This program is a good overview of Alaska and it's beauty. Highly recommended.
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Activity note: Check-in from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00-5:00 p.m. After checking into your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the main lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.
Dinner: In the dining room at the River's Edge Resort in Fairbanks, we’ll have a buffet dinner with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Orientation. Just before dinner, the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Distances and durations of hikes may be affected by weather/local conditions. We will have evening presentations by local experts at the Denali Education Center. Topics will vary from natural history to mountaineering to living in the interior. Occasionally, presentations are part of a community offering, integrating us into the local culture. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; The drive is about 120 miles, approximately 2 1/2- 3 hours. Light town walking up to 2 miles; mostly paved, 1-4 steps possible, minimal elevation change.
Breakfast: At the River's Edge Resort, the breakfast buffet offers a variety of options each morning such as eggs, a breakfast meat, breads and/or cereal, coffee, tea, and water.
Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we'll board the motor coach and head to the Museum of the North for a deeper look into the history of Fairbanks and the Native people of Alaska. Enjoy a short walk to the Botanical Gardens before boarding the coach and heading south to Denali.
Lunch: Along the way, we'll stop at a local restaurant full of local fare and flare.
Afternoon: We'll arrive in Denali at the Denali Education Center (DEC), our home for the next four nights. After arrival, we’ll have a short orientation to DEC, its amenities, and the 10-acre campus. Snacks such as toast, fruit, and granola bars, as well as coffee, tea, and water are available at all times. Alcoholic beverages are not available for sale on campus but can be purchased at a nearby general store.
Dinner: Riverside Hall buffet. Meals at the Education Center strive to be varied and flavorful. Coffee, tea, and water area available at each meal.
Evening: We’ll gather with a member of the DEC year-round staff to learn about the seasonal trials and joys of life in Denali. Groceries, babies, outhouses — we'll hear about it all.
Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Driving 30 miles total, approximately 1 hour. Hiking; 2-miles on a maintained trail; approximately 3 hours total; uneven ground, rock steps, some rugged areas, no significant elevation change.
Breakfast: At Riverside Hall, we’ll enjoy a breakfast buffet with rotating choices such as eggs, hot and cold cereals, granola, and fresh fruit, plus coffee, tea, and water.
Morning: Boarding a bus, we’ll travel to Denali where we will get to know the landscape and history of Denali National Park with one of our field educators. Be sure to bring your camera on this wilderness walk along the Savage River Loop Trail, as this is a great spot to see caribou, Dall sheep, marmots, squirrels, and ptarmigan.
Lunch: Out in the field, we’ll have the packed lunches we made after breakfast featuring sandwich fixings, snack bars, and fresh fruit.
Afternoon: Returning to Denali’s Visitor Center, we’ll then take the shuttle buses from the Denali Visitor Center to the kennels at the park headquarters, about 1.5 miles from the Visitor Center, to meet the four-legged heroes of Denali and watch a mushing demonstration. Denali National Park is the only Park in the world that has a working sled dog kennel and the 30-minute Ranger presentation also includes the opportunity to pet and visit with Denali's most well-traveled four-legged rangers! Those who would rather spend this time exploring the Visitor Center are welcome to do so. Denali's main campus includes the renowned Denali Visitor Center, the Morino Grill restaurant, and Alaska Geographic bookstore. There will be time for independent exploration and our Group Leaders available to answer any questions. The Visitor Center features an impressive exhibit hall and regular showings of the park film, "Heartbeats of Denali," a 20-minute non-narrated film that shares visuals of the various seasons, landscapes, and wildlife of this beautiful place. We’ll then return to the Denali Education Center (DEC) campus.
Dinner: Riverside Hall buffet.
Evening: Evening presentation topics and locations will vary depending on local speaker availability. Presentation topics range from learning about living in Denali to predator-prey relationships to climbing the mountain. The schedule for evening presenters in Denali will be announced on the first day of the program.
Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving 20 miles one way, approximately 1/2 hour total. Walking 3 miles on a maintained trail, approximately 4 hours; shorter steep sections, roots, rocks, and we patches possible. Approximately 400 feet elevation change total.
Breakfast: Riverside Hall buffet.
