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Need help with 8 day itinerary

Need help with 8 day itinerary

Old Mar 3, 13, 4:08 pm
  #1  
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Need help with 8 day itinerary

Me and my wife and planning our first visit to Alaska this summer. After going through various online forums/sites, I have come up with following itinerary. It is not yet complete, so I'll really appreciate if someone can help me finalize it.

June 29 - arrive to ANC late night

30 - drive to Seward (http://alaska.org/driving/seward-drive.htm)
I don't know if we can cover all places provided in above link. We should be able to cover Potter Marsh, Turnagain Arm, Gridwood, Portage Valley, Exit Glacier.

1 - Kenai Fjordes National Park tour

2 - drive back to ANC
I think this return drive should not take more than 3-3.5 hours, so we can spend full day in kenai peninsula before we return to ANC. Any suggestions?

3 - Nothing planned as of now. Recommendations?

4 - Drive to Talkeetna. Do a flightseeing tour, then drive to Denali NP

5 - Denali NP: Shuttle bus to wonder lake

6 - Denali NP: Nothing planned. Suggestions?

7 - Drive back to ANC for red eye flight

We have already reserved a rental car for 8 days.
Hotel reservations for 2 nights in Seward and 3 nights in denali is done as well.
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Old Mar 4, 13, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by nsquare View Post
Me and my wife and planning our first visit to Alaska this summer. After going through various online forums/sites, I have come up with following itinerary. It is not yet complete, so I'll really appreciate if someone can help me finalize it.

June 29 - arrive to ANC late night

30 - drive to Seward (http://alaska.org/driving/seward-drive.htm)
I don't know if we can cover all places provided in above link. We should be able to cover Potter Marsh, Turnagain Arm, Gridwood, Portage Valley, Exit Glacier.

1 - Kenai Fjordes National Park tour

2 - drive back to ANC
I think this return drive should not take more than 3-3.5 hours, so we can spend full day in kenai peninsula before we return to ANC. Any suggestions?

3 - Nothing planned as of now. Recommendations?

4 - Drive to Talkeetna. Do a flightseeing tour, then drive to Denali NP

5 - Denali NP: Shuttle bus to wonder lake

6 - Denali NP: Nothing planned. Suggestions?

7 - Drive back to ANC for red eye flight

We have already reserved a rental car for 8 days.
Hotel reservations for 2 nights in Seward and 3 nights in denali is done as well.


I would try and stop by the Alaska SeaLife cetner while in Seward. Also, take the longest possible (6 hour or more) cruise, more time on the water means more chance to spot wildlife.

I would try and drive back to anchorage in early evening, then get to Talkeetna by early afternoon and maybe go fishing if thats your thing. My wife and I fished with Phantom and absolutely loved it. Or you could schedule your flight seeing for afternoon that day, then you could reschedule for next morning if needed due to weather/conditions.

So maybe after your kenai fjords park tour, drive back to Girdwood or Anchorage that evening. Then Drive to Talkeetna the next morning/early afternoon? I regret not doing the Winner Creek Trail in Girdwood. but my wife and I are really into hiking. The Alyeska tram is also cool, but had I known better, personally, I wouldve opted for the winner creek trail instead.

This would get you to talkeetna on the 3rd and 4th as you listed. If you do flight seeing early enough you can still get to Denali NP for a 2:00 to Eielson if you wish. On that bus for our trip we saw the most wildlife, but it does get back fairly late. However, I would spend at least 2 days on the bus. We did 3 and each trip was different.

Lots of free hiking within park. The alpine trail near Eielson is VERY worth the hike up to the top for the veiw. The trails near the entrance are worth while as well. Dont forget you can drive the first 15 miles of the road yourself as well.

These are just my suggestions. I am sure someone like FTI, who is very experienced with Alaska, will pop on and have even better suggestions.
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Old Mar 4, 13, 3:33 pm
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I would not head back to ANC on the 2nd. I'd stay on the Kenai for another day, and either do a glacier cruise out of Whittier (Phillips or Major Marine), or go down to Homer. (Bald eagle capital of the world, and halibut capital of the world. Worth the drive just for the fish tacos at Lands End.)

Kayaking in Resurrection Bay while in Seward is really great, if you like outdoors activity. We and our teenage kids loved it.
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Old Mar 4, 13, 4:18 pm
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Spend the extra day in Anchorage, and visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and maybe shop for some native crafts at the Native Medical Center gift shop. If you don't have time to visit a native community, at least spend an hour or two learning about the rich cultural heritage of Alaska. Alaska is a lot more than moose and mountains.
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Old Mar 5, 13, 8:58 am
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If it were me, I would spend an extra night in Seward if of interest. Lots of things to do/see there - Exit Glacier, Sealife Center, hiking. Otherwise on your way back from Seward to Anchorage consider the Prince William Sound tour from Whittier.

>>6 - Denali NP: Nothing planned. Suggestions?

I would suggest a second day on the shuttle bus. Book both days to Wonder Lake, but decide the day of the trip if you will go all the way there or just get off at Eielson. Some great places within the park to hike.

>>7 - Drive back to ANC for red eye flight

You can see/do alot in Anchorage this day if you leave Denali NP in the morning. Depart about 8am, back in Anchorage 1-2pm. Then you can do some of the things gardyloo mentioned above. Though I somewhat agree with him, there is some truth that Alaska is just 1/2 hour from Anchorage
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Old Mar 5, 13, 7:11 pm
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Thanks guys for your comments.

