• Alaskan Wildlife Explorer: Inn-to-Inn in Southeast Alaska

    The most comprehensive wildlife adventure in Southeastern Alaska—perfect for families!

    Explore action-packed Southeast Alaska while staying inn-to-inn—no camping! We've crafted this trip to include our guests' favorite Alaskan activities: watching whales, full day tour of Glacier Bay National Park, trip to Anan Bear Sanctuary, hiking amidst alpine wildflowers, and myriad other active Alaskan adventures. 

    best times to go: July - August

    departures: 6 scheduled datesview departures

    pricing: from $4,095 see detailed pricing

    Alaska

    Easy to Moderate
Also great as a private trip. Call for details

The most comprehensive wildlife adventure in Southeastern Alaska—perfect for families!

Southeast Alaska’s largest protected habitats offer some of the most exciting nature and wildlife viewing opportunities in the world: Glacier Bay National Park, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous for abundant marine wildlife, stunning tidewater glaciers, and especially its humpback whales; and the Tongass National Forest, home to the largest population of bears in “Southeast” and the largest forest in the entire United States at 17 million acres! We have been pioneering adventure travel in Southeast since 1972, and this adventure is the best and most comprehensive of its kind—all at a relaxed pace! Watch 50-ton humpback whales at Point Adolphus along with porpoises, sea lions, seals, and a variety of sea birds. Put size into perspective riding a catamaran among icebergs and massive glaciers. Hike along meadows carpeted with wildflowers above the fjords of Juneau. Fly in a small plane to Wrangell Island for the rare spectacle of black and brown bears fishing for salmon together at Anan Bear Observatory. With so many off-the-charts experiences in one itinerary, why not bring the whole family?
 

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Activities

Easy-moderate hiking and easy wildlife viewing

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore Southeast’s Alaska’s largest protected wildlife habitats, Glacier Bay National Park and the Tongass National Forest, with the adventure pioneers in "Southeast" since 1972!
  • Watch for humpback whales, porpoises, sea lions, sea otters, seals, and a variety of sea birds at Point Adolphus and have your camera poised and ready for bald eagles, bears, and moose in the Tongass!
  • Visit the remote Anan Bear Observatory and witness the rare spectacle of brown and black bears coming together at the river to fish for salmon
  • Ride a catamaran, a tram, and bush planes through pristine wilderness

Duration: 7 days Start Location: Juneau End Location: Juneau

Download Detailed Itinerary
BRIEF Itinerary
  • Inn_day_igstk_mendenhall
    Day 1 : Juneau

    Arrive in Juneau, where we'll be staying in a hotel downtown. Explore this historic Alaskan city on your own before a pre-trip meeting with your guide and dinner this evening.

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    Day 2 : Juneau – Tongass National Forest – Glacier Bay

    Juneau boasts one of the most extensive network of hiking trails in all of Alaska.  Today we hike the trails of our country's largest national forest, the Tongass. We will experience the power and the beauty of the northwest temperate rain forest.  After a day of exploring the Tongass, we will transfer on small charter planes to the bush town of Gustavus, Alaska.

  • Inn_day_istk_glacierbay
    Day 3 : Glacier Bay

    Full day cruise into the farthest reaches of Glacier Bay National Park by high-speed catamaran boat. An accompanying park naturalist will explain the geology, wildlife, and other natural wonders of the area.

  • Inn_day_istk_bubblenet
    Day 4 : Point Adolphus

    Today, we'll go to see the humpback whales at Point Adolphus by boat. Point Adolphus is the best place in all the North Pacific to have a chance to observe the endangered humpback whale. Every summer these giant creatures swim from Hawaii all the way across the ocean to feed on the rich marine resouces at this specific spot.  The protected north shore of Chichagof Island is a pardise for marine mammals and bald eagles.  Special conditions in the ocean currents make this one of Alaska's hottest wildlife zones.  Traveling by boat this day gives us the flexibilty to find where the wildlife is congregating and to observe them from the deck of a vessel.

  • Inn_day_istk_blkbear
    Day 5 : Wrangell

    Aside from the rich Native American heritage, Wrangell is also close to Anan Bear Observatory. This is the primary reason we visit  this out-of-the-way small Alaskan town. Anan Bear Observatory is one of the best places anywhere to watch bears. A very large run of Humback salmon draws bears from many miles away to feed at this spot.  It is very unusual to take in both Brown Bears (a.k.a. Grizzlies) and Black Bears in the same sweep of the eye.  This is one of a few place this is possible.

