Alaska: Kenai Explorer For Students
Moderate Physical Activity
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Come to Alaska for an educational tour that combines our wild classroom with science, ecology, and conservation! Experience fun outdoor adventures like kayaking, camping, hiking, and river rafting.
Alaska Explorer is a wild and immersive experience designed to get you up close to the real Alaska. Located 3 hours south of Anchorage, our classroom is on breathtaking trails, along wild ocean habitats, and is among open spaces. Your home for the week is Kenai Peninsula. It is a microcosm of Alaska featuring dramatic mountains and glaciers, rugged coastline, lush spruce and hemlock forest and tens of thousands of lakes populated with birds and wildlife.
You don’t have to be an athlete to do this trip, but participants should be active (or get active) before the start of the trip. Our days are spent exploring off-the-beaten-path places on the Kenai to access natural areas not accessible to tour bus crowds. Exciting activities like sea kayaking, river rafting, whale watching, camping, and hiking will get you up close and personal with life in Alaska.
This trip consists of 1 nights in a hostel in Anchorage, 3 nights tent camping, and 2 nights in dorm-style cabins. Camping equipment is provided. We stay in organized camp grounds that have a kitchen area with picnic tables and fire ring. There are pit toilets for bathroom facilities. Showers are available, and we take advantage of them while in Seward at the end of the day’s activities. Despite the fact that you will be camping, you will be well cared for by your guides who are awesome cooks!
- Hiking, kayaking & white water rafting on the spectacular Kenai Peninsula, including two nights at Kenai Fjords National Park; one night in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge; and two nights in cabins in remote Kachemak Bay State Park. We also hike in the Chugach National Forest, and visit the charmingly Alaskan seaside towns of Seward, Homer, and Hope.
- Excellent wildlife viewing opportunities throughout the tour!
- Scenic r/t boat crossing of Kachemak Bay.
- Great Food! Fresh, homemade, multicourse meals and deserts.
- Whitewater Rafting on the Class IV Six-Mile Creek (or upgrade Class V for an additional fee). – Note for student groups ages 13 and younger, this activity will be substituted with a science float on the Kenai River. Must know how to swim to river raft.
- Sea Kayaking in the wildlife-rich waters of Kachemak Bay State Park.
- Hiking: A variety of exceptional 2- 6 hour scenic day hikes over mixed terrain including a rewarding hike to see where glaciers are born.
- A 6 hour boat trip into the Kenai Fjords to for wildlife and glacier viewing.
Seward Boat Harbor
Mt. Marathon Jeep trail
Exit Glacier Rd.
Alaska Sea Life Center
Cabins at Otter Cove
Your Tour Guide
Trip Facilitator / Guide
Tara has 17 years of experience in eco-tourism, guiding and educating students of all ages in the Americas, the Caribbean, and Iceland. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in Natural Resource Management with an emphasis in Environmental Education/Interpretation. Tara has worked for notable educational, scientific, and conservation organizations and institutions such as the John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry, USDA Forest Service in the Chugach National Forest in Alaska, and Wild Studies in the Bahamas. Tara is a PADI Open Water Diver, Advanced Diver, Rescue Diver and has specialty certifications as Underwater Naturalist, Deep Diver, Multi-Level diver and Night Diver.
►Where Do We Stay?
- Night 1: Anchorage at Inlet Tower Hotel (doubles w/ private facilities)
- Nights 2,3,4: Seward at the Kenai National Park Campground (Tent camping doubles, campground facilities pit toilet, no showers onsite. Camping equipment is provided and includes a foam mat, sleeping bag, and a 4-person tent). We will use hot shower facilities in Seward on night 2.
- Nights 5 & 6: Near Homer at Otter Cove Cabins (Shared cabins 3-4 per cabin, bath house)
►Day 1: Anchorage – Seward
Arrive anytime. Your first night will be at the Inlet Hotel in Anchorage. The Inlet Hotel has a free shuttle to and from the airport. Breakfast is included. Dinner on your own. Once everyone’s flight times are confirmed those of us in Anchorage for dinner can get together. Most flights get in late from the lower 48.
►Day 2: Seward – Kenai Fjords Campground – Mt. Marathon Bowl
After an early breakfast, our local guides will meet us for introductions, then we will head south to the beautiful Kenai Peninsula. Our drive will parallel the scenic Turnagain Arm — a mountain-lined and glacier-carved fjord named by an obviously frustrated Captain Cook during his 1778 search for the legendary Northwest Passage. It is a 3-hour drive with a couple scheduled stops to talk about the scenery and to use the bathroom. Just outside of Seward we venture off the main highway to the Kenai Fjords Campground to claim our tent sites and to have lunch.
From city streets to alpine tundra in 2 hours! Travel up 1800 feet to the alpine glacier bowl passing through lush, misty emerald green temperate rainforest. Things level out at “the bench” where wildflowers bloom, and then alder becomes thick, and finally the footpath becomes squishy tundra flanking a snowmelt creek. As we climb the switchbacks, Seward becomes a little dot in the valley. On a clear day, half way up, nearly all of Resurrection Bay can be seen. Even on the cloudiest of days, this is a one of the best hikes in Seward. This hike is about 3.5 – 4-hours roundtrip.
