Grab your best boots, rev up your sense of adventure and head to what feels like the edge of the earth. On this epic Alaskan adventure you’ll find yourself in the midst of breathtaking beauty and a blanket of steely silence as you hike through the Alaskan wild, glide across chilled lakes in kayaks, scrambling across glaciers, fly across parks for your bear watching and hop between a stand-up paddle-board, a fat bike and an ATV for your local transport.
The journey continues through the night, in conversation, through camaraderie, over meals, in perfect pairings and while watching the late night sun finally set. Local Women of Influence that are defying all of the odds in Alaska and beyond are sure to inspire and empower with their lodge talks. At day’s end, you’ll rest your pampered head at the local yet luxe Alyeska resort in Girdwood, south of Anchorage and at the serene Stillpoint Lodge in Halibut Cove. Get ready for some deep, sweet dreaming...
July 5-11, 2020
Price: $8,390 USD
Group Size: 12-22
Deadline to book - Dec 31, 2019
About the Trip
This intrepid adventure in the Alaska wild includes kayaking across lakes, riding ATV's through the backcountry, flightseeing and bear viewing, doing plenty of stand up paddle boarding, hiking, biking on fat tires and glacier trekking together with yoga on the deck, massages at Stillpoint, gourmet food all the way around, award-winning wines, wildlife and surreal scenery throughout.
All of this is topped off with Inspiring and empowering female speakers and incredible company throughout while in the wild and over your many meals.
Dates - July 5th-11th, 2020
Days - 7 Days/6 Nights
Size - Minimum of 12, Maximum of 22
Style - Adventure, Empowerment & Wellness
Needs - 100% deposit needed to hold a spot.
Deadline to book this trip - Dec 31st, 2019.
Treats - Yoga, Hikes, Glaciers, Kayaking, SUP
Accommodations - Luxury Lodges
Host - Karen Loftus
Fees - $8,390 USD
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1 | July 5, 2020
Arrive into Anchorage by 2 pm or before. A private greeting and transfer will follow taking you to Girdwood, just south of Anchorage. Girdwood, previously called Glacier City was once a gold mining town. Just 40 miles south of Anchorage and set in the world’s northernmost temperate rainforest, Girdwood is known for its extensive trails, hanging glaciers, mountain peaks, and water views.
Once at the lodge, you will have the remainder of the day to yourself. You can venture out on your own, picking up hiking or biking trails right from the hotel courtyard or take a slower approach and simply explore the resort and visit the pool, spa or sauna before freshening up in time for the welcome dinner. Ride the aerial tram to the top of Mt. Alyeska for stunning views and fine dining at 2,300 feet, at the Wine Spectator award-winning restaurant, Seven Glaciers.
Day 2 | July 6, 2020
Image Courtesy of Alaska Railroad Corporation.
Your first day of adventure starts with a picturesque ride on the iconic Alaska Railroad. Keep cameras handy as the scenery is stunning throughout the ride. Departing at the whistle stop in Portage, you will be transported to Spencer Lake where you meet your kayak and glacier guide.
You’ll kayak across the icy lake amongst floating glaciers before climbing onto the ancient Spencer Glacier. It’s an otherworldly experience to spend hours looking into ice caves and crevasses and hiking across the expansive glacier.
We return to Girdwood to dine off-property at the local favorite and ever-popular Jack Sprat restaurant, where both carnivores and vegans alike can satisfy their taste buds.
Day 3 | July 7, 2020
Today you venture into the Alaskan backcountry to the Chugach National Forest via ATVs. This US National Forest located in south-central Alaska is the second largest forest in the US. It covers portions of Prince William Sound, Kenai Peninsula, and Copper River Delta. Beyond the forest, the Chugach also includes glaciers, rivers and a very active shoreline abundant with wildlife. Keep your binos handy to capture the wildlife activity across the opposite ridge.
Image Courtesy of Alyeska Resort Hotel
After a pampered picnic-style lunch, we’ll hike to a waterfall for salmon viewing before finishing off the day. Tonight, you dine privately in the Sakura Asian Bistro with sushi, sake and more; you also will experience the first women’s presentation of the trip with the acclaimed Cindy Abbott, a local Woman of Distinction.
