Alaska is enormous and is home to many of the best National Parks in USA. You can hike, climb, go fishing, take a cruise etc. and basically spend months exploring Alaska. This itinerary includes hikes, activities and sight seeing around three national parks. Be prepared to drive long distances but in Alaska that's not a bad thing.
Trip starts and ends in Anchorage.
Anchorage to Seward
This will be the first of many long drives. Start in the morning so that you have time for some activities later in the day.
Drive time: Approx. 3hrs
Kayak in Resurrection Bay
Half day Kayak to Bridal Veil Waterfall. We saw dolphins and were surprised by an impromptu dolphins show while kayaking. We went with Miller's Landing tours.
Hike to the see the spectacular view of ice/snow/whiteness all around. There is a very likely possibility of walking in a foot of ice near the top so wear really waterproof shoes and pants. The trail head is in Kenai Fjords National Park. Be prepared for bears, we saw black bears on the trail.
Time: Approx. 8hrs
Same as day 1.
Kenai Fjords Boat Tour
You cann't go to Alaska and not do a boat tour. I recommend a full day tour with Kenai Fjords Tours. We saw otters, puffins, seals, dolphins and whales.
Seward to Anchorage
Back to Anchorage to continue deeper into Alaska.
Flat Top Mountain hike
Short and fun hike close to Anchorage. If you like scrambling you will like this hike. On a good day you can see Mt. Denali from the top. There are not many "can see Mt. Denali" days in Alaska but even on a regular day the views are amazing. Directions to the trailhead can be found at Chugach State Park and checkout the trail map.
Anchorage to Copper Center
The idea is to break down the very long to McCarthy, Wrangell St. Elias National Park into two days via Copper Center.
McCarthy is a very tiny village inside the national park and you will have to drive on 59 miles long gravel road towards the end to get to McCarthy. Most cars rented at the airport do not allow driving on McCarthy road in which case you will have to switch your car in Anchorage for a sturdier 4x4 with a waiver to drive on McCarthy road.
Drive time to Copper Center: Approx. 4hrs
Cooper Center to McCarthy
Its 1hr drive to Chitina, AK where the good road ends and the gravel road begins. The 59 miles of gravel road takes about 3hrs. For directions and latest road conditions check the Wrangell St. Elias National Park website.
All cars have to be parked just outside the town. You can take the shuttle to the town or ask your hotel to pick you up. You can also walk if you have backpacks. We looked really stupid, dragging our luggage and walking!
Drive time: Approx. 4hrs
When in Wrangell, do ice climbing. It will be the best thing you do. Steliasguides are probably the only ones that organize the tour and they are very good.
Same as day 5.
Fly over Wrangell
You can take a hour long air tour in one of the small planes. Get a bird's eye view of the mountains and glaciers.
Copper Center Hotels
Same as day 4.
Copper Center to Anchorage
Instead of driving 6-7hrs straight to Denali take a break in Chugach State Park, Anchorage and do a quick hike. If you like you can switch from the 4X4 to a regular car in Anchorage.
Time: Approx. 3.5 hrs
Eagle and Symphony Lakes
It's and easy and pleasant hike.
Time: Approx. 6hrs
More details here:
Anchorage Denali Park Village
Head to Denali for the night.
Time: Approx. 4 hrs
Private cars can only go as far as 15 miles in Denali. Best way to explore Denali is to take one of the national park bus tours. They have many half day, full day and guided tours. More information on NPS website.
We did a full day tour and got to see a lot of wildlife and did one ranger led hike but it was hard not to doze off on long bus ride. I recommend doing a shorter shuttle ride and combining it with a hike.
Denali Park Village
Same as day 8.
Denali to Anchorage
Drive back to Anchorage.
Drive time: Approx. 4hrs