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Help on trip Denali, Seward, Juneau

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PLano, Texas
posts: 37
reviews: 1
Help on trip Denali, Seward, Juneau

We plan on going to Alaska the end of August for 9 days. We will fly into Anchorage, and want to go to Denali, Prince William Sound, Seward, and Juneau. is this too much? we are not interested in museums, etc, but are more outdoors type people. Also, what is the best way to get to Juneau if you are around Anchorage area? Is Juneau the best area of the inside passage if we wanted to go there?

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
posts: 28,668
reviews: 35
1. Re: Help on trip Denali, Seward, Juneau

Hello Daisy! Well, I don't think you can include Juneau or any of the SE with only 9 days . . . . I think you would have to either add time or consider the SE for another trip. You could fly to Juneau from Anchorage, but you wouldn't have much time to spend nor would you really get to explore the SE much.

You might read thru various trip reports - get an idea of what you can accomplish in 9 days. Manitoba Maple is great with itineraries for folks traveling up here. I would think you would want 2 days in Denali, 2 in Seward , maybe 2 in Homer . . . and your days in Anchorage as you arrive and leave . . . depends on when you arrive and depart as well. There is lots to do up here if you are into exploring the great outdoors. Good luck with your planning! :)

Manitoba, Canada
posts: 6,895
2. Re: Help on trip Denali, Seward, Juneau

"Is Juneau the best area of the inside passage if we wanted to go there?"

Sorry, there's no good answer to that question. Maybe if you told us your reasons for wanting to go there, we could be more helpful. Is it just to see humpback whales (sightings on tours out of Juneau are nearly 100%), or take a day trip to Glacier Bay, or ??? I've been on 2 cruises along the inside passage, and each town or city has its own unique attraction.

If you do want to include Juneau on this trip, you're not leaving yourself much time for the other places; however, it could be done (flying is the only way--ferry would take much too long). I notice you didn't mention Homer...were you not interested in seeing that, or just figured it was too much to include? You might also consider Coalminer's advice of putting Juneau off until another year, and either fly there for a week's visit, or do a roundtrip cruise of the inside passage from Vancouver.

It would be helpful if you tell us more about what activities you'd like to do. In the meantime, here is a sample itinerary to give you a few ideas. I hope you like to keep busy, lol!

Day 1 – Fly to Juneau. Whalewatching cruise, Mendenhall glacier, maybe Admiralty Island Bear Viewing. Overnight Juneau.

Day 2 – full day trip to Glacier Bay. Overnight Juneau.

Day 3 – early morning flight to Anchorage, rent car or RV. Very scenic drive to Seward (2.5 to 3 hrs). Many stops along the way for pictures, including Beluga Point, Girdwood (go up the tram for a great view if the weather is clear, or goldpan at Crow Creek Mine), Wildlife Conservation Center, and Portage Glacier (check out visitor center, maybe go on 1-hr. boat tour to face of glacier and/or take 1 hr. walk to Byron Glacier to walk on the glacier and look for iceworms). Stop at Exit Glacier just outside of Seward. Overnight Seward.

Day 4 – at least a 6 hr. Kenai Fjords wildlife tour (will also spend some time near a calving glacier). SeaLife Center. Either Ididaride or Godwin glacier sled dog tour and sled ride. Kayaking, fishing. Overnight Seward.

Day 5 – Drive to Whittier (1.5 to 2 hrs). Be at Tunnel about 11 am for 11:30 passage to Whittier. Either 26 Glacier cruise or Majormarine Glacier cruise of Prince William Sound. Drive maybe to Palmer (about 2 hrs) to overnight?

Day 6 – Musk Ox Farm in Palmer. If you’re there between Aug. 21 and Sept. 1, stop in at Alaska State Fair to see humongous veggies, etc. Drive to Denali (4 to 5 hrs), maybe stop at Wasilla to see the Ididarod HQ, and at Talkeetna to flightsee Mt. McKinley (or can do that from entrance to Denali) or stop for a while at Denali State Park (as opposed to Denali National Park). Overnight near Denali entrance.

Day 7 – at least 6 hour shuttle into the park. Wonder Lake, a popular destination, is 11 hr. roundtrip. You can get off to hike, picnic, take pictures, etc., then catch the next shuttle along to resume your trip.

Day 8 – perhaps a second, shorter shuttle into the park (6 to 8 hrs), and get off somewhere to hike. Or a guided Ranger hike from the entrance. Also try to make time to see the visitor center displays and the free Ranger Sled dog demo at 10 am, 2 or 4 pm (free bus leaves ½ hr. beforehand). Whitewater rafting and/or flightseeing are also popular activities. Maybe dinner theatre. Overnight near Denali entrance.

Day 9 – Drive to Anchorage (5 to 6 hrs). Do anything you missed on the way up. In Anchorage, maybe visit Earthquake Park, Pt. Woronzoff, and Lake Hood to see the floatplanes. Or hike or bike some of Tony Knowles trail. Maybe see Alaska Native Heritage Center. Fly home.

3. Re: Help on trip Denali, Seward, Juneau

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