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Alaska’s National Parks: From Denali to Kenai

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Program #1012RJ
12 Days | 11 Nights
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
John from Arlington, VA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 08/31/14 - 09/11/14
Overall, we greatly enjoyed this trip. The six nights at the Denali Education Center were wonderful--the accommodations, the staff, the food and the programs get top marks. We were somewhat disappointed with the second portion of the trip--five nights at the Trail Lake Lodge in Moose Pass. The accommodations were, in our opinion, not up to RS standards, with very cramped rooms. The promised WiFi access was limited - not available in the rooms or dining area. The “Kenai Learning Center” was, as described by our host, simply “a virtual organization”. The space provided for our group gatherings was an open-air structure (adequately shielded from the elements with plastic sheeting and heaters) set up for meals, but otherwise unwelcoming as a gathering place. The on-site program coordinator was a stand-in, and although we enjoyed him very much, he was not a naturalist and not able to provide relevant insights except to describe what life was like for human residents in the area. The lodge is a 45 minute bus ride to Seward, where most of our program activities took place. We feel that this program could be improved by changing the location for the Kenai Peninsula portion of the trip closer to Seward.

Road Scholar's response:
We're thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the program overall experience and wish to respond to your comments about areas of improvement.. Our partners at Trail Lake Lodge/Kenai Peninsula Learning Center do their best to keep the pavilion well-stocked with books and ensure that participants experience the complete learning experience – with presentations, explorations, and evening programs by U.S. Park Rangers and boat captain naturalists. Please be assured that we choose our presenters, lecturers, and group leaders from a pool of well-season, well-rounded local experts to provide an enriching learning adventure. Thank you for your comments - we are always looking for ways to enhance the learning experience, and hope to see you again soon!
Jennifer from West Chester, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 08/31/14 - 09/11/14
My husband and I drove to AK in 1983 so I knew my first Road Scholar trip would be back to Denali. What a warm and welcoming crowd greeted me and my sister. The lectures were superb, the group leaders knew their business and I learned a lot.

William from Murfreesboro, TN Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 08/31/14 - 09/11/14
Very good program. Group got along great with each other. Perfect time of year to visit Alaska

Carol from New Haven, CT Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 08/31/14 - 09/11/14
I had wanted to do this trip for the last five years. It was a trip of a lifetime, and was everything that I thought it would be and more. We were on the go from morning to night . It was a very active trip, and should be considered by only the most mobile Road Scholars l participant. I w et at the end of August. It is Alaska's transitional season, and there was somewhat rainy. No biggie. The tour was I depth, which I really wanted and enjoyed. If ?I went on a tradition cruise ?I would only have 48 hours in the Park--glad I chose this tour instead.

Lori from Yelm, WA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 07/27/14 - 08/07/14
Everyone needs to take this tour of Denali and the Kenai Peninsula ! Alaska is more beautiful than I ever thought and this trip was very educational.

Charlene from Bethesda, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/27/14 - 08/07/14
From National Park to National Park in Alaska is an understatement! Our experience in Denali and Kenai Fjords was superlative on many levels. I came away wishing everyone could visit Alaska just once in order to see for themselves what wilderness means and why it must be preserved for all time.

Evelyn from Walnut Creek, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 07/27/14 - 08/07/14
Exciting to realize Alaska wilderness incompases 8 million acres. The scenery goes on forever.

Nancy from Annapolis, MD Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 07/27/14 - 08/07/14
I rate this program at the highest level (5). Specifically, both chefs (Betty in Denali and Brad in Moose Pass) provided outstanding cuisine from a quality and quantity standpoint. The staff at the Denali Education Center were enthusiastic, knowledgable and great teachers (I was an educator). Alex and Susan made me a "Science gal", and with geology that is really a task. Susan's wildlife biology lesson was amazing. Brian (great duet partner on the guitar) and Brittney saw to our every need. They were kind and never lost patience. For theTrail LakeLodge portion on the Kenai, I can't rave enough about Steamer and Kris - the location is pristine and they work together to see that the details and talks are funny, informative and entertaining. Do the Seaway dog tour - wonderful. All the guides were excellent, and we were among the 5% who saw Denail's peak. Whales and sea life divine. Do not miss this trip!!

