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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Alaska Winter Tour Ottsworld

I first traveled to Alaska in the summertime – as most individuals do. I fell in love with the individuals and the panorama – I personally assume it’s America’s most lovely state and persistently falls in my prime 5 locations to go to in all the world. I used to be at all times intrigued about how individuals lived there within the winter and what they did – a lot in order that I did my first Alaska winter journey in 2018.

That’s once I actually fell in love with Alaska within the winter.

Since then I’ve been again 2 extra instances and it will get higher every time! As I’ve shared my adventures there, I persistently get requested by readers to arrange an Alaska winter tour.

I’ve lastly discovered an organization that I needed to work with, Salmonberry Excursions, that matches my journey mentality and will assist me put a custom-made tour collectively! This Alaska winter tour contains the most effective and most unusual winter experiences Alaska has to supply!

Why Alaska within the Winter?

Most individuals don’t take into consideration going to Alaska in February.  In any case, it’s the coldest, snowiest, and most distant vacation spot in the US.  However I’m not most individuals.  I prefer to journey to the distant corners of our globe as a result of that’s the place you discover probably the most epic experiences and environments. 

Whereas most individuals are dreaming of seashores to flee winter in February, I dream of the northern lights, sled canine, scorching chocolate, and snowcapped mountains. Winter in Alaska is once you discover the actual Alaskans, the full-timers and heartiest of locals. You’ll have the possibility to satisfy them and spend time with this hearty bunch once you journey with me.

alaska winter tour denali

Ottsworld Alaska Winter Wonderland Tour

 If you happen to’ve ever dreamed of experiencing the northern lights, mushing your personal crew of Alaskan Huskies, seeing North America’s tallest peak lined in snow, climbing on a glacier, and studying the way to play the winter sport of curling – then skip the seaside this winter and begin knocking issues off your bucket record with my Ottsworld Alaska Winter Tour February 2023.

What makes this ‘Ottsworld’ worthy? I have to confess – that I’m kind of a journey snob. I don’t love to do the ‘anticipated’ or see the everyday sights; I like to hunt out the weird, and fewer traveled (which is why I like to go to Alaska within the winter!). I’ve labored collectively very carefully with Salmonberry Excursions to place collectively an itinerary that impresses even me!

Right here’s what you may anticipate:

Alaska Journey Highlights February 11 – 17, 2023

Aurora Viewing

The northern lights are so prolific within the Fairbanks area and the Arctic that guests who keep a minimal of three nights and are actively out through the late night hours enhance their probability of seeing the aurora to greater than 80 p.c!

And that’s precisely why we’ll have 3 nights of aurora chasing in Fairbanks to begin off the journey! Plus – there are good probabilities we’ll see the lights in Denali, Talkeetna, and by the Matanuska Glacier.

You possibly can learn extra about why Fairbanks and Alaska are the right locations for Aurora viewing right here.

On one of many nights, we can even get particular northern lights pictures instruction for these curious about studying the way to {photograph} the northern lights.

Glacier Trekking

One other bucket record merchandise for a lot of – there’s nothing like standing in entrance of, and on a glacier. The scale and energy of this magnificent pure surprise are humbling. We’ll spend a complete afternoon climbing on and studying in regards to the Matanuska Glacier.

Study to Curl

We’ve all seen it through the winter Olympics – the unusual and overseas sport of curling. I’m at all times intrigued by issues which can be particular to a area – and the game of curling is certainly particular to the far north. You’ll have an opportunity to not solely be taught in regards to the sport – however you’ll additionally get to attempt it your self! It could look easy on TV – however you’ll be shocked at how difficult – and FUN – it’s! We’ll head to the Fairbanks curling heart, meet native curlers, and get hands-on on this distinctive sport!

Winter Journey Experiences: Dogsledding, Snowshoeing, Snowmobiling

Not solely will you study probably the most iconic winter Alaska alternative – canine mushing – however you’ll get to mush your personal crew of canine by the forest! Anybody can sit in a sled and journey – however you’ll have the possibility to ‘bark’ out instructions and lead the crew your self as you be taught to mush with canine who race within the Iditarod!

