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15 nights start/end ANC

Salt Lake City, Utah
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15 nights start/end ANC

Myself, My wife, my boys (13 & 17), and my mom (probably in better shape than us all) will be flying into ANC about 1pm on June 10, 2014. Flying home from ANC on June 24, 2014. We have flights, rental car, and lodging booked. First 7 nights in Soldatna, house on the Kenai river. Next 4 nights in Homer. Last 3 nights in Wasilla in a lake cabin. We are active and are open to almost anything, but I want to keep the budget under control. I'm hoping the reds are running and we can catch them from the shore, might want to try for Kings, any suggestions? Looks like the tides would be great for clamming. Turnagain arm worth seeing more than on the way to Sodatna? Day trip to Seward for the 9 hour boat ride. Good time of year for whales? Homer - Seldovia trip, maybe Halibut. Any other must do's? Better to kayak in Seward or Homer? Wasilla - Hatcher pass, drive to a glacier. Any suggestions for some other activities? Gold panning? Worthwhile hikes? Do I need to be concerned about bears this early in the year or are their places I can see them without spending an arm and a leg? Any non-touristy suggestions?

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Anchorage, Alaska
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1. Re: 15 nights start/end ANC

The salmon are on their own schedule, but I think you will be early in Soldotna for reds. Kings are another story; I'd bet it will be illegal to fish them this year.

I commend you for staying at places out if the norm, but I'm not sure why you picked the places you did. IMO, 7 days in Soldotna is just way too long, especially if on a budget.

Is there a reason you don't want Denali, Seward, the Girdwood/Portage area?

Duluth, Minnesota
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2. Re: 15 nights start/end ANC

Agreed, although a week staying on the Kenai will still be cool:) i Assume they rent by the week? A couple days in Seward would be good, especially if you want reds. We'll be in Seward the 6th thru the 10th or so catching reds, its a good early season option

. On the kenai, your only chance at reds will be intercepting the early run russian river fish. Ive heard of some having success at it, but its nothing at all like the 2nd run. Id guess your cabin on the kenai doubles in price then as thats where everyone wants to be mid-july. The Kasilof river 15 miles away is a better bet; it doesnt get near the numbers of fish but the timing might work better.

You can head to the Russian to try reds, that opens the 12th and could be hot right away, or not. Its a zoo of people, but can be very productive. You'd all need waders there. I assume youre bringing your own fishing gear?

As for kings, the early kenai run, heck, most king runs, have been lousy lately, and this year will likely be as well. Again, the Kasilof is a possibility, with the bonus of an early run of hatchery fish and much better shore fishing possibilities. But its numbers have been way low too... Sorry, but its just a tough stretch for kings.

Theres the Swanson lakes area a few miles from Soldotna. Nice little stocked trout lakes there, with shore fishing available, or rent canoes.

Halibut out of Seward or Homer, lots of good charter choices, but do your homework. Bet the boys would love that:) or a flyout across the inlet; not cheap, but it opens up some more fishing opportunities.

Edited: 17 January 2014, 13:51
Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: 15 nights start/end ANC

A big part of this trip is to relax and reconnect as a family. I also didn't want to pack up and change locations too many times. Soldatna looks like it's within 2 hours of most places so seemed to be an ok choice, plus the river house looked great. I like to fish, but it wasn't the main reason for the trip, yet with your suggestions, we will give it a go as much as we can since my wife will not fish. Yes, the cost of the cabin is reasonable in early/mid June and in July during the big runs, it does double. With 5 people, I found it difficult to find reasonable accommodations near Seward, but would be willing to do the 2 hour drive each way from Soldatna a couple of times. As for Denali, it started on our list, but the 11 hour bus ride in the park turned us off, as well as finding reasonable accommodations for 5 people. Also was told to do Denali on a clear day, well, just like Salmon, mother nature has her own schedule. I just want to make sure we have a few options at each place and don't mind a bit of a drive. Kayak? Seward or Homer or elsewhere? Humpbacks? Seward or Homer? I really appreciate the help.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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4. Re: 15 nights start/end ANC

The Kenai Peninsula has a great web site with info and a link for each town. They used to send a free visitor guide as well. You'll find the web site under Top Questions in the RESOURCE thread. Also under Top Questions, look at the SCENIC DRIVES thread. For each drive it provides suggested stopping points and places of interest. Matanuska Glacier, Knik Glacier or Independence Mine might be worthwhile detours for your group out of wasilla.

You should buy a MILEPOST. For each hwy it provides the milepost number for activities, parks, scenic viewpoints, excursions, etc. You can usually buy older editions on amazon for under $10. It's a great resource to help with itineraries. Trip reports are also a great resource.

Duluth, Minnesota
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5. Re: 15 nights start/end ANC

I like your thinking hearing that; after 5 trips with just myself and my wife a few years back, we brought our daughters ( 15 and 20) up last year. We rented an RV, but the point is it was a different trip than ours had been, less fishing (kind of:) and allowences made to accomadate everyone. Great trip:)

Basing in Soldota will work fine, and the drives to Homer or Seward arent bad.

Kayaking i havent done; whales, youll see plenty on your Seward cruise, as long as you take the longer one.

A drive up from Soldotna to capt cook park is cool, some history along there, and lots of moose if you go early morning.

USA
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6. Re: 15 nights start/end ANC

Look for Mt McKinley from the airport- in June we would often see the mountain out from town

Seward:

9 hour sea life cruise (we've seen whales)

From Soldotna:

(folks are always asking for real Ak, Soldotna area is real AK where AK residents go to fish!)

The Moose is Loose Bakery!!!

Captain Ck State Pk- take a picnic

dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/captcook.htm

Kalifornsky Beach Rd,

Skilak Lake Road - look for brown bears

float trip (combo fishing?)on the Kenai from Cooper Landing

To Cooper Landing to hike the Resurrection Pass trail up to Juneau Falls back:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g30971-i3862-k3167…

expeditionsalaska.com/kenai-peninsula-backpa…

To Russian River campground Cooper Landing to hike to Russian River falls to look for salmon or bears as the run could be starting then

On way to Homer:

Ninilchik Russian orthodox church

licenses for clamming/rent equipment (?)for Clam Gulch

Homer:

guided kayaking in Halibut Cove (easy, maybe among eagles, sea otters, porpoises, salmon, starfish, anemones)-look for black bears up on the hills:

ferry (we've seen whales) to Seldovia- check tide charts for low tide for the easy Oterbahn trail out to the cliffs to look for sea otters

Homer Spit

From Wasilla:

Hatcher Pass

glacier hike on the Matanuska glacier

musk ox farm

Edited: 17 January 2014, 21:45
Salt Lake City, Utah
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7. Re: 15 nights start/end ANC

Thanks everyone, very helpful

8. Re: 15 nights start/end ANC

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