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Adventure Tours   >   North America Adventure Tours   >  Hike Alaska: Valdez and Wrangell St Elias

Hike Alaska: Valdez and Wrangell St Elias Adventure Tour

North America

  • United States

From glacier hikes to old abandoned mining towns, this trip has a little bit of everything. Fall deeper into the wilds of Alaska on this seven-day tour that really gets you out into the varied landscapes of the “Land of the Midnight Sun”. Enjoy a more active pace and set out on hikes that will have you walking on glaciers and witnessing incredible mountain scenery in no time.


Visas and Entry Requirements  

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here


Accommodation  

Participation camping (5nts), Rustic Lodge (1nt)


Rooming and "My Own Room" Exceptions  

Night 6


Spending Money  

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.


Emergency Fund  

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!


Tipping  

It is customary in North America to tip service providers such as waiters, bartenders and taxi drivers, at approximately 18-20%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip any local guides used. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from $2-8 USD per activity depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.


Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $5-10 USD per person, per day can be used as a guide. If your CEO(s) exceeded your expectations, feel free to tip more.


Optional Activities  

Valdez
- Hiking Around Valdez

Kennicott
- Kennicott Ghost Town Guided Tour (34USD per person)

Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve
- Wrangell-St. Elias Scenic Flight (300-475USD per person)

McCarthy
- Rafting on Copper River

Gulkana River
- Half-Day Float on Gulkana River


Travel Insurance  

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


Highlights  

Hike along the Worthington Glacier, Fall in love with the scenery in Valdez, Get on the water with a guided kayaking excursion on Glacier Lake, Explore at leisure in McCarthy, Walk the Bonanza Mine trail in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Camp under the stars.


Packing List  

Camping:
• Bug net/ bug spray
• Day Pack (with water bladder or refillable bottle)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Sleeping bag and liner, 4 season
• Small travel towel
• Socks
• Sunglasses
• Sunscreen
• Thermal base layer
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Travel pillow
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof daypack cover
• Windproof rain gear (Rain and Windproof rain gear - pants and jacket)
• Your own inflatable sleeping pad (or you can use the one provided)

Clothing:
• A sun shirt with hood
• Camp shoes and sandals
• Comfortable camp clothing
• Comfortable sleepwear (that layers for temperature fluctuations)
• Fleece jacket or warm layer
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes ((gore tex or water resistant))
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Long-sleeved shirts
• Shorts
• Short sleeve t-shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear
• Synthetic hiking shirts (long and short sleeved.)
• Synthetic Hiking Socks
• Thermal base layer
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Visas or vaccination certificates (With photocopies)

Essentials:
• Toiletries (required) (Shampoo, bodywash, soap, etc.)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Swimwear
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Face masks (Clients will be only be required to wear a face mask where it is mandated by local regulations.)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test (optional)

Note: We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. Heavy luggage is not recommended for the health of the CEO, who will take a lead in loading the storage trailer. A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential to carry your personal gear for the day, as well as your lunch, and a water bottle.

Please also note that self-inflating camping pads are provided. Most travelers find these to be suitable, but should you feel you may need extra comfort, an additional sleeping pad such as a Therm-a-rest can be brought from home and carried in your daypack.


Money Exchange  

The United States currency is the US Dollar (USD).

Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in the US and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card in the USA, you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases.

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US Dollars as cash (preferably smaller bills, 5's, 10's and 20's), traveller's cheques and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is very difficult to find in the USA and most banks do not accommodate.

Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com


International Flights  

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.


Minimum Age  

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.


Meals Included  

5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners


Meals  

Some meals on this tour are included in the tour price. When a meal is not included, this is because there are often many options available and we believe you should have the opportunity to explore a bit and taste the local cuisine yourself. In these cases, your CEO will be able to suggest some good local restaurants or options for you to choose from.


About our Transportation  

For this trip we use 15-passenger vans for up to 14 people plus the CEO/Driver. For groups of 8 and more travellers, we also use a trailer to carry luggage. These durable vehicles allow us to drive on most types of roads in North America.

