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ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

Houston, Texas
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ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

Hi everyone!

This is my first time posting so I hope I am doing it right :)

My husband, 3 kids (girl 11, girl 10, boy 8) and I are going to Alaska for the first time.

We all love the outdoors, wildlife, hiking and I really enjoy wildlife photography. The kids are always wanting to try new things.

I love planning trips but would like to have your ideas on "must see", opinions on my plan so far and suggestions.

Here is what I have reserved for our August 1st to August 8th trip. (The following have already been deducted from my budget)

Anchorage Airport August 1st (at 1am) so I have 2 nights (31st and 1st) at hotel, reserved in downtown Anchorage.

Rental car from August 1st to August 8th

Kenai National Wildlife refuge (Skilak), 2 nights in a cabin August 3rd-4th

We have $3000 left in our budget to reserve the rest of our nights and activities (I don’t count food and gas in this budget).

What I have been looking to do, not in any particular order, open to other ideas, town to visit, activities.

Denali for 1 or 2 nights? in a B&B or hotel in the surrounding village. Any suggestions where?

Take a plane tour to view Mt McKinley

Take a glacier/wildlife viewing boat tour out of Seward, I looked at Kenai fjord tours, but seems too many passenger/boat.

I just emailed Salt water lodge to see if they have a special price for children for their combo fishing/wildlife viewing just like their wildlife viewing. One of my children and me don’t fish so I would like to get a little of everything so everyone is happy

Alaska sea life center

Maybe kayak or canoe (couple hours only)

Maybe some (for husband and 2 kids) salmon fishing in river (Russian River? but we won't bring equipment) while we will stay in Skilak.

Any other suggestions, ideas, big “not worth it”?

Nights already planned:

08/01: Sleep in Anchorage

08/02: open

08/03: Sleep in Skilak

08/04: Sleep in Skilak

08/05: open

08/06: open

08/07: open

08/08: late night at airport (ANC), flight leave 08/09 1:30am

Thank you so much!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

For Denali, I would stay at least 2 nights. Park info: www.nps.gov/dena

Check out www.denalichamber.com for lodging ideas - I am always happy to make recommendations if needed. :)

Duluth, Minnesota
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for Cabo San Lucas
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2. Re: ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

Skilak isnt a town... Can you be more specific on where youre staying?

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

We rented a cabin close to Skilak lake (in the National wildlife refuge). It's not in a town but between Cooper Landing and Sterling.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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4. Re: ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

I am not great with itineraries, but would say to head to Seward after your night in Anchorage, staying night there. Visit the Sealife center, go on a boat tour of Kenai Fjords and possibly hike/see Exit Glacier, etc as you have listed. Do your time in Skilak area. Head north, staying perhaps one night in Wasilla or Talkeenta. You can flight see from there. Then head to Denali park. Stay 2 nights in Denali, do at least one shuttle bus into Denali park to Eielson. Maybe consider going to the doggie demo, doing a raft trip, or hiking on the second day.

What is your nightly budget for lodging and the type of lodging you are hoping to find in the Denali area?

5. Re: ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

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6. Re: ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

With your limited time, I would sleep in, then drive in the afternoon (Alaska is calling! ) of the 1st to Seward to spend 1st & 2nd in Seward.

Hurray for you! Did you get a public use cabin for Skilak Lk area? Which one?

8/5 you would need lodging between the Kenai & Denali, like the tiny little town of Talkeetna.

8/6 & 8/7 Denali with a shuttle bus reservation to Eielson visitor center mile 66 of the park rd.

Alaska
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7. Re: ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

With kids or without, having a cooler and food with you and picniking for some meals will save a great deal of money and free you from large restaurant portions. You also then are not tied to rushing away from a great plsce because someone is really hungry. Then you can relax and enjoy. I expect a long day in Seward between an 8 or 9 hour cruise - the short ones donot get to the wildlife - and the Sea Life Center. Allow time not to hurry!

Houston, Texas
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8. Re: ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

Thanks! Denalicat & Coalminer, I have a global budget left of $3000 so the less I spend on hotels the more I can spend on activities. Your itinerary makes a lot of sense and I am going to follow it. Any suggestions for place to stay?

(yes Denalicat I got a public cabin, I called them. The lady was super nice and recommended one for us)

MN man, for the Russian river fishing, is it better to spend money on it or rather send them on a 1/2 day Halibut-Salmon out of Seward?

Since_71, I always pack food (I'll be careful with bears) It's a lots cheaper and the kids eat healthier that way. In your opinion, the long cruise are worth it? A 9hr trip is not too much for kids?

Thank you for all your feedback! I will follow your suggestions!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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9. Re: ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

Did you look at the website I listed for lodging in the Denali area? The cheapest would be the hostel - take a look at the site - I could list places, but you should look at them and then see if they have availability. :)

Houston, Texas
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10. Re: ANC arrival, family trip, help planning (08/1-08/8)

Coalminer, I have looked at the Denali Chamber of Commerce web site and lots of great accommodation they suggest are in Healy.

I guess I am confused with something. When you suggest staying in Talkeetna for a night, then Denali for 2. I though I could stay in Talkeetna for 3 nights. Can I do that? Or it's to far to enjoy the park? Do you suggest going north all the way near Healy? Where is the location you park the car to take a shuttle into Denali Park?