  • Fireweed_pink
    Day 6 : Alpine in the Tongass National Forest

    Fly to Juneau and hike into the alpine meadows above tree line. Life Zones are compressed in Alaska.  There are no more trees above 2500'.  From the charming downtown Juneau we hop aboard a tram that is operated by a Native American corporation and ride into the mountains.  We start our walk at the border of the trees and the alpine and soon we are in fields of wildflowers, above the fjords, and close to the tops of the mountains.  You may even get to play in some snow.   Aside from being the best place to look for different species of wildflowers this habitat is also home to many bird species and the elusive Hoary Marmot.  Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner and spend one last night in Alaska's Capital city.

  • Inn_day_istk_3whales
    Day 7 : Depart from Juneau

    Today you are free to depart from Juneau at any time.

Download Detailed Itinerary

DATES: Best time to go: July - August Departures: Aug 1 - 7, 2014 SOLD OUT Jul 10 - 16, 2015 Jul 17 - 23, 2015 Jul 24 - 30, 2015 Jul 31, 2015 - Aug 6, 2015 Aug 7 - 13, 2015

PRICING:

2015 Prices
$4,095 + local tax (4-10 members)
$450 internal airfare
$1,350 single supplement

  • Baranof Hotel
    Juneau, Alaska

    The historic Westmark Baranof Hotel stands out amongst all Juneau hotels. The Westmark Baranof is centrally located in downtown Juneau within walking distance of the waterfront, cruise ship docks, shopping, state capitol and government offices. While you may be far from home, never miss a beat with our complimentary wireless internet access offered throughout the hotel.

    Guests of the Westmark Baranof are welcomed by elegant, art-deco public areas featuring the original artwork of acclaimed Alaska artists Eustace Ziegler and Sydney Laurence. Relax in our elegant lobby area, a perfect place to meet guests or catch up on reading.

  • Glacier Bay Lodge
    Glacier Bay National Park

    Nestled under the spruce trees that line Bartlett Cove, Glacier Bay Lodge offers the only hotel accommodations within Glacier Bay National Park. The Lodge offers magnificent sunset views of the Fairweather Mountain range. Here you'll enjoy cozy hotel room accommodations among the Sitka Spruce trees and relax in the warmth of the lobby's massive stone fireplace. All rooms have en suite bathrooms. 

  • Stickine Inn
    Wrangell, AK

    The Stikine Inn is now a 100% non-smoking facility. Many of the rooms are newly remodeled, and we have some of the most comfortable mattresses in the state.

    All the rooms have expanded cable and HBO, in-room coffee makers, and clean, well-lit bathrooms.

    They offer the best views of any lodging on Wrangell Island. The mountainside rooms have a beautiful view of Mt Dewey and the historic United States Post Office building.  The oceanside rooms offer breathtaking views of ocean, mountains, and sea life.

    The views from the rooms are a panorama of unspoiled beauty, local culture, and natural landscapes. Between the mountains, the ocean, and the totems on the Post Office lawn, you can get a fair cross-section of local life from your windows.

Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.

Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.

  • Wade Panzich

    Wade Panzich, Alaska Discovery Kayak and River Guide: Wade has lived in Alaska for 7 years, 4 of these working for Alaska Discovery. During the fall, Wade travels the globe searching for the perfect wave. Winters are spent teaching snowboarding in Alaska. Spring and summer finds Wade kayaking and rafting beautiful southeast AK. He has also spent time on the water in the western U.S., Central and South America. All seasons he is an avid backpacker and an aspiring mountain man. Wade’s got some good stories to tell, from hitchhiking across the country to tropical subsistence living, a trip with him will never be dull.

  • Maureen D'Armand

    Maureen D'Armand, Alaska Discovery Kayak & River Guide: It might be her childhood in Austria combined with her school years in Alaska that give Maureen her blend of sophistication, charm, and tremendous outdoor skills. She has traveled from pole to pole- from the Arctic to Antarctica. She is building a house in Haines, Alaska, but still lives in Juneau when she is not exploring the rest of the world. As for guiding, Maureen says, "I do not intend to stop anytime soon. My passion to explore is ever-growing."

