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Seward to Whittier

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Windham, Ohio
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Seward to Whittier

There has been a lot posted about the difficulty of traveling by train or bus between these locations. Can it be done by car? It would save about 96 miles. At this point I am planning to stay in Seward for two nights. I would then like to drive to Whittier. Is it possible, without going to Anchorage? It looks like it. How long will it take? I would like to take a cruise in Prince William sound & then head towards Anchorage. Want to see the Wildlife Sanctuary at some point in our travels. Should I consider taking the cruise at Portage Glacier when I am taking cruises at Seward & Whittier? Where would be a good place to stop for the night between Whittier & Anchorage? Thanks for your help!

Bristol, Connecticut
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1. Re: Seward to Whittier

A stop for the night would be Girdwood.

Yes you can drive to Whittier from either Anchorage or Seward it is a spur off the Seward Highway and you travel through a tunnel to get to Whittier.

The Wildlife Conservation Center is at the turnoff so depending on what time you are traveling you may want to stop before or after your cruise in Whittier.

If you are doing the other cruises you may want to skip Portage Glacier Cruise but it is nice to do if you have time.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portage_Glacier_Highway

…alaska.gov/creg/whittiertunnel/index.shtml

http://www.alaskawildlife.org/

Edited: 14 October 2013, 18:50
Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Seward to Whittier

Of course it can be done by car. You drive maybe an hour and a bit from Seward up the Seward Highway to Portage Valley, then up the valley to the one-way (reversible) tunnel to Whittier. I'd allow 2 to 2 1/2 hours all in, depending on how long you have to wait for the tunnel to open in your direction. …state.ak.us/creg/…schedule.shtml

From the Seward Highway/Portage turnoff it's around an hour into Anchorage, so you can easily reach Anchorage following a Glacier cruise out of Whittier. However, if you want to stop before Anchorage, you can do so at Girdwood, around a half hour from the Whittier turnoff. The Alyeska resort (skiing in winter, year-round gondola to wonderful views) is one of the best hotels in the state. http://www.alyeskaresort.com/

You didn't ask, but while there are rental cars available in both Whittier and Seward, it will be much cheaper to rent in Anchorage. I'm assuming that's what you'd be doing.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3. Re: Seward to Whittier

Seward Bus Lines has one trip a day into Whittier from Seward, 9:30am - noon. (They don't do Whittier to Seward tho) http://www.sewardbuslines.net/summer.html

It would help to know how this fits into the rest of your itinerary. Are you stepping off a cruiseship in Seward then renting a car from Hertz for a few days before ending up in Anchorage?

It's a very easy drive ... I'd say closer to 2 hours because you need to consider the schedule of the Anton Anderson tunnel just outside Whittier. It has specific hours of operation since it's shared by both trains and vehicles. Going into Whittier it's open on the half-hour, leaving Whittier on the hour. I think it's open for 15 minutes.

Windham, Ohio
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4. Re: Seward to Whittier

We plan on flying into Anchorage and staying for a day or two, heading to Seward for a couple of nights. While in Seward taking the 6 hr. cruise, go to the Sea Life Center & Seaveys Sled Dogs & possibly Exit Glacier. Cannot walk far, so not sure if the Exit Glacier would be wise. Want to go to Whittier & take one of the cruises. Before returning to Anchorage or at some point on the trip I would like to drive thru the wild life sanctuary. How difficult is the walking at the Tram at Mt. Aleyeska? Is Portage Glacier advisable after having taken the two longer cruises? Climbing steps is difficult for me as is walking on uneven ground. I am 71 & my friend is 50. We definitely will not be hiking & only short walks are possible. We will be driving on to Talkeetna. Not sure about Denali as a friend says the shuttles are difficult to get onto. Might consider flight seeing. It is awfully expensive but if I could get into the plane, might e away of seeing the Denali area. Interested in the Hurricane train but not sure if I could climb up to board. Hoping the whole trip o take about 12 days including flying from Ohio. Any suggestions?

Windham, Ohio
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5. Re: Seward to Whittier

Planning on renting a car in Anchorage. While in Anchorage would like to go to the Heritage Museum. Have considered Salmon Berry's Heritage tour which includes the museum. What else should we do in Anchorage?

Wasilla, Alaska
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6. Re: Seward to Whittier

If it helps, here's a link to a Google map show Anchorage to Seward to Whittier to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. The driving distances are accurate, but the driving times are usually not. Add about 20% to the driving times that Google gives.

http://goo.gl/maps/7uYlY

I love the Portage Glacier cruise. But if you are also doing a Prince William Sound cruise, then it might be a little redundant.

Edited: 14 October 2013, 20:39
Las Vegas, Nevada
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7. Re: Seward to Whittier

The train and some buses into Denali are accessible, so I imagine that means a lift has been installed for wheelchairs. If you can't manage 3 or 4 steps you should inquire about the accessibility. The Denali web site is currently down but I'm sure somene on this forum can provide details about the buses. It would be a shame to miss out on Denali.

As for Exit Glacier, I remember a great deal of the path as being paved which is probably why this site says the trail provides access for people with disabilities. www.alaska.org/detail/visit-exit-glacier

As for things to do in Anchorage, did you look at the city web page for activities? The web site is listed on the Alaska forum under Top Questions.. I think it's www.anchorage.net but look at the Resource thread to verify. Portage Glacier would be redundant if you're doing a cruise from Seward AND Whittier.

BTW, I don't think you need a place to stay between Whittier and Anchorage given that it's less than an hour away. But there is a lovely inn on the Whittier harbor and there is lots of lodging in Girdwood, including the Alyeska resort and many lovely B&B's. Girdwood is about 35 minutes from Anchorage.

Glad you have a car for this trip instead of using Seward Buslines .... lots of great places to enjoy between Seward and Whittier and Anchorage.

Edited: 14 October 2013, 21:17
fti
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8. Re: Seward to Whittier

If you can get on a small plane for flightseeing you will certainly be able to get on the Denaki shuttle bus.

Windham, Ohio
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9. Re: Seward to Whittier

Thanks everyone! The reason for the car rental is so we can experience all the wonderful things in the area. Flying may just be a pipe dream. I need to check further about how difficult it will be to climb into a small plane. I have no experience with doing that. I may have to readjust my plans to what is possible instead of what I want. I do not handle extended car rides well so the long Denali bus rides on a school bus do not seem wise. Alaskan bus coaches & trains sound possible but once I get to Denali there is little I can do if the busses are not accessible. What I have read has led me to believe that they are not. Will do further checking.. Thanks again. Ann

Lake Tahoe...
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10. Re: Seward to Whittier

Ann T - the Hurricane Turn train operates only Thursdays through Sundays. The train sits at the winter depot at downtown Talkeetna and not sure about boarding platforms