Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour

Alaska Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour

Highlights

  • See polar bears in the best polar bear viewing area in Alaska
  • Experience the Northern Lights from one of the best viewing locations in North America
  • Travel along the Dalton Highway, an almost mythic road that runs for over 400 miles through Arctic wilderness, and follow the famous Ice Road Truckers
  • Discover some of the most dramatic scenery in Alaska
  • Cross the Arctic Circle
  • Stay with local Alaskans in the Brooks Range wilderness
  • Visit one of the most remote native communities in Alaska
  • See Arctic Wildlife
  • Dip your toes in amazing hot springs
  • Visit an ice museum
  • Small group of maximum six guests provides for highly personalized experience

Included in Price

  • 10 days (9 nights) of lodging
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • All transportation during the tour incl. return flight from Deadhorse to Kaktovik
  • Full day boat excursion with native guide to view polar bears
  • All activities (ice museum, hot springs)
  • Professional guide
  • Permit fees
Price (all inclusive) From Group size Tour dates
$7,250 Fairbanks, Alaska max. 6 All of our 2018 tours are fully booked.
Sept 12 - 21, 2019
Sept 13 - 23, 2019
Sept 21- 30, 2019

**We only require a $500 deposit per person to hold your space.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Fairbanks

Welcome to Fairbanks, Alaska’s second-largest city. You will arrive on your schedule flight, be picked up at the airport and transferred to our local hotel. You will share our Welcome Dinner in the evening in downtown Fairbanks. Fairbanks is called “The Golden Heart of Alaska,” a reference to the character of her people as much as to the location in Alaska’s interior, or to the discovery of gold in 1902. Its central location makes it the focal point for the tiny villages scattered throughout the surrounding wilderness, and Fairbanks is a staging point for North Slope villages such as Barrow and the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay. Yet, unlike Anchorage, it still retains its down home “frontier” feel. It is contained within the North Star Borough, similar to a county, but roughly the size of New Jersey!

Day 2– Fairbanks – Wiseman

You head north along the James Dalton Highway, a 414 mile road connecting Deadhorse to the Elliot Highway near the town of Livengood, located approximately 80 miles north of Fairbanks. Made famous by the recent Ice Road Trucker series, it’s considered by many to be one of North America’s most scenic and beautiful wilderness roads. Also known as the Haul Road, the Dalton Highway is critical to the delivery of material, equipment and supplies to the Prudhoe Bay oil fields. You will travel through the boreal forest and north of the Yukon River you will reach a milestone on our trip: the iconic Arctic Circle, an invisible line at the elegant latitude of 66º33′. North of the Arctic Circle is the land of the midnight sun, where the sun never sets during the summer. Soon after crossing the Arctic Circle you will reach the foothills of the Brooks Range, and a couple hours later you will arrive at our oasis in the wilderness in Wiseman, population 13, a historic gold mining community town located in the heart of the Brooks Range. During our nights in Wiseman we will keep a watchful eye for the northern lights. Wiseman is located closed to what scientists describe as the ‘maximum zone close to 67 degrees north’. This makes Wiseman one of the best places in Alaska (and in North America!) where you can see the northern lights most often and with greatest intensity.

Day 3 – Wiseman – Deadhorse

You will explore the surroundings of Wiseman today. Located on the middle fork of the Koyukuk River, much of Wiseman’s colorful gold rush history is preserved in its buildings. You will go for a hike in the alpine tundra near Atigun Pass (4643 ft.), the only pass in the Brooks Range that is crossed by a road. Atigun Pass also is the northernmost pass in the world that is kept open year-round and the highest year-round pass in Alaska. This area is one of the best for hiking along the Dalton Highway and a great place to look for Grizzly Bears, Moose and Dall Sheep. Beyond towering Atigun Pass, the Arctic Slope extends 170 miles, first through rolling tundra foothills, then over the broad, lake-dotted flatlands of the vast Coastal Plain that extends to the Arctic Ocean. We will keep our eyes peeled for Dall Sheep in the mountains and Caribou and Muskoxen on the North Slope. You will spend the night in Deadhorse. The town consists mainly of facilities for the workers and companies that operate at the nearby Prudhoe Bay oil fields.

Day 4 – Deadhorse – Kaktovik

You will spend the morning exploring Deadhorse and head back out along the Dalton Highway if weather permits. Around noon you will board a scheduled flight to Kaktovik. This flight will give you an incredible aerial impression of Alaska’s Arctic. The small Inupiaq Eskimo village of Kaktovik is located on Barter Island, population around 280. You are now only about 60 miles from the Canadian border, but still 1,400 miles from the North Pole! During a tour of the village, you will catch our first glimpse of Alaska Polar Bears at a place called the ‘bone pile’. Polar bears have historically used the barrier islands and sand spits around Barter Island as a resting place, a feeding place and a stopover until winter sea ice forms. However, the possibility of seeing large numbers of bears in one place can be linked to the local whaling. The greatest numbers of bears loafing in the area are typically found in September and October, just prior, during and after the time Kaktovik residents hunt bowhead whales. The Polar Bears feed on unused portions of whale carcasses that are deposited at a “bone pile” a few kilometers from the village during Kaktovik’s subsistence whale harvest season in September and October. The sea ice generally forms soonest again near Barter Island, which explains the bears’ presence in the area.
Day 5 – Kaktovik

Your Inupiaq guide, who is US Coast Guard licensed and vetted by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, will safely guide you by boat and on shore all day along the barrier reefs for rare Polar Bear encounters. Viewing Polar Bears in the wild is probably one of the most unique experiences in the world. Certainly the Polar Bears take center stage, but there are opportunities to see other wildlife. Wherever Polar Bears roam, it is highly likely that arctic fox will follow. The arctic tundra itself—stark and barren as it may at first appear—can be truly breathtaking under an ever-changing Arctic sky. There are very few places on Earth allows this kind of intense Arctic experience.

