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Alaska

Passport to Southeast Alaska: By Hiking Boot, Kayak & Boat

Alaska is one-fifth the size of all Lower 48 states combined but has a population smaller than Rhode Island. Come hike, kayak, learn about and explore this idyllic place.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22225RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
4,949
Alaska

Passport to Southeast Alaska: By Hiking Boot, Kayak & Boat

Alaska is one-fifth the size of all Lower 48 states combined but has a population smaller than Rhode Island. Come hike, kayak, learn about and explore this idyllic place.
Length
10 days
Starts at
4,949
Length
10 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
4,949
Program No. 22225RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

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
Aug 19 - Aug 28, 2022
Starting at
4,949
Jun 2 - Jun 11, 2023
Starting at
6,299
Jun 16 - Jun 25, 2023
Starting at
6,349
Jul 7 - Jul 16, 2023
Starting at
6,399
Jul 21 - Jul 30, 2023
Starting at
6,399
Aug 18 - Aug 27, 2023
Starting at
6,349
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Aug 19 - Aug 28, 2022
Starting at
5,729
Jun 2 - Jun 11, 2023
Starting at
7,449
Jun 16 - Jun 25, 2023
Starting at
7,499
Jul 7 - Jul 16, 2023
Starting at
7,599
Jul 21 - Jul 30, 2023
Starting at
7,599
Aug 18 - Aug 27, 2023
Starting at
7,499

At a Glance

Southeast Alaska opens up to you on an extraordinary learning adventure in a land steeped in riveting lore, hardy culture and spirited days of up-close discovery by land and sea. Kayak in cold blue waters to one of Alaska’s most active feeding grounds for humpback whales. Hike in old-growth forest with views of towering mountains. Dine on native salmon. Be transformed in the wild outdoors and pure air of America’s 49th state.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Kayaking up to two hours at a time on mostly calm waters, hiking up to four miles over varied terrain over a period of two hours. Rafting on relatively flat waters.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Take a quiet float through a Bald Eagle Preserve to a Klukwan village to learn about the Tlingit culture.
  • Explore the beautiful wildness of Glacier Bay National Park by boat, on foot and by kayak!
  • Hike through the Tongass National Rainforest and watch out for whales, otters, schools of salmon, and eagles flying overhead as you kayak in the waters along the Pacific coastline.
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.
Guide to Marine Mammals of Alaska
by Kate Wynne
This book covers all 29 marine mammal species of Alaska. Each whale, porpoise, dolphin, seal, sea lion, walrus, sea otter, and polar bear is described and illustrated. Color photos and surface profile drawings show all Alaska marine mammals and compare similar species, and color range maps show distribution.
Alaska: A History of the 49th State
by Claus Naske and Herman Slotnik
Claus-M. Naske is retired as Professor of History at the University of Alaska. A longtime resident of the state, he is the author of many works on Alaska history.
Guide to the Birds of Alaska
by Robert Armstrong
This comprehensive guide provides the most current knowledge about the birds in Alaska.
All Robert Service Poetry
by Robert Service
Alaska's History: the People, Land and Events of the North Country
by Harry Ritter
This is a small, easily readable "digest" of Alaska's history. It is great for a quick overview and it is a good size for tucking into a suitcase or reading on a plane.
Field Guide to Alaskan Flowers
by Verna Pratt
With 350 color illustrations, it's slim enough to slip into your pocket.
Travels in Alaska
by John Muir
Take a trip to last century's Alaska through Muir's clean, easy-going, enthusiastic prose. He wrote the way he took pictures, with insight, attention, care and genuine feeling.
The Nature of Southeast Alaska
by Robert H. Armstrong, Rita M O'Clair & Richard Carstensen
Roadside Geology of Alaska
by Cathy Conner and Daniel O'Haire
Tlingit Tales: Potlatch and Totem Pole
by Lorie K. Harris
Legends of the Tlingit people.
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10 days
9 nights
25 meals
9 B 8 L 8 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Juneau, AK
D
Baranof Downtown Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Orientation: 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. This program will be led by the Group Leader and local experts unless specified otherwise. Transportation will vary each day between taxis, vans, small buses, or converted school buses. 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.

