Established in 1917 with the mission of conserving wildlife, Denali National Park encompasses 6 million acres of Alaska’s wilderness, and is often seen as the crown jewel of the National Park System. Flaunting complete unaltered ecosystems, countless rivers, glaciers and expanses of tundra, and the tallest peak in North America, Denali is not to be missed. Since it’s creation, Denali National Park has been the laboratory of a phenomenal group of scientists who have been able to study the magic of an intact subarctic ecosystem. From Denali’s famed wolves to the abundant caribou and moose populations, the Park holds within its boundaries one of the most incredibly diverse, stable, and most studied wildlife populations in Alaska. Denali has also provided the venue for some of the most amazing feats of exploration in North American history. From the first ascent of The Great One (Denali) to rugged circumnavigations of the park, Denali’s size and magnitude attracts explorers from around the globe. The name Denali is an Athabascan word meaning “the high one”. The peak was originally named Mt. McKinley after President William McKinley of Ohio, who actually had no ties to the area. However on a visit to Alaska in September of 2015, President Obama announced that the name would officially be change to Denali!
Denali, the mountain, and the area surrounding Moraine Lake, where we operate our wilderness trips, are all within Denali National Park and Preserve. Mt. McKinley Park was created in 1917, however most of today’s park, including the summit of Denali, was not within this original area. The Park’s original purpose was to serve as a preserve for Dall’s Sheep. Denali National Monument was designated by Jimmy Carter in 1978. And in 1980, Denali National Park and Preserve, as it exists today, was created by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (known as ANILCA). The park and preserve today are comprised of over 6 million acres.
Alpine Adventures has been guiding trips to Denali since 2003. From hiking to backpacking trips and multisport tours in Denali, our crew of Alaska guides knows the park well.
In addition to being America's largest national park (larger than Rhode Island and Vermont combined!), Wrangell-St. Elias is home to the continent’s most impressive list of superlatives.
The Alaska, Chugach and Wrangell-Saint Elias ranges converge in what is referred to as the "mountain kingdom of North America." This spectacular wilderness includes the continent's largest assemblage of glaciers, and the greatest collection of peaks above 16,000 feet, including Mount St. Elias (18,008'), the second highest peak in the United States, the largest non-polar icefield in the world and a boundary that, when combined with Kluane Tatshenshini/Alsek National Park in Canada and with Glacier Bay National Park, encompasses the world’s largest internationally protected area at 24 million acres and is recognized as a World Heritage Site. Alaska Alpine Adventures offers guided backpacking trips in the seldom explored north Wrangells, and multisport tours that visit the historic Kennicott & McCarthy area of the park.
Rafting and hiking in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is simply a trip of a lifetime. ANWR is one of the least visited and remote areas left in North America, and, despite the media attention it receives, it offers the opportunity for unparalleled exploratory adventure. Though the exact number is unknown, it is estimated that the 19 million acre Arctic refuge – an area the size of South Carolina – receives approximately 1500 recreational visitors a year.
ANWR lives up to its description as “America’s Serengeti” and this vast area supports more species and habitat diversity than any conservation area in the northern hemisphere. The US Fish and Wildlife Service calls the refuge "The only conservation system unit that protects, in an undisturbed condition, a complete spectrum of the arctic ecosystems in North America." Caribou, polar bears, grizzlies and muskoxen wander the north slope of the Brooks Range and the highest concentration of nesting golden eagles in Alaska make the Kongakut River corridor their summer home. Humans also have a long history in the Arctic and the Gwich’in people of northeast Alaska and northwest Canada have depended on this vast area and its porcupine caribou herd for thousands of generations. Join Alaska Alpine Adventures for a hiking, backpacking, or rafting adventure in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
At over 3.5 Million acres, Katmai National Park is home to the largest brown bear population in the world, holds the spawning grounds of literally millions of sockeye salmon, and contains within its wild borders the unaltered evidence of one of the world's most powerful volcanic eruptions ever recorded. Although created in 1918 to preserve the Valley of 10,000 Smokes, a landscape completely changed by the 1912 Novarupta eruption, Katmai National park is most known for it’s majestic Brown Bears, most notably those at Brooks Falls. Whether backpacking the austere landscape of the Valley of 10,000 Smokes, bear viewing at a remote camp along a salmon choked river, or padding along the park’s 400 miles of coastline, Katmai National Park remains one of the most spectacular parks in Alaska and is one of our favorite places to explore! Alaska Alpine Adventures has been exploring Katmai National Park since 1999 and we have since completed numerous expeditions across the breadth of the park. From kayaking expeditions along the rugged Katmai Coast to backpacking adventures in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Alaska Alpine Adventures guides are your Katmai backpacking, hiking, kayaking, and climbing experts.
