Kenai Peninsula, Denali itinerary?

Old Mar 30th, 2007, 09:05 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kenai Peninsula, Denali itinerary?

I'm feeling overwhelmed - just booked a week to/from Anchorage (and renting a car) for 2nd week of June, and am scrambling to decide on an itinerary before things fill up. We'd love to see Seward, Homer, AND Denali but it sounds like they're too far apart to really make that work in a week. Any thoughts? Thank you
c_smith is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2007, 09:36 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,677
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
I haven't been to Denali, so I can't comment. But plan a trip to take in Seward, Homer, the Kenai and finish up with a few days in Anchorage.

Topping this for you.

MY
MichelleY is online now  
Old Mar 30th, 2007, 10:55 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,854
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can't do both in a week, at least not with ANY comfort level. Concentrate on the Kenai (Seward would be my choice), but perhaps add a flightseeing trip or a day trip to Talkeetna (flightseeing) on one end.
repete is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2007, 03:08 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can totally do both in a week. I did it three years ago. Forget the car and take the Alaskan Railroad. I flew into Anchorage, took the train up to denali, spent three days in denali, and took the train back to Anchorage, spent a night there, took the train down to seward and spent 3 days there. Dont miss either, because they are so beautiful and so different and so worth it. THe train ride itself is fabulous - it goes 40 miles and hour or so, and is narrated by local highschool kids who go through a very rigorous application process. It goes through roadless areas, and you will see wild life that you cant see from the car...

In Denali - check out Sourdough cabins - right outside the park. Cute and rustic and easy access to the park (three years ago, they had a van that would take you in.) On the Kenai http://www.rivervalleycabins.com/

Good Luck!
azhiker is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2007, 04:10 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We did exactly what you are talking about in Sept of 2006. You CAN absolutely see both the Kenai Peninsula and Denali. You just have to be willing to drive. We landed in Anchorage after midnight on a Sat going into Sunday and started off at 9AM the next morning (Sunday). We got to Homer by late afternoon, on Sunday about 4PM. We ended up spending two nights in Homer and then moved north to Cooper Landing and stayed at the Kenai Princess Lodge for 2 nights. We had time to river raft, drive the forest service dirt roads in search of wildlife, hike Exit Glacier and spend a day in Seward including dinner and the SeaLife center.

After 4 days (Sun - Wed) on the Peninsula we headed north to Denali on Thursday. We took our time on the drive, stopped for pictures often and still got to Denali in time to drive the paved road into the park and see a wolf on our first day there. We spent 2 nights in Denali. I would have liked another night there, but I did not feel like I was rushed. We did a lot in those two days!

Our final night was spent just north of Talkeetna at the Princess McKinley Lodge. We drove there from Denali on Saturday AM and got to Talkeetna with plenty of time to stroll the main street, go into the shops and have dinner. The next morning, Sunday, we ate a lesisurely breakfast, watched the Mountain reveal itself and then drove back to Anchorage and had enough time to visit the Native Heritage Center, go to the Sunday Market, souvenier shop and have a great dinner at Orso's before our 9PM flight back to Chicago.

Yeah you've got to be willing to drive and get up early, but you don't go to Alaska to sleep in late now do ya?

Go, do it all.

If you do a search on the forum under my ID you'll find my posting of a fairly detailed trip report and pictures.

Have fun!!
jfmkem is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2007, 05:17 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much for all the info! Your trip report and the photos are amazing. I hope we have as great an anniversary trip as you had. (did i see that right?)
c_smith is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2007, 06:31 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
C smith, we had a blast.

I'd be happy to share with you the websites I used in planning the trip. Just send me an e-mail and I can forward you the info.
jfmkem is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2007, 01:45 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My opinion, you have time for Denali park and Seward or Homer. It's unlikely you have full days available at the begining and end??? Do you have a full day with an overnight flight? perhaps- does give an "extra" day.


Pretty simple to figure out your routing and time necessary for transit. Consider time for all the "small stuff" along the way.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2007, 05:04 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Flight times are such that we actually only have 6 days in AK. I've been doing sample itineraries and 4 of our 6 days would be at least 4 hours of driving (plus the side stops). We've already booked a bear-viewing trip - very excited about that! - so we're working around that. The only way I can think to squeeze Denali in would be driving there Wednesday, then back to Anchorage on Thursday. Is it worth it to spend less than 24 hours there? Or should we skip the glaciers at Seward and just go directly to Denali from Homer? I hate to miss something truly spectacular, but I've seen mountains. I've never seen glaciers.

