Hope, Alaska - recommendations

Old May 22nd, 2006, 01:32 PM
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jml
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Hope, Alaska - recommendations

We are deciding if we should take the Six-Mile Creek whitewater rafting trip outside of Hope (with NOVA). I haven't found any information on these message boards about the trip OR staying in Hope. Don't people go there?

Any suggestions for accommodations would be appreciated!
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 01:45 PM
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Hope is off the beaten track a little and probably does not get a huge amount of tourism. The drive into Hope from the Seward Hwy is pretty but, once there, I did not see a lot to do or that would attract people in any large number.

I can't help with the lodging question. I drove in, drove around for half an hour or so, and drove out. It was in mid-September so the tourist boom was tapering off and I could have been misled by the lack of people.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 01:54 PM
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I just got back from Alaska and went to Hope one afternoon. Everything there was closed. This is a very small town and not much going on at all. I can't say anything about the raft trip, but I think I would schedule that in a place where there was a little bit more going on, like Denali.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 04:11 PM
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Would like to go to Denali but I don't think we have enough time. We're taking the Fjords cruise on a Wednesday (that ends at 5.30pm) and we have a plane to catch back home out of Anchorage late Sunday night.

I'm correct in thinking that Denali is too far, right? (husband thinks it's doable).

Tell me if the drive from Seward to Denali can be done in one day - and still live to tell about it
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 05:11 PM
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dml,

Yes, it's a fairly long day's drive, but the drive from Denali to Seward CAN be done in one day. If memory serves me correctly, it's about a 7-8 hour drive or so from Seward to Denali, maybe a little less. The highway from Seward to Anchorage can be quite dangerous, so do make sure you are well rested and follow the speed limit through that area. Depending on where you're coming from (i.e., are you from a mountainous state?), Denali is really something to see - huge mountains and often, lots of wildlife. When are you traveling? Reservations for lodging in the Denali area do fill up quickly so keep this in mind. Also if you do decide to make reservations, make sure to ask about their cancellation policy. My experience has been that there are often penalties in the Denali area for changing or cancelling reservations, even if it's well ahead of time.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 05:13 PM
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Ooops - jml, not dml - sorry about that!
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 06:25 PM
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We'll be in AK 7-17 July 06. I think we've both just decided to sacrifice the day in driving to stay 3 nights in Denali. We'll take it slow and take all day to get there. So here's my itinerary if anyone has thoughts:

7 Jul arr ANC at 1.30pm, pick up rental car, overnight Trail Lake Lodge at Moose Pass

8 Jul drive to Homer. Overnight Chocolate Drop Inn

9 Jul Bear Fly-in with Emerald Air. Overnight Chocolate Drop Inn

10 Jul Drive to Cooper Landing. Scenic raft float. Overnight Kenai Riverside Lodge.

11 Jul Guided Hike. Overnight Kenai Riverside Lodge.

12 Jul Drive to Seward, Fjords Park cruise (6 hour). Overnight Seward

13 Jul Drive day! Drive to Denali. Overnight McKinley Village Lodge

14 Jul Shuttle or Tour in the park. Overnight MVL

15 Jul Whitewater rafting on Nenana River. Overnight MVL

16 Jul Drive to Anchorage (Anchorage museum, and ???) Drop off car at 11PM for 2am flight home.

The only confirmed lodging I don't have is in Seward. I think I want something kind of nice because of the long drive the next day.

This is our first trip to Alaska and I think we will be awed by the whole experience. We are looking forward to this trip very much and--on paper--it looks like it's going to be wonderful. However, we know to remain flexible...
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 04:43 AM
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You need to allow 9 hours for a drive Seward to Denali Park, with stops. Summer traffic can be very bogged down and there is always construction. It is almost 400 miles.


Frankly I would not spend two nights at Cooper Landing, I would head to Seward, far more to do and only 40 miles. This would free you up for more Kenai Fjords touring options. I highly recommend the Northwestern Fjords trips that leave around 9am??

If you only want a 6 hour tour, then you have more than enough time to get to Anchorage that night, breaking up the Denali Park drive. Which would be my recommendation. You are allowing no time for any of the ad lib stops that just seem to "come up". Like the group of swans, that I was able to watch for 30 minutes, or McKinley in full view. Nothing worse than being on a tight time schedule and missing out.

I actually think Hope is a great stop, loaded with history, but I wouldn't think this is the better place for rafting??? Certainly the Kenai and Nenana are noted for nice raft trips.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 04:44 AM
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As for Denali park, I NEVER recommend the tours for independent visitors, always the shuttles. Why pay triple the cost for a shorter distance?????

My min. recommendation distance in is Fish Creek, you need advance reservations.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 09:38 AM
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BQ, thanks for your thoughts on the itinerary!

