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driving through alaska

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Feb 17th, 2012, 03:20 AM
  #1
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driving through alaska

we're looking at driving from anchorage to denali around the 1st of May. anyone know how the roads are like that time of year? we can probably spend a night at trapper's creek to break the journey. would appreciate responses before we confirm our stay. thanks.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 05:41 AM
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The road itself is fine, the conditions at the time will so depend on the weather at the time. I would expect Alaska hwy dept to know how to clear the roads, but they don't control when it snows. May 1 is still winter up there.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 05:49 AM
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Not really winter, but snow is still possible, check to see how much of Denali will be open as time gets closer.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 06:54 AM
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thanks emalloy - i guess we'll just leave it open. we drive if the weather is good or stay put in anchorage if it's bad. i'd be really uncomfortable driving in the snow / ice. we're from bombay & i've never really driven in those conditions
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Feb 17th, 2012, 07:08 AM
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we can probably spend a night at trapper's creek to break the journey

It's only a four hour drive if you push straight thru, though a detour to Talkeetna is recommended.

Very little is open at Denali May 1st.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 07:17 AM
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thanks Bill. i believe they open up about 30 miles on 1st May. & yes, a stop at trappers creek was what we had in mind as well. that or at talkeetna. i guess we'll drive to either of these 2 places & drive to & back from denali the next day, returning to anchorage on the third day. of course all this is weather-dependent. thanks again for your reply..
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Feb 17th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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i believe they open up about 30 miles on 1st May

The first 14 miles of the road into the park, which is paved, should be open ... I think the next section to the 30 mile mark at Teklanika, which is gravel, is open some years when it has been very dry with little snow, but is usually not opened. Might check on that, I'm not certain, but I wouldn't count on this section being open May 1 to passenger cars.

a stop at trappers creek was what we had in mind as well. that or at talkeetna. i guess we'll drive to either of these 2 places & drive to & back from denali the next day

I would vote for Talkeetna over Trapper's Creek as a nicer place to stay with a few more things to do. If the weather is clear you can also do a flight seeing trip to Mt. McKinley from Talkeetna. This will likely be the highlight of your trip to Denali.

If you wanted to stay closer to the Denali entrance you could spend the first night in Healy, which is a short drive north of the Denali entrance and has hotels that are open all year. Healy seemed like a rather grim town to me (home of the largest open pit mine in Alaska, hence the open hotels) but it's much closer to the entrance.

If there's any way you could wait a few weeks until late May you'd find much more to do at Denali since it's pretty much shut down earlier.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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unfortunately we can't push our trip. we're flying in from bombay to LA april 11th & flying back out of LA may 8th. alaska wasn't part of the trip earlier, but it is now . changing our tickets at this stage will cost us quite a bit so we'll just take what we get. hopefully, things'll work out just fine. thanks for all the help - really appreciate it.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 12:34 PM
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I highly recommend a flight seeing trip out of Talkeetna. It was the highlight of two Alaska trips.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 09:10 PM
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thanks connie - sounds great
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