- Ice Climb: 3-Day Glacier Course
- Whitewater Raft: Alaska’s Matanuska River
- Backpack: Chugach State Park
- Sea Kayak: Resurrection Bay
- Explore Pristine Alpine Lakes
- Volunteer: Boys and Girls Club & Wildlife Refuge
- Community Service: 8 Hours
2017 Dates & Prices
21 Days: $4888.00
July 1 - July 21
July 24 - August 13
BACKCOUNTRY SKILLS & WILDERNESS ADVENTURE
On our four-day backpack in the Chugach Mountains, we learn backcountry skills and explore Alaska’s magnificent wilderness. Outside Seward, one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic towns, our group bonds during a full-day service project with Alaskan youth. We then head to Resurrection Bay for an incredible sea kayak adventure among sea otters, orca whales and bald eagles. Bring your camera to capture the stunning vistas and world-class scenery!
ICE CLIMB: MATANUSKA GLACIER
On the powerful Matanuska Glacier, we’re outfitted with crampons, ice axes and climbing gear for an introduction to the exhilarating sport of ice climbing. Professional guides teach us the skills necessary for three action-packed days in this challenging and beautiful environment. Camping at the base of the glacier allows us spectacular views of the ice retreating through a valley of snow-capped mountains. With days full of sunshine, lots of mountains and glaciers to explore, Bold Earth offers an unforgettable Alaskan experience!
MATANUSKA: WHITEWATER RAFTING & BACKPACKING
On the Matanuska River, we spend two days rafting class III and IV rapids. Set amidst stunning alpine scenery, this is the ideal river with which to push into the Alaskan wild! Our final adventure is a four-day backpack into Eagle and Symphony Valleys, where we have the opportunity to summit two peaks — Triangle Peak and Harp Mountain — for incredible views of the surrounding alpine wonderland! On our epic finale, campers use the skills mastered over the past three weeks to assume leadership responsibilities including route-planning, daily logistics and Leave No Trace practices. Throughout every aspect of Ultimate Alaska, we enable campers to take responsibility and learn backcountry skills.
- Sea Kayak Resurrection Bay
- Whitewater Raft: Alaska's Matanuska River
- Backpack the Chugach Mountains
- Ice Climb on Matanuska
- Backcountry Peak Attempts in Eagle Valley
On our second day of ice climbing, we explore more of the Matanuska Glacier. In the morning, we expand on ice axe and crampon techniques. We also practice low-angle ice climbing, top roping and belaying. In the afternoon, we focus on rope management, more top rope climbing and vertical ice climbing techniques.
On day three of our ice climbing course, we are ready for more challenging routes. In addition to more exciting top rope climbing, we also try rappelling and a Tyrollean traverse, which is a method of crossing an open space between two high points on a horizontal zip line. This is a team activity with some of the best photo ops on the trip!
Bold Earth’s day of service at the Boys & Girls Club is an eye-opening glimpse into the life of Alaskan youth, and offers us the valuable opportunity to give back to the areas and communities in which we travel.
After resupplying in Anchorage, we travel south beside towering peaks and crystal-clear bays to the port city of Seward. Dramatically positioned on the Kenai Peninsula on the shores of Resurrection Bay, the city is named after William Seward, who famously negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia in the 1800's. Seward is one of Alaska's major ports and the state's railroad terminus, gathering and shipping goods and supplies throughout the entire state. We set up camp just outside of the city limits, and get some rest in preparation for tomorrow's kayaking adventure!
YES! Bold Earth knows that Ultimate Alaska campers are looking for adventure. Ultimate Alaska attracts active, adventurous, fun, motivated, independent, mature, and AWESOME campers. That is Ultimate Alaska. This will be the greatest adventure you have ever been on- GUARANTEED!
Some Sweet Details:
- THE SUN almost NEVER SETS!
- Ice Climb
- Whitewater Raft
- Sea Kayak
- Backpack in the shadow of North America’s tallest mountain
- Explore the Wilderness of Alaska
- Epic Camping
- The BEST group of Friends
- Epic Bold Earth Trip Leaders who are experienced outdoorsmen and WOMEN!