Day 4 | July 8, 2020
Today you depart Girdwood for Homer, a few hours drive and 200 miles south of Anchorage. Along the way, watch for wildlife, stop for photo opportunities and take in the beautiful Alaskan scenery. The long time Halibut fishing capital of the world is also known for its hiking, bear viewing and kayaking and quickly becoming known as the eco and adventure capital of Alaska.
Once in Homer, we board a water taxi for the ride across the bay to Halibut Cove, and Stillpoint Lodge. The luxe property is set across from the impressive mountain fjord of Kachemak Bay. The afternoon is open to hit the trails, practice yoga, SUP or simply go sea kayaking. Your adventure enthusiasm may be shared with sea otters, whales, birds or bears. A group dinner will follow.
Day 5 | July 9, 2020
Today, you will want your camera battery charged and your memory card empty. Hop aboard a small float plane for your flightseeing trip to Lake Clark National Park for your bear viewing excursion where you get to watch bears in their natural habitat as they graze on grass, dig for clams, play or fish. Behind the bears, the backdrop of beauty borders on overwhelming from steaming volcanoes to the turquoise lakes and jagged peaks.
Upon your return to Stillpoint, you can relax, practice yoga or hit the lake prior to the group dinner. Tonight, you will experience the second Woman of Distinction, Janine Oros Amon who has climbed Denali twice, among other accomplishments, will share her story.
Day 6 | July 10, 2020
Image Courtesy of Mark Edward Harris
For those who went bear viewing on the 19th, today provides an opportunity to choose from a multitude of activities. Explore some of the 100+ miles of trails through Alaska’s first state park and only wilderness park, Kachemak Bay State Park. There’s plenty to do on the 400,000 acres of mountains, glaciers, forests, and ocean. Ride a fat-tire bike along the beach, go stand-up paddle boarding, or schedule an optional add-on activity of fishing.
If hiking above the timberline, you’ll come across miles of glaciers and snowfields. A few points of interest in the park are Grewingk Glacier, Poot Peak, China Poot Bay, Halibut Cove Lagoon, Humpy Creek, and China Poot (Leisure) Lake. When the bear viewing group returns to Stillpoint, the group will enjoy a spirited farewell dinner in the lodge.
Day 7 | July 11, 2020
Rise early for one last optional yoga session and one last chance to soak in the view from your room before you board the water taxi for Homer. Once in Homer, you will repeat the drive to Anchorage; again, keeping an eye out for wildlife and great photo opportunities along the journey. Guests will be dropped off at Anchorage airport for domestic and international connections unless staying extending on their own.
Until we travel again...
Located in the small quaint town of Girdwood, the premium Alyeska Resort is truly a rustic chic retreat and Alaskan through and through. Just South of Anchorage along the Turnagain Arm, Alyeska is the perfect base camp for all of your activities in and around Anchorage and the Kenai. Dark cherry woods, high lofty ceilings, blazing fireplaces, and native Alaskan art and artifacts add to the local allure and ambiance throughout. A phenomenal food and wine program, a top-notch spa and one of the best beds you will ever sleep in makes for a very spoiled sojourn.
Situated in the idyllic small port of Halibut Cove, Alaska, Stillpoint is Alaska Luxury Lodging at its finest with its pristine beauty and upscale ambiance. Nestled between snow-capped mountains and the lovely treasure of Kachemak Bay, it is surrounded by a bounty of beauty. The tiny town itself is a mix of both a fishing village and an artist enclave.
Stillpoint is an oasis unto itself, tucked away on a private peninsula and surrounded by nature. The floor to ceiling windows and natural light showcase the cutting edge architecture, Alaskan artistry, Scandinavian styling, topped off with a Zen-like ambiance throughout. The food is fresh, local, organic and Alaskan with vegetables and herbs sourced from an organic garden on site. Oysters are freshly harvested, fish locally caught and craft brews are Alaskan, of course. They are served side by side with fresh craft cocktails and fine wines. Oh and did we mention it’s all-inclusive? Prepare to be spoiled...a lot.
*All images of Alaska are courtesy of Karen Loftus, except for accommodations and if otherwise stated.
Accommodations, Rates, Availability
SHARED ACCOMMODATION: $8,390 USD
100% deposit is required to hold your spot on this Alaskan adventure.
Please note: Payment must be made in full by December 31st, 2019
(Spots may fill up as it is a first-come basis.)
Our exclusive program welcomes a maximum of 22 travelers with a minimum capacity at 12.
