PRIVATE Alaska: From Fairbanks to Anchorage

Destination: South Central Alaska

| Activities: Hiking, Whitewater Rafting, Wildlife

PRIVATE TRIP: Join us in a journey from Alaska's Golden Heart city, Fairbanks, to its largest, Anchorage, along the historic Parks Highway. Along the way, we'll soak in therapeutic hot springs, hike through boreal forests and over alpine tundra, raft a white-water river, and explore unique Alaska treasures, not least of which is Denali National Park and its abundant wildlife. During our week we will discover the wide diversity of Alaska's natural beauty and meet a few of its characters along the way. (NOTE: This is a PRIVATE TRIP and not open to the public)


  • Hiking diverse trails in Alaska's interior, to passes, overlooks, lakes, and panoramic views
  • Visiting spectacular Denali National Park and quirky Talkeetna
  • Seeing an amazing diversity of wildlife, including moose, bear, Dall sheep, caribou, and bald eagles
  • Soaking in famous Chena Hot Springs


  • 1 - 3 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • 8 nights double occupancy lodging
  • All activities on the itinerary unless specified as optional at additional cost
  • All meals from dinner the first day through breakfast the last with the exception of one lunch and one dinner as specified on the itinerary
  • All transport within Alaska
  • National Park Entrance fees

Not included: Airfare to Fairbanks or from Anchorage, alcoholic beverages, one dinner and one lunch, guide gratuities, optional activities, travel insurance, items of a personal nature.

Trip Documents

Trip Intro

This trip is designed for women in good health and physical condition who want to see Alaska. We have designed the itinerary to minimize time in the van and all activities are moderate. The rating for this trip is a 3. While the activities are moderate, some of the hiking is on uneven footing and with significant changes in elevation. The trip requires some aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, cross country skiing or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. Additional endurance exercise may be suggested. There are typically 4 to 6 hours of daily activity. Rating: 1 2 [3] 4 5.

On this trip we combine hiking, whitewater rafting, and searching for wildlife that, in Alaska, is distinctly wild. We will combine time in Denali National Park, the best known of Alaska's National Parks, with excursions into some of its hidden corners.

With the exception of the last night at Hampton Inn, we will be staying at several different family run lodges and hotels in double occupancy rooms with ensuite bathrooms. All are clean, comfortable, and will give you a feel for the real Alaska.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Our trip begins when we meet in the Golden Heart of Alaska, Fairbanks. Plan to arrive at the Fairbanks airport in time to meet the group at 3:00PM. We'll drive together to Chena Hot Springs in plenty of time to enjoy a rejuvenating soak before our trip orientation and dinner. Although the sun technically sets for about three hours on this day, it never really gets dark. You may find yourself soaking and exploring long past your bedtime! (D)
We'll spend the day in the vicinity of Chena Hot Springs, so there will be ample opportunity to enjoy the heat before breakfast and after we hike. We'll earn our picnic lunch by hiking up to explore the rugged beauty of the granite tors on Angel Rocks Trail. If you still have energy at the end of the day, there may be time to go for a horse or ATV ride at the hot springs. Hiking distance: 4 miles. (B, L, D)
After a final soak in the hot springs and a hearty breakfast, we'll continue our adventure by driving to Denali National Park. Along the way we'll travel through a variety of Alaska's ecological biomes, and cross the mighty Nenana and Tanana Rivers. Keep your eyes open: moose, bears, beavers and more are residents of this area, so hopefully we'll get lucky and see them all. We'll picnic along the way, and arrive at our Denali home in time to hike the Triple Lakes Loop, explore the local flora and fauna, and capture some amazing views. Hiking distance: approximately 5 miles. Driving time total: approximately 4 hours. (B, L, D)
Today we'll have more time to explore the wonders of Denali National Park. The park Visitor Center and Murie Science Center can teach us a great deal about the area's history, geology, plants, and animals. Once we've educated ourselves, we'll continue our explorations by hiking up Mount Healy for lunch and, hopefully, views of Denali, The Great One. Hiking distance: 5.5 miles, 1,700 ft. elevation gain. (B, L, D)
We'll have this morning free to pursue our own explorations of Denali. Options include flight seeing, ATV adventures, visiting with sled dogs, local hikes, and much more! After lunch (on your own), we'll meet back at our cabins to go rafting on the Nenana River. On this splash tour, everyone paddles the boat down a scenic 11 mile stretch. Rafting here is loads of fun with class II and III rapids. There's always a chance of seeing bears, moose, sheep, and caribou. Over dinner we can share tales of our chosen adventures of the day. (B, D)
For our final day in Denali, we'll venture fully into the park. There's only one road into this 6-million-acre park, and we'll traverse it with a certified naturalist driver who will tell us all about what we're seeing as we drive to the Eielson Visitors Center. In an effort to preserve the fragile ecosystem of Denali National Park and Preserve, the National Park Service has limited access on the Park Road for private vehicles so a bus tour is the best way to see it all! There will be many opportunities to take photos, and short stops along the way will allow us to stretch our legs. Driving time: 7 - 8 hours. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we'll bid farewell to Denali and head to the charming town of Talkeetna. This unique (even by Alaskan standards) community is home to festivities such as the annual Moose Dropping Festival (no moose are harmed) and the Bachelor Auction and Ball (presumably no bachelors are harmed). We'll settle for exploring town after a hike through the alpine tundra on Little Coal Creek Trail, and maybe another opportunity to glimpse Denali. Hiking time: approximately 3 hours. Driving time: approximately 3 hours. Dinner is on your own tonight, a great chance to check out the local cuisine. (B, L)
For the final full day of our trip, we'll drive to Anchorage. Before we get there, however, we'll have the opportunity to visit one of the Alaska's hidden jewels: Hatcher Pass. Home to a historic gold mine, Independence Mine, Hatcher Pass offers splendid opportunities for hiking in alpine tundra while gawking at rugged mountains and glacial erratics, lichen-covered boulders left behind when glaciers receded. We'll enjoy a picnic during our hike, and then continue our drive into Anchorage. We'll arrive in plenty of time for a shower before our farewell dinner. For those CHAMPS hikers who would like to check out The Far North Barn Quilt Trail, there will be time after dinner to swing by and ooh and aah at the visual art projects! (B, L, D)
Sadly, today is the day we have to say goodbye to Alaska. Our hotel has an airport shuttle so you can leave whenever you choose. Or stay a little longer on your own to soak up more of the midnight sun! (B)


