Day Seven: Girdwood
GIRDWOOD: This morning, you will depart on a “Guided Nature Hike”. The Winner Creek Trail, (part of the Historic Iditarod Trail), in the lush Rainforest of Girdwood is a wonderful hike and a memorable experience for everyone. A guided hike is different from hiking the trail on your own; the naturalist guides are knowledgeable, funny and will explain at least 3 things you have never heard before!!
Rainforest in Alaska? Passing through North America’s Northern most rainforest, the Winner Creek trail has gentle, graded, maintained sections with boardwalks as well as plenty of rugged, rooty sections of trail. This 5 mile “out and back” hike takes about 2-3 hours and includes rain gear (if necessary), a snack, natural interpretation, bear protection and a friendly guide. Trips start and finish from a Yurt at the Hotel Alyeska. Your naturalist guide will point out and discuss the flora and fauna of North America’s northern-most temperate rainforest. You may even see a moose or a bear!
GIRDWOOD UPGRADE: Glacier Dogsled Tour
This Alaskan adventure is hard to top! Take this exciting opportunity to learn about the dedicated dog sled teams of the Alaskan Huskies. Enjoy a spectacular helicopter ride into the majestic Chugach Mountains and onto Punch Bowl Glacier, 3200 feet above sea level. It is a giant snowfield consisting of 700ft of snow on top of 500ft of ice. Learn how the dogs are bred. Relax and enjoy the view as you ride on the sled around the glacier enjoying the scenic peaks and valleys surrounding you, see how the dogs are trained to pull the sled, and how they have this everlasting endurance, how they possess an inherent drive to run, and if you pull on the brakes it’s still hard to hold them back.Dog Sledding with Alaskan Huskies is such a large part of Alaskan life and history, the Iditarod Trail started out as a mail and supply route from the towns of Seward and Knik to the interior, and part of the Iditarod trail was used as a life saving highway for epidemic stricken Nome, where sled dogs were used to deliver Serum in 1925 to cure Diphtheria. It is now the famous “Last Great Race on Earth” where Dogs, Sleds and their Musher’s leave from Anchorage to Nome, each with a team of 12-16 Dogs on a journey of 1150 in 10-17 days.If you have never followed this race before, after experiencing this tour, I know you will be in awe of this great race and sport! UPGRADE: $499.00 PER PERSON
– PLEASE make sure your camera battery is full!
– Please dress in layers, expect temperatures on the glacier to be from 50°- 60°.
– Wear warm comfortable clothing, sturdy shoes, and sunglasses.
– We will provide you with a waterproof outer layer and Neos over boots.
GIRDWOOD UPGRADE TWO: Alpine Glacier Hike
From the upper mountain Glacier Express, you hike a scenic ridgeline with outstanding views of the 7 Glaciers in the Girdwood Valley. On the 45 minute hike to the glacier, you will make several photo & rest stops to learn about interesting local wildlife and history. In totality, you hike for 3-4 hours for a distance of 1 mile round trip with an 800 foot elevation gain. At the Glaciers’ edge you gear up with climbing harnesses, ropes and/or crampons and NEOS over-boots. All groups learn about glacier travel and will travel out onto the glacier itself. UPGRADE: $139.00 PER PERSON
This afternoon you’ll transfer from Girdwood to Anchorage International Airport. Flights should not depart prior to 5:00 PM.
As your adventure comes to a close, you will have gained memories that will last a lifetime. Once you have arrived in Anchorage, you can go to the airport or you can add a post-night hotel if you wish to stay in Anchorage for the evening and catch a flight the following day.