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The Heart of Alaska - Far Western Section Field Trip

published Sep 28, 2012 1:51pm

The Far Western Section of NAGT Presents:

The Heart of Alaska

July 31-August 10, 2013

Download the Flyer (Acrobat (PDF) 509kB Sep28 12)

Wendy Van Norden and Greg Wheeler want to show you the HEART OF ALASKA on an 11 day van trip to some of the most beautiful, unusual, biologically, and geologically significant wilderness in the world. Our trip begins in Anchorage Alaska and goes by van to the Wrangell-Saint Elias Wilderness Area (the largest Wilderness Area in the United States). We will see the place which once made Kennecott Copper the largest copper mining company in the world, spend a day on the Root Glacier, and hike in the wilderness around McCarthy. Then we drive to Paxson for an afternoon and overnight in log cabins at the beginning of the Denali Highway.

Our adventure continues for two days of van camping along the Denali Highway, on the way to Denali National Park. At the entrance to Denali, we raft the Nenana River and stay at the Nenana cabins.We have two adventure filled days in Denali. Our last night is in cabins at Beyer's Lake We return to Anchorage on August 10.

You will see true wilderness, spectacular glaciers, moose, caribou, grizzly bear, and Dall sheep. You will learn about the geology, and biology of this wild part of America AND you will do it, while tent (except for three nights in cabins) and van supported camping.

You can hangout at camp all day, or hike easy or difficult routes guided through the backcountry. If you have ever wanted to see Alaska, or just want to return to the frontier, this is your trip.

Day 1 (July 31) Anchorage:
Meet fellow adventurers and pack for the trip. Leave at noon on the Glenn Highway, and pass the Matanuska Glacier, on the way to Tolsona Wilderness Campground near Glennallen.

Day 2 (Aug. 1) Glennallen to McCarthy.
Camp at Glacier View Campground, The shuttle to Kennecott leaves every 30 minutes. Visit Kennecott Alaska, and hear about the mining history of this world-significant copper deposit.

Day 3 (Aug. 2) Full day guided ice travel on the Root Glacier
Camp: Glacier View campground

Day 4 (Aug. 3) Morning - Drive to Paxson, and spend a night in Denali Highway cabins.

Day 5 (Aug. 4) Drive Denali Highway - camp and day hike


Day 6 (Aug. 5) Drive Denali Highway - camp and day hike.

Day 7 (Aug. 6) Arrive at the entrance to Denali National Park. Raft the Nenana River gorge, and stay in the Nenana River cabins.

Day 8 (Aug. 7) Take the Denali shuttle to Wonder Lake Campground.

Day 9 (Aug. 8) Take the shuttle back to Riley Camp, stopping along the way at Eielson visitor center.

Day 10 (Aug. 9) Drive to Beyer's Lake for day trips and cabin stay.

Day 11 (Aug. 10) Drive back to Anchorage - Fly home after 1 pm, or spend the night in Anchorage.


Cost: $1,395

This cost is all inclusive (transportation, food, lodging, fees) from Anchorage to Anchorage. It does not include your plane flight to Anchorage or any lodging before or after the trip. The cost is based on 14 total participants, with their own personal camping gear. If fewer go, the cost will increase. Participants would be given a chance to reconsider, if the cost rises too much. The trip may be cancelled if 14 participants do not reserve space. There will be a waiting list.

Payment Schedule:

Deposits, made out to NAGT-FWS, should be mailed to P.O. BOX 7118, Chico, CA 95927


For information Contact:
Greg Wheeler or Wendy Van Norden for information.


Greg Wheeler is Emeritus Professor of Geology at California State University, Sacramento, a GSA Fellow, and Past President of NAGT. He has traveled to Alaska each summer for 20 years.

Wendy Van Norden has been leading backpacking and camping trips for more than 30 years, hiking with friends, and introducing her science students to the mountains and deserts of the Southwest. She is a GSA fellow, teacher at Harvard-Westlake School, past NAGT-FWS President, and has led numerous trips to Alaska.

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