Cross Alaska off YOUR bucket list this year!
There are those for whom the experience is all.... those who choose to fill their lives with exceptional adventures. If you yearn for variety and memories that last a lifetime, "The Bucket LIst" is your ultimate Alaska experience. Once in a lifetime, up close and personal Brown Bear viewing at our private BearCamp®, world class fishing with our guides and glaciers, helicopters, wilderness Trains and much more - spread out over 11 memorable days in 3 of Alaska’s spectacular National Parks- all based out of our renowned riverside Adventure Lodge. This is as good as it gets, and without a question one of the very best trips in Alaska.
This trip features stays at our world famous BearCamp and renowned riverside main lodge. BearCamp is a "glamping" style base camp with beds and linens, gas heat and light, "en Suite" potties in the tents and composting toilets and showers in shared bathrooms. While you are at the riverside main lodge, you'll find river and mountain view rooms complete with private bath individual decks. On trips that include a tour of Denali National Park, we'll be using some our favorite Inns and restaurants, so there rooms will vary, however rooms will still be double occupancy. All trips based on double occupancy - single rooms sometimes available for an additional fee.
Anchorage pick-up/fly to BearCamp/overnight
The Bucket List begins on Saturdays, with a pickup at your Anchorage hotel, followed by a 2 1/2 hour tour on Alaska’s most scenic highway as you cross 2 mountain passes & end at our renowned riverside main lodge for lunch. Following orientation, drop your main bag and board a small plane for the flight to our private, remote Bear Camp, named “Best U.S. Bush Camp” by Outside Magazine. Excellent meals served daily served with fine wines combine with comfortable accommodations (in comfortable, high tech heated tent-cabins) and world class guides for a life changing experience, viewing and photographing the Bears of Chinitna Bay in their own spectacular, natural environment.
All day with the Bears of Chinitna Bay
Today marks that pearl of a day…in a wilderness shangri-la with nowhere to go! Wake up to hot coffee and a wash basin of steaming water. After a hearty breakfast, your guides will discuss the best viewing options, then it’s off to one or both of our special viewing locations. Bears clamming, fishing, fighting and playing are all on the agenda - each season brings it's own unique combination, and every single trip is different. A wonderful Lunch and dinner will be served back at the main camp in the dining tent, with evening beach fires (weather permitting) then overnight with the staff of BearCamp.
Return from BearCamp
Your final day at BearCamp. Return flight to main lodge after lunch (each day schedule varies). Check into your riverfront rooms prior (time varies) in time to enjoy Happy hour, dinner and overnight at our renowned main lodge on the shore of the world famous Kenai River. Daily evening Activities (fishing or calm water paddling) are included each of the next 6 nights
Your first day targeting Alaska Salmon on the world famous Kenai or Kasilof rivers. We'll be fishing in specially designed river boat or drift boats for Salmon and Trout . Your guide will Back troll, drift or teach you to cast for the word's largest King Salmon (catch and release for Kenai Kings), cast spinners for acrobatic Silver Salmon or swing a fly for feisty Sockeye or Pink salmon, depending upon seasonal availability. Return to lodge for happy hour and dinner.
Choose from Halibut Fishing or a Kenai Fjords Cruise
Today, you'll enjoy a great day offshore- choose from a day of offshore Halibut Fishing aboard our fast, six passenger boats in Cook Inlet or Resurrection bay...or if offshore fishing isn't your thing, instead select an amazing day cruise in world famous Kenai Fjords National Park. You'll enjoy the same area we fish, cruising to see Orca, Whales, Sea Otter, puffin and more. Either way, we'll return to the lodge in the late afternoon just in time for happy hour and dinner.
Helicopter Dog Mushing
Today marks another amazing activity for you to check of your personal bucket list....1. Land on an Alaskan Glacier in a helicopter...(check!) and ride in an Alaskan Dog Mushing sled...(Check!). You'll ride a helicopter to a gorgeous glacier and ride with Alaskan huskies over the frozen glacier. Truly a day to remember. We'll also visit the famous Seward Sea Life Center for an up close and personal interaction with marine wildlife, before returning to the lodge in time for happy hour and dinner.
Trophy Rainbow Trout or Scenic Bald Eagle Float
Next up....a day targeting Trophy Rainbow Trout in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is all that you’ve dreamed it could be – clear mountain water, beautiful drifts, snow capped mountains in the background, bald eagles overhead and great fishing. 2-4 anglers per and their guide will float and wade the Upper Kenai River in search of Char, Sockeye, Silvers, and especially Rainbow Trout (Trout 6/15 - 9/30). Return to the lodge in the early afternoon for a siesta before Happy hour and dinner. This trip is also flexible- you may choose another day of Salmon fishing or a wilderness hike into the Chugach National forest. Whatever you choose, you'll return to the lodge in the afternoon prior to happy hour, dinner and overnight at our Kenai River Adventure Lodge.
