Juneau to Anchorage in 15 days


Jun 21st, 2014, 02:10 PM
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Juneau to Anchorage in 15 days

Would like feedback on our itinerary and sightseeing recommendations for August trip.

My husband and I are in our 50's and did an Alaskan cruise over 20 years ago. We have decided, at the last minute, that we would like to drive through Alaska while we are still capable and adventurous to do it. We are interested in history, nature, light hiking and sightseeing cruises.

Day 1: Fly Dallas/Juneau/Skagway. 1 night in Skagway.

Day 2: 1/2 day in Skagway and drive to Whitehorse. 1 night in Whitehorse

Day 3/4: Drive to Dawson City. 2 nights in Dawson City to recuperate and prepare for drive to Fairbanks.

Day 5: Drive to Fairbanks. 1 night in Fairbanks.

Day 6/7/8: Drive to Denali National Park. 3 nights in the Denali area.

Day 9: Drive to Anchorage. 1 night in Anchorage.

Day 10: Drive the Seward Highway to Kenai Peninsula. 5 nights in KP (Whittier, Seward, Homer). Considering a fishing excursion.

Day 15: Drive to Anchorage. 1 night in Anchorage

Day 16: Fly home

Thank you for your time.
mbarry is offline  
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 08:56 AM
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That is a huge amount of territory to cover in 15 days. Since I have always had my own vehicle when in that area, I am also not sure about the availability of a rental car to pick up in Skagway and drop off in Anchorage. By comparison, my last road trip to these areas was over six weeks and I still felt pressed for time in some of the areas.

If it were me,I would fly into Juneau, spend a day there, then take the Alaska Marine Ferry to Skagway and back. Then fly to Anchorage and do the Denali-Kenai area for the rest of the time. Better yet, I'd skip that part of Alaska on this trip and fly direct to Anchorage.

The drive from Skagway to Fairbanks is pretty in places but much of it is among the least scenic of the areas you will visit. It is also a lot of miles between Skagway and Fairbanks. Fairbanks is also not among my highlights for a visit of only 15 days. I've enjoyed visits there but not nearly as much as other areas of Alaska (KP-Kodiak-southeast, etc).

My recommendation would be to take the portion of your itinerary described from day 6 to day 16 and expand it to cover the entire 16 days.
dwooddon is offline  
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 02:22 PM
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Dwooddon has a good point. Anchorage has the largest population ratio of one city to the overall state population of any city in the US (about 1/2 of Alaskans live in Anchorage, proportionately more than the # of NYers who live in NYC), which means that resources for travelers are centered in one small geographic area of a state more than twice the size of Texas. The availability of resources in Skagway (or even Fairbanks) is minimal.

If you keep the first part of your trip, consider doing it how dwooddon suggested, fly to Anchorage and then do two loops from Anchorage: (1) Anchorage-Denali-Talkeetna-Anchorage and (2) Anchorage-Kenai-Anchorage. There isn't much in Whittier . . .
BigRuss is offline  
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 04:01 PM
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Since this trip was a last minute decision we rushed and booked our flights and rental car before thoroughly planning the details.

We fly into Juneau and then immediately take Wings of Alaska to Skagway. We will pick up the rental car in Skagway and drop it off in Anchorage before flying out of Anchorage.

We should have posted here before doing anything but we are now committed on the front end, plus my husband would like to visit Dawson City. The only reason for the night in Fairbanks is that we didn't think we could make it to Denali in one day.

Knowing that bit of information, I would appreciate your thoughts on how many nights, where to stay, and what activities to do in the Denali area and in the Kenai Peninsula. We will have 9 nights remaining after we spend 1 night in Fairbanks.

Thanks again for your patience and assistance.
mbarry is offline  
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 02:15 PM
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I would spend Day 9 in Girdwood--good hiking, or you could take the Prince William Sound Cruise the next day(then spend 2 nights here). We spent 2 nights there at Hidden Creek B&B.

Possibly Day 10,11,12 in Homer--absolutely gorgeous. Possibly go fishing here. Then Day 13,14,15 in Seward. Lots to do in Seward--hiking, kayaking, Kenai Fjords National Park cruise.

Click on my name above to pull up my trip report from last year. We visited Alaska last July.
LindainOhio is offline  
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 03:41 PM
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I highly recommend talking the 26 Glacier Cruise in Whittier. You turn left at the Portage area, and you take a tunnel to the other side(it's one way, every half hour)

They have beautiful large catamarans, and no seasickness. Lunches are included, and there is a bar on board, as well.
jetset1 is offline  
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Jun 24th, 2014, 06:34 AM
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LindainOhio, Thank you for referring us to your Trip Report. It sounds like a great trip and I can't wait to get to the area of Alaska that you visited. I was debating whether we need 2 full days in Denali. It is such a long drive from Dawson City that we considered stopping in Tok but that would cut one day out of either Denali or the Kenai Peninsula and I don't think I want to shorten the latter.
mbarry is offline  
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Jun 24th, 2014, 05:19 PM
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Fairbanks is less than 2 hours from Healy, where we stayed when we were visiting Denali. I am not looking at an Alaska map, but maybe there is a better way to split up your long drive from Dawson City. Is there somewhere you could overnight before Fairbanks and then just skip Fairbanks?
LindainOhio is offline  
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