Most individuals assume that Denali Nationwide Park is barely open in the summertime, nevertheless it’s really open yr spherical! Winter is a good time to go to Denali Nationwide Park because the crowds have all left, and also you’ll discover that you’ve the place to your self! We’ll be going there to get iconic views of Denali whereas snowshoeing across the park.

You’ll even have the chance to journey across the Alaska wilderness like an area – on a snow machine! We name them snowmobiles, however if you wish to slot in whereas touring in Alaska – you higher name it a snow machine!

Native Taste

All through all of those experiences, you’ll meet and spend time with locals who will educate you in all issues Alaska winter. Alaska could also be technically part of the US, however I at all times assume it looks like one other nation as a result of the tradition is so totally different than the decrease 48.

Dates of Tour

February 11 – 17, 2023. We begin in Fairbanks and finish in Anchorage which will provide you with an enormous have a look at the state. You may as well simply lengthen your journey on both finish and spend extra time in a selected space or I’m joyful to counsel extra actions. Salmonberry has a lot of extra day excursions and nice issues to do across the space too.

Starting/Ending Level

Fly into Fairbanks (FAI) on February 11, 2023
Fly out of Anchorage (ANC) on February 17, 2023 Afternoon

House is Restricted

NOTE!! It is a small group tour with a max of 10 individuals. We should refill the tour for it to run. So as soon as you place down a deposit, it’ll maintain your spot. We don’t counsel you get airfare but till we are able to affirm a full journey.

What’s Included

  • All lodging
  • All Transportation
  • Virtually all meals (7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners) No alcohol is included apart from at Denali Brewing Firm
  • All listed excursions (3 aurora viewing excursions, snowshoeing, ice sculpture tour, curling lesson, canine mushing, and glacier hike.
  • Entry to a full gallery of photographs (shot by me!) of all the journey, which you should use for private functions.

What’s Not Included

  • Airfare
  • 1 Dinner and 1 Lunch
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Flightseeing in Talkeetna (elective exercise)
  • Snowmobiling at Sheep Mountain Lodge (elective exercise)
  • Muskox Farm Go to (if time permits)
  • Suggestions for guides
  • Journey Insurance coverage

Price – $3,799 USD

Cancellation Coverage

Salmonberry cancellation coverage: A 50% deposit is required to begin the reserving course of. The remaining stability is processed 60 days previous to journey. Cancellations have to be made by way of e mail. If canceled exterior 60 days, a $100 per particular person price applies. 60-31 days there’s a 10% processing penalty, 90% refund is supplied. Inside 30 days, the journey bundle is non-refundable.

I strongly counsel you get journey insurance coverage for any of your travels. Right here’s extra data on journey insurance coverage. I exploit Allianz Journey Insurance coverage for my very own private travels.

The way to E book This Tour

It is a customized tour I’ve organized with Salmonberry Excursions. As a way to reserve your spot you’ll have to put down a deposit – 50% of the whole journey value – $1,899.50. Please comply with these steps:

Contact Salmonberry excursions:
Electronic mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 866.681.0209
Ask for Glenda and inform her you’d prefer to put a deposit on the Ottsworld Customized Tour operating February 11, 2023. Straightforward!

Who Ought to Think about This Tour?

Ottsworld Alaska winter tour
  • Individuals who prefer to discover lesser-known locations, and be adventurous and lively.
  • People who find themselves versatile.  You need to be keen to exhibit flexibility, as itineraries could change as a consequence of climate, and the aurora could not come out – and it helps you probably have a ‘keen to attempt new issues’ perspective.
  • Individuals who get pleasure from chilly climate actions and being open air.
  • Individuals who can hike not less than 3 miles.
  • People who find themselves pleased with staying up late to view the northern lights. Usually we don’t exit for viewing till 10 PM and get again to the lodge at 2 AM. However don’t fear – we provide you with time to sleep within the subsequent morning with late begins the following day.
  • People who find themselves amenable to touring with others.