It takes a talented individual to be able to lead an Alaska expedition, and our Alaska guides are true outdoor multi-sport professionals. We hand-select each guide based on their ability to deliver an unparalleled level of customer service, a strong wilderness skill set and background, and an insatiable passion for Alaska's wild spaces. Each lead guide is medically certified as a Wilderness First Responder and carries the necessary qualifications to competently backpack, hike, kayak, canoe, and climb throughout Alaska's vast wilderness. When you choose to travel with us, you can rest assured that your trip has been meticulously planned and executed by real Alaskans with authentic Alaska know-how, skill, and ability.
Dan Oberlatz - Owner
Dan has been exploring Alaska's vast wilderness since 1992. For nearly 20 years he has systematically explored remote and poorly understood regions of the Alaskan wilderness, on foot, skis, and by raft especially in the environs of Lake Clark National Park, where he lived year-round until 2005. With at least 15 exploratory expeditions into this little-known wilderness, and multiple expeditions across Alaska, Dan is likely the greatest current authority on the backcountry of the northern Aleutian and southern Alaska ranges. To his credit, Dan has done more than just explore. He is vitally concerned with the sustainability of the wilderness and the viability of the rural communities in the region. Dan spent 6 years as Vice President of the Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association. In 2013, Dan was elected to serve on the board of directors of the Alaska Travel Industry Association. As a board member of the Renewable Resources Foundation, he promotes responsible and appropriate tourism as a way to help impoverished communities, while preserving Alaska's wilderness heritage. In 2008, Dan was awarded AWRTA's Ginny Hill Wood Award for his contributions to Alaska conservation and sustainable tourism. Dan is committed to exploration, to the preserving of the wilderness for future generations, and to the advancement of knowledge. His expertise is sought after by various, and he has been quoted or featured in Outside Magazine, Alaska Business Monthly magazine, US News & World Reports, the Associated Press, National Parks Magazine, Men's Journal, and others. His photographs have appeared in a number of national publications including Outside, Backpacker, Men's Journal, and National Geographic Adventure and Traveler. Dan is also a member of the Explorers Club, to which he was elected in 2009. But as much as anything, Dan loves the backcountry, and he finds his greatest joys while immersed in it. With humor and panache, he goes out in search, and each time he returns he brings greater knowledge and interest to the outside world. He splits time between homes in Anchorage and Lake Clark with his wife Danielle and daughters Isabelle and Bryn.
Aaron has been guiding for Alaska Alpine Adventures since 2003 and his passion for the wilderness grows with every adventure. He came to Alaska in 2001 to complete a bachelor's degree in outdoor studies at Alaska Pacific University and pursue a lifelong dream of guiding in Alaska. Most recently, Aaron co-founded Adventure Appetites - offering Alaska Alpine Adventures' gourmet food to adventurers everywhere. He divides his time managing operations, packing food, and exploring Alaska's wild places. Whether traversing remote mountain ranges, climbing high on an Alaska peak, or packrafting a wild & scenic river, Aaron says, "I find inner peace while immersed in Alaska's most remote backcountry." Aaron is a Wilderness First Responder and certified Whitewater Rescue Technician. He lives in Anchorage with his wife Adele and daughters Emily & Samantha.
A Colorado transplant, Haley moved to Alaska and started guiding with Alaska Alpine Adventures in 2010. Since then she has been exploring the backcountry of Alaska both personally and professionally. Whether backpacking, kayaking, splitboarding, packrafting, trail running, or canoeing, Haley endeavors to immerse herself in the Alaskan wilderness both close to her home in Anchorage and in the most remote corners of the state. Although her duties with Alaska Alpine Adventures have expanded during the past five years, guiding remains her passion and priority. Her enthusiasm for Alaska’s wild places is only surpassed by her desire to share it with our guests. Haley is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, a certified Wilderness First Responder, a Whitewater Rescue Technician, and holds an AAA Avalanche Level 2.
