Denali’s Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers

Alaska

June 12 - 18, 2019
Cost: $3,275
Leader: Bill Mohrwinkel
Group Size: 7
Days: 7

Safari Overview

Experience the Crown Jewel of the North, Denali National Park, from our private, custom-designed Sprinter van, avoiding the crowds on the public shuttle buses. Look for and photograph iconic wildlife as you leisurely drive through the park. Stay in Kantishna at the end of the Denali Park Road in a small exclusive lodge run by the local air taxi operator. Enjoy the most spectacular flight on the continent as you fly around the highest mountain in North America, “Denali,” in a bush plane. Enjoy the unique views of Denali and the Alaska Range from the ground, reflected in Wonder Lake. Explore Alaska’s Golden Heart City, Fairbanks with its unique gold rush era history. Take home countless memories and photographs under the expert guidance of Alaska resident and naturalist, Bill Mohrwinkel.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Catch a glimpse of North America’s tallest mountain peak, “Denali,” while you drive through the park in our private, custom-designed Sprinter van.
• Get an up-close view of the continent’s loftiest mountain on an exhilarating scenic flight around Denali.
• Look for and photograph the iconic wildlife species of Denali park, such as grizzly, moose, Dall sheep, and caribou as you leisurely drive through the spectacular mountain scenery.
• Walk to Wonder Lake to see the reflection of Denali and the Alaska Range on the calm lake surface.
• Spend a full day in Fairbanks to experience the warmth and friendliness of Alaska’s Golden Heart City with its world class museums.
• Meet a dog team and learn about “mushing” in the Great land.

SAFARI OPTIONS
Mix and match any of our four Alaska safaris as follows:

1. Begin your journey early on our Arctic in Spring safari from June 7 to 14, 2019 and save $400. Experience the incredible spring blossom of life on the arctic tundra, including the millions of migratory birds to the carpets of wildflowers while spending four nights north of the Arctic Circle.

2. Continue from the Denali's Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers safari and join us on our Prince William Sound safari from June 17 to 23, 2019 and save $400. From calving glaciers to breaching humpback whales, experience the northernmost coastal temperate rainforest from your boat, the Discovery. Whether you want to kayak amongst icebergs or watch playful sea otters from the deck, this is the best experience you can have on water in Alaska!

3. Combine three Alaska safaris (Arctic in Spring, Denali's Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers, and Prince William Sound OR Denali's Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers, Prince William Sound, and Coastal Brown Bears of Silver Salmon Creek) and save $600.

4. Combine all four Alaska safaris (Arctic in Spring, Denali’s Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers, Cruise Prince William Sound, Coastal Brown Bears of Silver Salmon Creek) and save $1,379. See full itinerary.

Itinerary Updated: January 2019



Print Trip
Date Description Lodge Meals
Jun 12 Travel to Fairbanks, Alaska from our Arctic in Spring safari or from home. River’s Edge Resort, Fairbanks
Jun 13 Free day in Fairbanks. River’s Edge Resort, Fairbanks B
Jun 14 Drive to Denali National Park, explore the Denali Visitor Center, and meet local sled dogs that travel in the winter. EarthSong Lodge, Healy B, L, D
Jun 15-16 Explore Denali National Park, including scenic flight around Mount Denali (weather permitting). Skyline Lodge, Kantishna B, L, D
Jun 17 Return through Denali National Park and south to Anchorage. Susitna Place B&B, Anchorage B, L
Jun 18 Continue on our Cruise Prince William Sound safari or fly home. B

Our Trip Leaders

Bill Mohrwinkel

Living and guiding in Alaska for 25 years, Bill has vast knowledge to share. He was part owner of an Arctic tour business for 10 years and has guided sea kayaking trips in Prince William Sound, polar and brown bear trips, and birding trips. His love of the polar regions has led bill to also guide in Antarctica and South Georgia Island. Though he is not a photographer, he has extensive experience guiding photo trips and works hard to help clients accomplish their goals for the tour. His true passion is natural history and sharing that passion with participants, and he loves to have fun!

