Great Alaskan Places You Have Been

Sep 9th, 2002, 11:33 AM
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Great Alaskan Places You Have Been

I am planning my first (7 day) trip to Alaska next July. I am looking for any advice on great things you have done or seen. Right now--I am concentrating on the Kenai area. Thanks in advance!
Sep 9th, 2002, 01:08 PM
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Hi Alli
We took a float plane out of Anchorage and flew over Mr McKinley and it was wonderful. The pilot then landed on a glacier lake where we got out and walked around. I had never taken off or landed on water before so it was a real treat. We went dog sledding in Seward and we took a day trip via plane over the Artic Circle into Kotzebue Alaska. We also took a day trip via ferry to Halibut Cove, an island with no roads, just boardwalks with a few homes, one restaurant and a few artist studio's and beautiful scenery! We also did a glacier cruise. Everything we did was and adventure of beauty and wildlife. Have fun!
Sep 9th, 2002, 03:44 PM
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It's hard to top what cd did but, we hiked the Harding Icefield out of Seward. It resembled Antartica and it was a great sense of accomplishment. It's worth the hike. I also, went to Halibut Cove and loved it. I ate the best meal I ever had there.
Sep 9th, 2002, 04:13 PM
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Just to add to the above, standing in the Kenai River with my waders on salmon fishing was a special thing to do.

I too would concentrate on the Kenai Peninsula. Seeing several grizzlies in Denali was neat but we won't ever go back. We couldn't wait to get back down to the Kenai.

We loved relaxing in Seward. We were able to park our RV right on the shore of Resurrection Bay and watch the boats and ships come and go.

We were not mentally prepared for the bumper to bumper traffic from Anchorage south. Next time, we will look for a way to get into the wilderness some. The only way to do that is to take a plane or boat to a place that doesn't have roads.

Next time I will go to Katmai and watch the bears.

Maybe that would be a good topic -- "The next time I go to Alaska..."!!!
Sep 9th, 2002, 04:17 PM
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Everything we did in Alaska was wonderful. However, some high points were fishing and eating at the Homer Spit, surrounded by snow covered mountains in September, the Kenai Fjords six hour cruise where we saw all kinds of wildlife and marine life, float fishing the Kenai River, dinner at the Kenai Princess Lodge restaurant!
Sep 9th, 2002, 04:26 PM
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I had a great trip. Flew into Anchorage, stopped at Portage Glacier, drove to Denali Park and saw Mt. Mckinley 100% clear and cloudless....

I then toured the Kenai penisula stopping in Kenai, Ninilchick (sp?)Homer and Seward. The fjords trip is highly recommended out of Resurrection Bay. However, this trip was three weeks so you may want to focus on the penisula and save Denali for another trip.

I had some great clam pasta in Homer. So many clams I could not even finish my meal. Memories--I need to go back.
Sep 9th, 2002, 06:54 PM
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Visit website. Visit Cordova during the infamous "Copper River Red" season!! Begins ~ May 15. halibut fishing is awesome and the scenery is outstanding. Visit the Child's Glacier and the Million Dollar Bridge. You can fish without many others at your elbow. This is truly Alaska's Best Kept Hidden Secret. Cordova, Alaska. 5 1/2 hour ferry ride from Valdez, or 7 hours from Whittier and there are daily Alaska Airline flights from Anchorage and Seattle. The people there are very friendly and make you feel at home.
Sep 9th, 2002, 07:03 PM
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Was in Anchorage on a biz trip a few years ago with colleagues & we squeezed in a day-trip "glacier cruise" on the Klondike Express (I think)big motor catamaran on Prince William Sound, out of Whittier. It was September so there weren't any crowds and weather was wet & cold but the trip was worth every penny & I'd love to do it again one day. We had to park & take the train to Whittier but I believe one can drive all the way now.
Sep 11th, 2002, 09:18 AM
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Just notrh of Anchorage - Iditerod Trail HQ, and Musk Ox Farm
Sep 12th, 2002, 06:43 AM
Mike W
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Our favorites on the Kenai this past June/July were:

1. Staying at the Land's End Resort in Homer on the Homer Spit (bald eagles, otters, etc. are viewable from your room, which has a 360 degree view of the bay and the rooms were reasonable).

