Alaska Itinerary Suggestions

Old Jun 25th, 2003, 02:12 PM
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Alaska Itinerary Suggestions

I am planning a trip to Denali and the Kenai Peninsula the first week in September. I have only 8 full days. Can any one suggest a sample itinerary.
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Old Jun 25th, 2003, 03:38 PM
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If it was my trip, I would go straight up go Denali and spend a day there. Then I'd drive down the Denali Hwy (not the park), if it is passable. If not, back to north of Anchorage and over to Valdez. Ferry over to Whittier and down to Seward. Homer takes a while and the drive over isn't very scenic. You'll find mixed emotions on whether it is worth the time or not on this forum.
Then back up to Anchorage.
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Old Jun 25th, 2003, 03:46 PM
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Assuming your 8 days include arriving and leaving Anchorage, here goes:

Day 1, Arr. Anchorage, overnight Anc.
Day 2, Drive to Denali Park, overnight at/near park.
Day 3, All day on park bus to Wonder Lake & return, overnight at/near park.
Day 4, Drive to Valdez via Fairbanks
Day 5, Ferry across Prince William Sound to Whittier, drive to Seward, overnight Seward.
Day 6, Kenai Fjords boat tour, overnight Seward.
Day 7, Make decision on basis of weather (a) return to Anchorage via Hope and Girdwood, overnight Anchorage, or (b) day drive to Homer (early departure), overnight Homer or backtrack to Kenai/Soldotna (bleh.)
Day 8, Return to and/or tour Anchorage, go shopping, relax, fly home. If returning from the Kenai, leave real early.

I honestly would play it by ear a little on the Kenai. You may be tuckered out from driving or the weather may be poopy, and places like Homer are less wonderful in the rain when the scenery is the backside of your windshield wipers. Remember too that in September the days are getting short.

If you don't like the ferry idea (you ought to) then the day to Valdez is subsitituted by going back to Anchorage, and the day across the sound can be spent in Seward or Homer, thereby bringing the itinerary forward by a day. Note the ferry doesn't run every day, so time your trip accordingly.
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Old Jun 25th, 2003, 03:48 PM
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Geez, Connie - like minds...
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 09:23 AM
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Number one:
Are you renting a car?
Number two- are you active and do you want to do things other than drive and look?
I think that Gardyloo's trip is far too ambitious as far as the valdez part goes- I have been researching my trip (14 days) for almost a year and to attempt to drive to Valdez via fairbanks in one day will probably take you 11 hours if you don't make any stops. If you only have 8 days, then . Here are a few itineraries that I think are reasonable unless you want to do nothing but drive the entire time.
day one-anchorage
day two-drive to denali
day three-denali tour
day four drive to girdwood- alyeska resort or try to make it to Cooper landing -Princess Lodge
day five- homer
day 6 homer
day 7 seward/3pm Kenai Fjords tour
day 8 drive back to anchorage from seward or if you are leaving the next day then move your kenai fjords tour to day 8 and do the sealife center, and exit glacier on day 7 when you arrive in sewardand drive to the airport the next morning(depending on when your flight leaves)
or: Itinerary 2: if you really want to have the time to experience each place rather than just rush through just so you can say you were there, I would cut out homer and do this
Day 1-anchorage
day 2 drive to denali
day 3 denali tour
day 4 denali whitewater rafting
day 5 girdwood/alyeska resort
day 6 seward sealife center/exit glacier and other shorter stuff
day 7 full day Kenai Fjord national park-(major marine tours is supposed to have better food)
Day 8-drive back to Anchorage

Itinerary 3:This cuts out Denali, but gives you Wrangell St, Elias national park
day 1 -arrive anchorage
day 2-drive up the Glenn highway (gorgeous)to copper center princess-drive to Eklutna state park and see the spirit houses,stop around Palmer,drive to the Matanuska Glacier-sheep Mountain lodge for lunch
day 3-air taxi into McCarthy/Kennicot-(Wrangell-St. Elias national Park)with Wrangell Mountain air change return timeto work out with your guided tour.I negotiated with the owner and he discounted the trip 10%
half day root glacier hike with St. Elias Alpine guides-Very reasonably priced with lots of time walking with crampons on the glacier!
day 4-drive to Valdez-one hour whitewater rafting with Keystone adventures or kayaking with Anandyr adventuresor visit pipeline terminus. By the Way, the ride to Valdez is supposed to be breathtaking around the Thompson pass
Day 5 -Ferry to Whittier-check ferry schedule.Arrive late in Seward
Day 6 Seward Exit Glacier/ Sealife center etc.
Day 7_Kenai Fjords National Parks Tour
Day 8- Anchorage