Detailed Itinerary

A glimpse into our journey

Free day in Fairbanks

Jun 13

Spend your free day in Fairbanks experiencing world-class museums (UAF Museum of the North, Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum, and Pioneer Park), the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center to learn about the cultural and natural history of Interior Alaska, the UAF Large Animal Research Station for close-up views of muskoxen, caribou and reindeer, the Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge to photograph sandhill cranes, waterfowl, and songbirds, walk aboard a vintage stern-wheeler at Pioneer Park, or shop for native art work housed in a 1939 hand-built log cabin at The Alaska House! We will help you plan and facilitate your day in Fairbanks!

Travel to Denali National Park

Jun 14

Drive to Denali National Park and enjoy the Denali Visitor Center located at the northeast end of the park before heading to EarthSong Lodge. If timing and availability work out, get a tour of the working dog kennels and a wonderful slide show presentation from the lodge owner, Jon Nierenburg, an excellent photographer and dogsledder.

Denali National Park, including scenic flight

Jun 15-16

Denali National Park exemplifies Interior Alaska’s character as one of the world’s last great frontiers. Most of the park remains largely wild and unspoiled. It’s an excellent place for viewing wildlife and wildflowers, mammals, and birds. Stony Creek is one of the special areas to explore with 132 species of wildflowers, as well as wheatears, nesting shorebirds, long-tailed jaeger, and other birds.

Depending on the weather, you’ll have the opportunity for a scenic flight around Denali’s impressive peak (cost included). The mountain makes its own weather and is often hidden in clouds, especially in the afternoon. Staying two nights in Kantishna provides excellent opportunities to photograph this majestic mountain and explore the Kantishna side of the park, including Wonder Lake for iconic photos of Denali’s reflection.

Denali National Park south to Anchorage

Jun 17

You’ll depart early for what will hopefully be more stunning views of Denali and great wildlife experiences traversing back through the park. You’ll travel south to Anchorage through fertile Matanuska Valley farmlands and make a stop at Denali State Park for a chance to photograph the south side of the Alaska Range and Denali from a distance. After checking in the hotel, you’ll have a bit of time to explore downtown Anchorage and enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Alaska

Experience the Crown Jewel of the North, Denali National Park, from a private, custom-designed Sprinter van.

64.836662, -147.738892

Cost & Payments

Costs (in US$)

Type Cost Per Person
Trip cost, double occupancy $3,275
Single supplement Contact us

Costs are per person, double occupancy, not including airfare (except the scenic flight in Denali National Park, weather permitting), singles extra. See Included and Not Included sections for more details.

We reserve the right to charge for cost increases that occur between when we set tour prices and the date of travel, for example, changes due to the cost of lodging and transportation. If you are a single traveler and you desire, we will find a roommate for you. If we cannot find you a roommate, we will not charge you a single supplement. Single rooms are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed throughout the safari.


Payment Schedule

Payment Due Date Amount Per Person
Deposit Due now to reserve your space $500
Final January 1, 2019 Remaining Balance

Payments will be due based on the schedule above. All reservations require a deposit to confirm reservation of your space. For reservations made after a due date, all past payments will be due with registration. By sending your initial deposit, you agree to accept our payment schedule and cancellation policy as a contract. If payments are still outstanding two weeks after the due date, your space may be forfeited.


Cancellations

Until the Final Payment due date, deposits are refundable except for a cancellation fee of $150 per person, which can be applied toward another tour if reserved within six months of the cancelled trip’s departure date. Cancellations are non-transferrable. No refunds are given after the Final Payment due date.

Included

  • All activities, leaders, transport, park entry and user fees, landing fees and permits unless described as optional.
  • Accommodations for the nights of June 12 through June 17.
  • Meals from breakfast on June 13 through breakfast on June 18 except meals listed in the Not Included section.
  • Scenic flight in Denali National Park (weather permitting; no portion of the tour cost is refunded if the flight must be cancelled).
  • Airport transfer on June 12 in Fairbanks.
  • Gratuities to lodge and hotel staff throughout the trip.
  • Trip Materials – information about flights, packing, entry and departure requirements, airport transfers, gratuities, etc.

