August trip- Look Good?

Old Mar 12th, 2021, 04:25 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 663
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
August trip- Look Good?

I am hoping others who have been can look my itinerary over and give me some feedback. This is a trip for our daughter's high school graduation - rescheduled (and now expanded) from last year. It is my husband, myself and our daughter (18). We love nature, outdoor activities, quaint/funky/artsy towns. culture, places that most people don't go and good food. We like driving - we have done three roundtrip cross country drives and have no issues going hours out of our way to see friends or some cool spot. So here is the itinerary:Aug 4: Anchorage-arrival evening

Aug 5: Homer-with stops at Portage PassTrail Hike (3 miles), Begich Boggs Visitor Center, Hope for town viewing and Resurrection Creek Salmon Run, Soldotna for lunch and walk on Kenai Beach (low tide 1:20), Stop at PW Knives

Aug 6: Homer - 11:00 AM Low Tide (-1.50 feet)-tidepools; check out Homer; Ferry to Soldova or Halibut Cove

Aug 7: Homer - Grewingk Glacier hike (or maybe bear viewing)

Aug 8: Cooper Landing or Seward Area-Winner Creek Trail (6.4 miles) and Virgin Creek Falls, Bore Tide (5:24PM)

Aug 9: Cooper Landing or Seward Area - 1/2 day guided fishing Kenai River; Bear Creek Weir; Seal Life Center; Nash Road Scenic Drive

Aug 10: Cooper Landing or Seward Area -full day marine tour (Northwestern fjord)

Aug 11: Cooper Landing or Seward Area - 1/2 day kayak (Bridal Veil) and Tonsinia Creek Trail Hike(4 mi)

Aug 12: Glacier View - switch cars in Anchorage, head to Palmer along Old Glenn Hwy stopping at Eklutna Historical Site, Butte Lake Hike (3 mile) for fishing/scenery; Hatcherís Pass and Bodenburg Hike; Matanuska Glacier Hike and/or zipline

Aug 13: McCarthy-Wrangell Visitor Center stop, Detour to Valdez for lunch

Aug 14: McCarthy - Kayak Glacial Lake Tour

Aug 15: McCarthy - Root Glacier Hike

Aug 16: Denali Highway Lodge - stop at mile 10.7 McCarthy Hwy for fishing/hiking to Silver Lake, stops along Denali Highway for light hiking/stream fishing

Aug 17: Denali Area - drive to Savage River hike part way, Horseshoe Lake (2.1 mi)

Aug 18: Denali Area - Bus to Visitor Center stops along the way for hiking

Aug 19: Talkeetna - Maybe white water rafting; hike Curry Ridge Trail (6.4 mile)

Aug 20: Utqiagvik - 11:55 AM flight from ANC- just to say we have been there and to MAYBE see Northern Lights and of course polar bears would be great!

Aug 21: flight on to Seattle overnight SEATAC

So I am really tossing up Utqiagvik (for the above reasons), Kotzebue (for culture, authentic Alaska experience, above Arctic Circle but not too sure what else) or Nome (lose Arctic Circle crossing but more access to bush areas). I would take a day from somewhere if need be to make this a two day trip but Utqiagvik doesn't seem to warrant that and we are too early for the polar bears mostt likely,


Thanks
odie1 is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2021, 03:15 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 27,224
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You might be in the area for the Alyeska Blueberry Festival in early August. Although we didn't attend that event we enjoyed the Girdwood Forest Fair that is held around 4th of July - big crafts fair, food and music. You might be in Homer when they have a farmers market. I liked visiting Independence Mine historical park near Hatcher's Pass. Independence Mine SHP (alaska.gov) I used to subscribe to the Anchorage Daily News to find out about less publicized events. A handmade ulu knife and chopping bowl board remain my most favorite kitchen tools.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2021, 05:42 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 123
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Congratulations on traveling this year! Havenít been to those areas, other than Denali .
would you mind sharing your lodging? We are planning a summer trip as well for those areas. Thanks!
SDsunflower is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2021, 09:10 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,384
Received 77 Likes on 7 Posts
In August in the north (Nome, Kotzebue, Barrow/Utqiagvik) or pretty much anywhere in the state for that matter, it won't get dark enough to see the northern lights; in fact in the north you'll have 24 hours of daylight (not sun - it will set for an hour or two.) Seeing polar bears will be highly unlikely but not impossible, but generally they're only seeable on tours out of Kaktovik, 250 miles away.

A couple of things. First, presumably you're aware that you'll need to use a rental car company that allows vehicles on the Denali Highway; the major's don't as it's unpaved. Look at GoNorth - https://gonorth-alaska.com/ - if you haven't already made arrangements.

