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shanky Jun 28th, 2011 01:35 AM

Alaska trip suggestions
 
Hello Everyone,

I am planning a trip to Alaska early August and looking for some information. I am primarily interested in the following activities:

1) Bear watching
2) Glaciers
3) Barrow to view the Artic circle experience
4)Mt Mckinley
5)maybe a bit of fishing (not big on this one)

I am looking for information as to any good tour operators and or best areas to arrange for these activities; I don't mind doing the fly-in activities to see them. Are there any tour operators that can manage all these activities or will I have to book separately? Also would appreciate if there are any other things that is a must see or to do activity while in Alaska - I am not a fan of museums or historical sites.

Thanks in advance and Cheers;
Shanky

china_cat Jun 28th, 2011 04:20 AM

well, if you go to Homer you can do #1 and #5. There are lots of fly-in bear watching vendors there, I think they mostly go to Katmai. And its a great place for halibut and salmon fishing. We used Bob's Trophy Charters for our combo fishing trip and were quite pleased. Specifically we went on Wave Dancer with Captain's Ron and Mark, but they have several boats available.

spirobulldog Jun 28th, 2011 04:35 AM

What area of Alaska are you going?

My parent did Barrow. Be very cautious here. You stand a real good chance of being stranded(due to weather). Lodging would be very very hard to get here. I mean, you could be staying in the airport for several days. This place is at the end of nowhere and is really not anything like you can imagine.

I used www.highadventureair.com in soldotna for a bear viewing/salmon fishing trip and it was great. We saw 25+ black bear up close(within 25 ft of our boat), lots of bald eagles, and hundreds of thousands sockeye salmon. Caught our limit and had it shipped back home. Very good experience.

When you go will determine where you will go to see bears. The salmon runs occur at different times throughout the summer, so you need to get with a good operator.

When you say you want to see glaciers, do you mean tidewater glaciers(the kind that crash into the ocean)? You can see glaciers at many spots.

Mt McKinnley- you might want to do a glacier landing there. My parents loved it. It is often shrouded in clouds for several days in a row, so you don't always get to see it.

shanky Jun 29th, 2011 02:24 AM

Thank you china_cat and spirobulldog.

China_cat: Is Homer easy to reach to from Anchorage. i will be flying from east coast and was planning to get to/ fly back from Anchorage. Is that the best option or are there any other airports that I can fly in to / out of so as to make the best use of my time in Alaska?

Spirobulldog- even in summer there were cancellations due to weather in Barrow? Yes I was referring to viewing the tide water glaciers crashing into the ocean. Are there any must see glaciers or glacier regions out there?

Cheers;
Shanky

goldie5 Jul 4th, 2011 06:02 PM

We just did a trip to Alaska, so here is my advice, based on your question: Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau is spectacular and has self-led hikes that start at the visitor center. Getting to Juneau is only via air or boat, so take your pick. We found that a day of hiking and exploring by ourselves was a fantastic way to get to know that area. Denali/McKinley is spectacular. We rented a car from Anchorage and drove the ~5 hour drive north to Denali, staying at the Denali Princess hotel just 1 mile outside the park entrance. Four nights there allowed us plenty of time to explore the visitor's center, do a ranger-led morning hike, a ranger presentation on predation in the park, a full day ranger-led small group hike, and the Tundra bus tour (lasts about 8 hours) via Aramark (they are one of the few tour companies that operate inside the park). I thought that Homer was great and we really, really loved our day fishing there. I hope that this helps.

china_cat Jul 5th, 2011 09:41 AM

shanky, Homer is about a 5 hour drive from Anchorage, much of the drive is scenic. There is not a major airport that is closer. Of course, Homer has an airport, I'm not sure how big it is, but you could probably fly there from Anchorage.

Homer is a little less convenient than other parts of the Kenai. You could go on a glacier cruise out of Whittier, or visit Exit Glacier and go on the Kenai Fjords boat tour out of Seward (which has mostly marine wildlife, but also a little bit of glacier viewing). So it all depends on how much time you have, what your priorities are, what your budget is. Getting all the way north to someplace like Barrow as well as all the way south to Homer is covering a lot of ground.

shanky Jul 6th, 2011 02:34 AM

Thank you goldie5 and china_cat. I will look into the options you have suggested. As of now I am planning to spend about 10 -12 days excluding flying time in Alaska.

Cheers;
Shanky

shanky Jul 14th, 2011 02:22 AM

I have a question in regards to driving from homer-whittier-valdez-Mccarthy & kennicott. Now I am not much keen on driving alot unless the drive is really worth it. Can someone please let me know whether following the driving pattern mentioned above is really worth it? It's a fair bit of driving and due to my limitation on number of days available in the trip; I want to make sure that I do something really worthwhile.

On another note- while in Alaska are there any speciality food/ drinks unique to Alaska that I should try?

Thanks in advance for your help;
Shanky


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