I hope my perspective helps helps.
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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By the way, this wouldn't happen to be Dr. P Duncan who teaches in the middle school of the same school district as I would it? probably just a coincidence
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 12:41 PM
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My thought as to a 8 day itinerary are
Day 1: to Denali, overnight outside park
Day 2: Denali shuttle bus, overnight Denali
Day 3 To Talkeetna: Flightseeing. Overnight Talkneetna
Day 4 to Seward, Overnight Seward
Day 5 Kenai Fjords Tour, overnight Seward
Day 6 Another day in Seward, kayaking, etc
Day 7 to Homer, overnight Homer
Day 8 in Homer
Day 9 back to anchorage and home

How does this sound? Too much time in Seward? I tend to like the active outdoor activities and am not really a fisherman.
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Old Jun 27th, 2003, 06:58 PM
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I don't think it's too much time in Seward-first of all if you are driving from Talkeetna it's going to take you at least 6 hours or so of straight driving to get there . The next day is basically taken up with the Park tour, And the following day could be your outside day or if the weather is horrible you could do the sealife center . The only thing that would concern me is driving back to Anchorage from Homer which is at least a 5 hour trip. If you are going to try to catch a flight the same day, you might be taking on more than you can handle. The road to Homer is supposed to be a two lane highway. The ride from Seward to anchorage would be shorter. Here's a suggestion for Day 4 and on- Drive from Talkeetna to Princess Lodge in Cooper Landing -it's supposed to be beautiful- then do Day 5 and 6 in Homer(the spit is supposed to be fun!) Day 7 in Seward- you could do exit glacier, Day 8 in Seward with National Park tour and then Drive back to anchorage day 9. This would give you a shorter drive back and a chance to check out Anchorage if your plane is leaving late. Also, on the first day you mentioned driving straight up to Denali. I don't know what time your plane arrives , but I do know it's a four hour trip up to the park from Anchorage.
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Old Jun 28th, 2003, 04:32 AM
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Also, on the first day you mentioned driving straight up to Denali. I don't know what time your plane arrives , but I do know it's a four hour trip up to the park from Anchorage.

It's at least 5 hours Anchorage- Denali Park, certainly longer with all the great viewing spots. No way, would I recommend Denali Park, Fairbanks- Valdez in one day. A necessary is THE MILEPOST, try your library.
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Old Jun 29th, 2003, 02:37 PM
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I just returned from alaska yesterday and did this same itinery.
Day 1-We arrived in anchorage at nite,got a rental car and spent the night there
Day 2-Drove to Denali, checked out the visitor center and checked into the Denali Princess for 2 nites.
Day 3-Took a park shuttle bus to see the interior of the park and do a little hiking.
Day 4-Went to the Ranger Talk at the dog kennels(very interesting) and then drove back to anchorage,turned in the car.
Day 5- Caught the costal tour Alaska Railroad to Seward. Stayed at The Edgewater(free shuttle service) and a great location-hotel. Took the Kenai Fjord Afternoon 6 hour tour.Don't miss this. We saw humpback whales,sealions,puffin and a glacier calve.
Day 6- Took the Godwin Glacier Dogsled Tour. Unforgettable
Day 7-Took the PJ taxi $40.00 roundtrip to exit glacier.Taxi drops you off and meets you at the time you want a pickup. We explored the trails at the glacier.
If I had the extra day as you do I would stay in Denali an extra day and do more hiking. If you don't want to rent a car take the train to denali. The hotels have shuttle service to Denali. I took my kids and thought the long train ride to denali would have bored them. If you want any add'l info let me know. i wish i could go again soon.
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