This trip had everything an adventurous photographer could ask for – float plane rides, camping in a tent, all meals by head lamp and most importantly fabulous photo ops of grizzly bears in their natural environment! Kudos to Carl for leading an excellent trip designed for all to enjoy!
Amazing trip as someone who visited Alaska on a tour with my family 10+ years ago. I chose this trip because I wanted to hike into the wilds of Alaska and see what we saw and of course take pictures. This trip will not disappoint if that is your motive. Make sure you are fit if you are >40!
Carl does all the thinking and work for you, which is great! When you are tired, hungry, burned out and just don’t want to use your brain anymore, Carl is there to figure things out. Where to camp for the night, when and where to ‘crock up’ and cross a river, and when it’s safe enough to eat a snack when a bear is off in the distance. And he prides himself on being drama free!
The Skolai Trip was more than a memorable experience. Hiking, backpacking, camping and photography out there are, compared to other offers, affordable and well organized. A great compliment to our guide Carl, in whom we found a companion for upcoming new adventures.
We were traveling with our two sons, ages 11 and 9, and Carl customized our itinerary to meet our specific needs. Carl was extremely knowledgeable about the region, terrain, floral and fauna, geography, history, as well as being a skilled back-country camper. Carl made the hikes as vigorous as our young sons could handle. He was an excellent guide—everything we could have hoped for. Not only that though — he’s just a great guy, and fun to be with. We all really enjoyed his company. I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Carl to be your guide in the Alaskan backcountry. Have a great trip!
Carl made the trip about us and what we wanted to experience. 10 out of 10 Above and beyond any expectation I could have. I was actually very nervous about the trip. It turned out to be something I could never forget and one of the most relaxing vacations I will probably ever experience.
I want to thank you for such an unforgettable experience in the wilderness. My friends ask me how it was, and I’m still trying to find the right words to describe it. Obviously, the place was beautiful, grand and untamed, and yet at the same time a strangely tough place to photograph for a first timer. I certainly enjoyed the company of hiking with our group, each member enriching the overall experience in their own way. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations with you during our hikes. Margaret’s stories and Doug’s company added to making the entire experience a memorable one.
Skolai Pass is the best place in the world to get away from the cellphones and the blackberries. I would love to go back and see the marmots again!
Skolai Pass is a truly stunning and pristine region. Carl and Expeditions Alaska were a perfect fit for our desires and abilities.
Bremner-Tebay is the best hiking trip I’ve ever taken, and Carl strikes a good balance between the group’s freedom and overall security. Earth should be proud of Wrangell-St. Elias. On the seventh night of the trip, we camped near a centuries-old bear trail on a ridge whose view is as spectacular and varied as any I’ve ever seen. The weather was absolutely perfect, and we just spent hours silently soaking it all in. Save an actual tragedy, I can envision no scenario in which you won’t come out of any of Carl’s trips a more complete and fulfilled human being.
I think you have raised the bar for photographing bears with your tour. The experience of being with those magnificent creatures will last a lifetime. Everyday brought new and exciting opportunities, being in the water or on the river bank made it so much better. ….
Mark was fantastic, his meals were varied and delicious with an international flavor. The fresh fruit and vegetables were an added bonus. His meals were timely and he worked very hard at keeping everybody well fed and taken care of. His backwoods knowledge added a great deal to the overall experience.
A fantastic experience that I would highly recommend.
Thanks” — Bob Schlatter, Sunny CA.
Carl is an outstanding guide, his knowledge of the Alaskan wilderness, backpacking and photography is comprehensive. I’ve taken many backpacking trips in my life and my hiking trip with Carl was by far the best.
The guide is Excellent – and he is in a very good shape … Apart from just being a strong hiker, he is a pro level nature photographer, a well-read, intelligent and humorous man.
With so many extraordinary places in the world, it is not often that I travel back to the same place. Wrangell St Elias, however, is one of these places you will want to see again and again and again.
Carl’s rafting trip through the heart of the ANWR, is the best way to experience the last of the last frontier. He’s got a great personality, he’s hilarious and he knows his stuff.
It exceeded my expectations. It was one of the more Zen-like experiences, which I will relish the rest of my life. Every individual added positively to the group experience. Highlights? … Walking in peace over the glacier. listening to footfalls and the silence in-between. gray scale landscape providing a cacophony of mental color.
This was my first time backpacking, but I had the most amazing experience and would love to return someday. We all had a great time together conquering the plateau. It was great to be with a guide yet make decisions as a group and be responsible for yourself. The natural beauty of the area was obviously one of the best parts, though.
Trip could not have been any better!
“Carl really made sure I had the best possible shooting opportunities and drove out to numerous different sites. Most nights we traveled hundreds of miles in search of good foreground interest (Carl knows all the great spots)
I could not recommend Expeditions Alaska higher!” — Dave C
If you really want to experience the beauty of wildlife and nature of Alaska, this is the only way to go. The scenery is something you cannot see other than a backcountry trip like this. Carl has the knowledge and experience to guide you to the best places.
