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Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

Baton ROuge
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Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

Seems like locals and other travelers have given some really good advice. The trip is still developing but this is the general outline thus far.

Background: 3 late twenties/early thirties frineds going to Alaska: Two first timers, one a repeat vistor. Willing to spend some money but more on activies and nature as opposed to Nice hotels, shopping, etc.

Land in Anchorage on August 20th. All from diffrent places but suppose to get in at 7:00 pm. I suggest we eat. Looking at two micro breweries in town. Then to the grocery store for some food supplies. Then we head to Denali where we have already booked 3 nights at the Mountain Morning Hostel. Should be 4-5 hour trip per google.

In Denali we will meet up with another frined working as a raft guide. We will spend 3 days here:

We are planning a white water rafting trip (1st day)

Plannning on all day bus tours/ short hiking off bus (2nd day)

Fightseeing around denali-maybe glacier landing/hike (3rd day)

We also plan on going to a bar across the street from the hostel and I have made reservations for 229 Parks for dinner (is it worth eating there?)

August 24th we will travel south to keni penisula. We will have rented a car for the whole trip by the way.

From here I was thinking about catching a causal lunch in anchorage and heading south of town to hike the Flattop Moutian trail 1.5 miles maybe two hours. leave by 300pm

Try to make it to whitter for 5:00pm for a 5 hour sea kayak tour.

and ethier staying in whitter or heading to steward for the night.

On the 25-27 we have a three day camping/fly fishing trip scheduled with guide one of us knows. These dates have been set. We originally wanted a trip on the kenia river but we have asked about a more remote fly out fishing trip. He still does not know if he can give us this still waiting on the details and of course the will effect the trip.

The 28th we will have a day to travel to homer/steward

to hang out ideas on the table are:

Bearing viewing expensive but on my fav list not sure I can persuade the others

A whole day cruise in the sound.

steward wild life center/exit glacier

Drive up to see protage glaicer/hike

Maybe a halibut charter/homer and the split but that may be to much fishing.

Open to suggestions here!

On the 29 we have to drop one person at the airport.

May catch some food and the Native American Hertiage Museum and some rest at hostel.

Then at night can't decide if we should watch some jam bands and drink beer our last night or go classy and go to girwood and eat at seven glaciers: What do you think???

Then the 30th (Aug) our trip is over.

Any suggestions anything I am missing in terms of activies I really should do.

Thanks In advance for the help.

Chip

Bristol, Connecticut
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1. Re: Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

I think getting into Anchorage and leaving for Denali in the same night is a stretch. The ride is 5+ hours and it will be dark out by the time you arrive. Figure an hour to get out of the airport and an hour to eat plus a 1/2 hour for shopping and I would be surprised if you make Denali by 3am. Maybe just drive to Wasilla and then head for Denali in the morning. There is a pretty good Brewery in Wasilla (Great Bear but I think it has a new name)and it is right next door to a Carrs/Safeway grocery store.

Are you planning on driving from Denali to Anchorage having lunch, hiking Flattop and then doing a 5 hour kayak trip and trying to get to Seward to spend the evening all in the same day? It seems like a lot to do in one day, you may miss out on some of the sights as you speed on by.

If I were you I would hang out in Anchorage on your last night and enjoy some of the local favorites, Koots, Humpy's and Glacier Brewhouse come to mind. Maybe you could fit a tram ride in during another part of your trip.

Edited: 15 June 2012, 14:41
fti
MN
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2. Re: Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

Welcome to TA.

If you are arriving at 7pm at the airport you won't even get your car until 8pm. Then you need to shop - that is 9pm or later. It is almost always 5 hours to Denali and it will be getting dark that time of year so you have a greater chance of seeing moose on the road. You certainly don't want to hit one. You won't be getting to Denali until 3-4am if you stick to your (poor) plan.

Also, if you are coming from different places, chances are greater that one will have issues with flight delays. Lastly, if you spend the night and rent the car off-airport the next morning there is a good chance you will save a significant amount of money (more than the cancellation fee at the hostel for the one night).

If you have three nights in Denali, the first one means arriving at 3-4am. That means Aug 21 is your rafing, Aug 22 is your shuttle bus, Aug 23 (your departure day?) is your flightseeing. But Aug 23 is also your departure day. Do you plan to do the flightseeing from Talkeetna? Actually if you drive on Aug 21 to Denali you can schedule the flightseeing for that day. That way if it gets canceled you have a 2nd chance on Aug 23. If you only allow yourself Aug 23 and the weather cancels you out, you totally miss out on it.

