Take a yellow school bus, remodel it into an overland vehicle and bring together a small group of adventure travellers to explore the wilderness on this awesome Alaska Denali expedition.
Alaska, often called ‘The Last Frontier’ has been the crown jewel for adventure travellers in North America. There are many misconceptions of unbearable and impassable weather conditions but this couldn’t be further from the truth. During the summers in Alaska, you’ve got 18-20 hours of sunlight and average daytime temperatures between 58-77 F (14-25 C).
Alaska road trip
This adventure is focused on some of the more remote places in Alaska, such as the MacLaren River and Glacier along with Wrangell / St. Elias National Park traveling on dirt roads. The trips also offers optional activities including sea kayaking, ice climbing, glacier walks, rafting and scenic flights. View glaciers and icebergs near or from afar and trail blaze through the wilds and maybe even come face-to-face with a grizzly.
- Wilderness camping
- Boat and canoe trips on the Maclaren River
- Hikes in Denali National Park, St. Elias National Park and Valdez
- Optional activities including sea kayaking, ice climbing, glacier hikes or whitewater rafting
- Chance to see bears, eagles, sea lions and other Alaskan wildlife
- Cook your meals over an open camp fire
Why We Love This Adventure
- Chance to camp out in the Alaskan wilderness
- The unique converted school bus offers a really special road trip experience
- Explore some of the more remote parts of Alaska and hike the country's best national parks
This wonderful round trip beginning and ending in Anchorage takes in Denali National Park, the Maclaren River and the largest National Park of North America, Wrangell St Elias.
Travel Alaska's interior: Start in Anchorage heading north towards Denali National Park. Venture off on dirt roads along Denali Highway, bush camp along Maclaren River and make your way into the largest National Park of North America: Wrangell St Elias. Go ice climbing or hiking and end the trip with the option to kayak around ice bergs in Valdez.
Day 1: Anchorage
Welcome to the largest city of Alaska, most often thought of as the state's capital. Start off your vacation flying into stunning scenery overlooking the Chugach, Alaskan, Kenai, and Talkeetna mountain ranges. Although Mt. Denali is only visible 20% of the year, there's a chance you could even catch a glimpse. Anchorage is Alaska's most populated area yet it's shared with the likes of bears, moose, and wolves. After your flight into this urban wilderness, make your way to our accommodations for the 6 pm pre-departure meeting followed by a group meal. Take this evening to get to know your fellow travelers and guides
Day 2-4: Denali National Park
In the morning we head off to the amazing Denali National Park. Whether it's flora or fauna you came to see, this is the place to fulfill your hopes of seeing large and small wild animals living as they have for ages. We set up our campsite and the following two days you will have the opportunity to take a bus ride through the national park along its only road and hopefully spot bears, moose, caribou, or wolves. For those of you who are looking for a heart pounding and more strenuous adventure, you’ll have the opportunity for trailblazing throughout the park’s 6 million acres. No trip would be complete without adding the optional activity of flying over Denali National Park and around Mt. Denali (20,320 ft/6194 m.) In the evenings we will sit around the campfire, listening to the sounds of the night and share our adventures of the day.
Day 5-6: Maclaren
From Denali, we drive the lightly traveled Denali Highway. First opened in 1957, this dirt road was the first to access Denali National Park (then known as Mt. McKinley National Park.) Located in the Maclaren river valley, you traverse through high alpine country on the state’s second highest highway pass. Here lies the Maclaren River Lodge run by Alan and Susie, who are fantastic hosts that will take us on a jet boat ride up to a remote glacier camp. Now we’re out in the wilderness on our own, no mobile phone reception and no roads. Here we'll stay overnight exploring and camping out in the wilderness. The next day we'll take a canoe trip back down the river for our next night at this beautifully situated lodge. (one night bush camp/one night lodge)
Day 7-9: Wrangell St Elias National Park
Here we’ll visit the largest National Park in the United States and camp at the "End-of-the-Road” campground. Literally at the end of the McCarthy Road, these 60 miles of gravel road were built along the old Copper River and Northwestern railways. Most remnants left of this once thriving area were a part of the copper mines, but most people forget this was where the last great gold rush happened in Alaska. There are many optional activities like hiking, ice climbing, glacier walks, guided mill tours, rafting, and scenic flights around 16,000-foot peaks, 25-mile long glaciers and massive icefalls. So, days 16 and 17 are left for you to decide what to do: Take the optional historical tour, hike on your own in the beautiful surroundings or try some crazy outdoor stuff like ice climbing, guided glacier hikes, or whitewater rafting. (bush camp)
Day 10-11: Valdez
Valdez is the terminus of the 800-mile trans-Alaskan pipeline that begins at Prudhoe Bay. Valdez is an important gateway to the interior of Alaska. Valdez was brought to the forefront of national media March 1989. The Exxon Valdez ran aground causing an 11-million gallon oil spill. For many years, flora and fauna were devastated by this environmental catastrophe. Thankfully, order has been mostly restored and the Chugach Mountains set a gorgeous backdrop to this quaint little town. The next day is focused on optional activities. Highly recommended is the Columbia Glacier Sea Kayaking or the Lulu Belle Wildlife Cruise for their beautiful scenery, mammoth icebergs and possibility of spotting all kinds of wildlife.
