Flying into Fairbanks for a 12 day long-awaited dream vacation, we were met with the majestic beauty of mountains, green spruce, and the golden glory of birch trees announcing autumn. Peak season had just ended and we wanted to experience a personalized trip that would combine being physically active, enjoying Alaskan food, culture, nature, and wildlife. Traverse Alaska went above and beyond in meeting all our expectations for a 4 day guided hiking trip around the Denaili Park area. Joe Meyers, the owner fielded many questions as the trip approached, provided a detailed gear list to best prepare us for the climate, and arranged our stay at Tonglen Lake Lodge owned by a local artist. Margi, our guide was amazing!! She picked us up in Fairbanks, took us to Tonglen Lake to settle in and then we proceeded on a hike around Horseshoe Lake to test our endurance. The three of us connected immediately and during our time together Margi shared her expertise in the history of Alaska, animal and plant life, and even environmental issues that Alaska faces now and in the future. We hiked off-trail into the tundra as well as many scenic hiking routes along lakes. There was plenty of wildlife to see including dall sheep, caribou, moose, strutting male grouse during mating season, beavers, trumpeter swan, and red squirrels. The only animal we did not encounter was the grizzly bear; I was ecstatic about that but Margi was more than prepared and trained us to be ready! The four days flew by as vacations do and Margi drove us back to Fairbanks where we continued on to a Northern Lights Tour. Our love for the state, respect for the people, and 500 pictures are memories for a lifetime!