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Alaska Teen Trip

Wild Alaska

21 days of true adventure. Whitewater Raft, Sea Kayak, Ice Climb & Backpack in Alaska's great wilderness!

Price:$5,088

Destination

Alaska

2018 Dates

July 1 - July 21
Limited
July 24 - August 13
Full

Duration

21 days

Age

14-18

Trip Highlights

  • 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

Price

$5,088

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!

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! For Wild Alaska's grand finale, we head back into the wilderness one final time. Hiking in the shadow of jagged, snow-capped peaks, we put to use our new backcountry skills and practice topographic map and compass techniques. Our final foray into the wilderness culminates with soaring views of the surrounding alpine country. We may see grizzly, caribou, moose, fox, and eagles as we enjoy our last few days together in the wilderness.

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!
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Day 1
Welcome to Alaska
Welcome to Bold Earth's Wild Alaska! Campers will be met upon arrival at the Anchorage Airport gate by your experienced Bold Earth trip leaders. All campers will call home upon meeting their trip leaders to confirm their safe arrival. Once the group has all arrived, we load up our van and head to our first camp at Eagle River State Park, just northeast of Anchorage. During orientation, we get to know each other and learn what to expect in the days ahead. Our daily routine, jobs, and safety rules are explained and the process of growing together as a group begins! Campers learn how to set up tents and trip leaders cook a feast for our first night's dinner! Welcome to Wild Alaska!
Day 2-5
Backpacking the Chugach Range!
We begin our backpack into Chugach State Park. Just beyond the foothills of Anchorage, this protected area is the third largest state park in the country at half a million acres! We learn how to practice Leave No Trace ethics and travel safely in the wilderness and in bear country. Following the Glen Alps/Williwaw Lakes Route, we enjoy spotting wildflowers, glacier-fed rivers, high peaks, alpine lakes, moose, eagles, and maybe even a grizzly. On the last day of our trek, we hike back out to the trailhead, travel to Anchorage for a well-deserved restaurant dinner, and continue on to our camp in Eagle River.
Day 6
To the Glacier!
After an epic adventure in the Chugach, our group takes the morning to clean up and resupply our food for the next few days. After a food shop, we drive north to the Matanuska Glacier. At 27 miles long and 4 miles wide, the Matanuska Glacier is the largest glacier in the United States that is accessible by road. This incredible natural phenomenon is our home for the next three days of learning how to ice climb!
Day 7-9
Ice Climbing in Alaska!
Working with our master guides from Alaska Mountaineering School, we learn mountaineering techniques essential for top rope climbing, rappelling and either a summit or a mock crevasse rescue! Today is focused on our ice climbing orientation regarding safety and equipment use. We get a feel for the basics of the sport by learning crampon techniques, self-arrests, and useful knots.

On our second day of ice climbing, we explore more of the Matanuska Glacier. In the morning, we expand on ice ax 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 Tyrolean 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!
Day 10-11
Whitewater Rafting!
Two thrilling days plunging down the Matanuska River is wild Alaska at its finest! Led by our professional rafting guides, this heart-pumping adventure takes us over class III and IV rapids amidst Dall Sheep and towering peaks. This trip combines some of Alaska's best whitewater with spectacular scenery and riverside camping. Our multi-day trips are self-contained (accompanied by equipment/gear boats), allowing us to camp at a very scenic, peaceful, and remote site along the river.
Day 12
Boys & Girls Club in Anchorage Service Project
We "give back" to the community by volunteering for the day 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. Every Clubhouse has trained youth development professionals, providing positive role models and mentors. As volunteers, we provide key supplementary support in the areas of club maintenance, administrative support and active participation of club members.

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!
Day 13-14
Sea Kayaking!
We rise early and meet our professional guides from Kayak Adventures Worldwide, who briefs us on the technical and safety aspects of Alaskan sea kayaking. We then hit the water for an unforgettable day on Resurrection Bay! Surrounded by spectacular peaks and soaring bald eagles, we paddle our tandem kayaks to a nearby beach for a close-up view of the area's unique moss covered rainforest. Keep your eyes peeled for more amazing wildlife, including moose, bears, deer, sea otters, and the occasional whale! Before leaving Seward we will go on a hike to explore more of the beautiful area.
Day 15
Alaska Wildlife Conservation
Our second day of service begins with Alaska Wildlife Conservation volunteers teaching us the essentials of responsible treatment and rehabilitation of wildlife in Alaska. We put in a hard day's work with the goal of improving the Conservation. Projects vary depending on the current needs of the park but may include building enclosures, caring for the animals, trail maintenance, and other environmental conservation work.
Day 16-17
Denali
Heading north toward the Denali, we set up camp at Byers Lake and explore the incredible wilderness surrounding North America's highest peak. Along the way, we stop in the historic frontier town of Talkeetna, whose downtown area is on the register of National Historic Places, with a general store, inn and tavern dating back to the early 1900s. During a day hike to Kesugi Ridge in Denali State Park, we'll get the opportunity for incredible views of Denali to the west.
Day 18-20
Grand Finale: Into The Wild Once More!
For Wild Alaska's grand finale, we head back into the wilderness one final time. Hiking in the shadow of jagged, snow-capped peaks, we put to use our new backcountry skills and practice topographic map and compass techniques. Our final foray into the wilderness culminates with soaring views of the surrounding alpine country. We may see grizzly, caribou, moose, fox, and eagles as we enjoy our last few days together in the wilderness.
Day 21
Homeward Bound!
We wake up, clean gear, head to the airport, say goodbye to our new friends and start planning our Bold Earth adventures for next year!

Is Wild Alaska Adventurous?

YES! Bold Earth knows that Wild Alaska campers are looking for adventure.Wild Alaska attracts active, adventurous, fun, motivated, independent, mature, and AWESOME campers. That isWild 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!

Why choose Wild Alaska?

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 onWild Alaska and you will discover a summer of empowerment, rejuvenation, and inspiration. Make new friends, experience new places, be challenged and have 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.

What is the Community Service like?

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 of 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

I want to know more about Alaksa!

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.

Where Do We Stay?

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 Wild 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!

Wild 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, Wild 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 Wild Alaska alumni from your area and they will tell you the camping was AMAZING!

What should I pack?

Over the last 30 years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted theWild Alaska Packing List to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable in Alaska. Click to view: Wild 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.

Why do you limit groups to 13 campers?

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 Wild 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

Is Wild Alaska Authentic?

Absolutely! Bold Earth has spent the last 25+ years perfecting the minute-by-minute details ofWild 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 Wild 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.

How do we travel?

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!

What is the weather like?

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 to 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!

Is experience required? How much will I learn?

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 Wild 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.

What is the backpacking Like?

SO 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.

Can I combine Wild Alaska with another trip?

Yes! Wild 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 Wild 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!

What is the food like?

A true joy on Wild 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 Wild 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 in between adventures.

My Family Wants to Vacation in Alaska too!

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 for you and your family.

Is Wild Alaska Right For me?

Wild 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 traveling in a different way – discovery through leadership, education, and FUN! Please view The Wild Alaska Blog for a students perspective ofWild Alaska.

Can I speak to alumni from Wild 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

Wild Alaska

Travel Made Easy!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.

Every trip has a story.

We have 40+ years of amazing travel tales to share, but our favorites are always best told by our adventurers themselves.
View Trip Blog
Chugach Range, Alaska
image description
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

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