21 days of rugged peaks, massive glaciers and HUGE FUN on Bold Earth in the land of the midnight sun (the sun is STILL up at midnight!).
Spend three weeks on Ultimate Alaska and you will discover a summer of empowerment, rejuvenation and inspiration. Make new friends, experience new places, be challenged and have the the best summer of your life.
After twenty-five summers in the “Last Frontier”, Bold Earth has carefully built an itinerary that ensures the MAXIMUM amount of adventure, safety and FUN. All skill activities are guided by local Alaskan experts, who provide the highest level of safety and leadership.
Community Service is a Bold Earth core value. Bold Earth carefully chooses hands on community service projects that are active, engaging and . . . LIFE CHANGING! All Bold Earth participants will receive a certificate to document their service hours.
Service Credit: 8 Hours
Project #1: The site of our first group backpack, the majestic Chugach State Park, is the perfect place to give back to the areas in which we travel. Our day of service involves partnering with the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. We put in a hard day’s work with the goal of helping ecological and conservation efforts with the AWCC. Projects vary depending on the current needs of the Center, but may include gardening, feeding animals, trail restoration or anything else they might ask. To learn more about the center visit: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Project #2: We also “give back” to Alaska by volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club in Anchorage. The Club allows youth to have a safe place to learn and grow, to develop ongoing relationships with caring adult professionals and to participate in life-enhancing programs and character development experiences. Boys & Girls Clubhouses are open before and after school, when kids have free time and need positive, productive activities. As volunteers, we provide key supplementary support in the areas of club maintenance, administrative support and active participation with club members. Visit the website for more information about the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club
Click to View: ALL Bold Earth community service projects
First word: BIG. Alaska is the largest state in the U.S. (about half the size of the continental U.S.) Known for its ruggedness, Alaska is known as the “Last Frontier,” and renowned for its incredible natural beauty, wildlife and outdoor adventures!
Alaska is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent. Bordering Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia (specifically, Siberia) further west across the Bering Strait. Although it had been occupied for thousands of years by indigenous peoples, from the 18th century onward, European powers considered the territory of Alaska ripe for exploitation. The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in the late 1800s for $7.2 million… good deal? WOW! Alaska officially became a State in 1959. Alaska’s population is 739,000 people.
The geology of Alaska is incredibly diverse. The region where Bold Earth travels is known as South-central Alaska. The area includes Cook Inlet, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, and the Copper River Valley. Tourism, fisheries, and petroleum production are important economic activities. Mountain regions dominate a tremendous amount of the landscape. Throughout our trip we will be able to view the Kenai Mountains, Chugach Mountains, Talkeenta Mountains, Wrangell mountains and the famous Alaska Range where Mt. McKinley (Denali) rules as the largest peak in North America.
Incredible camping! Spending 3 weeks in Alaska can only be described as incredible.
Fresh air, lingering sunsets, picturesque wilderness and great friends define the camping on Ultimate Alaska. For over 25 years, Bold Earth has scouted the most pristine campsites you could imagine! On Ultimate Alaska, you will share a tent with 2 or 3 other Bold Earth campers of your same gender. Bold Earth provides tents. Camping is an amazing way to get to know the other campers on your trip!
Ultimate Alaska campers almost always have access to amenities (such as bathrooms) and shower every 3-4 days. Whether camping with 20,000-ft peaks in view or along rivers and lakes with the bountiful wildlife as our only neighbors, Ultimate Alaska enjoys the best camping, biggest views and sweetest adventures. Why camping? Because Bold Earth takes you on an adventure that feels GREAT! If you are not sure what to expect with camping, consider:
• Sitting around a bonfire with a group of friends for life?
• Reading a book without a light at midnight?
• Cooking dinner with an amazing backdrop?
You will return home feeling incredible and empowered. Speak to Ultimate Alaska alumni from your area and they will tell you the camping was AMAZING!
Over the last 30 years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted the Ultimate Alaska Packing List to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable in Alaska. Click to view: Ultimate Alaska Packing List for a detailed description of exactly what to bring. Anything not included on the list is provided by Bold Earth.
Checking Bags? On airport day, campers will check the large duffle bag and backpack. We recommend using the small daypack as a carry-on. Campers should either bring a credit card or enough cash to check their bags home.
