Two summers ago we took what we refer to as an "Epic Alaskan Vacation". We spent two weeks in a van exploring everywhere from Anchorage to Fairbanks, Denali, and everywhere in between. It was definitely a splurge, but since we kept the budget in check by sleeping in the van, in a tent and with family we decided to go for it and sign up for a fly in hike through K2 Aviation. It was by far some of the best money we've ever spent doing anything. (We are not being compensated nor do they even know we're writing this review).
Checking on their website now, it looks as though some options have changed so I cannot promise they offer this exact experience, but whatever they have to offer I assure you it is worth it. We boarded our float plane in Talkeetna, which was a very cute, fun little town. We wish we would have known more about it so we could have planned extra time there, but did manage to squeeze in a great breakfast at the Talkeetna Roadhouse.
The plan was super small and slightly terrifying, but we felt very safe. The pilot had a ton of experience and executed an incredibly smooth ride. The plane landed on a small glacial lake where hiking guides were there to greet us. It was beyond fascinating to think of how few people had ever stepped foot in that place. The guides were very well educated and took great care in leading our hike and ensuring our safety, as well as the preservation of the land. The water was so untouched that it was completely safe to drink straight from the stream. After a few hours of hiking around they took us back to camp where we were treated to wine and a cheese plate with an unforgettable view. Our flight back concluded the trip with a once in a lifetime view of Denali and my first experience up front as Co-Pilot!
The intimacy of the trip (only 6 of us), the knowledge and the respect for the land demonstrated by the workers, and the views that I thought only existed in movies made this one of the top experiences of our lives. There really are no words or pictures that can do it justice. The company truly knows what they are doing and knows how to give you a first class experience. They do offer trips for people of all abilities and skill levels but we appreciated that they were able to provide something more adventurous than a lot of the touristy, sight seeing tours. Sure it's cool to land on a glacier for 20 minutes, but to spend hours in an area that only a few hundred people had ever step foot on really gives you a new respect for nature. Thank you K2 Aviation for a once in a lifetime experience!