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.

Trip Planning early June 2009

OK
Level Contributor
222 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Trip Planning early June 2009

I’m in the process of planning a family vacation to Alaska for early June, 2009. We are a 50ish couple and two young adults ages 18 and 20. Unfortunately, our travel time is limited by the beginning of summer school classes on Monday, June 8.

Here is my tentative itinerary;

Sat, 5/30: arrive Anchorage, spend night Anchorage

Sun, 5/31: Drive to Denali, stopping for flightseeing in Talkeetna, spend night Healy

Mon, 6/1: Shuttle to Eielson, spend night in Healy

Tue, 6/2: rafting at Denali?, flightseeing in Talkeetna if previously canceled, spend night Anchorage

Wed, 6/3: Drive to Seward, Sealife Center, Exit Glacier, spend night Seward

Thur, 6/4: Kenja Fjords cruise, spend night Seward

Fri, 6/5: Drive to Whittier, PWS Glacier Cruise, return to Seward and spend night

Sat, 6/6: return to Anchorage for the night

Sun, 6/7: fly home

I would like to do as little packing and moving of luggage as possible without having to drive unreasonable distances each day. Two or three base locations?

Is Anchorage the best place to spend the night on Tue, 6/2?

Sat, 6/6 is basically open. The idea is to return to Anchorage for a flight the next day. Do we have time to drive to Soldotna? Or, perhaps, a kayak trip from Seward before returning to Anchorage?

We could reverse the schedule, going to Denali last, if that would be better.

Please make suggestions for modifications to the itinerary – I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with the number of choices!

Thanks for all your helpful information on this forum!

Mentioned in this post
Alaska
Alaska
United States
Denali
Denali
2,185 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Healy
Healy
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Seward
Seward
Alaska
Alaska SeaLife Center
Alaska SeaLife Center
2,675 Reviews
Seward, AK
Exit Glacier
Exit Glacier
671 Reviews
Kenai Fjords National Park, AK
Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
6,894 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Trip Planning early June 2009

Hi. What time Sunday does your flight leave for home?

Doesn't make much sense to drive all the way back to Seward from Whittier, which is only an hour from Anchorage.

Was there any specific reason you wanted to go to Soldotna? It's rather out of the way, and I'd suggest spending more time enjoying the places you already plan to be.

What length is the Kenai Fjords tour? And yes, if you'd like to kayak, Seward is a great place to do that.

Are you interesting in hiking on a glacier? What about fishing?

Need input!

Mentioned in this post
Seward
Seward
Alaska
Kenai Fjords Tours
Kenai Fjords Tours
3,746 Reviews
Seward, AK
fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
15,894 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Trip Planning early June 2009

Generally you have a good itinerary. Not sure if reversing the order makes much of a difference since at Denali NP you are only going to get to Eielson anyway.

My biggest concern is your drive from Seward to Whittier just for the PWS tour. You say you want to do as little packing and moving of luggage as possible, but in order to accomplish that you are driving 4-5 hours out of your way and spending lots more money in gas. It doesn't make sense.

Why don't you stay in Seward on June 5th and do some hiking near Exit Glacier/Harding Icefield? You will encounter some snow on the Harding Icefield Trail so you won't get all the way up. Or maybe drive around to the other side of the road past the airport to get a nice view of Seward from there (something I have been wanting to do for some time). Or perhaps go kayaing that day? Then on June 6th check out of your hotel in Seward, take the afternoon PWS tour from Whittier and continue to Anchorage that day.

On the way to Whittier you can stop at the Begich Boggs Visitor Center. Or you could do this on June 3rd.

As pretty as the drive is between Anchorage and Seward, to go all the way back 90% of the road just for the PWS tour and then all the way back to Seward seems like a waste of valuable time to me.

In this scenario, 6/6 is no longer open :-)

John

Mentioned in this post
Denali
Denali
2,185 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Seward
Seward
Alaska
Exit Glacier
Exit Glacier
671 Reviews
Kenai Fjords National Park, AK
Begich Boggs Visitor Center
Begich Boggs Visitor...
154 Reviews
Girdwood, AK
OK
Level Contributor
222 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Trip Planning early June 2009

Thanks MM and FTI for your replies. I think you are just the help I was looking for! :)

I haven't booked the flight yet so can't answer the question about departure time. I need to get a move on!

We have friends who have been to Alaska (and had much longer to visit than we will have) and they suggested Soldotna. No other reason.

We're planning on a six hour Kenai Fjords tour.

We would like hiking on a glacier - or hiking in general. I'm not sure about fishing. In general, no - but the teenage son sometimes sounds like he might like to fish. Maybe he and dad could fish and daughter and I could do something else?

FTI - I think you've solved my muddle about Seward and Whittier. I was having a hard time - as you could tell - making a good plan for those days.