I'll check if I can extend seward hotel reservation by one more night. Whittier seems like a good option; it is driving distance from anchorage if I cannot extend my stay in seward.

I haven't really done any search about Homer. Let me take a look at it.

I am also trying to include Valdez or Fairbanks in the itinerary, but I guess we don't have enough time for that.
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Old Mar 6, 13, 12:42 pm
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I am not so sure I would include Homer but that is up to you. I certainly would not drive there just to spend one night.

Also, be sure you do some research on Whittier. It is a VERY small place with very limited lodging. If you were going to spend a night somewhere in the area, I would probably choose Girdwood instead.
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Old Mar 17, 13, 9:43 pm
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My family spent 9 days last August, with a very similar itinerary. Some thoughts:

Homer is too little bang for the buck

Take a glacier cruise out of Whittier, if it's a rare sunny day. If not, take the short trip out to the Portage Glacier. If you take the tunnel to Whittier, hike the Portage Pass Trail if you have a a couple of hours to burn.

Matanuska Galcier hike - great way to spend a day.

Seward Sea Life Center, maybe a 1/2 day kayak in Resurrection Bay (we ran into at least a dozen bald eagles, some playful seals, etc. - great time). Don't miss the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center on the way down or back.

In Anchorage - Alaska Native Heritage Center

On the way back from Denali - Reindeer Farm in Palmer, Iditarod HQ in Wasilla - both a nice 60 minute stop.
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Old Mar 18, 13, 3:44 pm
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I like CPRich's ideas, but I disagree to take the glacier cruise from Whittier only if it is a rare sunny day. In fact, if it is cloudy, the glacier ice looks bluer than when it is sunny. Last summer I took two PWS glacier cruises within 10 days of each other. One day was very cool, windy and rainy. It still didn't detract from the great trip. The rain doesn't affect the glaciers or the wildlife you see!
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Old Mar 27, 13, 12:54 pm
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Here is my 8 day trip for July. (2 nights in Denali, 3 nights in Seward and 3 in Anchorage, Travelling with wife and 4 yr old)
Day 1: Arrive 5:30am, Drive to Denali
-Stopover at Talkeetna for Denali grand tour with glacier landing (If weather is good)
-Checkin at Denali Bluffs
-Visit Denali national park/Visitor center till Mile 15. (Mile 9 is Mt. viewpoint)
-Husky Homestead tours

Day 2: Denali National park Tour : 4 hour oneway to Eielson Visitor Center shuttle

Day 3: Drive from Denali to Seward
-Stopover at Talkeetna for Denali grand tour with glacier landing (If missed on day one)

Day 4:Kenai Fjords 7.5 hr National Park Cruise
Spend evening at Resurrection Bay

Day 5:Exit glacier tour
-Alaska Sealife Center
-Dog sled ididaride

Day 6: Drive to Anchorage from Seward with all stopovers
-Exit Glacier Road Turnoff
-Portage Turnoff Mile at Portage Valley Highway/Whittier
-Portage Glacier cruise
-Alaska Wildlife Conservation tour
-Alyeska Resort: Alyeska Aerial Tram to Mt. Alyeska

Day 7: Day trip to Matanuska Glacier
-Visit Independence Mine and Hatcher Pass Summit after Plamer (Only 1.8 miles from Independence mine on unpaved road)
-Musk-Ox farm tour
-Raindeer farm tour

Day 8:-Arctic Valley Road
-Eagle river Natural Center
-Thunderbird Falls
-Eklutna Village and Lake Eklutna
-Local Anchorage sightseeing
-Flattop Mountain Trail Hike?
Return home from midnight flight.
Any suggestions?

Last edited by shreenathji; Mar 27, 13 at 1:35 pm
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Old Mar 28, 13, 6:25 am
  #11  
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Welcome to FT.

I I would definitely not try to drive from Denali National Park to Seward in 1 day with a small child. that goes double if you plan a stop in Talkeetna. also the best time how to make stops between Anchorage and Seward is on the way to Seward since all the pull outs for scenic views are then on the same side of the road.

be prepared to get off the shuttle bus in Denali if your kid gets tired or begins to act up. the bus driver will not stop for wildlife will leave the stop early if there's not absolute quiet on the bus.
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Old Mar 30, 13, 6:44 pm
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Originally Posted by nsquare View Post
Me and my wife and planning our first visit to Alaska this summer. After going through various online forums/sites, I have come up with following itinerary. It is not yet complete, so I'll really appreciate if someone can help me finalize it.

June 29 - arrive to ANC late night

30 - drive to Seward (http://alaska.org/driving/seward-drive.htm)
I don't know if we can cover all places provided in above link. We should be able to cover Potter Marsh, Turnagain Arm, Gridwood, Portage Valley, Exit Glacier.

1 - Kenai Fjordes National Park tour

2 - drive back to ANC
I think this return drive should not take more than 3-3.5 hours, so we can spend full day in kenai peninsula before we return to ANC. Any suggestions?

3 - Nothing planned as of now. Recommendations?

4 - Drive to Talkeetna. Do a flightseeing tour, then drive to Denali NP

5 - Denali NP: Shuttle bus to wonder lake

6 - Denali NP: Nothing planned. Suggestions?

7 - Drive back to ANC for red eye flight

We have already reserved a rental car for 8 days.
Hotel reservations for 2 nights in Seward and 3 nights in denali is done as well.
We had a 1 week trip to Alaska with an itinerary somewhat similar to yours. Please use this link to my trip report for details:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...entures-3.html
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