Aurora Borealis display, above the Endicott Mountains and Snow covered River, AlaskaGroup taking a winter walk on snow shoesAlso, called Mount McKinley, Denali cuts a majestic pose on a subzero winter day.Caribou in Interior AlaskaSoaking in Chena River Hot Springs, AlaskaBull Moose Kenai Alaska in WinterThis was taken outside of Fairbanks, Alaska during a strong Aurora storm in January 2016Kenai Peninsula in winter, Alaska

Alaska Snowshoe and Northern Lights Tour Southbound

Fairbanks to Anchorage

Trip Highlights

  • Northern Lights Viewing
  • Quiet Trails
  • Gorgeous Mountain Views
  • Wildlife Encounters
  • Views of Denali
  • Intimate Alaskan Lodges

Description

The springtime months in the lower 48 are a late winter wonderland in Alaska. The days are longer, the skies are clearer, the bears and mosquitos won’t emerge until summer, and the chances of seeing the northern lights are much much higher. It’s the perfect time to explore a snow-covered paradise. Many guests are surprised to find that there are plenty of moderate trails for snowshoeing in Alaska, and the winter weather can be quite mild, especially closer to Anchorage and the coast. We’ll snowshoe on trails during the day, and with a bit of good fortune watch the aurora borealis dance in the sky at night.

Join us for an adventure exploring a variety of Alaska’s landscapes, from the tundra of Alaska’s Interior to the deep forests and mountains of the coastal ranges. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) 7 days a week to learn more!

Important: this tour is also offered as a northbound option from Anchorage to Fairbanks, following the same itinerary in reverse. If the dates for this tour don’t fit your schedule, we recommend checking out the Alaska Snowshoe and Northern Lights Tour Northbound for additional departures.

Read more …
From
$4060 Per Person
$725 Single Supplement  

$725 Single Supplement

Unless otherwise requested, we will attempt to find you a roommate of the same gender. If you would like a single room, the single supplement will apply.

Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Inn-Based Hiking Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 2-6 Guests
Trip Length: 6 Days
Distance: 28MI / 45KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This tour features daily activities with moderate distances and elevation gains and losses. The difficulty of snowshoeing can be variable depending on snow conditions. The depth of the snow, and whether it’s dry, crusty, icy…etc. can all make the hikes more or less strenuous.

Hiking Distances:

Up to 5 miles

Backpack Weight:

8-12 lbs

Terrain:

Moderately Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

Up to 800 feet

Heights Exposure:

Light

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • Snowshoe and hike uphill or downhill with a 8-12 lb backpack for 4-6 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on moderately rugged terrain, potentially deep snow, and icy or crusty snow conditions
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 4

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Alaska winter adventure a solitude 4. You can expect to see a couple other groups of hikers per day.

If a trip does not reach the minimum number of guests, you may choose to transfer to another trip date or another trip, be refunded your payments in full, or you may have the choice to pay a supplemental fee to run the trip with fewer guests. We make the final determination for these trips 4-6 weeks before the departure date, and notify guests of changes and options immediately.

PRIVATE TRIPS

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

PRIVATE RATES FOR THIS TRIP

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 2
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
PDF Trip Itinerary Packet Book online
Or fill out a Reservation Request
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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Drive Time: 1.5 hours
  • Hiking Distance: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 500 feet

Our trip begins with a departure from Fairbanks and into the Chena River Valley, home of the Chena River Hot Springs. This state park is famous as a winter wonderland for both Alaskans and visitors from all over the world. During the day we will snowshoe through the tundra along frozen creek beds and get acquainted with a scene that most people picture when they think of Alaska. Situated in the heart of the ‘Aurora Oval’, it is where people come from across the globe to see the northern lights in their prime. We’ll enjoy a soak in the hot springs after our snowshoe adventure,  and then – if conditions look good – after dinner we’ll go outside and find a quiet space to watch the northern lights dance in the night sky.

Day 2

  • Drive Time: 6 hours
  • Hiking Distance: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 700ft

Today we depart from the heart of Alaska’s Interior and embark on a journey south through the Alaska Range, keeping an eye out for herds of caribou along the way. Stopping in Denali National Park for the day, we’ll trek up Mount Healy to get a view of Denali towering in the distance. If visibility is poor or the weather is challenging, we’ll stick to lower trails with better protection in the trees and explore around the quaint park village that looks entirely different in winter than it does during summer. After leaving the park, we’ll make our way south to Talkeetna where our lodge sits nestled on a hillside facing Denali. We’ll settle into our rooms, which we’ll enjoy for two nights, and meet for dinner. Tonight offers us another chance to venture outside for a potential glimpse of the northern lights.

Day 3

  • Drive Time: 2 hours
  • Hiking Distance: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 800 feet

This morning we’ll watch the sun rise and shine its first light upon Denali and the Alaska Range in the distance, as we prepare for a hike in the nearby Denali State Park. We’ll strap on our snowshoes and make our way up to Curry Ridge, nestled between the Talkeetna Range and Alaska Range and take in views of some of the largest mountains on the planet. In the evening we’ll return to Talkeetna and the banks of the Susitna river to enjoy a warm dinner, warm drinks, and hopefully another night with chance to view the incredible lights.

