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Alaska Trip

Philadelphia...
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Alaska Trip

We are planning a family trip to Alaska- last minute. I wondered if anyone has a 6 day itinerary or could direct me to places that we should not miss. I am sure that this is a once in a lifetime trip. Six persons ages 19-56. Would it be a good idea to just stay in one place, rent a van, and do day trips or move from place to place? Is the Alaska railroad a good idea and are there rental cars or shuttles at the Denali area- do you need a car/van there? Any help appreciated.

fti
MN
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1. Re: Alaska Trip

Welcome to the forum.

"Basing" oneself in one place is a poor idea in Alaska since distances are so vast.

I think you will have sticker shock when you look at car rental prices this late in the game. What do you consider "last minute" (next week, next month, September?). What is the date and time of your arrival as well as the date and time of your departure? I assume you are flying into Anchorage since you mention Denali.

Even with the high car rental prices, I think you will find it cheaper and WAY more flexible to have a rental than to pay for 6 train tickets.

"not to miss" places depend on your interests. Are you active? Like hiking? Glacier viewing? Culture/museums? Walking on a glacier? Fishing? Wildlife viewing? Photography? Something else?

haines, alaska
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2. Re: Alaska Trip

Since you are trying to make plans for "last minute" I would assume that you are planning for a trip this summer.......start with reading through the Top Questions about Alaska in the upper right corner of this page and also read some of the Itineraries to see which places or activities would be of interest to your family.......since this is a "once in a lifetime trip", only you can decide which you should "not miss" ......Alaska is huge, so no, you cannot stay in one place and expect to see much at all......with only 6 days, you should probably narrow it down to 2 or 3 locations.......with six people, you would have more flexibility and freedom to explore with your own vehicle that you can rent in any major city (there are none available in Denali).....

Hi John, posting at the same time......

Edited: 29 June 2011, 16:20
Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Alaska Trip

OK Thanks for the start.

We are young adults and parents. Looking for

Glacier- and walk on a glacier?

Definitely Denali

Wildlife viewing- have to see bears, caribou and whales

Sarah Palin's homestead?

Yes this summer- believe it or not- August

Is the train something not to miss- or will we see the same thing from a van window?

want a fairly active, photography oriented, pretty busy schedule.

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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4. Re: Alaska Trip

Without knowing your arrival date/time and departure date/time we can't give a good itinerary. You say "6 days" but most people really mean "6 nights." And if you arrive on Day 1 at noon that could lead to an entirely different itinerary than if you arrived at midnight. Same with your last day - a morning or afternoon or evening departure could really totally change an itinerary - as mombear said, look at the Top Questions and see some trip reports.

Train could be nice to Seward since you don't really need a car in Seward. But if you have any sort of a budget, my guess is that if you keep the same rental car for Seward that you use for Denali, the rate for 3-4 days won't be much different than the rate for a week. So in essence, you get the Seward car rental for close to "free." I liked the train the one time I took it to Seward, but I would not do it again if it meant a big cost difference vs. the car.

haines, alaska
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5. Re: Alaska Trip

Since for the most part, the train to Denali follows the highway, you will actually see more from your own vehicle window and you can stop whenever and wherever your want......

Edited: 29 June 2011, 16:46
Walnut Creek...
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6. Re: Alaska Trip

Humm, myself I would drive and bypass the train. Because once you get were your going a car is nice. If you take the train you need to organize your food and lodging based on not have transport.

6 Days maybe

head to Seward, hike exit glacier.

Full day boat trip in the KenaI Fjord

2 - 3 days in Danali

that's about all you can do in 6 days.

Fairbanks, Alaska
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7. Re: Alaska Trip

6 days is like an Alaskan Sampler. Since it takes a half to full day to travel anywhere in the state.

Lake Tahoe...
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8. Re: Alaska Trip

Not sure what you mean by Sarah Palin's homestead. She was born in northern Idaho, and her early years were with her parents in, I believe, Skagway. If you are thinking of her home on Lake Lucille in Wasilla, I would respect her privacy.

Since we recently did this, take a flight seeiing adventure out of Talkeetna with a glacier landing (Ruth Glacier). Great views of Mount McKinley (if it is out). We booked our flight in less than 24 hours prior to the flight.

Mombear - actually the Parks Highway and the Alaska Railroad are not in sight of each other. Don't believe the maps. However, the rental car option is really better for the reasons already stated

9. Re: Alaska Trip

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Fairbanks, Alaska
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10. Re: Alaska Trip

tiger you know that Railroad crossing south of Cantwell at about mile 204? I have actually been stopped there by trains twice! Two trains a day and I found one of them in the middle of nowhere.