Five-Night, Six-Day, All-Inclusive Itinerary (subject to preferences and/or weather)
$9,900pp: 3 nights at Sheldon Chalet, 2 nights in Talkeetna
We suggest at least three nights at the Sheldon Chalet to enjoy this extraordinary property. Two nights in the historic village of Talkeetna will provide guests time to explore the history of the area, and serve as a potential weather buffer to optimize days at the Sheldon Chalet.
Guests will stay in a beautifully-appointed 1918 cabin on Main Street in the downtown district, within walking distance to most major attractions. All meals and activities are included – guests will choose from Talkeetna’s fabulous local dining options.
Activities of Interest (subject to season)
Talkeetna Historical Society Museum: Collections focusing on Talkeetna’s rich history and daily life, with dedicated buildings for the Alaska Railroad and mountaineering exhibitions.
National Park Service Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station: Headquarters for National Park Service mountaineering operations for Denali and the Alaska Range.
Denali Brewing Company: Award-winning Denali Brewing Company is the only producer in Alaska able to craft via a brewery, distillery, and meadery. The tour and tasting is not to be missed.
Kahiltna Birchworks: Take a tour, watch the harvest video, and learn the fascinating complexities of producing Alaska-grown birch syrup.
Susitna Salmon Center: An educational center complete with live tanks of several species of fish focuses on aquatic ecosystems across the Susitna River Drainage.
Art gallery and seasonal open-air markets: Stroll Main Street shops featuring local Alaska artists and Alaska-made products.
XY Lake Nature Trail: The park’s best feature is a 3.5-mile walking trail around X Lake through lush old-growth forest. Canoeing is available as well.
Denali Zipline Canopy Tour: Nine separate zips, three suspension bridges, a rappel and a spiral staircase allow for stunning views of the Susitna Valley forests and Denali.
Alaska Railroad Hurricane Turn: The last flagstop train in America, traveling to and from Hurricane Gorge, 40 miles north of Talkeetna.
Mahay’s Jet Boat Adventures: Tour local river systems and take a short walk with a naturalist showcasing early settlers of the area and their replicated dwellings and homesteads.
Historic Homestead ATV Tour: Drive an All-Terrain-Vehicle yourself, or enjoy a ride in a modern ATV-drawn covered wagon through beautiful downtown Talkeetna on the way to visit a historic homestead.
Read about Talkeetna’s unique history and activities HERE.
DAY ONE AT SHELDON CHALET
Guests board a helicopter in Talkeetna and are treated to a 40-minute flight among lowland rivers, lakes and forests of the valley before crossing the toe of winding Ruth Glacier, where the immensity of the mountains begins to become clear. Mountains Foraker, Hunter and Denali are joined by other peaks as the helicopter approaches an entrance to the Great Gorge (as deep as the Grand Canyon). Sail over deeply-crevassed ice fields where the bluest blues captivate before flying toward Sheldon Chalet and the south face of Denali.
Upon landing on the chalet’s custom heliport, guests are greeted with a sampler of fresh Alaska delicacies and champagne. After settling in, guides will acquaint guests with skis, snowshoes, harnesses, and other devices to be used in upcoming adventures with Sheldon Chalet’s world-class guides.
All gourmet dinners showcase the finest Alaskan sourced ingredients. Choose from house beer and wine or select from a sommelier-designed wine, beer and fine spirits program at market price. The evening hours are free for guests to “adventure in place” at the Sheldon Chalet via a series of observation decks to learn more about the surrounding peaks and their stories.
Chalet guests settle into luxurious beds knowing throughout the night, staff will vigilantly scan the heavens for opportunities to view the aurora borealis, and wake those who wish to gaze at their ethereal beauty.
Wake to a view of Denali’s expansive views and a breakfast of baked goods, fruits and cheeses. Sheldon Chalet’s private chef will also prepare scrumptious made-to-order hot dishes. During the meal, staff are available to point out nearby geographical features and provide an overview to the daily schedule.
This day is spent exploring the Sheldon Nunatak as guests become comfortable with gear, guides and the alpine surroundings. Among many local options, adventures can include expedition-style trekking, rappelling into a crevasse, or sledding.
Lunch is served in the historic Sheldon Mountain House with a smorgasbord of fare including cheeses, local charcuterie, Talkeetna- foraged edibles and a variety of beverages. Guides will share the Sheldon family background and stories about the heritage of the Mountain House, constructed in 1966.
After another delicious dinner meal, guests are welcome to browse the Sheldon Chalet library, including a coffee table book of historic photos and journal entries. Sip a nightcap while watching the sun set upon Denali, or try the chalet’s traditional sauna. The evening concludes with the guest and guide meeting to select one of two expedition options for the following day.
Settle in for a restful sleep to prepare for a long and fulfilling adventure on day three.
During another delightful breakfast, guests will order a curated lunch and snacks to be eaten picnic-style during their selected adventure.
Great Gorge Trek: Altitude: 5,755 feet (Chalet) – 4,800 feet (destination) Distance: 3.0 miles each way Duration: 7 hours Activity Level: Moderate
The Great Gorge is the deepest on earth, with ancient ice measured to 3,800 feet in depth. Granite walls soar majestically another 5,000 feet above the ice, and the day’s warmth frequently releases a shower of rock and ice that cascades to the glacier floor below, sending reverberations for miles. Throughout the adventure, guides will assure guest safety for optimum viewing of this spectacle. Lunch will be enjoyed amidst towering mountain peaks and craggy ice formations.
Northwest Amphitheater Trek: Altitude 5,755 feet (Chalet) – 5,300 feet (midway) – 5,600 feet (destination) Distance: 2.75 miles each way Duration: 6 hours Activity Level: Moderate
Guests will trek across the Don Sheldon Amphitheater toward 10,260-foot Mount Dan Beard and the panoramic photographic opportunities of numerous named and unnamed peaks ringing the amphitheater. In the distance, thundering avalanches and the glacier itself will frequently sound off across the amphitheater. Lunch is served at the base of towering Mount Dan Beard, gazing west toward the cornices and sharp ridgelines of nearby soaring mountains.
Upon return from a busy day of adventure, dinner will be served and guests may then spend the evening reclining, viewing aurora, or indulging in a second dessert or nightcap to recharge from a day of adventure.
On the final morning at Sheldon Chalet, breakfast is enjoyed together before embarking to Talkeetna via a tour of spiraling Mount Huntington and the picturesque Tokositna and Kahiltna glaciers.
Optional Two-Night Extension ($5000pp), in addition to previous itinerary.
Extension Day One
Hosts have included a choice of helicopter or fixed-wing flights. Depending upon the season, options include:
Helicopter adventure with lunch on an breathtaking ridgeline with an expansive view of Denali (winter)
Helicopter adventure with lunch at a historic homestead, including dog sled ride (spring)
Fixed-wing flight to an operating gold mine or remote fishing pools (summer)
Fixed-wing flight to berry picking and afternoon lunch on the lowlands of Denali’s north side (fall)
Extension Day Two
Experience an additional adventure trek, mentioned above in Chalet Day 3.
ADDITIONAL NIGHTS CAN BE ADDED TO ANY PACKAGE AT $2300pp PER NIGHT.