Day 4

  • Drive Time: 2  hours
  • Hiking Distance: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 500 feet

Making our way further south in the Talkeetna Range, we depart the town of Talkeetna to discover the snowsports paradise that is Hatcher Pass. Nestled in mountains buried by blankets of snow, Hatcher Pass will feel like the remote alpine snowcapped peaks of the Alps or Himalayas. But, at only 3,000 feet and so close to the coast, you will be surprised with mild winter weather conditions that have Anchorage locals referring to the pass as their best kept secret. We’ll snowshoe out towards Glacier Pass and Reed Lakes for breathtaking mountain views, then get settled into our lodge for the evening just up the hill from our trailhead.

Day 5

  • Drive Time: Minimal
  • Hiking Distance: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 700 feet

Today we emerge from our cozy little A-frame cabins with views of Murphy Ridge towering above the Independence Mine historic site. This will be our first destination of the day, hitting the trail from the front steps of the lodge. It’s an easy-going hike on a road buried in snow that is now a groomed ski trail for the winter, and we’ll explore the buried structures of the Independence Mine that made Hatcher Pass an important part of Alaska’s mining industry in its early days. In the afternoon, we’ll go for a longer hike up the Gold Mint Trail along the headwaters of the Little Susitna River. This evening back at the lodge we will celebrate our final evening of an incredible winter adventure, and hope the auroras make an appearance to bid us farewell too.

Day 6

  • Drive Time: 2 hours
  • Hiking Distance: 3.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 400ft

Leaving Hatcher Pass and the Talkeetna Mountains, our final day takes us into Chugach State Park – one of America’s largest state parks. We’ll enjoy one last snowshoe hike from the Eagle River nature center to enjoy the dense forests of south-central Alaska. At only a few hundred feet above sea level, the scenery will look a bit different as we’re surrounded by cottonwoods and a greater variety of trees than the forests of the tundra that we’ve become familiar with this week. There is a greater opportunity to spot more variety of wildlife in this valley, as this area is home to many moose, lynx, fox, eagles, owls and even wolves. After hiking we’ll depart for Anchorage and say our goodbyes as our winter Alaskan adventure has come to an end.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • 5 nights of double occupancy lodging (single occupancy requires an additional single supplement)
  • Top-of-the-line daypack, snowshoes and trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • Transportation from your hotel in Fairbanks and ending Anchorage
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • Mandatory 5% national park fee that passes through directly to the national parks
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

We provide all your meals from breakfast the first day through lunch the last day. Your guide will prepare breakfasts and lunches with a variety of hot and cold meals that are appropriate for the day’s activities. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we’re more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. For dinners, we’ll visit local restaurants you’re sure to enjoy!

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Snowshoes
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet

You will meet your guide and group at 6PM at the Fairbanks Bridgewater Hotel the evening before your trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days in advance to coordinate the rendezvous and answer any last minute questions you have.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Travel to Fairbanks

Fairbanks International Airport and its connecting flights from many major US cities make Fairbanks very accessible. The major airlines that fly to Fairbanks are Delta, United, American, Alaska Airlines and Sun Country.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time during the pre-trip communication. Generally, you can expect it to be between 6 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel  in Anchorage on the final day no later than 5 PM.

Safety Precautions

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Winter Weather in Alaska

This trip covers a dramatic diversity of terrain from coastal areas to mountains and tundra to glaciers. The weather will be largely dependent on which ecosystem you’re at the moment hiking in, so it’s best to be prepared for a range of temperatures and conditions. Read below for average high and low temperatures in different parts of the Alaska:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month
Denali
Kenai
hi
low
Precip
hi
low
Precip
March
25°
.5 in
35°
16°
.64 in
April
40°
17°
.4 in
45°
27°
.59 in

Accommodations

Accommodations

Chena Hot Springs Resort

1 NIGHT

Enjoy one night in an eco-friendly resort in the Alaskan wilderness! What our guests love about this lodge are the geothermal hot springs lake, outdoor and indoor hot tubs, as well as heated indoor pools. This unique accommodation puts us right in the action and tops it off with amazing hot springs. (hot springs, heated pool, hot tubs, private bathrooms, showers, wifi)

Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge

2 NIGHTs

Perched on a ridge, looking down on the town of Talkeetna, the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge offers breathtaking views of the tallest peak in North America, Denali. This lodge features the highlights of Alaska, inside and outside. Outside, we’re right in the action where we can  explore Denali and beyond. Inside, guests enjoy a cozy fire in a classic rock fireplace, award-winning food, friendly service—and a great place to recuperate between hikes! (private bathrooms/showers, wifi)

Hatcher Pass Lodge

0-2 NIGHTS

Perched in a glacial-carved valley above treeline at 3,000 feet in the Talkeetna Mountains, this rustic lodge is in a perfect spot to experience the full spectrum of outdoor adventure in Alaska. We will enjoy individual, cozy, charmingly rustic cabins. The value of this accommodation is in its superb location and its perfect reflection of Alaskan culture. (dry cabins with marine style toilets, flush toilets and showers available in main lodge)

Moose walking by Mat-su Resort in Masilla, Alaska in the winter

Mat-Su Resort

Moose walking by Mat-su Resort in Masilla, Alaska in the winter

0-2 NIGHTs

Mat-Su Resort is a boutique hotel on the shores of a gorgeous lake with sweeping views of the Chugach Mountain Range, one of Alaska’s most famous ranges. It has 12 rooms, all with modern amenities and either a balcony view or a front veranda so you can soak up the beauty of Alaska.

*These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews


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