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Best of Alaska

Travel Forums North America Best of Alaska

1. Posted by Manu7 (Budding Member 34 posts) 5y

Have anyone ever been to Alaska?
What do you suggest to see?
I know there's plenty to do &see, but I've limited time to spend there (about 18 full days)
Finally: What time of the year would you like to travel in? Would you avoid summer (between mid June and late August)?

2. Posted by 64novpt (Budding Member 10 posts) 5y

We've been to Alaska last summer, been there around 10 days.
Do you plan to rent a car? Do you plan to arrive there at Anchorage or somewhere else? I think that before June a lot of things will still be closed.

3. Posted by Manu7 (Budding Member 34 posts) 5y

Sure, I'll rent a car!
I don't know where I'll land, but the choices are two: Anchorage or Fairbanks. Whitehorse would be great too because of the road you'd have to drive to reach Alaska, but it's more expensive and make you waste some time on the road.

What do you mean with "lot of things will be closed"? Do you think also to Denali, Glacier Bay and stuff?
Where would you suggest me to go?

4. Posted by 64novpt (Budding Member 10 posts) 5y

Just an example for Denali - in spring or fall services and activities are limited. Snow is possible throughout April and even early May. The Park Road can close at Park Headquarters (mile 3) during the spring if conditions deteriorate. In fall shuttle bus service in Denali ends the second Thursday after Labor Day each year.
We had the Great Alaska TourSaver (2-for-1 discounts on some of Alaska's sights, tours, hotels, etc), but we've bought it to close to the date of our travel, so we've only got a few discounts. You have to have it long before to really make the most of it. You also have the Northern Lights Discount Coupon Book.
Our itinerary in August was more or less this:
Arrival to Anchorage around 3pm, 1 night, just to pick-up the car and to book a 1 day cruise in Seward. On the way to Denali went to the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
2 nights in the Denali area, did the 8 hours tour in the park (53 miles into Denali National Park, fully narrated and a light snack included); private vehicles are only allowed on the first 14 miles.
Glennallen using the Denali Highway (mainly gravel road) 2 nights, today I would go to Copper Center instead of Glennallen. Booked a flight over the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park but the weather didn't allowed it. Travel along Copper River Valley and some miles on the McCarthy Road (gravel road) till Kuskulana bridge. Unfortunately didn't went to Valdez.
Detour to Lake Louise (mainly a fishing area) on the Glennallen Hway; Matanuscha Glacier (you can walk on the glacier, 20$ entrance fee); pass around Anchorage heading to the Turnagain arm till Girdwood.
3 nights in Girdwood (Alyeska ski resort; fantastic quiches at the hotel's Starbuck's); Seward day cruise to the glaciers and sea life (sea otters; orca whales; dolphins; seals); Exit glacier (you can walk to the end of the glacier); Portage lake and glacier (terrible weather day), salmon viewing platform (in August a lot of red salmons), car sightseeing along the Turnagain (Beluga point, Indian Valley Gold mine; other view points); hiking in the Alyeska hotel surroundings.
Travel to Homer (2 nights) along the Kenai (some small orthodox churches); Bear viewing by plane at Katmai (amazing, beautiful sunny day, flying over glaciers, breathtaking landscapes); sightseeing in Homer magnific views to Kachemak Bay and the spit.
Return to Anchorage via the shilak lake and kenai river; Potter marsh and Eagle River around Anchorage;
Return the car at the airport and back home.