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Group Tour Alaska

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Group Tour Alaska

Hello

I am interested doing an Alaska trip this summer. Best time for me would be probably July for around 3 weeks.

I am travelling alone and I would like to join a group tour. I have done that a few times in Africa and also South America. But the companies I went with there are not offering anything in Alaska.

I looked into Trek America (www.trekamerica.com). Has anyone travelled with them? I also found Infinte Adventures (www.infiniteadv.com). They seem smaller and I did not find any reviews on google... Anyone gone with them so far?

I am also not sure if I like to do camping in Alaska? How cold is the summer up there? Does anyone know any group tours for an affordable price staying in hostels up there? Trek Amerika and Infinite Adventures seem both doing camping only...

Thanks for your help!

Anne

Edited: 18 February 2013, 22:09
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1. Re: Group Tour Alaska

Welcome to TA, Anne.

Here is a link to monthly average highs & lows in Denali National Park, a common destination in Alaska:

http://tinyurl.com/tempdenali

Most of us use asleeping bag that goes down to 20F to camp, with clothing layers if needed.

I've hiked in Denali with folks on the Green Tortoise Alaskan tour and they seemed to be having a lot of fun.

greentortoise.com/adventures/alaska.loop.den…

There are a number of hostels in Alaska. I hiked with a lady who was staying in the Mountain Morning Hostel outside Denali.

http://www.denalihostel.com/

Some single travelers choose to rent a car & travel on one's own.

I myself often travel, hike, backpack do it all alone when M.r Denali Cat is busy.

Edited: 18 February 2013, 23:11
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2. Re: Group Tour Alaska

You don't mention your age, are you interested in Elder Hostel trips?

www.roadscholar.org/programs/search_res.asp…

The temperatures vary depending on when you will be traveling and where. Green Tortoise Adventures is also highly recommended but they are also camping trips.

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3. Re: Group Tour Alaska

I used Trek America years ago for a trip in the SE USA (California and some national parks east of there). It was OK but I definitely prefer to travel on my own schedule. For example, we had the time to do an overnight in the canyon at Grand Canyon, but they don't work on the permits until you arrive. Tough to get when you book so late.

It shouldn't be too cold in Alaska in July. I tent camp there a lot. Earlier and later in the season is definitely much cooler. Chances of snow are much less in July than say in September. In fact, I would be surprised if you had snow in July (except for a dusting) unless you were at fairly high elevations.

There are quite a few hostels in Alaska as was mentioned. I have stayed in hostels in Anchorage, Denali, Talkeetna, Skagway, Juneau and probably another one or two that I have forgotten about. They are generally a good way to stay economically and also to meet other people. Usually I do a combination of camping, hostels and hotels. I like to camp inside Denali National Park mainly because then I can stay at Wonder Lake campground where you might wake up to Mt. McKinley staring down your back. Plus, with the bus system inside the park, by staying at Wonder Lake I am generally traveling in the opposite direction of most of the bus traffic in the park, which I like.

I am not sure how you could find it, but if you do a search for "adventure tour" or something like that in the search box in the Alaska forum you might bring up some posts that talk about organized tours. I know people have mentiond them occasionally since when they post links I look at the itineraries. Generally though you are paying a hefty premium for having a guide and for having someone plan the trip for you. I prefer to save the money and plan my own trip. Probably my leanest trip to Alaska cost-wise is coming up this June. Nine nights/ten days in Anchorage, Matsu Valley, Denali and Portage Valley will cost $500/person for everything. Normally my trips cost about double that, but I really tried to keep this one cheaper since I am bringing students and wanted to make it feasible for them. We are hardly skimping though - glacier hiking, Denali, various activities in the Portage area, food, lodging (mostly tents but not always), tips, transport, everything. There is no way an organized tour could come close to that price.

Edited: 19 February 2013, 00:15
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4. Re: Group Tour Alaska

A PS to my above post. If you are looking for a budget trip to Alaska, planning now for summer 2013 will not be cheap. For example, my car rental price has more than doubled since I booked it last fall. Almost always, the sooner you start to plan your trip, the less expensive it will be.

Also, welcome to the Alaska forum!

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5. Re: Group Tour Alaska

Thanks for all the anwers! I am 26, so I am interested more in a younger group tour. I do not really fancy to travel on my own, so I definetely want to go on a group tour and meet some fellow travellers.

The temperature in July doesn't seem too bad. That's cool!

So, I guess I will either choose Trek America or Infinite Adventures. Infinite Adventures seems to have a cool remodelled school bus where they are travelling in... The Green Tortise seem to sleep all in the bus?? That would be nothing for me, I guess...

So if anyone has any experiences with these two companies I mentioned, it would be great!.

Thanks! Anne

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6. Re: Group Tour Alaska

Sounds like fun!

Anne, you might also want to compare their two itineraries to see which best suits your interests.

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7. Re: Group Tour Alaska

Anne, where you will be sleeping depends on the kind of tour you take. There are no youth hostels outside of the major cities.

What do you want to see and experience? What is your vision of Alaska that you want to be part of?

For most people, Alaska is about the outdoors. The wilderness. What is it for you?

If you can answer that it would be much easier to advise you.

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8. Re: Group Tour Alaska

Thanks again for all your help! Really appreciated.

Well, as for the question why I want to go to Alaska: It's wildlife (especially bears) and outdoor stuff (hiking and I would love to do seakayaking). I usually love camping, was just unsure about the weather conditions in Alaska, but that doesn't seem to bad and I have done some research and guess that will be fine.

Thanks! Anne

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9. Re: Group Tour Alaska

Anne

July is certainly the best time of the year to visit with regards to temperature. Keep in mind that alaska is larger than Spain and France and Germany combined. And we have far more mountains. What this means is that weather can vary tremendously across the state, depending on where you are on the latitude/altitude plot.

With three weeks you should have enough time to have some memorable wildlife viewings.

With a bit of planning I think you could put together a trip that will have meaning to you without having to go the 100% organized tourist route. I suspect it'll also be a good deal cheaper. That said, if you feel safer or just more comfortable being a part of an all inclusive group then by all means do so.

Here is a website that lists a number of local Alaskan tour companies. Using a resource like this you could, after flying into anchorage or Fairbanks plan your own excursions with individual companies--day trip hiking out of anchorage; sea kayaking out of seward; wildlife viewing in denali; etc. I think you'll find Alaskans more than willing to help you plan your trip.

http://www.visitwildalaska.com/

Feel free to send me any questions via the private message route as well.

10. Re: Group Tour Alaska

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