Give Bold Earth a call at 303-526-0806 if you have any questions. The Bold Earth Trip Advisor team is always available to help answer packing questions or provide gear recommendations.
Small group size = SUCCESS!
- Maximum of 13 fun and enthusiastic campers
- 2 adult trip leaders (one male and one female)
Especially on an outdoor adventure trip – group size is incredibly important. Can you imagine camping with 40 people??? Not cool! Small group size allows campers to experience the majesty and solitude of the Alaskan wilderness in its true spirit!
Bold Earth campers are leaders who seek independence, responsibility and fun. We know teenagers and we understand that a small group size is ESSENTIAL to camper success – especially on Ultimate Alaska. Leadership is a planned part of every day. Everyone has a chance to be Leader of the Day (LOD) and will have the opportunity to step into a leadership role and help to run the trip! The challenges and rewards of Ultimate Alaska bring the unity and bonding of the group together
Absolutely! Bold Earth has spent the last 25+ years perfecting the minute-by-minute details of Ultimate Alaska. Every activity has been reviewed and selected to ensure the best and most balanced experience possible. Whether ice climbing, rafting, sea kayaking or backpacking, we see what the Alaskans see, do what they do and live how they live. This is not a teen tour. This trip is FUN and ADVENTUROUS. Year after year campers come back from Alaska with new found passions in their hearts – for wilderness, for camping and for adventure.
YES, we will teach all skills to empower you to enjoy Ultimate Alaska. No Experience is required, just a spirit of adventure and willingness to go for it.
Bold Earth partners with local companies and uniquely knowledgeable natives to create a safe and authentic summer of true adventure.
We will be traveling by 15-passenger vans, with a roof-rack on top for all of our equipment and gear. The van will be driven by your experienced and carefully screened leaders. All travel is carefully planned to minimize time spent in the van (we try to never drive for more than 2 hours) and optimize the trip experience for active adventure. Bold Earth itineraries are designed to maximize adventure!
Shorts? Yes, most days the weather is perfect for shorts and a light jacket. But bring long pants and a jacket — you’ll need them!
Summer is the BEST time to travel in Alaska! The climate in South-central Alaska is mild by Alaskan standards due to the region’s proximity to the seacoast. Alaska during the summer is a very comfortable place to travel. With the sun out 20 hours a day, temperatures will stay at a fairly consistent level during both the day and night. Most days will be in the 55 to 65 fahrenheit degrees, (12.7 – 18.3 degrees Celsius) with most nights never dropping below 45 (7.2 degrees Celsius). By the glacier and mountains, we can experience some cooler rainy nights, so check your packing list for a detailed list of necessary items.
Alaska Summer is perfect for Adventure!
The goal of the entire Bold Earth team is to teach repeatable skills to safely enjoy for a lifetime. Simply put, we share our passion for the outdoors with you and together create unforgettable adventures – it is that simple.
We realize that not everyone has immediate access to glaciers and frozen waterfalls — most campers who join Ultimate Alaska have never ice climbed! Bold Earth hires professional climbing guides to meet each student at their level of expertise (even if you have none). Our professional guides not only offer us incredible hands on lessons, but are fun, friendly, and LOVE Bold Earth campers.
The guides are seasoned veterans who primarily lead people up huge mountains like Mount Mckinley. They are literally the best in the business. We will be climbing on the Matanuska Glacier. This 27-mile long glacier provides us with the best and safest ice climbing spots in the region. Campers participate in a 3-day mountaineering school designed specifically for Bold Earth that will teach you everything you need to know about the sport.
All other Bold Earth activities are under the same guidelines – we use only the highest rated professional guides. Whether kayaking, rafting or anything else, it will be highly supervised and incredibly fun.
1. Chugach Mountains:
We start out with an introductory backpack designed to show you the ropes of living in the backcountry. Our backpack will take us through meadows and into amazing and abundant lakes at the base of enormous peaks. This 4 day experience is challenging but not designed to wear you out. Our goal is to make you fall in love with both the area and the activity. Learn how to enjoy, cook, dance and live in the wild!
