Greetings everyone, sorry if this is a bit long,
I am seeking comments and suggestions as I finalize a 19 day trip in June 2007 with my 18 year old son. I made a solo first trip to Denali late last July for 3 days and fell in love with it. Considering I live within 2 hours of both Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP's and now I feel like blowing off these backyard friends to get deep into Denali is quite a change of heart.
I am looking to build a combination trip that allows time for getting away from it all in the backcountry, several shuttle bus trips for sightseeing, and a couple of nights out a Wonder Lake. I want to slow down and just take in the beauty of these amazing places. I am also planning on taking the last 6 nights and spending them in Seward and Homer for scenic/glacier cruise and maybe a day of charter fishing before returning to Anchorage.
I know I am packing a lot in this itinerary and I have a limited budget to work with so here is what I have come up with so far.
Day 1 - I arrive at midnight June 20th and will be picking up my rental car in on the morning of the 21st. I need to grocery shop and stock up on any last minute items and hope to be heading north by 1:00pm and arriving at Denali about 6:00pm. I am planning to camp at Riley Cr CG. I hope to have time to head up to Savage Creek Bridge and do a little fly-fishing before "dark". I just love these 20+ hour days.
Day 2 - Early start to the backcountry desk to set up my BC permit, then by noon-ish catch a shuttle bus out to Wonder Lake and back to give my son an overview of the next week or so. Another night at Riley Creek CG to wrap up the day.
Day 3 - Take early Camper bus to Wonder Lake CG for 2 or 3 nights. After setting up, we plan to explore the lake and maybe go down to the McKinley bar.
Day 4 – Catch an early bus back towards Stoney Hill or even the Toklat area for day hiking and if time permits fly-fishing back at Stoney Creek, and then returning to Wonder Lake for the evening.
Day 5 – Break camp and re-pack for a late morning bus to Toklat and begin our backcountry trip. I hope to get the permits for this hike. We will head up the Toklat towards Scott Peak.
Day 6 – Break camp and head up the pass to Sunrise Glacier and camp on the other side of the summit.
Day 7 – Head down Sunrise Glacier Creek towards the Thorofare River and camp at the fork in the river.
Day 8 – Cross the Throfare River and climb up Contact Pass, make camp on top of pass. (Hope for views of the Great One)
Day 9 – If the weather permits, we are going to climb to the summit of Mt Eielson (5802’) from our camp.
Day 10 – Descend Contact Pass down to the Muldrow Glacier and work our way back to the Park road near Eielson VC to catch one of the last busses back to the entrance and camp at Riley Creek again. (Hot showers and real food at last)
Day 11 – Get an early shuttle bus out to Wonder Lake again and hp off somewhere for a day hike. Return to RC for another night
Day 12- Break camp and head to Talkeetna for a late lunch then on to Anchorage to re-supply. I want to get as far as the Portage area and camp there for the night.
Day 13 – Pack and head to Homer. Stop along the Kenai to view the bears (the real fisherman) and the salmon ending up in Homer for the night.
Day 14 – Explore Homer.
Day 15- Depart for Seward. Stops in Kenai, Soldotna and Coopers Landing.
Day 16- In Seward, all day Glacial Cruise with Kenai Fjord Tours w/dinner at Fox Island.
Day 17 – All day Charter fishing trip (not chosen yet).
Day 18 – Depart Seward for Anchorage. Stop to see Exit Glacier, Girdwood, and explore Anchorage.
Day 19 – Return rental car and depart Anchorage at 9:00am headed home. (July 9th, 2007)
I want to thank you in advance for sharing your experiences, thoughts and comments. Both my son and I are anxiously counting the days until June. I know I have not thought of everything and hope some of you can help me to catch any oversights. I plan on staying in local Hostels both for the cost savings and for the many interesting people we will meet. For the rest of the trip, camping and being in the outdoors is the name of the game. I will even buy a small BBQ for those nights when we are camping out of the car. There is nothing like a BBQ steak and salmon dinner.