Meals/Snacks (5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners; does not include dinner in McCarthy on day 5)
Round trip vehicle transportation Anchorage-McCarthy
Round trip bush flight from McCarthy to Nizina Lake Basecamp
Professional & Experienced Guide (10+ yrs)
Quality Yoga Instruction
Sleeping bag/pad (available for rent if needed)
Few trails exist in the backcountry of Wrangell St. Elias National Park. We can explore glacial moraine, hike near surrounding peaks, or just meander around the lakeshore. We’ll utilize the packrafts to allow us to access even more hiking terrain.
Hiking in the area is superb.
Nearby waterfalls, streams creeks and glaciers provide endless opportunities for exploring.
Reverberate to the hum of the waterfall.
Soak up the science of the forest. Saunter on the ice of Nizina Glacier.
Packrafts are inflatable one person boats that are easy to paddle. Nizina lake is at the terminus of the mighty Nizina glacier- it’s filled with ice caves and icebergs that are fun and safe to explore.
Packraft on Nizina Lake. Paddle amongst the icebergs of Nizina Glacier.
For the adventurous, try out the whitewater of Nizina River for some excitement and fun.
All packrafting gear and instruction provided.
The landscape here is some of the most magnificent mountain landscape you’ll have the enjoyment of experience.
We’ll make camp beneath the grandeur of the Wrangell Mountains. The shores of Nizina Lake and the toe of a magnificent glacier provide a stunning backdrop for this wonderful yoga retreat.
Meet at 8am at Open Space Alaska in Anchorage. Here we enjoy our first yoga class together; expect to move, breathe & stretch the body while relaxing the mind. This will be an all-levels movement based practice with modifications for newer yogis and advanced options for more seasoned practitioners.
After our yoga session, we will have a light snack and begin our journey towards McCarthy. The drive to McCarthy is about 7 hours; we’ll stop for lunch and a short 2 mile day hike near the Copper River along the way.
That night we stay at the Kennicott River Lodge; we’ll have a fresh dinner delivered from a local food vendor.
Evening: feel free to relax, wander around Kennicott lake, or even venture into McCarthy
Wake up with an optional lakeside meditation and yoga practice before breakfast. We then pack our bags and head to the airstrip for our bush flight to Nizina Lake. On our way, we’ll fly over some of America’s largest mountains, rivers and glaciers before landing and setting up our camp.
After lunch, we’ll have a backcountry safety orientation and get settled into our basecamp. That afternoon we’ll inflate our packrafts (lightweight one person rafts) and explore the lake. Nizina lake is stunning with big icebergs, ice caves and possible wildlife spotting.
Another day of yoga and adventure. We have options; we’ll decide where to hike/packraft…maybe both…? after our morning yoga practice and nourishing breakfast. We’ll bring a picnic style lunch with us that day to get the most from our explorations.
Relax when we return while dinner is made. After dinner, we’ll have an optional yoga and meditation practice.
After our morning yoga, meditation and pranayama practice we’ll have breakfast and decide as a
group where we’d like to go. We’ll take ample breaks for snacks, stretching and photos ☺ With Alaskan daylight, we’ve got the time.
After relaxing and dinner, another optional evening yoga and meditation practice.
After yoga and breakfast, we’ll get picked up by plane and arrive back in McCarthy. After showers and relaxing, we’ll have an optional outing to visit the historic town of Kennicott. Located only 5 miles from McCarthy, it offers unparalleled views of the world’s 2nd largest icefall and the Historic Kennicott Copper Mine.
That night we stay at Kennicott River Lodge.
Dinner at the Local Roadside Potato Head (not included)
After our closing yoga practice and breakfast, we’ll pack up and say farewell to the Wrangell Mountains. We’ll stop for food and a short hike or yoga session to stretch our legs on the way back. We’ll arrive in Anchorage by 6pm.
Do I Need Yoga Experience?
No. Yoga classes are “all-levels”, ages, and backgrounds suitable for both beginners and advanced students. Your teacher can help you accommodate the practice to your needs.
Do I need Paddling or Hiking Experience?
Your guide will teach you everything you need to know.
What type of shape do I need to be in?
This trip is rated easy; there are options for both short and long hikes/paddles. Day hikes will be approximately 2-5 miles; we could spend 2-4 hours paddling per day, while taking our time to get out and explore. Day hikes from camp do not require a loaded backpack, just personal supplies for the day.
Yes, sleeping on the ground for 2 nights (well, our sleeping pads anyways) is a lovely way to connect with nature our surroundings. Very Grounding. Literally ☺
What About the Food?