►Day 3: Seward – Boat Trip Kenai Fjords
Today you rest your legs and take a six-hour wildlife-viewing cruise to an active tidewater glacier on Kenai Fjords National Park. A tidewater glacier terminates in the ocean. It is common to see chunks the size of cars falling off into the green water.
Wildlife is abundant throughout the national park and tidewater glaciers. This voyage also offers the best opportunity for whale watching in Alaska along with the possibility of seeing porpoises, sea lions, sea otters, seals, bald eagles and puffins.
Before returning to our cabins, we will visit Exit Glacier to discuss the hike to Harding Icefield tomorrow, and the features of this famous glacier.
►Day 4: Seward – Harding Icefield Trail
One of our favorite hikes anywhere, is today’s highlight: Up we’ll trek along the very blue Exit Glacier to an overlook of the800-square mile Harding Ice Field. The ice field is the focal point of Kenai Fjords National Park and the source of its many glaciers. Moose, bears, mountain goats, porcupines, and marmots are all commonly seen on this hike and the glacier and ice field are dramatically beautiful. This inspirational hike will stay with you long after you’ve left Alaska!
This hike is moderate to strenuous for flat landers and for those who are not currently active, but with effort and determination you will complete the 8 miles round trip in 6 hours. This is not a technical hike and it is suitable for anyone in good health with a positive-can-do-attitude. Return to cabins.
►Day 5: Seward – Homer – Otter Cove
After breakfast, we drive 3 hours to the seaside community of Homer at the peninsula’s southwestern tip. Here we will have some free time to visit the town’s museum and art galleries or to hike along the beach before hopping a water taxi to our remote waterfront cabins in Kachemak Bay State Park.
The cabins at Otter Cover are situated on a hillside surrounded by lush rainforest with ocean views. It is common to see sea otters rolling around alongside the pier, and you will possible see whales passing by. You truly feel like you are living the luxury of seclusion.
►Day 6: Otter Cove – Sea Kayaking in Kachemak Bay
Learn the basics of sea kayaking, maneuvering, and water entry and exit. Then spend the entire day in and out of our tandem kayaks as we explore the bay, fjords and several uninhabited islands. In addition to beautiful mountain scenery, sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, bald eagles, sea birds and harbor porpoises are all possible to encounter. The afternoon a hike to a scenic overlook where several of the volcanoes of the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands are visible.
►Day 7: Otter Cove – Homer – Hope (Rafting) – Anchorage
We take a water taxi back to Homer and continue to the gold rush community of Hope. Here we will enjoy a Class IV whitewater rafter trip through two canyons of the famous Six-Mile Creek. For those who love the thrill of adventure, you can choose to do the 3rd canyon for an additional $60. Tour ends at 7 pm. Participants will be dropped off at the airport or hotel in Anchorage.
Please note: The activities and schedule may change without notice as practical considerations arise during program development, or onsite for the safety of participants.
Regarding the intensity of the hikes, you don’t have to be a Sherpa to be able to hike the trails in this program, but Mt. Marathon Bowl hike and the Harding Icefield hike travel upward and last 3 to 7 hours round trip relatively speaking. If you are currently not an active person, then you need to start an exercise plan at least 4 months before you go on this adventure. The healthier and stronger you are before the trip, will make your experience that much more enjoyable. Preparation, will make the effort that much more rewarding. With that said, anybody that is healthy and has a “where there is a will there is a way” attitude can do any of the hikes.
River rafting will require a swim test! Everyone will be instructed on how to perform self-rescues if you fall out of the raft on the river and then will have to demonstrate the ability to self-rescue. Participants are issued a dry suit and PFD, then jump into swift water (with safety precautions in place), where they must swim to the other side. It is a fun and exhilarating experience. If you can’t swim or don’t want to raft please notify Green Edventuers ASAP and we can remove the cost from your package.
Optional activity upgrades include ice hiking on a glacier ($160), Ice Climbing on a glacier ($200) 8 hour wildlife and glacier cruise in Seward ($150 per person) and the Alaska Sea Life Center ($20 per person).
Group size is limited to 12 plus two guides. Typically there are 10 students and two teacher/chaperones in each group.
Inclusions & Exclusions
- All scheduled activities listed on this page.
- All ground transport.
- Camping & cabin fees.
- Water taxi fee.
- All meals.
- Entrance fees to National Parks.
- Personal spending money.
- Gratuity of $170.00 per participant.
- Optional activity upgrade fees.
A non-refundable $500 deposit per person required to join this trip.
All payments are non-refundable if cancelled by the participant. Participants are highly encouraged to purchase travel insurance to cover unforeseen circumstances that may interrupt or cancel the trip.
Group leaders contact us to request dates for your group. Parents, contact your group leader for more information.
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