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Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

Gainesville, Florida
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Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

Hey All!

Really enjoy this forum as I have spent weeks going thru most of the topics while researching a trip to Alaska. I hope my questions aren't redundant,, but really value the input of folks that have been to Alaska.

To summarize, my wife and I are arriving in Seward at 6 AM on July 6 after a 7 day cruise on HAL. We plan on spending 4 days in Denali starting on Monday July 7 to Friday July 11.

My initial plan after getting off of the boat, was to take a sightseeing bus from Seward to Anchorage, arriving around noon. We would then rent a car and spend the day/night (Sunday) in Anchorage. Monday AM we would then drive to Denali where we would like to stay at a B&B until Friday AM, July 11. We have a 4 PM flight out of Anchorage to head back home. So I believe that will leave us enough time to make the drive back to the airport and all.

A couple of questions....After reading about Seward and the Kenai cruises, would it be better to stay in Seward and take one of the cruises vs staying in Anchorage? Or as a possibility, take one of the six hour cruises, then take the 6 PM train to Anchorage? My main concern is getting the rental car and making the drive to Denali. I know it is about a 5 hour drive from Anchorage to Denali, and about a 3 hour drive from Seward to Anchorage. Is it feasible to leave Seward Monday AM, get to Anchorage and pick up the rental to drive to Denali?

Also, we are looking at two B&B's and would like some recommendations if anyone has stayed at either. We are looking at Lakeview Inn in Healy and Denali Touch of Wilderness in Healy. Both are away from the touristy stuff apparently and both are priced about the same. I know that Lakeview has the nice views of Lake Otto.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Steve

fti
MN
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1. Re: Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

Welcome to the Alaska forum.

I would suggest a Kenai Fjords tour then the train. Driving from Seward tk Anchorage in one day esp. with planned construction next summer is unwise.

Both your lodging options get good reviews. J have only been to Lakeview Inn.

Wasilla, Alaska
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2. Re: Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

I think fti meant to say that driving from Seward to Denali in one day is not a good idea.

And I agree that doing a Kenai Fjords cruise and then taking the train to Anchorage is good option.

Gainesville, Florida
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3. Re: Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

Thanks for the responses, guys!! After reading about Kenai cruises, I am starting to lean towards that option, with grabbing the evening train. Wife and I are in our 50's. I'm the sort of person that will cram as much into a day as I can, whereas my wife is a little more laid back. So I am trying not to overload her with too much stuff in one day. We cannot wait!!!

haines, alaska
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4. Re: Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

I would not plan on flying out of Anchorage at 4 pm, if you are leaving Denali in the morning.....too many things can delay your travel time......I would either stay in Eagle River or Anchorage prior to flying out the next day, especially if you don't want to "overload" your wife........

fti
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5. Re: Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

Sorry for the confusion with my post. I was typing from my phone and should have waited! AKStafford was correct.

I also agree with mombear - driving from Denali to Anchorage with a 4pm departure is definitely risky. I would leave by 7am at the absolute latest if you want to try it. Normally it is a 5 hour drive, but construction should be heavy next summer on that road, plus you never know what might happen. Car breakdown, hitting a moose, etc. They don't happen often, but I don't like rushing back to Anchorage for a flight and wondering if I will make it.

Gainesville, Florida
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6. Re: Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

Thanks for the response mombear and fti! Our plan was to leave Denali early Friday AM, like 7 AM, to get back to Anchorage airport, but now you have me wondering if we should cut Denali short one day. We'll have to mull that one over as we did not consider road construction or even moose, lol...Thanks!!

fti
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7. Re: Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

You could spend all day Thursday in Denali NP then drive to Talkeetna. That is normally a 3 hour drive from the Denali NP entrance, maybe a bit longer with construction delays. Then you are only a +-2 hour drive from Anchorage.

Gainesville, Florida
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8. Re: Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

Just what we were thinking! Maybe drive to Talkeetna Thursday and take one of the flightseeing tours then spend the night there. Might make more sense. But you're right about possibly spending all of Thursday at Denali and then driving to Talkeetna and overnight there as well! Just so much to see and do, it's difficult to narrow it down. Thanks!

Pennsylvania
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9. Re: Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

We are on the same timeline with our cruise and were recommended by friends to stay at the Lakeview Inn.

fti
MN
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10. Re: Questions about Seward/Anchorage/Denali

Both places you mentioned in Healy have good reviews. I would not hesitate to stay at either one.