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Help with RV itinerary for trip to Denali and Kenai Pen.

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Coppell, TX
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Help with RV itinerary for trip to Denali and Kenai Pen.

My husband and I are planning a trip for just the two of us for July/ August. We will pick up an RV in Anchorage on July 29 at noon and return it at 3pm on August 7. We are considering visiting Denali National Park and the Kenai Peninsula. I have read many suggestions on this forum, but am still very overwhelmed with the possibilities. I am hoping that the experts can help us plan this trip.

We like being outdoors but do not necessarily enjoy rigorous activities. We are interested in short hikes, aerial trams, gold mining, boat excursions, ATV trail rides, and exploring quaint towns. We love wildlife viewing and would like to see beluga and other whales, puffins, seals, moose, bears, etc... However, we don't necessarily want to do a high priced tour just to see them. My husband is not a fisherman, but might like to try a half day of fishing. I definitely want to see the glaciers and maybe do a short kayaking trip.

We have already booked three nights at Denali at the beginning of the trip. Now what to do on Kenai Peninsula? Should we go to Homer and Seward? I have seen several comments on the beauty of the campgrounds of the Cugach National Forest. should we stay there? Are these too far from activities in Seward too be worth it? Is there enough around Girdwood/Portage Glacier to warrant staying in that area one night?

What are the best areas for glacier and wildlife viewing?

We are also new to dry camping. Should we plan on staying at a place with electric and water occasionally to recharge the battery and fill the tanks? Anyone know how long we can go on one battery charge ( I know that it is very dependent on what we use in the camper.)

Thanks in advance to the local experts and others!

USA
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1. Re: Help with RV itinerary for trip to Denali and Kenai Pen.

Welcome to TA!

Here is a good link to Top Question about RVing Alaska:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28923-i349-k34150…

Which campground did you book in Denali? Is it for the July 29, 30 & 31? If your campground is Tek CG, it will take a little longer to head south on August 1.

Williwaw campground is a beautiful stop next to Portage glacier. It would be a good break in your drive on August 1 from Denali. However, it does need reservations.

You could then proceed thru the tunnel to Whittier for a glacier day cruise, since glaciers are your interest.

It's a few hours from Whittier to Seward if you were to take a glacier day cruise.

The nice thing about the Seward city waterfront campground is that you can then walk to a lot in Seward: to the Sea Life center, to walk down onto the wharf watch the halibut fishermen bring in their catch, walk to get on a full sea life day cruise out to see the puffins & sea life, walk the sidewalk along the bay looking for sea otters, eagles, etc., walk to restaurants. My husband & I have driven down every summer for 12 years to the waterfront campground just to relax & enjoy the views!

We have also stopped & camped at all the campgrounds between Portage & Seward, and they are wooded & secluded, a drive into Seward.

The drive to Homer gives you different beautiful scenic views: Kenai lake, views of the volcanoes, beaches.

Perhaps get some Alaska guide books from the library to look at Seward & Homer, to see which interests you more or both.

Girdwood is a great stop for the tram at Alyeska, since trams are an interest.

As for your desire to exploring quaint towns, Talkeetna on the way to or from Denali, & Hope on your way to or from the Kenai peninsula might be something to research.

Note that there is the town of Kenai which is on the Kenai peninsula, just to confuse!

Edited: 18 March 2013, 00:47
Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: Help with RV itinerary for trip to Denali and Kenai Pen.

Look under Top Questions on the ALASKA forum for 'Scenic Cruises' (near the bottom). There are detailed drives outlined for Whittier, Denali, Seward, and Homer, with suggested stopping points for each. Also under Top Questions you'll find a link to the 2012 Trip Reports ... there are several reports on RV trips so you might find some interesting suggestions for your itinerary.

In regards to your dry camping questions; I rented an RV for the first time on my last trip to Alaska. We were 3 adult women.... we found that we easily go 3 days before we had to fill/empty the tanks. We bought twp 1-gallon containers of water for drinking/cooking. We dry camped half the trip. When we didn't have electricity we had a generator. Denali and other campgrounds have strict regulations for the times a generator can be used. The batteries charge as you're driving so unless your RV is sitting for more than a week it won't drain.

I highly recommend that you buy an Alaska Milepost to help you get the most from your drive. For each hwy it provides the milepost # of every gas station, park, restaurant, scenic viewpoint, activities, etc, as well as a place you might spot a mountain goat on a ridge or where moose are frequently seen or a stream to see salmon spawning. You can buy older editions on amazon for under $10. The info is the same; just some of the vendors may have gone out of business or new one started up. Have fun planning. carol

p.s. a good resource for the Kenai Peninsula is www.kenaipeninsula.org.

Edited: 18 March 2013, 05:12
Coppell, TX
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3. Re: Help with RV itinerary for trip to Denali and Kenai Pen.

Here is our rough itinerary:

Day 1 arrive late in Anchorage, spend the night at RV lot

Day 2-4 Riley Creek campground at Denali NP- tour of Denali one day, shorts hikes, dog sled demo, and ATV next day

Day 5 Montana Creek Campground - walk around Talkeetna

Day 6-8 Williwaw Campground - Crow Creek Mine, Portage glacier, Aleyska tram

Day 9-10 Seward City Campground- all day Kenai Fjords boat tour, sea life center, exit glacier

Day 11 return to Anchorage for evening flight

Any comments or suggestions? What should we do along the way? Did we miss any must sees in the area?

I originally planned a boat trip out of Whittier also, but an employee at Major Marine said that it would be redundant if we did the all day cruise from Seward. Do you agree?

Also, my husband loves the gold mining and crab fishing reality shows. Is Crow Creek the best place for him to try his hand at mining? Are there any crab boats that dock in Seward?

We leave Sunday and are very excited. I am tired of planning and can't wait to be there.

Thanks for your help!

USA
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4. Re: Help with RV itinerary for trip to Denali and Kenai Pen.

Here are the mileposts for Parks & Seward Hwys for potential stops of interest. I recommend Denali View South & North and the veterans memorial on the Parks.

www.milepost.com/highway_info/parks_highway

Lots of stops along the Turnagain. With an RV, best to stop for the Turnagain side on the way down & visa versa side on the way back north as it can be challenging to turn across traffic on the Seward.

www.milepost.com/highway_info/seward_highway

Of course, reservations are needed for Williwaw campground, Riley Ck & Denali shuttle bus. We have been turned away at Montana Ck CG when the fish were running, but I can't remember when that was. Montana Ck takes reservations too.

Hope you come back with a trip report! You'll have a blast!

5. Re: Help with RV itinerary for trip to Denali and Kenai Pen.

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