We will eat healthy vegetarian meals, that are inspired by yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda. Local, fresh & organic ingredients will be used to prepare dishes including
• Cinnamon stewed apples w/ maple raisin oatmeal & toasted almonds
• Homemade banana bread
• Almond milk chai
• Vegetarian sandwiches: avocado, sprouts, cheeses, delicious spreads & veggies
• Kitcharee (Ayurveda’s healing meal) with chutney and fresh herbs
• Vegetarian Curry
• Snacks: dates, nuts, fruit, jerky & chocolate
Can You Accommodate Food Allergies?
Most likely. We want you to feel healthy and thrive on this trip! We have experience catering to dairy and nut allergies, gluten free diets and other food restrictions. Please notify us in advance so we can make a suitable meal plan for you. Please note there may be an additional fee to cover extra food expenses.
Are there age restrictions?
Minimum age is 18.
What if I Have a Medical Condition/Concern?
Please contact us directly to discuss further. We wouldn’t want this to stop your adventure necessarily, but want you to work with your doctor in making safe and healthy decisions for your well-being.
Can I Drive Myself?
If you’d rather, yes. Please notify us in advance. Parking costs will not be covered for extra vehicles.
Will My Cell Phone Work?
Many providers will not work in McCarthy, it is best to check with them directly. It’s a great idea to bring it with you during transportation, but leave it behind once we fly into Nizina. We want you to fully enjoy your natural surroundings and be present for your adventure. This is for you and other participants. Guide will have a means of communication in case of emergencies.
What Exactly Should I Bring?
Please refer to Gear List
What gear should I bring?
Information about McCarthy
McCarthy, AK is such a cool place. You’ll love it.
Typically we’ll stay across the river from the small town of McCarthy in a small cabin or lodge. The lodge backs against Kennicott Glacier. The awesome Stairway Icefall sits just beyond. A 7000′ vertical wall of ice.
So beyond the astonishing mountain views, McCarthy is a small rustic town in the heart of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park. Originally a feeder town to the nearby Kennicott Copper Mines, McCarthy is now the hub of the park.
It’s a short 1/2 mile walk into town from Brad’s Lodge (Kennicott Glacier Cabins). We walk because the public bridge across the Kennicott River is a small bridge for foot traffic only. The vehicle will stay on the lodge side of the river.
A 10 minute walk will pretty much cover the entire town. There are a couple of small air taxi services, a hotel and hostel, a bar/restaurant, a souvenir store and another newer eatery/bar called the Potato. Good food, fun folks, and a wonderful charming environment.
A 5 mile jaunt up the road from McCarthy is Kennicott (there is a shuttle service available and included to get us up and back; or walk the wagon trail). In Kennicott you’re free to wander the town and look at the historic mill building (schedules private tours available), poke your head in the door of the various establishments (guide services, restaurant/lodge, stores, the National Park Service Visitor Center, etc).
Just remember a lot of the buildings ARE private residences so don’t intrude.
A couple of hiking trails out of Kennicott can take you out to the Kennicott Glacier or up to the old mines (Bonanza, Jumbo and Erie).
An afternoon in Kennicott is a ton of fun and a great way to wind down after your backcountry expedition.
Reserving your place on a trip requires a 50% deposit. Deposits are non-refundable. All tripsbe paid in full 45 days prior to the scheduled departure date.
If the client cancels on a trip paid in full, 90% of the price can be deferred to another trip within the next 12 months, provided that
i) Expeditions Alaska is able to fill the spot,
ii) the trip is full and
iii) 30 days notice is given.
If cancellation is within 30 days of the trip only 75% of the fee can be carried over to a future trip. No refunds are given for cancellations within 14 days of the trip departure.
Expeditions Alaska reserves the right to cancel and/or modify the itinerary of a trip. You will be refunded your payment in full if Expeditions Alaska cancels your trip.
If weather or other factors delay or impede your trip, there will be no refund of fees. Expeditions Alaska is not responsible for any other costs incurred by the client as a result of the cancellation. Additional costs incurred through weather delays and itinerary changes are the responsibility of the client.
Expeditions Alaska strongly recommends you purchase Trip Insurance and will provide you with a list of trip insurance agents/companies.
I still have more questions
I have been guiding Alaskan oceans, rivers and mountains for 10 years. I’m a certified Wilderness First Responder with 1000+ days wilderness experience. I guide remote packrafting, rafting, kayaking and backpacking trips across the state.
A yogi since 2009, I began teaching in 2012 after studying in India and have 500 hrs of training with the Yoga Alliance. I have studied and practiced Ashtanga, Hatha and Kundalini, but prefer to “teach to the room” blending my own style that utilizes mindful movement with breath and postural awareness. Jule’s bio
I use yoga to strengthen and relax both mind and body.
I am an Ayurvedic Health Counselor with the National Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. I teaches yoga classes, workshops and teacher trainings throughout Alaska. Nothing brings me more joy than sharing these holistic arts with others in wilderness surroundings. My goal is to help others on their journey towards health and wellness while having fun along the way. Learn more about my yoga instruction at Ayurveda Mind Body