TA-SD06 Alaska | Canada Self Drive Tour | Anchorage to Skagway

Alaska Self Drives: From Anchorage to Skagway | One Way Alaska Tour

Iditarod Iditarod Iditarod
Alaska and Yukon one way self drive tour on the Glacier Route provides an in depth view of Alaska and the Yukon Territory most diverse regions. It features most of the highlights and scenic wonders in the central Alaska region. From Anchorage you'll travel to Talkeetna where you take a flightseeing tour to the iceworld of Mt. McKinley. Continue to Denali National Park where you observe grizzly bears, caribou and a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat. Your journey continues north to Alaska's interior - Fairbanks with it's gold rush atmosphere and Chena Hot Springs. Now get to know the ocean region - Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords National Park. Travel onboard the ferry and visit magnificent Columbia Glacier - the largest tidewater glacier in Alaska. See glaciers calving and whales breaching during the Kenai Fjords wildlife and glacier cruise. You have time to try your luck fishing, go kayaking, dog sledding or fly with a helicopter to Godwin glacier.

Day 1: Anchorage

Upon arrival in Anchorage transfer to your hotel. Pick up your rental car and get ready for a Alaska vacation of a lifetime. Spend the rest of the day with sightseeing activities in and around Alaska's largest city: take a hike along the coastal trail with sweeping views of Mt. McKinley and Mt. Susitna aka: the "Sleeping Lady" - shop for Alaska Native Art, or spend some time at a museum. Try some fresh Alaska seafood (salmon, halibut and dungeness crab) for dinner in one of the many excellent restaurants around the hotel. Overnight: Anchorage

Day 2: Anchorage - Seward | Kenai Fjords National Park

Leave the city of Anchorage on the Seward Highway. Just after a few miles you may enjoy the sweeping views of Turnagain Arm and the Kenai and Chugach Mountain Range. Recognized for its scenic, natural, historical and recreational values, the 127-mile Seward Highway holds a triple designation: USDA Forest Service Scenic Byway, Alaska Scenic Byway, and All-American Road. The first 50 miles of the Seward Highway skirts the base of the Chugach Mountains and the shore of Turnagain Arm, where it's common to see beluga whales, Dall sheep, waterfalls and eagles. Travel Tips: (1) Look for bore tides, beluga whales and the effects of the 1964 9.2 magnitude earthquake along the road. Hundreds of spruce trees were killed when the ground dropped and the trees were standing in salt water. (2) Check out the picturesque town of Girdwood or pan for gold at Crow Creek Mine. (3) Drive to the historic mining town of Hope, a beautiful 18-mile side trip from Canyon Creek Bridge. (4) Summit Lake provides you with a taste of alpine Alaska where swans rest on their spring and fall migrations. The remainder of the drive courses through the mountains, offering dramatic views of wild Alaska. Upon arrival in Seward - a small fishing community on the shores of Resurrection Bay - you have plenty of time for a glacier hike on Exit Glacier, a salmon/halibut fishing trip or a visit at the Alaska SeaLife Center - the first and largest cold water marine search institute in the world. (Distance 130 Miles)  Overnight: Seward

Day 3: Seward | Kenai Fjords Cruise

Morning Kenai Fjords National Park cruise departure. Board our comfortable and stable tour boat with in/outside seating areas, multiple viewing decks and fog-free windows for your exciting glacier and wildlife day cruise into magnificent Aialik Bay with actively "calving" glaciers and a magnificent scenery. Covering 110-miles, the trip is narrated by a National Park Ranger, who is highly adept at spotting wildlife and pointing out the many spectacular sights. The fjords and rugged islands of Kenai Fjords National Park and the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge showcase the best of Alaska’s marine world in a compact package. Murres, kittiwakes, puffins and other seabirds perch and nest along cliff faces just above the swells. Sea otters float belly-up eating mussels and clams. Harbor seals haul out on icebergs off Aialik and Northwestern glaciers. Humpback whales spend the summers fattening on forage fish such as herring. Gray whales pass in April on their epic migration to the Arctic. Steller sea lions mate and raise pups on Chiswell Island. In early and late summer, pods of fish-eating resident killer whales roam the region in pursuit of salmon. After reaching the mighty Aialik Glacier guests witness "the calving" a process by which glaciers shed giant blocks and slabs of ancient ice. A delicious Alaska salmon and prime rib lunch is served buffet style with guaranteed reserved table seating in a heated cabin for every customer. Overnight: Seward

