I'm trying to get to Alaska this summer (July) .
Anyone done it? Any ideas?
So far it all seems expensive...but I knew this. I'm not sure whether to rv it or fly and rent/ stay motels etc. I know some services are limited etc.
Is the scenery/ wildlife awesome?
Any help/ suggestions greatly appreciated!!
I've been leading student groups to Alaska for the past few years and know the south-central area fairly well.
First off, if you are travelling without a car then the best way to get there (other than flying) is to take the Marine Highway ferries up the coast from Seattle or Prince Rupert (Canada). The ferries stop in all the ports and you can get off, spend a few days, and then carry on. Many of the ferries have sleeping areas for backpackers. Keep in mind there are almost no roads on the coast, so the ferries are teh only way to get between communities. You could pick up a rental car in Anchorage for the rest of the time. Or you could take your car on the ferry as well but it starts to get very expensive.
The other place to go (in my mind) is the Chugach Mountains in and around Anchorage and Valdez. Lots of people RV-it and there are plenty of places to rent RV's in Anchorage. If you go by car and stay in motels they are often pricy and perhaps not of the same quality as in the south. With an RV you can be self contained and pull off the road in many locations to camp.
Top places to visit in that area would be Matanuska Valley, Chitina, McCarthy (no RV's allowed on the road), Tonsina Valley, and Valdez. You'll probably also want to go to Denali but I think that area is overrated.
Best of luck with the trip.
Thanks for the detailed advice.
I think I am going to take an rv all the way. There is 3 of us, so I will probably leave home (San Diego) and drive up the west coast tour BC and make our way to Alaska.
Thanks very much!
Sounds good. Just so you know there isn't much of the BC coast that has roads along the coast. To get north you have to go inland pretty much from Vancouver and make your way to Prince George, Dawson Creek, Whitehorse. It is a long, long, way. If you took the ferry up the coast to Skagway, then you can drive to Whitehorse, Yukon (about 3 hours drive) and then continue along the Alaska Highway from there.