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Trip plannin

Blythewood, SC
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15 posts
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Trip plannin

56 year old couple coming to Alaska July 2015 for two weeks. We plan to rent a car and drive ourselves. We are looking for adventure and an active trip with hiking, kayaking, glacier walking, viewing Mt.McKinley, flight seeing, whale watching. We want to stay in lodges and B&B's. Looking for recommended itinerary in terms of where to go, how much time to spend in each place, and any specific tours we should take or lodging we should secure. Thanks in advance for your help.

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fti
MN
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for Alaska
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1. Re: Trip plannin

Welcome to the forum. I would suggest you start by reading some of last year's trip reports (look at the Top Questions about Alaska on the right, and there is a link to them). See what others have done in a 2 week time frame. I assume you want to fly into southcentral Alaska based on your comments - all but whale watching can be done from there. There is a good chance you will see whales, but no guarantees. The Kenai Fjords tour is one possibility - the longer the better. I have also seen whales on the boat between Homer and Seldovia.

In my two week trip several years ago I visited Seward, Denali, Fairbanks, McCarthy/Kennicott and Valdez. Honestly, for me it was a bit rushed in two weeks but we had a variety of activities that we wanted to include (like the Midnight Sun baseball game on June 21) so things like that dictated our itinerary.

You can rearrange cities and length of stay based on your interests. Personally I generally like 3 nights in one place since that gives me 2 full days of touring. I only spend a single night somewhere if I am truly "in transit" - like between Seward and Denali, which is too far for most tourists to comfortably drive in a day.

Blythewood, SC
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15 posts
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2. Re: Trip plannin

Thanks fti. I have now viewed many itineraries on the forum, taken extensive notes, and researched several guidebooks. Our trip looks more like one week and my proposed itinerary is as follows: Fly into Anchorage and stay overnight. Next morning, travel via rental car to Seward, stopping along Turnagain Arm for short hikes/sightseeing. Spend three nights in Seward to allow for taking 6+ hour Kanai Fjords tour and hiking on Exit Glacier. Also, may try to check out Seavey's Iditarod dogsled tour. From Seward, drive to Denali NP with a one-night layover in Talkeetna to take flight-seeing tour of Mt. McKinley. Spend three nights in Denali NP and take both long and short shuttle buses into park to fully appreciate the landscape and wildlife and to also do some hiking along the way. Also hoping to get in a whitewater rafting trip while there. I would like to fit in a glacier cruise of Prince William Sound out of Whittier but not sure where to put it in our itinerary. I read, too, that a glacier hike at Matanuska (sp?) is more impressive than a glacier landing on Talkeetna flight-seeing because of more to see than just vastness of snow. I guess that's a personal preference, but what's your thinking? Doable with my itinerary? We can add another day or two to our trip but 2 weeks seemed like more than enough for this trip and not enough to try to see other parts of the state. Thoughts from anyone are welcome...

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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3. Re: Trip plannin

I would do the PWS tour the day you drive to Seward.

You can hike Exit Glacier with Exit Glacier Guides or add a night before Talkeetna or after Denali and head to Matanuska.

Anchorage, Alaska
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4. Re: Trip plannin

While in Seward I'd suggest thinking about doing the hike (tough 6 to 8 hr round-trip) up to the Harding Icefield (see: nps.gov/kefj/…harding_icefield_trail.htm ). The price is right (free) and it offers some spectacular scenery/views.

A glacier trek is also pretty cool/interesting. I've trekked with MIca guides on the Matanuska and loved it.

If you want to get into some class V rapids, Six MIle is quite a run. My wife has done it (and would do it again) with Nova (see: http://www.novalaska.com/rafting/alaska_day_trips/six_mile_creek).

Blythewood, SC
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5. Re: Trip plannin

So, if I had to choose, would you recommend the Matanuska trek or Exit Glacier hike? Or are they vastly different and I should do both?

Anchorage, Alaska
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6. Re: Trip plannin

I've only done the Matanuska 3hr trek. Loved it. I'm sure Exit Glacier has a quality product too. Here's a link I've just found that describes a hike to/on Exit Glacier: exitglacierguides.com/ice_hiking_in_Seward_A…

Here's Mica on the Matanuska Glacier: http://www.micaguides.com/hiking.html

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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7. Re: Trip plannin

When you have your basic itinerary nailed down, I would be happy to make recommendations for lodging, food, activities, etc. :)

Blythewood, SC
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8. Re: Trip plannin

Thanks for the links, sdpryde. I think matanuska trek is the one for us.

Coalminer, I think i have the basic itinerary, so lodging and dining recommendations for Seward, Talkeetna, and area close to Denali NP would be greatly appreciated. Also, staying in Talkeetna is not etched in stone, so if other overnight location to break up trip from Seward to Denali NP is more desirable or offers interesting activities , please let me know. Any recommendations for other activities along this general route in either direction would be welcome. Not as interested in museums and shopping as we are in experiencing Alaska. Thanks for all the help!

9. Re: Trip plannin

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