Tours run concurrently on Wednesday followed by
a Salmon Bake at the Alaska Native Heritage Center

Tours for registrants are included in the registration fee. 
Tour fees for guests will be posted and collected during registration / Prices will be posted on this page once negotiations with vendors is completed.

Matanuska Valley

The Matanuska Valley, located in southcentral Alaska, is about 40 miles north of Anchorage. In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt chose to establish a resettlement community in Alaska, and the Valley was selected for its great agricultural potential. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, the Valley is a broad basin drained by the Matanuska and Knik Rivers. This geographic setup helps protect the Valley from severe winter temperatures and storms. Thanks to its good soil, long summer daylight hours, mild temperatures, and low precipitation, the Matanuska Valley is one of the best places in Alaska for agriculture.

Our tour is not just about sightseeing, it’s about getting your hands dirty in the fields of knowledge. We’ll start with a visit to the Experiment Farm, a hub of research on soil health, cover crops, and invasive species. Then, we’ll move on to a picturesque Colony farm, the birthplace of a unique domestication project that began sixty years ago. Here, you’ll get up close and personal with over seventy musk oxen, from powerful bulls to playful calves.

Turnagain Arm

The Seward Highway runs along the southern edge of Chugach State Park, following Turnagain Arm. Turnagain Arm has the second-highest tides in North America after the Bay of Fundy, reaching up to 40 feet (12 meters). These tides come in quickly and produce a wave called a bore tide. Some adventurous kayakers and surfers ride the tide as an extreme sport.

The tour will include stops in Girdwood, where you can take a tram ride to the top of Mt. Alyeska for a panoramic view of the valley and inlet below. Next, the tour moves to Portage Glacier for an up-close view of the spectacular Portage Glacier aboard the MV Ptarmigan. Finally, the tour will stop at the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center, featuring award-winning exhibits, educational presentations, and the film “Retreat and Renewal: Stories from Alaska’s Chugach National Forest.”

Anchorage Soil and Water Conservation District

The urban Anchorage tour will be led by the Anchorage Soil and Water Conservation District (ASWCD). This tour will include an urban farm, the new ASWCD native plant nursery, a community orchard with Alaska-hardy fruit varieties, salmon habitats in an urban environment, and invasive tree mitigation projects.

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center

Step into the world of Alaska Native culture with this exhibition, featuring over 600 artifacts on loan from the Smithsonian collections to the Arctic Studies Center at the Anchorage Museum. These exhibits, a testament to our respectful collaboration with Alaska Native experts, offer a unique perspective on the rich cultural heritage of Alaska.

Embark on a journey of discovery with our knowledgeable staff at the Arctic Studies Center. This exclusive tour, offered twice on September 13, promises to be an enriching experience, guided by experts who are passionate about Alaska Native culture.