Thanks for all your input!
c_smith is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2007, 06:10 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,854
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Interesting that azhiker uses "totally" and then misses a key part of the question, which was Denali, Seward AND Homer. AZHiker missed Homer and jfmkem actually had close to eight days on the ground.

If you've want glaciers, then you need to get either a glacier trip out of Whittier or a Kenai Fjords excursion. Homer's fabulous but you don't go there or Denali for the glaciers.

If you want to try a whirlwind six-day trip, here goes.

Day 1 -- drive to Denali stopping in Talkeetna for flight seeing en route .

Day 2 -- Denali Park visit.

Day 3 -- Long drive to Seward, just burn it as a travel day.

Day 4 -- Kenai Fjords trip. Exit Glacier on the way out of town. Drive to Homer

Day 5 -- Homer (bear viewing or trip to Halibut Cove?).

Day 6 -- Make your way back to ANC with a stop in Girdwood for Alyeska tram and, if time, Portage Glacier.

It's a road-warrior kind of trip but if you don't mind the miles, it's possible.

BTW, I wouldn't recommend the train for time-pinched travelers. It's not that fast and the schedules allow very little room for flexibility. Plus, you miss so much by not having the option to stop along the way.
repete is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2007, 09:19 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 26,731
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can see several glaciers from the top of Mt Alyeska after you go up via tram but the incredible view is on one of the boat trips when you get close, the engines are shut off and you can hear the creaking and groaning as the ice is moving. It's an amazing experience. We took the longest boat trip out of Seward. Keep in mind that the scenery south of Anchorage as you head to Seward is incredible. North of Anchorage it's wonderful but not as spectacular. If you can't see Denali/Mt McKinley, it gets kind of boring. It's a long drive. But you might fit in a visit to Independence Mine about an hour 1/2 north of Anchorage. Scenery is great. They're doing a great job restoring some of the buildings of what used to be a busy mining town.
dfrostnh is online now  
Old Mar 31st, 2007, 10:48 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I love it that people are actually taking the time to answer my questions - thank you!

Repete - I appreciate the 6 day itinerary, but wow that's a lot of driving. I think we've decided to go with your original recommendation to concentrate on the Kenai so we don't "waste" so much of our 6 days in the car. Better to see less but do more, if that makes sense. Staying in the Kenai we'll have time for rafting, kayaking, lots of hiking, and relaxing as well the glacier day cruise and bear viewing.

And who knows - hopefully when the kids get older (they're 5 and 3 and staying home with Grandma this time) we'll be able to take them to AK and see some different things.
c_smith is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2007, 11:57 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 42
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
c smith

just curious who you decided to go with for the bear viewing?
centralpa is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2007, 12:03 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,963
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My Mom and I spent a week in Alaska, several years ago. We decided with a week, Anchorage/ Seward and Kenai was enough. I personally would try to have at least 9 days, to add Denali in as well.
trippinkpj is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2007, 12:57 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,810
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
smart choice.. hoping we have a nice warm dry summer after our prolonged winter..I was going to suggest ERA aviation as a quick way to Homer and back, but seems you decided..

book a bear trip now if you are wanting one.. good luck, J.
jetset1 is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2007, 04:36 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wish we had longer. At first, a week's vacation seemed long considering my husband and I haven't been on any vacations without the kids (oldest is 5). But now I see we'll barely have enought time to scratch the surface.

Centralpa, we're going with Silver Salmon Creek Lodge for the bear viewing. Reasonable rates (considering it's a really expensive side trip), and I liked the owner from the emails and phone call.
c_smith is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
susanwr
United States
3
Jun 17th, 2018 02:01 PM
susan300
United States
4
Mar 6th, 2008 09:40 PM
thedoctor49
United States
7
Jan 6th, 2005 07:19 AM
tetrabit
United States
8
Jul 8th, 2004 03:03 PM
RandyK
United States
4
May 27th, 2003 04:54 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:17 PM.