a week in Alaska ideas?
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Feb 3, 2012 7:18 AM Last Post By: trekker502
Dec 27, 2011 6:13 AM
a week in Alaska ideas?Hi there - looks like i can extend my trip a little next year - and was thinking of going somewhere utterly different to where I come from - (east coast Australia) - I thought it might be interesting to fly up to Alaska for a week (probably from Denver- in June/early July) - I guess Anchorage to start - but really I have no idea where to start of what to do. Is it worth going for a week? What is a viable itinerary for a week? My focus is nature - awesome landscapes (that I can't see at home) - hiking etc.
Thanks for any help!
Dec 27, 2011 6:17 AM
Dec 27, 2011 6:21 AM
Dec 27, 2011 6:33 AM
3I'll let the Alaskan contingent on this board give you more accurate details, but when I lived there June still had plenty of snow cover in the north and that's also about when "mud season" is happening in central and southern Alaska (when the winter snows melt and turn the ground muddy).
Still, being the highest peak in North America, Denali is spectacular with lots of wildlife and magnificent views (when it's clear).
Dec 27, 2011 8:07 AM
4I'd pick one of the following:
Denali (fly to ANC, take train or bus).
Seward / Kenai Fjords (fly to ANC, take train or bus)
Juneau / Glacier Bay (fly to JNU or take ferry from Bellingham, Washington, but the ferry would be a tad rushed)
My guess is that options #2 or #3 would have the best weather in June. Definitely worth going, even just for a week. Our trip to Alaska this past summer was probably my favorite trip ever, beating out Patagonia, Iceland, Peru anywhere else in the US or Canada...
Let us know which you pick and we can give further details.
Dec 27, 2011 12:09 PM
5You will get the most wildlife sightings in Denali National Park. Make advance reservations to take the national park shuttlebus to Wonder Lake or to take the Nature Day Tour to Kantishna -- you will not need to worry about missing the tour on your first day with crowds of tourists ahead of you in line.
Take the train from Anchorage to Seward and you will see glaciers and beautiful mountains en route. On the Kenai Fjords Cruise, full-day, you will see tidewater glaciers spilling and calving into the Pacific Ocean. Be sure to prepare for seasickness by taking Dramamine and wearing accupressure wristbands. You could also go salmon fishing or halibut fishing on a charter boat out of Seward in the Pacific Ocean. If you prefer calmer water, take the train from Anchorage to Whittier and go on the 26 Glaciers Cruise out on Prince William Sound.
In Anchorage, walk around Connor's Bog Park, directly across from the runway at the International Airport, and see nesting loons and families of moose (moose are very protective of their calves, so be wary). On the south side of the international airport is Kincaide Park, which is much larger than Connor's Bog. You may see bears, moose, porcupines, snowshoe hares, and other animals. When I first lived in Anchorage and cross-country skiied in this area, I saw tracks of lynx hunting the snowshoe hares in these parks.
There is the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage which has exhibits/shows of native dances by Eskimos and Indians plus other cultural exhibits.
There is a free natural history museum in the Federal Building's Parks and Recreation Office on 4th Avenue near G Street.
Anchorage has many intersecting, paved bicycle trails throughout the city, including around the 2 universities. A favorite is the Coastal Trail alongside the water's edge, from downtown south past the airport. There is a bicycle rental shop on 4th Avenue. On 15th Avenue, near Knik Arm of Cook Inlet, is Westchester Lagoon, which is a favorite park with lots of waterfowl and other birds. It has a paved bicycle path around the circumference of the lagoon.
There are several hostels in Anchorage -- google Alaska Hostels. I stayed at Spenard Hostel, which is only 5 minutes' taxi ride from the airport.
Dec 27, 2011 2:16 PM
Feb 3, 2012 4:48 AM
We are spending a few days in Dilari National Park this July. We are thinking about booking a tour/green bus up from Anchorage. Would anyone recommend certain activities in the park and tour bus's etc. in which to do get a good experience while there?
Any help is greatly appreciated!
Feb 3, 2012 7:18 AM
8Denali National Park -- shuttlebuses, Alaska Grayline, Alaska Railroad. There are naturalist tours to Kantishna, 100 miles inside the national park; it is a converted old mining town that is now a plush tourist resort next to Wonder Lake. There are shuttlebuses to Wonder Lake; there are no food vendors inside the park, so you must take all food and liquids with you. There are latrine stops en route. You are allowed to hop off of the shuttlebus at scenic spots where you want to linger, and then catch another shuttlebus later. You can make advance reservations for the park shuttlebus or show up very early on the day of your visit. For the naturalist tours, you need to make reservations ASAP.
If you stay in one of the Denali National Park lodges, you will have access to frequent, free shuttlebuses to the Visitors Center and train depot. The Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge also has frequent shuttlebuses. There are some ranger-led hikes and talks that you may find information about at the Visitors Center. There are some festivities at some of the lodges, such as skits about Alaska pioneers, etc. There is river rafting nearby.
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