Day 6 – Kaktovik – Deadhorse – Wiseman

You will have all morning to explore Kaktovik and return once more to see the Polar Bears. By mid-day, you will fly back to Prudhoe Bay on a scheduled flight. You will then slowly work your way back across the Coastal Plain towards the Brooks Range. The snowline will have been creeping down to lower elevations, and it is not unlikely to have snow on the ground at the end of September, which will add another dimension to the already stark landscape. After crossing over Atiugn Pass, you will reach treeline again. Your accommodation in Wiseman will be a welcome sight to relax in. You will keep your eyes peeled again at night for aurora activity. Many factors do affect our ability to see the Northern Lights, however the location of Wiseman close to what scientists describe as the ‘maximum zone close to 67 degrees north’. This makes Wiseman one of the best places in Alaska where you can see the aurora most often and with greatest intensity.

Day 7 – Wiseman

Today will head up Nolan Creek Valley for an all-day hike and enjoy the peace and serenity of the Brooks Range. Some of you may decide to just want to spend the day exploring on your own, at your own pace.

Day 8 – Wiseman – A Taste of Alaska Lodge

You will be heading south this morning, across the Brooks Range and back into the Boreal Forest of Interior Alaska. Driving the Dalton is always an adventure. Frommer’s Guide described the Dalton Highway as follows: “The experience of the Dalton Highway for a traveler is so far beyond the ordinary as to require a whole new frame of reference to take it all in. The road is so very long, so remote and free of traffic, and the scenery is so mind-boggling in its grandeur and repetition, that after a time it feels like you’re living in a dream. At some point, you have to swallow and say to yourself, “I guess I didn’t know that much about the world after all.” Your destination for the night is A Taste of Alaska Lodge, a gorgeous B&B along Chena Hot Springs Road.

Day 9 – A Taste of Alaska Lodge – Chena Hot Springs – Fairbanks

Today your destination is the Chena Hot Springs Resort, internationally known for its natural mineral hot springs and its Aurora Ice Museum, which we will visit first. This facility is kept at a constant 28 degrees F and is operational year round with the same geothermal energy that keeps the resort open for business. The museum features a gallery and ice bar, overhead chandeliers made of individually carved ice crystals which change color every six seconds mimicking the northern lights, countless sculptures including a gigantic chess set, life sized jousting knights, an ice fireplace and four galleries with varying themes. and prime location for viewing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). After lunch, you will appreciate soaking your tried bodies in the legendary healing mineral waters. Not only is this a place where you can enjoy a dip in a natural hot tub (the hot springs source is 165 degrees F), but the resort itself is an excellent example of geothermal energy and sustainable design. The entire resort is powered by the utilization of the 165 degrees hot springs ground water, which flows to a heat exchanger to develop the heating system loop and transformed to electrical power for lighting and power at the resort. There is also a green house where the fruits and vegetables used at the restaurant are grown. You will be heading back to Fairbanks in the afternoon, drop your bags at your hotel before enjoying your farewell dinner at the Pump House Restaurant, which offers one of the best dining experiences in Fairbanks.

Day 10 - Fairbanks

This morning you bid farewell to Alaska and each other. You will return home from your Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour with a wealth of images and stories and new friendships. And you will have gained a better appreciation for a unique part of Alaska and its majestic wildlife that very few people will ever encounter.

Map

Alaska Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour Map

Videos

Testimonials

Avishak Ayar - New York - Wild Alaska Travel Guest TestimonialThe Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour was the journey of a lifetime for me. It was an adventure that will be hard to duplicate in my future travels. I would recommend this trip to anyone without batting an eyelid.”

Avishek Ayar, New York

Judith Krik - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour - Wild Alaska Travel “The Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour by Laurent Dick of Wild Alaska Travel is over the top. How he managed to gel five individuals so expertly is beyond miraculous. I think it was his contagious enthusiasm that guided us all to have a blast. My advice: Grasp the moments with Laurent. You won’t regret it at all.”

Judith Kirk, Connecticut

Natalie Palmer - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour“Laurent, I have had such an amazing time and am over the moon with the things I've seen, the places I've been so lucky to be and the people and animals I met and saw along the way, including you! You are such an inspiration to me and I really admire your sense of adventure and passion towards the wilderness and love for what you do and where you live. I had a blast traveling with you and am going home with some super memories, super photos and super stories. Not only have I had a blast but I have learnt a lot on this trip, and that to me is a sign of a great guide and great people along the way.”

Jodi Woolard --- Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour TestimonialNatalie Palmer, Australia

Steve Ihlenburg - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour - Wild Alaska Travel “Not a day goes by that I don't recall some moment from our trip to Alaska. The lay of the land, your expert knowledge of everything that was going on and the overwhelming beauty of Alaska was exactly what I had hoped for. What a great time!”

Steve Ihlenburg, New York

Shirley Scully - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour“This tour was way above my expectations in every way. If you want an awesome tour of northern Alaska, Polar Bears and the Northern Lights, do not hesitate to book with Wild Alaska Travel. Thanks Laurent for the best travel experience ever, I loved every minute of it.

