Adventures Journeys USA

WHALES, GLACIERS & THE KENAI: ALASKAN ADVENTURE WITH TREK AMERICA PART III

Welcome to Part III of our Alaskan Adventure with Trek America. If you haven’t already, we suggest checking out Part I & Part II before reading any further.

Here we share with you our experience full of whale watching, hiking and MORE northern light during days 7, 8 and 9 of our Alaskan road trip.

Day 7: Heading to Seward

Next stop on our ultimate road trip was Seward, a seaside community in the Kenai Peninsula.  We were in for a super long day of driving, but a scenic one! We packed up our tents, said our goodbyes to Denali National Park and hit the road.

Our first stop was at a tiny town named Talkeetna, the perfect place to stretch our legs and grab a morning coffee. With a population of just over 1000 people, it’s a charming pioneer town, with their main street being only 1 block long! We found a cute cafe to grab a coffee as we walked along the main street, peering into tiny stores selling things like wooden ornaments, paintings and hand made jewellery.

Alaska 3

As we continued on we were met with spectacular views as we passed the dramatic shorelines of Turnagain Arm and the jutting peaks of the Chugach Mountains. We made a stop along the coast and watched as trains that seemed to have no end pass us by. 

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

After a full day of driving we made our last stop at Byron Glacier for a little afternoon hike. We followed a winding trail through tall forest, along the path were markers showing dates where the glacier once lay. As the trees began to thin out we could see the spectacular glacier along with views of the rugged cliffs on one side and a gorgeous valley on the other.

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

After climbing rocks and exploring the area it was time to meet our new camp site. We pulled up right along the beach and found a spot with breath taking views of the ocean and rugged snow capped mountains. We set up camp and gathered around the campfire to share stories and eat s’mores.

Alaska 3

Oh, and the night wasn’t over yet. To top it all off we were greeted by a spectacular light show thanks to mother nature. Yep – the northern lights came out to say hello for the second time since our Alaskan adventure began! 

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

Day 8: Humpbacks & Glaciers

It was time to immerse ourselves in the wildlife and glaciers of Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park! We woke up bright and early and headed down to Seward’s boat harbour for a day on the water. We had never seen humpback whales or orca in the wild before and knew that if we were to see them this would be the place for it!

After a coffee and a wander along the seaside we jumped on our ferry and set sail. Kenai Fjords National Park was established in 1980 and is one of the most visited national parks in all of Alaska. It is home to the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the US. It was named after the numerous fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountain from the ice field. It is seriously a spectacular place to experience, especially via the water.

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

Minutes into our journey we spotted a baby humpback whale waving its tail over and over as if saying good morning. We couldn’t believe that we were finally witnessing this beautiful animal in the wild for the first time in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable. 

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

As we made our way along the park our group grabbed some hot drinks and sat together at the top of the boat, enjoying the icy breeze. It was so nice to share this incredible experience with such an amazing group of people. We saw more humpback whales as we made our way to the largest glacier in the park, Aialik Glacier.

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

We started to make out a white speck in the distance. As we got closer that speck grew to be one of the largest glaciers we had ever seen! Our boat took us right up along the edge as one of the tour guides from the vessel grabbed a large chunk of ice to make Glacier Ice Mojitos – of course we all had to have a cup (or maybe two). With a drink in hand we made our way back to Seward for another night under the stars. 

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

Day 9: A Day of Hiking!

Today was our last day in Seward and we were going to end our time here with a bang! Our mission for the day was to hike the 8.2 mile round trip Harding Icefield Trail. It was the most strenuous hike we had ever experienced, gaining 3,500 feet over a 4.1 mile climb, all the way up to the icefield.

We packed our lunches, put on a few extra layers and set off towards Kenai Fjords National Park. Once we arrived the hike began. The first hour was pretty easy, climbing through the woods with the occasional view of a beautiful glacier. Once we were above the tree line the views took our breath away, we could see for miles!

