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Need advice - July 2010 trip to Seward & DNP

Denver, CO
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Need advice - July 2010 trip to Seward & DNP

I'm making my first trip to Alaska this summer - itinerary v6 (hopefully really close to final!) follows. While it may seem limited to some, I don't want to spend much more time driving than this, and I think this itin will allow us to really experience the 2 select destinations.

Day 1 - Arrive Anchorage 12:15pm; pickup RV; hit store for supplies; drive North towards Denali Nat'l Park (DNP) getting as far as we can/care to given stops, sights, jet lag, etc. Overnight in Talkeetna or Healy(?)

Day 2 - Drive rest of way to DNP; check-in, pickup Tek Pass & get settled in campsite (Teklanika - already reserved); hike/explore rest of day

Day 3 - Tek Pass - reservation day, taking am shuttle to Kantishna

Day 4 - Tek Pass; hike/explore DNP

Day 5 - Check-out; Drive South to Kenai Peninsula (as far towards Seward as possible given stops, sights, etc)

Day 6 - Seward: Exit Glacier, kayak (?), explore town, hike, etc

Day 7 - Kenai Fjords Boat tour, + whatever we didn't get to on Day 6

Day 8 - Drive to Anchorage w/ stops & sights along the way; return RV; flight out of Anch 10:45 pm

I'm looking for guidance with the following:

- recommended RV companies - quality & price - it'll be just 2 adults & neither of us has rented or driven an RV before; plan to check a local rental co this wknd to test drive & get scoop on RVing

- store to stock up in Anchorage (grocery + firewood + misc - ie WalMart type?) Preferably outside of town &/or on way north

- specific areas to hike in DNP on days 2 and 4? We're staying inside the park at the Teklanika CG;

- hike ideas around Seward, from 2-6 hrs;

- Kayaking out of Seward - i'm thinking 2-3 hrs

- Which tour co and/or specific tour to select for the boat trip; I've seen prev advice to go on 6+ hr trip so we leave the Bay; other advice on companies was old & possibly outdated. Interested in glaciers calving & marine wildlife.

SO EXCITED!! Any and all advice is much appreciated!!! Thanks in advance!!!

Destination Expert
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1. Re: Need advice - July 2010 trip to Seward & DNP

Welcome to the forum.

I really like your itinerary.

If you have a nice day on Day 3 and the Mountain is "out," I would probably get off the bus between Wonder Lake and Kantishna at Reflection Pond. Take your time taking photos there and wait for the bus to return from Kantishna. Not really much to do/see in Kantishna except for a restored cabin where Fannie Quigley lived.

Day 5 be sure to spend some time at the park entrance seeing the exhibits and film in the visitor center, the film in the WAC and maybe the doggie demo at the kennels. You could easily get back to near Anchorage or somewhere along Turnagain Arm. Don't rush the drive to Seward - so much to see along the road south of Anchorage including Potter Marsh, Girdwood, Portage Glacier area, Wildlife Conservation Center and more.

Great American Holidays gets really positive reviews here on the forum for RV rental.

You can stock up in Anchorage at Fred Meyers or Wal Mart (I don't have exact address but you can google their websites and find them). I usually stop at Fred Meyers on Muldoon Rd on the east side of Anchorage. But it depends on where I am coming from more than anything.

For DNP hiking, jump to the Denali forum then click on the Top Questions about Denali. There is at least one thread if not two there that link to day hikes.

It is still true that you need a 6+ hour Kenai Fjords cruise to see glaciers and the best marine wildlife. I have gone with Kenai Fjords company due to coupons, but they are all similar. One company offers reserved seating, one company offers a food buffet (honestly, food is way down in my list of priorities on this tour), etc.

You might consider a toursaver or Northern Lights coupon book. That alone will save you +-$150 on the Kenai Fjords tour.


Manitoba, Canada
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2. Re: Need advice - July 2010 trip to Seward & DNP

Re RV's, check the Top Questions, right top of this page, to find a thread with lots of helpful suggestions.

"hike ideas around Seward, from 2-6 hrs"

- how about Harding Icefield ( http://tinyurl.com/2slct7 ). It's 6 to 8 hrs., but you don't have to go all the way to the top. If you happen to be there on a Saturday, can go on the free Ranger-led hike.

"Kayaking out of Seward - i'm thinking 2-3 hrs"

- Sunny Cove has 3 hr. trips in Resurrection Bay. OR, if you want to combine a tour of Kenai Fjords with kayaking amongst icebergs in front of a glacier, consider their all-day Aialik trip.

"Which tour co and/or specific tour to select for the boat trip"

If you want a better chance to see whales, choose an all-day tour. The 6 hour tours see whales approx. 50-60% of their trips, the all-day ones have more luck (more time on the water = more chances to see wildlife).

Denver, CO
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3. Re: Need advice - July 2010 trip to Seward & DNP

Thank you fti and Manitoba_Maple for your input, and especially for your patience in directing me to the Top Questions section - now that I see it it's hard to believe I've never noticed it before!! I found the threads you mentioned with tons of additional info. Whew! Nearing information overload!

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4. Re: Need advice - July 2010 trip to Seward & DNP

We rented an RV from Great Alaskan Holidays and were very happy with the serviceand are doing the same again this year. They are running some great specials right now on their website. Grocery stores that I would recommend are Carrs or Fred Meyers, there is a Walmart superstore also. We took the Kenai Fjord tour company and are doing the same again this year with the Fox Island landing.

Denver, CO
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5. Re: Need advice - July 2010 trip to Seward & DNP

Thanks Winny52 - we just booked with GAH - fantastic deal!!

Slowly but surely getting through the to-do list!!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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6. Re: Need advice - July 2010 trip to Seward & DNP

If you want to avoid traffic in Anchorage, just head to Wasilla, where there is a Walmart and a Fred Meyers, where you can get all you need. :)

Bristol, Connecticut
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7. Re: Need advice - July 2010 trip to Seward & DNP

There is also a Fred Meyer directly off the North Eagle River Exit and there is no sales tax in Eagle River as there is in Wasilla, it is only 3% but every penny counts. The Walmart in Wasilla is an easy stop also, I sometimes find The Fred Meyer in Wasilla a mad house because of construction and the busy road, though that (construction)may all be over this summer.

8. Re: Need advice - July 2010 trip to Seward & DNP

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