Shirley Scully, Rhode Island

Tim and Sue Coleman - Guest Testimonials Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour - Wild Alaska Travel“My wife and I have long wished to see Polar Bear in the Arctic. Both of us were also interested in seeing the Northern Lights. After researching the internet for some time we thought this would require two separate trips. That’s when my wife found Wild Alaska Travel on the internet and after contacting owner Laurent Dick to get a feel for the tour she booked the trip. She couldn’t have made a better decision. For us it was a truly incredible experience. Everything that was promised was delivered and then some! Just about everyone we share our pictures with has commented that they look like something out of National Geographic.”

Jodi Woolard --- Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour TestimonialJeff & Sue Ginsberg, Colorado

Mandy Chan Hong Kong - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear And Northern Lights Tour with Wild Alaska Travel“It was really an unforgettable journey.”

Mandy Chan, Hong Kong

Erika Osteraas California - Wild Alaska Travel Guest Testimonial“I just wanted to say what a fabulous time I had on the Alaska Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour. Laurent, you did so well maintaining a balance between letting us explore freely and keeping us on schedule. Thank you for providing something so real and experiential.”

Erika Osteraas, California

Julie Williams - New Zealand - Wild Alaska Travel Guest“I just want to say how much I totally enjoyed the trip, it really did exceed my expectations and I am so grateful I got a glimpse of the real Alaska, thank you for creating a tour that is off the beaten track and away from the typical tourist scene.”

Julie Williams, New Zeland

Anna Waller - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour - Wild Alaska Travel“I am grateful for this once in a life-time experience. I enjoyed everyone and will remember fond memories for a long time.”

Anna Waller, New York

Judy DeZambala - Alaska Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour Guest Testimonial“Thank you for being an exceptional guide. It was truly an amazing adventure.”

Judy deZabala, New York

Vikki Schou - New Zealand - Wild Alaska Travel Guest“Thank you for being a great host and showing us a fabulous side of Alaska that most people don’t get to see.”

Vikki Schou, New Zealand

Vaibhav Joshi - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour“It was a fantastic trip. Laurent is an awesome tour guide. He knows Alaska inside out.”

Vaibhav Joshi, Georgia

Nancy Milner - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour - Wild Alaska Travel“I always wanted to see the Northern Lights but this trip also included Polar Bears in their natural habitat. What a bonus! Laurent was attentive and knowledgeable. The trip was exactly what I expected. Traveling through Alaska, the way the trip was advertised, you will not get 5 star hotels, so don't expect that. But you will experience the real life of those wonderful people that live in the very extreme northern Alaska.
This trip was great fun for many reasons, the Lights, the Bears, the group of people I was with and also Laurent. Yes, you could get up North on your own, but why not travel with a group of new friends and a guide that will make it fun and adventurous. I have traveled a lot and all over the world. And have a lot of stories to tell about guides, but Laurent is up there in my top two. I will travel with Wild Alaska Travel again.”

Jodi Woolard --- Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour TestimonialNancy Milner, Arizona

Erine Weissman - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour - Wild Alaska Travel“I just wanted to say thanks again for being such an amazing guide! Every time i tell people about my trip I have a huge smile on my face!”

Erina Weissman, California

Xochitl Patron - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour - Wild Alaska Travel“Thanks a lot for your patience and willingness to show us Alaska. Every time that we talk about the trip, we have a big smile! You are a great host! Thank you again for everything - it was an amazing trip!”

Xóchitl Patron Hernandez, Mexico

David Waldmon & Jantina Tuthill - Wild Alaska Travel Testimonials“Many, many thanks for providing us with such a wonderful experience of a lifetime. We thoroughly enjoyed sharing the time with you and enjoying the moments which will now last a lifetime. We look forward to seeing you again soon on another adventure!”

David Waldman & Jantina Tuthill, Wyoming

Tim and Sue Coleman - Guest Testimonials Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour - Wild Alaska Travel“Alaska is an incredibly beautiful and vast place, wild and open. Words, photos and video can't come close to the experience of the reality. If you love the outdoors, adventure and want to visit authentic places, experience firsthand the real Alaska, this may be the trip for you. If you are open and accepting, respectful of others, flexible and adaptable, this may be the trip for you. If you love quiet, solitude, remote locations and the unexpected, this may be the trip for you. For us, what a trip! What a place! Truly, the adventure of a lifetime!”

Jodi Woolard --- Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour TestimonialTim & Sue Coleman, North Carolina

Urs and Edith - Switzerland - Wild Alaska Travel Guest Testimonial“Wir fanden die Tour einfach grandios! Ihr hättet nichts besser machen können! Nan ist ein grossartiger Guide, stets um das Wohl ihrer Gäste besorgt und unglaublich hilfsbereit! Wir hätten es gar nicht besser treffen können!Unvergesslich sind natürlich die Eisbären in Kaktovik und der legendäre Guide, Robert Thompson! Wir können die Tour zu den Eisbären mit Wild Alaska Travel jedem weiter empfehlen. Am liebsten würden wir gleich wieder selbst mitreisen!“

Urs & Edith, Switzerland

Joyce Crozier - Alaska - Wild Alaska Travel Guest Testimonial“My wish on this trip was to see polar bears in their natural environment and that dream came true. I let my sister do all the research and she made an excellent choice. She had talked to two people that had made the trip last year and highly recommended Laurent Dick as guide. I live in Alaska, more than forty years now. I have seen a lot of wild life but nothing compares to seeing the Polar Bears in Kaktovik!”

Joyce Crozier, Alaska

Somia Bhattacharya - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour - Wild Alaska Travel“I really cherished this trip and maybe sometime in future I will take this trip once more.”

Somia Bhattacharya, Arkansas

Viv & Payl Dullforce - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour“We are back in rainy London & are both still talking about the amazing experiences of the tripPaul & I agreed that it was a once in a Lifetime trip with everything we experienced.”