Each van has a front passenger seat and 4 benches that will accommodate 3 people each with mandatory seat belts to keep us secure and safe. No standing is permitted in these vehicles.

Please take note of the travel times and distances in the above itinerary. There is air conditioning to cool things down on warm days to keep everyone more comfortable. Despite some of the long days, most travellers feel that the diversity of the North American landscape, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience!


About Accommodation  

Participation Camping and Local Lodge.

Please note that all of the campgrounds have showers except for McCarthy.

Participation camping in clean local campgrounds. All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied, including comfortable camp mattresses. We supply dome tents that take only 5 minutes to assemble/disassemble. They are good quality, durable, industry-standard, oversized 2-person tents, each with 2 separate and convenient zip-up doors, so that each person has his/her own entrance.

We use 2 types of campgrounds:

1.) Private campgrounds: These are privately run sites, usually with all services such as fire pits, picnic tables, drinking water, toilets & shower buildings. Some have small outdoor swimming pools and laundry facilities. These campgrounds are typically located near national park entrances or towns.

2.) Public campgrounds: These are park-run sites, usually with basic facilities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and drinking water. Some may have shower fees for onsite facilities ($2-6/shower).

3.) Charging stations may or may not be available at every campground. Most provide them, but your CEO can alert you when there will be a time between charging access points.


Arrival Complications  

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


Emergency Contact  

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call the G Adventures Local Representative. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.


EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS?

G Adventures Local Representative (Las Vegas) ?
From outside the USA: 1-725-201-1494
From within the USA: 725-201-1494


If you are unable for any reason to contact our local representative, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.


Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999


Group Leader  

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout.


What's Included  

Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Moment - Meet Your CEO and Group. Visit to Matanuska Recreation Site. Worthington Glacier hike. Glacier Lake guided hiking and kayaking trip. Stop at Liberty Falls Recreation Site. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park visit. Bonanza Mine trail hike. Free time in McCarthy for optional activities. Copper Visitor Center trip. National Park entrance fees. All transport between destination and to/from included activities.


What to Take  

We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. Heavy luggage is not recommended for the health of the CEO, who will take a lead in loading the storage trailer. Due to space in the trailer, we will not be able to accommodate more than one piece of main luggage per person. A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential to carry your personal gear for the day, as access to luggage between destinations will be limited. This daypack will be used to carry your personal items and gear for the day, your lunch, and a water bottle.

Please note that self-inflating camping pads are provided. Most travelers find these to be suitable, but should you feel you may need extra comfort, an additional sleeping pad such as a Therm-a-rest can be brought from home and carried in your daypack.


Laundry  

Laundry can be done at least once while on tour. Most cities have laundromats where you can buy soap and wash your laundry in coin-operated machines. Your CEO will advise you along the trip where you will be able to do your laundry.


Feedback  

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.


Group Leader Description  

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver - this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.

As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.


Transport  

Private vehicle and hiking.


Safety and Security  

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.


A Couple of Rules  

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.


Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures  

Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures' itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra's largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.

Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.

Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.


Dossier Disclaimer  

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


Itinerary Disclaimer  

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.


Important Notes  

1. WALKS AND HIKES
All walks and hikes proposed by our CEO will be a moderate level. You may choose to participate or not, but exploring our national parks on foot is part of our way of travelling. It's a healthy way to discover North America's beauty and landscape.

2. LEGAL DRINKING AGE
Please note that the legal drinking age in the United States is 21. Many bars and clubs will ask for ID at the door, therefore listening to live music in certain bars or spending a night out is not possible when you are under the legal age, even if you don't plan on consuming alcohol. Drinking laws are strictly enforced and our CEOs are unable to help those under age obtain alcohol of any kind. In Alaska, ID is often checked, even for the elderly, and in many places every single customer making an alcohol purchase must show identification (either US government-issued ID or passport if not from the States).

While this should not stop those under legal drinking age from booking a tour, it is important to note that if a traveller is under-age there are certain optional nighttime activities that they may not legally be able to participate in. When trying to book the right trip, we recommend that travellers under legal drinking age take this into consideration.