Day 4: Seward - Whittier - Prince William Sound | Ferry - Valdez

Depart Seward and drive to Whittier. Southcentral Alaska's Prince William Sound is an area famous for its scenery and its wildlife. Dotted with islands, this 70-mile-wide gulf extends 30 miles north and west from the Gulf of Alaska to the Kenai Peninsula. It is bounded to the southeast by Montague and Hinchinbrook islands, which form Hinchinbrook Entrance, the 10-mile-long water passage from the Gulf of Alaska to Prince William Sound. To the north: a rugged, glaciated coastline and the Chugach Mountains. (Distance 80 Miles)

Scenic cruise from Whittier to Valdez onboard the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry. Prince William Sound encompasses 3,800 miles of coastline, bounded to the east and north by the Chugach Mountains and to the west by the Kenai Peninsula. Commercially important for the fishing and oil industries, the sound is also prized for its abundance of marine and coastal life, its rain forest of Sitka spruce and western hemlock, and its glacier-studded landscape. The sound contains 150 glaciers including 17 tidewater glaciers, known for dramatically calving huge ice chunks into the sea. More than 220 species of birds, 30 species of land mammals, and at least a dozen marine mammal species are found in the region. Bald eagles are plentiful along treetops and shorelines. Among the estimated 200,000 seabirds that summer in the sound are marbled murrelets, black-legged kittiwakes, and glaucous-winged gulls. Resident marine mammals include humpback, sei, fin, minke, and killer whales as well as Steller sea lions, harbor seals, and sea otters, all of which reach some of their greatest numbers in Prince William Sound.  The main attraction of Prince William Sound is Columbia Glacier, one of the largest and most magnificent of the tide-water glaciers along the Alaska coast. Columbia Glacier is also the world's fastest moving glacier, retreating at a speed of 80 to 115 feet per day. It has receded more than 6 miles since 1982. The glacier is currently 34 miles in length, 3 miles wide and more than 3,000 feet thick in some places. Visitors to Prince William Sound see its tidewater terminus 6 miles away. How close you get to the glacier's face depends on iceberg production: the more icebergs, the less chance boats have to get close. The glacier was named by the Harriman Alaska expedition in 1899 for Columbia University in New York City.. Watch for Whales, Bald Eagles, Seals, Sea Lions and other marine wildlife. Overnight: Valdez

Day 5: Valdez - McCarthy & Kennicott

Valdez is the gateway to Prince William Sound and provides world-class salmon and halibut fishing as well as narrated cruise tours to the magnificent Columbia Glacier. Miners and supply packers founded the community of Valdez at the turn of the century. In 1899, a pack trail was opened from the town to the gold fields in the upper Yukon basin and became Alaska's first highway, the Richardson. It had several names as it was known first as the Eagle Trail, and later as Valdez-Fairbanks Wagon Road. Hard-hit by the 1964 earthquake, Valdez was left perched precariously on a ledge shaped perfectly for a future landslide. Rather than abandon their town, Valdez residents elected instead to simply move it - literally - four miles away. Leave Valdez on the Richardson Highway and stopover at Worthington Glacier. Take your time when you drive on the famous McCarthy Road deep into Wrangell / St. Elias National Park. Beyond Chitina, the 60-mile gravel road follows the abandoned Copper River and Northwest Railroad bed to the Kennicott River. Drive slowly, as traffic and weather may create ruts and washboard surfaces. In some places, old railroad ties may surface, along with their anchoring spikes, creating unexpected hazards. The road is narrow in places, and slower moving traffic is encouraged to allowing passing at road turnouts. Under normal summer conditions, most two-wheel drive vehicles can make the trip. In wet weather, the road often becomes muddy and slippery. Portions of the road may be subject to washouts after heavy rains. The road finally ends at footbridge across Kennicott River. From there it is about a 1/2 mile walk to the historic community of McCarthy and only a short transfer away from the Kennicott Copper Mines. (Distance 110 Miles) Overnight McCarthy / Kennicott

Day 6: McCarthy & Kennicott | Wrangell St. Elias National Park

Around 1908 across from the Kennicott Glacier, 4.5 miles up the mountain from McCarthy, copper mines and a camp were established. The mine and mining company were misspelled Kennecott, but the town, river and glacier are spelled Kennicott. The Copper River & Northwestern Railway carried its first car load of ore from Kennecott to Cordova in 1911. Remnants of that original railway can still be found in the area. No gambling or drinking were allowed in the company town of Kennicott, but not so in nearby McCarthy. Workers found McCarthy a pleasant change from the work in the copper mines. It was a boom town which catered to the needs of the miners. McCarthy had over 800 residents and provided a newspaper, stores, hotels, restaurants, saloons and of course, a red light district. Kennicott, the company town, soon had homes, a school, hospital, gym, tennis court and silent movie theater. From 1908 until its closure in 1938, $200 million in ore was extracted from Kennecott, making it the richest concentration of copper ore known in the world. I've been told the mill building is 14 stories tall. It's definitely an impressive sight. After the mines closed in 1938 both McCarthy and Kennicott became ghost towns. In the last few years Kennicott and McCarthy have come to life again offering visitors a glimpse of Alaska's history.Today you have the unique opportunity to go on a guided glacier hike on the Root Glacier. Overnight: McCarthy / Kennicott