Viv & Paul Dullforce, United Kingdom

$7,250 Cruises

Alaska Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour with Denali Add-on

Highlights

  • Experience Denali National Park at the peak of the fall colors
  • See caribou, Dall sheep, grizzly bears and moose along the park road
  • Stay in the heart of Denali National Park
  • See polar bears in the best polar bear viewing area in Alaska
  • Experience the Northern Lights from one of the best viewing locations in North America
  • Travel along the Dalton Highway, an almost mythic road that runs for over 400 miles through Arctic wilderness, and follow the famous Ice Road Truckers
  • Discover some of the most dramatic scenery in Alaska
  • Cross the Arctic Circle
  • Stay with local Alaskans in the Brooks Range wilderness
  • Visit one of the most remote native communities in Alaska
  • See Arctic Wildlife
  • Dip your toes in amazing hot springs
  • Visit an ice museum
  • Small group of maximum six guests provides for highly personalized experience

Included in Price

  • 13 days (12 nights) of lodging
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • All transportation during the tour incl. return flight from Deadhorse to Kaktovik
  • Full day boat excursion with native guide to view polar bears
  • All activities (ice museum, hot springs)
  • Professional guide
  • Permit fees
Price (all inclusive) From Group size Tour dates
$8,750 Fairbanks, Alaska max. 6 All of our 2018 tours are fully booked.
Aug 19 - 31, 2019,
Aug 21 - Sept 2, 2019
Aug 31 - Sept 12, 2019
Sept 2 - 14, 2019

**We only require a $500 deposit per person to hold your space.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Fairbanks

Welcome to Fairbanks, Alaska’s second-largest city. You will arrive on your scheduled flight, be picked up at the airport and transferred to our local hotel. You will share our Welcome Dinner in the evening in downtown Fairbanks. Fairbanks is called “The Golden Heart of Alaska,” a reference to the character of her people as much as to the location in Alaska’s interior, or to the discovery of gold in 1902. Its central location makes it the focal point for the tiny villages scattered throughout the surrounding wilderness, and Fairbanks is a staging point for North Slope villages such as Barrow and the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay. Yet, unlike Anchorage, it still retains its down home “frontier” feel. It is contained within the North Star Borough, similar to a county, but roughly the size of New Jersey!

Day 2 – Fairbanks – Denali National Park (Kantishna)

Today, you are driving down to Denali National Park, the crown jewel of National Parks in Alaska. The park is one of the superlative places in the world: a land of gigantic mountains, plentiful wildlife, burly rivers and sublime wilderness. Autumn in Denali offers the chance to experience Alaska’s greatest park cloaked as comparatively few see it. During any season, the park offers some of the most striking vistas found in Alaska, but at no other time is the vast tundra more colorful than in early fall. A spectacular 90-mile drive across the park into the backcountry provides our group with a broad sampling of the epic landscapes this remarkable park has to offer. With clear weather the drive places us within easy photo access of the great mountain itself—Mt. McKinley or Denali – North America’s highest peak at 20,320 feet. In autumn the mountain tends to be less frequently eclipsed by clouds, and stunning images can be made featuring it in sweeping fall-colored landscapes or reflected in lakes and tundra ponds. You will stay in a small lodge in Kantishna at the end of the Denali Park road, far away from the crowds that can be overwhelming around the entrance of the park. The lodge serves as the base of operations for Kantishna Air Taxi, and their pilots stay there as well. In the evening, we will do an excursion to see and photograph the alpenglow on Mount McKinley reflected in Wonder Lake, where most of the iconic pictures of Mount McKinley have been taken.

Day 3 – Denali National Park (Kantishna)

Today, you will have many options, including a couple of short but very scenic hikes in the beautiful Kantishna Hills to capture some exceptional views of Mount McKinley and the vast tundra landscape in blazing fall color. The fall colors will be at the peak, and opportunities to capture this magical tapestry of colors abound, as the tundra provides an endless variety of colorful subjects: dwarf willows and birch trees only a few inches or feet in height will be in full golden hue, punctuated by the vibrant reds and magentas of wild blueberries and bearberries. You also have the option to go mountain biking on the Park road and old mining roads, fishing in Wonder Lake, or taking a flightseeing tour around Mt. McKinley and the Alaska Range. If you prefer, you may just relax in the lodge. You will get a first-hand view of the daily lives of Alaskan Bush pilots and crew.

Day 4 –Denali National Park – Fairbanks

You will backtrack the 90-mile Park road today as you return to the park entrance. Denali National Park is one of the greatest wildlife viewing areas in the world. It’s simply the best place in Alaska to see and photograph some of the large mammals like moose, caribou, Dall sheep and grizzly bears. We may spot these and other smaller animals that also inhabit the park such as foxes, arctic ground squirrels, hoary marmots, pikas, snowshoe hares, and beavers. We will continue our trip back to Fairbanks tonight, and embark on the journey up the Dalton Highway to Wiseman tomorrow.

Day 5 – Fairbanks – Wiseman

You head north along the James Dalton Highway, a 414 mile road connecting Deadhorse to the Elliot Highway near the town of Livengood, located approximately 80 miles north of Fairbanks. Made famous by the recent Ice Road Trucker series, it’s considered by many to be one of North America’s most scenic and beautiful wilderness roads. Also known as the Haul Road, the Dalton Highway is critical to the delivery of material, equipment and supplies to the Prudhoe Bay oil fields. You will travel through the boreal forest and north of the Yukon River you will reach a milestone on our trip: the iconic Arctic Circle, an invisible line at the elegant latitude of 66º33′. North of the Arctic Circle is the land of the midnight sun, where the sun never sets during the summer. Soon after crossing the Arctic Circle you will reach the foothills of the Brooks Range, and a couple hours later you will arrive at our oasis in the wilderness in Wiseman, population 13, a historic gold mining community town located in the heart of the Brooks Range. During our nights in Wiseman we will keep a watchful eye for the northern lights. Wiseman is located closed to what scientists describe as the ‘maximum zone close to 67 degrees north’. This makes Wiseman one of the best places in Alaska (and in North America!) where you can see the northern lights most often and with greatest intensity.