Raised in The Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nick (a.k.a. Nico) followed his dreams north in 2006, seeking out Alaska's promise of big wilderness and big adventure....ALASKA DELIVERED!! Nico is passionate about sharing the backcountry with guests and students alike. Outside of the busy Alaska guiding season, Nick draws on his B.A. in Outdoor Studies from Alaska Pacific University, to teach leadership and expeditionary skills courses for colleges both here and in New York. In his free time, you can find Nico packrafting down glacial streams, touring the alpine on his skis, or playing guitar and hanging out in the beautiful town of Girdwood, where he lives. Nick is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Whitewater Rescue Technician, and Leave No Trace instructor. You will never catch Nico in the wilderness without his favorite piece of equipment: his trusty umbrella.
This long-time Alaskan lives year-round in the Mastanuska-Susitna Valley. Matt has extensive backcountry experience and when he’s not in town you’ll most likely find him in the broad expanses of the Chugach or Talkeetna mountains. He juggles his time between family, climbing, skiing, cooking, teaching, and exploring the many wonders of the Last Frontier. Matt’s passion is “immersing explorers in the moment and sharing the majesty of this Great Land!” His enthusiasm, quick wit and humorous tales are sure to keep you smiling on your adventures. Matt is retired military and holds degrees from the University of Scranton, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Alaska Anchorage. Matt is a Wilderness First Responder and holds an AIARE Avalanche Level 2. He’s also a Wounded Warrior Project Alumni and a Certified Peer Mentor.
Joan is our urban adventurer, hailing from the great city of Chicago. After trading in her urban ways and Da Bears for real bears, she has really found a home in the mountains and rivers of Alaska. Joan is forever working on her degree in Wilderness Education from DePaul University, and has used her education as an opportunity to travel and experience wilderness areas around the world. An avid water sports enthusiast, Joan enjoys sea kayaking, canoeing, surfing, and floating lazy rivers, as well as exploring beautiful remote terrains. Her cheery disposition, active imagination, and long winded stories make her a delight to be around. Joan joined the AAA staff in 2012 and is a certified Wilderness First Responder as well as Leave No Trace Master Educator.
Brita was born and raised in Fairbanks and has been exploring interior Alaska since childhood. Joining AAA in 2013, after working as a scuba dive guide in Thailand, gave her the opportunity to explore stretches of Alaskan wilderness inaccessible to most. She graduated with a BS in physics and math in 2010 and an MS in atmospheric science in 2012 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She now splits her time between exploring mountains and rivers and driving underwater autonomous vehicles around the Arctic and Antarctic seas. Brita has an unmatched passion for Alaska, wilderness conservation and preservation and loves to share these with her guests. Brita is a certified Wilderness First Responder, is River Rescue Certified and has her Avalanche Level 1.
Joe is an internationally certified IFMGA mountain guide with a passion for mountain adventure in Alaska. He has been climbing and skiing around the world for 30 years with significant time in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Alps, and throughout South America and the western United States. Of all the places he's visited, the mountains of Southcentral Alaska are his favorite. Joe has an undergraduate degree in geology and geography from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and a graduate degree in watershed science (snow science focus) from Colorado State University. In addition to guiding, Joe works as a writer and photographer. His guidebook for backcountry skiing in Southcentral Alaska, The Alaska Factor, was first published in 2012. Joe lives in Anchorage with his wife Cathy. Visit his website: www.stockalpine.com
Born and raised in New Hampshire, Nick began climbing and skiing mountains as soon as he could walk. Now Nick lives in Girdwood, Alaska. He is a graduate of the Outdoor Recreation Leadership program from Colorado Mountain College and Alaska Pacific University’s Outdoor Studies program. Since 2008 he has been a year round mountain guide, ski guide, heli-ski guide for Chugach Powder Guides and educator working with the Alaska Mountaineering School and the Alaska Avalanche School. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of safe mountain travel. Along with his extensive experience he is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Avalanche Level 3, Leave No Trace Master Educator and has earned his Ski Mountaineering Guide certification through the American Mountain Guides Association. Nick looks forward to sharing his passion for the mountains with you. Visit his website at: remarkableadv.com
Reigning from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, NC, this true-blue Tarheel first visited the Greatland in the summer of 2005. The roots grew deep that first summer, and today he is proud to call Anchorage his home. Guiding has been a passion since settling in AK, and he has led over 4,000 guests through the state. Bryan joined the AAA team in 2011. The mountains and adventure within them have always inspired Bryan. On any given day you can find him enjoying his backyard seeking out powder stashes in the backcountry, rolling singletrack on his bike, or just capturing the beauty of the outdoors through the lens of his camera. Bryan was a key player in the launch of Adventure Appetites. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder.
