10 days in Alaska as a solo female traveler

Old Apr 30th, 2012, 07:55 PM
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Thank you, @Hellion. Exit Glacier and Kenai Fjords tour is on my to do list, not on the pending one, as a result of the good advises from this forum. Very much appreciated .
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Old May 18th, 2012, 03:52 PM
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wow- you certainly have a lot planned out in a short amount of time. a few things to keep in mind. gas and food prices outside the big city might shock you- even if you have an economy rental car. best to stock up and gas up on your first morning. a few points, if i might.
June 14: by the time you arrive at a hostel, it will probably be closer to 1AM. the hostel you mention is in a sketchy part of downtown. be aware of that. there's another on the other side of downtown called the Bent Prop. a bit safer and better parking. well located if carless in Los Anchorage later in your trip. it's a good bet that this one will have female dorm space, but best to reserve - you definitely don't want to be hostel hunting at that time of night.
June 15: say you decide to shop before the drive. best to get down to South Anchorage and do your thing to avoid all the city traffic (you'll be amazed the sprawl and traffic congestion of Los Anchorage). even with your best plans, a car crash on the Seward Highway and you'll be stopped for hours. no doubt you'll get behind slow moving RVs on the road. count on 6.5-7 hrs getting to Homer. the hostel there is right in town. take a left as you get into town on Pioneer Ave. i don't think the office opens before 5PM. again, best to reserve- it's a small hostel. otherwise there's the Fiddlehead Farm hostel at Mile 5 East End Rd. its run by Jewel's aunt. funky, but the view of Kachemak Bay is stunning.
June 16: i don't know if you realize how pricey the bear viewing air tours are. reserved- expect to pay $600 or more for a 2-3 hour tour. about $400 standby. maybe consider a boat tour of the bay. very nice & far,far cheaper. driving to Seward is no issue (except for the RVs), but again best to reserved at the one hostel in Seward. especially if planning 2 nights.
June 17: there's a few marine tours available in Resurrection Bay. KFT is a good one for seeing Kenai Fjords Nat Park, but there's other options if they're sold out.
June 18: i'd give yourself plenty of time getting back to Los Anchorage. again, traffic or construction might make it longer than planned. then you'll need to cab it to whatever hostel (about $15 airport to Bent Prop). again, this one is a good option for late night arrival.
June 19: the best thing of the hostel i mentioned is the city bus terminal is across the street.
the Native Heritage Center is on one of the routes. i don't know if any Farmers(green?) Market will be open on a Tuesday. aside from the NHC, there's the Alaska Public Land Center downtown near the hostel- good option for getting info on Denali. but no groceries in downtown Los Anchorage. be sure to stock up food on the way back from Seward.
June 20: the AK Railroad Depot is about a 20-30 min walk from that hostel (maybe there's bus service, check at the bus station). i hope you have reservation for K2. and of course all flight are weather dependent. the hostel couldn't possibly be closer to the train station. if weathered out, go next door to the Fairview and have a few beers with the locals.
June 21: if you go the AK Public Lands Ctr beforehand, you might save the hassle of shuttle bus reservations when you get to Denali (that shuttle is about $50 RT to Wonder Lake). keep in mind that if the train is late, getting to the Vis.Ctr and then getting the hostel shuttle could be tight. you could be waiting for the late one, about 9PM. the hostel you mention near Denali is the only one i know of. i 've heard good things about it, but best to reserve. it's not a big place.
June 22: expect to spend 13-14 hrs between leaving the hostel and when you return. even with that said, you'll have less than an hour at Wonder Lake before having to head back. it could be nice weather, or it could be pretty nasty at WL. bring warm gear.
June 24: again, hope the train is on time. once back in Los Anchorage, expect to pay $25 for a cab to the airport (too late for a bus). be aware that red-eye flights are HUGE out of Alaska, so getting through security may take longer than expected.
i don't mean to rain on your parade, but just remember this is the Last Frontier. moose block the road. things break down. the weather closes in. stuff happens. setting such a tight time schedule doesn't allow for things to mess up. and there's a good chance something along the line will.if you seek more info on any of your desired destinations, please post again and i'll post some links.
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Old May 19th, 2012, 08:54 PM
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Gonzo_Kerouac, I love every single thing you said on your reply. You have no idea how helpful your information are for me.

