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Alaska trip in Aug

Houston, Texas
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Alaska trip in Aug

Hi

Planning to spend 10 days in Alaska in Aug. Will be landing in Anchorage. Interested in Glacier hiking, white water rafting, wild life watching, kayaking. Could use suggestions on itinerary and recommendations on guides.

Thanks

Edited: 03 July 2011, 05:55
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Alaska
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Houston, Texas
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1. Re: Alaska trip in Aug

We are also planning to rent a car during the stay there. Recommendations on lodging along the way will be helpful, Thanks

Manitoba, Canada
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2. Re: Alaska trip in Aug

Hi, welcome to the forum.

We need more details. How long of a glacier hike (1.5 to 5 hours, though part of that is gearing up)? What type of kayaking (exploring near the shore, near a calving glacier, among icebergs)? What level of rafting (II-IV, or including V)? What type of wildlife (land, marine, birds, separate bear-viewing tour)?

What time/date do you arrive in Anchorage? What time/date do you leave?

For lodging, what amenities? Price range? Type (hostel, B&B, hotel, cabins)?

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Alaska trip in Aug

Thanks for response. For glacier hikes (this is our first time) may be 3 to 4hrs. Rafting II -III; wildlife - bears; kayaking near shore or calving glacier; Price range average. Lodging no hostels. Do not prefer to camp overnight. Arriving on 10th late evening at Anchorage hence need to stay the night there. Leaving on 19th. Thanks

Manitoba, Canada
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4. Re: Alaska trip in Aug

Are there just the 2 of you (no kids)? And what does “price range average” mean? What is average to you might be low to someone else….and accommodations in Alaska are expensive anyway, especially in Anchorage where hotels average $200 per night.

Rent the car ASAP, then keep an eye out to see if you can come across better rates (if you do, don’t forget to cancel the first reservation). Right now prices are pretty bad… A good site for comparisons is www.carrentals.com . Often it is less expensive to rent off-airport, but not always.

Here is a sample itinerary to get you started:

Aug. 10 – arrive Anchorage, overnight. Maybe check hotwire.com for hotels.

Aug. 11 – pick up rental car. Get supplies/snacks, drive to Denali (5 hrs) with stops at Wasilla to see Iditarod HQ & maybe take the very short dog cart ride if available, Talkeetna for flightseeing if interested, mile 147 Veterans Memorial. Possible activities at Denali: drive the 14 miles into the park that private vehicles are allowed to look for wildlife and maybe hike at the turnaround point, free Ranger sled dog demo at 10, 2 or 4, hike an entrance trail, visitor center displays & film, dinner theatre, etc. Overnight nearby.

Aug. 12 – shuttle to Wonder Lake (11 hrs). Must reserve in advance at www.reservedenali.com . If Mt. McKinley isn’t “out”, maybe get off at Eielson instead and either do some hiking or head back to the entrance to do things there. With shuttles, you can get off almost anywhere to hike or take photos, then flag down a later green shuttle to resume your trip. Bring binoculars for both of you, plus food & beverages since none are for sale in the park. Other activities as time. Overnight nearby.

Aug. 13 – morning in Denali if still things to do, then drive to Matanuska Glacier area (5+ hrs), maybe stopping in Palmer to visit the Musk Ox Farm, and/or scenic Hatcher Pass/Independence Mine to explore . Overnight near the glacier (suggestions are on Nova’s website).

Aug. 14 – 10:30 a.m. Glacier Run rafting trip (class II & III whitewater) with Nova, then 2:30 pm. Ice hiking with Nova guides. Overnight near the glacier.

Aug. 15 – drive to Seward (4.5+ hrs), with lots of scenic stops south of Anchorage including Potter Marsh, Beluga Pt., Windy Pt, Wildlife Conservation Center: http://alaska.org/driving/seward-drive.htm . Outside of Seward, easy 1 hr. hike to the face of Exit Glacier. Overnight Seward.

Aug. 16 – full day Aialik Bay kayaking near the face of a glacier. The water taxi there and back doubles as a Kenai Fjords wildlife cruise. Overnight Seward.

Aug. 17 – maybe SeaLife Center and/or Ididaride sled dog tour, then drive to Homer (4 hrs). Maybe stop at Cooper Landing to do the 2 hr. roundtrip easy hike to Russian River Falls to watch salmon jumping up, and at Anchor Pt. for views of 5 volcanoes (4 of them active). Explore Homer, drive the spit.

Aug. 18 – bear-viewing tour with Bald Mt. Air. Overnight Homer.

Aug. 19 – Drive back to Anchorage (5 hrs). Sightsee Anchorage if time (Native Heritage Center, hike/bike Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Museum, Zoo, etc.) Be at airport 2 hrs. prior to flight home.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

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Wasilla
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Tony Knowles Coastal Trail
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Anchorage, AK
Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Alaska trip in Aug

Appreciate you take the time to help with itinerary. what about visiting Fairbanks, Prince William Sound and Glacier bay. I am not sure on the distances. thanks

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Manitoba, Canada
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6. Re: Alaska trip in Aug

Glacier Bay is in another part of Alaska, nowhere near where you'll be.

If you omit Homer, you can fit in PWS and Fairbanks..

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Lake Tahoe...
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7. Re: Alaska trip in Aug

Maple - wonder why you said Bald Mountain Air in Homer? Bear Watching is on our to do list, and there are several operators here. We were thinking of Emerald Air as they use float planes out of Beluga Lake.

John

Manitoba, Canada
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8. Re: Alaska trip in Aug

"Maple - wonder why you said Bald Mountain Air in Homer?"

Simply because I have personal experience with where they go in August, and know it to be a good trip. Nothing against Emerald Air or any of the others, but I haven't been on their trips.

Someone recently criticized me for recommending tours I haven't done myself. Seems I can't win for losing....

Houston, Texas
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9. Re: Alaska trip in Aug

If we decide not to do Homer how does the i ternary change? from Seward do we drive to Valdez or PWS? What are things to do in Valdez or PWS? What are things to do in Fairbanks?

thanks

Edited: 03 July 2011, 20:57
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Seward
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Valdez
Valdez
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fti
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10. Re: Alaska trip in Aug

With your limited time you need to access PWS from Whittier, not Valdez.

I suggest you take some time looking at visitor bureau websites like explorefairbanks.com to find out what there is to do there. I wouldn't even consider going somewhere until I knew what it is I wanted to do there. Kind of a waste of your time and money to go somewhere just to say you have been there. On the other hand, it is equally a shame to spend only a night somewhere when you realize how much there might be to do in that destination that interests you.

You can also skip to specific forums on TA besides Anchorage to find more questions/info that others have posted.

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