We have a 2for1 coupon that we're using at Cooper Landing, and my partner is SO into the gotta-have-a-cabin stay. They've upgraded their cabins at Riverside so each has it's own bathroom-makes me happy, still need my comforts.

I totally agree with breaking up the drive (but that's only 50% of the vote). We discussed it earlier and decided not to do the 9hr - what if I amend the plan and we don't stay in Seward at ALL? That way we make our way to Anchorage after the Fjords tour and stay along the way. We have seen our share of seaside towns, and I think my partner wants to stay in the woods rather than seaside town anyway.

In Denali, I'm holding a room at the Denali Village Lodge (again coupon), however McKinley Creekside Cabins look nice and are less expensive. The Crow's Nest are a little more but also nice (again the cabin experience is a must-do for him). Any thoughts on those properties???

We both agree to reserve the shuttle, either to Fish Creek or Wonder Lake.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 12:06 PM
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Hope is very small. We only spent a couple of hours there but I did see a beautiful cabin B&B. We probably spent the most time at the little museum and talking to two volunteers who quizzed my husband to see if he knew what different tools and engine parts were for. IMHO the drive between Anchorage and Seward is very beautiful and far more scenic than Anchorage to Denali (actually we only made it as far as Talkeetna) and has more places you might want to stop. We enjoyed the tram ride up Mt Alyeska in Girdwood with views of 7 glaciers and the visitors center near Portage Glacier. Each of the popular Alaska towns seem to have their own distinct personality. Although Homer is more artsy and famous for halibut charters, Seward has its own beautiful location and history.
On your way back to Anchorage from Denali you might like to stop off at Independence Mine/Palmer.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 06:33 AM
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Since your plans include Cooper Landing, then I guess - no I would not then add a night in Seward. Be willing to leave VERY early and get on a morning Kenai Fjords boat trip.

There is nothing in Cooper Landing except fishing- which is superb. Only a few resturants- frankly I would take all my meals at Gwins.

My opinion only, toursaver lodging coupons are never a good option for me. They are always more costly than my preferred B&B's and sometimes cause you to stay in areas less desirable for touring. This is only a general statement, and no flames please. I see this frequently enough with people not having a great deal of time (not the poster) and it just not working for their touring priorities.

So balance everything out and do your homework. Go with the plans that work best for your touring priorities.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 09:44 PM
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``I can't say anything about the raft trip, but I think I would schedule that in a place where there was a little bit more going on, like Denali.''

This is terribly -- there's no comparison between the Six-Mile and the trips near Denali. Six-Mile is a terrific ride in nearly all water conditions.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 09:45 PM
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``I can't say anything about the raft trip, but I think I would schedule that in a place where there was a little bit more going on, like Denali.''

This is terribly misguided advice -- there's no comparison between the Six-Mile and the trips near Denali. Six-Mile is a terrific ride in nearly all water conditions.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 09:48 PM
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Sorry for the double post -- but difference between a Six-Mile trip and a Nenana float is the like difference a world-class coaster and a merry-go-round.

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Old May 24th, 2006, 09:49 PM
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Obviously, I'm having a tough time typing tonight ...
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Old May 25th, 2006, 06:44 PM
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I don't think that what I said about the raft trip was bad advice at all. If you read my post again, I said "I can't say anything about the raft trip" and I didn't I simply said that Hope is a very small town and there is not much else to do there. Therefore, some people might want to schedule an activity like this where they can also do something else, like going to the park. I stick to my original post. Hope is a very lovely little town and I enjoyed the drive there. It is just very quiet and people should be able to make up there minds based on a lot of factors.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 06:47 PM
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That's make up "their" own minds.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:15 PM
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Here's why I found the advice is misguided, despite the disclaimer:

``Some people might want to schedule an activity like this where they can also do something else.''

Unfortunately, a Six-Mile trip and the Nenana trip are two very different activities. Implicit in the response was that the OP could have a similar activity in an area with more things to do.

And rafting was clearly the thrust of the original post. There simply is no comparison between the Six-Mile -- a legit Class V trip of world-class whitewater -- and Nenana trips -- often no more than Class III or marginal IV. Experience rafters looking for thrills will be underwhelmed on the Nenana.

Also, since you were just there it's not surprising that it was quiet -- it's the off-season. Still, however, there are activities for the self-directed.

Still, I'm glad the OP was able to squeeze in Denali . . . they just shouldn't expect the same quality of rafting on the Nenana.



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Old May 26th, 2006, 07:02 AM
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"OR staying in Hope. Don't people go there?" was in the original post too.

If you read all of the posts, Budget Queen stated that she would do rafting somewhere else too, so I am not sure why I am taking so much heat for what I said. Again, Hope is very small, so even in the "high season", I am sure that it still can be very quiet. Certainly, people will be able to find things to do there if that is where they decide to stay. Here's a link so I can get them started. http://www.advenalaska.com/Hope/
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