  • Shelli Ogilvy

    Shelli Ogilvy, Alaska Discovery Kayak Guide: Shelli was born and raised in Alaska. She grew up in Gustavus with Glacier Bay as her backyard. She has been guiding for Alaska Discovery as a wilderness leader since 1997. She has a deep love for this place and ecosystem, finding peace and joy through sharing the experience of the wilderness. When not guiding, Shelli tries to find time to paint and work on her cabin. She currently spends her winters in New Mexico skiing and eating green chilies.

  • Brock Tabor

    Brock Tabor, Alaska Discovery River & Kayak Guide: For ten years Brock has been committed to a professional career as an outdoor educator and wilderness guide. His experience range from teaching skiing, sea kayaking, rock climbing, and river rescue to photographing the plazas of Ecuador. Brock has a strong background in natural history which he enjoys sharing. Of guiding for Alaska Discovery, Brock writes, "I enjoy the opportunity to interact with people in an unusual setting. The rewards people gain through these trips are contagious!"

  • Tom Schwartz

    Tom Schwartz started guiding canoe, skiing and sea kayak trips in Southeast Alaska in 1997 with a non-profit organization for youth in Juneau. He joined the Alaska Discovery team in 2003 guiding trips to Berner's Bay, Pack Creek and Glacier Bay. His experience as a fine dining chef has inspired him to create excellent food in amazing places. Keep an eye out for a wilderness cookbook!

  • Keith Thompson

    Keith Thompson, Alaska Discovery Kayak Guide: Originally from Pennsylvania, Keith left a job in medical research to pursue his love for travel and the outdoors. He's been involved in a rock and ice climbing business, worked as a bike guide, and traveled extensively throughout North and Central America, and Southeast Asia. In 1999, his travels led him to Alaska where he fell in love with his surroundings. Keith writes, "I found the pristine Alaskan wilderness an inspiration and guiding a way of sharing and learning about this special place." (Bonus: Keith is also a massage therapist.)

  • Jeff Sloss

    Jeff Sloss, Alaska Discovery Kayak, Canoe, & River Guide: Jeff has been a lead guide for Alaska Discovery for over 20 years. He has helped set the high standards of quality and commitment that makes us a great company. Whenever we think of exploring a new area we turn to Jeff to make it happen. In the winter, Jeff teaches skiing and snowboarding in Juneau, works on film projects, and helps raise his two daughters. Jeff is an active conservationist and has lobbied Congress to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Jeff carries a deep love for Alaska onto all of his trips. Jeff writes, "Among the high points of this career are experiencing some of the world's finest places, and meeting new people as well as enjoying the company of returning guests that share an appreciation of this Great Land."

  • Solan Jensen

    Born and raised in coastal Alaska, Solan works as a kayak guide, a kayak ranger, a boat builder, and a marine mammal emergency responder. He received a degree in Philosophy which led him directly to a career working outdoors in the cold regions of the earth. As a kayak guide he divides his time between Antarctica and Alaska. A highlight of his career, Solan was the co-leader of one of the first commercially guided overnight sea kayak expeditions in Antarctica. In his spare time Solan is a collector of bones, books, and vinyl records. He co-directs a small film production company and is a tireless student of the banjo.

photo credits: ©John Baston, MTS Photo File



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Activity Ratings

Easy

Many activities are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips with Class I-II rapids.

Moderate

More active trips involving hiking over moderate terrain, usually - but not always - with vehicle support and at elevations less than 10,000 feet, or trips with long hiking days, multiple sea kayaking days, wilderness camping, or other invigorating activity. On many trips, you can elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III rapids.

Strenuous

Hiking and trekking over steeper or more rugged terrain or where elevations may exceed 10,000 feet - often several days in a row. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (4-5 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

Ultimate Challenge!

Our most demanding trips: trekking over steep, rugged terrain at high elevations (no vehicle support) or with substantial altitude gains and losses; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips. Includes our most demanding sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

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Departure Dates

Aug 1 - 7, 2014 SOLD OUT Jul 10 - 16, 2015 Jul 17 - 23, 2015 Jul 24 - 30, 2015 Jul 31, 2015 - Aug 6, 2015 Aug 7 - 13, 2015
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