Spirit of the Tundra
Spirit of the Tundra
TOUR OVERVIEW - ALASKA: Spirit of the Tundra
DID YOU KNOW? Even if you saw a million acres a day, it would still take you more than a year to see all of Alaska?
Peruse this Once In A Lifetime itinerary, created for those who want to experience both Alaska Native culture and the treasure trove of unique activities which every traveler to this ravishing land should experience.
From The Arctic Circle, to the Eskimo Olympics, the bright city of Anchorage to the gold mining town of Talkeetna, and of course Alaska’s jewel in the crown, Mount Denali… and along the way the Midnight Sun Powwow, dog-sledding, an igloo, the Northern Lights… we have it all.
Alaska is known as the final frontier of the American West, a majestic land of stunning glaciers, rugged landscapes, and sweeping colorful valleys. Alaska is home to eleven distinct Alaska Native cultures with many tribes within each of those cultures; many of whom still live the old subsistence lifeway and speak one of twenty indigenous languages.
One of the few places on earth where as yet Mother Nature has been left largely undisturbed so that wildlife is abundant and living in their natural state, Alaska is certainly on most people’s ‘Life List’.
Indigenous peoples of Alaska traditionally lived in an expansive region beginning south of the Brooks Mountain Range down to the Kenai Peninsula and their separation by land formations created eleven distinct linguistic groups. The tribes were based along five major river-ways and migrated seasonally, traveling in small groups to fish, hunt and trap. Yet as with all Peoples of the world, similarities are greater than differences, evolving mainly around adaptation to each tribe's environment. So naturally, food, tools, homes and clothing of the cultures reflect the geography and climate of the area each group lived in.
And what a place to live! Studded between Alaska’s great mountain ranges are canyons, waterfalls, salmon-filled rivers, blue glaciers (100000 of them, totaling 5% of the Alaskan land base and even bluer when it’s cloudy) temperate rain forest, tundra and spectacular endless tidal coastline. At the heart of traditional tribal life is respect for all living things. It goes without saying that the family unit is very important to survival and continuity in such a challenging environment. Indeed, in the Athabaskan subsistence lifeway sharing is imperative. In some communities, even today a brother still takes responsibility for training and socializing his sister's children so that the children grow up knowing their clan history and customs.
Alaska Native music, stories, traditional foods, and the Eskimo Olympics
The story of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Inuit Throat Singing
The Alaska Railroad to Denali
Anchorage – the finest Alaska Native museum, and shopping
Boat trip to see calving glaciers and sealife… seals, sealions, sea otters and whales.
1 - Experience Alaska Native music, stories and taste traditional foods at Tanana Chiefs Conference
2 – Gallery of Alaska at UAF to experience the Aurora and genuine sounds of Alaska & meet Muskoxen
3 - Sporting events at the World Eskimo Olympics; the Ear Pull, Knuckle Hop and the famed Blanket Toss
4 – Witness traditional Throat-singing, the Greased Pole Walk, Four Man Carry, Muktuk Eating and more
5 – Meet members of the Gwich’In Nation who are engaged in a crucial fight to save their ANWR lands
6 – Take the Alaska Railroad by glacial rivers, tundra meadows and forests heading toward Mount Denali
7 - Board the park bus for the 66 mile journey into the Denali wilderness watching for wildlife as we go
8 – Talkeetna, a true Alaskan town where you can choose fishing, ziplining, flight-seeing or hiking.
9 - Explore the most unique city in the US, surrounded by 6 mountain ranges – Anchorage,
10 - Kenai Fjords National Park by boat to see calving tidewater glaciers, seals, sea lions, porpoises, sea otters, maybe whales.
When: Dates to be announced for 2020/2021
Tribes: Alaska First Nations
CAN I EXTEND THIS TOUR?
You have options to stay longer in Anchorage at the end of the tour, or you may choose to join one of the cruises that sails Alaska's Inside Passage
Into Fairbanks, AK and out of Anchorage, AK. Dates as above! If you follow these dates you will be arriving the night previous to the start of the tour, with hotel accommodation INCLUDED in your price. This means you can book flights that suit you because whenever you arrive you will hop on the hotel shuttle from the airport. Same deal when you leave - you can chose your own departure time on the date noted above and will take the hotel shuttle to the airport.
NB. Some hotels will not allow you to book in until 4pm.
Most hotels will ask you to leave your room by 11 am, but may store bags for you if you have a late flight out of town.
Please do NOT book flights until your departure is confirmed.
This trip is based on room sharing prices.
This trip is not a high activity tour, but all participants must be of reasonable fitness and be able to walk uneven paths and to take short hikes. This trip offers the opportunity to hike more strenuously on your own, and you can also opt to zilpine, but this is simply an extra OPTION. If you have special needs, please let us know - we will be able to arrange something that works for you and your needs
This will be sent to you upon payment of your balance. But thinking ahead, you will not need much 'stuff' to have a great time - we are informal - no dressing for dinner, nowhere 'posh' to go to - jeans, tees, a sweatshirt/sweater and a fleece work great. Just don't forget your passport, your credit card, sun specs and sunscreen, phone (for the camera!) and charger.
In short, please only bring what you can carry easily yourself :)
This can be sent to you on request once you have made your booking. You do not have to do 'homework' prior to your trip
...but some people like to.
Go Native America is deeply conscious of our responsibility toward Mother Earth and wherever possible we keep miles to a minimum, energy savings to the max. But you also have to do your part. Please read our policy on sustainable tourism here.
This also covers our Fair Trade Tribal Tourism mandate.
MORE TOURS FOR 2019 / 2020
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