Day 7: McCarthy & Kennicott - Tok

Born as a construction station on the highway, Tok's role in the world has never expanded much beyond being a stop on the road. With its location at the intersection of the Alaska Highway and the Glenn Highway to Anchorage and Prince William Sound, the town has built an economy of gas stations, gift stores, cafes, and hotels to serve highway travelers. It brags of being the coldest community in North America, a dubious distinction made possible by both the latitude and the distance from the moderating influence of the ocean. (Distance 200 Miles) Overnight: Tok

Day 8: Tok - Haines Junction | Kluane National Park

If you yearn for the wild beauty of an unspoiled Canadian landscape, Kluane National Park and Reserve is for you. Explore mountains, lakes, rivers and forests that have been home to Southern Tutchone people for thousands of years and discover the heart of their traditional culture and way of life. From scenic hiking on gentle trails to backcountry adventures in the mountain wilderness, a variety of activities await you. Kluane National Park and Reserve covers an area of 21,980 square kilometres. It is a land of precipitous, high mountains, immense icefields and lush valleys that yield a diverse array of plant and wildlife species and provides for a host of outdoor activities. The park is also home to Mount Logan with 5959 m or 19.545 ft - Canada's highest peak. (Distance 250 Miles) Overnight: Haines Junction

Day 9: Haines Junction - Haines

Haines, which includes the area known as Fort Wm. H. Seward, is situated at the upper end of the Inside Passage, 14 miles south of Skagway and 80 miles north of Juneau. Surrounded by snowcapped mountains, lush meadows and forests, the area is one of the most scenic in all of Alaska. Population 2800. Haines can be reached via the 159-mile Haines Highway branching from the Alaska Highway 100 miles north of Whitehorse at Haines Junction. The Haines highway was built in 1943 and is now one of Alaska's best and most scenic highways. The town is served by the Alaska Marine Highway System as well as via scheduled air and bus transportation. Across the waters of the Chilkat River is Pyramid Harbor and the start of the Dalton Trail — one of the routes to the gold fields of the Klondike. This trail was developed by the Chilkat Indians for the purpose of trading in the interior and was improved in the late 1880's by Jack Dalton. Travel Tips: The Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve can be found below Klukwan on the Chilkat River flats (mile 18 to 24 on the Haines Highway). This area is called the "Council Grounds" because of its large congregation of eagles. The 48,000 acre Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve which was established to protect and perpetuate the world's largest concentration of Bald Eagles and their critical habitat. Fort William H. Seward with its old officers' headquarters, barracks buildings and parade ground, has been designated as a National Historic Site. Sheldon Museum on the waterfront corner of Front and Main streets features a private collection of Indian artifacts and early-day Haines area relics that should not be missed. American Bald Eagle Foundation interpretive center explains how the bald eagle interacts with its environment. There are many exhibits including mounted eagles, mammals, fish and wildlife. Overnight: Haines

Day 10: Haines - Lynn Fjord Ferry - Skagway

1-hour ferry tour through the Lynn Fjord to Skagway. Sightseeing tour options: Days of 1898 Show - fun, music and song depict the legend of Soapy Smith - “ Alaska 's most notorious outlaw and con man” Professional troupe of actors will entertain you while portraying the final hours of Soapy's life. Jefferson R Smith, AKA ‘Soapy Smith', reigned over the town as well as being the leader of the underground world of Skagway. White Pass Rail Summit Tour - don't miss the opportunity to witness the incredible vistas and to learn about the Klondike Gold Rush. The rugged Coastal Mountains begin at sea level and rise to over 3,000 feet in just 14 miles. Overnight: Skagway

