10 days in and around Anchorage

Old Jan 12th, 2006, 06:44 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7
10 days in and around Anchorage

Three adults and an 11 year old are planning a trip to Alaska. We fly into Anchorage June 23 and plan to rent a Motorhome. We will head south with these items on our list of things to do.
1) Exit Glacier
2) Kenai Fjords (Major Marine all day Tour
3) Whittier - Prince William Sound - Major Marine Tour
4) Turnagain Arm
5) Portage Glacier
6) Seward - Alaska SeaLife Center & Kenai Fjords Nat. Pk,

Return to Anchorage and turn in the RV on Wed. 28th. Rent car,and check into lodgings for Wed., Thurs, & Fri. nights in Anchorage.

1) Alaska Native Heritage Center
2) Anchorage Museum of History & Art
3) Walking tour of town
4) Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
5) Flattop Mt. & The Glen Alps Trailhead???

Saturday July 1 - head for Denali
1) Murie Science & Learning Center
2) Visitor Center
3) Sled Dog Demo
4) Denali Backcountry Adventure Tour

Back to Anchorage to catch flight home on Monday

What have we left out and what needs to be left out? What about the time frame for the outings, too much, not enough? We will be staying in Anchorage the three nights because one in our group will be attending a conference. The rest of us will do day trips and tour the town.
Any other suggestions for Denali? Would the ranger bus tours be better than the all day Adventure Tour?
Would a motorhome be better than staying near Denali?

Joypen is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2006, 07:30 PM
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tcapp is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2006, 07:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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This isn't bad, but I'd consider tweaking it a bit.

1) You've done well to devote a nice chunk of time to the Kenai Peninsula. Add Homer. If you leave on the 24th, you can poke around Turnagain Arm on the way to Seward. Alyeska Tram is also a nice trip.

On the 25th, do the Kenai Fjords Tour. On the 26th, visit Sealife and Exit Glacier in the a.m. and ride to Homer. Spend two nights there and driving the RV back to Anchorage for a June 28 return.

2)The conference commitment will force you to prioritize your Denali time. If there's a way of driving even as far as Talkeetna on Friday night (traffic could be heavy, tho), consider doing it.

You don't have much time to do Denali things on the same day you drive from ANC. Remember, you'll have plenty of light so it won't be driving in the dark. If you can do this, you'll have time for your backcountry tour on Saturday. If your flight leaves Monday evening, as many do, spend Sunday night at Denali or Talkeetna.
repete is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2006, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 257
hi joy..my family spent 10 days with the first 1/2 of your trip. it was wonderful. we stayed at the aleyska resort in girdwood..about 1 1/2 hours south of anchorage. a short stop there with a trip up the gondola...a short hike to the top of the mountain is wonderful. Hike back down to the gondola and have the best clam chowder in sourdough ever sitting outside overlooking the valley below..heavenly. i wouldn't waste much time on either of the glaciers...i would, if $$ permits, charter a boat from Whittier and do a day trip out on the pws. Make sure your itinerary is flexible..if it is a pretty day..get on the water. unbelievable wildlife. the sealife center was good for a rainy afternoon. while in seward, take the dogsled ride...so fun for our kids..we also took the helicopter to the top of the glacier for a dogsled ride at their winter camp...wow..highlite of our trip!!! also loved rafting down the russian river..elk, bald eagles everywhere. Whittier is the wierdest town i've ever seen. check the tunnel schedules so that you're not waiting in line forever..it's a oneway tunnel in and out of whittier. eat lunch at The Brewery...downtown anchorage..lots of fun. Lastly,if you have time to kill prior to your departing flight..head to the end of the runway with your car...there's a parking lot where you can see McKinley on a clear day...and beluga whales. Planes take off on the top of your head...fun, fun, fun.
I'm jealous...enjoy..pack lite..jeans and a tshirt and sweatshirt and raingear is all you need!!!
visormom is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2006, 09:05 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,149
We also did a motorhome...for three weeks. We went to the Kenai Peninsula, to include Seward(and the SeaLife Center and a boat trip to see the glaciers) We did go as far as Homer. And Denali. And Valdez.

I understand you need to be in Anchorage for three nights. We didn't do that.

As for Denali and the ranger bus tours, I cannot comment on the commercial tour, because we thoroughly enjoyed the ranger bus tour and I am surprised that they have a commercial tour because they seemed so uptight aboue keeping it within the park system.

On the ranger tour you are in a school bus, which is driven and narrated by, usually, in the summer, a local schoolteacher, who gives you a lot of information and urges you to tell him to stop the bus when you see wildlife. On this "tour" you can also get off anywhere you like and hike a bit and wait for the next bus to take you back.

It is important, however, to make sure that you have reservations ahead of time.

As for keeping the motorhome for Denali, well, it worked for us, but we didn't have to stay in Anchorage in between times. Perhaps you could turn it in during your time in Anchorage and get it back before Denali? There are relatively secluded parking places for motorhomes in the entrance to Denali, but, I don't remember,you may have to reserve during the high season.

You will have a wonderful trip. Enjoy!

The sled dog demonstrations are absolutely worth the time.

We also did a flight from Talkeetna over the "mountain", and it was spectacular. Highly recommended.
jtrandolph is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2006, 05:05 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
I too suggest you consider Homer and not spend so much time in Seward, for clairfication the Kenai Fjords is essentially only seen from the boat tour which you have included- it's not "another" attraction.

Also for clairfication it is not "ranger bus tours". There are TOUR buses and SHUTTLE buses. The tour buses cost 3 times the shuttles but have a guide- not a ranger. They are subcontracted. The shuttle buses have excellent drivers who are usually excellent and know Denali Park extensively. further details www.nps.gov/dena I never recommend the Kantishna day trips that run about $125, essentially you are paying for a costly lunch since there is little time to do any of the great stuff available from the lodges. This requires overnights. Otherwise I suggest just taking the shuttle to Wonder Lake, bring all your own food and drink, and less than half the price.

From Anchorage consider MICA guides glacier trekking, 2 hours drive from Anchorage, nice day trip, Hatcher Pass and Independence Mine, Eagle River Nature Center.
BudgetQueen is offline  
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