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What to do, what to do...

Maryville, TN
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What to do, what to do...

So here is my situation..

My Fiance and I have taken a week off of work from June 5th-June 12 to basically go on vacation. We are spending June 5-June 8 in Los Angeles, however, we are wanting to make this a "multi-trip" trip. So i'm having a hard time deciding between my other two options: Glacier National Park in Montana or Denali.

Last summer I spent a week in Glacier National Park and fell in love with it. My fiance wasn't able to go with me last year so she's never been and I would love to show it to her. However, neither one of us has ever been to Alaska. The only problem I am having is whether or not we will have enough time to really enjoy Alaksa.

Our flight from LA to Anchorage would be leaving June 8th around 9 PM and getting into Anchorage around 1:30 am, then we would have to drive 4+ hours that morning to get to Denali, so a good portion of the first day is gone (even though I'm sure the drive is amazing). Leaving to come back home would make us leave Anchorage around 11PM June 11th, so basically have all day the 9th, 10th and basically all the 11th to do stuff in Denali.

Flying in to Fairbanks is just to expensive, even though I know it's much close to Denali than Anchorage.

Can someone help me out. Would this be worth the time/money to go to Alaska with such short time? Alaska to me seems like a place you would spend 7-10 days at.

We love hiking, being outdoors, viewing wildlife, fishing and all that good stuff so Alaska is obviously the right place for that.

Could someone who is very familiar with the Denali area list somethings we could possibly do in these three days? I know doing the bus tour would be one but what else is there to do?

Thanks guys!

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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1. Re: What to do, what to do...

Welcome to the forum.

I think you miscalculated when you said:

>>basically have all day the 9th, 10th and basically all the 11th to do stuff in Denali.

If you arrive at 1.30am into Anchorage on June 9th, you need to shop in Anchorage or Wasilla for groceries. You won't get to Denali until noon on Jun 9th even if you get little or no sleep. That is not "all day" on the 9th.

Then if your flight is about 11pm on the 11th, you need to be at the airport by 9pm. Summers are crazy at the airport. Figure 5 hours from Denali to Anchorage and you are looking at leaving by 4pm. Another "not all day" day.

So you have one full day in the park (June 10th). You might get a shuttle to Toklat on June 11th, but wow. To go all that way for one full day in the park would be a shame. I will be at Denali that exact timeframe. I will be there for four nights and even then I feel like I am hardly doing it justice.

It is a good 5 hours from Anchorage to Denali each way when you consider a two-lane road, slow RV's, construction, stopping for photos if the weather is good, etc.

Do yourselves a huge favor and save Denali for a time when you can really enjoy it. I love Denali and have gone there myself for just a couple of days in the spring. But it wasn't my first time there and I flew for $10 round trip using miles.

Edited: 12 February 2011, 16:18
haines, alaska
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2. Re: What to do, what to do...

Re: "Alaska to me seems like a place you would spend 7-10 days at"

Well there are some of us out here who would rephrase that to "Alaska to me seems like a place you would want to spend your life at".......

Given the cost to get here and the long drive to Denali (both ways) it really seems like you would not get a real vacation or do justice to a visit to Denali..... To me your your four days could be better used on a more a relaxing trip to Glacier National Park.....come back to Alaska when you have 2 or more weeks of vacation saved up......you'll be glad for the extra time.......

3. Re: What to do, what to do...

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Removed on: 27 April 2011, 08:45
New England
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4. Re: What to do, what to do...

Another vote for "not enough time for Alaska."

Since you will be in CA what about going to Yosemite? Have either of you been there? Since you are talking about flying somewhere from LA, you could fly to San Francisco (a city that I love much more than LA but that is just my opinion) and drive out to Yosemite for a few nights.

Maryville, TN
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5. Re: What to do, what to do...

Yea, thought about Yosemite but it just doesn't have the wildlife that I really want to see. I live next to the Smokies so Black Bears aren't anything exciting for us.

Love to hike and see brown bears, wolves, elk, moose, etc. Econically it would be smart but looks like Glacier at this point is the better option.

6. Re: What to do, what to do...

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Removed on: 27 April 2011, 08:46
Estero, Florida
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7. Re: What to do, what to do...

…photobucket.com/albums/…

Yellowstone is where you want to go but you could easily spend 2 weeks there like we did and still not have time to do everything you want to. We have travelled a bit in Alaska over the years and love it but there is nowhere this side of Africa that has the density of wildlife that Yellowstone does. Flying in and out of Jackson puts you right at their doorstep.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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8. Re: What to do, what to do...

I spent two summers working in and hiking all over Glacier National Park - I would take her there . . . come to Denali for your honeymoon. :)

Cedar City, UT
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9. Re: What to do, what to do...

I spent a month camping in Alaska, 4 days of it in Denali, and know that I've barely had a whiff so cannot imagine traveling that far for a couple of days. You would probably find it more frustrating than satisfying, to have so little time to see such wonder.

Happy Trails

Florida
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10. Re: What to do, what to do...

Ditto ~ save Alaska for when you have a minimum of 10 ~ 14 days and even that will just scratch the surface. Glacier is beautiful as is Yellowstone ~ I particularly like staying in Cooke City, MT. as this is the NE entrance, less traffic and great access to the most wildlife. Another beautiful area is Jackson Hole although Jackson itself is very commercial but there are lots of other places to stay in the general vicinity..If you loved Glacier you most likely would love Dubois, WY. where you can hike and find petroglyphs. Of course since you will be in LA two other considerations would be Yosemite is right there and (horrors) the San Jose del Cabo and Loreto in the Baja are safe and a wonderful trip