Alaska: An Adventurous Luxury Holiday in the Wilderness

No matter where you go in Alaska, you can guarantee it will be jaw-droppingly scenic. Towering mountain ranges, plunging river canyons and expansive ice fields; everything here is on a grander scale. And that extends to the adventure too. We’ve laced up our hiking boots and donned our crampons to scour this adrenaline-packed state and have come out the other side to compile this – our Alaskan Grand Adventure. Spend nine nights getting to grips with America’s Last Frontier as you heli-hike through Boreal forests, scramble across glaciers, mush traditional dog sleds alongside an Iditarod champion and soar above snow-capped peaks. Complete with a dusting of isolated luxury lodges, this is a trip that really does have it all and we can guarantee you’ll fly home leaving no stone unturned.

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Sled with an Iditarod Champion

There could be no better place to start your Alaskan discovery than Talkeetna. The gateway to Alaska’s crown jewel, Denali National Park, settle in here in the company of an Alaskan Icon as you join former Iditarod champion, Dallas Seavey, to learn what it really takes to take a dog sled team to glory. Giving you some context for the adventure that lies ahead, we’ll also arrange a private heli-hiking tour. Lifting off from Boreal forest into the mountains above, you’ll feel transported as you soar over jaw-dropping scenery before stepping onto pristine Alpine tundra. A hiker’s paradise, inaccessible by any trail, you’ll have the enormity of the Alaskan backcountry at your fingertips as you come face to face with tremendous views of Denali and the surrounding Alaskan mountains.

Sleep in a Private Corner of Denali National Park

Tomorrow, six million acres of untamed wilderness, home to spectacular tundra, forests and glaciers – not to mention North America’s highest peak, Denali – awaits. Tucked away on a remote precipice accessible only by helicopter, you’ll spend the next three nights waking up to panoramic views from the intensely private Sheldon Chalet. In a place of such sheer enormity as this, it could be seen as too easy to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before. But when that person is pioneering pilot Don Sheldon, we’re ok with that. Sheldon Chalet remains family-run and the team here know Denali like no one else so join them on an unforgettable foray into this incredible region, exploring vast glaciers no one else in the park has access to.

Trams, Sleds & Crampons

Back down in the valley, you’re next stop is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and hanging glaciers. Equipped with their own aerial tramway, Hotel Alyeska takes you 2,300ft up the valley to give you breathtaking views of the Chugach Mountains and Glacier Valley – not to mention access to some of the best hiking trails around. So, alongside an expert guide, it’s off into the wilderness as you hike along the scenic ridgeline with incredible views of Turnagain Arm below. In Glacier Bowl, you’ll then hike high up on to the glacier snowfield, or the remnant rock covered glacier come late summer, and channel your inner pioneer.

The Port of Adventure

Today you’ll head off on a coastal adventure as you cruise the 127 scenic miles down to Seward. Stop off en route at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre, a preserve dedicated to safeguarding Alaskan wildlife, and see the many injured and orphaned bison, bears, eagles and more that call this place home. Once in Seward, you’ll have Alaska’s rugged coastlines at your fingertips as you head out to sea and into the Kenai Fjords National Park where 587,000 acres of glistening watery beauty awaits. Look out over the thousand-foot thick ice of Harding Icefield, the nesting seabirds of the cliffs, the playful porpoises in the water and the Wolverines that roam the shorelines. This is Alaskan coastal wilderness in all its glory. After a final night at Hotel Alyeska, you’ll head off to Anchorage tomorrow.

The Ultima Conclusion

A trip as epic as this deserves an epic conclusion – and that’s exactly what Ultima Thule delivers. Deep in the Alaskan wilderness of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, 100 miles from any road, steeped in luxury yet centred on adventure, it’s truly off-the-grid (they don’t even have a phone). There’s no such thing as an itinerary at Ultima Thule, it’s adventuring as it’s meant to be, pure and simple. Boasting their own fleet of light aircraft and some of the most passionate guides in the state, you can quite literally go wherever the wind takes you. Find yourselves exploring abandoned gold mines one day, kayaking and fishing for salmon the next. Trek through Boreal rainforests, hike across a mountain ridge, camp out in the wilderness – you can even enjoy a cheese and wine tasting on the Icefield. We can’t think of a better way to end this Alaskan Grand Adventure and, to be honest, we don’t want to.