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Itinerary Advice

New York City, New...
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Itinerary Advice

Hi - planning a 2 weeker to Alaska from Aug 2nd to Aug 16th 2014. We are a couple in our late 20s. So far we have only booked Camp Denali for 4 nights starting Aug 4th. Would like some advice on the back end of our itin. We definitely want to do Seward (Kenai Fjords), Homer, and a night or so in Girdwood at Hotel Alyeska. Then deciding what to do with the rest of our time: debating btwn Kodiak or Wrangells St Elias. Rough itin below:

8/2 - arrive in ANC

8/3 - depart for denali by bus

8/4-8/7 - Camp Denali

8/8 - bus back from Denali to ANC to Girdwood (should we rent a car now?)

8/9 - Girwood (white water rafting)

8/10 - Girdwood to Seward

8/11-8/12 - Seward (wildlife cruise, ice climbing exit glacier)

8/12-8/13 - Homer

8/14-8/16 - TBD Kodiak? Reverse the route and end at Wrangells? We will most likely be opn a red eye out saturday night so should have most of this day.

What makes the most sense for the remaing days Kodiak or Wrangells? Ideally we would prefer whichever would provide a more unique experience when compared to what we already have on the itin. We like to be active and outside, seeing wildlife / scenery and are on the more adventurous side. All adivce is appreciated. The only thing that is nailed down is Camp Denali; the rest is flexible.

Thanks!

-Amy

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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1. Re: Itinerary Advice

What do you hope to see/do if you go to Kodiak? When you say "Wrangells" you should say as you did in the beginning, Wrangell/St. Elias NP. This makes it clear that you are not talking about the town of Wrangell in SE Alaska.

I might go to Homer first, then Seward then Girdwood. That way if you decide to do something like go to McCarthy/Kennicott in Wrangell/St. Elias NP, you have a shorter distance to travel (you might drive from Girdwood to Matanuska Glacier, spend the night near there, then continue).

Also be sure your timing from Camp Denali to the park entrance works with the timing of the bus connection to Anchorage. You won't get to the park entrance from Kantishna until at least noon, probably later. Just double check with Camp Denali.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Itinerary Advice

Thanks. Yes, I meant Wrangells St Elias National Park everytime I said Wrangells, good catch.

And for Kodiak, not sure what we should do there which is why that is the open-ended part of the itin. In my head i was thinking some sort of hiking / wildlife / bears experience, but we are open to any suggestions. I havent had enough time to fully research it yet.

From your response, seems like you recommend Wrangells St Elias National Park.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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3. Re: Itinerary Advice

You also could do some rafting at the entrance to Denali as well as on the Matanuska river, not far from the Matanuska glacier area. I am with fti - I think a trip up the Glenn hwy would be really nice. :)

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Itinerary Advice

Thanks. Just took a look at the glenn hwy, so we would do the scenic drive all the way to Glenallen. Do you have any reccomendations for how to best see the Park once we get to Glennallen by car? I think we would only have 2 days then especially if we ended up staying overnight at the glacier along the way.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Itinerary Advice

I did some more research and found some day trip flights that leave from Chitina. If we did the day trip would it make sense to to spend the night before / after the day trip in Chitina? Looks like there isnothing there. Would it make more sense and be a more enjoyable stay if we stayed in Kennicott?

fti
MN
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6. Re: Itinerary Advice

I would stay a night or two in Kennicott or McCarthy. I stayed in McCarthy. It depends on what you want to do. The Root Glacier hike is excellent. I took the "half day" hike (which was really more like 5-6 hours). Next time I would take the full day hike to get even further out on the glacier.

If you like challenging hikes, I would consider the Bonanza or Jumbo mine hikes. They look strenuous but with great views. I didn't do it, but definitely would try to plan on it another time I go.

You could also take the mill tour if the mill is open for tours next summer.

Another interesting option would be to charter a plane to a remote cabin inside the park. There are several and there is often good hiking near some of them. Just depends on interests and finances.

If you ended up going to Kodiak, I would probably only go if I booked a bear viewing day trip. But they are not cheap. In fact, if *I* went, it would be a multi-day trip to a forest service cabin (I actually had that booked one year, but long story short it didn't work out). But most people wouldn't do that.

Lake Tahoe...
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7. Re: Itinerary Advice

Kodiak is an overnight ferry ride on the Tustumena from Homer and operates three days a week (Sun/Tues/Thurs). There is also a day trip on Saturdays. Twice per month she does the Dutch Harbor run and is replaced by the Kennicott that comes over from the Juneau area. Your only other option to get to Kodiak is fly from Anchorage.

We have been to Chitina a few times and there is not much there. The hotel had been rebuilt and one of the owners died and not sure of continued operations. I bellieve there are some B&B there. Probably the nearest accommodations worth checking into is Copper River Princess Lodge about an hour's drive to Copper Center. There are a couple of places at McCarthy/Kennicott. Have not stayed there but think more interesting than staying at Chitina.

8. Re: Itinerary Advice

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