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.

Would you do this? Thanks :-)

Cherry Hill, New...
Level Contributor
47 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Would you do this? Thanks :-)

This is a draft itinerary for a 2-3 week land trip for 6 adults (3 couples) for late aug/early sept 09. We haven't confirmed any dates yet because we want to plan around the Brooks Lodge reservations. We are aware a lot of places close around September 12th etc and the bears at Katmai are fat and furry in September.

Homer isn't a must. I would consider driving to Valdez and taking the ferry over to Whittier because I'm kind of interested in kayaking the Columbia Glacier, but the others think a 10hr kayak trip might be too long. Maybe we could do the kayak trip in Seward?

What do ya'll think of this plan? Sorry about the CAPS, I cut/paste the following info. This plan is definitely not set in stone so I'm willing to make big changes if necessary.

DAY 1. ANC- TALKEETNA

DAY 2. TALKEETNA (MAYBE STAY 2 NIGHTS USING 2-1 COUPON)- FLIGHTSEEING W/TALKEETNA AERO.

DAY 3. DENALI

DAY 4. DENALI (WONDER LAKE SHUTTLE)

DAY 5. DENALI

DAY 6. FAIRBANKS (RIVER BOAT/SANTA'S HOUSE)

DAY 7. FAIRBANKS (ARCTIC TOUR W/NORTHERNALASKA)

DAY 9. FAIRBANKS- GLACIER VIEW (TUNDRA ROSE BNB) VIA

RICHARDSON HWY

DAY 10. ANC VIA PALMER REINDEERS/OXE FARM

DAY 11. KATMAI (BROOKS LODGE)

DAY 12. KATMAI

DAY 13. KATMAI (VALLEY OF THE 10K SMOKES TOUR)

DAY 14. KATMAI TO GIRDWOOD VIA ANC

DAY 15. GIRDWOOD (TRAM RIDE)

DAY 16. SEWARD

DAY 17. SEWARD (KENAI FJORDS FULL DAY TOUR)

DAY 18. HOMER?

DAY 19. ANC?

DAY 20. HOME?

--

Two couples have already cruised the Inside a few years ago. My hubby and I are cruising this fall and doing a mini land trip to Denali/Mat-Su Valley.

Thanks in advance for any comments/suggestions.

Cherry Hill, New...
Level Contributor
47 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Would you do this? Thanks :-)

Forgot to say, we will probably rent a Suburban and drive around because we think it'll be cheaper than renting 3 rv's, but not sure yet. We will also be purchasing the coupon books.

Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
6,894 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Would you do this? Thanks :-)

Hi Rachel. I assume the reason you have Katmai in the middle is because you're starting your trip so late in the year? Normally I'd recommend not letting your rental vehicle just sit unused for 3 days, unless you get a really good weekly rate. Ask John ("fti") about that--he seems to know how to get the most amazing rental rates.

It would be helpful if you told us what you plan to do at each stop. Homer doesn't fit in if that's all the time you have for it; you'd need at least another day. No point being there for just a few hours.

For example, do you have activities planned all day for Girdwood? If all you intend to do is the tram, no point in staying there all day. I would also move the Kenai Fjords tour up to the first day you're in Seward: if it gets cancelled, you still have another day to try. If you get an extra day by doing that, then you'd have a bit of time for Homer (or Valdez).

Need input!! :-)

Cherry Hill, New...
Level Contributor
47 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Would you do this? Thanks :-)

Hi MM,

Thanks for your willingness to help.

Re: Katmai, we could go at the beginning of the trip if that makes more sense but we don't want to go at the end. (Mainly because the end of a trip means my parents head back to Australia and I head back to TX which results in lots of tears and sadness, so I don't want to be sad during the expected 'highlight' of our trip.. does that make any sense?).

We have read July & September are peak at Katmai so we wanted to be there during September.

The rental is costly so I know leaving it unused may be foolish, but I was thinking we might get a cheaper rate because we are renting for a couple of weeks? Not sure yet, will have to look into it when the 09 rates become available. Unless John has any info up his sleeve already?

Our "want to do" activities/excursions are:

* Wonder Lake shuttle

* Summit flight seeing from Talkeetna

* Arctic Circle day tour

* River discovery cruise

* Kenai Fjord full day tour

* Dog sled ride

* Glacier kayaking

* Reindeer farm/oxe farm

* Aleyska Tram

* Hatchers Pass (if we can drive the rental there, have read different info re: if the road paved or not)

* Harding Ice Field (not a must, hubby and I are hiking Matanuska w/micaguides this year- not sure if HI field will be a little glacier overkill)

* Drive Turnagain Arm

* Drive Anchorage-Seward and stop at Beluga Point etc

* Drive from Fairbanks down the Richardson Hwy because I've read it's beautiful if the weather is good.

