PLANET KATMAI ADVENTURE

BACKPACKING THE VALLEY OF TEN THOUSAND SMOKES

QUICK DETAILS

  • Ages: 14 years +
  • Duration: 7 Days
  • Begins / Ends in: Anchorage, AK
  • Location: Katmai NP – Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
  • Exertion: Strenuous to Extreme
  • Distance: 50+ miles
  • Season: June – August
  • Price: $3,999 per person

*Minimum: 4 participants per trip required to guarantee
Ask us about custom dates for individuals, couples, families, and groups.

TRIP DETAILS & ITINERARY

BACKPACKING THE VALLEY OF TEN THOUSAND SMOKES

Our Planet Katmai Adventure is a trip like none other in Alaska because we take you backpacking on routes that we pioneered. Backpacking The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

With a vastly different terrain than anywhere in the world, the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes will capture your imagination as you look around this purely unique part of Katmai National Park. Rarely visited, most travelers to Alaska have never heard of The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.

We accomplish more in less time while still implementing a flexible pace with lots of exploration. This 7 day trip will take you deep into the Valley where you will explore extinct volcanoes, traverse mountains and learn all about the different minerals that lie within the park. We’ll show you some awesome spots, and a few of our secret ones too!

Our PLANET KATMAI ADVENTURE is exclusive, and unique. We pioneered routes that incorporate journeys into parts of Katmai that most avoid due to logistics, or the lack of knowledge and experience of these areas. We accomplish more in less time while still implementing a flexible pace with lots of exploration.

KBA only offers this adventure on a limited basis, so plan ahead and book your spot now – prepare for take off to Planet Katmai!

DAY 1: ARRIVAL – ANCHORAGE > KING SALMON > KATMAI NP VALLEY OF 10k
Our KBA guides will pick you up in Anchorage, or you can meet us at the Anchorage International Airport. Your first flight of the day is from Anchorage to King Salmon; please arrive at the airport prior to 7:00am or 12:00pm, depending on which flights are available this day (this flight is not included in your trip package). We’ll fly as a group to King Salmon, or you can also meet us in King Salmon, if you prefer. Later this afternoon, to early evening, we’ll take a bush plane from King Salmon to the backcountry of the Valley where we’ll hike to our first camp location of the trip.
Meals included: Dinner in the backcountry
Accommodation: Under tent

DAY 2: KATMAI NP – BACKPACKING IN THE VALLEY OF TEN THOUSAND SMOKES
You had your first official night on Planet Katmai, as we so affectionately call it. The landscape renders itself to look more like the moon or Mars. Snap some pictures, and don your pack, it’s time for the epic journey deep into the Valley. Today’s trek will consist of a solid, long hike exploring a corner of the valley that rarely gets footprints. We’ll return to the same camp from the night before.
All meals included (B, L, D)
Distance: 5-8 miles, daily average
Accommodation: Under tent

DAY 3-6: KATMAI NP – VALLEY OF TEN THOUSAND SMOKES – BACKPACKING
Day 3 will begin the route portion of your trip where we’ll spend the next few days exploring the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, bag a few non-technical peaks, explore a few nooks and crannies, and simply be amazed day after day at the magnificent place you’re in. You’ll camp at the base of volcanoes, and in places with views that stretch for miles. This is Pure Planet Katmai!

Ascending peaks (“peak bagging”) is not required, but for those that want to accomplish as many peaks as possible, we have several peaks on our routes that are optional and some don’t take much time to hike/climb.
All meals included (B, L, D)
Distance: 5-8 miles, daily average
Accommodation: Under tent

DAY 7: VALLEY OF TEN THOUSAND SMOKES > KING SALMON > ANCHORAGE
After our last backcountry breakfast, we’ll hike a few miles to our pick-up point and await the arrival of our bush plane. As you leave the outer-space-like-world to civilized planet Earth you’ll come to realize what you’ve just accomplished; a truly epic trek through a part of Alaska that is revered as nothing like anything else in Alaska. Not only that, you will have visited areas that few footsteps have ever been placed. Truly legendary. We’ll arrive in King Salmon via our bush plane, and head to the King Salmon Airport for our flight back to Anchorage. The flight back to Anchorage departs around 5:30, arriving in Anchorage before 7:00pm. If you are departing Anchorage on this day, we recommend making your return flights for after 10pm.

*Please plan your travel arrangements after the trip accordingly. We recommend planning to stay in Anchorage for at least 1 day following the trip end date in the event of a delay.
Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
Distance: 3-6 miles

*The accompanying itinerary is the schedule we intend to follow. However, this is Alaska, and our trips may deviate as written on this page or in any documentation we publish. This can be as a result of weather conditions, group preference, safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances. Therefore expect the unexpected, and prepare to be flexible. 

This is an all-inclusive adventure, meaning everything is included in your price apart from your flights to and from Alaska, gratuities for guides, and voluntary expenditures. You trip package includes:

    • Accommodations: 6 nights tent camping
    • Round-trip ground transportation (Anchorage<>ANC)
    • Round-trip bush plane flights during the trip (King Salmon<>Backcountry)
    • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
    • Professional guide service
    • Expedition tents
    • Satellite phone, GPS, maps, location tracker
    • Medical kits, and repair gear
    • Trekking poles
    • Gathering/cook tent
    • Cooking equipment, eating utensils, plate/bowl, and hot drink mug
    • Water filtration equipment
    • Bear resistant canisters
    • Guides prepare and cook all meals
    • Guides setup and take down entire camp (option to assist)

    LOGISTICS & FAQ

    What is the best way to get to Anchorage?
    Plan to fly into Anchorage International Airport (ANC) on before 12:00pm day 1, or by 7:00am if there is an available morning flight to King Salmon for your start date. Or better yet come in the day before your trip starts.

