Fairbanks, Arctic Circle, Chena Hot Springs, Delta Junction, Copper Valley, Wrangell St. Elias, Valdez, Anchorage
Day 1 Fairbanks
Start the day on a riverboat cruise aboard a sternwheeler. While enjoying the cruise, see a dog sledding presentation, a bush plane perform aerial stunts, and learn about life at an Athabascan Indian village. Afterwards do a gold tour at one of two mines and pan for gold. On the way back to town, stop by the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Visitor Center. Or be sure to visit the University of Alaska Museum of the North, one of the top 10 attractions in the state. Learn about our gold rush history, the dynamic aurora borealis, and the people that have made Alaska the diverse place it is today.
Day 2 Far North
An early start awaits you this morning for your adventure north to Alaska’s Arctic. Several companies offer tours along the famed Dalton Highway, the only highway in the U.S. to cross the mighty Yukon River and to connect the highway system to the Arctic Ocean. View the majestic Brooks Range, walk on spongy Arctic tundra, and keep your eyes peeled for caribou, bears, and other wildlife. You’ll return to Fairbanks with an incredible experience, and an official Arctic Circle Certificate!
Day 3 Chena Hot Springs
This morning, drive one hour to a local hot springs. Be sure to bring your swimsuit so you can enjoy a leisurely swim in the outdoor hot springs, where 40-below weather will feel warm. The Aurora Ice Museum is the largest year-round ice environment in the world. It is created from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow, all harvested at Chena Hot Springs. Climb an Ice Tower, curl up in a Polar Bear Bed, watch a game of life size chess, or pull up a stool at the Stoli Ice Bar and have a martini pour through a sculpted ice fish into your very own sculpted ice glass. After a hearty meal at an historic resort, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and/or the northern lights. Overnight in Chena.
Day 4 Delta Junction-Copper Valley
Depart Chena through Fairbanks and head south on the Richardson Highway and enjoy a spectacular drive to Rika's Roadhouse. Stop by for historical tours, good food and unique gifts including specialty furs. The drive continues until you reach the Copper River Valley. Relax at a lodge or fly into the largest National Park in the United States, Wrangell St. Elias National Park. It equals six Yellowstone’s with four major mountain ranges that include nine of the 16 highest peaks in the U.S. Take in this spectacular scenery with a flightseeing trip into McCarthy. Explore the historic mining town of Kennicott and take a tour of the old copper mill or a walk on a glacier. Overnight in McCarthy or Kennicott or return to Copper Center.
Day 5 Valdez
Continue south on the Richardson Highway to the seaside town of Valdez. En route, stop at Worthington Glacier. Valdez is known as “Little Switzerland” because of the dramatic mountains that surround it. It is also the gateway to Prince William Sound. Take a day boat cruise to Columbia Glacier, the second largest tidewater glacier in North America. Or book a full day or half day fishing trip. Guided rafting trips are also available through Keystone Canyon past towering waterfalls. Valdez also offers museums highlighting its history of the Gold Rush and the Good Friday Earthquake of 1964. Spend the night at one of the many B&B’s or hotels.
Day 6 Anchorage
Experience our rich culture and heritage by visiting the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center or the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum. Enjoy fine dining and shopping without having to pay a sales tax! You can also go flightseeing, take a day trip on a small boat cruise or explore the many trails Anchorage has to offer.