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1012
Alaska

The Best of Alaska’s National Parks: From Denali to Kenai

Come explore the National Parks of Alaska with our experts. Discover unique wildlife, stunning landscapes, and ancient forests as you explore one of the most unspoiled regions on earth.
Rating (4.63)
Program No. 1012RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
4,899
Alaska

The Best of Alaska’s National Parks: From Denali to Kenai

Come explore the National Parks of Alaska with our experts. Discover unique wildlife, stunning landscapes, and ancient forests as you explore one of the most unspoiled regions on earth.
Length
11 days
Starts at
4,899
Program No. 1012 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jun 12 - Jun 22, 2021
Small group
Starting at
4,899
Jul 3 - Jul 13, 2021
Starting at
4,899
Jul 10 - Jul 20, 2021
Small group
Starting at
4,899
Jul 24 - Aug 3, 2021
Starting at
4,899
Aug 7 - Aug 17, 2021
Starting at
4,899
Aug 21 - Aug 31, 2021
Starting at
4,899
Sep 4 - Sep 14, 2021
Starting at
4,899
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jun 12 - Jun 22, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,949
Jul 3 - Jul 13, 2021
Starting at
5,949
Jul 10 - Jul 20, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,949
Jul 24 - Aug 3, 2021
Starting at
5,949
Aug 7 - Aug 17, 2021
Starting at
5,949
Aug 21 - Aug 31, 2021
Starting at
5,949
Sep 4 - Sep 14, 2021
Starting at
5,949

At a Glance

In the Alaskan Interior, grizzlies walk lowland rivers, caribou roams the tundra, Dall sheep cling to mountainsides and the golden eagle survey it all. To the south, the glaciers of the Kenai Peninsula carve the landscape as they have for eons. Join expert field educators in the boreal forest, on the tundra of Denali and along the bays of Kenai Fjords National Park.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to three miles on gravel and dirt trails. Elevation change on hikes ranges from 300 to 1,000 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Watch for grizzly bear, Dall sheep, moose and caribou on a journey into Denali National Park.
  • Stretch your legs and minds on hikes that cross alpine tundra, through boreal forest and past mountain lakes.
  • Explore Kenai Fjords National Park on a day-long journey by boat to view marine mammals, tidewater and alpine glaciers and teeming seabird rookeries.

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Coming Into the Country
by John McPhee
Coming into the Country is an unforgettable account of Alaska and Alaskans. It is a rich tapestry of vivid characters, observed landscapes, and descriptive narrative, in three principal segments that deal, respectively, with a total wilderness, with urban Alaska, and with life in the remoteness of the bush.
Alaska: History of the 49th State
by Claus M. Naske
The largest by far of the fifty states, Alaska is also the one of greatest mystery and diversity. Geological forces have made its more than half-million square miles, a region of breathtaking beauty and awesome contrasts. And, as Claus-M. Naska and Herman E. Slotnick shows in this revised and updated edition of their book, the history and development of Alaska’s peoples has matched the diversity of its landscapes and seascapes.
Arctic Dreams
by Barry Lopez
Based on Barry Lopez’s years spent traveling the Arctic regions in the company of Eskimo hunting parties and scientific expeditions alike, Arctic Dreams investigates the unique terrain of the human mind, thrown into relief against the vastness of the tundra and the frozen ocean. Eye-opening and profoundly moving, it is a magnificent appreciation of how wilderness challenges and inspires us.
Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
by Velma Wallis
Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine. Though these women have been known to complain more than contribute, they now must either survive on their own or die trying. In simple but vivid detail, Velma Wallis depicts a landscape and way of life that are at once merciless and starkly beautiful. In her old women, she has created two heroines of steely determination whose story of betrayal, friendship, community, and forgiveness "speaks straight to the heart with clarity, sweetness, and wisdom" (Ursula K. Le Guin)
Mount McKinley: The Pioneer Climbs
by Terris Moore
This book is a great resource for those interested in learning about Denali's mountaineering history and the early climbs on Mount McKinley- North America's highest peak.
Arctic Village
by Robert Marshall
This classic is an original work of literature by one of America's foremost conservationists and is an account of the people of the north, both Native and white, who give Alaska its special human flavor. First published over fifty years ago, the book is still a favorite among old-time Alaskans and, over the years, has prompted numerous readers to pack up and move to Alaska.
Wildflowers of Denali National Park
by Verna E. Pratt
This book is considered a classic plant ID guide for the Denali area and is a good "picture guide" to many of the flowering plants of central Alaska, more specifically the Denali National Park & Preserve area. It is arranged by color of the flower and then loosely by the family of plant.
Last New Land
by Wayne Mergler
Through time, tales both oral and written have immortalized America's last wilderness. Editor Wayne Mergler scoured Alaska's literary tradition for the best writing the state has to offer and did not come up empty-handed. From the Native legends of the Creation to Jack London's stirring stories of frontier survival, to John Haines's more contemporary reflections on homesteading. The Last New Land gathers a rich and comprehensive sampling of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry about the Northland.
Two in the Far North
by Margaret Murie
This enduring story of life, adventure, and love in Alaska was written by a woman who embraced the remote Alaskan wilderness and became one of its strongest advocates. In this moving testimonial to the preservation of the Arctic wilderness, Mardy Murie writes from her heart about growing up in Fairbanks, becoming the first woman graduate of the University of Alaska, and marrying noted biologist Olaus J. Murie. So begins her lifelong journey in Alaska and on to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where along with her husband and others, they founded The Wilderness Society. Mardy's work as one of the earliest female voices for the wilderness movement earned her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Wilderness of Denali
by Charles Sheldon
Originally published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1930, The Wilderness of Denali is a memoir of three years of hunting the area of Alaska surrounding Mt. McKinley. It is a classic of American adventure—a book written by a man who was willing to risk his life in pursuit of grizzly bears and the elusive mountain sheep. The account was written each night by campfire as Sheldon discovered what is still regarded as the most scenic wilderness in America.
Wilderness and the American Mind
by Roderick Nash
A classic study of America's changing attitudes toward wilderness since its initial publication in 1967. The Los Angeles Times has listed it among the one hundred most influential books published in the last quarter century, Outside Magazine has included it in a survey of "books that changed our world", and it has been called the "Book of Genesis for environmentalists".
9 Reviews
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4.63 Average
(5)