If bears are a priority for you, I don't understand why you are not taking a second trip on the shuttle bus into the park. Denali by far is the least expensive best place to see bears in Alaska. Earlier this month we saw a bear and cub cross the road in front of our bus. But it doesn't happen every day. Two or three trips into the park is always better.

>>We also plan on going to a bar across the street from the hostel and I have made reservations for 229 Parks for dinner (is it worth eating there?)

229 Parks is a really nice restaurant, though not cheap.

>>August 24th we will travel south to keni penisula. We will have rented a car for the whole trip by the way.

This kind of makes me think you are not really planning on driving to Denali the day you arrive??

>>From here I was thinking about catching a causal lunch in anchorage and heading south of town to hike the Flattop Moutian trail 1.5 miles maybe two hours. leave by 300pm. Try to make it to whitter for 5:00pm for a 5 hour sea kayak tour.

The tunnel to Whittier is only open once an hour on the 1/2 hour. You really can't count on the 4.30pm tunnel for a 5pm tour. So you need to be at the tunnel by 3.30pm meaning you need to leave Anchorage by 2.30pm or a bit earlier.

>>and ethier staying in whitter or heading to steward for the night.

I would suggest driving to Girdwood for the night. The drive is very scenic between Anchorage and Seward and you will already be missing some of the stops if you hike Flattop on Aug 24. You don't want to be driving late at night along this road.

>>The 28th we will have a day to travel to homer/steward

With so little time I would not go to Homer.

>>Bearing viewing expensive but on my fav list not sure I can persuade the others

I would extend my time in Denali by a day or take a shuttle bus on Day 1 and do the rafting that evening.

>>A whole day cruise in the sound.

Do this in Seward - a 6 hour Kenai Fjords tour. Excellent use of time and money. Great wildlife and glacier viewing. But it is not in the sound it is in Resurrection Bay and the bays off the Gulf of Alaska.

Which hostel in Anchorage are you staying in?

>>Then at night can't decide if we should watch some jam bands and drink beer our last night or go classy and go to girwood and eat at seven glaciers: What do you think???

Personally if you are in Anchorage already I would not drive to Girdwood just to eat. There are lots of nice restaurants in Anchorage.

>>Then the 30th (Aug) our trip is over.

When on Aug 29 and 30 do people fly out? Can you do the Flattop hike on one of these days so you can get to Whittier earlier for the tunnel and the kayaking?

Baton ROuge
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3. Re: Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

Thanks for the help

We will be renting the car the whole trip from anchorage:

1 we should get the car off the airport in order to save money correct?

Yes I am trying to pack to much into the trip because I want to do so much but you are right I need to slow down.

The three days at Denali can be switched. Since our friend is our raft guide we can go any day. I think our tour will be a long one over the bigger rapids as opposed to smoother water.

I understand it will be late before we get to denali, but is it possible for us to make it safely at night? I will have a crazy sleep schedule to work so staying up late won't kill me. I work shift work.

We could schedule the flight seeing trip on the 21, the bus ride the 22/ short hike, and on the 23 we could do the rafting with the dinner at 229 parks. This way we could have a little lee way on flight seeing.

Ok you are right trying to do to much maybe we will just drive on the 24th early in the am and stop in anchorage and just hang out and eat and then head to whitter for a 5pm kayak ride. Then prepare for the fishing trip.

On the 28th I am thinking about going to steward for cruise plus exit glacier trip.

then on the 29 we have to be in anchorage to drop off one member at the airport. Maybe that day we will go to Flattop trail and Native American Museum. Then hang out and eat in anchorage and listen to some bands.

Go any suggestions for good music/microbrewery restaurant in anchorage

I am think that seven glacier is cool but not really what we what to do.

New England
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4. Re: Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

From the original post it seems as if the first night is already booked at Denali Mountain Morning Hostel which would indicate you plan to drive that distance anyway. Spacefry and fti gave you lots of good reasons why that is not an great idea but only you know if you are willing to deal with the cancellation policy of the hostel. Also, have you checked with them about your late arrival?? When we stayed there it was pretty clear what the hours are for check-in though they may leave a key for you. I would certainly check if you still plan on making that drive on your arrival. And even though you do shift work don't forget the time difference also needs to be figured in.

