Adventure touring in Alaska

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of September 17-23, 1998
Late season leaf peeping
Adventure touring in Alaska
Extreme adventures for the holidays

Adventure touring in Alaska

By Amy Marr

Question: Can you help me find an adventure tour in Alaska next summer? Although I’m in my 50s, I prefer to be involved in my travel, so don’t recommend a cruise. I enjoy hiking, canoeing, fishing, and camping and would like to include birdwatching and wildlife viewing. A floatplane trip would be nice, and seeing the coast and interior. I’ve got two weeks to spend. Thanks.

Janice Pleasant
Arlington, Virginia

Adventure Adviser: If you like the idea of doing just one trip, and have plenty of money to burn, California-based Mountain Travel Sobek has several enticing offerings There’s a nine-day rafting and camping trip (one hotel night) on the Tatshenshini River ($2870 without airfare), or a 10-day Alaska Wildland Safari ($3790). Sobek’s Inside Passage Adventure ($1840, six days) includes kayaking, hiking and whale watching in protected waterways. Call 1-888-MTSOBEK for a catalog.

You could also piece together a few shorter adventures to cover your range of interests. For starters, I‘d call the Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association (907-463-3038). This non-profit organization acts as a liaison for more than 200 companies involved in ecotourism and adventure travel. You might also order the Division of Tourism’s Vacation Planner (800-762-5275), which is organized by region and has information on lodging, transportation, activities and guide services. During the planning process be sure to check out Alcansee, the official search engine for Alaska and Canada.

For an excellent resource, turn to the June issue of Outside (here online), which is full of information on lots of Alaskan adventures, including the following. For a guided trip into the backcountry of Denali, call Alaska Mountaineering School in Talkeetna (907-733-1016). Treks average $60-$100 per person per day, depending on the length. Or how about kayaking in Wood-Tikchik State Park? Despite its relative anonymity outside the state, Wood-Tikchik is actually America’s largest state park. Filled with wildlife and dominated by lakes, the park is as pristine as it gets. Accessing this wilderness is a bit tricky. You’ll need to take a floatplane from Dillingham (350 miles from Anchorage) to Lake Kulik, an entry point to the six-lake Wood River chain. To arrange a guided trip in these parts, call Tikchik State Park Tours (888-345-2445) for details; five-day trips run upward of $1,700 per person and include airfare from Anchorage. For mountaineering in the Brooks — the world’s northernmost set of mountains — check in with is Nova Adventures out of Chikaloon (800-765-5753).You can arrange a raft trip in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park via River Wrangellers (888-822-3967) or Nova Adventures). As for fishing, I’d suggest trying your cast at El Noo Taat Denh, one of the world’s greatest fishing holes. Call Yukon River Tours in Stevens Village (907-452-7162) for details.

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