What is going to the Climate Be Like?

You is likely to be shocked to search out out that the coastal areas in Alaska don’t get as chilly as you assume – they not often fall beneath 20F apart from the occasional storm. Up within the Arctic areas, they don’t get a lot snow as a result of it’s thought-about a desert.

Nonetheless, Alaska’s inside (Fairbanks) does get chilly and plenty of snow. There you might expertise temperatures dipping into the -20F and get plenty of snow that may stick round all winter from October by March. All Alaskans know that you just fight winter climate with the best gear. When you’ve got the best gear – you may get pleasure from Alaska winter – even in Fairbanks!

What Winter Gear Will You Must Be Comfy?

I’ve written this put up about what to pack for Alaska within the winter so please check out it – this will provide you with an concept of the gear to convey and possibly embody a lot of stuff you hadn’t considered!

You don’t have to exit and buy a complete new winter wardrobe although for this journey. Salmonberry Excursions really rents winter gear that’s Alaska robust and field-tested on their chilly climate excursions. At a value of $250 per particular person you may lease this bundle for all the tour:
● Kavik Talkeetna Down Parka with hood (sizes avail: Males’s S-2XL)
● Snow pants (sizes avail: S-3XL, males’s or girls’s)
● Full-hand heavy winter mittens, black
● Pack boot rated to -40F or higher (nearly any dimension accessible)
● Canvas 38” heavy-duty duffel with carrying strap

Gear you need to discover Alaska in the winter

Detailed Day by Day Itinerary

Saturday, February eleventh – Fairbanks and Aurora Viewing

Included: Dinner
Welcome to the Golden Coronary heart Metropolis! Upon arrival in Fairbanks, take the lodge courtesy shuttle to achieve our downtown lodging, When you’ve got rental gear, it is going to be ready for you on the lodge. Please attempt in your rental gadgets this night, and tell us at dinner that every little thing matches okay.

We’ll dine collectively as a gaggle tonight, and get to know one another. Our Salmonberry information will probably be there to go over the itinerary, ensure that everybody has the gear they want, and reply any questions you could have. Then after dinner, we head out on our first aurora viewing tour!

alaska aurora tour

We aren’t losing any time – to see the aurora you need to be exterior – and the extra you’re out each evening – the extra seemingly that you just’ll see it. We’ll head to a facility inside a preferred Northern Lights viewing location exterior Fairbanks. Your information will share the science behind the lights and their significance to Alaska Native cultures, in addition to the historical past of the realm and private tales of residing within the Nice Land. This night tour contains round-trip transportation to our location, a heated indoor relaxation space, with snacks, Cup Noodles, and scorching drinks to get pleasure from.

Sunday, February twelfth – Fairbanks Snowshoeing and Aurora Viewing

Included: Breakfast, Lunch
At the moment we are going to head out within the late morning to see a little bit of Fairbanks, get pleasure from lunch at an area eatery, and be taught in regards to the uniquely northern exercise of snowshoeing! We’ll head to Leaf Out Snowshoeing for a snowshoe hike by the boreal forest simply exterior Fairbanks. We’ll begin and finish of their cozy little one-room cabin, the place you’re going to get to see what dry cabin residing is all about. As soon as everyone seems to be comfy with their setup and clothes layers, we are going to head out onto the paths to find the treasures of the forest.

On our snowshoe stroll, you’ll discover the forest, shifting by birch and spruce bushes, together with seeing iconic Alaskan dwarf spruce. We’ll stroll by a winter wonderland in search of animal tracks, studying about native plant makes use of, and the way vegetation and animals survive life within the chilly. It could be winter however there are nonetheless birds, mammals, and vegetation to be discovered!

snowshoeing fairbanks

Tonight we’ll head out to Aurora Pointe! We’ll arrive at Aurora Pointe to discover a cozy fireplace, domestically made snacks, and scorching drinks. Keep cozy inside as guides will let you realize if/when the lights seem and also you’ll step exterior and stand in awe as you witness the unforgettable show of gorgeous, eerie colours shifting and remodeling in opposition to the darkness above. After all, on some nights Mom Nature retains the aurora to herself. However you’ll have a number of hours to hope for the most effective. And even on nights when the lights don’t seem, testing constellations beneath an enormous Alaskan sky remains to be a magical expertise.

