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possible alaska holiday

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Toronto
posts: 57
possible alaska holiday

I am thinking of taking my family to alaska this summer for a week.

I am thinking of using Anchorage as my home base. I have 2 boys ages 11 and 14. Would love to see wild life. Where nwould be the best place to go, and what sort of wild life should I expect to see. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for all advice.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
posts: 24,898
reviews: 31
1. Re: possible alaska holiday

An Alaskan vacation doesn't work really well if you base yourself in one location, simply because everything is so spread out. I would suggest looking at some trip reports to see what most travelers do with a week - I would recommend time in Denali and Seward, especially if you want to see wildlife. :)

Edited: 10:09 pm, February 14, 2013
Issaquah, Washington
posts: 3,722
reviews: 10
2. Re: possible alaska holiday

A week is a short period of time given the distances in Alaska, and basing yourself in Anchorage would really shortchange your family's sightseeing opportunities ... do you really want to be commuting while on vacation ?

Denali is fantastic for wildlife sightings and it's budget friendly -- the shuttle thru the park is FREE for the kids. If you can't make it to Seward, Whittier is another option for a day cruise. And the area around Girdwood, offers lots of family activities as outlined in this link:

alaska.org/driving/portage-valley-whittier-s…

Look thru the 2012 trip reports for some great ideas. There are 4 reports of family trips -- 2 by RV and 2 with car plus lodging. Read about their activities, where they visited, etc. (jennifer and twosue are 2 family reports I remember)

tripadvisor.com/…39805919

I'd also encourage you to borrow an Alaska travel book from your library. Learn about popular destinations and what they have to offer.

Fritz Creek, Alaska
posts: 4,599
reviews: 53
3. Re: possible alaska holiday

There is a local saying - Achorage is the next best thing to Alaska. But, then again, last summer out on the Homer Spit we met some people who had driven down from Anchorage just for the day. To each his own.

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage
posts: 4,167
reviews: 126
4. Re: possible alaska holiday

Dates are important in AK as our summer is short and what you can do/see varies from beginning of summer, to its middle and its end.

Do you your travel dates yet?

As mentioned, basing out of one place is not necessarily good because of the great distances between places. You could use Anchorage for a couple of days to visit Girdwood/Portage (though I'd be more tempted to look for rental accommodations in Girdwood instead). Then move on to Denali, Seward, Homer, etc. to visit those areas.

I love the Girdwood/Portage area. I also think it's one of the best places for families. I've listed a bunch of things to do below (with links). I find Byron Glacier & the hand tram at Winner Creek especially good "value" for effort.

Here's a google map link to give you an idea of where the are at:

http://tinyurl.com/alow9vc

Activities/links:

- AK Wildlife Conservation Center (wildlife)

http://www.alaskawildlife.org/

- Crow Creek Mine (historic and pan for gold)

crowcreekmine.com

- Crow Pass (adventurous hike)

www.alaskahikesearch.com/Hikes/CrowPass.htm

- Winner Creek Trail (awesome hand tram & gorge)

www.alaskahikesearch.com/Hikes/Winner.htm (start from the "mine" end)

- Byron Glacier hike/walk (play on the toe of a glacier - keep a plastic shopping bag available for a sled)

…usda.gov/recarea/…

- Portage Glacier cruise/boat ride

http://www.portageglaciercruises.com/

- Begich Boggs Visitor Center

www.fs.usda.gov/detail/chugach/home/…

- Whittier Tunnel

http://dot.alaska.gov/creg/whittiertunnel/

- Portage Pass hike (Whittier side of the tunnel)

www.fs.usda.gov/detail/chugach/learning/…

www.alaskahikesearch.com/Hikes/PortPass.htm

- Trail of Blue Ice (Williwaw/Portage)

www.fs.usda.gov/detail/chugach/learning/… and

www.fs.usda.gov/detail/chugach/learning/…

- Williwaw Salmon viewing (in season)

www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r10/specialplaces/…

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage
posts: 4,167
reviews: 126
5. Re: possible alaska holiday

Car rental...

If you're thinking of renting a car, you should book one immediately and then check prices frequently to see if you can get a better rate.

6. Re: possible alaska holiday

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Removed on: 6:05 pm, February 15, 2013
Santa Rosa...
posts: 1
reviews: 40
7. Re: possible alaska holiday

Headed to Healy in July. Want to get the family out of the RV for a couple nights. Reviews of Glitter Gulch are not encouraging. Where should I be looking to find a decent place? I'm feeling kind of lost cause every review for the Gulch is discouraging unless you can book the $$$$ places inside the park and we sure can't.

I'm guessing the brew pub in Healy is the place to go for a meal as well?

Last question! Is there really only one RV park in Talkeetna? Reviews indicate train and diesel bus noise all the time. How does one get away from that possibility and still be in the area to enjoy the food and cute little shops?

Thanks for your input. Appreciate hearing from those who know. :)

Issaquah, Washington
posts: 3,722
reviews: 10
8. Re: possible alaska holiday

This listing from the Denali Chamber has lots of options for you to choose from ... cabins, small hotels, B&B's.

http://www.alaskaone.com/_dcc/accommodations/

We stayed at Talkeetna Camper Park .. only heard a train once during the night. I actually liked that sound. Look at the Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce for the other campground by the river.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
posts: 24,898
reviews: 31
9. Re: possible alaska holiday

Chillyawilly - you might get more responses if you start your own thread. :)

10. Re: possible alaska holiday

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