Alaska Itinerary help June 2018

Old Jan 1st, 2018, 11:02 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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Alaska Itinerary help June 2018

I have been reading the forum for days and many, many itineraries, I think I have a good idea where to go on our first trip to Alaska. Having checked flights, we would probably land very late in Anchorage, so most likely will spend the first day there and also rent a car. So now the questions:
1. Should we head south to Seward first--stay there for (How may days??) and do Kenai Fjords boat tour and definitely Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and perhaps a zipline or kayak.Maybe Exit Glacier on the way as well.
2. Head out and drive towards Denali and stop at Matanuska or Talkeetna or BOTH?
Spend two full days in Denali (I think) and then head back to Anchorage to fly home.
3. Should we reverse and start towards Denali first?

I want to start making overnight accommodations so any advice about where to stay and how many nights at each locale is very, very much appreciated. Right now trip length is not certain but at least 7-8 days and maybe 10 (first day would probably be flight there).
We have visited many US National Parks and are hikers, have loved rafting and kayaking, but also like museums once in a while. Have a bit of a fear of the flightseeing excursions though so would rather zipline instead I think.
wendydenny is offline  
Old Jan 1st, 2018, 03:12 PM
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I would head north first and include a visit to Independence Mine. If late June, you should see some nice wildflowers. You can also hike in this area. The Seward Highway south of Anchorage has spectacular scenery. It might be a toss up whether the Kenai Fjords boat trip or Denali wild life would be the highlight of your trip. You might see if there are any cruise ships scheduled to be in Seward and avoid those days. We went either late June are early July and lucked out on a weather perfect day with calm ocean. The Boggs Visitor Center near Exit Glacier was also an interesting spot.

Since there is so much to see and do between Seward and Anchorage, you might be better off doing this last so you can take your time heading back IF you have time. From Anchorage go to Seward first and boat trip, then add additional activities as time permits.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2018, 06:11 AM
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Here's how I would handle it...


First night in Anchorage. Next morning, drive to Whittier for a glacier cruise - Phillips or Major Marine. After the cruise, finish the drive down to Seward for the first of two nights.

Do a Kenai Fjords cruise the next day, overnight in Seward. The next day, drive back toward Anchorage. Stop in Hope for a glimpse of an old mining village, and at the Wildlife Conservation Center at Portage. Have a meal (or at least a snack) in Girdwood, then spend the night back in Anchorage.

Next day drive to Denali. I like the Hatcher Pass idea rather than either the detour to the Matanuska glacier or via Talkeetna. Two nights for Denali, bus to Eielson on the day you're there. Than back to Anchorage. If you want to go rafting, there are vendors in the Anchorage area (maybe rafting at Eagle River, a suburb.)

This is for roughly a week's visit. If you can extend the time (which I'd strongly suggest) then I'd add a two- or three day extension in SE Alaska. Book your airfare to include a return to the lower 48 via Seattle (an "open-jaw" itinerary) and after Anchorage fly to Juneau, and spend a couple of days in SE Alaska. This is an entirely different face of Alaska, and well worth your while. You can see wonderful Inside Passage scenery, learn about the important Native American legacy of the area, colorful history... well worth your time. Then fly back to Seattle and home.
Gardyloo is online now  
Old Jan 2nd, 2018, 09:47 AM
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Gardyloo is one of the better Alaska guides you'll find who's not selling you anything. Consider his recommendations strongly.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2018, 10:03 AM
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A thought about Talkeetna - it's ok for a stop to grab a bite to eat between Denali and Anchorage, but that's about it. No need to plan your trip to include it specifically.
sludick is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2018, 12:57 PM
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I just booked Denali Dome B & B so we are on the way to planning the trip.
Would you recommend glacier cruise over Kenai Fjords cruise?
Also-Hatcher Pass vs Matanuska Glacier trek?
Thanks for the input.
wendydenny is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2018, 01:12 PM
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Would love your opinion on Denali Dome B&B - almost booked it myself a few years back and have wondered ever since if I made a mistake in not doing so.

Enjoy.
sludick is offline  
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