Monday, February 13 – Fairbanks Curling, Ice Artwork, and Aurora Images

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Relaxation up this morning after two late nights, earlier than exploring downtown for lunch by yourself. After lunch, we be taught to twist! First developed in Scotland, this sport has turn out to be well-liked over lots of of years, throughout the higher northern hemisphere. This afternoon we are going to go to one of many furthest north curling places on the earth, meet native curlers, and check out our hand at this enjoyable and addicting arctic sport.

This night, we have a good time winter with a go to to the Ice Artwork Park and Worldwide Ice Artwork Exhibition! Get pleasure from interactive ice sculptures, enjoyment of a number of ice slides and think about worldwide ice artwork exhibitions.

Then we head out of city for an additional evening of aurora chasing! Get pleasure from an unique night with knowledgeable photographer all night with you to help with aurora borealis pictures. Your hosts, Frank and Miriam, and their canine companions open their dwelling to you 25 miles from Fairbanks and the town lights. Benefit from the silence and remoteness and get a very good glimpse of off-grid residing. Irrespective of in the event you sit in entrance of the large panoramic home windows from the consolation of the cabin or head exterior to seek for aurora. If the aurora is powerful sufficient, your pictures host will take skilled photographs of you beneath the aurora.

Tuesday, February 14 – Denali Nationwide Park Snowshoeing and Domes

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
At the moment we’ll head south from Fairbanks to Denali Nationwide Park! Deliver your whole issues and your information will load every little thing up and we’ll hit the winter freeway. Look ahead to moose, arctic fox, and eagles alongside the way in which!

Once we arrive in Denali, we’ll head out for a snowshoe hike, adopted by lunch and a go to to the Murie Science Middle. (observe: Murie Science Middle has been closed for 2 winters as a consequence of covid-19, however we’re optimistic that they are going to be open this winter)

Denali dome home winter
Picture by Denali Dome Dwelling

Our lodgings for tonight are on the distinctive Denali Dome Dwelling, a 7,200 square-foot geodesic mattress and breakfast. The dome has large home windows, 6 frequent areas, and eight bedrooms with 8 non-public baths. The Dome Dwelling native hosts, of their thirty third yr of service, will present a home-cooked dinner this night, and a full breakfast within the morning. And naturally, we’ll maintain look ahead to aurora sightings that evening!

Wednesday, February 15 – Talkeetna Canine Sledding, Small City Life, and Brewery

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we’ll head from Denali to Talkeetna, one other uniquely-Alaskan small city within the wilderness. Go to the homestead of Iditarod Champion Dallas Seavey in Talkeetna and tour his kennel of lively sled canine. The tour begins on the kennel headquarters overlooking the canine yard and snowy boreal forest you’ll mush by. Highlights embody the hook-up, sled driving demo, and a six-mile mush on the identical trails that Dallas trains together with his Iditarod crew. Each two company will share a canine sled and canine crew of Alaskan huskies to your mini-expedition! Or, for people who select to, journey with an skilled mushing information.

After your journey, be part of us for a tour of the homestead, kennel operations, and time with the youthful husky puppies. Be sure to take loads of photographs with the long run Iditarod champions earlier than they’re well-known! End this distinctive expertise again at kennel headquarters, assembly different members of the skilled mushing crew and warming up with cookies and scorching drinks.

This afternoon we are going to go to Denali Brewing at this distinctive location for lunch. Every visitor over 21 is handled to a flight of beers so you may pattern multiple! For lunch, select amongst contemporary salads, distinctive pizzas, and comfortable soups.

We’ll keep in cozy cabins tonight and maintain a glance out for aurora over this distant city!