Morning: In a classroom session on campus, one of our expert field educators will teach us about the sometimes surprising, always extreme conditions that shape life in Denali and define a subarctic ecosystem. In this 3-hour interactive session, we’ll learn how the complex geology of interior Alaska is connected to annual precipitation, why geographical location determines the adaptations of plants, and how the Native peoples survived for generations in one of the most formidable climates on Earth.
Lunch: Riverside Hall buffet
Afternoon: Next, we’ll set out to explore the world’s largest biome, the northern boreal forest, on an expert-led walk on one of Denali's maintained trails. Arriving to the trail head by bus, this forested trail is occasionally steep with 400 feet elevation change, affords beautiful views and an intimate look into the serenity and severity of Alaska’s boreal forest.
Dinner: Riverside Hall buffet.
Evening: Gathering together, we’ll settle in for a presentation given by a local speaker on a topic pertinent to the program theme.
Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Driving about 65 miles one way, approximately 8 hours total aboard, with rest stops every 1-1.5 hours. Walking up to 1-mile throughout the day; opportunities for more walking dependent on personal preference. Maintained trails are available around the Eielson Visitor Center. Trail length and difficulty vary significantly from less than 1 mile on easy, compact terrain, to longer hikes on more challenging terrain that can be uneven, rocky, and steep.
Breakfast: Riverside Hall buffet.
Morning: Boarding a shuttle bus, we’ll travel to the heart of Denali National Park on a day-long journey to the Eielson Visitor Center. Along the way, we’ll enjoy commentary about the park from our bus driver while we take in breathtaking views of the Alaska Range and its many peaks. Have your cameras ready as we might have a good chance to view Denali's wildlife, which may include caribou, grizzly bears, Dall sheep, moose, wolves, and more! Opportunities to stretch our legs will be available throughout the day; we will stop periodically to observe wildlife when sighted, for restroom breaks, and for photo opportunities.
Lunch: At Eielson Visitor Center, we’ll have sack lunches with a sandwich, snack bars, and fresh fruit.
Afternoon: At the Eielson Visitor Center, we’ll have time for independent exploration to take in the many interpretive displays including a 3-D model of Denali that can help one visualize the various climbing routes, both past and present. Rangers will also be on hand to answer any questions that you might have. A shuttle bus will then set out for the return trip to Denali Education Center. However, if you wish to spend some more time independently at and around Eielson Visitor Center, hiking Denali's pristine wilderness this is an option. The Group Leader can offer information on how to return to the Denali Education Center for anyone interested in staying longer and hiking independently.
Dinner: Riverside Hall buffet.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Driving about 15 miles total; approximately 1/2 hour. Walking 3.5 miles on a maintained trail, approximately 4 hours; compact gravel, boardwalks, roots, rock, and stairs. About 250 feet of elevation change.
Breakfast: Riverside Hall buffet.
Morning: Denali is home to 39 of the most iconic mammal species and an impressive 169 bird species. We’ll join a Denali Education Center field educator in class in our Riverside Hall as they discuss the extraordinary adaptations that allow local wildlife to survive in Alaska’s extreme subarctic climate. During this educational program, we will get to examine several fur pelts, skulls, and hooves from these regional species as we learn about how they are surviving in the North.
Lunch: Riverside Hall buffet.
Afternoon: After traveling the short distance by bus to the trailhead, we’ll explore the rich and varied habitats of the area with one of our field educators along a 3.2-mile maintained park trail. Watch for evidence of wildlife as the trail winds through the forest- putting your newly gained wildlife knowledge to the test. We’ll return to the DEC upon completion of our hike.
Dinner: Riverside Hall buffet.
Evening: A local speaker will join us for an informative presentation.
Activity note: Choice 1: Hiking approximately 3 miles roundtrip; about 3 hours. Choice 2: Hiking up to 2 miles roundtrip; approximately 2 hours. Both are compact trails through the forest with exposed rocks, roots, and wet patches present throughout.
Breakfast: Riverside Hall buffet.
Morning: After the Group Leaders explain the two morning hike options we'll devide into hiking groups before boarding the bus for a short shuttle to the trail heads. Each hike will be led by one of our field educators who will explain the terrain and ecosystem as we travel through it. On the Triple Lakes Trail, we’ll take our time and climb the approximately 800 feet of elevation gain along the trail out to the second of the area's three lakes. Choice 2: Those who would like a more leisurely day may wish to join a field educator on Denali's Oxbow Trail, a 1.7 mile loop that meanders around a peninsula along the glacier-fed Nenana River.
