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Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

Berkshire, UK
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Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

We are at the very early stages of planning a trip to Alaska in 2014. We don't want to start building on this if the basic route is flawed! Okay, let's start with us, we are early 60's, enjoy wildlife and scenery, not into strenuous or adventure activities. We are use to planning/booking our touring holidays, we find this is half the fun of it, we have travelled extensively in the lower 48. At this stage nothing is booked, I wanted to work out to begin with how many days we needed, we do not want to be rushing around but go at a leisurely pass, dont know when we will arrive or leave. Not even sure right month to come, I understand June/July is mosquitos so thinking about mid August. We have never been in a RV before but have seen them many times and always had a hankering to give it go, Alaska seems a good place to try it. For the past few months I've been reading posts and trip reports and taken these as the basis for what I have planned, it seems I am following a pretty standard route but we just need your reassurance of this. I have a few questions already which are included.

Day 1 arrive Anchorage, not sure what time will arrive, go to GAH depot, stay night there

Day 2 get supplies, drive to Talkeetna, flightseeing if weather allows, drive to Denali, stay night en route somewhere but if time allows can drive to Denali (think about staying night at Talkeetna so can do flightseeing on Day 3 morning if cancelled Day 2 if not when could we do it?)

Day 3 drive to Denali if not there, then drive to mile 14, hike all or some of 2 mile Savage loop trail, dog sled demo, visitor centre etc, stay at Riley campground

Day 4 bus shuttle to Wonder Lake, stay at Riley campground

Day 5 bus shuttle to Wonder Lake, stay at Riley campground

Day 6 and 7 drive via Denali highway (planning on using GAH for RV rental and they will allow this) to Matanuska glacier, day 6 stop somewhere by side of road, is this really okay ?, day 7 stay at Grand View campground

Day 8 Ice fall trek on glacier ( need to check if we are able to do this, it says if you can walk upstairs you can do it but we don't want to spoil it for others by being too slow), stay at Grand View

Day 9 drive to Girdwood, include Hatcher Pass en route, stay at Williwaw campground

Day 10 26 glacier PWS cruise out of Whittier, stay at Williwaw

Day 11 activities around Girdwood, Portage stay at Williwaw

Day 12 drive to Seward, hike Exit glacier en route, hopefully stay at Seward waterfront campground (we can't prebook this, where to go if we can't get in)

Day 13 Kenai fjord cruise, not sure which but would be more than 6hour one, stay at Seward waterfront campground

Day 14 Sea life Centre, lazy day looking round town, or anything else I find, stay at Seward waterfront campground

Day 15 return to Anchorage, depending on flight time either stay at Girdwood again, then fly home next day

Antwerp, Antwerpen...
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1. Re: Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

looks already well planned :-)!

3 suggestions:

1) personally, I would only do one day on the shuttle bus. It is a long drive (10 to 11 hours) and the bus stops frequently. Definitely enough time to watch birds and other wildlife. I would have been bored the 2nd day.

2) I would strongly recommend Valdez. We were there and we liked this small city a lot (much more than Homer or Seward). It is a little detour, but you might do the Denali Highway in 1 day, and then next day drive to Valdez. You can stop at the Worthington glaciers, where an easy walk will bring you on the ice of the glacier. You might then also take the PWS cruise from Valdez instead Whittier.

3) we went end June, and didn't prebook any RV-site. Only in Talkeetna, the site was full (there was also only one), but all other sites had plenty of spaces left!

Have a look at my blog where I am describing the roadtrip and also posted some pictures. photodepauw.com/english-home/…

Good luck and enjoy!!

Pieter

Lake Tahoe...
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2. Re: Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

Whether one likes Valdez over Seward or Homer, understand it is a long way off the beaten path. You can take the ferry there from Whittier, but long way around drive from Anchorage is cheaper, and in a sense with ferry scheduling is faster. We do not agree that Valdez is better than Homer or Seward, as our Kenai Peninsula has far more to offer. And, I'm glad we don't live in Valdez.

As for Matanuska Glacier I would suggest staying at Sheep Mountain Lodge, about ten miles to the east. Good accommadations and the food too. We have mentioned this in previous postings there is an entrance fee and is a per person price. The road traverses over private property. There is a view point from the Glenn Hwy but you are not up close.

Cannot suggest anything on RV traveling as have never used one.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

>>>1) personally, I would only do one day on the shuttle bus. It is a long drive (10 to 11 hours) and the bus stops frequently. Definitely enough time to watch birds and other wildlife. I would have been bored the 2nd day.<<<

Admittedly, not for everyone, but some folks really enjoy multiple days on the shuttle bus. During the road lottery weekend a couple of years back, I drove the road (at least to Eielson) every day and twice on Sunday (literally!). Each day was different, with different wildlife out and about. Please Mt McKinley was visible in the morning on three days, but only before noontime.

Berkshire, UK
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4. Re: Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

Pieter, thanks for your suggestions about including Valdez, but had discounted it as it added a few days to our trip but will look again at the places you mentioned.

K2iks, have ready so many of your posts already! Thanks for the tip about the acces to Matanuska glacier across the private road, will def include that one.

TimeshareVon, agree I will leave the time in Denali as it is for now, may change if I need an extra day somewhere, thanks for confirming the 2 days we thought, we re hoping that one of the days the weather will be kind to us and we will see the mountain at Wonder Lake and the 2nd day we will get do a little walking somewhere.

Alaska
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5. Re: Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

Absolutely okay to stop and camp anywhere you like on the Denali Highway. Just pick the prettiest place you can find!

Grand View RV Park on the Glenn Highway is very nice. Haven't stayed there in an RV, but have stopped at their little cafe which is excellent and the property has amazing views!

Berkshire, UK
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6. Re: Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

Thanks for help so far, when looking further I'm finding more activities we would like to add, but not sure if they will fit. So the first question, we are planning on staying in Girdwood for 2nights, how long would it take to drive to Coopers Landing from here? We are thinking of including a 2hour scenic float trip with Alaska Wildland Adventures and wonder if it could be included somewhere between days 9 to 12, we do't want to feel rushed or under pressure on any day. Thanks for any advice anyone can give.

Bristol, Connecticut
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for Alaska
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7. Re: Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

If you get an early start on Day 12 you could do the float on that day. Cooper Landing is a 30 (OW) minute detour on your way to Seward from Williwaw. Check for RV camping in Seward down by the Museum, less people seem to end up there. There is also a city campground right outside of town or the campground at Lowell Point.

Duluth, Minnesota
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for Cabo San Lucas
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8. Re: Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

We did a 3 hr scenic float with Drifters lodge in Cooper landing this June and loved it.

I'd give some thought to June rather than August. The weather tends to be nice, not a lot of tourists yet, especially early in the month. Flowers are blooming, just a very nice time to be there. Unless you wait till late August I don't think the mosquitos will be gone yet, we didn't have too many this year going June 15-25.

Duluth, Minnesota
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for Cabo San Lucas
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9. Re: Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

my wife reminds me... we DID get hit by mosquitos pretty hard at the Russian river this year, June 23-25th. Not nearly as bad in Seward or Homer though.

Chicago
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for Pompano Beach
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10. Re: Your thoughts on Planned journey in 2014

Mosquitos are reduced considerably in mid-August but weather may not be as nice. I was thankful for multiple days in Denali for views of the mountain at Wonder Lake. The more times on the bus, the more chances to see wildlife.