2. Godwin Glacier Dogsledding Tours out of Seward (the Toursaver coupon book has two-for-one). You take a helicopter to the top of a glacier where a camp is set up with several hundred dogs. Driving the sled was a real highlight.

3. The six hour Kenai Fjords Tour in Seward to view whales and tidewater glaciers (for dinner, if you are over salmon, you can request chicken).

4. Hiking the Russian River Trail to the Russian River Falls where you can watch Salmon jumping up the falls. We stayed at Gwin's Lodge in Cooper Landing while we were there, which was an experience in and of itself. It is the nerve center for fishermen during the salmon runs (the restaurant is open 24/7).

5. Exit Glacier in Seward (the only one you can walk to).

6. Hiking from Bishop's Beach to Coal Point in Homer at an ultra low tide (the tidal swing is 30+ feet and exposes the reef where you can view some very odd creatures). Just make sure you're back before the tide starts coming in - it comes in quick.

It's a good thing to start planning it now. There is a lot of info out there: the Milepost magazine is a must, is a good source, as is Frommers and Fodors (duh). Oh, and plan your rental car way in advance too. They fluctuate a lot and can get very expensive.

Good luck and have fun....
Sep 18th, 2002, 02:32 AM
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I would recommend Mariah Tours wildlife cruise over the Kenai Fjords. It is operated by the same company, but uses a small boat allowing for close up viewing. Outside Homer is the town of Anchor Point - visit the Norman Lowell homestead and art gallery. Hike a section of the Turnagain Trail for wonderful views. Take two days out and dirve to Denali NP - stay @ the Dome Home and make sure sign up now for the yellow school bus - go out on the earliest bus possible to maximize wildlife sightings. The tour operators are a rip off. I concur with the recommendation for hiking (easy) the Russian River Trail to the falls - watching the salmon fight to climb the falls was awesone. Lastly - don't waste your time running for one town to another - slow down and experience nature at its best.
Sep 18th, 2002, 10:05 AM
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We spent three wonderful nights at the Kenai Backcountry Resort. The "package" included a day's raft trip down the river and across a lake to get there. The family style meals (the place only takes about 25 people staying in neat Yukon style cabins) were sensational. The hiking was great. One day of the staff took just four of us on a boat trip around the lake for explorations and hiking. It was great.
We also enjoyed an overnight "package" while staying at Homer. The Boardwalk Hotel on Seldovia, takes you to their island aboard an "exploration" boat. You spend the night on Seldovia and fly back on a private plane going over the glacier and doing a little bear spotting. It was a great time.
Sep 18th, 2002, 10:45 AM
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Hey, Patrick. Seldovia is not an island. There is no road that conects this place with Homer but it is not an island. Please check it on a map.

Tell us more about the Kenai Backcountry Resort.Please
Sep 18th, 2002, 10:55 AM
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Alli, my only recommendation is that you get off the road whenever you can - boat or plane. Flightseeing is costly, no mistake, but from a light plane you'll get an entirely different perspective on Alaska than you'll ever get from the road. From the Kenai you can fly across Cook Inlet to Iliamna or Redoubt, or over the Harding Icefield, lots of choices.

I need to point out that seven days is pretty short and distances are very large in Alaska. I think focusing on one area makes sense.
Sep 18th, 2002, 12:50 PM
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Duh, yes. I knew that. Don't ask what made me call it an island. I read your comment twice, Pat, trying to figure out what you were talking about until I looked back at my post and saw I actually did say that. I guess it just feels like one.

Kenai Backcountry Lodge and Denali Backcountry Lodge (guess they aren't really called resorts, another error on my part) were the highlights of our month in Alaska last summer. I can't put my hands on their website or email, but I'm sure you can find them easily with a search. Also, their brochures are usually part of a group of things under the heading "Alaska Wildlife Adventures" or something like that.
Sep 18th, 2002, 01:31 PM
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OK, look at for the Kenai and Denali Backcountry Lodges.
Sep 18th, 2002, 04:29 PM
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Just a little addition. Exit Glacier is not the only one you can walk to and on; Byron Glacier right near Portage Glacier is just as good and you can walk all over it.
Sep 18th, 2002, 04:47 PM
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Northwestern Glacier: on the eight-hour Kenai Fjords Tour. Absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful.

Great tips here for our next Alaska adventure!
Sep 22nd, 2002, 06:13 AM
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