Brooke hails from the Great Pacific Northwest where her passion for all things outdoors was born. Calling Alaska her home for the last 17 years, she can be found year round exploring the mountains and rivers of this vast wilderness. Brooke graduated with an M.S. in Environmental Education with a primary focus on Ecotourism from The Audubon Expedition Institute and has spent over 2 decades applying these principles to guiding. Brooke has her Coast Guard 6-Pack, her Avalanche Level 2, and her Wilderness First Responder.
Malcolm learned skills for wilderness work and play in the mountains of Montana as a skier, fly-fisherman, and field ecologist before his first trip to Alaska in 2008 - after that it only took a couple years before he called Anchorage his year-round home. With extensive experience on rivers, glaciers, and mountains, and a passion for natural science, he loves sharing Alaska's massive landscape with curious visitors. Malcolm has Wilderness First Responder and Avalanche Level 2 certificates.
B-Dog joined the Alaska Alpine Adventures team in 2009 and has since ventured to the far reaches of the state. His most recent pursuits have taken him on backpacking adventures in Wrangell-St.Elias and Lake Clark National Parks, as well as kayaking on the remote Katmai Coast. When not adventuring in the Alaska wilderness, B-Dog winters alone in the company warehouse in South Anchorage. He looks forward to sharing the stories of his adventures with you, and possibly hitching a ride on you backpack or the bow of your kayak.
Welcome to Alaska Alpine Adventures and our 19th season! In 2017, as we be celebrate 18 years as a leader in wilderness travel and exploration of Alaska's spectacular national parks and wildlife refuges, we will also be celebrating the 100th anniversary of Denali National Park. This historic centennial will allow us to reflect on our amazing history as well introduce an ever growing number of adventure travelers to some of Alaska's most iconic national park unit.
Alaska Alpine Adventures has built an international reputation as Alaska's premier small-group pure Adventure Travel Company, guiding in Alaska's great parks. Exploring Alaska's national parks and wildlife refuges is our passion, and that passion is reflected in each adventure trip we lead.
Why do so many of our guests return year after year to continue to explore Alaska with us? We'd like to think that it's our award-winning, all-inclusive itineraries, our impeccable safety record, our gourmet backcountry cuisine, our seasoned naturalist guides, and our commitment to sustainable travel and environmental excellence. But the answer is far more personal! Our guests are drawn by the magnetism of northern wilderness and its creatures. They revisit to savor the palpable emotion of solitude, and to immerse themselves in something that few are fortunate enough to experience - pure and untouched wilderness. In many ways, our clients return to Alaska to find themselves.
So enjoy with us our 18th year! Our hope is that the imagery* and stories you see here on our website will not only inspire you to take a trip with us, but will also compel you to help us protect the last great American wilderness that is Alaska.
As your guides to Alaska’s national parks and wildlife refuges here’s how 2017 is shaping up:
One of our specialties is guiding multisport tours, group travel, custom tours, and private family adventures throughout Alaska. Our award winning trips offer our guests the opportunity to completely experience the Last Frontier in a small-group away from the crowds. Contact us for custom options for family hiking, camping, lodge-based tours , and private and customized adventures to some of Alaska's most spectacular wilderness areas.Guided Wilderness Trips
Since 1998, Alaska Alpine Adventures has built a reputation as one of Alaska's premier wilderness outfitters. Offering backpacking trips, guided kayaking and hiking tours, basecamp hiking adventures, backcountry ski tours, and custom adventures, our guides are comfortable in Alaska's biggest and most remote mountain ranges. From Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, Lake Clark, Katmai, ANWR, Kenai Fjords and Gates of the Arctic all the way to Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve, we have guided successful and safe expeditions throughout Alaska for more than a decade.Alaska Day Hiking Excursions in Denali National Park
Alaska Alpine Adventures will continue offering day hiking trips in Denali National Park in 2017 - our 7th year! Working with Rust's Flying Service and K2 Aviation, these 3-hour Alaska day excursions will give the hiking enthusiast the chance to hike in Denali National Park and among the biggest mountains in North America.
So join us in 2017! Hike, raft, kayak, backpack, ski, climb, and explore Alaska's stunning national parks & wildlife refuges. The privilege would be all ours.
Talk with us about creating your ideal Alaska Alpine Adventure. We hope you enjoy our website and look forward to planning your adventure with you.
* All photos on this website were taken on actual Alaska Alpine Adventures!