And just an FYI -- the town on the Kenai is Seward, not Steward.

Baton ROuge
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5. Re: Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

actually we are going to go with your ideas we are going to drive up toward Denali but stay somewhere on the way up maybe halfway. Anyway any suggestions for stopping places? Maybe a little further the Wasilla?

Our reservations for the hostel are for the 21st so there is now problem there.

I scratched the hike on the 24th. We just need to be in Whitter by 4pm. If we leave at 600 pm on the 24th I don't think this will be a problem.

Baton ROuge
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6. Re: Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

I checked prices on the 229 Parks and it seems like a great place and while kind of high prices its not crazy to me to pay 75 bucks for app, salad, meal.

fti
MN
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7. Re: Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

The cancel/change fee at the hostel is 10% with a fairly small minimum so that is not an issue. Also, they leave check-in info for you if you arrive late.

I understand that you want to pack a lot into a short time but in Alaska less is almost always more. With you rushing around like you initially suggested, you get to see a lot of Alaska roads and beds. Shift work or not, you need time to sleep so you can enjoy the sights. Do you really think traveling from all over the US, meeting at 7pm, arriving into Denali at 3am will be a great way to start your trip? It sounds like you realized that it is not, which is good.

You might consider driving as far as Talkeetna (2 hours) on 20 August. Then you can do the flightseeing the morning of 21 August and drive thereafter to Denali. You can pick up your shuttle bus tickets for the next day, drive the first 15 miles of the park road, see the visitor center exhibits and film, maybe even hike Mt. Healy Overlook or hike the Savage River Loop.

Can you give a recap of your tentative itinerary day-by-day? I think we are losing the overview with you giving various dates for various activities. Plus these confuse me:

>>I scratched the hike on the 24th. We just need to be in Whitter by 4pm. If we leave at 600 pm on the 24th I don't think this will be a problem.

Are you talking about time travel or ???

Also, where does the camping/fishing trip start from on 25 August?

Edited: 15 June 2012, 23:04
Baton ROuge
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8. Re: Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

Day One (aug 20th): we will meet at airport: We should already have a car lined up not thru airport. We pick up some food and head towards Denali but will stop that night possibly in Talkeetna for the night.

Day Two (aug 21) The next day we could try to flight see (K2) out of Talkeentna or just head to Denali to meet up with our friend who is working there and get settled in to hostel which is booked for 21,22 and 23rd already.

Day three (Aug 22) We plan on going into the park early for shuttle. We think we might need to buy these in advance as not to miss out on the early shuttles. Bar and food at night

Day four (Aug 23) Friend will take us white water rafting for most of the day and Dinner we will go to 229 parks to eat Reservation already made

Day five: (Aug 24) Wake up early 430 pm and travel to anchorage and get some lunch. Then travel to Whitter be there by 4pm in order to kayak. Still looking for a place to stay. Thinking at this point the hostel in Girwood or somewhere in cooper's landing any suggestions??/

Day Six thru eight (August 25-27) Travel to Kenai river to meet guide maybe 2 hour ride to get there. Camp out with guide and fly fish three days

Day Nine:(Aug 28) We need to find a shuttle so one of us can be at the airport for 11pm in anchorage. We are thinking about going to seward. Catch the Marie wild life site-exit galcier or maybe a half day cruise.

alt. Might be to go to homer and do a flight seeing in Katmai National Park.

Day 10 (Aug 29th) head to anchorage maybe bike ride/hike flattop moutian/or Native Hertiage Museum. In the night go out to eat and watch some music in the Humpy's or the Tap Root. stay at Spenard Hostel International.

Fly out the Morning of the 30th.

Baton ROuge
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9. Re: Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

The 24th will be travel time mostly with a short Kayak trip to cap the day. We are kind of still waiting to hear from the guide on what we are doing. At first is was 3 days on the Kenai river located about 2 hours north of Homer. We asked for a more Remote fly out for out and we are still waiting to see if he can do that. If so it will effect where we stay on the night of the 24th. If we are doing the kenai trip we will stay in Girwood hostel and drive 2 hours or so to Kenai the morning of the 25th. If it's the fly out we need to drive a little further that night to cut the drive down in the am.

10. Re: Alaska Trip: Suggestions on our trip ideas:

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