Lunch: Riverside Hall Buffet
Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You may wish to take some time to rest and relax, explore the park independently, or pursue other activities at your own cost such as rafting, flight seeing, or visiting the kennels of a local Iditarod champion.
Dinner: Riverside Hall Buffet
Evening: We’ll gather in Riverside Hall to discuss the following day's journey south and what to expect in Seward. Enjoy the final night in Denali. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Driving 375 miles, approximately 9 hours total including stops.
Breakfast: Riverside Hall Buffet
Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll journey via motorcoach to the harbor town of Seward on the Kenai Peninsula, home of Kenai Fjords National Park. Dependent of weather and visibility along the way, we may get a glimpse of Mt. Denali as we pass through Denali State Park. We’ll stop at several places to stretch our legs and take photos of the magnificent views afforded in this beautiful landscape.
Lunch: We'll enjoy the sack lunches made earlier that morning at a stop along the way, or en route aboard the motor coach.
Afternoon: Upon our arrival, we'll check into our rooms with some time to relax and freshen up before dinner.
Dinner: At the inn, we’ll have a buffet dinner including coffee, tea, and water; other beverages available for purchase
Evening: We'll gather in our group meeting room to familiarize and acquaint ourselves with the differences between Seward and Denali and to go over the schedule for the upcoming days.
Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Driving about 25 miles total, approximately 1 hour. Walking and standing at SeaLife Center. Hiking 2-miles round trip, approximately 2.5 hours; moderately strenuous terrain, some steep inclines, rocky areas, and sloping terrain. There are some benches along the way to rest.
Breakfast: At the Breeze Inn, we’ll have a buffet breakfast with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.
Morning: After taking a shuttle bus to the SeaLife Center, we’ll have an expert-led behind-the-scenes exploration during which we’ll learn about the center’s marine wildlife research, rehabilitation projects, and life-support systems. We’ll also discover what it takes to care for seals, sea lions, octopus, seabirds, and 154 species of fish that are all housed at the SeaLife Center.
Lunch: At the Alaska SeaLife Center, we’ll have boxed lunches with coffee and water.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll travel by bus to Exit Glacier. As we get closer to Exit Glacier, be sure to watch for the date markers along the roadside; these markers indicate where the glacier’s terminus was located at that time! Once we arrive we’ll be joined by a ranger who will lead our interpretive walk to the edge of the glacier while teaching us about the ecosystem that surrounds this iconic icy behemoth. After our hike, we’ll return to the inn.
Dinner: On your own to sample the local fare. Seward is known for its fresh seafood caught daily and served in many of its delicious restaurants.This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Evening: We’ll regroup at the inn for a presentation by a Park Ranger on glaciers and glaciology.
Activity note: Short walk to the small boat harbor: less than a mile. Getting on/off a boat; riding approximately 7.5 hours.
Breakfast: Breeze Inn buffet.
Morning: After a short walk to the small boat harbor, we’ll board a catamaran style boat for a full-day, expert-led field trip into Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay. Throughout the day a Park Ranger will be aboard the boat to interpret what we are seeing and answer our questions. A great opportunity to spot wildlife, so be on the lookout as we travel through this strikingly beautiful habitat. We may be lucky enough to see whales, sea otters, Steller sea lions, harbor seals, puffins, eagles, and more. Along our route, we will also pass two active tidewater glaciers, the Holgate and the Aialik.
Lunch: Aboard the boat during our Kenai Fjords adventure, we will have a buffet meal of regional favorites with coffee, tea, water, and non-alcoholic beverages included; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: We’ll continue our expert-led field trip aboard the boat in Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay. Upon our return to the dock, we’ll transfer back to the inn.
Dinner: At the inn, we’ll enjoy a tasty buffet dinner together with coffee, tea, and water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: After dinner, we'll discuss the following day's trip north to Anchorage. The rest of the evening is yours to do any final exploring of Seward.
