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 (4.67)
Program No. 1012RJ
11 days
Starts at
20 Reviews
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4.67 Average

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.


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.


Excellent combination of seeing, doing and learning.


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


This program is a good overview of Alaska and it's beauty. Highly recommended.


Of course the setting is spectacular, but the review will cover aspects controlled by RS. Starting the program at Denali proved a difficult location to reach. Next year it starts in Fairbanks, good! Program description accurate. I enjoyed the simplicity of the cabins on the Nenana River at the Denali Education Center. Meals were creative and quite good. Had a choice on hikes; a few took advantage of going out on their own. Seward was a great choice, not overrun with cruise ship passengers; able to take free shuttle around town. SeaLife center proved delightful. Breeze Inn not a good choice; food lousy. Two speakers cancelled, disappointing. Would have liked more speakers and a wider range of topics. Various coach drivers do not have to talk non-stop, let us enjoy that great scenery.


If you want to see Denali and Kenai Fjords NP's, but you don't want camp then this trip is for you. Accommodations are spare, but clean and comfy. Three meals a day particularly at the Denali Education Center were TOO MUCH for me, but the food in general well prepared and tasty. Highlights for me were the Denali Education Center lectures, the 4h bus trip into Denali NP to Ellison VC in which the bus driver was able to provide numerous animal sightings, grizzlies, and the Kenai Fjords cruise where in addition to spectacular glaciers we spotted harbor and stellar seals, puffins and a pod of "resident" Orcas heading to Resurrection Bay to feast on the Silver salmon spawning.


An amazing 11 days exploring Denali and Kenai Penisula! Denali Education Center did an outstanding job providing speakers, naturalists, hikes, activities and outstanding meals! Our cabins were very comfortable and convenient to all the activities in Denali Village. Hikes were perfect for our age group and the information imparted by the naturalists was timely and interesting. In Seward, the Breeze Inn was okay, but the location was perfect. Meals were so-so after being at D.E.C. The Sea Life Center was great, as was the hike to Exit Glacier with a Ranger. It was a pretty exhausting day, though, with a speaker that evening! Major Marine did an outstanding job of narrating our day and all it included! The glaciers were amazing, as well as seeing the super pod of Orca whales! A great way to end a wonderful and beautiful trip!

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Incredible!! I choose this trip for Katmai and was not disappointed. What an experience. How incredible to be in the same environment with the bears. We didn't get to do Valley of 100,000 Smokes because a storm that came through the day before and knocked down trees that closed the road. I'll just have to go back. Denali Education Center did a fabulous job of organizing the trip and providing Ellen as a guide. She was energetic, organized and knowledgeable. Loved the cabins, food, wifi was great, the library there was helpful - great touch, glad they had washer/dryer since this Road Scholar trip was only a portion of my larger Alaska trip. All of the background lectures were good. Presenters were all great. Sarah was especially good. I enjoyed the presentation on living year-round in Denali. I wish we could have gone by train to Anchorage or even Seward. I assume the times wouldn't have worked. The additional cost would not have been a concern for me considering the price I was already paying. I thought the Historic Anchorage Inn was a bit pretentious for our group. With the rustic accommodations the rest of the trip it just didn't fit in. It was nice - just extravagant - I assume it was the only thing available. All the other accommodations were perfect for what we were doing. All the food was good. This is the first time I didn't think we were given too much food on a Road Scholar trip. I only realized after I got home we didn't have a salmon bake. That would have been nice. The Kenai portion was covered well. I felt like I got a good overview of what is there and now I know I would like to spend some more time around Seward. Sorry we didn't have Homer on the schedule. Just a note about this group of Scholars. Traveling companions are a major part of a trip. This group was especially great. No stragglers, no pompous know-it-all, no one struggling with too much luggage, no complainers. Just great, interesting and interested people.


If you want a chance to really experience Alaska, I highly recommend you not take a cruise but go inland with this outstanding program.


I recommend this trip. We had great exposure to the beauty of Denali and Seward. There was nice variation in activities and ability to modify the program around some of our own interests. A wonderful warm and friendly group of participants and helpful staff.


We went on the early June trip to Denali. it was wonderful! the bungalows were very spartan but comfortable with lots of outlets. I would have liked more hiking than offered but one of our guides was exceptional. if you get Sara consider yourself lucky. Bethany was equally great as our group leader. Seward was lots of fun. wildlife galore. we lucked out and are part of the 30% club that gets to see Denali and saw almost all the big 5- just missed the wolves. great trip, lots of fun.


I thought this was a great trip.


Unfortunately, the trip was planned a week too early for the salmon run, so very few bears, and did not see any eating the salmon. Most of the accommodations were simple, but fine. Exception would be the Van Gilder Hotel in Seward, which was way below our standard for a clean room and comfortable bed. The animal views, Ranger tours, hiking were exceptional. Really enjoyed the voyage out of Seward to see glaciers and all types of birds and sea creatures!



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