The Skolai Pass Photo Tour far exceeded my expectations both experientially and photographically. What an incredible introduction to the Alaskan backcountry! Carl was an outstanding guide and host, whose knowledge and attachment to the landscape was extraordinarily evident, allowing me to develop a portfolio of the area that I couldn’t be happier with! — Second to none – both in terms of knowledge and being really easygoing and friendly in a genuine sort of way.
Carl enhanced my backcountry experience by helping me see more. Not in the sense of seeing more places, but in the sense of seeing more deeply. By sharing his knowledge of the geography, the wildlife and the local culture Carl helped me make more mental and emotional connections than would have been possible otherwise.
Visit an unspoiled piece of the world where there is little distinction between experience and heaven. Your guide will listen to your needs and respectfully respond, providing both guidance and space. For a family it is an ideal place to reconnect, decompress from pressures and to eliminate distractions. Go visit Wrangell-St. Elias, you’ll never forget it. It will live inside of you. Thanks, from the Plotkin family.
I had a great time in the Wrangells. the scenery was magnificent and breathtaking, campsites were exquisitely beautiful. Carl and Expeditions Alaska did a great job.
In my opinion, there is no other wilderness guiding company out there that can match what Carl Donohue provides to his clients….professionalism, fun, excitement, and his services are worth ever dime spent to experience the wilds of Alaska. Thank you Carl.
I had one of the best backpacking trips last June. Flying into the wilderness of Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias NP and camping 5 days on mighty mountains, hiking in caribou and bear country was an exhilarating experience. Thank you Carl for organizing it so perfectly!
“Carl — just wanted to say hi and thank you for the awesome trip to Katmai! My pictures are fantastic!! – If you will be offering the trip again in 2013 I am very interested. Thank you again for fantastic trip last year”. – Hank S, GA
I was very pleased with the way the whole thing was structured. For example, getting picked up at the hotel and being driven to the park, having the bush plane all lined up, giving us two different trekking routes to choose from, the campsites where all sweet locations and views, and getting driven back to Anchorage after the trip. Other guides we looked at didn’t provide transportation out and back to Anchorage. Aside from the trip format, your skills and personality characteristics as a guide matched well with my expectations and preferences. I was looking for a guide that was well trained and knowledgeable of the area. I hoped for someone who was relaxed but decisive, and someone who could handle unexpected situations with a level head. You proved to be all of these things.
I wanted to view the real Alaska, and Carl came through in spades. I was pushed to my limits exploring a remote part of Wrangell St Elias national park, enjoying outstanding vistas. Everyone should make an effort to do a trip like this at least once in their life.
Carl is a professional and a very capable outdoorsman. His knowledge of the Alaskan wilderness and his backcountry skills are matched only by his good nature and sense of humor. Thanks for a great experience!
I’m just back from the bald eagles november photo trip with Carl and it was amazing. Thousands of eagles right here, posing for the camera, in the charming and quiet town of Haines. Carl was a wonderful guide and photography teacher. I learnt a lot about eagles, Alaska, and photography, notably improving my skills and knowledge of my instruments. I highly recommend the tour.
Carl makes the Alaskan backcountry accessible while preserving the feeling of relative wilderness solitude. He navigates expertly, giving hikers time to fully enjoy the country without the stress of compasses and maps.
Wolverine was truly a beautiful place. I get a lot of mileage out of telling stories about the adventures we had – they tend to conjure both awe and skepticism simultaneously. I wanted to thank you for a truly memorable experience, one that has a greater impression on me now than when I first returned. I marvel at how much I learned about the wilderness – setting up a tent for the wind, food rationing, distinguishing mountain goats from sheep, etc. Thank you.
Exceeded expectations. Carl was very helpful with the pre-trip planning for my 2 sons and I (newcomers to wilderness camping). He was very safety conscious (a requirement for my wife to let us go), yet kept the trip laid back. I hope to do another trip with Expeditions Alaska, this time with my wife and daughter.
Each day was a new adventure or challenge, be it a day hike from a camp, crossing a fast flowing river or meeting bears on the trail. It wasn’t long before I felt quite secure with the leadership provided by Carl. A crazy life changing adventure.
I did the Aurora trip with Carl in March 2017, and I had an excellent experience and came away with some shots that I was really happy with. We were lucky and were able to see the Aurora every night of the 6-night trip. And while luck played a part, I know that Carl’s careful planning also helped. For instance, one night was cloudy, but he researched the weather patterns and changed the planned location for that night, so we could go somewhere with less chance of clouds. The planning paid off, and we were able to get shots that night. I also appreciated the pre-trip guidance Carl provided on shooting the Aurora, as well as his on location help with equipment and camera settings, etc. I would definitely recommend this trip if you want a great chance to get Aurora photos.
