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Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

Christchurch, New...
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Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

Hey all

I am planning a trip around Alaska for 2 for March/ April next year and was wondering if anyone had any advice on whether it is better to do a tour around Alaska or to hire a car and drive around? We are planning on jumping on a cruise from Vancouver up to Skagway going through the islands. Just not sure which is the best method from there.

Cheers for your time

Donna :)

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Alaska
Alaska
United States
Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Skagway
Skagway
Alaska
Chugiak, Alaska
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1. Re: Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

Not sure there are too many tours happening at that time of the year. There also aren't a lot of 'normal' touristy things to do at certain times. Can you be a bit more specific of your time frame? You may want to figure out from some Trip Reports what you want to do most and let whether those things are available guide you on what the best time to come would be.

Also, were you planning on staying in the Southeast or going elsewhere to Southcentral or the Interior? Not a lot of roads in the Southeast to get in between the towns.

Manitoba, Canada
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2. Re: Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

Sorry, there are no cruises to Alaska before May.

If you want to go in March, you can do winter sports and see the start of Iditarod sled dog race, etc.

The only tour company I know of that does some tours in winter is Salmonberry: http://www.salmonberrytours.com/ , and they're pretty expensive. I'd suggest you rent a car. But as Tiger said, not many touristy things open until May....

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Alaska
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Paxson, Alaska
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3. Re: Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

I know some dogsled tours - including one right here in Paxson (see "Blue Kennels, which actually is out of here, not out of Whitehorse as its website may still suggest) - at that time of year; and there also are snowmachine tours, but as others write, that time of year is definitely not prime time 'activity' season for the average tourist.

Very, very definitely renting your own auto would be the only way to go.

Audubon Bakewell

Denali Highway Cabins

Paxson

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Denali Highway Cabins
Denali Highway Cabins
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Paxson, AK
Ketchikan
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4. Re: Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

As an alternative, consider a trip on the Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham, WA or Ketchikan, Ak going north. I often travel in March or April on the ferry because of work and family (Spring Break) and have been blessed the last couple of years with calm seas and sunny sailings. You can hit towns like Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau, or Haines easily. It's true that many cruise ship tours are not in session, but the real local treasures...museums, shops, restaurants, galleries, and cultural events are going strong in the Spring as are whales and some wildlife. I highly recommend such a trip for an "Off the Beaten Path" experience. Another bonus is that lodging and ferry fares are much cheaper than in the summer and local are happy to chat while they get ready for "the season." Get a "Frommer's Alaska" and start reading up on port communities and check out the ferry information at www.akmhs.com/ or read all the great infomation at Alaska Ferry Adventures which is free to read even if you don't use their services http://www.akferry.com/

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5. Re: Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

As already noted there are no cruises. The reason to go in this timeframe, is to enjoy the aurora, dog sledding, snowmachining etc, of which I have done twice. There aren't going to be any "tours" available, unless you want to hook up with some asian groups aurora watching. Otherwise you need to get a car.

Are the Ice Sculpting Championships on for next year??

Christchurch, New...
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6. Re: Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

Hey thanks for all the helpful replies. We are planning on being in Alaska for around a month. We do have the option of going to Alaska at the other end of part of our big trip which would be around June. It seems that this may be a better time to go. We have no set idea for where we are going to go just yet but want to fit in as much as we can in this time. Does anyone know if you can still go dogsledding in June as this is something I would love to do? :)

Thanks again for all your contributions. They are much appreciated.

: )

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Alaska
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Lake Tahoe...
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7. Re: Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

Donna - is there a reason why you chose March/April? In addition to no cruises until mid-May there is nothing else really either. Many Alaskans refer that period to the breakup period (where the snow begins to melt and things get messy. When some us desire to go "outside" (leave the state and go elsewhere) that is the best time of the year for us to do that. If you desire winter experiences February would be a better time.

Manitoba, Canada
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8. Re: Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

"Does anyone know if you can still go dogsledding in June as this is something I would love to do?"

There are dogsledding tours. The inexpensive ones include a dog cart ride on a dirt trail, the expensive ones fly up to a glacier for sledding in snow (maybe a 20 minute ride from what I've heard, I haven't done that myself).

If you want to do longer sled rides, you have to go in winter. Check Ididaride's or EarthSong's winter pages for some ideas.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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9. Re: Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

Well, March is not break up time in the Denali area - lots of people consider this the ideal time for dog sledding, snowmaching and skiing, so if you are looking for a sunnier winter type trip, then you could come then. But if you want to see Alaska as most tourists do, come in June. :)

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Denali
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Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Alaska
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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10. Re: Best travel method around Alaska in March/ April

I do not agree with K2 on this. I have thoroughly enjoyed going to AK in March (four times in five years!) and would encourage anyone to consider it based on their interests in activities. February is much colder with little to nothing to do . . . March has a lot of things to see/do in either Anchorage or Fairbanks . . . if you plan your dates right.

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