Joining Instructions  

Upon arrival to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, which is located 6 miles (10km) from downtown Anchorage, the best way to reach your joining hotel is by taxi. 

Meeting Instructions

WELCOME MEETING TIME: 08:00

Please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App, or contact your travel agent for your confirmed starting point.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and the tour departs from the joining hotel on Day 1. You will be greeted by your CEO and meet your fellow travellers. There will also be a welcome note in the hotel lobby should you arrive prior to Day 1. If you feel that your incoming flight will not arrive in time for the morning departure on Day 1, please consider booking pre-tour accommodation.

Taxi
The drive will take about 15-20 min depending on traffic and the fare to your hotel is approximately $23 (excluding tip).

Please note that the adventure begins on Day 1 departing from the joining hotel around 09:00. 

Your CEO will organize a short meeting first thing in the morning, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. Should you arrive early, a welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time.

If you arrive late, please call the emergency line as soon as possible to make arrangements to meet up with the rest of the group.


Group Size Notes  

Max 13.

Day 1 Anchorage/Valdez

After a brief welcome meeting with your CEO, travel to the Matanuska Recreation Site where you will be able to view the glacier along the interpretive nature trail. After a picnic lunch the group will continue travelling onward to Valdez where you will have the opportunity to walk and visit the Worthington Glacier. In the evening, have dinner as a group around the fire.

Day 2 Valdez

What's in store today will certainly be an adventure. After a quick breakfast, you'll have free time to walk, journal, or hang out with friends.

After lunch head to Glacier Lake in Valdez where you'll go on a hike and guided kayak tour of the lake. If you have yet to set your eyes on an iceberg, this might just be your chance. This gorgeous lake in Valdez is often home to large chunks of floating ice coming from the Valdez Glacier. With great views and miles of open water to paddle there's no better way to get in touch with nature.

Day 3 Valdez/McCarthy

You'll spend time today in a private vehicle en route to McCarthy, but don't worry there will be plenty of epic road trip worthy stops along the way. First up is a stop at Thompson's Pass viewpoint to start the day with stunning vistas. As you continue driving highway 10 there will be plenty of quick stops at worthy viewpoints all along the Copper River. Then enjoy a visit to Liberty Falls State Recreation Site where you can stretch your legs and visit the falls, which plunge 20 ft into the Liberty Creek. Continue along the scenic highway to McCarthy. Stop and see the fish wheels at Kuskulana River Canyon and Bridge, along Gilahina River, and at Gilahina Trestle Wayside. Arrive in McCarthy, visit the town, maybe catch some live music after dinner.

Day 4 McCarthy

Visit Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and spend the day hiking along the Bonanza Mine trail. A hike that includes stunning scenery, a trek to the top of a mountain and 1930's mining ruins all in a frontier Alaskan setting. Coming in at 9 miles total, the hike is strenuous, but with the views you'll be admiring, you might not notice at all. In the evening relax back at camp and have dinner as a group.

Day 5 McCarthy

Hiking is unique in its ability to nourish the body and the mind, but it's nice to have a free day every now and then to let your body recover and your mind wander. Spend today in McCarthy choosing from a variety of optional activities to keep you busy. Head out on a guided ice walk tour, visit the Kennicott Mills Town on a guided tour, hop on a scenic flight of the national park, or set out on a rafting trip. Unwind at camp in the evening and talk about your adventures.

Day 6 McCarthy/Glennallen

Leave McCarthy behind and travel along a scenic highway to Glennallen. There will be stops along the way to embark on short hikes that lead to lakes, streams, or fishing holes. Visit the Copper Visitor Center and go for short walks in the area while there and make sure not to miss the amazing viewing platform that can be reached from the Visitor Center. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening staying at-and exploring-Alaska's oldest continually operating roadhouse.

Day 7 Glennallen/Anchorage

In the morning transfer with the group from Glennallen to Anchorage, tour ends on arrival.

Details

Prices from: €1529.25

Duration: 7 Days

Travel Style: Active

Physical Grading: 4 - Demanding

Service Level: Camping

Trip Type: Small Group



Call Us: 01 2311889



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