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Seeking advice on Alaska itinerary

Monument, Colorado
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Seeking advice on Alaska itinerary

Hello-

I am planning a trip to Alaska for my family in July, 2013. There are 4 of us (2 kids, both teenagers). We have 3 weeks at the most. I am considering several itineraries and would like feedback on this one:

Day 1- fly to Anchorage from Denver, rent car, spend the night

Day 2- Drive to Denali, maybe stay in Healy

Days 3-5- Shuttle into Delani, hiking, possible flightseeing

Days 6-7 Drive Denali Highway to Richardson Hwy, headed for Valdez. Stay one night somewhere along the way. Suggestions for that?

Day 8- in Valdez. Day hike, maybe see museum

Day 9- Ferry to Whittier, then drive to Seward

--Question about the ferry. Do you see a lot of the glaciers in the Sound from the ferry? Or is a day cruise better for that purpose?

Day 10-15- in Seward. Kayak, day cruise to fjords, hike Harding Icefield Trail, relax

Day 16 Drive to Homer

Days 17-18- in Homer.

Day 19- Drive to Anchorage, spend the night

Day 20- Fly home

We are hoping to say in cabins with at least minimal kitchen facilities most of the time. Or B&B's. We could also camp, but would have to rent equipment, as we don't want to bring all of our gear with us on the plane.

Thanks!

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Valdez
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Seward
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Cross Admiralty Canoe Route
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Chugiak, Alaska
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1. Re: Seeking advice on Alaska itinerary

A couple of things- the ferry may cost you a good bit. You should look into that before making a final decision if you haven't already. A day cruise will definitely be better for seeing glaciers up close and spending more time at them.

In Alaska, 'cabin' often means a dry cabin- no running water, no indoor toilet. As you are looking at places to stay, you need to keep an eye out for that. State use cabins can be hard to come by for weekends, but more chances to stay in those on weekdays. However, you'd need sleeping bags, sleeping pads, etc to stay there and the kitchens in some are just a counter top and the bunks plywood.

What is your budget for nightly stays? Most B&Bs (which are cheaper than hotels usually) and cabins with kitchens and indoor plumbing are in the $150/night range. Some with enough beds to sleep four will be a bit higher. If you are looking for something cheaper, there are some yurts available in Seward that have a shared bathroom, but if that's over the budget, you may want to reconsider bringing your camping gear. Several of us on TA bring our camping gear on flights. We just put our backpacks (fully loaded, of course) in a big, cheap duffle to save them from airport conveyers. I got a huge duffle that fit my gear inside it for $20.

On the trip from Denali to Valdez, I'd say Delta Junction might be a good halfway point to stay the night. The Garden B&B has great (and believable) reviews and they have a nice cabin that would be comfortable for the four of you for $150/night:

http://alaskagardenbandb.com/accomodations/

Denali- make sure you book your shuttle tickets on the phone as you can get the third day on the shuttle free that way. You can also stop in Talkeetna on the way there for your flightseeing. You have a better chance of getting a good deal that way since there are multiple places in Talkeetna that have flightseeing coupons in the coupon books. Definitely suggest staying in Healy. It's almost always cheaper and I like the restaurants up there better. There are a couple of nice places with cabins that have kitchens and fit your family well:

http://www.aksprucecabins.com

http://healycabins.com

Seward- again, coupon books are your friend. You can get buy-one, get-one free on the day cruises, kayaking, etc. If you got two books, you could get several things at half price. Check out the Top Question on the right side of the main Alaska forum for more details about those.

I think your plan looks good, though. I'd maybe take a day away from Seward and add it into Denali or Homer instead, but it's a personal preference. Feel free to post back in this same thread if you have questions about what things you want to do in those locations.

Edited: 31 March 2013, 21:49
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Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: Seeking advice on Alaska itinerary

You might also consider renting an RV .... gives you more flexibility with your itinerary and even tho the fuel costs will be high, you can prepare all your own meals, and the teens will have their snacks and drinks an arms length away 24/7! Just a thought.

That would definitely nix the ferry to Whittier. Very costly with an RV. However, you would take the Glenn Hwy instead which is a nice drive. Plus it takes you past the Matanuska Glacier if you're interested in a litle ice trekking or river rafting.

As is, it looks like a great trip.

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Matanuska Glacier
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Lake Tahoe...
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3. Re: Seeking advice on Alaska itinerary

Better check with your rental agency if they allow driving the Denali Hwy. To me, personally, I would forget going to Valdez to take the ferry. You will save both time and money. We took the ferry from Whittier to Valdez last summer and the ferries no longer get that close to the glacier (Columbia).

Day 10-15: You really don't need that many days to do Seward and would do better spending the extra days in Homer..

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Valdez
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Seward
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Monument, Colorado
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4. Re: Seeking advice on Alaska itinerary

Thanks to all for this great advice. I have taken Valdez out of our plans at this point. We will go from Anchorage to Denali, then down to Seward, then to Homer. We plan to camp for the Denali part of the trip, then book cabins or B&B's in Seward and Homer. Do you any of you know anything about the Homer Roundhouse yurt? I can't find any reviews for that, although they have a good website with lots of photos. Looks pretty great. Our other option right now is Sea Lion's Cove, which looks a little small for 4 people, but might be worth it for the great location. And it's less expensive than the yurt. Opinions?

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Valdez
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Lake Tahoe...
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5. Re: Seeking advice on Alaska itinerary

Regarding your options on Homer for lodging I know nothing about them, and the first one is not a Homer Chamber member. Homer has many B&B and other accommodations

haines, alaska
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6. Re: Seeking advice on Alaska itinerary

Re: "I can't find any reviews for that"

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g31009-d2545401…

7. Re: Seeking advice on Alaska itinerary

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