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Become a true wilderness adventurer in America’s last frontier. Embark on the camping trip of a lifetime. Learn to thrive while camping in the remote Alaskan wilderness, hike to see breathtaking views, ice climb on the Root Glacier and pack raft among icebergs. Whitewater raft down the Matanuska River before experiencing the Kenai Peninsula where you will see whales, otters and sea lions.

With our No-Stress Travel Policy, you cancel for any reason up until the day of travel, and escrow 100% of the program fees for up to two years from the cancellation date.

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2018 Departures

Starts Ends Availability
June 16 June 29 Available
June 30 July 13 Available
July 14 July 27 Available

Program Profile

Country
United States
Community Service Component
None
Get to Know
Nature, Adventure
Lifestyle
Trek and Camp
Travel Component
On the Go!

  • Day 1

    Welcome to Alaska!

    Your great Alaskan adventure begins when you meet your program leaders and group at Ted Stevens Anchorage International airport (ANC). Tonight your leaders will give you an orientation to the program and then it’s off to bed—you have to rest up before the real adventure begins!

    Overnight: Anchorage, AK

  • Day 2

    Learn the Basics at Denali

    Drive to Denali National Park, where you will get to see North America’s tallest peak! Arrive at your campsite and learn the skills necessary to camp in the Alaskan wilderness. Get a glimpse of a traditional form of transportation in Alaska when you watch a dog sledding demonstration put on by park rangers.

    Overnight: Campsite near Denali National Park

  • Day 3

    Explore Denali

    Begin with an early start to the day as you take a bus tour to explore the inner parts of the park that aren’t open to visitor vehicles. You’ll begin to notice the varying landscapes and variety of animals that call the park home. Keep an eye out for bear, moose, caribou, and other animals along the road as you travel deeper into the park.

    Overnight: Campsite near Denali National Park

  • Day 4 - 5

    Remote Camp at MacLaren River

    After two great days in Denali National Park, we will head east along the Denali highway where we will stop at Maclaren River Lodge to camp and hike near the base of the Maclaren Glacier! The group will hike one of the many trails around the lodge and learn about the ever changing landscape and how it’s impacting the animals and people that call this area home.

    Overnight: Maclaren River Lodge

  • Day 6

    Travel to Kennicott, AK

    Pack up the van and drive to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park where you will prepare for three days of backcountry camping. At 13.2 million acres, Wrangell-St. Elias is the same size as Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Switzerland combined! Relax at camp after a long day of driving where the guides will meet the group and give an orientation to the park and the upcoming activities.

    Overnight: Campsite in Kennicott, AK

  • Day 7 - 9

    Adventure in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

    Hike and explore an old copper mine operated in the early 1900s and learn about packrafting and spend the day paddling around a glacial lake. Finally, head out to the glacier and learn how to ice climb! The guides will teach you the basic techniques of ice climbing and you’ll get the chance to climb a few walls on Root Glacier. In the evenings, the group will learn different techniques to ensure a safe and memorable camping trip in the backcountry.

    Overnight: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

  • Day 10

    Hike Lion’s Head

    Pack up all your camping gear and head back to the van where we will drive toward to the Matanuska River Valley. Along the way hike up the iconic Lion’s Head trail for incredible views of the Matanuska Glacier and River. Then continue down the road to your campsite for the night in preparation for your next adventure.

    Overnight: Campsite near the Matanuska River

  • Day 11

    Whitewater Raft the Matanuska River

    Wake up and spend the morning whitewater rafting. Begin on Caribou Creek before merging with the Matanuska River on this half-day paddle through Class III and IV rapids. Then continue your journey toward the Kenai Peninsula where you will set up camp near Seward, Alaska.

    Overnight: Campsite near Seward, AK

  • Day 12 - 13

    Explore the Kenai Peninsula

    Get out on the open water on a marine tour where you will see whales, otters, bears, and other animals that call the Kenai home! Finish the trip with a hike along the dense blue ice of Exit Glacier and see the spectacular views of the Harding Icefield which covers over 700 square miles! In the evenings, explore the small port town of Seward and cook meals together at the beautiful seaside campsite.

    Overnight: Campsite near Seward, AK

  • Day 14

    Return Home

    Journey back to Anchorage where you will hop on your flight back home. Relive the memories and adventures you experienced with your group as you come together for one final time for a closing ceremony.

An Important Note About Schedule Changes

Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity.

The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.

“Optional Activities” are fully included in the cost of your program, but you can choose to not do these activities.

“Add-On Activities” are not included in the cost of your program and must be paid for separately. Add-on activities are rare, but include things like skydiving, bungee jumping, or weekend side-trips. Not every program has add-on activities.

For more information, email usa@rusticpathways.com

Program-Specific FAQs

  • This program.

  • Each program will have leaders who are certified in First Aid and CPR. Some of our program leaders are also 
certified as Wilderness First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), Wilderness EMTs, or Life Guards.

  • Rustic Pathways maintains a minimum of 1 Program Leader for every 7 students. Additionally, each program maintains at least 2 primary program leaders, one male and one female.

  • Rustic Pathways uses sterilization techniques to ensure that all drinking water for students is potable and safe to drink. We ask students to bring reusable water bottles in order to reduce plastic usage.

