We spent two full weeks in Alaska from June 10 - 24th and it was definitely the vacation of a lifetime! (It was so lifechanging, that my husband & I are returning at the end of July without kids to experience some more!) All of our photos are posted online at this link:
In another post, someone asked if I would do a trip report....so I just figured out what that is!
Flew into Anchorage and spent two nights at the Holiday Inn Express at the Airport. Got caught up on sleep & got our bearings. Visited the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and drove to Beluga Point as they recommended - very worthwhile drive less 30 minutes south of Anchorage - depending on the number of stops for photos!
Drove to Denali, stayed at Grizzly Lodge, drove in to Savage River Trail in the Park, ATV trip out Stampede Road.
Drove down Denali Highway in the rain - saw NO wildlife!
Drove to Talkeetna & stayed at the Alaska Talkeetna Lodge.
Great place to stay, great views of McKinley when the weather is right (it wasn't when we were there) -but higher end than we really needed ($300/night)
Drove to Seward & stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Seward. Took 6 hour Kenai Fjords tour through Renown Tours.
Stayed in Soldatna at A Wandering Moose on the Kenai River - 3 days of salmon fishing. Amazing! We did two days of guided fishing in a driftboat through Kenai River Fly Fishing & brought home 50 pounds of silver salmon.
Flew from to Alaska Homestead Lodge in Lake Clark National Park (130 air miles SW of Anchorage) via Natron Air.
AMAZING experience - the HIGHLIGHT of our trip! Expensive, but worth every penny! Grizzlies roaming the front lawn of the lodge - no roads, no grocery stores - just wilderness! The hosts at the Homestead were amazing and served 3 homecooked meals a day & made us feel like family!
Stayed in Homer at Lands End Resort - great stay. If we had two days there would have gone Halibut fishing - but we stayed an extra day at Lake Clark National Park instead.
Flew Home - so sad! (but we'll be back soon!)
Recommendations that helped us & a few we added ourselves:
- bring eyeshades for sleeping if you're not used to Alaska's summers and all that light!
- bring LOTS of raingear - so you can enjoy the wilderness even when it's raining
- don't plan on seeing McKinley, even if you're at Denali, as most people don't due to cloud cover
- do NOT take a cheap rental car down the Denali Highway (we got a flat tire)
- don't need to bring too much luggage, as we found a Fred Meyer in most large cities and could buy ANYTHING there that we forgot
- why did I bring a curling iron? never needed in 2 weeks there....