June 14: arrive at a hostel around 1AM. Initially I made reservation for Alaska Backpackers Inn based on the reviews online, but with your inside tip, I will make few phone calls to check their cancelation policy and see if I there is room available for me at the one from the other side of downtown , the Bent Prop Hostel.

June 15: I 'm planning on having an early start: breakfast, maybe a stop to Safeway and then on the road by 10 am, the very latest. I will take in consideration 8-9 hours driving with plenty of stops. I want to enjoy the views and take it all in. The hostel in Homer can wait. I read so many bad reviews about the Homer Hostel, that it kind of made me step back. I am considering Seaside Farm, but not sure yet . Still searching for Homer accommodation, and for sure I'll look at the one you mentioned about it. I just need a place to crush for that night and nothing fancy, but safe.

June 16: thanks to groupon , I got my 50% off bear viewing, so for $320 I get to enjoy it! So, a morning drive to Homer Split Rd (is there any parking around?) and then fly to see the bears. I should be back before 7-8pm. Then, grab a bite and on the road again to Seward.

June 17: Seward , Moby Dick Hostel already reserved. Then, with their discount 10% and the KFT 20%off, I've booked the Northwestern Fjords Tour 9 hrs. Planning on relaxing after. Purchased the motion sickness pills, so I am ready for it

June 18: like you said, i'd give myself plenty of time to get back to "Los Anchorage" I'll stop at Seward Sea Life Center, then Exit Glacier, and at the Wildlife Conservation Center . I'll make sure I'll stock up on groceries for Denali trip. i"ll drop off the rental and then take the cab to the hostel (still debating which one).

June 19: purchased from Groupon discounted tickets to Alaska Native Heritage Center , so this will be my first stop after breakfast (planning on taking free shuttle there from downtown) . I'll stop at Alaska Public Land Center, as per your recommendation, and wander around "Los Anchorage".

June 20: bus or most definitely a cab to AK Railroad Depot. I already reserved my flight with TAT with a glacier landing for that afternoon, or, the next morning, before my departure, if weather not permitting. Again, as per your recommendation ,I'll stop at Fairview and have a few beers with the locals. Why not? Booked the hostel .

June 21: I was thinking to spend the few hours going into the park as far as the free shuttles go and back when the hostel shuttle comes and pick us up (5 and 9 pm- something like that). Booked already the hostel who also helped me save 10% on the train cost.

June 22-23: Booked the shuttle bus for both days: 22 and 23 to Wonder Lake early morning. just in case the weather is better is not perfect. I'll keep in mind the weather changes and make sure I pack accordingly. Back at 9pm for shuttle bus. I'll probably crush at the hostel, and I better recharge my batteries for the next 5am morning wake up. (only on vacations I can do that!). I read somewhere that there is a Subway across the hostel, so I'll stop by there for sandwiches.

June 24: The hostel shuttle will drop me off at around 6 or later, at 7 am , so I was thinking, just maybe, if I get a good deal, to go rafting. Not sure if is a good idea because is not on my budget. But I want to do something before a long train ride and then a long wait before leaving Alaska. Not sure. Any suggestions? Once back in "Los Anchorage", I'll take the cab to the airport, but not rushing, as the flight schedule has been changed , for after midnight.Great tip about the long lines at the airport. I guess, is not much different then JFK.