  • Students are allowed to bring phones on their Rustic Pathways program, but must abide by our cell phone policy. Students will not be allowed to use their phones during group activities, nor at any other time where it is disruptive to the group dynamic. If students are unable to abide by this policy, disciplinary action may be taken. Please note that cell phone coverage in Alaska is limited in some areas. Rustic Pathways will also have a satellite phone for use in emergencies where cell phone coverage isn’t present.

  • 110V

  • The weather in Alaska is cool and can be wet. Highs will range from the 50s to the 60s and lows can get down into the low 40s at night. Rainfall is common in the summer months in all the areas we go to in Alaska, so be prepared with adequate layers as listed in the packing list.

  • Accommodations for Alaska will be a mix between tent-camping, bunk beds in lodges and dorm-style accommodation in the Anchorage hostel. This trip goes to remote areas and is very rugged.

  • The group will eat most meals at the campsite, eating typical camp-style meals. When we pass through towns like Anchorage and Seward the group will also have an opportunity to eat at a few restaurants.

  • Flush toilets will be available for the students to use at various points throughout the trip. Some campsite may only have pit toilets and not all sites will have shower facilities.

  • Phone service will vary depending on the location of the program. Students will not be allowed to have their cell phone during service and group activities.

  • Students are encouraged to follow the packing list provided on the website. Students should pack enough clothes for the duration of the trip.

  • The group will be transported by staff throughout the duration of the program.

  • The students will be trained Wilderness First Responders on this program and will have access to several hospitals and medical centers depending on location.

  • Please consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for immunization and other medical recommendations, based on the area(s) where you will be traveling and on your own medical history. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, please visit the HX Global and Centers for Disease Control websites for country specific information around immunizations and traveler’s health. Please let us know if you have specific questions.

  • HX Global is one of the world’s leading providers of medical evacuation and travel services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways will have access to HX Global benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership.

    As a member you will have access to HX Global’s extensive travel information database to help you make informed decisions prior to travel. Additionally, all travelers who travel outside their country of residence will have access to medical evacuation support during their program. For more information please visit our HX Global webpage.

  • Yes, we can cater to all dietary restrictions as long as we are notified in advance.

  • Students are encouraged to use bug spray while on the program to prevent the chance of mosquito/insect bites.

  • Personal gifts, internet, phone calls, and snacks are not included. All other costs (accommodation, meals, in-country transportation, and activities) are included in the program price.

  • $100-$150

  • There are no community service hours eligible for this program.

CARRY-ON

A 25-30 Liter is ideal as this will also be the daypack you use during most daily activities.

  • ID or Passport (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Wallet/money
  • Visa documentation (if applicable)
  • Refillable Water bottle – Required
  • Book and/or journal
  • Pen
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Chargers
  • Change of clothes
  • Hiking boots – water resistant and must have ankle support
  • Medication
  • Consent to Travel form
  • Rustic Pathways emergency contacts

CHECK LUGGAGE

A 50-75 liter backpack (with rain cover) is recommended, large enough to fit all your clothes and gear. Suitcases/wheeled bags are not suitable on this program.

Key Points to Remember

  1. You will be carrying your pack throughout the program so bring only what you need and be prepared to wear clothes multiple times throughout the trip!
  2. Non-cotton layers are vital to ensuring your warmth and comfort, as cotton does not insulate or dry quickly if wet — stick to synthetic blends and avoid cotton blends if possible.

Clothes

  • Mid/Heavyweight Socks (2-4) – wool socks are best as they’ll keep your feet warm when wet
  • Lightweight socks (5-6) – wool socks are best as they’ll keep your feet warm when wet
  • Underwear (14) – women consider bringing 11 synthetic pairs and 3 cotton pairs. Synthetic material doesn’t breathe as well as cotton.
  • Thermal top and bottom base layer: (1 pair)
  • Hiking pants (2 pair)
  • Shorts (2 pairs)
  • Mid-layer bottoms (1)
  • Waterproof/rain pants
  • Shirts (8-10)
  • Mid-Layer tops (2, fleece)
  • Mid-weight coat
  • Waterproof/rain jacket
  • Sneakers
  • Sandals
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat with brim/visor
  • Warm hat
  • Head net
  • Gloves
  • Quick dry towel
  • Bathing suit

Optional Items

  • Scarf
  • Hand/foot warmers
  • Trekking poles
  • Gaiters
  • Bandana
  • Unscented Deodorant
  • Razor/shaving

Toiletries

(Travel size bottles in Ziploc bags)

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen, SPF 30+
  • Lip sun protection, SPF 30+
  • Bug spray with DEET
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Contacts and solution (if applicable)
  • Wet Wipes

Miscellaneous

  • Sleeping bag (0-20°F / -18 to -6°C)
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  1. a
    Anchorage

    Welcome to Alaska! Anchorage is the capital and the starting point for the trip!

  2. b
    Denali National Park

    6 million acres of national park and home to the tallest peak in North America: Denali (formally known as Mt. Mckinley)

  3. c
    MaClaren River Lodge

    A quick stopping point to canoe and explore Alaska along the Denali Highway.

  4. d
    Wrangell St. Elias National Park

    The largest national park in the U.S. Spend your time back country camping, ice climbing and glacier hiking.

  5. e
    Seward

    Located on the Kenai Peninsula, spend your time camping, hiking, and white water rafting on the beautiful and challenging 6 mile creek.