I really appreciate the input. Any other suggestions are welcome.

Thanks!

Mentioned in this post
Alaska
Alaska
United States
Kenai Fjords Tours
Kenai Fjords Tours
3,746 Reviews
Seward, AK
Seward
Seward
Alaska
Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
6,894 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Trip Planning early June 2009

Here's a sample itinerary:

Sat, 5/30: arrive Anchorage, overnight Anchorage

Sun, 5/31: Maybe attend Sunday Market (opens 10 am.)? Pick up supplies/snacks, drive to Denali, stopping for flightseeing in Talkeetna. If you arrive in time, see visitor center and free Ranger sled dog demo, hike an entrance trail (if you do the flightseeing today, move these activities to June 2 after rafting). Overnight Healy

Mon, 6/1: Shuttle to Eielson, spend night in Healy

Tue, 6/2: whitewater rafting at Denali. Flightseeing in Talkeetna if previously canceled. Drive to near Matanuska Glacier (5 to 6 hrs from Denali) to overnight. Suggestions for accommodations are on MICA website.

Wed. 6/3: 10 am to 1 pm Ice Fall Trek with MICA guides. Drive to Seward (4.5 hrs), stopping at Musk Ox Farm in Palmer, Potter Marsh, Beluga Pt., Windy Pt., Wildlife Conservation Center (open until 8 pm). http://alaska.org/driving/seward-drive.htm Overnight Seward.

Thur, 6/4: All day fishing/wildlife viewing combo with Saltwater Lodge. (If you and daughter don’t want to be along for the fishing, the 2 of you might take the 8 am to 2 pm Kenai Fjords tour and then stroll along the beach or browse the little stores until you meet up with the guys.) Exit Glacier after dinner, or part of Harding Icefield Hike. (Sunset isn't until after 11 pm, so you'll have oodles of daylight). Overnight Seward.

Fri, 6/5: SeaLife Center & kayaking (Sunny Cove). If time (depends on how long a kayaing tour you book), 6 pm Ididaride Sled dog tour. Overnight Seward.

Sat, 6/6: Drive to Whittier. Be sure you’re at the Whittier Tunnel by the 11:30 a.m. opening (it’s open only 15 min. per hour). Afternoon glacier cruise. Drive back to Anchorage. If weather is clear, stop at Girdwood to go up the tram for a great view, maybe dinner (tram runs until 9:30 pm)

Sun, 6/7: fly home

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Mentioned in this post
Denali
Denali
2,185 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Healy
Healy
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Matanuska Glacier
Matanuska Glacier
405 Reviews
Alaska
Seward
Seward
Alaska
Musk Ox Farm
Musk Ox Farm
343 Reviews
Palmer, AK
Palmer
Palmer
Alaska
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Alaska Wildlife...
2,345 Reviews
Girdwood, AK
Kenai Fjords Tours
Kenai Fjords Tours
3,746 Reviews
Seward, AK
Alaska SeaLife Center
Alaska SeaLife Center
2,675 Reviews
Seward, AK
Girdwood
Girdwood
Anchorage, AK
albuquerque, new...
Level Contributor
277 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Trip Planning early June 2009

rcjhqku.....we were in Alaska this past July. Your interary sounds very much like what we did. Our's looked a little more like this....from Denali, we drove south and spent the night in Girdwood (ski resort south of Anchorage) Got up the next morning and drove to Portage Glacier, and did the one hour tour. (10:30--11:30). Then we drove to Seward, and spend 3 nights there. Did the 9.5 hour Kenai Fjord tour..very much recommend. One day we did exit glacier, sealife center, etc. One our last morning there, we got up and drove to Whittier to do a 4 hour PWS cruise. Then we drove back up and spent that night at the same B&B in Girdwood. I thought spending those two nights in Girdwood worked out very well for us. We stayed at the Girdwood Guest house and really enjoyed our stay there. One thing I might suggest...if you are short on time, and do the 9.5 hour cruise out of Seward, you really could skip the PWS cruise from Whittier.

Hope this helps and Happy Planning. You are going to LOVE Alaska.

Mentioned in this post
Alaska
Alaska
United States
Denali
Denali
2,185 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Girdwood
Girdwood
Anchorage, AK
Portage Glacier
Portage Glacier
799 Reviews
Girdwood, AK
Seward
Seward
Alaska
Kenai
Kenai
Alaska
OK
Level Contributor
222 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Trip Planning early June 2009

Thanks to all of you for your helpful replies. I thought I would be able to sort out a good itinerary by reading other posts on the subject. However, it turned out that I needed some help to get everything in a good order. I really appreciate the responses and suggestions.

TA members are the best!

7. Re: Trip Planning early June 2009

-:- 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: 14 October 2009, 23:20