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Trip to Alaska with small children

Copenhagen
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Trip to Alaska with small children

I am planning a 16 days' vacation to Alaska this summer.

I will be travelling with my wife and two young girls (2 and 5 years old).

Due to the young age of the children, and the fact that we will come all the way from Denmark, I don't the travel schedule to be too busy. Also, I would like to limit time spend on transportation.

My initial thoughts are as follow:

- One or two days in Anchorage to get rid of the jet lag and get settled

- 4 - 5 days at a wilderness lodge in Kachemak Bay (we plan to travel by plane back and forth between Anchorage and Homer)

- ???

- 4 days at Camp Denali in Denali National Park (we plan to travel by train back and forth between Anchorage and Denali National Park)

- Back to Denmark

As you can see, we are very much in doubt as to what to do between Kachemak Bay and Denali. We have thought about staying at one of the wilderness lodges at Kodiak Island or Lake Clark, as that could potentially be done without too much travelling, but we are uncertain as to whether that would be too much the same experience as Kachemak Bay.

Please let me have your thoughts.

As you may have guessed, we are looking for outdoor experiences.

Also, we would have preferred avoiding the travelling between Anchorage and Denali National Park, but consider Denali National Park a "must see", as we don't know, if we will ever return to Alaska.

Our children are used to travelling (we spent three weeks in South africa last summer).

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: Trip to Alaska with small children

I would consider spending a few days in Seward - you can get there via train and don't need to rent a car. Do you have these other lodges booked? :)

Copenhagen
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2. Re: Trip to Alaska with small children

I am in the process of doing the final research and expect to make final bookings within the coming two or three days (please don't remind me that I am late).

Chugiak, Alaska
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3. Re: Trip to Alaska with small children

I'd go with Seward, too, but depending on when you are traveling, it may be harder to find lodging there. Anytime right around the July 4th weekend is likely going to be a struggle. If you want to do something a bit different in Seward, you can stay in a yurt right on the water:

http://www.orcaislandcabins.com/

I'd say you want to make sure you can get your plane tickets first. The wilderness lodges tend to be spendy, so that may help you find availability. Travel between K Bay and Denali shouldn't be too bad, really. Are you renting a car or taking the train? Cars will be pricey at this late in the game, so be prepared for that. Probably around $100/day, but if you ensure you cancel it, you can keep checking back for deals if you are so inclined.

Edit- actually, it looks lik Orca Island Cabins doesn't allow little ones (likely for safety reasons), but maybe another place has yurts that aren't up so high.

Edited: 11 May 2011, 01:40
Copenhagen
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4. Re: Trip to Alaska with small children

Thanks for the responses.

I am investigating possibilities in Seward but it seems pretty busy around July 4th.

With respect to Denali National Park, I would like to know, if anyone has experiences as to whether Camp Denali or Kantishna Roadhouse is the better place to stay with small children?

Ketchikan
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5. Re: Trip to Alaska with small children

July 4th in small town Alaska requires reservations months in advance. Not only do lots of people come home for the 4th, but it is traditionally the weekend for class reunions and weddings. Just saying.....I would not count on finding lodging and a reservation is a MUST. Any chance you can be in Anchorage for the 4th where there are far more rooms?

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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6. Re: Trip to Alaska with small children

I would recommend Camp Denali over Kantishna roadhouse because of quality, but I am not sure what age of children they allow - you would have to check out their website for those details. :)

Chugiak, Alaska
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7. Re: Trip to Alaska with small children

Also, the 4th of July in Seward is when the Mount Marathon run is. It's a big event that even Alaskans book a year out for. Because it's quite an event, other things in Seward may be booked up for that time period as well, like fishing or wildlife tours and restaurants may be pretty packed. Just a word of warning.

Copenhagen
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8. Re: Trip to Alaska with small children

We have now almost finalised the planning (and booking) of our vacation to Alaska.

- We will start spending four nights at a back country lodge one hours flight from Anchorage (Winterlake Lodge).

- After that, we will travel to the Homer area or the Kodiak island to spend four nights at a fishing/wilderness lodge.

- Finally, we will spend four nights in Denali National Park (Camp Denali), before we have a few days of relaxing in Anchorage, before we head back for Europe.

Only outstanding point is to decide between Homer/Kodiak. Any recommendations in that respect? We would like to spend the time on hiking, bear watching and do boat safari. Is one normally recommended over the other?

We have also considered Seward but all accommodation seem to be sold out in the relevant period.

Bristol, Connecticut
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9. Re: Trip to Alaska with small children

Just want to say that Winterlake is a beautiful lodge and a great choice. They also have a very nice cookbook.

You can hike and book a bear watching trip out if Homer but some do have age restrictions. I dont have a recommendation on a lodge though.

If you want to do a glacier/ wildlife cruise you may still be able to fit one in at the end of your trip. Whittier has these cruises but they are more glacier than wildlife.

Manitoba, Canada
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10. Re: Trip to Alaska with small children

I don't know what the tours are in Kodiak. The only bear-watching tour that I know of that takes kids as young as 2 is Talon Air out of Soldotna (since they stay in a boat to do the viewing and have total control over the kids' movement).

What do you mean by "boat safari"? If you mean wildlife cruise, the best ones are out of Seward. However, if you won't be going to Seward, you could either try Rainbow Tours out of Homer, or hire a water taxi for a few hours to take you on a private tour.