Alaska Odyssey Trek Itinerary
Day 1 - On the morning of departure we will meet at our house in Talkeetna at 9am for an orientation program that includes an examination of all your equipment, selecting and packing your food, your tent and your share of community gear. We enjoy snacks and drinks and encourage questions and conversation. We have been practicing "No Trace" camping techniques for 20 years. It is an important part of traveling through the fragile alpine zones we traverse. We also use small aircraft for access into these remote lakes and safety in and around them is essential. It's easy stuff that everyone needs to be made aware of.
Our flights out are scheduled for around noon. We drive to the float plane lake 20 minutes before departure. The flight in will be anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes, giving us plenty of time to set up camp, get settled in and maybe get a quick hike in before dinner that evening.
Day 2 - After breakfast, we partake in a day hike outing, exploring the mountains in the immediate area. This light-duty jaunt with near empty packs helps to familiarize everyone with tundra walking and acts as a good introduction to the surface you'll be walking over in the next seven days. The scenery is absolutely stunning, jagged face peaks punch into the skyline and are reflected on the surface of the lake. You'll be delighted to see the variety and vivid colored wildflowers growing in some sparse looking country. If we're lucky we'll see a Dall Sheep, Caribou or maybe a Grizzly Bear. This is very rugged country and their home. We head back to camp in the early evening and have dinner. Evening strolls with your guide are relaxing.
Day 3 - Early breakfast, break camp, pack-up and off we go across a wide alpine valley to a point just shy of crossing our first mountain pass. It's a gorgeous setting at the edge of a brilliant emerald tarn, Honey Lake. There's a nice knob 20 minutes from camp for glassing for animals after dinner. It's always a good idea to stretch your legs without your backpack before hitting the sack. You may be rewarded with an awesome sighting, Wolverine 100 yards away!
Day 4 - We head up and over a notch in the chain of mountains in front of us. The descent is tricky and we travel cautiously. At the base is a bubbly creek with delicious water and home to a few pair of Rosy finches and some beautiful wildflowers. This day we'll make about 5 miles including two descents of 3 to 4 hundred feet each. Our camp is set up in a large bowl on the shore of another pristine lake near the crown of the mountains.
Day 5 - Lazy morning, our last day in the high alpine area of the trek. We climb over a rolling ridge and head through a long pass and a slow descent into the upper "lakes" region of our route. Views of the Alaska Range and Talkeetna Mountains are superb and fantastic. This leg of the trek spans an area excellent for viewing wildlife including Grizzly Bears, Caribou, Black Bears and Wolves.
Day 6 - Continued descent into lower lakes region. Skirting a few lakes with nesting waterfowl, there are an abundance of wildflowers and views of the lower riparian zones, 1000' below us. It will be our first encounter with alder bushes and willows, home of the Alaskan Moose. This camp is on the shores of a great lake for swimming, a long narrow Beaver pond, Hourglass Lake.
Day 7 - Rolling hills with less tundra and more grassy meadows interspersed with small copses of spruce trees, again, excellent views of the Alaska Range with Denali dominating the horizon. The prehistoric call of Sandhill Cranes can be heard or the honking of Trumpeter Swans. Last day of 5 mile hiking and reaching the terminus lake by evening. There may be an opportunity for a great, two hour hike up to the top of "Medicine Hat" knob. Excellent views of the Alaska Range, the Talkeetna Mountains and the glacier fed Talkeetna River winding it's way down to the confluence with the Susitna River. Pick-up is at 6:30pm for the flight home and our guests will overnight at one of the Lodges, hotels or B&B's in the area.
Denali Trekking Company will provide all tents and cooking equipment, including stoves, fuel, pots and pans. We provide excellent food for our guests. Our meals are savory and nutritious designed to support a body working in the mountains.
Special dietary considerations are given to every guest. You will find us easy to work with in putting together a perfect meal plan. That is experience talking.
Each guest receives a detailed equipment list of must have and optional items. We do not rent equipment but we can assist you in renting almost anything but boots through an REI outlet in Anchorage. There is one shop in Talkeetna where you can purchase hiking equipment.