “The Golden Heart of Alaska,” a reference to the discovery of gold in 1902 and its location in Alaska’s interior. Meet your Orbridge Expedition Leader and traveling companions at a welcome reception, and prepare for your upcoming Denali activities and excursions.
Overnight: Pike's Waterfront Lodge (R)
A special note for visitors:
The Pretty Rocks area in Denali National Park’s Polychrome Pass had a slow-moving landslide that forced an early closure of the Park Road in 2021. The National Park Service has announced that the road will be open for summer 2022 until mile 43 due to road improvements.
Guests will continue to have access to magnificent wildlife, pristine land, and views of towering Denali (weather permitting) for an unforgettable experience throughout the needed construction phase.
Your Orbridge Expedition Leaders and MSLC Naturalist have planned an itinerary that takes full advantage of opportunities to observe wildlife and the area's ecology, including more stops for in-field discussions and nature walks.
Day +2: Fairbanks / Denali National Park
Along with your Orbridge Expedition Leader, board a motor coach destined for Denali National Park, following the nearby Alaska Railroad route. Traverse through the scenic northern boreal forests of interior Alaska—where gold miners came to seek their fortune—enjoying a rich panoply of views of America's northernmost frontier. En route, stop for a visit to the University of Alaska's Museum of the North and continue to Denali along the George Park's Highway.
At the Museum of the North, discover Alaska Native cultures, natural wonders, diverse wildlife, and Arctic dinosaurs. See exhibits curated from 1.3 million specimens and artifacts in the research institution's vast collection. Art, culture, science, and breathtaking architecture make the Museum of the North an interesting and enriching stop.
Upon arriving at the park, take a short walk with your Expedition Leader to the Denali National Park Visitor Center for a brief orientation. View the exhibits or sign up for ranger-led talks, hikes, and other activities available during your stay in Denali. Afterward, board your motor coach for your short ride to Grande Denali Lodge. This evening, enjoy a lively dinner event where you'll explore fun and unique features of the park with a presenter from the Murie Science and Learning Center.
Overnight: Grande Denali Lodge (B,D)
You may purchase the following optional excursions in advance from our Guest Services team to enjoy during your free time in Denali. We recommend you reserve early for best availability as space is limited.
• DogGoneIt Dog Sled Tour: An intimate visit to an Alaskan frontier home to learn about the lives of the world’s greatest athletes, sled dogs, and racing the Iditarod. $56/person and $36 per youth 12 and under
• Denali Glacier Landing Flight: A 100-minute plane tour of Denali to view the continent's deepest gorge, glaciers, and surrounding peaks and valleys. Also land on one of Denali's pristine glaciers.
$599/person and $479 per youth 10 and under
$649/person and $579 per youth 10 and under
• Arctic Circle Flight: Enjoy expansive views of the Brooks Range, Yukon River, and Trans-Alaska Pipeline on this six-hour plane tour. After your flight crosses the Arctic Circle, land in the Yukon-Koyakuk region and walk with a local resident guide as you tour one of only a few year-round, lived-in communities located this far north.
$519/person and not recommended for youth under 10
Normal Orbridge cancellation policies apply whereby optional excursions are non-refundable within 90 days of departure. Not all excursions listed may be available. Availability is subject to sufficient participation and weather conditions. We recommend you reserve early for best availability as space is limited. For flight excursions, weight and minimum age requirements apply. Individual dressed weight and birthdate must be provided at time of booking.
Day +3: Denali National Park Wilderness Excursion
Today, travel along the Denali National Park Road on a naturalist-guided, back-country adventure for incredible scenery and some of the best opportunities to view the majestic Mount Denali. This tour includes walks in Denali's wilderness to learn more about its landscapes, wildlife, and history. Be sure to have your binoculars ready to spot for the many species of plants and wildlife. Enjoy a box lunch in this special setting.
This evening is at your leisure.
Overnight: Grande Denali Lodge (B,L)
Day +4: Denali National Park
After breakfast, participate in one of the pre-purchased optional excursions or enjoy free time to explore Denali. Take advantage of the many self-guided hiking trails or informative ranger-led talks and activities offered in the park while marveling at the scenery.
Later, reconvene for wine and hors d'oeuvres as you listen to Alaskan homesteader, Jimmie Hendricks, as he relives his journey and lifelong dream to explore Alaska and make it his home. Be amazed by his years of training, hard work, determination, and eventual summiting of North America’s tallest peak.