Hover over the image below to see the full BIO on Your Host, Karen Loftus
Karen in Alaska
Photo Credit for Gallery: Karen Loftus
Your Tour Operator
In Midnight Son Luxury Adventure Tours you have found a company that puts you first. Like you, we appreciate excellence and strive to set ourselves apart. We are unique…a small company that knows that Big Alaska is best experienced in small groups. We specialize in personal, friendly, five star service that is focused on leaving you totally satisfied yet longing for more. We know that you have a lot of options as you plan your Adventure and we strive to earn your trust and keep it.
So, what’s the big deal about Alaska? I know I was definitely curious about Alaska and had heard great things about it from super savvy travel friends of mine; but it was never tip-top on my list and I was in no rush to go.
So much so I was embarrassed that I lived on the west coast, in Seattle no less and in LA for several years and never made the trip before. What a shame!
It was shortly after my trip to Antarctica, an opportunity arose for me to go to Alaska. I couldn’t imagine Alaska could come anywhere close to Antarctica, but it did. Alaska is all that and then some. Although it can’t be compared to Antarctica or Antarctica to it, you do see some similar things while there like glaciers, snow-capped mountains, icy beauty everywhere and an abundance of whales.
Alaska is different as it’s not all ice and glaciers. The hiking, biking, horseback riding and the charming tiny towns only add to its overall allure.
I liked Alaska so much that I went back for a second spin in two years ago. That is when I fell truly madly deeply for the place. The seemingly endless landscape and the unspeakable beauty simply stopped me in my tracks...every day.
I find there is no better way to embrace local beauty than to get up all in it which is what I did last time--hiking, glacier walks, ice kayaking and horseback riding. It truly was one of the best times and one of the best trips of my life.
That first trip was handled by Midnight Son Tours—they know Alaska inside and out. Our group gathered on a nightly basis around a roaring fire where we shared serious and silly stories with each other and the bevy of horses that surrounded us. It was then that I told Jake from Midnight Son that I was going to come back and bring some women with me. And so a seed was sown and a trip was planned.
I am thrilled to be doing this trip with Midnight Son. As far as the level of adventure, if you are active you will be fine. For starters we are hiking, kayaking and riding ATV’s. If you’ve never driven an ATV, it’s easy and comes with a quick learning curve. We’ll also have guides in tow.
Jake and I went back and forth on the horse versus ATV’s for a while as I wasn’t initially convinced. I love ATV’s and I have seen insane landscapes in my day on an ATV mainly in New Zealand; but I loved the horseback riding experience in Alaska. It is something we may do in the future but due to logistics, the ATV won out this time around.
I was not only sold by Jake on the ATV angle but by many other friends as well as their friends who swear by it as we will be witness to wildlife and an unimaginable beauty while cruising through the Alaskan outback.
If you have never kayaked, it too is an easy skill to pick up. There are double kayaks as well so you may have a coach in tow if kayaking with another. So fear not.
As far as the glacier hikes, chances are you may not have done that before. I have cruised up to glaciers in a ship and I have flown very closely over them, but walking on one and looking into crevasses is a completely different experience and by far my favorite. You will love it. That too is like walking only in an otherworldly place. You may be blown away, but you’ll be fine.
Once at Stillpoint, similar to many Women’s Adventure Travel trips, you can dial the adventure up or down and play with the frequency as well. Days begin with yoga on site. The plethora of adventure options will remain right outside your door. You’ve got fat bikes, hiking trails, stand up paddle boards, canoes and your own deck to reflect on. You are also privy to a bear viewing experience while there.
As far as the price, I have long been a luxury travel writer so I favor and know the upmarket travel very well. However, with my trips, I am committed to getting my travelers the best value for their money. I want my trips to be accessible, so much so that I have changed the dates to shave off a chunk of the cost of and when necessary.
Now Alaska is expensive, more than you might imagine. There is no getting around it as their season is only a few months long—running between June and September--so the lodging, purveyor, tour ops companies, only have those few months to do their business. Imagine if we had to do that? .
It’s a bit more difficult to get to Alaska than other destinations, even for most Americans it is a journey up (north) and over (west). It is so worth it, on several levels. I can’t say this enough I hope you join us on this trip. If you come this time, I guarantee it won’t be your last time to Alaska. I know it won’t be mine.