Pack your best hiking shoes for an ambitious walking excursion that begins from Anchorage and takes in the Kenai Peninsula's highlights. On this seven-day vacation, hike the rugged trails of the Kenai Fjords and Chugach national parks, stand atop the historic Harding Icefield, and spot some marine life in the icy coastal seas. With transportation between trails and leisurely pauses in the laid-back fishing town of Seward and the artsy town of Homer, you have plenty of time to unwind and recharge – or keep moving with one of the numerous possible add-on activities.
Explore the small city of Homer and spot some marine wildlife in the coastal waters.
Walk on the expansive Harding Icefield.
Take an educational tour led by a local glacier expert with all technical gear provided.
Hike up the Flattop Mountain in Chugach National Park for the best views of Anchorage.
Welcome to Anchorage and the start of your incredible Kenai Fjords National Park adventure! Meet your guide at Inlet Tower Hotel & Suites in Anchorage at 10 am. From there, embark on the stunning drive to your first hike at Portage Pass. This out-and-back hike boasts one heck of a scenic-packed punch, with views of Prince William Sound, snow-capped mountains, and alpine lakes. Get up close and personal with a glacier atop the iceberg-dotted Portage Lake. After your hike, sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful drive as your local leader takes the wheel to reach Kenai Fjord National Park. In the evening, explore the fishing town of Seward on your own.
Today’s hike is 4.2 miles (6.8 km) roundtrip with a total of 1433 ft (437 m) in elevation gain.
Eat a hearty breakfast this morning for a full-day hike along with one of Alaska’s most iconic and heart-pumping trails. Meet your guide at your hotel for the short drive to the trailhead. The hike begins with a mellow warm-up as you walk along the valley, then quickly gains elevation – the reward is worth every step. As you make your way through the forest, catch peeks of the valleys until they emerge above the tree line for spectacular panoramic views. Witness the breathtaking sight of Exit Glacier and the Harding Icefield – the perfect all-Alaskan scene. After the hike, head back to Seward, where you can relax for the evening and review your epic photos from the day.
The out-and-back hike is 8.2 miles (13.2 km) roundtrip, with a total of 3812 ft (1162 m) in elevation gain.
Start your day with a half-day beach hike along a coastal trail that weaves through the mossy forests before breaking out onto the beaches of Kenai Fjords National Park. There are excellent beachcombing opportunities and even spot both land and marine wildlife. In the afternoon, join a variety of optional activities. Explore the fascinating Alaska Sealife Center, take a helicopter to a glacier for a dog sledding tour, or hop on board a scenic cruise through the waters along the Kenai Peninsula on your own.
The coastal out-and-back hike is 4.1 miles (6.6 km) roundtrip and gains 770 ft (235 m) in elevation.
Caines Head and Tonsina Point coastal hikes
Day 4-5: Homer, Alaska
Enjoy a scenic drive to the town of Homer, famed for being the halibut capital of the world and nicknamed “the end of the road” because it marks the very end of the US highway system, where land meets the sea. While Homer is surrounded by ocean and wilderness, it’s also an artsy town home to several museums, art galleries, and fine dining options. There will be stops along the drive to stretch your legs and take in the sights.
Today you have the full, free day to enjoy beautiful Homer. Explore the beach of the famous Homer Spit that juts out into Kachemak Bay, a unique geographical feature shaped by tidal swells, glaciers, and earthquakes. Visit local shops, explore the harbor, enjoy the local and traditional cuisines such as reindeer, caribou, king crab, and halibut.
Enjoy other excursions on your own such as a bear viewing flight that includes a scenic flight, a professional bear guide, and digital photos. Or fishing for some of that delicious Homer halibut, a half-day fishing charter that includes all gear and gets to keep whatever you catch. The bear viewing flight is 5-7 hours’ total trip time, including approximately 3 hours with the bears and 1.5 to 3 hours of scenic flight time. Trip time and time with bears is dependent on weather. Half-day fishing charters depart at either 7 am or 12 pm.
Journey back to Anchorage, making many scenic stops along the beautiful Turnagain Arm, one of the most stunning drives in the USA. Take on Anchorage's most famous day hike and explore Flattop Mountain in Chugach State Park. Flattop is well-known for its distinguished shape, well-maintained trails, and sweeping mountain and city views. From one direction, take a lookout over the city of Anchorage and take in distant views of the Tordrillo, Talkeetna, Kenai, and Alaska mountain ranges. Catch the dramatic mountain views, snow-capped peaks, and deep mountain valleys from the other directions. After the hike, overnight in Anchorage for a group dinner.
Today’s round-trip hike is 3.3 miles (5.3 km) with a 1430 ft (436 m) elevation gain – perfect for a half-day final adventure.
Chugach State Flattop Mountain hike
Day 7: Anchorage, Alaska | Return Home
The tour ends after breakfast and you’re free to depart at your leisure or stay and explore more of Anchorage on your own.
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!