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10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

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10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

Hello,

I am planning on a trip to Alaska on short notice and am looking for help in determining my itinerary. I will be landing in Anchorage on May 30th early morning and leaving on June 10th early morning. I have booked a rental car for those 10 days.My trip will be kind of split into two parts since I will be joined by another person on June 5th early morning in Fairbanks.

For the first part, I have not yet planned anything specific. All I have in mind right now is to drive along a few scenic roads around Anchorage. I love nature and looking at its beauty. Any suggestions for other activities would be helpful.

For the second part of the trip, this is the plan we have made so far

June 5th - start early from Fairbanks and drive along the Dalton Highway (until Deadhorse)

June 6th - return to Fairbanks (late night/early morning on 7th). For this trip, we are planning to rent a vehicle either from Arctic Outfitters or Go North

June 7th - Head to Denali national park and take the shuttle into the park. Reach Anchorage if possible that night

June 8th - Head down to Whittier or Seward for a glacier cruise

June 9th - planning on a dog sled ride or a flight landing on glacier (have not thought much about this). Return to Anchorage and prepare to leave

Do you think the above plan is viable?

Any suggestions or changes we should make?

Both of us are in our late twenties and can drive. We are interested in enjoying the scenery, driving, hiking and photography (not interested in fishing).

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Lake Tahoe...
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1. Re: 10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

With your trip only a couple of weeks away why haven't you made all your arrangements and reservations by now? Be aware that some rental car agencies may restrict driving the Dalton Hwy. On June 7th I find it impossible to drive from Fairbanks to Denall to do an all-day shuttle, and then drive to Anchorage by that night - over 350 miles.

The only flight landing on a glacier that I know of are out of Talkeetna (on the way to Anchorage). However, I don't believe they fly that late in the day.

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2. Re: 10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

Hi k2iks,

Thank you for your reply! I agree that all plans/reservations must have been in place by now :). But this trip was more like a last minute decision and we just booked the tickets a couple of days ago. And I have been spending the past two trying to figure out as best a plan as possible.

For the Dalton Highway plan, the two companies I mentioned (got their names from other posts in TA forum) specifically allow travel on unpaved roads.

I realize my mistake in planning to reach Anchorage on June 7th. I guess I did not research properly into driving times and the Denali shuttle trip time. Do you think the following revised plan would work?

June 7th - Reach Denali national park, take the shuttle and stay there for the night

June 8th - Reach Talkeetna, do the glacier landing tour and reach either Anchorage or Whittier for the night

June 9th - Do a glacier day cruise and return to Anchorage in the night.

Also, would you have any inputs on whether driving the Dalton Highway (back and forth) would be possible in two days?

Thanks!

Healy, Alaska
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3. Re: 10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

Why are you wanting to do the Dalton hwy? Just to say you did it?? I can think of more scenic areas to see in Alaska if this is your first time and your driving times will be way long with all the construction going on all over the state. From MapQuest, it is 14 hrs of non-stop driving (from Fbks to Deadhorse) . . . so I would think you would need more like 4 days just for the Dalton unless all you want to do is drive.

SO - I am guessing you are driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks? What day will you do this??

You should have at least 2 days for Denali - 3 would be better. Certainly can't do your first plan.

I would re-think this a bit myself, but it is your trip - perhaps this would be fun for you. :)

Edited: 23 May 2014, 17:51
Anchorage, Alaska
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4. Re: 10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

Dalton Hwy/Haul Rd.

- It is possible to do in 2 days, yes; though I don't think it's wise to do so (500 miles one way from Fairbanks)

- Personally I believe the key to driving this road is PREPARATION & RESPECT. Preparation in knowing as much as possible about where everything is on this desolate road (few services and a long ways between them). Respect... not just the road; but the truck drivers that use this road and being aware of them approaching from the front, from behind, and not impeding them. They can & will go very, very fast and/or very very slow (on some very steep hill climbs).

I drove the Haul Rd all the way to Deadhorse in 2007 (amazing). We took a week. We camped, we hiked, and we really took advantage of the outdoors. If you don't really love nature this can be a very long, boring drive.

Be prepared in your mind that something will happen to your vehicle, cracked/broken windshield, flat tire(s), run out of gas, etc. Be thankful if/when nothing happens; because you were well prepared, thoughtful, and respectful of this drive.

As I recall there were about 2-3 hours of driving that required a speed in the 5 to 10mph range about 2-3 hours in the 20 to 30 mph range and the rest of the drive was on incredible hardpack where the speed limit was your courage!

This is an incredible road. RESPECT IT.

a link to read:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60826-i1068-k4236…

Jervis Bay...
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5. Re: 10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

https:/…godwin-glacier-dog-sled.htm

There are glacier flights from Seward. Not sure they will fit in your itinerary though.

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6. Re: 10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

Than you for your inputs! :)

@coalminer - Since this is most probably the only time I am going to come to Alaska, I though I might as well reach the Arctic Ocean :). The main reason I want to do that drive is because of the adventure involved and, from what I read, the amazing scenery on the way. I do realize that it is really going to be a tough ask, that is why I am on the fence whether I should do it or not.

I will be landing in Anchorage actually on the 30th of May. So I will be in Fairbanks before June 5th for sure. The reason I have mentioned the trip from 6th is because I am waiting from my brother to join me in Fairbanks on June 6th.

@sdpryde - Thank you for that advice and information. That thread was useful. I had read susanstevenson's blog post regarding her trip via the Dalton. She had done it in three days, which included a tour from Deadhorse. I thought if we did not do the tour and pushed ourselves a little bit, we could complete the full round trip in 2 days.

@aussieastrogirl - Thank you for the link regarding the combined helicopter and dog sledding. Had not considered that before

Julian, North...
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7. Re: 10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

We drove the Dalton 1n 2012.Spent 6 days total and loved every minute! Sdpryde gave great info.We rented a cabover truck from Go North.I know Sdpryde drove it in a older model Honda wasn't it?

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8. Re: 10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

Older now, just 4 yrs old then!

2003 Honda CR-V, front wheel drive. Fortunately had no issues/incidents.

Healy, Alaska
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9. Re: 10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

And I could totally seeing doing this with more time - but 2 days??

Jervis Bay...
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10. Re: 10 day itinerary help and suggestions please

An alternative might be just to see the arctic circle? Not sure if this is something you would want to do but my dh wanted to until we abandoned the idea : )

There is a flightseeing tour to the arctic circle from Fairbanks and a drive tour where they take you on a 13 hour trip. No worries about rental car damage then and more relaxing I would have thought? Doesn't get you to the ocean though.