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Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

Arkansas
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Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

I have already made our reservations for hotels except for the last night in alaska. We actually will have 1 night and two days since our flight does not leave until late night on the last day. Our trip plans are as follows:

Anchorage

Seward 2 nights

whittier 1 night

Talkeetna 1 night

Fairbanks 2 nights

Denali- 2 nights

?

WE will be leaving from Denali on the 23rd of June and our flight leaves out of Anchorage on the 25th late night so suggestions would be appreciated!

Homer?

Also should I make reservations for river rafting at Denali? Is that worth it or is there something else that is better in other places?

Shuttle into the park Which ones are the best and should I go ahead and make those reservations also?

Any suggestions are very much appreciated!

Bristol, Connecticut
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1. Re: Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

In Denali use the NPS shuttle system and book at least one day to Eielson or even to Wonder Lake. You can get off where you like and hike or just take a break from the bus. If the weather is not good you don't have to go all the way to Wonder Lake. The more trips you take deep into the park the more you increase your chances of seeing wildlife.

On you way back from Denali I would not try to go to Homer, you really don't have enough time. You could spend some time in the Mat-Su Valley. Maybe you would like to visit Matanuska Glacier and do an ice trek with MICA or do some rafting on The Matanuska River with NOVA. You could also visit Hatcher Pass Recreation Area and Independence Mine. You won't be able to drive to the pass but the road to the mine is paved and offers great views with some interesting history. You could spend the night in the Palmer area or even Sheep Mountain.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

if you wanted to visit Homer, the ideal time to fit it into your itinerary is before Seward. It's about 5 hrs from Anchorage to Homer. Then after Homer you could drive to Seward and follow your itinerary.

Since your plans are already set, Matsu Valley would be a great place to spend a few days.

http://www.glacierview-alaska.com/

Edited: 06 December 2011, 17:58
fti
MN
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3. Re: Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

>>We actually will have 1 night and two days since our flight does not leave until late night on the last day.

>>WE will be leaving from Denali on the 23rd of June and our flight leaves out of Anchorage on the 25th late night

I think you have TWO nights, not one night. If you leave Denali on 23 June and don't fly out of Anchorage until 25 June, that is two nights according me counting fingers on my hand:-)

If it were me, I would probably add a third night to Denali. Two nights at Denali means only one shuttle bus day. If the weather is not good, the second day could be well worth it - for scenery, for wildlife, for Mountain viewing, and/or for hiking.

I would probably spend the second "extra" night in Wasilla, Eagle River or Anchorage. We don't know your interests (unless you posted other threads and they are listed there). Lots to do in the Matsu Valley as was suggested above.

I too would forget Homer as an afterthought. Way too much driving unless you include it at the beginning before Seward.

New South Wales...
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4. Re: Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

A great spot we found in the Mat-Su Valley for a stop over is the Knik River Lodge. You can do glacier trips by jet boat, helicopter or dogsled as well as a heap of other things like horse riding, photography trips and more from the lodge. Should offer you a great chance to relax or do some of the things you missed out on along the way and only an hour from Anchorage.

New England
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5. Re: Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

One word of caution about the Knik River Lodge. It is indeed lovely with very nice cabins but unless you order their continental breakfast and plan to eat dinner at their restaurant or bring food to heat in s microwave you will have a long drive to find a meal.

New South Wales...
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6. Re: Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

Knik River do a "meal deal" when you book - breakfast & dinner for $35pp which is pretty good value - especially if you're only staying 1 or 2 nights.

Arkansas
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7. Re: Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

I actually only have one night we are leaving Denali on the 24th , my mistake on that .. Thanks everyone for the advice still open for suggestions. one night two days is what we are looking at.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8. Re: Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

Speaking of the Knik River . . . I would highly recommend the Knik Glacier (jetboat) Tour out of Palmer. We did it in 2010 and it was one of the highlights of our vacation. Here is the link to them http://knikglacier.com/ .

As for the Knik River Lodge and the suggested meal deal, I think it's difficult to evaluate the value of something you've not experienced. Maybe it is a great deal at $35 . . . but then again . . . who knows what it actually includes? More questions of the lodge owner may be in order if you are considering this option.

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9. Re: Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

Hi Merry!

I'm bringing your newer thread to the top since your old obsolete thread is getting responses needlessly LOL!

I would tend to agree with fti about another night at Denali to allow for 2 shuttle trips into the park. However, I love to get the most chances possible to see bears, caribou, wolves and if I'm really lucky, lynx. No guarantees of course but the more times in, the more chances to see! Plus more chances to see the mountain out.

I always recommend reserving to Wonder Lake since you can always get off at Eielson if the mountain is not out but when the mountain is out it can be harder to get a shuttle from Eielson to Wonder Lake without waiting.

Have a wonderful trip!

New South Wales...
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10. Re: Need Advice for back end of trip June 2012

I'll be sure to post a review TSvon as we have booked that package for our stay at Knik River in July :) It's only one night so I'm sure we won't starve.