Alaska Bush Safari Adventures - Bush Plane/Sea Plane Sample Tour
Including Kennicott, McCarthy, Cordova, Kodiak and Iliamna
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The following adventure cost $5150.00 per person based on double occupancy
Day 1: Anchorage to Kennicott/McCarthy
Departure from Anchorage at 10 AM for an amazing flight to Wrangell/ St. Elias National Park and McCarthy/Kennicott. Fly over the majestic Chugach Mountains, keeping your eyes peeled for Dall sheep and mountain goats. We may make a short fuel stop in Gulkana. Continue along the Chitina and Copper Rivers into Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Before we land in McCarthy we will fly over the Root Glacier and the buildings of the abandoned copper mine. We land at the McCarthy airstrip to meet the Kennicott Glacier Lodge van for a short & scenic drive to the Lodge.
Lunch along the way may include a shore lunch at a breath taking mountain lake or at the Kennicott Glacier Lodge. Time permitting, you may want to take a short hike to view the Kennicott Glacier. Return to the lodge for a delicious family-style dinner. Enjoy the beautiful view of the Kennicott Glacier from the deck of the lodge. Spend the evening exploring the ghost town of Kennicott built by the Kennecott Copper Corporation between 1910 and 1920 and the site of the richest copper mine in the world.
Economic conditions forced the mine to shut down abruptly in 1938, leaving behind a 14-story mill power plant, refrigeration plant, an old school and a silent movie theater. Overnight accommodations at the Kennicott Glacier Lodge.
Day 2: Kennicott/McCarthy to Cordova
After breakfast depart the Kennicott Glacier Lodge around 9 AM for McCarthy. Enjoy a walking tour of rustic McCarthy (McCarthy is a throw back to the old west & mining days, it’s very intriguing). Around 11 AM we’ll departure for Cordova following the Copper River, flying through the Wrangell Mountains and over the Million Dollar Bridge. If weather permits we’ll fly to the Skeleton Coast and view the wreck of a massive freighter overcome by the forces of nature & the intense low pressure systems that form in the Gulf of Alaska. On our way to Cordova we’ll fly over the Bering Glacier, a giant ice wall covering 2,000 square miles of Alaska. View the surface of the glacier riddled by deep crevasses and huge blocks of ice.
Land for lunch in Vitus Lake alongside the glacier. After a relaxing nature walk or photo safari we continue to Cordova, a quaint fishing town nestled in the heart of Prince William Sound. Cordova originated as the port for the Kennicott Mines.
Dinner will be at the Reluctant Fisherman Inn (the most famous of the few restaurants in the town). The Inn overlooks the Cordova Boat Harbor and specializes in the famous Copper River King and Red Salmon (often lauded as the premier salmon by salmon connoisseurs) , local seafoods, prime cuts of beef, chicken and pasta dishes. Dine and watch sea otters as they play in the water. Overnight accommodations at the Cordova Rose Lodge or the Reluctant Fisherman Inn.
Day 3: Cordova to Kodiak Island
Depart Cordova into beautiful Prince William Sound. Fly through fjords and over many tidewater glaciers, including the Columbia Glacier. Watch for an abundance of wildlife including seals, Killer Whales, Bald Eagles, salmon and sea birds as you fly over the pristine, protected waters. Prince William Sound offers a variety of places to land, many options will be left open including secluded islands, glaciers, next to commercial fishing boats, or amidst an occasional pod of whales.
Fly from Prince William Sound across the Barren Islands, which are part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. The Barren Islands, so named by Captain Cook in 1778 because of "their very naked appearance," are anything but barren when seabirds and sea mammals by the thousands arrive annually to give birth and rear their young.
Fly on towards Kodiak Island, home of the oldest European settlement in Alaska.
About 100 miles long and covering an area of 3,670 miles, Kodiak is the largest island in Alaska and the second largest in the United States. Wildlife on Kodiak abounds with the largest bears (the notorious Kodiak Brown Bear) in the world, eagles, sea lions, elk, deer and puffins just to name a few.
Land in the town of Kodiak, one of top fishing ports & home of the largest fishing fleet in Alaska. You can walk the docks and watch “a breed apart”, the Alaskan Fisherman, readying his boat for sea. The men and women are truly brave adventurers, that work ungodly hours, under demanding conditions to bring to our plate the delicious seafood of Alaskan waters. Kodiak has a variety of B&B, hotels, & lodges, each unique with it’s own Alaskan flavor. Options for dinner will be left open, as there are many & we may just want to see what we feel like when we land.
The next morning after breakfast, we can do a walking tour of Kodiak & visit several historical sites including the high water mark of the 1964 Tsunami that hit and demolished most of the town, the historical Russian Orthodox Church, and the Alutiiq or Baranov Museums.
Day 4: Kodiak Island to Iliamna
After breakfast, depart the City of Kodiak enroute to Katmai National Park, home to an abundance of Brown bear, spectactular glaciers, the valley of 10,000 smokes, and Mt. Katmai and Crater Lake. The Katmai eruption was 10 times more forceful than the 1980 Mount Saint Helens eruption. Robert Griggs, exploring the aftermath of the eruption for the National Geographical Society in 1916, came upon a great valley ladden with thousands of steam vents. For this reason Griggs named this area the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Griggs wrote the whole valley as far as the eye could see was full of tens of thousands of smokes curling up from its fissured floor. This will be a photo safari opportunity like no other. We'll land and enjoy a picnic style lunch or a shore lunch of fresh salmon cooked using secret family recipes, this will definitely be a meal to remember. Once we have our fill of the incredible scenery & wildlife, we'll pack up and head to the village of Iliamna where we'll stay the night and have dinner at the Iliamna Lake Lodge. Prior to 1935, "Old Iliamna" was located near the mouth of the Iliamna River, a traditional Athabascan village. A post office was established there in 1901. Around 1935, villagers moved to the present location, approximately 40 miles from the old site. The post office followed. Iliamna's current size and character can be attributed to the development of fishing and hunting lodges. The first lodge opened in the 1930s. A second lodge was built in the 1950s. During the 70s and 80s, lots were made available by the Baptist Church, and additional lodges were constructed. Today, Iliamna has become a recreational and tourist attraction due to the excellent fishing at Iliamna Lake, second lake in size in the US, and local rivers. The population is mixed, with non-Natives, Tanaina Athabascans, Aleuts and Eskimos.
Day 5: Iliamna to Anchorage
After breakfast we'll depart Iliamna and fly over the wilderness that comprises Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, this a composite of ecosystems representative of many diverse regions throughout Alaska. Covering four million acres, the spectacular scenery stretches from the shores of Cook Inlet, across the Chigmit Mountains, to the tundra covered hills of the western interior. The Chigmits, where the Alaska and Aleutian Ranges meet, are an awesome, jagged array of mountains and glaciers which include two active volcanoes, Mt. Redoubt and Mt. Iliamna. Lake Clark, 50 miles long, and many other lakes and rivers within the park are critical salmon habitat to the Bristol Bay salmon fishery, one of the largest sockeye salmon fishing grounds in the world. Numerous lake and river systems in the park and preserve offer excellent fishing and wildlife viewing. We'll explore many of these options, including a visit to an innovative and famous Trapper‘s Cabin. We’ll search for the perfect spot to land and enjoy a picnic lunch, as we make the last leg of our Journey back to Anchorage. Once we get to Anchorage, you will be dropped, smiling, at your hotel and dreaming of your trip with Alaska Bush Safari Company for years to come.
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