Day 6 – Wiseman – Deadhorse

You will explore the surroundings of Wiseman today. Located on the middle fork of the Koyukuk River, much of Wiseman’s colorful gold rush history is preserved in its buildings. You will go for a hike in the alpine tundra near Atigun Pass (4643 ft.), the only pass in the Brooks Range that is crossed by a road. Atigun Pass also is the northernmost pass in the world that is kept open year-round and the highest year-round pass in Alaska. This area is one of the best for hiking along the Dalton Highway and a great place to look for Grizzly Bears, Moose and Dall Sheep. Beyond towering Atigun Pass, the Arctic Slope extends 170 miles, first through rolling tundra foothills, then over the broad, lake-dotted flatlands of the vast Coastal Plain that extends to the Arctic Ocean. We will keep our eyes peeled for Dall Sheep in the mountains and Caribou and Muskoxen on the North Slope. You will spend the night in Deadhorse. The town consists mainly of facilities for the workers and companies that operate at the nearby Prudhoe Bay oil fields.

Day 7 – Deadhorse – Kaktovik

You will spend the morning exploring Deadhorse and head back out along the Dalton Highway if weather permits. Around noon you will board a scheduled flight to Kaktovik. This flight will give you an incredible aerial impression of Alaska’s Arctic. The small Inupiaq Eskimo village of Kaktovik is located on Barter Island, population around 280. You are now only about 60 miles from the Canadian border, but still 1,400 miles from the North Pole! During a tour of the village, you will catch our first glimpse of Alaska Polar Bears at a place called the ‘bone pile’. Polar bears have historically used the barrier islands and sand spits around Barter Island as a resting place, a feeding place and a stopover until winter sea ice forms. However, the possibility of seeing large numbers of bears in one place can be linked to the local whaling. The greatest numbers of bears loafing in the area are typically found in September and October, just prior, during and after the time Kaktovik residents hunt bowhead whales. The Polar Bears feed on unused portions of whale carcasses that are deposited at a “bone pile” a few kilometers from the village during Kaktovik’s subsistence whale harvest season in September and October. The sea ice generally forms soonest again near Barter Island, which explains the bears’ presence in the area.

Day 8 – Kaktovik

Your Inupiaq guide, who is US Coast Guard licensed and vetted by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, will safely guide you by boat and on shore all day along the barrier reefs for rare Polar Bear encounters. Viewing Polar Bears in the wild is probably one of the most unique experiences in the world. Certainly the Polar Bears take center stage, but there are opportunities to see other wildlife. Wherever Polar Bears roam, it is highly likely that arctic fox will follow. The arctic tundra itself—stark and barren as it may at first appear—can be truly breathtaking under an ever-changing Arctic sky. There are very few places on Earth allows this kind of intense Arctic experience.

Day 9 – Kaktovik – Deadhorse – Wiseman

You will have all morning to explore Kaktovik and return once more to see the Polar Bears. By mid-day, you will fly back to Prudhoe Bay on a scheduled flight. You will then slowly work your way back across the Coastal Plain towards the Brooks Range. The snowline will have been creeping down to lower elevations, and it is not unlikely to have snow on the ground at the end of September, which will add another dimension to the already stark landscape. After crossing over Atiugn Pass, you will reach treeline again. Your accommodation in Wiseman will be a welcome sight to relax in. You will keep your eyes peeled again at night for aurora activity. Many factors do affect our ability to see the Northern Lights, however the location of Wiseman close to what scientists describe as the ‘maximum zone close to 67 degrees north’. This makes Wiseman one of the best places in Alaska where you can see the aurora most often and with greatest intensity.

Day 10 – Wiseman

Today will head up Nolan Creek Valley for an all-day hike and enjoy the peace and serenity of the Brooks Range. Some of you may decide to just want to spend the day exploring on your own, at your own pace.

Day 11 – Wiseman – A Taste of Alaska Lodge

You will be heading south this morning, across the Brooks Range and back into the Boreal Forest of Interior Alaska. Driving the Dalton is always an adventure. Frommer’s Guide described the Dalton Highway as follows: “The experience of the Dalton Highway for a traveler is so far beyond the ordinary as to require a whole new frame of reference to take it all in. The road is so very long, so remote and free of traffic, and the scenery is so mind-boggling in its grandeur and repetition, that after a time it feels like you’re living in a dream. At some point, you have to swallow and say to yourself, “I guess I didn’t know that much about the world after all.” Your destination for the night is A Taste of Alaska Lodge, a gorgeous B&B along Chena Hot Springs Road.

