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An Alaskan Adventure
The Russian discovery of Alaska in 1741 brought this very large land mass to the attention of the world, but certainly did not introduce settlers to the region. Native Americans had been living in the area for thousands of years. The administration and conquering of the territory was such a drain on the Russians that 100 years later they were working to convince the United States to buy the state.
That transaction was branded Seward’s Folly in 1867. The discovery of gold in Fairbanks, in 1896 changed all minds about the value of the state. There was such a stampede of gold seekers that General Wilds P. Richardson was put in charge of building a pack road from Valdez to Fairbanks to handle the Klondike traffic. After the gold rush ended, the US Army kept up the road to reach their posts in central Alaska. Even though the road was upgraded in the 1920s to automobile standards, it was not paved until 1957.
That road today is the Richardson Highway. Linking the state’s two largest cities, Anchorage and Fairbanks and Denali National Park.
Price per person includes:
Return flights UK to Anchorage
Car rental for duration of the tour
8 nights accommodation in sought after locations
A personalised road book with travel tips and day to day driving itinerary with local area information
Anchorage and Alaska Museum of History
Katmai National Monument
Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
Fairbanks, Denali National Park and Mount McKinley
Day 1 : Anchorage, Alaska
Even though the Russians are credited with settling and occupying Alaska for a hundred years before the territory was purchased by the United States, English explorer Captain James Cook is credited with first exploring and describing the Anchorage area in 1784.
It took nearly 50 years after the purchase for the United States to authorize funds for construction of the Alaska Railroad. In 1915, a tent city sprang up with nearly 2,000 would be entrepreneurs, workers, lumberjacks, and more. The name Anchorage came from a popular hardware and clothing store called The Anchorage, that was housed in an old dry-docked steamship named Berth. The city wasn’t incorporated until 1920.
The 1980s brought great prosperity and boom in the oil industry, soon supported and equalled by tourism and recreation, the largest industries in the state today.
Day 2 : Anchorage, Alaska
Distance: 126 miles
Plan to start your visit at the Log Cabin and Downtown Visitor Information Center. Nearby, explore the Anchorage Museum to learn the story of 10,000 years of Alaska history. Meet the Alaska natives who lived here first, the Russian settlers, European explorers and Americans of influence.
Your can explore more about the multitude of Alaska’s public lands at the Alaska Public Lands Information Center. The Alaska Museum of History introduces you to prehistoric Alaska, a collection of fossils and artifacts and information about Alaska’s unique geological, cultural and ecological history.
Day 3 : Seward, Alaska
Alaska is a huge territory with lots of scenic beauty. We consider this area, as you make your way to Homer, the best of the best.
Katmai National Monument was created in 1918 to preserve the famed Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a spectacular forty square mile, 100 to 700 foot deep ash flow deposited by Novarupta Volcano. A National Park & Preserve since 1980, today Katmai is still famous for volcanoes, but also for brown bears, pristine waterways with abundant fish, remote wilderness, and a rugged coastline.
Given it's remote location and notoriously bad weather, Aniakchak is one of the least visited units of the National Park System. A vibrant reminder of Alaska's location in the volcanically active Ring of Fire, the monument is home to an impressive six-mile wide, 2,500 ft. deep caldera formed during a massive eruption 3,500 years ago.
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve was created to protect scenic beauty (volcanoes, glaciers, wild rivers and waterfalls), populations of fish and wildlife, watersheds essential for red salmon, and the traditional lifestyle of local residents. Lake Clark's spectacular scenery provides a true wilderness experience for those who visit.
Day 4 : Seward, Alaska
Distance: 305 miles
A portion of your journey to Homer and back will be on the Seward Highway. Few roads in the United States can offer the diversity of scenic landscapes and unique natural features so concentrated in one area. This 127-mile road linking Anchorage and Seward passed through some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. The landscape varies from the muddy waters of the Turnagain Arm to the icy blue glaciers that hang almost to the sea.
At the far end of the peninsula, perched on Mount Ballyhoo in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, you’ll find that the concrete remains of the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area speak silently of a time of war. This magical place was the stage for two American tragedies. Here servicemen fought both the Japanese and the extreme weather, as hundreds of native Unangan people, interned a thousand miles away, longed to return to their island homes.
Day 5 : Glennallen, Alaska
Distance: 248 miles
As you travel towards Glennallen today, you’ll be taking the Glenn Highway, where geology, culture and scenery come together to create a majestic and rugged landscape. Among the mountains and seasons, the distinct Alaskan culture has been developing for centuries. The Native Alaskan culture was greatly altered by the arrival of Russian fur traders and later by the gold miners from the Lower 48. There are a variety of museums and historic places along the way that tell the story.
The name Glennallen comes from the combination of Major Edwin Glenn and Lt. Henry Allen, both leaders in the early explorations of the Copper River region. It was one of the few communities in the region that was not built on the site of a Native village.
Day 6 : Fairbanks, Alaska
Distance: 225 miles
Gold was discovered in Fairbanks in 1902 and lead to a gold rush of proportions equal to the California Gold Rush of 1849. Fairbanks grew as a centre attracting retailers and service providers to the miners, truckers and prospectors who kept the Alaska gold industry running for decades.
Day 7 : Denali National Park and Preserve
Distance: 340 miles
Likely the highlight of your trip will be the visit to Denali National Park, a dynamic glaciated landscape which supports a diversity of wildlife with grizzly bears, caribou, wolves, Dall sheep and moose.
Summer slopes are graced with birds and wildflowers. Visitors enjoy sightseeing, backpacking, mountaineering, and research opportunities. Whether climbing or admiring, the crowning jewel and North America’s highest peak is the awe inspiring 20,320 foot Mount McKinley.
Day 8 : Anchorage, Alaska
Enjoy one more day in Anchorage before departing for home.
Day 9 : Anchorage, Alaska
Your trip doesn't have to end here. Perhaps you may want to extend your stay and travel into Canada or fly down to the Lower 48 for a different taste of America.
Call the travel specialists at Bon Voyage to discuss your perfect Alaskan Adventure.