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I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

New York City, New...
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I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

We will arrive at 7/5 and leave 1am on 7/15 morning early.

7/5 Drive to Denali, and stay there

7/6 Bus tour

7/7 If bad weather on 7/6, do bus tour again. Otherwise, do hiking?

Afternoon drive to Matanuska Glacier, stay there

7/8 Guided Matanuska Glacier tour

Drive to Whittier, and stay there

7/9 Glacier cruise tour

Drive to Seward, and stay

7/10 Fjord cruise tour

Stay Seward

7/11 Exit Glacier

Drive to Anchorage

7/12 Katmai Bear View Day Trip

Stay Anchorage

7/13 If bad weather on 7/12, tour is cancelled, do bear view again

Otherwise, looking for advise

7/14 Looking for advise for day time

Leave Anchorage at midnight

I read a review which said that best bear viewing in Brooks Fall is mid July to end of July. I am not sure whether it's true or not. So I think that it may be better to do it later in my stay. I leave 7/13 for backup the bear trip. Is it possible if the bear view trip is cancelled on 7/12, we will be rescheduled to 7/13?

How is the weather when we are there? I read a trip report which said almost everyday was rainy from their stays from end of June to 7/10. I really worried about it.

Finally, is it too late to book tour using coupon book? I didn't buy the coupon book yet. I saw some tour has limitation for using like how many tickets available for every tour. I am wondering whether it's too late to use the coupons.

Thank you very much in advance!.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

I am hoping some others will see your post and help add to it - many of the contributors prefer that you keep writing on your first post, so I don't want to see this part lost. I am just not good with day to day itineraries.

When you say bus tour, do you mean the shuttle bus? This is the bus we would recommend that you take - it is cheaper, goes further into the park and allows you to get on & off, which is a great way to experience Denali Park. I would also go to the doggie demo and don't you have a teen with you? I would consider doing a raft trip with Denali Outdoor center.

I would not stay in Whittier - either stay in Girdwood or Seward. I would also plan to visit the Sea life center while you are in Seward.

Weather is very unpredictable - usually are rains are light - not an all day down pour, so just come prepared. Every activity but a flight see can be done during the rain. :) Usually early July has good weather - that is what I am hoping for!

Not sure about the coupons or bear viewing, but hopefully, some others will chime in.

Do you have your lodging booked as well? Good luck with the rest of your planning! :)

New South Wales...
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2. Re: I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

Whittier is a LOVELY place to stay. Alaskans don't like it but we loved it and The Whittier Inn is just gorgeous as is the township if you take the time to see it. Too much time in Anchorage at the end of your trip IMHO. Spend more time at Denali or stop off in Talkeetna. Stay another day in Seward and explore the Sealife Centre and do a dogsled tour with Seaveys.

Edited: 13 March 2013, 10:35
Bristol, Connecticut
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3. Re: I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

I would also question driving all the way to Denali on the day you arrive. It is a very long flight from NYC and I would probably spend a night closer to Anchorage and then be fresh for Denali.

fti
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4. Re: I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

it is a very busy trip with lots of driving. I too would suggest a shuttle bus both days in Denali and do your hiking on the best of the 2 days inside the park.

I would suggest you do an overnight bear viewing trip. if not to Brooks maybe to Lake Clark National Park. the overnight trips are not that much more expensive than the day trips and you get hours more bear viewing. with a day trip to Brooks if you get into a bear jam this is very possible you might have very very little bear viewing time.

Anchorage, Alaska
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5. Re: I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

I'm with tez on Whittier. Love it. But I wouldn't stay there unless I was actually doing a few activities there such as: a cruise, a day cruise, kayaking, hiking, etc. I think LW is using it in the right capacity... needs a hotel for the night and is doing a day cruise out of there too.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

Thank you very much, coalminer, tez823 and spacefry.

spacefry: You are right. It's long flight. But I think it may be better to go to Denali on the day, since if we feel tired, we'll check in hotel and get rest immediately. If not, we may walk around do little hiking there. Especially, we can't predict the weather right now. Just in case 7/6 is rainy day and 7/5 is a sunny day, then we can more chance to see the park.

tez823: You are right that we have too much time in Anchorage. I am going to doing bear view in the back from Denali, then we will have more time in Seward.

coalminer: Thanks for info about weather. I am not so worried about weather now if it will not rain whole day. We'll take shuttle bus. It's good idea to go to the doggie demo. We have a 14 years old boy. He should be very excited about the rafting. But is it safe? Is it possible that we will fall into the river? Thanks for suggestion to Sea Life center in Seward.

I have several more question.

1) We really like to see Glacier. I am considering to do sea kayak tour to Glacier. Comparing rafting in Denali, which one is better if we only can do one?

2) Should we add one day to do Glacier Trek with Mica Guides? In terms of Google map, it's 5 hrs driving from Denali to Mica, but their web site said that it's a 6-8 hrs driving. It's a long driving. Should we do it?

Thanks a lot for the help.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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7. Re: I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

It would be about 6 hrs of driving to the Matanuska glacier, but I can tell you it is a beautiful drive from Palmer to the glacier. :)

There are several companies that do rafting in the Denali park area, but I always recommend Denali Outdoor center - they are the only local company that offers water safety classes to our local kids, which says lots to me. As well, they have a great safety record and have quality gear for their customers.

New York City, New...
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8. Re: I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

Thank you all.

That's true. Stay in whittier because I want to do Glacier cruise.

Both Brooks Lodge and camp site has already sold out. So only day trip available now. Mostly bothering me is the delay because of weather. Like this.

cameralabs.com/features/Bear_photography_Bro…

Do I need to book rafting in advance?

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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9. Re: I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

If your locations are set, I would book any activities - many places offer discounts if you book online and you are coming during a busy time for the tourist season. :)

New York City, New...
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10. Re: I had an itinerary, please help to finalize it.

Thanks coalminer !