What the description does not tell you. The participants were wonderfully compatible, humorous, warm and outgoing. All devoted to the National Parks and the environment. The Denali Education Center with its comfortable cabins on the banks of the Nenana River is an idyllic place to stay and wander for six nights. The young staff and young rangers were impressive for their passion and dedication to the parks. The parks are in good hands. We were in the lucky 25-30% that see Mount Denali. The guided hikes were great for geology, fauna and flora. The catamaran trip into the Kenai Fjords allowed for more wildlife and up close glacier viewing.

(5)

The Alaska parks trip enabled me fulfill a lifelong ambition - visiting Alaska's interior. Every aspect of the trip fulfilled or exceeded my expectations. That included the air transportation RS arranged for me. I had a limitation due to a serious injury, and it ended up posing little or no problem, thanks in part to the staff.

(5)

Excellent combination of seeing, doing and learning.

(4)

Ok, this was the worst of the five Road Scholars we have done. The other four were International and had professional guides. The Denali Education Center ran this program. 1) we were offered a one time transfer to the airport at 10 am. 4 people out of 32 took it. What’s wrong with this picture? 2) The Breeze Inn was horrible. The elevator was broken. The food was beyond bad (the chicken bounced one night), and the carpet in our room was filthy. (The bottom of my feet were black). 3) Hikes were scheduled for 1:30 pm or 2 pm. Hey, older people do better in the morning. Most tours know this. 4). Lots of false information was passed on to us. Call us if you want details We have one more International Road Scholar. We’ll never do another domestic one.

(4)

This is an excellent program for those wanting a taste of the many faces of Alaska. We traveled from the interior to the coast, entranced by the landscapes and the animals in each environment. The speakers, hikes, and museums were wonderful. The Denali Education Center staff was enthusiastic and accommodating. It was a great experience!

(5)

Incredible and beyond wonderful. This trip has it all from hikes to education to relaxing in the beauty of Alaska. I can not say enough wonderful words about this trip.

(4)

The month of July is forest fire month. The smoke in Denali Park prevented us from seeing Mt. Denali and some of the beautiful landscapes.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Dinali National Park is like no other park. 6 million acres is astounding and affords an understanding of what the pioneer experience in America was like. Skip the cruise and take a hike!

(5)

The Best of Alaska’s National Parks is a fantastic program. We got to experience the best of two aspects of Alaska - the interior wilderness of Denali National Park and the sea coast of the Kenai Fjords National Park. The naturalist-led hikes are informative and really help you to appreciate the wonders of the area. The boat trip on Resurrection Bay and the Gulf of Alaska showed the glories of glaciers and the animals living in and on the sea. The accommodations are very nice, particularly the Denali Education Center. There is a good balance between being in the outdoors, exploring interesting museums and listening to lectures. I really can’t say enough good things about this trip.






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