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Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
39 posts
Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

Unfortunately a last minute decision. :(

Myself and wife (in early 30's) decided to do this trip by any means (getting leaves approved at work is always a problem) . This is our first trip to Alaska ,your inputs and advice will help us a lot . I'm reading through the discussions/Posts to come up with a travel plan ..

From Minneapolis:

Booked and Confirmed :

| Arrival |

June 29th 2018 - Anchorage at 5:30 PM

|Departure |

July4th 2018 - Departure - Anchorage - 8:30 PM

Car : Huyndai Elantra or Similar (Alamo) - Pick up at Airport . Booked for the entire stay . Will this suffice or do we need a 4*4 or suv? Please advice.

LODGING is NOT BOOKED at any location , Since we haven't narrowed down the places to visit .

Our places of interest is mostly scenic landscape and Glaciers.

Day 1 : June 29

Pick up rental car from Airport(6.00-6:30 PM) and drive straight to Denali . - Yet to look for Lodging options

Day 2 :

Take the early morning Shuttle Bus to Eielson ...

The rest is to be planned . Will update the rest once i read through the previous posts.

24 replies to this topic
Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
45,039 posts
44 reviews
1. Re: Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

If you plan to do Seward, you need to go there first - not near the 4th of July. :)

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
39 posts
2. Re: Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

Is it better to drive directly to Denali from Airport or Spend the night in Anchorage ?

I booked a night at White Moose Lodge for 29th June . Since the sunset is at 11:30 pm , i assume we would have plenty of light to drive the distance ? I also donot want to miss any photograph opportunities :(

Please advice .

The next day , we would like to take the Shuttle bus , but we are open for recommendations .

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
6,493 posts
3. Re: Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

Denali is a 5 to 6 hr. drive from Anchorage. If you leave at 6:30 pm, you won't get there until midnight. Which will seem like 3 in the morning to you due to the time zone change. Bad idea.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
39 posts
4. Re: Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

Thankyou coalminer.. The more i read the forums. The more confusing(w.r.t no of options) it gets:(. Wil probably cancel the whitemoose booking for the 29th and will try to cover places on the way to Seward. Will it be ok to do a back n forth between Anchorage n Seward. Im not sure where to book for the night..

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
39 posts
5. Re: Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

Thank you Maple.. reconsidering my options. Is it ok to ask for your recommendations? W.r.t wbt to see and where to lodges, hostels are fine it wil come as a first time experience as well..

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
6,493 posts
6. Re: Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

I'd suggest something like this:

June 29th 2018 - Anchorage at 5:30 PM. Get car, views from Pt. Woronzof and Earthquake Park if weather is clear. Drive to Moose Pass (2+ hrs) with lots of scenic stops. Alyeska Tram if weather is clear (always take advantage of clear weather). Overnight Trail Lake Lodge (just a cheap motel). If you can find somewhere vacant in Seward, it’s another 40 minutes.

June 30 – you’ll be up really early due to the time zone change, so if you have to do the 40 min. drive, it shouldn’t be a problem. Either all day Northwestern Fjord cruise or 7.5 hr. Kenai Fjords cruise with Major Marine. After supper either easy hike to Exit Glacier viewpoint or SeaLife Center. Overnight wherever you were last night.

July 1 – drive to Matanuska Glacier (5 hrs) with stop at Wildlife Conservation Center, scenic stops. 4:30 pm easy guided Ice Trek with MICA. Views from mile 101 and 103 Glenn Hwy. Overnight Sheep Mt. Lodge.

July 2 – drive to Denali (5 to 6 hrs) with scenic stops, Talkeetna for flightseeing if desired. Drive the 14 miles into the park that private vehicles are allowed to look for wildlife, hiking, rafting, visitor center displays & film, etc. Overnight Denali. Denali RV Park & Motel has 1 room left, Denali Salmon Bake Cabins has 1 cabin left.

July 3 – shuttle to Wonder Lake (11 hrs) to view scenery and look for wildlife. If The Mountain isn’t out, you might turn around at Eielson (8 hrs), especially if mosquitoes are bad at the lake (ask the driver when you board). Must bring food & beverages since none are for sale inside the park. With shuttles you can get off to hike, then flag down later shuttles to head back. Take along a current bus schedule so you know when to expect the shuttles along the road. Overnight Denali.

July 4 – drive back to Anchorage (5 to 6 hrs). You might want to join in some of the July 4 celebrations: https:/… , or you could drive to Flattop Mt. for views & short hike . Allow extra time for traffic in/near the city. Be at airport by 6:30 pm.

Hope this helps.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
39 posts
7. Re: Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

Thank you very much. We will go through these on youtube and maps to get a idea 🙂. Will look for lodging by this weekend. Hope the weather stays good. Fingers crossed 🤞.

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
6,493 posts
8. Re: Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

Weather is weather. Much of coastal Alaska is temperate rainforest, so expect rain at some point (though it might be only intermittent drizzle). Here are the July weather stats for Seward: https://weatherspark.com/m/247/7/Average-Wea… , Nearlly 40% chance of some precipitation on any given day, 50% chance of heavy cloud cover. Make sure you bring a waterproof (not just water-resistant) jacket, and waterproof footwear.

That said...cloudy skies bring out the blue color of glaciers!

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
39 posts
9. Re: Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

Thank you @maple

Is it possible to fit portage glacier on the 29th or 30th?

Still looking for accommodation near seward or Anchorage for the june 29th n 30th. Booked Sheep lodge for the july 1st.

Was thinking may b start from Anchorage on the 29th towards portage and do the hike? Since the portage glacier cruise last pick up ends by 4:30, hike is the only option.

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
6,493 posts
10. Re: Alaska - Travel Itinerary advice

"Is it possible to fit portage glacier on the 29th or 30th?"

Nope. If it's a must-do to you (it's not for me, the Seward trips are far better), you could fit it in July 1 but you'd then have to arrange a private hike at Matanuska Glacier after supper.

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