Thursday, February 16 – Sheep Mountain and Scenic Glenn Freeway

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
At the moment we’ll go away Talkeetna after breakfast. For individuals who wish to get nearer to Denali and see probably the most magnificent mountain ranges on the earth, there may be an choice to do flightseeing round Denali Nationwide Park.

OPTIONAL TOUR: Visitors could select so as to add this Denali flight for our morning in Talkeetna.
This winter flight tour explores the south aspect of the Alaska Vary. Your pilot will probably be your information and customise the tour based mostly on day by day climate circumstances as you enter the center of the Alaska Vary. On this one-hour tour, company will discover countless glaciers, large mountains, and the majesty of Denali itself as you fly by gorgeous snow-capped peaks and cascading icefalls.

flightseeing talkeetna
Optionally available Flightseeing Tour

Drive to Sheep Mountain. Head east over to Sheep Mountain, on the jaw-dropping scenic Glenn Freeway. That is my favourite drive in all of Alaska! This 3-4 hour drive will probably be filled with winter surroundings and mountain and glacier views.

Settle in on the distant Sheep Mountain cabins and we’ll maintain a watch out for lively aurora tonight!

Friday, February 17 – Glacier Mountaineering, Snowmobiling

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Take a hike on the Matanuska glacier, Alaska’s largest road-accessible glacier situated two hours north of Anchorage. The Matanuska Glacier is a frozen 27-mile river of historic ice. Hundreds of years outdated, this large glacier is tucked on the head of the Matanuska valley. You’ll spend two hours trekking the ice with our professional guides, studying how the Matanuska Glacier was born and the way it formed the encompassing panorama.

sheep mountain lodge
Picture courtesy of Sheep Mountain Lodge

This afternoon you might select so as to add a snowmachine tour (elective) this afternoon, a helicopter tour, or head out for a hike by yourself or with a information. One other nice choice is to calm down, play playing cards, and benefit from the surroundings!

We can have a delicious ‘goodbye’ dinner tonight on the cabins.

Saturday, February 18 – Departure from Anchorage

Included: Breakfast
This morning we’ll head again to Anchorage as we speak for flights out. If time permits we’ll make some enjoyable stops exterior and in Anchorage. We advocate you ebook your flight dwelling for 4 PM or later!

Discover Alaska in the winter

What do Folks Say About Ottsworld Excursions

“Positively a ten! I actually loved the truth that the tour was a ‘white glove supply’ experience- every little thing was so meticulously deliberate so we didn’t have to fret about transportation, meals, what we’re doing for the day, or if we’re attempting to an excessive amount of or not sufficient.”

“Positively met expectations and likewise uncovered me to issues I’m certain I might not have thought-about if I used to be planning a visit.”

“This was a beautiful journey!!!!!! Once more thanks a lot! So appreciative of all of the photographs you took as effectively!!!! We sit up for becoming a member of you on one other journey.”

Led by Salmonberry Excursions

I labored with Salmonberry Excursions to place this tour extremely custom-made and distinctive tour collectively. They’re an area Alaska firm, women-owned, and Alaska specialists! And better of all they’re small however mighty. I like supporting small, native operators once I journey – and I feel you’ll love them too. They solely rent guides who grew up in Alaska – no transplants – they’re specialists on the terrain, wildlife, and tradition of the state. They are going to be our information and driver as we discover the winter wonderland!

The way to E book This Tour

It is a customized tour I’ve organized with Salmonberry Excursions. As a way to reserve your spot you’ll have to put down a deposit – 50% of the whole journey value – $1,899.50. Please comply with these steps:

Contact Salmonberry excursions:
Electronic mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 866.681.0209
Ask for Glenda and inform her you’d prefer to put a deposit on the Ottsworld Customized Tour operating February 11, 2023. Straightforward!

NOTE: It is a small group tour with a max of 10 individuals. We should refill the tour for it to run. So as soon as you place down a deposit, it’ll maintain your spot. We don’t counsel you get airfare but till we are able to affirm a full journey.


Be happy to contact me at [email protected] with any questions you’ve gotten about this tour, the experiences, what to pack, and so on. I’m joyful to reply something!

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