Alaska one week itinerary help

Old May 4th, 2017, 09:06 AM
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Alaska one week itinerary help

Hello everyone,

First I would like to thank in advance for any helpful information with my itinerary.I recently booked my flight tickets from SF to AK departing on July 28 and back Aug 6.This being my first trip want to check if my itinerary makes any sense or the sequence needs to be changed.I understand that the trip duration is short but want to make the most of the available time.I am very much looking forward to this trip.Based on the response will book my stay.Thanks again everyone.

Also is renting car preferable for the duration of the trip as they are quire expensive?

Date Day Activity Additional info

28-Jul Fri SF to AK Depart-5:55pm and arrive 11:25pm

29-Jul Sat AK to Seward Explore ANK- See Native Heritage Center, Earthquake park, Pt.

Woronzoff, zoo, hike/bike Tony Knowles Trail, watch/participate fishing at Ship
Creek, Alaska Wildberry store & park."

30-Jul Sun Seward Kenai Fiords wildlife tour

Dog sledding

31-Jul Mon Seward Kenai Fjords-Exit glacier-Harding Ice Field

Sea life center

1-Aug Tue Seward Whittier (2 hrs drive from Seward)

2-Aug Wed Seward-Denali Additional activities if time permits

Iditarod Headquarters in Wasilla

the Eklutna Historical Park

Potter Marsh, or wait

drive through Portage Valley to the Visitors Center

Alaska Conservation Center

drink/coffee at Summit Lake

mountain goats at Bird Point and Tern Lake"

3-Aug Thu Denali shuttle bus into Denali Park

4-Aug Fri Denali Whitewater rafting

5-Aug Sat Denali to AK Take Alaska railroad train or drive back

6-Aug Sun AK to SF Depart-1:55am and arrive 8:35am
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Old May 4th, 2017, 09:55 AM
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Preferable to what? How else were you going to get around?

If you're thinking by train, that won't happen because you won't see any extras on your routes - that means no Alaska WILDLIFE Conservation Center, no stopover in Wasilla, no walking about Potter Marsh, no stop at Eklutna Historical Park, no trip to Whittier.

The train is slow and expensive. Bus services, wherever available, are slow and expensive too. You'll be traveling a decent-sized swath of the largest state and there's low frequency of public transport. Plus, Alaska costs 30-40% more for comparable goods than what you'd pay in the rest of the US (excepting maybe expensive areas like SF and NYC - the surcharge may be closer to 20-30%).
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Old May 4th, 2017, 02:47 PM
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Read my trip report for the 10 day trip I took to Alaska last June. I rented the economy car and lucked out and got a Subaru Outback (same price) at ANC airport.
I easily could have spent 2 weeks and still not seen all I/we wanted to see.
Buy the tickets for the shuttle bus into Denali online. Select date and start time.
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Old May 4th, 2017, 03:01 PM
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Are you planning to go back to Seward after Whittier? And do you plan to do a glacier cruise in Whittier?

If so, that's a bad idea. The drive from Seward to Denali is very, very long, and any stops you want to make would just add to an already crowded day.

On August 1 you should leave Seward and do the glacier cruise, then continue north and spend the night in Anchorage. That will make the next day far easier.

Where are you staying near Denali?

Forget the train back to Anchorage; you'll pay a fortune to drop the car (if you can - I'm not aware of any car rental offices at Denali) and the train ride is not especially scenic. Since you're flying out on a redeye that night, use the rest of the day to stop at some of the places you missed on the way north or earlier in the trip.
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Old May 4th, 2017, 03:10 PM
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If you don't want to stay IN Anchorage, the Microtel in Eagle River is good. Don't try to drive in the dark to get to Healey.
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Old May 4th, 2017, 03:14 PM
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Thanks again bigruss,tomfuller and Gardyloo for the valuable suggestion.I was thinking of taking the train initially but based on suggestions here will just go the car rental route.

@Gardyloo-Based on your suggestion on Aug 1 will go from Seward to Whittier and after the cruise headback to AK.Next morning leave for Denali.
I have not yet decided the place of stay.Eventhoug I would prefer staying closer to the Denali park but will decide based on the cost of lodging.Any suggestions?

@tomfuller-Thanks for the info on the shuttle.Will buy the tickets online.
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Old May 4th, 2017, 03:17 PM
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If you don't have a place to stay lined up at Denali, make that your top priority. Right now.
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Old May 4th, 2017, 05:49 PM
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Once you book a car rental, keep checking. By doing that I ended up saving over $200 from my initial rental.

We stayed north of Denali at Healy. The drive isn't far and we saved a lot over Denali hotels.

We took the glacier cruise at Whittier. We were headed to Denali the next day. We drove to Wasilla and spent the night at a lovely B & B. Less expensive than staying in Anchorage.
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Old May 5th, 2017, 06:49 AM
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On our trip last June, we drove from Eagle River past the entrance to Denali and all the way through Fairbanks to a nice B&B outside North Pole.
We did stop and get a couple of sub sandwiches packed in Fairbanks before we went to the B&B. The nice hostess at the B&B packed us good breakfast sandwiches to eat on our way back to the start of our bus trip into Denali. We went only as far as the Eilson Visitor center. We were there about 45 minutes before we had to head back to our start point.
We got back to our rental car about 8PM and got back to the B&B about 10PM. In June it was still daylight at 10PM.
Remember to pack food for the shuttle bus trip into Denali.
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Old May 5th, 2017, 08:12 AM
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Thanks everyone for the value suggestion.Will book my stay today.Again really appreciate all the help.
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