Not Included

  • All Airfare (except flights listed as included), airport and departure taxes, and excess baggage fees.
  • Lunch and dinner on June 13 and dinner on June 17.
  • Airport transfers in Anchorage.
  • Gratuities for the scenic flight pilots. We recommend $10–$15 per participant per flight.
  • Emergency medical and evacuation insurance and trip cancellation insurance. Refer to our website for more information: www.cheesemans.com/travel-insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic and other beverages, items not on the regular menu, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Reservation/Release Form.

Climate

Weather in Denali and Fairbanks at this time of year tends to be stable and warm. Expect daytime highs in the 70’s°F and nighttime lows in the 40’s–50’s°F. Although this interior part of Alaska is semi-arid, rain can occur at any time, so a rain jacket is a must.

Fitness Level

We strive for frequent stops for wildlife viewing, however participants should be comfortable sitting for several hours at a time due to the distances we cover. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging.

Flights

Airfare (except flights listed as included) is not included in trip costs. Detailed logistical information and the contact information for our recommended flight-ticketing agent are included in the Trip Materials we will send you. Please let us know if you are arriving earlier or staying later as we are happy to assist you with any extra overnights that you might want to arrange.

Flights you (or a travel agent) book: Arrive in Fairbanks, Alaska (FAI) by June 12. If you are arriving from our Arctic in Spring safari, see Flights section in its itinerary for arrival information. Depart from Anchorage (ANC) anytime on June 18. If you are continuing on our Cruise Prince William Sound safari, see Flights section in its itinerary for departure information.

FAQ

Accommodations

Lodging throughout the safari is very comfortable albeit basic at times. Since we travel to remote locations, we do not have many options, but we have found excellent choices in all locations and will enjoy the rustic Alaskan feel and remoteness of our lodges. Your accommodations in Fairbanks and Anchorage have private baths, however, Skyline Lodge in Kantishna has shared bathrooms in a separate building a short walk from our rooms (staying here is well worth it since we can travel in our own van through Denali Park, avoiding the 50-passenger shuttle buses that all other visitors must take to reach Kantishna).

Seasickness

Transportation

Travel in our private, custom-designed 12-seater Mercedes Sprinter, specifically adapted for photography, including windows that open on both sides. With a maximum of eight participants throughout the journey, you’ll have plenty of room for photography.

Take a scenic flight in small aircraft around Mount Denali (depending on weather).

Conditions

  • Non-smoking policy: We have a strict non-smoking policy. Smoking is not permitted at any time or any place during our tours.
  • Maximum time in nature: We try to spend as much time in nature as possible, sometimes resulting in long days but giving you a more in-depth experience.
  • Itinerary route: The itinerary route, stops, and plans are subject to change by unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, such as weather or road conditions.
  • Additional forms: For some of our tours, you may be asked to fill out additional forms (e.g., medical questionnaire).
  • Medical conditions and travel risks: Travel to remote places is exciting, but it is important to understand and accept the risks, both medical and logistical. Minor medical problems can usually be treated, but because we are often far from medical facilities, there can be no expectation for immediate medical treatment or evacuation, even in cases of trauma. Anyone with health problems needing close medical supervision should not consider going on this tour. Bring enough medication for the duration of the trip for any chronic medical needs since pharmacies are usually not available. When you send your deposit and signed Reservation/Release Form, you certify to us that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions that would create a risk for yourself or for other trip participants.
  • Use of drones/UAVs on tours: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), AKA drones, are not suitable for use on most Cheesemans’ Ecology expeditions due to logistical constraints and in many cases, local and national laws or regulations. In some cases, such as on our polar voyages, we operate under environmental regulations that ban the use of recreational drones. Do not bring a drone on safari without contacting us first.