We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Local Expert &/or "Been there-done that trip suggestions"

NE Pa.
Level Contributor
51 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Local Expert &/or "Been there-done that trip suggestions"

My wife & I are in our early 60's & are planning what will most likely be our "one & only" trip to Alaska. We have 16 days to experience as much as possible of this magnificent state. Here is a tentative itinerary I have put together after reading many posts on this website. We want to try to do as much as possible at a somewhat relaxed pace! Any comments will be appreciated!

6/05/08 Arrive Anchorage 1PM---Pick up RV & head to the Palmer area.

6/06/08 Spend morning in Palmer then head to Tek campground in Denali Park.

6/07/08 Denali sightseeing.

6/08/08 Denali sightseeing

6/09/08 Head to Riley Creek campground for sightseeing in that area.

6/10/08 Riley Creek to Fairbanks.

6/11/08 Fairbanks (sightseeing in Fairbanks)

6/12/08 Fairbanks to Copper Center.

6/13/08 Copper Center to Alyeska.

6/14/08 Spend morning in Alyeska then on to Seward.

6/15/08 Seward (sightseeing)

6/16/08 Seward (sightseeing cruise)

6/17/08 Seward to Soldotna (Explore that area for the remainder of the day)

6/18/08 Morning in Soldotna then on to Homer

6/19/08 Homer (bear viewing tour)

6/20/08 Homer to Cooper Landing (Explore Cooper Landing area in the afternoon)

6/21/08 Cooper Landing to Anchorage to return RV before 10AM. Transfer to a hotel near the train station.

6/22/08 Take train for day trip to Whittier & do a PWS cruise.

6/23/08 Hotel to airport for trip home with an abundance of WONDERFUL MEMORIES!!!!

Bristol, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
4,504 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Local Expert &/or "Been there-done that trip suggestions"

Just one thought. You are driving to Soldotna from Seward have you thought about driving all the way to Homer so you could book your bear viewing for the 18th, this would give you a couple days leeway if your bear viewing plans are curtailed due to weather. I know that this happens quite a lot and it would give you the max time to get the trip in since you do not have to be back to Anchorage until the 21st. Then if you are able to bear view on the 18th you could always stop in Soldotna on the way back.

Ward, AR
Level Contributor
878 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Local Expert &/or "Been there-done that trip suggestions"

great job on your itinerary. do agree with spacefry on the extra time at Homer. when we were there, bear trips had been cancelled due to rain for 3-4 days just before we arrived. just a couple of ideas for places you're already going. since you've already done alot of homework here you may already know about these.

Palmer area-drive to independence mine on Hatchers Pass Rd. nice views of valley area, old working mine and the Little Susitna river. if it's a clear day on your drive to Denali, a stop in at Talkeetna at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge for a great view of Denali, Mt Hunter and Mt Foraker from their back deck viewing area. Talkeetna's a neat little town for a side trip. Denali natnl park -Denalioutdoorcenter.com has a scenic raft trip down the Nenana River. very pretty views and informative info on area and some geology info as well. While at Copper center, a side trip to the Wrangell/St Elias visitor center for their very nice film. shows at the top of each hour. stop at Matanuska Glacier in city of Chickaloon for photo. Chair 5 in Girdwood was a favorite place of ours to eat while on peninsula. Sealife Center in Seward. when in Soldotna area, hop over to city of Kenai for a beach walk. Public access sign in town leads to beautiful view and beachcombing. don't forget to take the binoculars on your upcoming great trip!

Alaska
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
1,786 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Local Expert &/or "Been there-done that trip suggestions"

I will add my vote for a well done itinerary. When you go to Palmer and hopefully Hatcher Pass/Independence Gold Mine, you may not want tod rive the 60 miles out on the Willow Road tot he Parks Highway, even though that will save you many miles. It is all gravel. Ask teh people you rent from, and then ask people coming IN from that direction about the condition of the road. If you come back toward Palmer, you can cut off on the Wasilla-Fishhook road for the shortest way to Wasilla and the highway (Parks) north. It is a twisty residential road.

If you don't feel like taking the 13 miles in adn again out to see Talkeetna, then seriously consider stopping at Denali North pullout for a break and a spectacular view of the mountains and glaciers to the west. On a clear day, of course!

I am happy you are headed up to Fairbanks and Copper Center, you will see a lot of beauty that too many people pass by. I have some other write-ups on that highway scattered on this forum, along with some of the areas to be sure to drive by in the Fairbanks area.

The recommendation to take the best weather the soonest it comes to you for bear watching is great advice! Don't gamble on the next day being better if it is not strongly predicted to be so. My first tourist flight of Denali was on a day with 7-8000 foot ceilings. The next day there were no flights. The flight knocked my socks off for spectacular beauty, even though I flew around Alaska a lot on the job.

Great! Good to hear you are headed this way - it seems with a good plan and a good attitude!

71

Bristol, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
4,504 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Local Expert &/or "Been there-done that trip suggestions"

Just to add a little about Hatcher Pass. I do not think that driving the road to Wasilla will even be an issue since generally the pass is not open until late June into early July. I have been up there on July 4th and the pass has not been open. You will have no problems seeing the mines and the beauty from the Palmer side and then heading back out the way you came in.

NE Pa.
Level Contributor
51 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Local Expert &/or "Been there-done that trip suggestions"

I just wanted to thank those who responded to my post. The suggestions are much appreciated & very helpful. I was able to get my "bear viewing" flight in Homer rescheduled from the 18th to the 17th. Since the "bear viewing" is very important to us having an extra day to pull it off is a great idea.

I want to leave a bit a flexibilty built into the trip but at the same time have everything pre-booked where early booking is necessary. Up to this point I have our flights to Alaska, RV, & bear viewing tour BOOKED!

A couple of other concerns I have are related to Denali Park! I'm guessing that I will have to reserve the Tek campground well in advance! Also, being in a 31ft. RV I was wondering what day or days would a flightseeing tour of Mount McKinley be a viable option. Once I get myself to the Tek campground in Denali I'm guessing I'll be pretty much "hunkered down" there for as least two days.

Thanks again,

Tim

6. Re: Local Expert &/or "Been there-done that trip suggestions"

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 13 September 2009, 05:26