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Denali to Matanuska

Melbourne, Australia
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79 posts
3 reviews
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Denali to Matanuska

I would appreciate some advice on driving times please... We will be staying in Healy in early Sept for a few nights then driving to Matanuska Glacier where I am hoping to book onto a 4pm hike with Mica. How early would you recommend we leave? We can drive straight through if we need to, although if we are making good time looks like there are a few possible stops along the way. I believe the Palmer state fair will also be on? Is this something we could go in and have a look at some of the produce for a short time or is it an all-day affair? Thanks

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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15,546 posts
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1. Re: Denali to Matanuska

I drove from Palmer to Denali last June in just under 7 hours with a couple of stops, mainly the Denali South Viewpoint for an extended period of time. It is an extra hour from Palmer to Matanuska. We had about a 20-30 minute construction delay and I would definitely expect some of that next summer - they are already warning about it for next summer on the Parks Highway.

So if you want a 4pm glacier hike, I would recommend leaving by 7am. That gives you up to 9 hours to make the drive with stops.

Melbourne, Australia
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79 posts
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2. Re: Denali to Matanuska

OK thanks fti. I might look at the possiblity of a hike the following morning instead so we don't need to rush. I didnt' realise it would take quite that long!

Bristol, Connecticut
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3. Re: Denali to Matanuska

Why don't you drive from Denali and do the fair and then the next day do the hike. The fair is open until 9 or so depending on the day of the week and you can take as much or as little time as you want.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Denali to Matanuska

Thanks Spacefry, that does sound like a better plan time-wise. I was originally thinking that the light would be better in the afternoon on the glacier for photos hence the 4pm but no point racing past the other sights to get there!

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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15,546 posts
28 reviews
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5. Re: Denali to Matanuska

I always plan longer for driving than I expect.

I think doing the glacier hike the next morning is great.

6. Re: Denali to Matanuska

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