Alaska

Leadership in the Last Frontier

$5,795

21 days

Trip duration

9th - 12th

Grades

21 days

June 26-July 16, 2024

(Limited availability)

Anchorage

Arrival & Departure

$5,795

Tuition

21 days

Trip duration

June 26-July 16, 2024

(Limited availability)

9th - 12th

Grades

Overview

Enhance your wilderness and leadership skills through an unforgettable adventure in America’s “Last Frontier.” Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Alaska Range, spanning hundreds of miles, as you explore the pristine alpine tundra and a stunning array of wildflowers, all while enjoying unparalleled mountain vistas. Feel the rush of excitement as you navigate thrilling class II and III whitewater rapids or encounter majestic grizzly bears in the untamed expanses of Denali National Park. Experience the exhilaration of traversing seemingly endless glaciers and conquering glistening ice walls. Witness awe-inspiring moments as humpback whales and orcas swim just feet away during a ferry tour of Kenai Fjords National Park, and be captivated by the raw power of massive glaciers calving into the ocean. For a truly extraordinary journey, there’s no destination quite like the “Land of the Midnight Sun.” Explore and develop your wilderness and leadership skills with us today.

Highlights

  • Backpack and Camp in the Heart of the Alaskan Backcountry With Breathtaking Views of Majestic Denali Mountain Range
  • Learn to Ice Climb on the Beautiful Matanuska Glacier
  • Whitewater Raft the Mighty Nenana River to Experience Exhilarating Rapids and Unbelievable Mountain Views
  • Travel Into Denali National Park to Look for Alaska’s “Big Five” Wildlife: Moose, Grizzly Bears, Caribou, Grey Wolves, and Dall Sheep
  • Boat Alongside Orcas, Humpback Whales, Sea Lions and Puffins and Witness Massive Glaciers Crashing Into the Ocean in Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Explore the Wilds of Alaska While Improving Your Backpacking Skills, Wilderness Techniques and Leave No Trace Principles
  • Come Face-to-Face With Sea Otters and a Giant Pacific Octopus at the Alaska SeaLife Center
  • 30 Hours of Leadership & Wilderness Skills Training

Get the itinerary

Outdoor & Leadership Skills

Don your backpacks for a five-day trek along the wildflower-covered K’esugi Ridge Trail in Alaska’s famous wild landscapes with a front row view of Denali, North America’s highest peak at 20,310 feet. Take in panoramic views of the Alaska Range to the west and the Talkeetna Range to the east. Practice important Leave No Trace principles and wilderness ethics as you hike with bald eagles soaring overhead and Dall sheep, arctic foxes, and caribou in the distance. Build your self-confidence and leadership abilities through leadership activities and roles.

Five-day Trek

Adventure

Through guided instruction, learn the art of glacier travel and ice-climbing, including using an ice ax, crampons, and safety harnesses. Explore the Matanuska Glacier while further building your technical skills. Watch the midnight sun reflect off a landscape of ice that you will never forget. Whitewater raft down the gorgeous Nenana River and begin with a calm and scenic float through the Denali landscape. Later, drop into the Nenana Canyon to tackle thrilling rapids such as “Razorback”, “Coffee Grinder”, and “Ice Worm”.

Ice Climbing

Whitewater Rafting

Environment & Wildlife

Explore Denali National Park and watch for Alaska’s “Big Five” wildlife: Moose, bear, wolf, sheep and caribou. Learn about this unique and wild landscape from a trained naturalist and keep your eyes peeled for more amazing wildlife. Embark on a guided ferry tour into Kenai Fjords National Park, for up-close viewing of calving glaciers and the chance to spot humpback and orca whales, puffins, otters, porpoises, and sea lions. Tour the Alaska SeaLife Aquarium to learn more about the local marine wildlife and hand feed caribou calves at a reindeer farm.

Explore Wildlife

Common Questions

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This is an entirely camping-based program. The group will camp in National Parks, State Parks, National Forest Service land, and private campsites. The majority of our campgrounds are “front-country,” meaning you will be close to the group’s van while camping. While at these front-country campgrounds you will have restroom facilities and water for drinking, cooking, and washing hands. Many of the campgrounds will also have showers on-site.

As a part of the adventure, you will also set out on a 5-day/4-night backpack in the Alaskan wilderness. For this section you will be carrying your personal gear (clothes, sleeping bag and pad) as well as all group gear (tents, cooking gear) needed for this component. These campsites will be “wilderness sites” and may not have running water or bathroom facilities.

Each group will travel together, with the leaders, in a combination of 15-passenger van and small equipment truck, which will carry the personal and group gear. The van and equipment truck will become the group’s mobile home base so it will be important that students help keep the van and truck clean and organized through their journey.

Students are generally pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food on an ARCC program. The group will work together to create each unique menu and prepare the delicious meals throughout the duration of this trip, with occasional meals out at local restaurants. Vegetarian and other dietary needs (i.e., allergies, food preferences) are easily catered for. Students should inform ARCC of any dietary needs before the start of the program.

If you are traveling from somewhere in the United States and are under the age of 18, airlines do not require photo identification. It is a good idea to travel with a picture I.D. if possible, but it is not necessary to bring a passport. A school identification card with your photo on it is best, but a library card or credit card with your name on it is also helpful. If you are traveling to Alaska from somewhere outside of the United States, you will need to bring your valid passport.

Nearly all of the U.S. state of Alaska is in the Alaska Time Zone. It is four hours behind the east coast and one hour behind the west coast.

As a part of the program, you will be setting out on an multi-day wilderness backpacking trip. It is essential that you bring a backpack that is sized to your body and comfortably carries your essential items during this component. For this reason, you should bring a properly fitted backpack (either internal or external frame) for this program. You may also bring a small daypack to use for day hikes and shorter day trips.

During the rest of the trip the group will be navigating through airports, getting in and out of the van, and carrying their personal items to and from their campgrounds. It is essential that everyone is able to carry their own personal belongings and we have found the most effective way to do this is to pack in a backpack or duffle.

The best time to visit Alaska is during the summer months of June and July which consists of warm, dry days and cooler evenings. The weather can vary greatly throughout our journey depending on location and elevation so it will be important to pack according to our extensive packing list, with an emphasis on proper layering. The interior of the state, near Denali, is usually warm and dry with average highs around 70 degrees and the lows around 50 degrees. The backpacking route can experience very cold weather and potentially even sleet/light snow, so warm clothes and layers are essential! In coastal areas like the Kenai Peninsula, the weather is usually wetter and cooler, so you should be prepared with rain gear and warm layers. Because weather patterns are unpredictable, you should be prepared for rain or other inclement weather conditions at all times.

There will be opportunities for regular showers during the trip, however you should not expect to take showers every single day. There will be no shower opportunities during the backpacking section due to the remote nature of the backcountry. There will be at least two laundry stops during the trip. For ease of travel, quick dry clothes are recommended on the packing list.

All activities, accommodation and meals are covered by tuition, but you will want some personal money to pay for airline baggage fees at the airport, souvenirs/gifts, laundry, extra snacks, and emergencies (lost items, clinic visit, etc.). We suggest bringing spending money of roughly $75/week, for a total of $175-$225 for the entire trip (most of this cash/money should come home). Most students opt to bring small amount of cash, as well as personal debit or credit cards.

Have questions? Speak to one of our Program Directors, give them a call at (415) 332.5075 , they love talking about their trips!

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