Anchorage - Vancouver in 6 weeks
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Sep 19, 2012 2:47 AM Last Post By: Elke7
Sep 14, 2012 1:36 PM
I just got my flight to Alaska - was waiting for one year to get it with my bonus miles..... :))))
We will fly to Anchorage in summer 2013, are pretty excited... I think, August is peak season, so we should make some plans as soon as possible to make some reservation in time...
We are thinking about travelling round in Alaska and then going down the inside passage to Vancouver.
What would you do in 6 weeks?
We would love to see the bears in Katmai NP, Denali....
Seward, Glacier Bay etc.
We are happy about every advice!!!
We would love to go camping, backpacker, youth hostel, cheaper hotels and B&B.
Sep 14, 2012 5:46 PM
1I have cruised the Inside Passage from Bellingham, Washington, to Haines, Alaska, with my car on board. I also traveled several times by ferry from Skagway to Juneau -- I do recommend seeing Skagway. The BC Ferry does not go directly to the city of Vancouver. It would be easier to sail to Bellingham, then take other transportation to Vancouver, Canada. If you have a stopover in Juneau, you may fly by charter air to Glacier Bay/Gustavus Island.
There is an Alaska Pass that discounts the Alaska Marine Highway ferries, Alaska Railroad trains, and Alaska Grayline motorcoach buses. The train system stretches from Seward to Anchorage then north past Denali National Park to Fairbanks. Alaska Grayline motorcoaches also travel the same route. There are also shuttlebuses from Anchorage to Seward and to Homer on the Kenai Peninsula. There are also shuttlebuses from Anchorage to Denali National Park.
http://www.AlaskaHostel.com will give you the web addresses of most of the hostels throughout Alaska. The Spenard Hostel is only 5 minutes' taxi ride from the International Airport and is very popular with international travelers. It is in a residential neighborhood and originally a 4-plex converted to a hostel. It has a garden where some tent-campers are allowed, as well as BBQ and sun-bathing. They rent bicycles and are close to a major bicycle path that connects to bike paths throughout Anchorage. There are two large parks with wildlife (moose, bears, porcupines, lynx, foxes) within one mile of Spenard Hostel, across from the airport -- Connor's Bog and Kincaide Park. The hotels and motels and city bus are one block away.
There are many campgrounds in Seward, but they are more easily accessed if you rent a car. Miller's Landing on the outskirts of Seward has a large campground alongside Resurrection Bay and they have kayaking. There is a campground near Exit Glacier, 8 miles outside of Seward. Homer has two campgrounds and several hostels. I have stayed at the Seaside Farm Hostel on a cliff overlooking Kachemak Bay and the glaciers on the mountains across the bay. I think that some tent-camping is allowed. It is several miles outside of the town of Homer. There is a tent-campground at Homer Spit on the beach and a campground in the forest above the city, which is accessible by car. There are charter flights from Homer Spit to Katmai -- they are for flightseeing.
Alyeska Hostel in Girdwood http://www.AlyeskaHostel.com does have a private room for couples to rent. Girdwood is 40 miles south of Anchorage en route to the Kenai Peninsula and accessible by shuttlebuses to Seward or Homer or by train. There is also a shuttlebus taxi in Girdwood from the strip mall/gas station on the Seward Highway/Alyeska Highway. Alyeska Ski Resort is in Girdwood and there is a tram to the top of the mountain to access the 7 Glaciers Restaurant (5 Stars) and view of the entire valley and ocean inlet. The Carriage House B&B is on Crow Creek Road across the road from a renowned Cajun restaurant (5 Stars). There are horse-drawn carriage rides throughout the valley from that location. The valley floor is a beautiful forest with wildflowers plus resort-type homes and condominiums closer to the ski slopes. People still do live off-the-grid along Crow Creek Road and Girdwood has many mountaineering outdoors people plus commercial fishermen.
The Alaska Marine Highway ferry system does include Prince William Sound, where you may board a ferry in Whittier, one hour's drive/bus ride from Anchorage, to sail south to Juneau, then transfer to the Inside Passage ferry. There is infrequent service between Whittier and Juneau, so you need to check their schedule. It might be about twice per month or more frequent in August. That ferry will take you out into the Pacific Ocean past Glacier Bay before arriving in Juneau. Be prepared with Dramamine for rough seas crossing from the Sound out into the ocean.
Edited by: trekker502
Sep 15, 2012 6:26 AM
2trekker has some great advice for you. I'd recommend you spend time with an Alaska guidebook like Lonely Planet or Milepost.
A unique experience could be renting a wilderness cabin for a few days - see here http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72BTSw8jAwjQL8h2VAQAng7kaQ!!/?ss=111004&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=FSE_003705&navid=110130000000000&pnavid=110000000000000&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&ttype=activity&pname=Chugach%20National%20Forest-%20Camping%20&%20Cabins
Sep 15, 2012 7:55 AM
3It depends on what kind of budget ... Car rentals and hotels/motels are expensive in Alaska. However, you can camp for free at many (most) places, including backcountry in Denali, or around cities. Hitchhiking also works reasonably well. In particular, if you use the Alaska ferry between Haines/Skagway and Ketchikan, at each stop, you can manage by public bus, hitch hiking, hiking and camping.
Edited by: WILLEMSPIE
Sep 17, 2012 1:24 PM
4There is so much to see and do in Alaska -- as an outdoor enthusiast, I found myself overwhelmed with the possibilities. The Milepost is great for planning out a route and figuring out what might be of interest. In part your itinerary will depend on your interests and whether you enjoy any outdoor sports (i.e. fishing, kayaking, hiking, etc).
Valdez is awesomely scenic. On a clear day, the drive from Anchorage to Valdez has to rank as one of the best in the world, with views of Wrangell-St. Elias, waterfalls, glaciers and mountain peaks. In Valdez, the glacier tours are good. I did the boat tour but I think kayaking would be fun as well.
The Kenai Fjords boat tour out of Seward is great for wildlife...sea otters, seals, sea lions, humpback whales, orcas and puffins were all easily seen on our trip.
Make sure to reserve the Denali bus in advance. You can go into the park as far as Savage River, but you will miss a lot of the wildlife if you only do that. The bus to Wonder Lake is a long day but you'll see a lot.
There are a LOT of places to stop for photographs, to take a quick hike, to watch wildlife, etc. Be sure to factor that into your planning.
Sep 19, 2012 2:47 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$264.28 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$407.83 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$141.65 per night