Experience Denali’s wilderness up-close on a week-long backpacking tour of the legendary Whale’s Tail! Join your experienced guide for a 20-30 mile (30-50 km) journey across Alaska’s towering mountains and massive glaciers and spend your days traversing epic ridgelines, summiting peaks, and marveling at the wildlife. Re-energize with delicious food, enjoy the serene atmosphere and make memories with fellow adventurers!
Arrive in Anchorage and check into your lakeside hotel anytime before 5 pm. Meet your guide to talk about your upcoming adventure, share goals for the trip, go over the gear, and enjoy a tasty dinner.
After a filling breakfast, head over to the Lake Hood Seaplane Base. Experience Alaska’s stunning wilderness from the sky, before landing on a small lake tucked in the path of a receding glacier. Unload your gear on the beach, say goodbye to your pilots, and take in the silence and remoteness of the place! Set up camp and enjoy a good night’s sleep under the stars.
Get ready for 4 days of hiking Denali’s magnificent Whale’s Tail! You’ll be wandering through high alpine meadows, climbing small peaks, crossing glaciers, spotting moose and bears, and marveling at the persistent alpenglow dance across the snowy Alaska Range. And when you’ve had your fill of walking, head back to the camp to tell stories, eat delicious meals, and connect with fellow adventurers.
Spend your final morning in the backcountry relishing the memories, soaking in the atmosphere, and reflecting on your Denali experience. The floatplane will pick you up early in the morning. Enjoy a final flight over the majestic Ruth Gorge and Tokosha Mountains before returning to Anchorage and saying your goodbyes.
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced backpacking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- Seven days of backpacking
- Accommodations in Anchorage on the first night
- Tent accommodations for the rest of the tour
- Air and ground transportation for the duration of the tour
- All breakfasts and dinners for the duration of the tour
- All group supplies
- Denali National Park entrance fees
What’s not included:
- Transportation to and from Anchorage
- Transportation from the Anchorage Airport to your hotel and back
- Personal gear
- Lunches and snacks
Backpacking in Alaska can be quite challenging. You’ll be hiking 4-7 miles (6-11 km) per day off-trail across scree slopes, over mountain passes, and through the occasional thick Alaskan Alder, all while carrying a loaded backpack. That said, if you have previous backpacking experience and are in good physical shape, you’ll do fine. Keep in mind that you’ll also be expected to manage your pack, set up and break down your own tent, and carry a portion of the group equipment.
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Backpack large enough to carry all the items listed
- Hiking poles — optional
- Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
- Warm backpacking clothes
- Spare clothes for layering
- Waterproof rain gear
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
- Eating utensils
- Lunches you can eat on-the-go
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
Group supplies, such as first-aid kits, cooking equipment, emergency communication devices, and others will be provided by your guide.
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season.
Group sizes and prices:
- For this adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 6:1.
- The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to go backpacking with friends and family!
- Prices are based on double occupancy of rooms. If you’re traveling solo or want to have a room to yourself, you’ll have to pay a one time supplement of $200 to cover the extra cost of the room.
Backpacking in Denali National park can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the backpacking trip on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has backpackers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
For set dates, secure your spot with a $1000 deposit due upon booking. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy of your choice applies and the deposit is non-refundable. The remaining amount is paid 4 months (120 days) prior to departure.
Secure your spot for the following season with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you’ll be the first one to know. Pick the month that suits you best and we’ll let you know once the dates are live—don’t risk missing out on your bucket list adventure!
- Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure any time in case the dates don’t suit you.
- Once the dates are set, you can confirm your booking by the end of this year by paying another 20% of the total amount.
- The final balance is due 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.
- Once the trip has been confirmed, your chosen cancellation policy applies.
Upon checkout, you can choose one of our 57hours flexibility options:
Basic: Fully refundable in the first 48 hours after the booking has been made. Deposit non-refundable afterwards. If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to ninety (90) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a second payment refund. After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Date change is available 3 months (or earlier) before the trip for additional 10% fee.
Flexible: If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to sixty (60) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations thirty (30) to fifty nine (59) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. For cancellations one (0) to twenty nine (29) days in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.
Super Flexible: If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to fourteen (14) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations one to thirteen (13) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking.
All cancellations must be made by e-mail. You can read more about our Terms of service here.
To get to Anchorage, AK, the starting point of this tour, most people fly into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. From there, you can take a bus or taxi to your hotel, where you’ll be meeting your guide.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, which will usually be at your hotel in Anchorage. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Denali National Park, AK, please refer to the Official site of the State of Alaska and the National Park Service’s guidelines for Denali NP.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!