Choose either Alaska Salmon Fishing, Chugach Forest hiking or a Moose River kayaking/paddle boarding
A great final day at the lodge – take another Salmon charter, if you want more fish for the table back home, or paddle stable river kayaks onto the meandering stream of the Wildlife Refuge. We will keep a watchful eye for nesting Swans, hovering Osprey, and the Moose and Bear of this Wilderness Trail. Or do both, if you still have the energy with a morning hike followed by an afternoon charter. It’s your choice on the “The Bucket List”.
Talkeetna, Denali Flightsee and more.....
And now the Denali Experience! We’ll depart in the morning for the incredibly scenic trip north, with stops at Turnagain Arm (in hopes of spotting a "bore tide") then continue north past Anchorage Palmer and the "sleeping lady" in the distance. Finally, it's on to the historic bush community of Talkeetna (base camp for the Denali climbs) That evening, you'll board a bush plane for a spectacular flight seeing tour of Denali Nat. Park and Preserve. Afterward, you and your guide will walk the old streets of this unique and quirky town within view of the tallest mountain in North America. Overnight at our favorite local inn.
Denali National Park Tundra Tour
Today marks another bucket list items...the famous road tour of Denali National Park. There is only one road, and the wildlife use it, too! We'll hope to spot Moose, Caribou, Stone Sheep, Wolves, Arctic Fox and more. Names like Teklanika, the Savage River and Polychrome Pass will ring in your memory forever. It's a bus ride in the park and truly one of the iconic park experiences in Alaska and the country. Return to the Park entrance and we'll enjoy dinner and overnight at our favorite cabins. (note the only road in the park is a gravel one, so there will be a few bumps!) Dinner at one of our favorite spots at the park entrance.
Denali to Anchorage via the Historic Alaska Railroad
In keeping with the "no backtracking" theme of this trip, following breakfast you may relax on your deck in view of the sweeping vista laid out before you. Some may choose to visit the dogs of an Iditarod Champion. Finally, we'll visit the visitor center for those who want more info on the big park then it's on to the final leg of your safari - aboard the “Dome Cars” of the historic Alaska Railroad as it speeds past the countless rivers and mountain vistas on its way to Anchorage. Finish at 8:30 downtown- (hotel and dinner on your own.) Perhaps YOUR "Bucket List" has room for day of wandering the streets of the bustling Anchorage with it's native Art shops, museums and a one of a kind vibe.
Recommended Gear List
However you choose to arrive, please be "dressed for adventure", as there may be a quick turnaround after lunch to get to the airstrip for your flight to bearcamp - flight times are affected by tides and each day is different time wise. If your trip includes an overnight at BearCamp, be ready to check in to the lodge with a smaller day pack (1500 cubic inches or less) packed and ready to go, as your BearCamp® experience will typically be scheduled for your first 2 days of your trip (though not always). Maximum traveling gear for flights is 25 pounds per person. If you are on an extended stay with Great Alaska, we'll hold your larger bag back at the lodge while you are at bearcamp. Be sure to bring a water bottle! Please see our pre trip info for specific what to bring list for BearCamp.
Your trip will end with the Alaska Railroad arrival into Anchorage approximately 8:30 pm and cabs will be waiting at the train station.
Our trips include complimentary sightseeing van pickup in Anchorage (we pickup at 4 downtown, mid town and airport locations). Pickup is typically at 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. (time varies slightly each day based upon number and location of pickups). You'll arrive at the main lodge around 10:30 for check in and orientation. We pick up at the cruise dock in Seward or Whittier for an additional fee. our Denali trips, return is via the historic Alaska Railroad, arriving back in anchorage at approx. 8:30 pm. Cabs will be available (transfers not included- trip ends with return to Anchorage) to take you to your hotel or the airport, whichever you have set up.
Complimentary van pickup in Anchorage on day one followed by sightseeing transfer to lodge. Trips include our signature meals "nearly world famous" nightly happy hour and appetizers, plus of course our legendary evening activities like "by the fire" salmon fishing and Moose River wildlife kayaking/paddle boarding. Finally, all necessary equipment for your daily adventures is included in your package.
What's Not Included
Gratuities, Alaska sport fishing license, fish processing or shipping and items of a personal nature. Guided portion of trip ends in Denali when you board the Alaska Railroad.