Denali Unexplored
Basecamp Hiking Photo Safari

Denali Unexplored - Basecamp Hiking Photo Safari

Denali has been hailed as America’s quintessential National Park.  With over 6 million wild acres, the highest mountains in North America, and countless rivers, glaciers and peaks, Denali National Park lives up to this title as America’s crown jewel. While most visitors experience the park via its main northern corridor, the Denali Park Road, the south side of the park sees little annual visitation and remains completely road-less and virtually unexplored.

This specially designed departure will also include 3-full days of landscape photography lessons with Alaska's Carl Battreal.  Carl’s excellent wilderness skills along with his traditional photography background have made him one of Alaska's most unique and influential photographers working today.  According to Tim Woody, Senior Editor of Alaska Magazine, “There are photographers with great vision, and there are adventurers with the skills to find the hidden beauty of the backcountry. Carl Battreall is both.”

With a light daypack and a camera you’ll spend your days hiking miles of vast tundra and exploring the seemingly endless glaciers; returning to camp each evening for a delicious lakeside feast under the midnight sun. See and photograph Denali in a way that few ever have.


With a light daypack and a camera you’ll spend your days hiking miles of vast tundra and exploring the seemingly endless glaciers; returning to camp each evening for a delicious lakeside feast under the midnight sun. See Denali in a way that few ever have.

*While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will.  The expeditionary factors at play quite often compel our guides to deviate from the written itinerary.  Guide considerations could include weather conditions, group preference, individual ability, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what many have called “The Alaska Factor.”  Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

 

Trip Details

DURATION 4 days
LENGTH 15+ miles
INTENSITY Level 2
SEASON Summer
MIN AGE 14
BEGINS IN Anchorage
ENDS IN Anchorage
AIRPORT Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
WILDLIFE/
SCENERY
black bears, glaciers, Mt. McKinley

Combine Denali’s most authentic 3-night experience with photo instruction with Alaska’s Carl Battreal!   With authentic Alaska solitude, a great scenic flight, an amazing basecamp hiking trip in Alaska, and the real Denali National Park, this  experience is clearly Alaska's most unique wilderness photo safari.

What's Included

  • All group gear: Expedition quality tents, group tarp, all cooking equipment & eating utensils
  • Safety Equipment: Satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit
  • Large, backpack-style drybag for transporting and storing personal gear while on trip
  • Photo instruction with Alaskas Carl Battreal
  • Trekking poles
  • Ground Transportation to Talkeetna on Day 1
  • Roundtrip scenic bush flights from Talkeenta to Denali National Park
  • Scenic train ride from Talkeetna to Anchorage
  • Professional guide service at a maximum 4:1 guest to guide ratio
  • All meals from lunch on day one through lunch on the final day of the itinerary
  • Storage for your extra travel items while in the field
Day
1

This morning an Alaska Alpine Adventures representative will pick you up in Anchorage by 8:15.  You’ll start the day with an orientation and gear check at our Anchorage facility before loading into our van for the 2.5 hour drive to Talkeetna, Alaska. By late morning, we’ll then make our way to K2 Aviation to gear up for our scenic flight into the wilderness. We’ll board a floatplane bound for the Denali National Park and our home for the next 3 nights.  This 1/2 hour scenic flight will take us over alpine tundra, braided rivers, cascading waterfalls. Weather permitting, we'll enjoy spectacular views of Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America as we travel up the mighty Ruth Glacier, to the entrance of the Great Gorge - the deepest trench on earth!  Our skilled bush pilot will then take us down to a small lake nestled in a cleft between the Ruth and Tokositna Glaciers, where we will unload our gear on a small beach and then wave the airplane goodbye.  We’ll set up camp near the lake, bask in the new-found solitude, and then take a short early evening photo walk before dinner.  Lunch & dinner included.  Distance: 1.5 miles, Elevation Gain: 500'

Day
2

The options are staggering! With almost unlimited daylight, we’ll head for the tundra hills above camp, destined for magnificent views of the Backside Glacier, Ruth Glacier, and if weather permits, “The Great One,” 20,320 foot Mount McKinley.  On today’s adventure, you’ll learn in practice the skills necessary to hike off-trail in the Alaska wilderness, as well Carl’s mountain photography secrets.  After a full day of exploration, we’ll tally our wildlife and mountain peak sightings, share our best images, and enjoy a filling meal in the wilderness.  All meals included.  Distance: 6-10 miles,  Elevation Gain: 1500-2500’

Day
3

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll grab our day-packs and camera gear and again head out in search of adventure in Denali.  Today, we’ll make our way toward the Backside Glacier for a day of ice and glacier photography! In all likelihood, this will be your first time hiking on a glacier, and you’ll quickly understand why this area draws mountaineers from all over the world.  While not at all technical, your trek on the ice will give you the chance to learn firsthand the glacial features of this frozen river of ice, the valley that bears the scars of thousands of years of glacial activity, and the more recent visual indications of climate change on the Alaska landscape. All meals included.  Distance: 8.0 miles, Elevation Gain: 2000'

Day
4

Another breakfast and hot drink will fuel us for our last few hours in the wilderness.  After breaking camp, and moving our kit to the lakeshore, we'll await our ride back to civilization.  As the float plane descends on the Lake, we’ll depart knowing that this amazing place has made a lasting impact on our souls. We’ll return to Talkeetna by early afternoon, and by 4:30pm will be boarding the Alaska Railroad's Denali Star train bound for Anchorage.  This 3-hour trip will take us through the beautiful Matanuska-Susitna Valley, through southcentral Alaska's boreal forests and small farms & homesteads, and finally to Anchorage by 8pm.  Options to stay in Talkeetna or Anchorage for an extra night are availabe.  If departing Anchorage this evening, please book your return flights for no earlier than 10:00PM.  Breakfast & lunch included.  Distance: 1.5 miles, Elevation Gain: 500'

CONTINGENCY ITINERARY

Please note that occasionally weather conditions prevent us from flying into our basecamp location in Denali National Park.  Our itinerary plan allows for a full 30 hours of wait time in Talkeetna.  It's possible that the group will have to spend the night in Talkeetna on night one.   In this case, we'll spend the first night camping at a local campground.  If we aren't able to fly into the park by 2:30pm the next day (day 2), we will initiate our contingency itinerary.  Please download the Detailed Trip Itinerary for details.

*While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will.  The expeditionary factors at play quite often compel our guides to deviate from the written itinerary.  Guide considerations could include weather conditions, group preference, individual ability, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what many have called “The Alaska Factor.”  Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

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Trip Highlights:
  • Explore tundra- carpeted valleys while scanning the hillsides for bears.
  • Gaze in awe at the magnificent ruth glacier.
  • Refine your landscape photography under Carl’s expert tutelage. 


Need more details? Download a detailed itinerary of this trip

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Need more details? Download a detailed itinerary of this trip

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