Fran from Charlotte, NC Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 07/13/14 - 07/24/14
This trip is exactly the way I wanted to see Alaska. Great guides, great group of fellow travelers, great learning experiences, great activities, and the greatness of Alaska speaks for itself. I love telling people about this extraordinary trip.

Nancy from Bradenton, FL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 07/13/14 - 07/24/14
All the other reviews state it well. The staff is unbelievably good. You never feel like you are on a "tour", you're just exploring and having a great time. You see and learn so many wonderful things. Everyone who fits the physical requirements (walk up to 3 miles) should take this trip...unless you like plastic tours and staying in isolated plush hotels...then take a Princess Cruise. For my husband and I, we loved every second of this tour. Advice: 1. Fly into Fairbanks and take at least a day on your own there. We stayed in a B&B that picked us up at the airport and put us on the train when we left. They lent us bikes and we had a blast biking everywhere with the 24 hours of day light. 2. Take the train from Fairbanks to Denali. Great ride. 3. Take the transportation offered by Kenai Peninsula Learning Center, either to Seward or Anchorage at the end of the program. Allow at least 2 extra days on your own in Anchorage before leaving. 4. BRING BINOCULARS. It will really enhance your animal viewing.

John from Blackshear, GA Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 07/13/14 - 07/24/14
An outstanding experience! Denali and Kenai are not to be missed. I most highly recommend this proram.

Adrienne from Blackshear, GA Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 07/13/14 - 07/24/14
This was a bucket list adventure for us, and clearly exceeded our expectations. The scenery was awesome, the educational experience was amazing, and the activity level was just right. Great food, fun companions, superb guides---what's not to like?

Doris from Setauket, NY Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 07/13/14 - 07/24/14
This was a fabulous trip and one that I couldn't have enjoyed as much if I had traveled independently. The Kenai Peninsula Learning Center and the Denali Education Center staff contributed greatly to the experience with their knowledge and planning. Presentations were wonderful and added greatly to my understanding of Alaskan life and its beauty. Hiking, rafting, learning, exploring glaciers, mountains, rivers, tundra, rain forests, all combined for a spectacular treat!

Naomi from Kew Gardens, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/13/14 - 07/24/14
If you want to learn a lot, meet interesting people and see beautiful scenery, come to Alaska

Karen from Modesto, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/01/14 - 06/12/14
What a fantastic trip! I was a little wary when I found out the group was 40 people but it was handled fantastically. We had a nice balance of lecture and field experience. Seeing Denali was amazing.

Miffy from Alexandria, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/01/14 - 06/12/14
Thanks to all the leaders/staff/speakers and my new Road Scholar friends on this wonderful trip. What a great way to experience Alaska by land and sea! Loved how it all came together so well. You will not be disappointed!!

penny from Washington, IL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/01/14 - 06/12/14
Had a great time and learned a lot. The food at Denali was exceptional! The guides at Denali were very knowledgeable and so happy with what they were doing. The guide in Moose Pass went out of his way to make sure we saw things we were interested in. Still fairly chilly and windy this time of year but not very many bugs(mosquitos) yet. The flowers were just starting to bloom. Not very much commercialism on this tour.

Ron from Smyrna, GA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/01/14 - 06/12/14
Don't even give it a second thought--GO!

David from Elkins, WV Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/25/14 - 06/05/14
This program exceeded my expectations by quite a bit. Alaska's natural beauty is stunning, to say the least. Our young guides (as well as our one older one) were knowledgable and enthusiastic, and refreshing in their spirit and their obvious love of what they do. The hikes and other activities were well chosen and good alternatives were offered on some days. Our group bonded well, and that contributed much to the enjoyment. The food at Denali Education Center was excellent, and the chef went out of her way to accommodate special diet needs. Everything about this trip was great. Highly recommended.

Deborah from Indianapolis, IN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/25/14 - 06/05/14
What an incredible trip! Everything from the scenery, the animals, to the lectures were so enthralling. The group was great! I know I'm using too many exclamation marks but that's how I still feel thinking back on this adventure.

