Alaskan Backcountry: Alyeska to the Lodge at Black Rapids

(c) Debra Larson. All rights reserved.

Awaken All Your Senses on a Winter Adventure

Experience the highlights and hidden gems of Alaska’s backcountry on this 9-day adventure into winter wilderness. Visit a luxury mountain resort in Girdwood, sample homebaked treats in Talkeetna, and relax in comfort at wilderness lodge nestled at the base of the Eastern edges of the Alaska Range. Explore Alaska on flightseeing adventures by air and by land – with a sled dog team and by snowshoe, giving you multiple perspectives of the beauty of Alaska in winter.

Helicopters, Sled Dogs, Ice Caves, and the Aurora Borealis!

Day 1

Arrive in Anchorage - Travel to Girdwood

Upon arrival in Anchorage, meet your private driver/guide and travel south along the scenic Turnigan Arm to your luxury resort in Girdwood, Alyeska Resort. This ski resort is located at the base of Alyeska Mountain and offers amenities such as an onsite spa, numerous restaurants, shopping, and an indoor mountain front pool and hot tub. Relax after your day of traveling and before turning in, be sure to let the front desk know if you would like an aurora borealis (Northern Lights) wake-up call.

Overnight in Girdwood, your home for the next two nights.

Day 2

Turnagain Arm Exploration: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center & Helicopter Tour

Today is yours to enjoy Turnagain Arm. Travel to Portage with your private driver/guide for a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. The Conservation Center takes in injured or orphaned animals year-round and provides them with spacious enclosures and quality care. This afternoon, take a glacier tour by helicopter over the Chugach Mountains backcountry. Look for wildlife navigating steep cliff walls and snow-filled valleys. This area is one of North America’s most glacier filled regions, providing ample photo opportunities.

Overnight at Alyeska Resort.


Day 3

Travel from Girdwood to Talkeetna

Continue north with your private driver/guide through Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley to Talkeetna, known as the mecca for climbers wishing to summit Denali. Along the way, your guide can offer their favorite sightseeing suggestions as well as their favorite place to get a photo of Denali. Talkeetna is a quaint town with a small population that blooms in the summer. Spend time in quiet downtown or enjoy a beer at a local brewery before checking into your cozy cabin.

Overnight in Talkeetna.

Day 4

Travel from Talkeetna to Fairbanks

A homecooked breakfast will be served at the iconic Talkeetna Roadhouse, to start your day. Make sure to grab some of their tasty cookies for your journey north. Continue along the George Parks Highway with your private/driver guide to the interior regions’ largest city, Fairbanks. Along the way pass by Denali National Park and consider stopping at the park’s Winter Visitor’s Center, the Murie Science and Learning Center. Park rangers are on hand to answer visitor’s questions and the Center also has snowshoes that can be borrowed to explore the nearby trails. Relax this evening at your hotel in Fairbanks.

Overnight in Fairbanks.

Day 5

Travel from Fairbanks to the Lodge at Black Rapids

Meet your host from the Lodge at Black Rapids this morning for a private transfer to the Lodge. Along the way you will be regaled with stories of the historic roadhouse and this area’s frontier history. The Richardson’s Highway, Alaska’s first, has many hidden gems all along it and your host will hand pick a few based on your interests.

Spend the afternoon and evening getting acquainted with the lodge and enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner. The lodge has little ambient light interference due to it’s wilderness location, an optimal environment in which to view the aurora borealis should these magical lightshows appear during your stay.

Overnight at the Lodge at Black Rapids for four nights

Day 6

Flightseeing over the Alaska Range

Freshly prepared home cooked meals at the Lodge will be provided today, keeping you energized for the day’s adventures. Take off on a private flightseeing tour over the eastern edges of the Alaska Range. This area is often not seen by Alaska visitors, leaving the landscape exclusively yours to explore. Look for moose and bison in the river beds and Dall sheep climbing the steep cliffs.  This evening, join your lodge hosts and enjoy a sled-dog or reindeer sleigh ride through the boreal forest. Tonight, your host will wake you if the aurora begin to dance across the northern skies.

Day 7

Sled Dog Ride to Ice Caves

Today, learn about the glaciology and geology of the Alaska Range while taking a sled-dog ride to nearby ice caves. Spend the evening on the frozen Black Rapids Lake where there is an open bonfire, kick-sleds, snowshoes, and skis available for guests.

Day 8

Winter Wildlife by Snowshoe - From Wolves to the Northern Lights

After breakfast, strap on your snowshoes to begin an adventure like no other. While the landscape is quiet, there are many animals on the prowl in this winter wonderland. Look for lynx stalking prey amongst the trees, ptarmigan nesting under willows, or even fox jumping and poking through the snow drifts in search of their next meal. Arrive at the lodge owner’s private cabin where a gourmet lunch will be awaiting you. Warm up around the fire before returning to the lodge.

Tonight travel up to a mountain pass for unbeatable valley views. Listen for howling wolves as you await the northern lights.


Day 9

The Lodge at Black Rapids to Fairbanks

The morning at the lodge is at your leisure to explore the nearby trails and take in the beauty of this winter paradise. Lunch will be served before heading back to Fairbanks in time for your departing flight.

Amenities, nearby adventures and more...

Price range:  $1000 - $1500 per person, per day

  • All transportation services, including arrival and departure transfers, in a private vehicle with an experienced driver/guide
  • All hotel accommodations, including roundtrip baggage handling and daily breakfast
  • A stay at the Lodge at Black Rapids, including all meals, activities, and roundtrip transportation from Fairbanks
  • All tours and activities, carefully selected for you
  • Gratuity for included activities, hotel services, or lodge stay.
  • Meals, other than mentioned
  • Alcoholic beverages

Customize your adventure

Learn to capture the aurora borealis

Include an aurora borealis photography tour at the beginning of your program so you can capture the lights during your stay.

Include PRIVATE winter hiking tour

If you want more adventure consider including a private winter hiking tour.

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