Activity note: Check-out by 8:30 a.m. Getting on/off a motorcoach. Driving about 130 miles to Anchorage, approximately 3 hours. Expected arrival approximately 11:00 a.m. Town walking up to 2 miles; mostly paved, 1-4 steps and gentle inclines possible.
Breakfast: Breeze Inn buffet.
Morning: After checking out, we’ll depart Seward aboard a chartered motorcoach bound for Anchorage where we will check into our overnight accommodations, The Historic Anchorage Hotel.
Lunch: Lunch on your own in Downtown Anchorage. Enjoy an abundance of options within walking distance of the hotel.
Afternoon: After lunch, we'll meet up and walk to the Anchorage Museum. Enjoy a docent led tour to get your bearings, then take time to explore on your own! Afterward, we'll walk back to the Historic Anchorage Hotel and check into our rooms.
Dinner: Just another short walk from the hotel, we will share a farewell dinner at the 49th State Brewing Company. Coffee, tea, and water included with other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Back at the hotel, we’ll have a program wrap-up during which we’ll tell stories and share some of our favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends as we recount our explorations of two of Alaska's incredible national parks. The remainder of the evening is at leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.
Activity note: Check out by 10:00 a.m. Getting on/off a motorcoach. Driving approx 15 miles to the Anchorage Airport, approximately 20-30 minutes. Expected arrival 10:30 a.m. Scheduling outbound flights after 12:30 p.m. is advised.
Breakfast: Historic Anchorage Hotel Buffet
Morning: After checking out, we'll board a motorcoach bound for the Anchorage Airport. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!
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!
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!
AWESOME TRIP OF A LIFTIME. DROP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND GO!
This trip introduces some of Alaska's natural treasures in a compact trip which combines wilderness experience, learning and fun of a Road Scholar trip. Well organized and run. It was fun and worthwhile.
This program was exceptional from beginning to end with amazing opportunities to learn more about Alaska. I enjoyed both the scenery and the educational components. Thanks for a memorable trip!
Our trip to Denali and Kenai Fjords National Parks exceeded our expectations in every way. We can't wait to go on another Road Scholar trip.
My husband and I recently completed the Road Scholar tour, "The Best of Alaska's National Parks: From Denali to Kenai." This was our first trip with Road Scholar and we were absolutely delighted with our experience. Alaska is a beautiful state, and the Road Scholar staff, educational personnel, and tour guides brought it to life for us. We learned so much! And, we really enjoyed spending a week and a half with our fellow participants. We definitely intend to take more tours with Road Scholar!
I think the website does a really good job of giving you a fairly complete description of the programs and is easy to use.
Alaska was beautiful and this trip was a wonderful way to see its highlights. I highly recommend it.
This was my first Road Scholar program and I must say I am thoroughly impressed! The trip was well-run, we had excellent experts for our talks and the wildlife and scenery were unbelievable!!! Kudos to a great group of travelers who made this trip really awesome. Going to book Costa Rica next!
An outstanding program filled with variety of experiences in a totally amazing place. Loved every minute - even when pushed beyond my comfort zone. Staff was warm, attentive and well organized.
This was a truly outstanding trip in every way. Alaska itself is something that everybody should experience. But to make it even better, the Road Scholar and Denali Education Center staff were tremendous in not only their knowledge and presentation but also in their enthusiasm for teaching the rest of us. And the staff handling the food did an excellent, if not herculean effort to meet each of our individual dietary needs. This trip was first class in every way and very enjoyable.
This was my sixth RS trip and each one has been superb in its own way. Highlights this time included the wildlife viewing we had at Denali and Kenai and the excellent educational programs I had at Denali. The Denali Education Center staff are dedicated, passionate about their topics and attentive to their students' needs. Must mention the outstanding food service at the Denali Education Center. Didn't fully appreciate it until we re-located to the motel at Seward. There we had adequate lodging with standard diner-type food, more in line with typical RS accommodations. Alaska is a truly wild and beautiful place and I am thrilled to have seen and experienced its wonders and people.
This program was AMAZING! Our cabin and setting in Denali was beautiful! And the staff went out of their way to make your stay wonderful! If you want to see Alaska this is the program!