    What is the best way to get from Anchorage (ANC) to King Salmon (AKN)?
    Book roundtrip air travel on Alaska Airlines from Anchorage to King Salmon on or before Day 1. If there is a morning flight available to King Salmon we recommend booking this to allow more time once we arrive to King Salmon.

    Your return flight can be for the last day of the trip as we coordinate the departure from the backcountry to line up with the afternoon flight from King Salmon to Anchorage schedule.

    Please note, there is “usually” only one outbound flight from Anchorage to King Salmon per day, and only one return flight from King Salmon to Anchorage per day. However, in some cases there may be more than one outbound/return flight per day.

    There is one other airline that flies between these two locations, however large/heavy baggage can sometimes be an issue, and all of your “luggage” (backpack) may not make it on the same flight that you’re on. For this reason alone we highly-recommend Alaska Airlines. Please, make your travel reservations as soon as you have a confirmed reservation (e.g., your trip has met its minimum capacity requirement).

    Example of how the first and last day may go from a logistical point of view:
    Day 1 – Option A: Meet your KBA guides at the Anchorage International Airport (ANC) near the Alaska Airlines check-in counter (or at the gate). We’ll then fly together to King Salmon.
    Day 1 – Option B: Meet your KBA guides in King Salmon either because you arrived in King Salmon prior to the start date, or because your KBA guides are already in King Salmon.

    Either way, we’ll group up in King Salmon and head to the bush plane flight office to distribute gear, and pack everything else we need to take with us. Following this, we’ll load the bush plane and take our flight to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes!

    Last Day: We typically get picked up from backcountry around late morning, or early afternoon on the last day; arriving into King Salmon early-mid afternoon. This lines up with the late afternoon flight from AKN>ANC. However, some guests choose to stay in King Salmon for an additional day or two. If there are two flights from AKN to ANC this day, be sure to book the later flight.

    Keep in mind all flight to/from the backcountry are subject to favorable weather conditions. There is no guarantee we will get in, or get out exactly when we want, but of course we do everything we possibly can, within reason, to make this happen. But, it all comes down to favorable weather conditions for safe flying.

    For these reasons, it is not a bad idea to plan a buffer day or two at the end of your trip.

    Day 1 Packing Logistics:
    Arrive to ANC with the gear you need to have already packed in your backpack. But, you MUST have room for the group gear that will be distributed to you in King Salmon. This group gear consists of a tent, bear canister (1 per person), and possibly other group small items.

    If your backpack is completely full upon arrival to the Anchorage airport, than you have too much stuff, or your backpack is too small. Please, do not do this! On average guests are required to have a minimum of 20-30 liters of open/available space within their backpacks AFTER you have packed your own gear.

    What are the accommodations like?
    Double occupancy tent camping in the backcountry.

    Can solo travelers get their own room? Is there an optional or forced supplement, and how much is it?
    As a solo traveler, a single supplement of $150 per person that applies to tent camping Day 1 – 7.

    What is the food like?
    Proper nutrition in the backcountry is paramount for stamina and recovery. We create gourmet masterpieces from scratch that are healthy, filling, and delicious leaving your palate (and belly!) satisfied. Everything from cinnamon rolls and vanilla pancakes for breakfast, to spaghetti with meatballs for dinner, finished off with cheesecake for dessert.

    How much extra money should people budget?
    Kenai Backcountry Adventures recommends that you budget $400-500 for the roundtrip flights between Anchorage <> King Salmon, although this can vary based on airline, when you book, etc. We also recommend having about $250-500 cash for gratuities, in-town spending money, souvenirs, additional meals, etc.

    What should people bring? Do you have a packing list?
    A detailed backpacking gear list will be provided with your booking confirmation. Or you can view the GEAR LIST now (select “Backpacking Trips”).

    Is travel insurance required?
    Travel insurance is required for this trip. Review our Travel Insurance page for more info.

    Additional frequently asked questions and answers:

    Are bears and other wildlife going to be a problem?
    Bears are virtually everywhere in Alaska, and therefore one should anticipate and be prepared for a possible encounter or sighting of a bear. Moose are a common sighting on the Kenai Peninsula but generally they keep their distance. Kenai Backcountry Adventures takes wildlife safety very seriously and therefore take precautions to keep you safe in the wilderness. In addition, you will learn the necessary safety procedures regarding Alaska wildlife in your pre-backcountry safety orientation.

    Will there be bugs?
    The most common nuisance bugs are mosquitoes and no-see-ums. However, based on the time of year and current weather conditions insects may or may not present an issue. Come prepared with insect repellant and a high quality head net.

    What will the weather be like?
    Weather in this part of Alaska is highly variable and unpredictable. It could be in the 70s or 80s one day and in the 50s and raining the next (or in the same day!). We may encounter snow at higher elevations. High winds or fog can be frequent and may impede travel at times.

    Contingency
    It’s best to plan a buffer day at the end of the trip in the event of a weather delay departing the backcountry on the last day, however if you must make flight arrangements to depart Anchorage on the last day of the itinerary, please make your flight departure for after 10:00pm.

    • Airfare/Travel to and from Anchorage, AK, before and after your trip
    • Airfare (roundtrip) from Anchorage <> King Salmon
    • Meals not included in itinerary
    • Personal gear (rain gear, clothing, sleeping bag & pad, backpack, etc.)
    • Travel Insurance (required)
    • Single supplement ($150)
    • Additional lodging nights due to weather delays (in town)
    • Additional meals due to weather delays (in town)
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Gratuities for your guides (recommended)

    NEED HELP?

    We hope you find the information on this page useful. But if you need help booking your trip or have any questions please contact us.

    +1-907-331-4912