Day 12 – A Taste of Alaska Lodge – Chena Hot Springs – Fairbanks

Today your destination is the Chena Hot Springs Resort, internationally known for its natural mineral hot springs and its Aurora Ice Museum, which we will visit first. This facility is kept at a constant 28 degrees F and is operational year round with the same geothermal energy that keeps the resort open for business. The museum features a gallery and ice bar, overhead chandeliers made of individually carved ice crystals which change color every six seconds mimicking the northern lights, countless sculptures including a gigantic chess set, life sized jousting knights, an ice fireplace and four galleries with varying themes. and prime location for viewing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). After lunch, you will appreciate soaking your tried bodies in the legendary healing mineral waters. Not only is this a place where you can enjoy a dip in a natural hot tub (the hot springs source is 165 degrees F), but the resort itself is an excellent example of geothermal energy and sustainable design. The entire resort is powered by the utilization of the 165 degrees hot springs ground water, which flows to a heat exchanger to develop the heating system loop and transformed to electrical power for lighting and power at the resort. There is also a green house where the fruits and vegetables used at the restaurant are grown. You will be heading back to Fairbanks in the afternoon, drop your bags at your hotel before enjoying your farewell dinner at the Pump House Restaurant, which offers one of the best dining experiences in Fairbanks.

Day 13 - Fairbanks

This morning you bid farewell to Alaska and each other. You will return home from your Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour with a wealth of images and stories and new friendships. And you will have gained a better appreciation for a unique part of Alaska and its majestic wildlife that very few people will ever encounter.

Map

Alaska Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour with Denali Add-on Map

Testimonials

Merran Matheson and Peter Zemek - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour“The Alaska Northern Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour with the Denali Add-on was a special time in our lives. Many fantastic memories!”

Peter Zemek and Merran Matheson, Australia

Hans and Anina Bodenstein - South Africa - Wild Alaska Travel Guest TestimonialThanks again for making the trip so special and for a great adventure.”

Hans & Anina Bodenstein, South Africa

Nirmalya Chakraborty - Alaska Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour Guest Testimonial“This will always remain one of the most lovely trips of mine. What I best liked in your tour is the family like bond and cozy care you have taken for us amidst difficult conditions.“

Nirmalya Chakraborty, New York

Julianne Skai Arbor - Treegirl - California - Wild Alaska Travel Guest Testimonial“Thanks again for a once in a lifetime trip!”

Julianne Skai Arbor, California

Alison Byrne - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour“Thanks again for such a fantastic trip, don’t think I will be surpassing that one anytime soon.”

Alison Byrne, Ireland

Ruth Zhang and David Tan - Singapore - Wild Alaska Travel Guest Testimonial“We got to experience the adventure of a lifetime!”

Ruth Zhang and David Tan, Singapore

Michelle Theall - Alaska Magazine Editor - Wild Alaska Travel Guest Testimonial“I wanted to extend my sincerest gratitude for allowing me to join you on this trip. I saw some truly incredible things, and you made that happen.”

Michelle Theall, Colorado

Miquel Correl - Guest Testimonial Alaska Polar Bear and Northern Lights Tour“I think this might be one of the best adventures I've taken.”

Miquel Correll, Texas

Frans Badenhorst - South Africa - Wild Alaska Travel Guest Testimonial“Just a word of thanks and appreciation. We arrived with the expectation of snow and Polar bears, and in fact we experienced much, much more. It is clear that you ‘enjoy’ what you do… and that perhaps is the most important part of success!!”

Frans Badenhorst, South Africa

$8,750 Tours

Iditarod Tours: Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour

Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour

Highlights

  • Experience and photograph the finish of the 2019 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Nome
  • Fly to the scenic Iditarod checkpoint of Elim
  • Ride a snowmobile to the Iditarod checkpoint in Safety
  • Learn how to become a musher and drive your own dog sled team
  • Attend the 2019 Iditarod Finisher’s banquet
  • Track down muskoxen by snowmobile
  • Play golf on the frozen Bering Sea
  • See and photograph the northern lights (weather permitting)
  • Stay in Nome’s best accommodations
  • Experience an authentic Alaska town and learn why ‘There’s no place like Nome!’
  • And, of course, meet your favorite Iditarod mushers and their dogs!

Included in price

  • 9 days (8 nights) of lodging in Nome’s best accommodations
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • All transportation during the tour
  • All activities (dog mushing experience, snowmobile excursions to Safety and to view muskoxen, flight to Elim Iditarod checkpoint)
  • Entry fees for Iditarod Finish Banquet and Bering Sea Invitational Golf Tournament
  • City tour with world famous Richard Beneville
Price (all inclusive) From Group size Tour dates
$4,450 Nome , Alaska max. 11 March 10-18, 2019

**We only require a $500 deposit per person to hold your space.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Welcome to Nome! Situated at the tip of Seward Peninsula and overlooking the Bering Sea, Nome may well be Alaska’s most exiting winter destination. This unique Alaskan town is rich in colorful Gold Rush history, and is the finish of the annual 1,049-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race. You will arrive on a scheduled Alaska Airlines flight from Anchorage. You will be picked up at the airport, transfer to the Dredge No. 7 Inn, Nome’s best accommodation.

You will have an orientation of the week ahead during lunch, and in the afternoon you will have a chance to familiarize yourself with Nome, visit the Iditarod headquarters and go for a walk on the frozen Bering Sea.

Every night during your stay in Nome, you will head out of town to photograph the Northern Lights, weather permitting. Just watching the aurora borealis is an amazing sight. Imagine yourself standing there, mesmerized by the movement of the lights through the northern sky.

Day 2 – This morning, local guide Richard Beneville will take you on a city tour. A former Broadway showman, he’s a man with a catch phrase (“Hello, Central!”) and a TV show, but his real performances are on his tours. He artfully employs his dramatic talents and in-depth knowledge of the area’s cultures and history, weaving the “short” 106-year history of Nome within the framework of 10,000 years of Eskimo culture. Richard’s passion for the Far North—his home for the past two decades—will rub off on you. Seeing Nome with him is a truly authentic local experience!