Paula from Richmond, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/25/14 - 06/05/14
Great program! The length and breadth of the learning and doing were very satisfying. We came away with a sense of "knowing" Alaska at many levels. Hiking is somewhat strenuous at times because of uphill slopes but none of the hikes are more than 5 miles. We were all able to complete them. The staff was fabulous. The naturalists who accompanied us could not have been more knowledgeable and helpful. All questions were answered in depth. Accommodations were fine. The group was fabulous!

Susan from Jupiter, FL Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/01/13 - 09/12/13
Denali/Kenai adventure was excellent. The youthful exuberance of the Denali Education Center staff coupled with their professionalism made our experience from lectures to hikes educational and fun. Life on the Kenai in Moose Pass at the Trail Lake Lodge was grand. More interesting lectures at the lodge and at the Alaskan Sea Life Center and great hikes as well as water excursions by raft or boat made our time there grand.

Suzanne from Bellevue, WA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 09/01/13 - 09/12/13
I just completed the Denali NP and Kenai Fjords NP 12 day program and I can't recommend it highly enough. It was so well organized, very educational, and the field trips were great!

ShuRong from Ballwin, MO Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/14/13 - 07/25/13
Revised summer packing list for City Slickers: 1. A full body mosquito & fly net or donate all your blood beforehand. 2. Wear a windup watch. 3. Wear sunblock 24/7. 4. Wear ear plugs: Hear no bear roars when you await amazing Northern lights and aurora borealis from sunset to sunrise. 5. Google Glass will be idea for this picturesque and wildlife filled Last Frontier. Wear it instead of messing with a camera and binocular. (FYI: There's a fee based photographer class to teach you how to use your fancy, new camera.) 6. Fatten up and wear any accessories to make you appear big and tall to the wildlife (high heels, huge hat, backpack...). 7. Dress like an onion and wear the same pair of socks to smell like a stinky one to blend in with wildlife and learn how to peel off under a poncho. Messages from the bears: 1. Wear Depends during outdoor field trips. 2. Bring and hug a teddy bear, not bears. (I surely wanted to hug a cute 3 years old brown bear running the banks of Kenai River.) 3. Bring noise maker: Commercial Bell is for cows, a whistle works for Bear. Let bears know your presence: sing, argue, fight, and converse with others or yourself. Bring a solar powered mp3 player; make a playlist of all bear songs in case you are too tired / scared to sing or your voice & singing annoy bears. Painful exp.: City slickers, not any bear, got bear spray accidently all the time. No wonder Locals carry guns and have dogs, not bear spray. If you bring or near any Bear Spray, make sure you know what to do in case you get sprayed accidentally by this invisible "hot and spicy pepper spray" that dissipates to blind and choke you, makes you cough and experiences "I can't breathe!" near death horror. 4. Bear encounter: Don't run, look big and back off with respect. Moose encounter: Run around for your life. When encounter both: Take pictures if / when they fight each other, otherwise, serve as your last Will and Testament. 5. Get used to Bear Hugs. Have fun.

Pamelia from Yarmouth, ME Number of programs attended: 15
Date attended: 08/11/13 - 08/22/13
Put the Denali/Kenai program at the top of your "bucket" list.

Lydia from Fresno, CA Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 08/11/13 - 08/22/13
If you are interested in learning aboutt Alaskan flora adn fauna and the animals that live there to better understanding the world of 8 month of winter and four of summer, take this Program. YOu will not be disappointed in meeting people, learning about their jobs and interests. This program demonstrates the Heart of Alaska.

Nickie from Westlake Village, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/28/13 - 08/08/13
I found the Denali/Kenai Alaska trip to be a wonderful experience. I went at the beginning of August and the weather was delightful. Hikes were well paced. We got to go places that are not available to the average traveler. There was a lot of variety in the activities. Interest level was high throughout.