As for the itinerary, I guess I'd say that it wouldn't exactly be my choice, but there's certainly nothing wrong with it, aside from possible underestimation of how long it will take to get from Seward to Glacier View. I would personally pass on the McCarthy option if it meant I could spend a couple (more) days in Nome; given your priorities (you don't mind driving, and want to see "off the beaten track" stuff.) There's a fairly extensive road system radiating from Nome out into the Seward Peninsula bush, and mid- to late August would be an ideal time to see the landscape past the worst of the mosquito season - lots of wildlife, historic sites, things like that. You might want to look at these websites for more details: https://www.alaska.org/destination/nome/scenic-drives and Wildlife Viewing on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska Department of Fish and Game



Gardyloo is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2021, 12:59 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 663
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sunflower-I don't have my lodging booked yet but when I do, I will post my final itinerary.

Gardyloo-I was hoping you wold post and I was hoping you said I nailed it...Alas... My daughter really likes the idea of off the beaten path and funky small towns, as well as National Parks so I am inclined to keep McCarthy in. But appreciating your wisdom I am rethinking and looking at this:

Aug 4: Arrive Anchorage in the evening

Aug 5: Grab supplies in Anchorage, head to Talkeetna for lunch and then hike Curry Ridge Trail (6.4 mile) or if we spend to long in Talkeetna then just drive into the park and hike a bit of Savage River or Horseshoe Lake- overnight Denali area

Aug 6: Denali Area - Bus to Visitor Center stops along the way for hiking

Aug 7: Denali Highway stopping for fishing/hiking overnight Paxson

Aug 8: McCarthy-Wrangell Visitor Center stop, plus some fishing/hiking

Aug 9: McCarthy - Kayak Glacial Lake Tour

Aug 10: McCarthy - Root Glacier Hike and Kennicott Mine look around

Aug 11: Glacier View (possible detour to Valdez-worth it or just too much?)

Aug 12: Seward - Hatcher’s Pass and Bodenburg Hike, Butte Lake Hike (3 mile) for fishing/scenery, Old Glenn Hwy stopping at Eklutna Historical Site; maybe Matanuska zipline (switch cars in Anchorage)

Aug 13: Seward Area - 1/2 day kayak (Bridal Veil) and Tonsinia Creek Trail Hike(4 mi)

Aug 14: Seward Area- fjord cruise for marine life

Aug 15: Homer- Seal Life Center, Bear Creek Weir, 1/2 day guided fishing Kenai River

Aug 16: Homer - ferry to Seldovia

Aug 17: Homer - Grewingk Glacier hike or chill

Aug 18: Anchorage- Hope for town viewing and Resurrection Creek Salmon Run, Winner Creek Trail (6.4 miles) and Virgin Creek Falls

Aug 19: Flight to Nome arrival 12:30 rent car and take one of the scenic drives

Aug 20: Nome - scenic drives

Aug 21: flight on to Seattle overnight SEATAC

If I completely rearrange my itinerary like this, I am missing bore tide, super low tides for tide pools in Homer, possibility of falling colors in Denali but that would be the price to pay.

I am thinking about taking Homer out now and putting an extra day in at Seward or getting a place that is 1/2 way in between the two and then I could day trip to Homer.

So is this itinerary Worse? Better? Or still not your cup of tea?

Thanks for your input!

EDIT: Just thought I could put Nome first too I guess, is it better to go later or earlier in August?

Last edited by odie1; Mar 13th, 2021 at 01:17 PM. Reason: adding more info
odie1 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2021, 07:05 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,384
Received 77 Likes on 7 Posts
I would suggest some alterations to your timing. First, although this year the absence of cruise ships in Seward will reduce congestion, the dates you're suggesting will conflict with the Silver Salmon Derby, one of the premier events on the Seward calendar (along with the Mount Marathon race on July 4) and I suspect you'll find accommodation scarce and high-priced compared to the rest of the summer. https://salmon.seward.com/ Note it's not just the derby per se, but the draw of Seward to salmon fishers will be high throughout the month, but most intense during the tournament.

I'd be tempted to put Denali at the end, so as to get the amazing fall colors that are possible, perhaps with this general order of things -

1. Seward/Homer
2. Nome
3. Glenn Hwy/McCarthy
4. Denali

Fly to Anchorage and head south, being done with Seward before the derby. Return to Anchorage, drop the car and fly up to Nome. Return to Anchorage, get another vehicle (one suitable for the Denali Hwy) and head up the Glenn Hwy to Glennallen, visit McCarthy and the Thompson Pass/Worthington Glacier areas, then up to Paxson and across the Denali Hwy to Cantwell; visit Denali and return to Anchorage for the trip home.

Might a schematic like that work for you? It's imperative that you arrange ground transportation in Nome ASAP, as it will be the most limited resource.
Gardyloo is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2021, 02:22 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fairbanks?

Fairbanks is just 2 hours away from Denali and offers a ton of bang for the buck! World class Pike Fishing Charters (Alaska Fly in Fishing), ATV Tour (The Alaskan Experience), or my favorite, a float down the gorgeous Chena river (google Nordale Float, or Fairbanks Kayak Rental)! If you like off the beaten path, check out any of the above, trip highlights for sure. Fairbanks has standard tourist stuff like Chena Hot Springs and Riverboat Discovery as well.
trevorradway4600 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
motu
South America
8
Dec 13th, 2010 05:54 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:38 PM.