I hope for dry weather, if possible ,maybe only on the 19th, while in "Los Anchorage" it can rain. : ) Or maybe NOT. I'm joking, of course.
I hope for the best, and I am aware of possible changes, but I have to remain optimistic , and of course, realistic. It is pretty tight my schedule, with not so much room for "what if", or other options. It's going to be fine! With so many great feedbacks and great information, I feel like I've virtually traveled few times already around Alaska.
Thank you.
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Old May 20th, 2012, 04:06 PM
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glad to help. right you are about the second hostel in Homer- it's Seaside Farm. the view over spectacular Kachemak Bay from there is really worth it. if there's time, go out to the end of the Spit for sunset. simply amazing. Google map your flight vendor- they might be based at the airport, which is at the start of the Spit. if based out on the Spit, maybe get there earlier for parking. there's places for coffee and beach wandering while waiting.
i think there's a few rafting outfits at Denali. keep an eye at the hostels for discounts for that or maybe other activities there. but i think the Subway is miles away from the hostel. better check on that. otherwise, that it slow, enjoy, and watch out for moose on the road.
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Old Jun 7th, 2012, 09:06 PM
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Thank you all! I'll return to this forum with my impressions after the trip for new travelers
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Old Jun 27th, 2012, 11:28 AM
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how was the trip? i was in the denali area over the weekend (Healy) and it seemed pretty wet.
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Old Jul 9th, 2012, 09:37 PM
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@Gonzo_Kerouac: I was VERY VERY LUCKY. It was sunny every day, except the last day, which I've spend it in the train, on the way from Anchorage. All of my prayers were answered, and I was delighted. It was a great vacation. Everything went as planned.


June 14: Anchorage. After renting my car from Hertz with family members discount, I've arrived at Alaska Backpackers Inn hostel around 2AM. Sorry, but this was the worst of the hostels I've been to in Alaska. I couldn't sleep well the first night, due to the noises and....midnight sun. The Bent Prop Hostel from downtown was closed for renovations.

June 15: Homer. After the breakfast, I decided to enjoy the scenery of the Seward Hwy. so I decided to head over to Homer, taking my time . Great scenery. Highly recommended. I've made detour to Kenai to enjoy lunch there and after that, I was on my way to Homer. I did not kept track of time, so I cannot tell you how long it took me with the stops to get to my Seaside farm Hostel. The hostel's views were priceless. It was a better night sleep, and the host was very nice. Was a bit confusing checking in, but everything went fine.

June 16:Homer: 6am was schedule my bear viewing flight, so I was sleep deprived, but exited. I was able to see 4 bears very close and 2 more far away, but deep inside, I was hoping for some more, but I guess it was early for the bears too. Loved the Homer Spit Rd. I also enjoyed my halibut for lunch there, at Captain Pattie- delicious. Later, I was on the road again to Seward, but first i've made a stop to Safeway for cheaper food and especially cheaper souvenirs.

June 17: Seward , Moby Dick Hostel- clean hostel and nice owners . Enjoyed the Northwestern Fjords Tour for 9 hrs. It is one of the highlights of my trip. I was luckier then the people who booked the day before, who's cruise was cut short due to weather condition. the day i was on the cruise was gorgeous, so we got to see pretty much everything: orcas, wales, etc etc. - mother nature put out for us a great show! I was a little sleepy after the motion sickness pills, so I took a 15 min nap while cruising, but I had no problems and I have't seen any sick people on board. It was great, and 9 hours felt more like 3. They served us breakfast and lunch and I was enjoying the scenery . After the cruise, I've decided to drive to Exit glacier and did some hiking there. Just awesome way to end you day!

June 18: Seward: Another perfect day weather wise , and it was very important considering that i had scheduled at 9am : Seward helicopter tour to Godwin glacier for a dog sled tour (total 90 min). I was lucky that someone else was scheduled for a city tour, and I got to scent more then an hour on the glacier with the dogs and awesome people who are taking care of them. It was magical up there, on the glacier. They give me a tour of their tents, meeting every dog (were 22 dogs trained ) and I was like in heaven. Another highlight of my trip. As soon as I came back from the trip, I was on my way to Wildlife Conservation Center, which was WOW. I had a 3 pm appointment for "behind the scenes tour" which I HIGHLY recommend is not cheap, but worth every penny) . I got up close and personal with 3 baby moose and 2 musk oxen calves. PRICELESS! I'll do it again and again. I had families following me with their kids to capture me feeding the animals,as they were over the other side of the fence. I felt the envy... (it gets a little dustier there, but is much better then muddier if it was a rainy day).
After that , I was on my way back to Alaska Backpackers inn hostel, in Anchorage. Found out the cheaper gas was near Anchorage, while the most expensive was in Homer, and somewhere in between was in Seward.