Alaska 3

The incline increased and the hike became tough as it got steeper and steeper. Soon we found ourselves walking through snow and ice, following little orange flags to ensure we were on the right track. After about three hours we finally made it to the Harding Icefield, and it was astounding. The whole hike had amazing views, but from the top we could see what looked like an endless tundra of snow and ice disappearing into the distance.  We walked up to the very edge of the ice, and spent some time taking it all in.

Alaska 3

 

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

As we made our way back down we ran into a few mountain goats chewing away on some greenery. We stopped to watch them for a while getting our breath back to finish our day of hiking. Once we arrived back at camp we were greeted to the most beautiful sunset – Alaska’s beauty never cease’s to amazing us. 

Alaska 3

Alaska 3

Book the Alaskan Wonder with Trek America from $2550US.

Have you read Part I & II? Stay tuned for our final instalment, Part IIII…

Stephen and Jess signoff

Thanks to Trek America for inviting Flying The Nest to experience the Alaskan Wonder tour. 

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  • Lou

    The Northen Lights are absolutely stunning!

  • Amanda Valentine

    I wish your mother and I could be with you on your adventurous journey Dad xx

  • Amanda Valentine

    We love all your Vlogs

  • Amanda Valentine

    You have developed a lovely writing skill keep it up.{:

  • Heather @ Kraus House Mom

    Alaska is a place my husband and I want to go. It’s one of the few places in the US he hasn’t been. Your pictures are beautiful. My sister went last year and loved it.

  • Alli Smith

    I can’t get over how beautiful that sky is – during the day and those fabulous northern lights at night. You always have such awesome photos and the one of the whale waving his tail is perfection.

  • Alaska is so beautiful! It is one of the places I long to see some day!

  • I enjoyed your video so much. It is absolutely GORGEOUS there. I couldn’t imagine an 8-hour car ride though whoa. no thanks lol. Seeing the northern lights is on my bucket list and your photo just made them feel so real and come to life!

  • I would love to go on an Alaskan Adventure with Trek America. I was born in Alaska but haven’t been back since I was a child. It’s on my bucket list and I hope it becomes a reality. I love your photos.

  • WendyK

    Have always wanted to go to Alaska! Your pictures make me want to plan the trip know and figure out the money later!

  • This looks like such a fun adventure! I went whale watching once- it was such a great experience! The pictures of the water look gorgeous!

  • Megan Elford

    Oh wow, those pictures are amazing! It looks like the weather was perfect too. I would love to head north one of these years, and see Northern Lights just like that!

  • This just sounds incredible. Alaska seems like such an amazing, wild place. Those glaciers are awesome.

  • All I can say is WOW, what an amazing experience this looks like. The Northern Lights are just beautiful. x

  • WhispersInspire

    OMG, what an amazing experience! The Northern Lights!!

  • Dina D.

    What an amazing trip. I hope one day I get to experience Alaska for myself. My hubby would love this too.

  • Mistee Dawn

    Wow! What an awesome adventure! Alaska is so gorgeous! I cannot wait to visit there one day!

  • Tyra

    I am DESPERATE to see the Northern Lights! I definitely want to do Alaska at some point. I have had the chance to go whale watching off the SoCal coast, but I would like to do that as well in Alaska to see the orcas.

  • I have a lot of places I want to visit but this trip is definitely in the top 5 and so hoping I get it done in the next 5 years. Looking at your photos is making me move this up on my Top list.

  • I love all of your photos!! Alaska is gorgeous and I hope to go one day!!

  • polarbelle

    I lived a tifetime in Alaska until last year. I love seeing my home through other people’s eyes. And i love seeing pictures of familiar stomping grounds. I’ll always be an Alaskan no matter where I am.

  • this is truly breathtaking…

  • mail4rosey

    Those pictures are absolutely amazing. I love the one with the train the best.

  • Oh my goodness, this is like the ultimate amazing adventure! My husband and I love hiking and the outdoors, and Alaska is so beautiful! We hope to make a trip there in the next couple of years, so this is very helpful for ideas when we go!