DAY
2
Explore Juneau, Hiking, Kayaking
Juneau, AK
B,L
Baranof Downtown Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle; minimal driving. Kayaking at a leisurely pace for approximately 2.5 hours in 2 person kayaks; walking for approximately 1 hour on dirt/sand/gravel paths. Walking up to 2.5 miles in the afternoon. Sturdy, waterproof boots and rain gear are highly recommended for kayaking. We also recommend bringing synthetic gloves, rain hat, and waterproof bag to store valuables and camera gear. Walking poles will be supplied if needed during the kayak trip.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning we’ll board our shuttle to meet our kayak outfitter and head to Auke Bay. From here, we’ll launch our double kayaks and begin our nature paddle. We'll take in the beautiful views of Auke Bay and keep our eyes peeled for wildlife. Following our kayak trip we’ll return to the beach, where we’ll enjoy lunch as a group.

Lunch: We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach.

Afternoon: We'll head to the Mendenhall Glacier to explore the area around the glacier’s base. Known as Sitaantaagu, meaning “the Glacier Behind the Town,” it is only 12 miles from downtown Juneau, allowing easy access to the 13-mile long glacier. Mendenhall Lake was created by melting ice and runoff from the glacier, flowing out through the Mendenhall River. We will meet with local experts who will lead us on a hike.

Dinner: 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: At leisure.

DAY
3
Glacier Gardens, Free Time, Flight to Gustavus
Gustavus, AK
B,L,D
Glacier Bay Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle; driving about 1/2 hour, 18 miles total. Flight time under 1/2 hour. Walking under 1 mile; hiking approximately 5 miles in length.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we’ll check out and store the luggage at our hotel. We’ll board a shuttle and make our way to Glacier Gardens where we’ll enjoy an expert led exploration of this pristine botanical garden. Along the way, we’ll learn about plants that are native to the Tongass National Forest and we’ll delight in a panoramic view of Juneau.

Lunch: We'll enjoy a picnic lunch at Glacier Gardens.

Afternoon: We'll enjoy some free time to explore Juneau on our own before we head to the airport for our short flight to Gustavus. Upon arrival we'll check into the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Glacier Bay National Park Boat Trip
Gustavus, AK
B,L,D
Glacier Bay Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off 150-passenger, high-speed catamaran with covered areas. Boat trip will take approximately 8 hours. Minimal walking.

Breakfast: At the lodge, we will enjoy an early buffet including a chef's specialty dish, eggs, meats, biscuits, potatoes, oatmeal, cereals, pastries, fruits, plus coffee and juice.

Morning: We'll board a heated, high-speed catamaran with a National Park Service ranger to spend the day on the waters of Glacier Bay to view tidewater glaciers, snow-capped mountains, whales, stellar sea lions, seabirds, seals, eagles, and possibly some bears along the shore. We'll travel to the face of the Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers, two of the many tidewater glaciers found in the National Park.

Lunch: Aboard the catamaran, we’ll enjoy a boxed meal including a sandwich, fruit, cookie, plus coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water.

Afternoon: We'll continue our exploration through the bay watching for calving glaciers, floating ice, and wildlife. Isn't that what Alaska is all about? After our stunning ride, we will return to shore and walk back to the lodge.

Dinner: Lodge plated meal.

Evening: At the lodge, we will meet our kayak instructors for tomorrow’s trip and receive a short orientation for our coming adventures.

DAY
5
Pleasant Island, Kayak Field Trip
Gustavus, AK
B,L,D
Glacier Bay Lodge

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle; driving under 1/2 hour, 10 miles total. Kayaking for 2.5 hours at a time, split in 2 alternating groups. Non-kayak boat for resting will accompany our kayaks. Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Lodge buffet.

Morning: This morning we’ll shuttle to Gustavus Beach, where we will be outfitted for our kayak field trip to Pleasant Island. Along our paddle to the island we’ll keep an eye out for porpoises, otters, seals, and other marine wildlife. As we approach the island it is common to see eagles perched in the trees along the shoreline or soaring overhead. On a clear day the island has a great view of the Fairweather Range. If timing permits we may explore the islands forest ecosystem which is home to a lush collection of mosses, ferns, mushrooms, and flowers. Compared to the young forest surrounding Gustavus and Bartlett Cove, the trees on pleasant island are much older and present a unique and beautiful setting to explore.

Lunch: En route to Gustavus, we will enjoy boxed lunches including sandwiches.

Afternoon: Those who kayaked in the morning will enjoy some independent time while the second group kayaks. Our Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Lodge plated meal.

Evening: At leisure. There will be another opportunity to attend a ranger-led lecture about Glacier Bay if we choose.

DAY
6
Free Time, Hike, Transfer to Juneau
Juneau, AK
B,L,D
Baranof Downtown Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle; driving under 1/2 hour total. Flight time under 1/2 hour. Hiking up to 2 miles over varied terrain.