June 19: Anchorage. Another sunny great day -Visit Alaska Native Heritage Center (9-5pm) . Had a clam chowder soup there and I got sick for few hours, but still enjoining the museum, the locals and the art. Excellent place to get to know more about Alaska.
I've made a stop to Alaska Public Land Center and it was very interesting. I've learned so much from there too. Next time I wouldn't spend much time in Anchorage, as I've seen much of it and is not as nice as small cities as the ones I've seen before and after in Alaska.

June 20: Talkeetna. Talkeetna Air Taxi, the company I've schedule my flight to McKinley , offer to pick me up from the train station and drop me off to my hostel (i was so impressed with them and all the locals- great people and I was very grateful to them). The weather was again on my side, and I could feel my adrenaline going high as I was on that afternoon flight with TAT (glacier landing). For me it was MAGICAL. I'll do it over and over again. My enthusiasm could be
felt all the way to NYC, as I could see clearly the mount Mckinley. It was PERFECT! That was the top of the things to do while in Alaska. Of course I had to stop in Talkeetna and celebrate the past events with few beers . My personal choice was the Beer garden and the beer tasked so good after such a day. The Talkeetna hostel was nice, and convenient located next to TAT. Nice staff, and clean place.

June 21: Denali. After an amazing Adventure class ride with Alaska Railroad train, I was in Denali around 4pm. My hostel shuttle was scheduled for 5: 30pm, so I've decided to take it and then drop off the luggage and then walk around, but unfortunately, I've missed the shuttle, and the next one was at 9pm , and I had to wait, because my luggage wouldn't fir in the lockers. That was my time where I got a little frustrated, but not so much- I was in Denali, at the Wilderness Access Center,and could see and talk to many tourists. In the meantime, the hostel booked for me, at my request a water rafting for the morning, so planning was on going. As I reached the hostel, I was pleased to see how well maintained and great this hostel was- one of the best- ever! And the Denali Morning Hostel staff is just one of the friendliest . All of them came to pick up "the lost one", and on the way I was introduced to their dog and I could see some wild life on the road. They made me forgot all the waiting. And, this was the most comfortable hostel, not to mention that here I've met the most awesome tourists (all ages) that shared the most interesting stories ever. No hotel in the area will have this effect on people like the Denali Morning Hostel.

June 22: Denali. Morning (8am) water rafting in the morning. Very , very cool thing to do- it was again, a wonderful sunny day, and myself and few people decided to go into the glacier water, and it was a super experience. I'll do that again and again, but only with their special suit. After the rafting, I had booked the shuttle bus (1pm) to Eison . Again, mother nature put up a sow for us, with clear view of the mountains, and wild life, most of the animals were hiding, as it was too hot for them. 9pm shuttle back to the hostel, where most of the people (from teenagers to elderly ) shared their wonderful stories of the day/week. Priceless.

June 23: Denali. Shuttle bus to Wonder Lake at 7:15 am all day long. Wonderful day, another perfect view of McKinley. Luckily it didn't rain at all to Wonder LAke, so the mosquitos didn't bother us, although, we were prepared. Back for the 9pm shuttle to go to the hostel, where again, we shared the stories with fellow travelers.

