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Another Alaska Travel Question


*LC
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I have read the recent posts about travelling to Alaska with great interest, because we will be in Anchorage for a family reunion this summer. Most of the trip is determined by the reunion, but I have an extra day or day and a half at both ends of the trip that I'm not sure how to handle. Sightseeing in Anchorage and Denali are already on the schedule. 

I would love to see Kenai Fjords by boat or kayak, however, we are going on a glacier boat trip while with family. In addition, it is farther than I want to drive for my bonus day/day and a half at either end of trip. Is it something I will kick myself if we don't do. 

So, please talk me out of driving the wrong direction to Kenai, and tell me what we shouldn't miss between Anchorage and Denali National Park. We will have a car and teens/near teens.. 

Thanks in advance. I haven't been to Alaska since college and my kids have never been. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Which glacier boat trip are you doing?  

The Kenai Fjords tours leave out of Seward, so not quite as far from Anchorage as Kenai.    There are not many drives as spectacular as the drive from Anchorage to Seward....  But doing that tour will take you every bit of your day & a half.  

There's a zipline tour based out of Talkeetna which I have never done but which might appeal to your teens.   

Will you be in Anchorage for those extra days?   

 

Anne

 

 

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So I can tell you our little Denal disaster, hehe... We get to the park and get on the bus to go out, early in the morning with our two kids then ages 12 and just shy of 2. Gorgeous day, gorgeous ride. No food at the rest areas, and I'm like ok I brought a few snack bars. Mountain is gorgeous, ride is gorgeous. Driver is like you can keep going, this is one of only about 7 days the mountain is clear and not socked in the whole year, and I'm like wow what a day... No food though, so on the most perfect day of the year we had to turn around and give up.

Moral of the story: Alaska is a wilderness. It's huge, spread apart, with not a lot of anything you're used to in-between. Spend more time being in a spot and less time driving. Yes, flying the mountain from Talkeetna would be amazing, a don't miss. If you get to Denali and there's great weather, you're going to want to keep going. And then when you're done, are you staying there or driving back? You're camping, have an RV? These are long drives. Princess (cruise line) has an RV, but I don't know that there were more. You could check. We rented an RV.

I think when you've done the glacier boat the kayaking could be redundant. I mean do it, sure. It's just the water is very cold and that would be a skill level. We went on a fishing trip out of Seward or Whittier or I forget. My family enjoys fishing (and eating the fish, haha), so that was a big thing. Your family could take out a boat for the day and have a ton of fun. They clean the fish and freeze them, so you just check them as luggage on your flight back. The airport has a cooler for them, easy peasy.

Hiking a glacier would be a pretty normal thing to do. There's a really nice dog sled show just outside Denali NP that is worth doing. I don't know if you can hit the dog sled and flying the mountain in the same day. 

I think do what will be really memorable to you. Or extend your tix another couple days, hehe. My dh was turning 40, so hiking the glacier for him was a rah-rah kinda thing. I didn't want to do it, mercy. Anyone can, but it's pretty vigorous. But what he saw and remembers from it are astonishing, sure. 

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re stop between Denali and Anchorage

10 hours ago, *LC said:

I have read the recent posts about travelling to Alaska with great interest, because we will be in Anchorage for a family reunion this summer. Most of the trip is determined by the reunion, but I have an extra day or day and a half at both ends of the trip that I'm not sure how to handle. Sightseeing in Anchorage and Denali are already on the schedule. 

I would love to see Kenai Fjords by boat or kayak, however, we are going on a glacier boat trip while with family. In addition, it is farther than I want to drive for my bonus day/day and a half at either end of trip. Is it something I will kick myself if we don't do. 

So, please talk me out of driving the wrong direction to Kenai, and tell me what we shouldn't miss between Anchorage and Denali National Park. We will have a car and teens. 

Thanks in advance. I haven't been to Alaska since college and my kids have never been. 

 

We stopped in Talkeetna for an extended lunch & walkabout, and it was everything promised in the guidebooks.  It's the jumping-off place for people planning to climb Denali, so in addition to having a quite good ranger station with quite good exhibits, as well as a number of extremely fun restaurants, it also has what I imagine to be the Alaskan version of what I imagine to be the Katmandu vibe, LOL.

 

re kayaking - We didn't get to Kenai, sigh, but we did kayak around other glaciers, and it is quite a different experience than peering over the railing of boat.  Both are great, and you get better/ less panicked pictures from the safety of the railing; but you feel the massiveness and the wild and the frozenness much more from water-level, quiet(er) and alone.

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The fishing boats carry kayakers, so we got that lower to the water, close to the glaciers part while fishing, hehe... Just saying the fishing is CRAZY. You put the line in the water and pull out fish, bam, bam, bam. So it's gonna cost you for the boat and licenses, but you're going to take back a LOT of fish!

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On 7/28/2019 at 2:04 AM, Anne said:

 

Will you be in Anchorage for those extra days?   

 

Anne

 

 

Each trip will need to start or end in Anchorage. However, we can go wherever we want for our extra time and spend a night there if needed.

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Thanks for the heads up about needing to bring substantial food when going into Denali.

There is a fishing trip already  booked during the reunion for anyone who wants to do that.

I will took into Talkeetna.

Thank you for the suggestions.

 

 

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Kayaking out of Seward was awesome! Highly recommend

Mantanuska Glacier is between Anchorange and Denali and was so so so so cool! You could actually take a short 1 mile hike right out onto the glacier itself and explore!

Those 2 things and Denali were probably our biggest highlights of the trip.

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