2. Denali State Park:
Our second and final backpack is at the end of our Alaskan adventure, so it is the best of the best – period. Located in the shadow of Denali – North America’s tallest peak standing at 20,237 feet (6,168 m) – we will trek along the Kesugi Ridge of Denali State Park. We will share in this one final adventure together for a total of 4 days. We will practice all that we have learned in the past two and a half weeks and grow together as a family. Campers will lead this backpack – showing the trip leaders everything they have learned.
You do not need to be an experienced backpacker, but we do recommend runs, walks or hikes before your trip to get in shape. The hike is the most physically challenging aspect of Ultimate Alaska – but the reward is totally worth the effort! Your experienced Bold Earth Trip leaders will teach you all the fundamentals you will need for a successful and inspiring backpacking experience.
Yes! Ultimate Alaska and all Bold Earth trips are designed to be combined to make a 4 or 8-week Bold Earth summer. For example, a popular combination is Ultimate Alaska and Ultimate Hawaii. If you are interested contact our Colorado office – 303 526 0806 – for more information! A Bold Earth Director will handle all the arrangements to create an incredible summer for you!
A true joy on Ultimate Alaska is how hungry you get.
DELICIOUS Food is essential! The food will be healthy, delicious, local, fun and lots of it. We do not have restrictive food budgets and we learn to cook new meals, eat plenty of local fish and other fresh food. Alaska does not have a specific cuisine, but lots of seafood is featured in the local diet. Yes, we will enthusiastically accommodate vegetarians, gluten-free, vegan, kosher, allergies and most special diets.
Cooking on Ultimate Alaska is a combination of planning, preparing, grocery shopping, cooking our own food and eating out. A few times during your trip you and three other campers will have the chance to make a meal for the group. Most campers find this to be incredibly fun and rewarding! Your leaders help you as much or as little as necessary and of course everything is included. We eat out once a week to celebrate our accomplishments and enjoy a night out between adventures.
GREAT we can help! Some campers will vacation in Alaska after the trip with their families. This is a great idea! Campers will know Alaska and have wonderful stories to tell – but campers will be tired so don’t plan too much. Contact the Bold Earth office and we can arrange a drop off/pick up point with you and your family.
Ultimate Alaska is very authentic and specifically designed for high school students who are seeking three weeks of action-packed Alaskan adventure. Experiencing a perfect blend of action, service and fun, Alaska is an opportunity to have an experience truly like none other. Bold Earth’s Ultimate Alaska program has been in operation for over 25 years and during that time it has developed into an experience as big as the state.
Bold Earth has fostered connections in Alaska, enabling us to provide an itinerary and camping experience unparalleled to any other teen travel company. A summer with Bold Earth Teen Adventures means travel in a different way – discovery through leadership, education, and FUN! Please view The Ultimate Alaska Blog for a students perspective of Ultimate Alaska.
YES! Over 16,000 students from all 50 US states and over 55 countries have joined Bold Earth! We encourage you to contact our alumni directly to find out about the quality of our leaders, depth of programing and what a summer with Bold Earth is really like. We want careful and selective families to choose Bold Earth. Our offerings are only as good as the families who choose us and our target student is responsible, informed and enthusiastic. To receive a list of references call the Bold Earth office 303-526-0806 or email
Additional FAQ: Click Here
Travel Made Easy!
- Fly Together: Our goal is to fly together as a group. All students are met upon arrival and families are called immediately from the airport.
- We recommend participants book flights three months before departure. Booking around April 1st allows the Bold Earth team to guarantee low fares and maximum coordinated group flights.
- Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.
Bold Earth, again, has delivered on their claim of providing a life-changing experience. You very much impressed our first son, Halen, last year and this year, Cort, our second son, did not want to come home! He loved his leaders and said his group was great. He enjoyed talking about anything and everything with kids from around the world with different beliefs and upbringings.
- Parents: Ricardo & Julia
Ultimate Alaska was such an amazing trip! I saw such beautiful places and did such beautiful things, I can't wait to (hopefully) go back to Alaska some day. All of the kids on my trip had a stellar group dynamic that made each day wonderful, no matter what we were doing. Overall, this trip was life changing for me, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
- Janie T.