June/July 2018 itinerary. Help!

Old Sep 3rd, 2017, 05:29 AM
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June/July 2018 itinerary. Help!


My wife and I, both in our late 50s, are planning a land trip to Alaska next June/July. We're both reasonably fit, although she has some trouble with long downhills. Our main interests are wildlife, glaciers and scenery, which I know Alaska has plenty of! We do have our outbound flight booked as well as two nights at Brooks Lodge (three, actually, but we can use only two).

We'd prefer not to rush around too much, and if we end up having a bit of down time in a place, that's okay.

Just one thing: This itinerary involves a lot of time on the water (day cruises, kayaking), and it so happens that the entire middle portion is the water -focused portion. I'd prefer to do water-land-water-land-focused locations just for variety's sake, but I can't come up with a good way to make that work.

We would appreciate any input or suggestions. Thank you!

Fri., June 29: Fly from Miami to Anchorage. Arrive in Anchorage at 7:15 pm. Pickup car and go to hotel.

Sat., June 30. Drive to Talkeetna. Possible flightseeing if weather is good. Or stop along the way for Knik Glacier Tour. Continue on to Healy. Check into hotel. We're booked at Denali Park Hotel, but this is subject to change. The Brooks Lodge portion of our trip is so expensive, we're trying to keep costs in-check elsewhere.

Sunday, July 1. Shuttle and some hiking at Denali. The plan is to go to Eielson or Wonder Lake one or two days.

Monday, July 2. More shuttle and some hiking at Denali.

Tuesday, July 3. Denali. Another possible shuttle day but I think we’d like to go rafting on this day. We’ll see how much we enjoy the shuttles and how much hiking we do.

Wednesday, July 4: Drive to Matanuska in the morning. See if we can make the two p.m. Glacier Trek (MICA or NOVA). Overnight in Matanuska

Thursday, July 5: Drive to Valdez. Possibly visit the Solomon Gultch Hatchery and/or Worthington Glacier along the way. Overnight in Valdez.

Friday, July 6. Valdez Ice Caves kayak with Anadyr Day Trips. This is one of the main reasons we want to go to Valdez; the pictures of this look spectacular.

Saturday, July 7: Valdez. Columbia or Meares Glacier Cruise with Stan Stevens or Lulu Belle.

Sunday, July 8: Either take the ferry to Whittier and drive to Girdwood or just drive to Girdwood. I’m not sure if there’s always a Sunday ferry from Valdez to Whittier. We’ll arrive in Whittier too late to take any of the Prince William Sound boat tours, so we might just overnight in Girdwood and relax. Activities for Girdwood and area for late afternoon/early evening?

Monday, July 9: Whittier. Afternoon cruise with Major Marine or Lazy Otter. I don’t think there are any morning cruises in Whittier, but I could be wrong. Or Portage Pass Hike (how difficult is this?). Possible Byron Glacier Trail if we didn’t try to do it the night before. Then drive to Seward and overnight.

Tuesday, July 10: Seward. Some kind of Kenai Fjords cruise or kayak. We will likely take the longer cruise.

Wednesday, July 11: Exit Glacier, or kayak if we didn’t do it the day before. Drive to Anchorage and drop off car. 5 p.m. flight from Anchorage to King Salmon. Overnight in King Salmon. I think flying to King Salmon the night before our first day in Katmai makes sense because of possible unforeseen weather issues.

Thursday, July 12: Fly from King Salmon to Katmai, hopefully on the first flight in the morning (We were told there’s a 7:30 a.m. flight on Katmai Air). Overnight at Brooks Lodge.

Friday, July 13: Katmai. Overnight at Brooks Lodge.

Saturday, July 14: Spend the morning in Katmai. Katmai Air to King Salmon in the early afternoon then 6:45 pm flight from King Salmon to Anchorage.

Sunday, July 15: Flight home.
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