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Need Opinions between 2 itineraries

Natick...
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Need Opinions between 2 itineraries

Hi everyone,

My wife and I are planning a one week getaway to Alaska next summer, and I'm already thinking about it! We are in our early 40s, love to hike, visit Nat'l Parks, and are in good shape. We've never been to Alaska before. I plan on going on a backcountry camping trip to Denali in a few years with some friends, so we'd rather focus somewhere else, like the South/Eastern part of Alaska. Some of our requirements: great hiking, sea kayaking, getting close to glaciers, seeing brown bears, and some peace/quiet. Would love to find a great, secluded backcountry lodge to spend a few nights.

After reviewing Fodor's front to back, I'm thinking of two possible itineraries, but am looking for advice. Since transportation is so varied, it makes planning a bit intimidating.

Option 1: Anchorage/Seward/Kodiak - Seems like we could knock off all my requirements above with these spots. Love to see Kenai Fjords, Kodiak Reserve, and Exit Glacier. Not sure about transportation between these places, but I'm guessing it's possible.

Option 2: Juneau/Glacier Bay/Admiralty Island - Love to see Mendenhall Glacier, Glacier Bay, and the bears of Admirality. My only concern is the potential to be stuck with the cruise ship crowds.

I hope that's enough to go on for you. Thank you so much for the help!

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fti
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1. Re: Need Opinions between 2 itineraries

When would the trip be?

See a recent thread about crowds - it really is a non-issue.

New South Wales...
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2. Re: Need Opinions between 2 itineraries

If you have a healthy budget - somewhere like this: alaska.org/homer/kachemak-bay-wilderness-lod… may suit you. Homer also offers access to Katmai flightsees or you could stay here: alaska.org/katmai/bear-viewing-brooks-lodge.…

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Homer
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haines, alaska
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3. Re: Need Opinions between 2 itineraries

Per your option 2:.....you will probably see quite a few folks out at Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau....there will be fewer tourists at the motels near the airport as the ships dock downtown......no crowds in Glacier Bay (either ferry or fly to Gustavus (Glacier Bay) stay at the lodge there or a nice B&B......

Admiralty Island is a great for seclusion.....this is the only wilderness lodge out there.... a little pricey, but it looks like everything is included, even your flight out there and back www.favoritebay.com/ratesandspecials.asp

At the other end of the spectrum on Admiralty are the forest service cabins.... you would arrange your own flight out there and bring your own camping gear......you would be all on your own, but the cabins are really quite comfortable and give you the feeling of being a homesteader..... …usda.gov/activity/…

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Lake Tahoe...
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4. Re: Need Opinions between 2 itineraries

In your option in southeast Alaska you will be spending a lot of time riding the ferry and if have only a week not sure you want to do this.

There are several bear watching flights out of Homer - the day trips cost about $600 per person

Edited: 18 March 2013, 15:44
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Natick...
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5. Re: Need Opinions between 2 itineraries

Thanks for the responses so far everyone! This is very helpful.

I've answered some of the questions below:

- we'll be visiting in July 2014

- we are willing to spend some $$ (since this is a trip of a lifetime), however we don't want anything too high-end (Favorite Bay Lodge or Halibut Cove lodge). It's just not our style, and I get the impression we'd be staying with a bunch of people we have nothing in common with.

- we have no interest in fishing, so some of the fishing destinations don't interest me (Angler's Lodge on Katmai). I'd rather see a bear in the "wild" than on a platform with hundreds of other people. That feels too much like a zoo for me.

Hope that helps. Thanks again for your input.

haines, alaska
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6. Re: Need Opinions between 2 itineraries

Well a "secluded back country lodge" that you had originally asked about is going to be expensive......it will be remote and everything will need to be flown in......soooo, take a look at the forest service cabin link.......you will need to book a float plane into them, and you will need to take everything with you, but you would definitely be secluded.....

What month are you planning your trip ?......We have brown bears here in Haines that can be seen on a regular basis between mid-July and September......

Here is a comfortable place right on the river http://chilkootriverlodge.com/

Here is another very secluded rental http://www.vrbo.com/424837

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Haines
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7. Re: Need Opinions between 2 itineraries

"Staying with a bunch of people we have nothing in common with" What does that mean. Alaska is what you are common with. Hundreds of people would mean a big Anchorage hotel. And, Halibut Cove doesn't have crowds.

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8. Re: Need Opinions between 2 itineraries

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