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Alaska Trip Plans – suggestions welcome!

April 18, 2012

I just finished booking the lodging for our Alaska trip, and now we are just looking into final details.  I thought I’d throw my itinerary out there to see if any of you had any tips on the areas we plan to be in.  A few of you mentioned either being from Alaska or having traveled there.  Almost all our reservations are able to be changed, though I don’t want to unless there is a good reason!

Alaska is so huge with so much awesomeness that I could have spend the whole summer there and still have plenty left to see.  We have about 8 days, so I decided to focus on both the Kenai Peninsula area and Denali.  We’ll have a car the whole time, as it turned out to be much cheaper than trying to arrange trains/buses.  And faster too.

Day 0:  Our flight gets in to Anchorage the late afternoon on our first day and we plan to go right to Seward.  Unless you tell me there is something I must do in anchorage that will only take a little time.  Our original flight got in around noon, but the airline changed it on us.  😦  Jerks.

Day 1: A  full day glacier kayaking trip to Ailik Bay.   We’re looking at companies on TripAdvisor, and there are several good options.  This is our big splurge of the trip.  I’m slightly open to alternative suggestions, but I don’t want to “just” do a boat tour on a big ship.  I also went glacier walking last year in Norway, so unless it is a fantastic price, I’m content to skip that.  I have never done a kayaking trip, and the photos look awesome.  The multi-night trips are out of my price comfort zone and the half day trips don’t make it up close to a glacier.  We’ll stay in Seward for the night.

Day 2 is open, but I think we’ll do a short hike near Exit Glacier.  I am tempted to do the Harding Ice Field hike – it looks awesome!  However, it is a good 6 hour hike and we’d be better off keeping this a low key day.  We’ll make our way up back towards Anchorage, stopping at whatever seems worth stopping at.  Suggestions welcome here, but we don’t want to go way out of the way (i.e. we won’t make it to Homer).  I plan to camp a bit south of Anchorage this night.

Day 3:   Drive up to Denali from Anchorage.  We’re staying just outside the park, and this is a 5+ hour drive.  Suggestion for stops along the way welcome!!  Or should we just book it and get our butts into Denali ASAP?  (We’ll be making the drive again on the way home.)

Day 4:  This is the day I want to camp in the backcountry in Denali.  You can’t reserve this in advance so we’ll have to stay flexible.  It won’t be a long trek since it is just one night.

Day 5:  We have most of the day to hike/explore, then in the late afternoon we’ll take a camper bus and spend two nights at Wonder Lake.  It’s a long drive, which is why we are staying for two nights.

Day 6:  Hike around and stay at Wonder Lake again.  The amount of hiking will depend on how much energy we have!

Day 7:  Leave Wonder Lake.  I’m not sure when yet, we’ll have to arrange transportation when we get there.   Optimistically, we’ll have time for another hike on our way out – but it is hard to say for sure.  We’re staying just outside the park at the same place as before.

Day 8:  Drive back to Anchorage and fly out in the evening.  We probably won’t have time for much this day either.

It is a little bit of moving around, but it is about the pace I like to keep our trips at.   I’m sure I’ll return home exhausted and probably get sick the following week (my usual vacation pattern).  Do you have any suggestions for my trip?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 7:03 am

    I’ve never been but it looks like you’re going to have an amazing time!

  2. April 18, 2012 7:42 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska. Hope you have a good time up there

  3. April 18, 2012 8:30 pm

    Seward is small, but fun. My sister and I rented bikes and rode around, seeing prettiness, monument to kid who designed Alaskas flag, and eating. We went to the restaurant for lunch…it’s the fancy one, ask around. It was good! The visitors center in Anchorage is actually really cool and free. Videos, museum…if you have time check it out. Have fun!

  4. April 24, 2012 8:41 am

    We choose not to do the Harding Ice Field hike and I totally regret it.

  5. belowhermeans permalink
    April 29, 2012 9:25 am

    So fun! I can’t wait to travel vicariously with you. 🙂

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