Overnight: Grande Denali Lodge (B,R)
Day +5: Denali National Park / Anchorage
After breakfast and a morning at leisure, depart from Denali National Park on Alaska Railroad's flagship train, the Denali Star, traveling through one of the most scenic stretches of the world-famous Alaska Railroad. It cuts through the northern boreal forests of interior Alaska where gold miners came to seek their fortune. Enjoy the panoramic views as you travel in your reserved seat and upgraded GoldStar, glass-dome train car.
At 2,363 feet, Broad Pass is the highest point and a migratory route for caribou. After the train stops to drop off guests, delight in lunch and dinner aboard the train before arriving in Anchorage.
This evening, relax in your luxury hotel.
Overnight: Hotel Captain Cook (B,L,D)
Day +6: Depart Anchorage
Prepare for an early morning departure. Your group will take a complimentary transfer to the Anchorage International Airport and board the same flight to meet the Discover Southeast Alaska main program. (B)
R = Reception, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Pre-tour space is limited, so it's recommended to reserve early for best availability.
It is our expectation that guests on this program are able to walk a mile at a moderate pace, get in and out of a motor coach, and walk up a flight of stairs without assistance.
Pike’s Waterfront Lodge
Situated on the Chena River, Pike's Waterfront Lodge offers unbeatable views and warm, comfortable accommodations. Enjoy hotel amenities, including an aromatherapy steam room, fitness room, restaurant, cozy lounge, ATM, 24-hour guest laundry and gift shop.
Room Amenities: Chena River view room, air conditioning, flat-screen cable TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, phone, microwave, mini-fridge, coffee and tea maker, safe, and en suite bathroom with hair dryer and Aveda® shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap.
Grande Denali Lodge
The Grande Denali Lodge is located just north of the Denali National Park main entrance on the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain with unparalleled views of the surrounding Denali wilderness and the Nenana River Canyon. Spacious guest rooms, on-site dining, and dedicated staff make the Grande Denali Lodge the perfect place to launch all your adventures. Amenities include a restaurant, a bar and lounge, convenient shuttle services, a self-service laundromat, complimentary Wi-Fi, and an espresso/snacks stand.
Room Amenities: View room, air conditioning, cable TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, phone, coffee and tea maker, mini-fridge and en suite bathroom with shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and hair dryer.
Hotel Captain Cook
Built by former Secretary of the Interior and two-term Alaska Governor Walter J. Hickel to help Anchorage's economy recover from the devastating 1964 earthquake, this renowned hotel boasts Alaskan history from its reclaimed teak interior features to artifacts and art illustrations from Captain Cook's 18th-century voyage. Expect exceptional Alaskan hospitality and service at its four restaurants, on-site shops, athletic club, and spa.
Room Amenities: Deluxe room, air conditioning, satellite TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, phone, coffee and tea maker, bathrobes and slippers, safe, and en suite bathroom with shampoo, conditioner, and hair dryer.
—plus $350/person internal airfare—
Optional DogGoneIt Dog Sled Tour: $56/person and $36 per youth 12 and under
Optional Denali Glacier Landing Flight: $599/person and $479 per youth 9 and under (Reserved BEFORE 4/30/22)
Optional Denali Glacier Landing Flight: $649/person and $529 per youth 9 and under (Reserved AFTER 4/30/22)
Optional Arctic Circle Flight Tour: $519/person
Pre-tour rates are per person based on double occupancy except where noted as Single, in U.S. dollars. Single availability limited. Internal airfare from Anchorage to Main Program is an additional $350 per person. General airfare not included.
- 1 night accommodation at Pike's Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks, 3 nights accommodations at Grande Denali Lodge, and 1 night accommodation at Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage
- 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, and 2 receptions
- Motor coach transportation from Fairbanks to Denali National Park
- Entrance to the Museum of the North
- Hotel courtesy shuttle between Grande Denali Lodge, the Denali Park Visitor Center, town, and the rail depot
- A full-day wilderness tour into Denali National Park (including a box lunch) with your Orbridge Expedition Leader and a Murie Science and Learning Center naturalist guide
- A lively dinner event with a special presentation from a Murie Science and Learning Center educator, plus an engaging discussion with Jimmie Hendricks, a colorful local who will share his experiences of homesteading and eventual summiting of Denali
- Transport aboard the distinguished Alaska Railroad with upgraded GoldStar Service, including reserved seating in the upper-level glass-dome car, priority seating in the dining room for lunch and dinner (with two alcoholic beverages/unlimited non-alcoholic beverages)
- Services of an Orbridge Expedition Leader
- Gratuities for Orbridge Expedition Leader, local guides, drivers, porters, housekeeping, and wait staff for included meals
- Transfers between the airport and hotel for guests arriving and departing during the suggested times