The Iceberg Lake Bremner Mines trip was the primal, wild experience one hopes for but never really expects to have. The glaciers are amazing; crossing them feels like someone else’s life.
The camping arrangements were first class, including great food. It was great to travel with Carl again. It was a great group of people that is so important to making a trip like that as successful as possible. I don’t know if that was by chance, or if Carl specifically picked people to participate in the trip from those who expressed interest, but however it was done it worked out. Special kudos to Jule for the wonderful meals she prepared.
The guide is a true professional; deeply dedicated to ensuring guests are well taken care of and experience a unique and safe wilderness experience. Knowledgeable, safety minded and a keen sense for detail.
This was the best trip ever – better than I could have ever imagined. I really like how you let us determine what pace and where to camp, etc. I think having a laid back guide really made the experience better. If you want to experience Alaska in true natural beauty, Carl can show it to you like nobody else.
I can recommend Carl very highly. He has a passion for Alaska and its land and wildlife that comes through in everything he does. He is knowledgeable about the geography and geological history of the land, so he has much to share as you explore. He is friendly, playful, and has a good sense of humor. I felt completely safe when he was my guide, despite being in unfamiliar places with no modern conveniences that I was used to. Expeditions Alaska are very client-oriented. Carl will go with whatever is of most interest to his client at the particular time. Carl will suggest and recommend, but will not impose his own wishes.
For backcountry travel in Alaska, you simply can’t do better than Carl and Expeditions Alaska. The trip was very well organized and the hiking experience was exactly as advertised. Carl is a top-notch guide with an easygoing attitude, great sense of humor and extensive knowledge of the places he leads his clients. I’ve been on other guided trips, and I think this was the best. You are knowledgeable and competent (which makes people feel like they are in good hands) but incredibly easy going. Someone looking for a lot of structure would not like this kind of trip, but I loved it. The camp sites were incredible (made even better by your after-dinner hot chocolate!
Carl did such an amazing and conscientious job of putting us in position for the killer shot. His experience photographing really showed and I could not be more pleased with the result.
My trip with Expeditions Alaska in Wrangell St. Elias National Park was an absolutely phenomenal experience. It challenged me not only physically but mentally and gave me a much deeper appreciation for our planet. As I look back almost 6 months after my trip I can still say it far exceeded every expectation I had about the trip and look forward to hopefully returning next Summer .. the stunning beauty of the Wrangell mountains is something I won’t forget. Once again I was able to see and appreciate how small we are in the universe. Carl was extremely helpful to all in the group and very knowledgeable about the Wrangell – St. Elias range. He is really one of the more genuine people I’ve yet met. His passion for the environment and the Wrangells in particular was very infectious. He was extremely knowledgeable and helpful to all members of our group. You really got a sense that Carl would be out there regardless of whether we were there or not. I feel lucky to have had a guide like Carl out there with us.
Carl was always prepared for both the mundane (setting up a comfortable camp and cooking meals) and the more exciting (photographing grizzlies in the wild and scrambling upon glaciers). I was especially impressed with his facility in dealing with divergent abilities and attitudes. My trip was professionally run in terms of preparedness, safety, and respect for the wilderness; and one helluva lot of fun.
I highly recommend taking a trip with Expeditions Alaska. I took an Aurora photography tour and had a great time. Carl does a superb job getting his guests to the right locations to get the opportunity to see and photograph the Northern Lights. Enjoyed being in a small group that afforded each participant plenty of personal attention.
The place, the guide, the weather !!! Carl has successfully answered our expectations and even more. Don’t think, sign with him !!!
What impressed me most about the trip was that our guide was very thorough in ensuring that we all understood the necessary safety procedures and efficient and environmentally conscious methods of camping, while at the same time keeping the mood relaxed and flexible in our plans.
This has been, by far, the most memorable trip I’ve taken. Carl was an incredible guide who bestowed upon me and my fam an incredible amount of information that I’ll be able to use on future trips of my own. His enthusiasm for the beauty and tranquility of the surrounding environment is contagious. It was an incredible bonding experience with my dad and brother – Carl is a top-notch guide (and person) with a highly contagious enthusiasm for the rugged Alaskan wilderness. The trip was full of memories that will last for a lifetime, or at least until I take another trip up to Wrangell-St. Elias.
It was a great trip and I thoroughly enjoyed it! You were a solid guide, a great companion and we talk fondly of you and the trip on a regular basis. I would highly recommend you and your services to anyone thinking of a similar adventure in the wild. Thanks again for your knowledge, your patience, your spirit, your adventurous nature! It truly was a lifetime experience! I look forward to our next encounter!
From the moment i decided to join the Aurora Borealis Photo Tour, I was full of excitement coupled with some nervousness due to no experience in subzero temperature and night photo-shooting. I have to thank Carl for making this trip a smooth one for me and the tips on photography. It has been wonderful to be out there in the wilderness feeling safe at the same time. It is a trip of a lifetime that anyone should make. I would really recommend to go with Expeditions Alaska.