Richard from Alexandria, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/09/13 - 06/20/13
Staying at the Trail Lake Lodge in Moose Gap was perfect! Served as a terrific base camp to explore the Kenai. Bo, the chocolate lab, saw us off every evening and greeted us upon our return in the evening. Float planes on the beautiful lake added to the serenity of the beautiful location. And the Denali Education Center and its staff were the highlight of our trip while in Denali. Both locations were ideal, the food was great, and the people we met along the way were great. This was our first Road Scholar trip and we're already planning our next because of how wonderful our Alaska trip was.

Priscilla from San Antonio, TX Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 05/26/13 - 06/06/13
This was a wonderful combination of inland Alaska at Denali National Park and the coastal area on the Kenai Peninsula. This was early spring for Alaska and during the time we were there we actually saw the change from winter to the greening of the countryside. The weather was wonderful and layering is the key. We saw animals and beautiful scenery in both areas. The lectures were quite informative and varied. Having several days in each location really allowed us to feel that we got to know both areas. The accommodations in both locations were simple but comfortable and the meals were great.

Alice Ann from Hendersonville, NC Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 05/26/13 - 06/06/13
If you want to see wilderness and wild animals roaming free in Denali National Park while you learn about them and about native people who live in the area, this is a fabulous opportunity.

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"Strolling Grizzly" Uploaded By: Kimber
"Strolling Grizzly" Uploaded By: Kimber

"Fun Group in Denali" Uploaded By: Kimber

"Caribou on the tundra" Uploaded By: Kimber

"Denali, we are all part of the 30% club" Uploaded By: Karen

"Guess who came to breakfast." Uploaded By: Walter

"Awaiting the new day's adventure." Uploaded By: Walter

"Denali emerges from the clouds-II" Uploaded By: Walter

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"Denali emerges from the clouds" Uploaded By: Walter

"Twight, Trail Lake Lodge, Moose Pass" Uploaded By: ShuRong

"blueberries, Triple Lake Trail, Denali NP" Uploaded By: ShuRong

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"sunset, Denali Ed. Ctr" Uploaded By: ShuRong

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"Sunset Denali Ed center 07192013_225038" Uploaded By: ShuRong

"SunRise, TrailLakeLdg 20130723_072034" Uploaded By: ShuRong

"Sky & sun rise, Moose Pass" Uploaded By: ShuRong

"Sky & Sea, Kenai NP by Sewer" Uploaded By: ShuRong

"Harding Icefield, Kenai NP, Sewer 20130723_141452" Uploaded By: ShuRong

"view of Harding IceField Trail, Kenai Fdjore NP, Sewer" Uploaded By: ShuRong

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"Harding IceField Trail, Kenai Fdjore NP, Sewer" Uploaded By: ShuRong

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"Glacier, Open Sea by Sewer 20130723_143058" Uploaded By: ShuRong

"a 3 yrs. old brown bear at Kenai River's float trip" Uploaded By: ShuRong

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"Eagle, Eagles Landing Lodge between Sewer & Moose Pass" Uploaded By: ShuRong

"painted grass, Denali 20130714_195407" Uploaded By: ShuRong

"Drunken Forest caused by PermaFrost, Rock Creek Trail, Denali NP" Uploaded By: ShuRong

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"Bo, TrailLakeLdg owner's chocolate lab, my hiking protector, 20130723_083926" Uploaded By: ShuRong

"Hikers learn and identify birds along the trail in Denali National Park." Uploaded By: Nan

"Visitors enjoy a home-cooked meal on the Denali Education Center’s rustic campus, overlooking the Nenana River and the eastern boundary of Denali National Park. " Uploaded By: Nan

"A pair of grizzly bears roam near the Toklat River in Denali National Park. " Uploaded By: Nan

"Alex Lee, lead instructor at the Denali Education Center, teaches program participants about the Denali ecosystem on a hike around Horseshoe Lake. " Uploaded By: Nan

"A hiker learns about the flora in Denali National Park." Uploaded By: Nan

"Participants having fun before departing on the bus to go hiking in Denali National Park. " Uploaded By: Nan

"Mt. McKinley on a clear, bluebird, September afternoon." Uploaded By: Nan

"Denali Playing Peek-a-Boo with us on the day we went to view the Great One." Uploaded By: Linda Ann
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
11 nights of accommodations
32 meals: 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
9 Expert-led lectures
14 Field trips


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