Highly recommend this trip. Six days in Denali gave us enough time to really enjoy this wonderful park. The Denali Education Center was great and the staff was excellent. The sealife and scenery around Seward was tremendous.
Alaska is such a large and varied place, and this trip covers two Parks with very different settings: Denali with its rivers, mountains, wooded trails, and Seward with Kenai Fiords along Resurrection Bay & beyond. I came away awed by the physical landscape (mountains, glaciers, rivers, sky, etc.) as well as by the wildlife and flora. The group leaders and guest speakers gave us further insight on the indigenous Alaskans, climbing Denali, climate change issues, political issues that particularly affect Alaskans, and much more. At the Denali Education Center some of the hikes were quite strenuous, although not difficult except for the elevations. Easier hikes were available with a guide from the Center too (watch for bears & moose anywhere!) The Seward experience was much less structured although plenty to do. The Sea Life Center & Kenai Fiords wildlife cruise were fabulous experiences. Ranger-led hike to Exit Glacier was amazing. Everyone on the trip was friendly & welcoming so that we could sit at any table & have nice conversations, learn from this very varied group of 28 multi-aged adults! In both settings, bus drivers were knowledgeable & gave tours as we drove from one place to another watching for wildlife... wonderful experiences!
My husband and I wanted to experience Alaska differently from the usual cruise ship trip. We were not disappointed! Our week at the beautiful Denali Education Center went by too quickly. Every day exceeded our expectations. The staff, guides and lecturers brought this remote and breathtakingly beautiful place to life for us in so many unique ways. We learned what extreme effort it takes to live here year round. Our days in Seward with the ever present sea life and the majesty of the glaciers in the Kenai Fjords was humbling to see. We fell in love with Alaska because of this trip and now truly know we must do all we can to preserve and protect this magnificent land.
This program is a phenomenal view of Denali National Park's environment, it's flora and fauna and generates a deep understanding of the natural forces impacting changes in the park, in Alaska, and in the world beyond.
Outstanding way to see Alaska including its geology, its climate, its wildlife, its native peoples, and its natural beauty. Haven't cruised so I cannot compare this experience to a cruising experience but I would recommend that the active individual consider strongly the Road Scholar approach of land based immersion into Denali National Park and Kenai National Park. As always with Road Scholar, the educational program lends a very strong foundation for the interpretation of the many and varied daily experiences.
This trip was a tale of two locations: Denali and Kenai. Denali was wonderful. We had excellent, enthusiastic, friendly, and knowledgeable guides. We had virtually home cooked food and reasonable accommodations. Great hikes and weather. Saw Denali almost every day and saw four of the Big Five beasts (no wolves). One problem throughout the trip was we were a group of 40, highly unusual for a RS trip. Simply too many people lining up for every thing. As you can imagine, buffet meals took a long, long time. We then traveled to Seward by bus to see the Kenai peninsula, a very scenic route. In Seward we stayed at the Breeze Inn which does not even make the AAA guide. Lousy food served out in the hallway due to the small size of our dining room. Twice we had to ask for coffee packets for our in-room coffee maker. Once the coffee pot was not even cleaned out. At our gala fare well dinner there was general consensus that the meatloaf was inedible and the gravy was so salty that we also gave that a miss. In Seward we had one guide who was a fount of knowledge, helpful, a truly gifted photographer, but very few people skills. Born and raised in Alaska, he told us nothing about living there. Compared to Denali, a single group leader herding 40 people. Rained most of the time (that's Alaska). Great Sea Life Center and Kenai boat tour. Lot's of folks got sick. Net net the Kenai portion of the program was a real downer compared to Denali.
I enjoy looking at other opportunities on the web site
Great trip! Well paced and interesting. Especially love Denali and the staff at the Denali Education Center. They're the best!
This Road Scholar program to Alaska is an absolute MUST DO! This program gives you the luxury of being in Denali for six days and Seward for three days all of which one needs to really enjoy both places thoroughly. The staff and program in both places were wonderfully flexible so that each participant received a custom-made agenda and a group expereince at the same time. The Denali Education Center is a wonderful place for its facility and staff. The programs, staff, excursions and rest stops were perfect.
Just back from two weeks in Alaska. Exactly what I'd hoped for. Flora, fauna, good folks, and great experiences. Trip is all as described.