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Is this Itinerary doable?

Merced, California
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177 posts
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Is this Itinerary doable?

DH and I are in the early early phase of planning a +/- 10 day trip for May/June 2015. It will just be the 2 of us, ages ~45. We took a cruise last year to Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka, and Ketchikan. DH spent 3.5 years on a coast guard cutter patrolling Alaskan waters, so has been to many of the coastal towns with CG bases, but has not been to the Interior. Our interests are photography and to do some hiking, up to ~ 4 -6 mile day hikes. Nothing too extreme. I understand Alaskan distance doesn't equal 60miles per hour, especially with stopping for pics every few miles, so is this itinerary doable? When is the Denali Highway typically drivable? Everything is flexible at this point.

Day 1 fly into fairbanks, rent an SUV, stay overnight

Day 2 drive to Healy, check in B&B, check out Denali visitor center, book shuttle, hike around visitor's center

Day 3 ride shuttle roundtrip to Wonder lake with photo stops and short hikes

Day 4 Hike Mt Healy

Day 5 take Denali Highway to Paxton and stay overnight in Copper Center. Yes, I know it's a rough road. We offroad in places like Moab, Utah so are prepared for rough terrain.

Day 6 take the Glennallen Highway, hike around Matanuska Glacier, stay overnight in Anchorage

Day 7 take the Seward Highway to Seward and stay overnight

Day 8 Boat trip to Kenai Fjords, stay overnight in Seward

Day 9 Take train to Whittier and do Phillip's 26 Glaciers tour, stay overnight in Anchorage

Day 10 fly home

I am open to suggestions!

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Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage
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1. Re: Is this Itinerary doable?

I don't think you'll get a one-way rental from Fairbanks to Seward that is allowed on the Denali Hwy.

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Seward
Seward
Alaska
Denali
Denali
2,178 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
fti
MN
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for Alaska
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15,810 posts
30 reviews
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2. Re: Is this Itinerary doable?

Even if you return the rental in Anchirage it will be tough finding a company that will allow the Denali Hwy.

Also I assume you know you will pay hundreds of dollars in a one-way drop fee over and above the car rental price.

No train from Seward to Whittier as you imply. I would just drive ti Whittier and skip the train. Same route; savesbtime and lets you stop at will.

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Denali
Denali
2,178 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Seward
Seward
Alaska
Merced, California
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177 posts
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3. Re: Is this Itinerary doable?

I was looking at the train between Girwood and Whittier rather than driving through the one lane tunnel. But looking at the extra cost, yeah, we'll probably drive it.

Can I rent an SUV roundtrip out of Anchorage? Fromer's says High Country Car and Truck Rentals will allow you to drive the Denali Highway. My copy is a few years old though so maybe that's changed?

Edit: nevermind. I found their rental policy online and it specifically says not allowed on the Denali Highway, so my copy of Fromer's is wrong. thanks anyway.

Edited: 21 March 2014, 06:27
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Denali Highway
Denali Highway
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Alaska
USA
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4. Re: Is this Itinerary doable?

Here is a Top Question regarding vehicles allowed on Denali Hwy:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60880-i350-k60341…

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Denali
Denali
2,178 Reviews
Denali National Park and Preserve, AK
Lake Tahoe...
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5. Re: Is this Itinerary doable?

Actually better to drive through the tunnel as the toll is $12 round-trip. The train is something like $65 one-way per person. Not only that you have to depend on their schedule. The train fare from Anchorage is the same.

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New Braunfels, Texas
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6. Re: Is this Itinerary doable?

Driving from Girdwood to Whittier is no big deal. Check the tunnel schedule for times, so you don't end up ther with a long wait. THere's a nice place to stop at Portage Lake on the way also, for some additional scenery.

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Girdwood
Girdwood
Anchorage, AK
7. Re: Is this Itinerary doable?

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