Day 11: Skagway

On July 17, 1898, the "Portland" steamed into Seattle with "a ton of gold" from the Klondike. These news electrified the world and sparked the most fantastic gold rush ever known. A few weeks later the first boats loaded with stampeder landed at Skagway and at the nearby town of Dyea were the infamous 33-mile-long Chilkoot Trail began. Thee 40-mile White Pass Trail originated at Skagway and paralleled the present-day route of the White Pass & Yukon Railroad. Although harder to climb, the Chilkoot Trail was favored because it was the shorter of the two trails into the Yukon Territory and to the Klondike goldfields. Today, Skagway is Alaska's northernmost stop on the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry system serving communities along the Inside Passage. It is also the home of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. Skagway has a historical district of about 100 buildings from the gold rush era. Travel Tip: Take a trip to nearby Dyea / Chilkoot Trail. Standing in the dense, silent coastal forest at the head of Taiya Inlet in the year 2002, it is almost impossible to imagine that 104 years ago this was the site of one of the most meteoric boom towns in North American history. From silence to a booming city and back again over the span of just a few months in 1897-1898. This area has been the home of Tlingits Indians for thousands of years, and the pass that would become famous as the Chilkoot Pass was a well-used trading route for them. The Tlingits traded with the people of the interior, and also acted as middlemen in trading between the Russians and the interior. The pass was off-limits for non-Tlingits until 1879, when US Navy Commander L.A. Beardsley was able to reach an agreement with the Tlingits which allowed white people across the pass. The importance of having this agreement in place when the Klondike Gold Rush started in 1897 cannot be overstated. Dyea reached its zenith in about May 1898, at which time the town had a population estimated at 5-8,000 people, served by 48 hotels, 47 restaurants, 39 saloons and 19 freighting companies. Competition between Dyea and neighbouring Skagway had been intense, but a single project turned the tide in Skagway's favour and led to the abandonment of Dyea. That event was the construction of the White Pass & Yukon Route railway. Overnight: Skagway

Day 12: Skagway | End of Tour

Return your rental car during the day. End of tour or individual tour extensions throughout the Yukon Territory, Glacier Bay National Park or connect with the Alaska Ferry System to Bellingham/Seattle.

Tour Includes

  • 11 Nights Superior OR First-Class Accommodation
  • Hotel and State Taxes
  • 11 Days Compact Rental Car
  • Unlimited Free Mileage
  • Rental Car Licensing Fees
  • State of Alaska Rental Car Taxes
  • City of Anchorage Rental Car Taxes
  • One Way Car Rental Fee
  • Ferry Transfer Whittier - Valdez
  • Ferry Transfer Haines - Skagway
  • National Park Fees
  • Kenai Fjords Glacier Cruise
  • Seward Harbor Tax
  • Sightseeing Information & Tour Documentation

Rates per Person in US $ from Anchorage or Skagway

Tour Number | TA-SD06 | Daily Departures
Single Double Triple Quad

May 01 - May 31 | Superior Hotels

June 01 - August 31 | Superior Hotels

September 01 - September 20 | Superior Hotels

 

$2949.00

$3640.00

$3120.00

 

$1659.00

$2030.00

$1740.00


$1279.00

$1535.00

$1359.00


$1069.00

$1270.00

$1139.00


Tour Number | TA-SD06 | Daily Departures
Single Double Triple Quad

May 01 - May 31 | First Class Hotels

June 01 - August 31 | First Class Hotels

September 01 - September 20 | First Class Hotels

$3160.00

$4060.00

$3440.00

$1745.00

$2199.00

$1865.00

$1299.00

$1625.00

$1409.00

$1109.00

$1359.00

$1199.00


Optional Sightseeing Tours

Rates in US$ / per person
Adult

Wrangell St. Elias National Park: Round-Trip Flight Chitina - McCarthy

Wrangell St. Elias National Park: Guided Root Glacier Hike ( 1/2 Day )

Skagway: One Way White Pass Railroad / Bus Transfer to Whitehorse

Skagway: White Pass & Yukon Railroad Summit Excursion (3 hrs)

Skagway: Helicopter Flightseeing & Glacier Dog Sledding (3 hrs)

$299.00

$70.00

$120.00

$115.00

$499.00


Tour Package | Rental Car Upgrades

Rental Car Category | Taxes + Unlimited Free Mileage Included
Upgrade Extra Day

Compact Car | Chevrolet Aveo or similar

Mid Size Car | Toyota Corolla or similar

Full Size Car | Chevrolet Malibu or similar

Mid Size SUV | Toyota Highlander or similar

Full Size SUV | Chevrolet Suburban or similar

Mini Van | Dodge Grand Caravan or similar

 

Included

$120.00

$180.00

$715.00

$1049.00

$715.00

$92.00

$99.00

$110.00

$180.00

$220.00

$180.00