Alaska-Wildlife

Tour the Turnagain Arm, See Wildlife, and Visit a Mountain Top

This tour is perfect for those who want to visit the popular Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and take the Aerial Tram. From beginning to end you’ll enjoy spectacular views of Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountain Range.

Price: $49.50 each way or $99 roundtrip

Included: Round-trip shuttle service with a tour of Turnagain Arm, with pick up and drop-offs at appointed locations.

Excluded: Entrance fee into the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and your Tram Ticket.

To Book: Scroll to the bottom of this page.

Things to Do

At the 140-acre Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, you can see Alaskan wildlife such as black bears, elk, and lynx up-close and learn more about the center’s conservation and research efforts. The center offers unique educational opportunities and plenty of opportunities to see the orphaned and injured animals they care for in a natural habitat.

Girdwood is home to the popular Alyeska Resort Hotel, where you can book a ticket on the Alyeska Tram. Take a 3 to 7-minute ride up the side of a mountain to access the panoramic observation deck for great photo opportunities and the chance to see seven hanging glaciers.

What You Can Expect

If you are looking for a tour that offers stops at sights of interest as well as plenty of free time to explore on your own, this is it!

Your journey to the Portage Valley begins with a custom tour along Alaska’s scenic Seward Highway in a picturesque area known as the Turnagain Arm. We will make a stop at Beluga Point along the way where whales and Dall sheep are often spotted.

Next, it’s on to the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center where you will be free to explore on your own for one hour. Be sure to not miss the opportunity to take a stroll through the rainforest near the center.

As you enter the Wildlife Center if you haven’t already given your pre-purchased entrance fee ticket to the driver please do so prior to arriving at the booth. The Wildlife Center will compare tickets turned in and headcount prior to our entrance. You do not want to be the one to delay others during entrance as it will reduce the time allotted at the center. The driver will be on a schedule and expect passengers to be on time to board the shuttle for departure.

From the conservation center, it’s a short 20-minute ride to Girdwood where you can explore one of the many wonderful hiking or biking trails or venture to Alyeska Resort to catch the tram.

The Turnagain Arm Shuttle will drop you off at the pick up area for the Glacier Valley Transit system. Utilize this free transportation service to get around Girdwood.

Highlights of the tour are listed below.

Highlights

Beluga PointA popular photo stop with rich archaeological history. Enjoy panoramic views of Turnagain Arm and the chance to see Dall sheep and Beluga whales surfacing just off the rocky outcropping. Beluga whales are often sited during the latter part of July through August when the salmon are spawning in the area streams.

Portage ValleyHome to the 5-mile long Trail of Blue Ice and pristine Portage Lake. Enjoy breathtaking views of Explorer Glacier, walk through a local rainforest, and visit an overlook above Portage Lake that offers views of the many glaciers in the area.

Wildlife CenterSee native Alaskan wildlife such as reindeer, muskox, lynx, and bears up-close and learn more about the center’s conservation and research efforts. AWCC’s mission is to provide refuge for orphaned and injured animals who can’t survive in the wild.

GirdwoodPicturesque hiking, glaciers, and the popular Alyeska Tram all await in the resort town of Girdwood.

Take the FREE Glacier Valley Transport into Girdwood to access the Alyeska Tram.

Please plan your time in Girdwood appropriately in order to catch your return shuttle back to Anchorage. Remember, don’t be late. Your driver will not wait for you! You must be ready to catch the return shuttle that you have booked, as other shuttles will most likely be full and not be able to offer you a seat.

Price: $49.50 each way or $99 roundtrip

Included: Round-trip shuttle service with a tour of Turnagain Arm, with pick up and drop offs at appointed locations.

Excluded: Entrance fee into the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and your Tram Ticket.

CHOOSE FROM FIVE DEPARTURES DAILY

Please consider which sites highlighted above you might want to visit when planning your departure time. You don’t want to feel rushed while seeing attractions of interest, nor do you want to be waiting for hours for the shuttle to arrive.

At a Glance

      • Departure Times

        Departs Anchorage Downtown Visitors Center at 9 am, 10 am, and 11 am (with the option of 3.5hrs/4hrs/and 4.5hrs in Girdwood)

        Duration

        9 am departure: approximately 9.5 hours
        10 am departure: approximately 8.5 hours
        11 am departure: approximately 7.5 hours or 8.5 hrs, depending on the tour you choose

        • Cost

          $49.50/per person one way
          $99/per person round trip

          Entrance ticket to Wildlife Conservation Center

          Alyeska Tram ticket

     

Sights/Things to Do

  • Shuttle tour of Turnagain Arm
  • Beluga Point – popular photo stop along Cook Inlet, possible sightings of Dall sheep and beluga whales
  • Portage Valley – home to the Explorer Glacier
  • Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center – separate entrance ticket required
  • Girdwood – explore the best of Alaskan scenery in the shadow of the Chugach Mountain Range

Departure times are 9 am, 10 am and 11 am.

Leaves Anchorage Downtown Visitors Center: 9 am.

Arrives Wildlife Center: 11:10 a.m. (Allows for approximately one-hour at Wildlife Center)

Arrive Girdwood: 12:30 p.m. (Allows for approximately 5.5 hours in Girdwood)

Depart Girdwood back to Anchorage: 5:25 pm

Arrive Anchorage: 6:20 pm

Duration: 9.5

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Leaves Anchorage Downtown Visitors Center: 10 am.

Arrives Wildlife Center: 12:10 a.m. (Allows for approximately one-hour at Wildlife Center)

Arrive Girdwood: 1:30 p.m. (Allows for approximately 4.5 hours in Girdwood)

Depart Girdwood back to Anchorage: 5:25 pm

Arrive Anchorage: 6:20 pm

Duration: 8.5

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Leaves Anchorage Downtown Visitors Center: 11 am.

Arrives Wildlife Center: 1:10 p.m. (Allows for approximately one-hour at Wildlife Center)

Arrive Girdwood: 2:30 p.m. (Allows for approximately 3.5 hours in Girdwood)

Depart Girdwood back to Anchorage: 5:25 pm

Arrive Anchorage: 6:20 pm

Duration: 7.5

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Leaves Anchorage Downtown Visitors Center:11 am.

Arrives Wildlife Center: 1:10 p.m. (Allows for approximately one-hour at Wildlife Center)

Arrive Girdwood: 2:30 p.m. (Allows for approximately 4 hours in Girdwood)

Depart Girdwood back to Anchorage: 5:55 pm

Arrive Anchorage: 6:35 pm

Duration: 7.5

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Leaves Anchorage Downtown Visitors Center: 11 am.

Arrives Wildlife Center: 1:10 p.m. (Allows for approximately one-hour at Wildlife Center)

Arrive Girdwood: 2:30 p.m. (Allows for approximately 4.5 hours in Girdwood)

Depart Girdwood back to Anchorage: 7:20 pm

Duration: 8.5

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