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Our first trip to Alaska

Hoofddorp, The...
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63 posts
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Our first trip to Alaska

I just discovered this site just by accident and I wish I had seen it before. For we (my friend and I) are leaving for Alaska the day after tomorrow. We will be flying to Anchorage and the next day (monday) we will pick up our RV in the afternoon. It's our first time in Alaska and our first trip by RV. We've been in Canada twice and had a great time, now we wanted to see the North ;-)

Our itinerary is as follows:

day 1: Anchorage

day 2: Drive to Talkeetna

day 3: Drive to Denali NP

day 4: Wilderniss Wildlife tour at Denali

day 5: Drive to Fairbanks

day 6: Arctic Circle Fly/Drive to Coldfoot

day 7: Drive to Tok

day 8: Drive to Dawson City

day 9: Day off Dawson City

day 10: Drive to Whitehorse

day 11: Drive to Haines Junction

day 12: Drive to Burwash landing

day 13: Drive to Tok

day 14: Drive to Valdez

day 15: Valdez cruise Prince William Sound

day 16: Drive to Anchorage

day 17: Flight back to Amsterdam

I'm so excited!!! (I always am when I'm going on vacation.) I'd love to see Moose because that's the only animal I haven't seen yet. Last time in Canada we even saw young bears...but no moose ;-)

We hope the weahter will be fine (no rain please) but I read that rain is very common in Alaska in August. We will just bring our rainsuits. Please let us know if there are things along our trip we definately shouldn't miss!

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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1. Re: Our first trip to Alaska

Welcome to Trip Advisor.

If at all possible, on Day 4 cancel the tour (Tundra Wilderness Tour? - they should give you a refund) and book a SHUTTLE BUS. Right when you arrive at Denali on Day 3 check at the Wilderness Access Center and see what shuttle buses are available. It costs 1/3 of the tour and goes further into the park. Wonder Lake is best but Fish Creek is still 10 miles further than you would get on the tour.

Also, on day 2 or the morning of day 3 (try both) if you are interested, consider a flightseeing tour of Denali. Several companies offer it. It is pricey - about $200-$250/person. But it gets great reviews.

Enjoy your trip.

John

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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2. Re: Our first trip to Alaska

I agree with John . . . take the shuttle bus rather than the tour bus when you get to Denali and go out as far as you can. It has been raining, but today and yesterday were gorgeous here, so we can remain hopeful.

Quite an adventurous trip . . . seeing lots of Northern Canada as well, which will be fun. Too bad you won't be seeing the Kenai Peninsula, which is great. I guess you'll just have to plan on returning to Alaska. I am sure you'll see moose - I see them almost every day. Have a great trip and let us know how it all went for you when you return. We call them trip reports here on TA. :)

Alaska
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3. Re: Our first trip to Alaska

Welcome, Happy Rabbit,. The first two postings gave good advice. Your itinerary sounds 'typically European'. I have known quite a few Europeans who do that route and come back quite happy. It covers more distance than most Americans take, but then there is the joy of our open roads and driving a big vehicle with little traffic.

Don't worry about the Kenai, as said, you can always come back. You are seeing parts that 99% of the posters here do not attempt to see.

One of my guests a month ago was disappointed. In two weeks she only saw 8 moose.

You are covering a broad range of latitude (north to south, so you will see quite a change in climate in August with heat in the interior and cool in the mountains.

Enjoy!

71

Hoofddorp, The...
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4. Re: Our first trip to Alaska

Thanks so much for the advice!!! The Denali tour is included and we've already payed. Do you think that we can get a refund and / or switch to the regular shuttle buses? It would be great to get off the bus and do some hinikng when the weather is fine.

And yes, our tour might be very "European". Lots of tour operators in Europe offer this round trip. We adjusted it only a little.

When we will have a great time we will probably come back and then we can plan our own trip day by day. This website will be a great help!

Lincoln, NE
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5. Re: Our first trip to Alaska

If you get the opportunity drive to Chena Hot Springs on day 5. It is about an hour drive and we saw tons of moose near the road and could stop and see them. They were in streams, lakes and just browsing along the road. We saw bulls, cows and babies. We did this in August. Have a great trip.

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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15,557 posts
28 reviews
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6. Re: Our first trip to Alaska

People on cruisetours who have the tours pre-booked have been able to get a refund. But... even if you can't get a refund, look at it this way - for $35 or so per person more you GREATLY enhance your Denali experience and who knows when you will be back. $35 in light of the total cost of your trip is peanuts.

Do all you can to book a shuttle bus to Wonder Lake. Especially if the weather is nice you won't regret it. If the weather is bad when you start out, don't fret. Very often it gets better as you go - 90 miles is a long way over the mountain roads inside Denali.

Have a great trip.

John

7. Re: Our first trip to Alaska

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