In the afternoon, you will ride a snowmobile into the backcountry to see and photograph muskoxen and possibly reindeer. The original muskoxen in Alaska died out in the 1800s, but a program to reestablish muskoxen on the Seward Peninsula has so far been extremely successful. The latest count of muskoxen on the Seward Peninsula shows their numbers approaching 3,000. We will also try to spot some of the 25,000 reindeer that roam the Seward Peninsula.

Day 3 – Today’s schedule will revolve around the Finish of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. You will head for Front Street to witness the Iditarod Finish & crowning of the 2016 Iditarod champion. Watch as the excitement builds and the city of Nome prepares to greet the musher who is the first to cross the finish line, after mushing across 1000 miles of North America’s wildest terrain in conditions best described as extreme.

Day 4 – Today, you will fly with Bering Air to the Iditarod checkpoint of Elim. You will fly along the coastline of Norton Sound, and have opportunities to see spectacular sea ice formations. You will spend most of the day at the Elim checkpoint, observing mushers and their teams as they arrive, rest and leave the checkpoint. In addition, you will get a feel for what it means to live in a remote village in Alaska. Experiencing life in a small Alaska Native village may offer you one of the most memorable and eye-opening travel experiences you’ll have in your life. One reason a visit is so special is that these Alaska villages see very few visitors. In fact, if they see a few organized tours each year, it’s a lot. And the Inpuiat Eskimos of this region are among the state’s most welcoming native peoples. You will return in the evening with Bering Air back to Nome.

Day 5 – Today you will ride by snowmobile to Safety, the last checkpoint along the Iditarod Trail. You will drive your snowmobile 22 miles along the Iditarod Trail and get a feel for what the trail conditions faced for almost 1,000 miles. You will be able to have lunch and a warm or cold drink at the bar at Safety Roadhouse. Weather permitting, you will drive further down the trail to the ‘Last Train to Nowhere’, an abandoned train from the gold rush era that sits on the tundra.

Day 6 –In the morning, you will start the day by hiking out on the sea ice to capture the beauty of the frozen Bering Sea and explore some of the stunning ice formations. We will continue to keep an eye on the race action between Safety and Nome, and watch more Iditarod teams arrive under the ‘Burled Arch’. You will also have a chance to enjoy some of the unique events of ‘Iditarod Week’ in Nome.

In the afternoon, you will explore the road system around Nome. You will head out the Teller Road, Kougarok, and Council Roads. What you’ll find is some of Alaska’s most captivating landscapes—a wilderness that draws you in quickly and holds your attention. Up here, less than 150 miles from the Arctic Circle, there are no trees, so you can see forever. We will look for old gold dredges and wildlife and experience some of the unique scenery around Nome.

Day 7 – In the morning, you will play golf at the famous Bering Sea Ice Golf Classic. Played on a six-hole, par-41 course laid out on the frozen Bering Sea, you will get shotgun shells to use as tees and “snake bite remedies” — small bottles of liquor — to ward off the chill.

In the afternoon, you will have a chance to drive your own team of sled dogs on a beautiful trail across the frozen tundra outside of Nome and feel the thrill of standing on the runners and being pulled by some of the most amazing canine athletes in the world. This experience provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about mushing basics combined with the exhilaration of competing in a race and driving your own team.

Day 8 – In the morning, you will have a chance to explore Nome on your own, visit with mushers at the dog yard, and do some last minute shopping at the Arts and Craft Fair. We will still keep an eye on mushers arriving under the ‘Burled Arch’.

In the afternoon, you will join the festivities of the 2016 Iditarod Finishers’ and Awards Banquet, which honors numerous mushers for a variety of accomplishments, including those related to speed, sportsmanship, and care for their dogs. It’s another great opportunity to get up close and personal with the mushers of “The Last Great Race.”

Day 9 – This morning you bid farewell to Nome and ‘Iditarod Week’. You return home with a wealth of images and stories and new friendships for your 2016 Iditarod Finish and Northern Lights Tour. And you will have gained a better appreciation why people say ‘There’s no place like Nome!’

Map

Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour Map

Videos

Testimonials

Sherry Hale -- Testimonial Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour“I enjoyed everything more than words can ever describe. Because of you, I had one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life!”

Sherry Hale, Tennessee

 

Jodi Woolard --- Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour Testimonial“WOW, wow, wow. It was THE trip of a lifetime, no exaggeration. I could tell from Laurent's video on his website it was going to be fantastic. But I had no idea how great it would really be until we spent the week with him. It's a nonstop adventure, he goes to all lengths to make sure you're experiencing everything there is to experience. It was absolutely incredible. Honestly, we left wanting for nothing when it was over, except maybe to become mushers ourselves. Thank you Laurent for giving us the experience you did - we will definitely be back!!!”

Jodi Woolard --- Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour TestimonialJodi Woolard, Washington

 

Linda Bauer - Wild Alaska Travel Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour Testimonial“This is a trip I will never forget. Words can hardly describe it. I’ve learned so much and have a new appreciation for another corner of our big beautiful world. You made that possible. Thanks for everything!

Linda Bauer, Wisconsin

 

Thomans and Sara McElroy - Testimonial Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour“Thank you so much for an incredible adventure in Nome and for making our first to Alaska so much fun. We loved having the opportunity to explore with you.”

Sara & Thomas McElroy, Washington

 

Diane Beck - Testimonial Idiatarod Finish & Northern Lights tour“What an awesome week with so many fun adventures – I can’t imagine a better Iditarod trip!”

Diane Beck, Alaska

 

Janet Hart - Testimonial Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour“Thanks for an awesome trip! I enjoyed every minute of it. I learned a lot and experienced a lot of firsts… snow machining, dog mushing, native village life, and standing on the frozen Bering Sea. How great is that?”

