Alaska in September on RV

Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 10:50 AM
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Alaska in September on RV


My parents are flying down from India in Sep 13' and really wish to see Alaska they are in their early fifties. We just have about 5-6 days for the trip. We are thinking of flying to Anchorage and then renting a RV ( something they really wish to do). Please can I get suggestions on some of the best places for natural beauty I can take them to in such a short span? Will the weather be too cold. Online reports say about 10 degrees centigrade.
Ruagr is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 11:45 AM
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With that short a time I would opt for either a trip north to Denali or south to the Kenai peninsular. We were there a couple of years ago in early September and the weather was fine, just light jacket weather, 15 to 20 C most days.

If you use the "view by state" search box you will find many threads on alaska and some trip reports too.
emalloy is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 04:32 PM
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The drive from Anchorage to Seward is stunning. The Kenai Fjords National Park tour (with so much sealife and calving glaciers) is fantastic. You can also do the Sealife Centre and Exit Glacier in Seward. I would suggest two FULL days there and no less.

On the way back from Seward you could go to Homer or Cooper Landing for two nights. I would suggest Cooper Landing if you want to do a full day rafting trip down the Kenai River - gorgeous and tame (just very barely there gentle rapids).

Between Seward and Anchorage there is so much to see:
There is Portage Glacier/Begich Boggs Visitor Centre near Girdwood. Lots of ice in the lake and eagles in the area.

There is also the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre which was well worth visiting (near Girdwood).

There are too many worthwhile along the Seward Highway to to list here, but I recommend you get The Milepost which details places to stop and things to see every step of the way: I believe it is also available on the ipad

I used it through my travels in Alaska and it was extremely helpful.

There is also the option of the Glenn Highway to Matanuska Glacier for magnificent scenery. But take care in parts of the road which can be thin with steep sections.

If you wanted to skip Seward, you could do Denali National Park and Palmer/Wasilla (Independence Mines Historical State Park and walks around the area such as the Gold Mint Trail). You could also do the detour I mentioned above to Matanuska Glacier. On the way back from Denali you could stop in cute Talkeetna for lunch or breakfast.

In 6 days (if you arrived in Anchorage in the morning) you could:
Day 1: Drive to Seward, do some stops along the way. Seward for the night.
Day 2: Do the Kenai Fjords National Park Tour cruise in Seward (a full day till around 6.30pm). Seward for the night.
Day 3: Do Sealife centre and Exit Glacier and explore town
Day 4: Drive to Cooper Landing early morning in time for a full day Rafting Trip down the Kenai River. Stay in Cooper Landing the night.
Day 5: Stop at Portage Glacier and Begich Boggs visitor centre. Stop at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre
Explore the surrounds, and stay in Girdwood the night.
Day 6: Back to Anchorage

This is just one of many options. Another option is to go the other direction and do Denali National Park:
Day 1: Drive from Anchorage to Denali (stopping in Talkeetna for an early lunch). Sled dog demonstration in Denali
Day 2: Take the Shuttle Bus through Denali (book in advance online)
Day 3: Spend another day getting on and off the Shuttle hiking or drive your own vehicle the first 15 miles into the park searching for animals
Day 4: Drive to Palmer/Wasilla early morning and visit Independence Mines Historical Park and do a little hiking or visit Musk Ox Farm. Overnight
Day 5: Scenic drive to Matanuska Glacier. Overnight in area.
Day 6: Drive back to Anchorage in morning.

You could do both the Seward and Denali areas in 6 days but it would mean a LOT of driving:
Day 1: Seward overnight
Day 2: Seward overnight
Day 3: Stay in Palmer
Day 4: Depart Palmer early and spend the day driving the first 15 miles into Denali yourself and explore/hike/search for moose - a lot of fun.
Day 5: Take the full day shuttle bus to Wonder Lake or to Eielson (make sure you get off at Eielson for the views)
Day 6: Drive back to Anchorage.

The cold is not a problem if you bring the right clothing including warm fleeces, lots of layers, scarf, and waterproof coats.

My experiences in Seward and Denali are here:

If I only had 6 days, even though it is a lot of driving, I must admit I would be tempted to do do both Denali and Seward because they are so different and both so amazing. But it depends on whether you want a lot of driving or not too much...
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Old Jul 22nd, 2013, 05:19 PM
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I agree with others who state that a side-trip to Seward is a grand idea. The path there is very scenic, and Seward itself is a small-ish town in a very scenic area as well. (the warning signs urging you to move to higher ground in the event of an earthquake are interesting to contemplate)

Also, much of Alaska is so laced with mountains that you can find scenery on almost any path you take. (the American schools' impressions suggest that) people coming to Alaska from India will marvel in the sparse population and the wide-open natural areas. (of course your parents won't be there in January - which would be critical before making the suggestion that society should fill the place up)

Hope you have a nice time!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 06:31 AM
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We have twice rented RV's through Great Alaskan Holidays - excellent service.
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