One of the days we will venture out and see if we can find some bears, eagles or sea lions feeding on salmon. Valdez is well known for bears to come to the local salmon fish hatchery and the surrounding creeks.
Day 12: Return to Anchorage
Unfortunately we have to turn our back on you and leave you to your own devices. But not before we crossed Thompson Pass with stunning views on Worthington Glacier. Our lunch stop will be at Matanuska Glacier before returning to Anchorage in the late afternoon.
- 12-day tour in overland vehicle
- Accommodations outlined for nights in Hostel/Campsites
- All meals cooked off the truck (11xBreakfast, 10xLunch, 9xDinner)
- Denali National Park wildlife buses to Toklat River and Eielsen Visitor Center (2 days)
- Maclaren Lodge/Wilderness Glacier camp
- Boat and canoe trips Maclaren River
- Hikes in Denali NP, Wrangell/St. Elias NP and Valdez
- Admission to National Parks and Monuments
- Pre-departure meeting to welcome and provide you with a good understanding of the trip ahead
- Services of two trained/commercially certified leaders/drivers
- Fully equipped Overland vehicle
- High quality four person tents (sleeping only two), camp chairs and cooking equipment
- Information regarding places to be visited, history, flora and fauna
What's Not included
- Flight to and from Anchorage
- Airport Transfer
- ESTA-Fee/Visa Fee for USA
- Snacks and Drinks
- Optional activities
Trip Duration12 days
Start LocationAnchorage, Alaska
End LocationAnchorage, Alaska
Average Group Size4-16
Mainly camping with some hostels/rustic lodges
All meals cooked around the campsite are included. We can cater to different dietary requirements.
The converted US school bus provides ample space for everyone to stretch out along with providing at least 8 passengers tables for card playing or writing in their journals. The multitudes of windows are big and open easily to allow you to take pictures at any time from the best angles. The overland vehicle becomes a large part of the experience and even is considered by most as their “home”. This includes in detail:
- Viewing platform on top of vehicle for taking 360 Degree pictures of wildlife or landscape
- Wood rack to carry firewood for campfires
- Interior tables for at least 8 people to write journals or play cards during the ride
- Coolers for drinks and food
- Individual overhead lockers for personal belongings
- Overhead lights and speakers (to switch on and off individually)
- Individual seats (no benches) which are fitted with seatbelts
- Plenty of windows which are not tinted and open for maximum view and possibility to take photos at any time
This Trip is Suitable For
This trip is suitable for all nature and camping lovers. We have travellers joining us from all over the world between 18-75.
Dates & Availability
- 17 Jun 2018 – 28 Jun 2018
- 08 Jul 2018 – 19 Jul 2018
- 29 Jul 2018 – 09 Aug 2018
- 19 Aug 2018 – 30 Aug 2018
- 16 Jun 2019 – 27 Jun 2019
- 07 Jul 2019 – 18 Jul 2019
- 28 Jul 2019 – 08 Aug 2019
- 18 Aug 2019 – 29 Aug 2019
As a small company the owners also lead all of the trips themselves, as they absolutely love everything about overlanding.
Throughout the summers they bring together a small group of adventure travellers to explore the wilderness of Alaska, Canada, and Western America in an old school bus they remodeled and got back on the road.
The owners are a really passionate pair who aren’t interested in ticking boxes and rushing from campsite to campsite. Their amazing overland vehicle gives the group flexibility. If they find a beautiful place during the day and the weather is great they might decide for an extended lunch break and go for a short hike or just relax in the sun. If it is pouring down with rain they know where to find the visitor centre, a great cafe to hang out or the hidden local history museum.
Overlanding-style trips offer the right mixture of meeting lots of like-minded people, but having the freedom to make your own choices and being involved in the adventure: You can get the camp fire started yourself if you like to but you can also rely on your tour leaders organising a bunch of stuff which you don’t want to deal with on your holidays.
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