Breakfast: Lodge buffet.

Morning: After our last few days full of adventure, take some time for rest and relaxation with a morning at leisure. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions for independent exploration around the lodge. We'll check out of the lodge this morning and store our luggage for our transfer in the afternoon.

Lunch: At the lodge, we will enjoy a plated meal including appetizer or salad and main course. Coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We'll get moving again with a beautiful hike led by our Group Leader. After our hike, we will transfer to the airport for our late afternoon return flight to Juneau. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our hotel and check in.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Fast Ferry to Haines, Alaska Indian Arts
Haines, AK
B,L,D
Hotel Halsingland

Activity note: Getting on/off ferry; riding for 3 hours. Walking up to 3 miles along even terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a buffet featuring a variety of hot and cold options.

Morning: We’ll transfer to the dock where we’ll board the fast ferry. We’ll enjoy educational commentary during the journey from Juneau to Haines, as well as make stops for wildlife viewing. We may be lucky enough to see eagles, whales, sea lions, and harbor seals. Along the way, we will also make a stop at the Eldred Rock Lighthouse, built in 1905 and the oldest original lighthouse in Alaska.

Lunch: On the ferry, we will enjoy salmon chowder along with sourdough bread, cookie, coffee, tea, water. Other snacks and beverages available for purchase on the ferry.

Afternoon: We’ll arrive in Haines and check in to our hotel. We’ll then explore the area at Fort William H. Seward with a local expert to learn about the history of the fort, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1978. It was authorized by President William McKinley in December 1898 to house infantry until it was closed in 1945. Currently, the fort houses an art colony. We will then walk to the nearby Alaska Indian Arts, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the preservation and continuation of traditional native craft and culture of the Northwest Coast Native Tribes. A local expert will lead as we observe totem poles and a carving studio. This will be followed by time on our own to explore the town. Our Group Leader will offer some suggestions.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: We'll depart for an evening scenic drive with an expert naturalist. We'll experience the incredible natural beauty and wildlife along the river.

DAY
8
Bald Eagle Preserve, Klukwan Village, Afternoon Hike
Haines, AK
B,L,D
Hotel Halsingland

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle; driving about 1.5 hours total. Getting in/out of rafts; rafting 1.5 hours total. Hiking up to 4 miles on mostly flat, groomed paths.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy an early plated breakfast at the hotel including eggs, breakfast meats, English muffin, fruit, coffee, juice, water.

Morning: Our expert naturalists will give a safety briefing at the hotel. We will then board our 16-foot oar rafts and heading out on the Chilkat River. We will be joined by a naturalist, who will discuss topics like local ecology, the history of Haines, and more. From the Alaska Department of Natural Resources: “The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve was created by the State of Alaska in June of 1982 to protect the world’s largest concentration of Bald Eagles and their critical habitat.” The preserve consists of 48,000 acres of river bottomland formed by the intersection of three rivers and is home to Klukwan, the mother village of the Tlingit Nation. After our float, we will pull out at the site of a Klukwan village, where elders will provide a presentation about Tlingit culture and history. We will view the historical collection of the Whale House Clan. They will go on a walkthrough of the Traditional Knowledge Camp, where we will learn about adze carving for tribal canoes and smoking salmon. We’ll then listen to historical storytelling presentations We will then return to the hotel by shuttle.

Lunch: At the hotel, we will have boxed lunches with a pre-selected sandwich.

Afternoon: Our expert naturalists for today's adventure will meet us at the hotel and lead us on a hike through the rainforest, over boardwalks, bridges and creeks to Battery Point. Full of wildflowers in the early summer, it is bordered by the Chilkat River with views of the snowcapped mountains and Lynn Canal. We will then return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel, we'll enjoy a plated meal.

Evening: At leisure to rest and relax or take a walk through town.

DAY
9
Fast Ferry to Juneau, Mount Roberts Tramway
Juneau, AK
B,L,D
Baranof Downtown Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off ferry; riding 3 hours. Hiking on groomed trails. Distance based on personal preference.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we'll check out of the hotel and store our luggage. We'll then go on a guided exploration of Haines.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Following lunch we'll transfer to the dock for our fast ferry ride to Juneau. Upon our arrival we'll transfer to the hotel and check in. Enjoy some down time to rest before dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We'll have a program wrap up sharing our favorite memories with our fellow Road Scholars. Take the rest of the evening to relax and prepare for your departure the next day.

DAY
10
Program Concludes
Juneau, AK
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: 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 another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.