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Very short trip to Anchorage

Very short trip to Anchorage

Old Dec 17, 16, 10:25 pm
  #1  
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Very short trip to Anchorage

I need to visit Alaska to complete my bucket list item "Visit all 50 States".

It seems that you arrive late and leave just after midnight with most flights on offer.

I will be doing LAX-ANC-SEA in August.

Any help gratefully appreciated as to Hotel booking 1 day and best flight options. I am fine with Delta, AA or Alaskan.

I will be 66 when I travel and not looking for too much adventure
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Old Dec 18, 16, 7:40 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Lonely Flyer View Post
I need to visit Alaska to complete my bucket list item "Visit all 50 States".

It seems that you arrive late and leave just after midnight with most flights on offer.

I will be doing LAX-ANC-SEA in August.

Any help gratefully appreciated as to Hotel booking 1 day and best flight options. I am fine with Delta, AA or Alaskan.

I will be 66 when I travel and not looking for too much adventure
Not much adventure involved; it entails sitting on an ordinary 737 for 5 1/2 hours (LAX) or 3 hours (SEA.) Only Alaska and American fly LAX-ANC nonstop in the summer; you'll have more choice on ANC-SEA. And there are southbound departures from Anchorage throughout the day, not just overnight.

How long would you have in Anchorage? If you took the morning Alaska flight from LAX you'd arrive in the early afternoon, and if you took a redeye back to Seattle you'd have up to 35 hours on the ground. That would be enough time to do a couple of things, for example get a car and drive down the incomparable Seward Highway to the curious little town of Whittier, from which you could take a day cruise visiting numerous tidewater glaciers in Prince William Sound. You could spend the night in Girdwood, in a beautiful little valley off the same highway, and ride a gondola up Mt. Alyeska for stunning views of the Chugach Mountains and Turnagain Arm.

Or pop for a flightseeing trip on a float plane from Lake Hood, the world's largest seaplane base, right next to ANC - maybe see Denali, or fly over glaciers and icefields, or across Cook Inlet to volcano and bear country... lots of options.

Hotels in Anchorage are expensive in the summer due to tourist pressures; and while cars are pricey too, having a car will let you spend less on hotels because you can stay outside the high-priced downtown area.

Regarding the flights, you want to sit on the east side of the plane in both directions for good views of the mountains en route. The last 15 minutes or so of the northbound flight are among the most scenic minutes you'll have from an airplane, as you descend over the Chugach Mountains into ANC.
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Old Dec 19, 16, 5:33 am
  #3  
fti
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Sounds like you will have one full day to explore. I would second Gardyloo's suggestion of renting a car and heading south of Anchorage to Girdwood/Turnagain Arm. Lots of things to do/explore. Girdwood has the tram. You can also hike he Winner Creek Trail to the hand tram, which is quite unique. If you don't want to do too much walking (it is relatively flat, but probably 1-2 miles each way), you can drive to the western trailhead on Crow Creek Mine Road and then it is only about 1/2-3/4 mile to the hand tram. You pull yourself across the gorge in the tram or others on either side pull you.

There is some gold panning available in this area too. The pay dirt is seeded but it is fun and gives you an idea of how things are done. Indian Creek Mine is less expensive and a bit less touristy than Crow Creek Mine.

The Wildlife Conservation Center is a bit further down the road where you can see quite a bit of wildlife (in captivity since they are injured or orphaned).

You can continue a bit further down Turnagain Arm to the Portage Glacier area. A nice flat walk to Byron Glacier allows you to see a glacier up close. If you are interested in seeing even more glaciers you can take an afternoon glacier cruise from Whittier. That would take up your afternoon. You need to go through the 2 mile long one-lane tunnel that is shared with trains and is only open 15 minute in each direction. 26 Glaciers or Major Marine are the two vendors for this.

Lots of options to do things in this area - way more than the time allotted!
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