(16 reviews)
4.7 Food
4.4 Lodging
4.6 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Nancy S.
10 months ago

This was a really great trip. I enjoyed all of the activities that we were involved in. Each hike was different. It was a great experience.

Peggy R.
11 months ago

Alaska was wonderful; a bucket list destination for me. The itinerary was perfect. The guides were very knowledgeable, understanding, and attentive to the needs of the participants.

Janice P.
11 months ago

The effort put forth by our guides to make this trip personal for each and every woman. I never felt just as a generic part of a group, but as a unique part of our wonderful group of women.

Antoinette K.
11 months ago

Connecting with someone I had hiked with before, meeting new folks and the variety of activities.

Susan R.
11 months ago

How spectacular Alaska was. The pictures don't do it justice, but the memories created will last a lifetime. The group of women I travelled with meshed wonderfully. And of course, every trip w/AGC is special because it puts me where i nature.

Laurie L.
11 months ago

Great travel partners and guides

Patricia D.
2 years ago

Kay S.
2 years ago

Just being in Alaska is enough of a highlight.

Melani E.
2 years ago

The scenery was outstanding. And the guides were perfect, as always.

Luise M.
2 years ago

I felt that the rating of a 2 for this trip was lowered because of others inability to keep up on the hikes. I had increased my workouts to make sure that I was fit enough to keep up and some of our hikes were slowed down and shortened -- and I found that very disappointing. One guide would also alert us if there was mud on the trail so we wouldn't slip! At times I felt like I was on a 'senior tour'.

Patricia D.
2 years ago

Erin L.
2 years ago

THis trip was extremely well planned and well paced. it had a great variety of activities. It was exactly as advertised. Also appreciated the 1/2 day where we could do our own thing. I did flight seeing which was awesome.

Lourdes P.
2 years ago

Gina W.
2 years ago

Mary F.
2 years ago

This was one of the best trips I have taken with AGC. Scout and Sherry did a fabulous job.

Terrie V.
2 years ago

Denali NP

  1. Where do we eat?

    Most of your meals will be at your lodging or at restaurants where you can order off the menu; the guides will prepare some of the meals. Most lunches will be packed lunches or picnic style.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    We can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-intolerant although we can not guarantee a completely gluten-free diet, if we know well in advance. If you're severely allergic or if you have other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register. If you're vegan, you may want to bring some additional protein bars.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we'll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.