Janet Hart, Tennessee

 

Iditarod-Tours-by-Wild-Alaska-Travel-Iditarod-Finish-Tour-Guest-Testimonials-by-Bill-and-Linda-Bauer“Thank you for all you did throughout our stay to make it one of our most memorable trips. It was fantastic!”

Bill & Linda Bauer, Wisconsin

 

Diane Collins - Idiatarod Finish and Northern Lights Tour Testimional“We had a wonderful time and experienced the real Alaska.”

Diane Collins, Australia

 

Iditarod-Finish-Tour-by-Wild-Alaska-Travel-Guest-Testimonial-by-Geoff-Palcher-“Thank you so much for the incredible adventure for the Iditarod in Nome! Everything was perfect!”

Geoff Palcher, Maryland

 

Teresa Garza - Iditarod Finish & Northern lights Tour Testimonial“Thank you for a great week! I had so many new adventures that will stay with me forever!”

Teresa Garza, Texas

 

Ginger Bourgignon - Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour Testimonial“This adventure (not vacation) was the most thrilling I ever experienced.”

Ginger Bourgignon

 

Kathy Modesitt - Testimonial Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour“Visiting Nome with Laurent was one of the best vacations we ever took.”

Kathy Modesitt, South Carolina

 

Bill and Dian Taylor - Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour Testimonial“We had a great time in Nome! It was a really fun. We would definitely book another trip with Wild Alaska Travel.”

Bill & Dian Taylor, Australia

 

Dawn Oleck-Bourgingnon - Testimonial Wild Alaska Travel Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour“Going to Nome to see the finish of the Iditarod with Wild Alaska Travel was the best time of my life."

Dawn Olweck-Bourgignon, New York

 

Larry Feeney - Testimonial Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour“Laurent, you are an excellent guide. You made all the right decisions to make things happen. I had a fantastic time!”

Larry Feeney, Massachusetts

 

Christine Sotack Kotouch - Wild-Alaska-Travel-Iditarod-Finish-Tour-in-Nome“Where do I begin? The trip to Nome for the Iditarod was so much more than I expected. Riding snow machines to see muskoxen was awesome. Going to the different Iditarod checkpoints and interacting with the mushers was fantastic. The viewing of the northern lights was great. Mushing a dog team was a first for me. Just experiencing the life style in a bush village where everyone was so accepting was priceless!”

Christine Sotack Kotouch, Alaska

 

Wild-Alaska-Travel-Iditarod-Finish-Tour-Guest-Testimonial-by-Prasun-Choudhury“The Iditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour was indeed a once in a lifetime experience for me. Laurent is extremely knowledgeable about traveling in remote and off the beaten track places in Alaska. I would recommend anyone interested in getting exposed to true Alaskan wilderness to travel with Wild Alaska Travel and Laurent as a guide. Most of the things one will see or learn through these tours are unique and it is unlikely those will be available through generic Alaskan tours.”

Prasun Choudhury, California

 

Holly-Mantooth-Iditarod-Finish-Tour-Guest-TestimonialThank you for a truly wonderful Alaskan experience. My friend and I will be talking about this trip for a long time! You were an awesome host & guide and a terrific cook. I am looking forward to booking another tour with Wild Alaska Travel.

Holly Mantooth, Tennessee

 

$4,450 Tours

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Best price and value

We believe in providing you the best value for your money. Price is nothing without service and that's something we guarantee from the moment you arrive. We have a solid reputation for going well above-and-beyond the call of duty when it comes to your tour needs. Our goal is to exceed your expectations!

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Our small groups provide a highly personalized and intimate experience. One of the most fundamental elements of all of our tours is to have an extremely small group (usually no more than six guests). It may cost a little more, but in the end we know that we would not be able to provide the level of quality experience to a larger group.

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Testimonials
John Casseb, TexasJohn Casseb, TexasIditarod Start Tour
The Iditarod Start Tour was fantastic! The small group size was a huge plus. I highly recommend this trip for anyone who has any desire to see true Alaska. If you want to get up close and personal with Alaska, Wild Alaska Travek will take you there.
David Waldman & Jantina Tuthill, WyomingDavid Waldman & Jantina Tuthill, Wyoming Alaska Polar Bear & Northern Lights Tour
Many, many thanks for providing us with such a wonderful experience of a lifetime. We thoroughly enjoyed sharing the time with you and enjoying the moments which will now last a lifetime. We look forward to seeing you again soon on another adventure!
Lucy & Susan Yarnell, Washington, D.C.Lucy & Susan Yarnell, Washington, D.C.Alaska Northern Lights Tour
We so loved our time with you this trip. Traveling up north and seeing the Northern lights was a dream come true, and completely magical. Thanks for sharing your passion for the Alaskan wilderness and your love of adventure. We had a blast!
Testimonials
I always wanted to see the Northern Lights but this trip also included seeing Polar Bears in their natural habitat. What a bonus! You will not get 5 star hotels, so don't expect that. But you will experience the real life of those wonderful people that live in the very extreme northern Alaska. I have traveled a lot and all over the world. And have a lot of stories to tell about guides, but Laurent is up there in my top two. I will travel with Wild Alaska Travel again.
Andra Haviland, TexasAndra Haviland, TexasIditarod Start Tour
The Iditarod Start Tour was a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget. It was the most wonderful experience in my life.
Sara & Thomas McElroy, WashingtonSara & Thomas McElroy, WashingtonIditarod Finish & Northern Lights Tour
Thank you so much for an incredible adventure in Nome for the end of the Iditarod and for making our first trip to Alaska so much fun. Laurent was so knowledgeable and we loved having the opportunity to explore Alaska with him. We definitely recommend this trip to others.
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