* Seward sealife center? I haven't read much about this center yet.

We don't have much interest in mines or goldpanning and I'm not sure we'd find going out to Kennicott/Wrangell worth while?

Thanks again :-)

Ward, AR
Level Contributor
878 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Would you do this? Thanks :-)

Hatcher's Pass road is paved on Palmer side for 17 miles up to Independence mine.

alaskasealife.org - very much recommend a stop here.

Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
6,894 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Would you do this? Thanks :-)

Yup, I’ve also heard that Sept. is good for bear viewing in Katmai. John or someone can better advise you about that.

You didn’t mention anything you wanted to do in Homer. Does that mean you’re not really keen on going there? Would you prefer to spend a day there or in Valdez? The drive to Valdez is supposed to be really scenic, with glaciers, waterfalls, etc. I was looking at a 10-hour Columbia Glacier Kayak & Wildlife Cruise. Is this the one you were talking about: alaskasummer.com/pages/seakayakdaytours.html… If so, it appears as if only 4 hours is kayaking, an hour is for lunch, and the rest getting outfitted and cruising there and back by water taxi. I would assume the water taxi would pause for wildlife sightings (ask the outfitter for sure), so that part would be similar to a wildlife cruise. Did your friends think the 4 hours was too long, or just didn’t want to be on an all-day trip? Would they prefer to go on a wildlife/glacier cruise while you go kayaking? Or do they want to go to Homer?

Anyway, if you’re not going to Homer, you can fit in a day at Valdez if you want to:

Day 9 - Fairbanks to Valdez (364 miles).

Day 10 – Columbia glacier kayaking, 10 hour tour (or other activities for your friends)

Day 11 – Drive to Matanuska Glacier. Lots of stops for pictures along the way. Maybe Ice fall trek in afternoon (2 pm with MICA or 2:30 with Nova). Overnight Tundra Rose B&B.

Day 12 – Drive to Hatcher Pass/Independence Mine? Then Palmer (Reindeer Farm, Musk Ox Farm), then sightsee Anchorage

Day 13 to 15 - Katmai (Brooks Lodge, also Valley of 10,000 Smokes tour)

Day 16 – Katmai to Girdwood via Anchorage. Tram ride if weather clear (otherwise try again tomorrow).

Day 17 – morning in/near Girdwood? Scenic drive to Seward incl. Portage Glacier Visitor Center, Wildlife Conservation Center.

Day 18 – Seward (Kenai Fjords full day cruise--if cancelled, do tomorrow)

Day 19 – Seward – SeaLife Center, Exit Glacier/Harding Icefield, Ididaride or Godwin Glacier sled dog tour.

Day 20 – early morning drive to Anchorage, sightsee Anchorage (eg: Native Heritage Center, zoo, Earthquake Park, Pt. Woronzoff, floatplanes on Lake Hood, Alaska Wildberry, hike/bike part of Tony Knowles Trail, etc.) Late flight home (or if you have an early morning flight home, drive to Anc. in the evening of day 19 and sightsee Anchorage on day 12).

If none of you want to ice trek on Matanuska (you'll have already done it this year), likely the others will still want to stop for pictures, and to walk on it a bit. You can still overnight there, or drive on to Hatcher Pass. That will give you more time in Anchorage the next day.

Regarding Wrangell-St. Elias, again, you don't have time for a visit. What you might do, though, is flightsee the park from Glennallen, especially if your flightseeing of Denali was cancelled due to bad weather.

You have lots of time yet to tinker around with this itinerary. :-)

BTW, before making final plans, be sure to check that all excursions are running that late in September. I think you’ll be okay, but of course we don't know your dates yet.

Cherry Hill, New...
Level Contributor
47 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Would you do this? Thanks :-)

Thanks MM,

I like your ideas!

My Mum is also helping plan the trip and she doesn't think Homer will be interesting because we don't plan on taking a fishing or bear trip from there.

Yep, you found the kayaking tour I was referring to, the pics look beautiful.

Thanks for the suggestions.

7. Re: Would you do this? Thanks :-)

-:- 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: 20 September 2009, 06:24