Alaska holds not just many mountains, but many mountain ranges, each one a world unto itself. You will explore two ranges, the mountains of the Alaska Range in the luxurious comfort of the Sheldon Chalet and Tordrillo Lodge, and in between these locations, the mountains of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in a comfortable base camp with Arctic Wild.
Last updated: March 16, 2021
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Arrive in Anchorage, meet the helicopter at 1:15 pm to take you directly to Sheldon Chalet. Relax and shake off your travels in the hammock.
Activities at Sheldon Chalet include snowshoe and ski adventures, trekking, sledding, rappelling and crevasse explorations. All activities are guided and included.
After breakfast, the helicopter will take you from Sheldon Chalet to the mountain town of Talkeetna, where you will meet a small-plane charter flight to McCarthy, in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. You will meet your guide in McCarthy and spend the night in a local Inn.
After breakfast in McCarthy and a quick look around town, you’ll fly to our base camp at the toe of the Nizina Glacier, near an iceberg-filled lake. Camp will be a comfortable base camp, the perfect foil to the luxury lodges bookending this adventure. Accommodations will be quite simple – cots in a tent, with simple vegan meals cooked on a camp stove. This area offers casual hikes along the lakeshore and gravel bars along the Nizina River as well as routes up Nizina Mountain to alpine areas above treeline. This spot has it all; glaciers, rivers, and mountains in a pretty setting. You won’t have many creature comforts but solitude and quiet are a much rarer form of luxury.
The plane will return on the 23rd to move you to a new spot, called The Fosse. Tucked neatly between the Kennicott Glacier’s lateral moraine and the base of the adjacent mountain, this landing strip offers a variety of amazing glacier views and exploring options. Hike along the flat fosse terrain, climb the green alpine slopes above or walk along the Kennicott Glacier.
Your pilot will return to take you back to Anchorage via McCarthy, where you will transfer to Lake Hood, the float pond and catch an air taxi to Tordrillo Lodge, in the heart of the Alaska Range. Shower and ease your muscles after your camping adventure and settle back into luxury.
Tordrillo Lodge offers a wide range of activities. Situated on a lake, it is perfect for paddle boarding, kayaking, or water skiing. Fly-out excursions (two included) can range from glacier hikes to fat biking mountain peaks. Four nights won’t be enough.
Return to Anchorage’s Lake Hood float pond airport and transfer to Ted Steven’s International for flights home.
Such a joy to spend days where time was meaningless. A wonderful adventure and I would like to return next year for a longer, more challenging trip.
You mentioned to me in an email that you have terrific guides - you do indeed. Dave is a superb guide. He is personable, knowledgeable about the Arctic, and has excellent group management skills. I appreciated the time he spent teaching me to read the map, which is not easy without trails. He allowed Adrian and me to hike at our own pace and he encouraged all of us to explore the area surrounding our campsites. I know the others would concur in my praise.
Transportation beyond Anchorage and return
Three nights at Sheldon Chalet, four nights at Tordrillo Lodge, four nights camping in Wrangell-St. Elias NP and one night in McCarthy
All airport transfers except for from Lake Hood to Ted Stevens International on August 29
Food while in the wilderness
Wilderness camping equipment
Professional guide service
Select equipment is available through Arctic Wild and is included in the trip price.
Any unexpected hotel lodging and meals due to weather delays
Personal clothing and gear per our equipment list
Gratuity for guide
Temperatures vary dramatically in the Alaska. July is usually mild and warm, and the Northern Wrangells are one of the driest parts of the state. That said, it could be cool and rainy so be prepared for anything. Temperatures will range from the 20s to 80s. Snow is possible any day of the year, but we get lots of sunny weather this time of the year. Mosquitoes should not be an issue but bring a mosquito head net and a small bottle of DEET repellent just in case.
The Copper Spike, Lone E Janson; Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner;The Arctic Guide: Wildlife of the Far North (Princeton Field Guides) by . More Alaska reading is available from our Bookstore.