June 24: Denali- Anchorage. 10am: Went for the free sled dog demonstration in the park, and after I've spent some time to Visitor Center. 12pm was my train back to Anchorage, and going Goldstar is the perfect way to go with Alaska Train. Perfect ride, but this time, the weather was more Alaska summer weather, raining much of the day. It was ok for me, but I could imagine how devastating could have been if all my flights were canceled due to the weather condition. In Anchorage, shared the cab to the airport with other tourists, and I waited few hours for my flight, reviewing my trip, very pleased with everything and promising to myself to come back. It was a great experience and I highly recommend visiting Alaska by land, by sea and by air!
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 02:47 AM
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Sounds like a fabulous trip. Did you take pictures you could post? Thanks for reporting back.
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 08:33 AM
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Thanks for the report of a great trip. Please re-post with a trip report tag. This is great info.
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 10:17 AM
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@emalloy: I don't know where I can post my 2k Alaska pictures online. Any suggestions? Flickr allows only very few pictures.

@MichelleY: How do I re-port with a trip report tag? Sorry, I don't know how to do it.
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 12:53 PM
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Try to copy to a new thread and check the trip report box. Or ask editors for help.
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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@ MichelleY: Thank you . I followed your advice. Hope this will help fellow travelers the way you all help me planning my traveling, with precious insides. BIG THANK YOU TO ALL!
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 03:31 AM
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Oxygen, if you go to a site like flickr you can post a bunch for free (I think it depends on how beg the files are as to how many, but I have more than a hundred there ). There are other similar sites. If you want to see how they set it up, feel free to look at my page,

flickr.com/photos/emalloy2009
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 06:33 PM
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@emalloy : Thank you so very much for the info and for sharing your wonderful pictures. Gosh, we share the same passion for national parks, or for nature, in general. I'll try to downsize my pictures, as are all high resolution , and see if I can put a collage of Alaska pictures for you to see.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 03:32 AM
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yes, we love the NPs and tend to go back when we find something that is wonderful. Still have a few that we need to explore more and some that we just HAVE to go to.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 07:03 AM
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Hello oxygen_ny - I'm travelling to Alaska for 9 days from June 18 till 26 and I almost have the same plan as yours.

Day 1 - Arrive at Anchorage(Stay at Backpackers Inn - Anchorage)

Day 2 - Whittier - Prince William Sound Cruise + Ziplining (Stay at Backpackers Inn - Anchorage)

Day 3 - Talkeetna - Talkeetna Ait Taxi (Stay at Backpackers Inn - Anchorage)

Day 4 - To Denali (Train Adventure class) - Princess Lodge

Day 5 - Wonder Lake shuttle - Princess Lodge

Day 6 - To Seward - Mobbi Dick hostel

Day 7 - Kenai Glacier - Mobbi Dick hostel

Day 8 - Anchorage sight seeing

Day 9 - Back to NYC

Do you know of any alternatives to Backpackers Inn? And please let me know your suggestions on the itinerary.
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Old May 21st, 2016, 10:26 PM
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I'm so glad I found this post, I'm looking to travel to Alaska in September and have no idea on how much to budget for a 2 week trip. Thank yo so much for sharing all of the details, they are very helpful in determining where to stay and visit. If you dont mind, can you share how much you budgeted for the ten days? I would really appreciate it as it will help me get an idea of the available options for my budget. Thanks for sharing again!
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Old May 21st, 2016, 10:47 PM
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orbiting_lights: Welcome to Fodors.

>>If you dont mind, can you share how much you budgeted for the ten days?
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 05:44 AM
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Anyone planning a trip to Alaska for this summer (after June 12) should plan on reading my trip report.
DW and I will be returning from Anchorage in June 10.
I will top my "Upcoming Alaska Trip" thread to help with planning.
I hope to get the TR posted sometime June 11.
We leave Central Oregon on Memorial Day for Seattle for the flight to ANC on Tuesday.
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Old Jul 18th, 2016, 10:57 PM
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Hey everyone! I'm planning to travel to Alaska in September (the first 2 weeks). I plan to fly into Anchorage, but I haven't finished my itinerary quite yet.
orbiting_lights: are you still planning your visit in September?
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