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Too many things to do.....so little time...HELP!!!

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Dallas
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Too many things to do.....so little time...HELP!!!

I am planning to take both of my parents( in their early 60) to Alaska this coming Sept.

Budget is number one problem, since I want to pay for everything.

They want to take a cruise. They have never been on a cruise before, I think Alaska will be a great one for 1st timer.

I will arrive Anchorage at midnight and spend a night at Anchorage.

Then pick up a rental car next day and drive to Denali area.

Here is my question,

I know it is 240 miles from Anchorage to Denali, but how fast do people drive in Alaska? Can I get there within 4 hrs without stop?

Since I am traveling on budget, I want to use Toursaver coupon as many as possible.

Should I stay in Mt. McKinley Princess or Denali Park resort?

Talkeetna aero and Talkeetna Air taxi , of which makes a better vaule?

Here is my three current chooses

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Choice 1

Day one

Anchorage - talkeetna (begin to drive at noon)

flightseeing with Talkeetna Aero

Talkeetna - Denali

Stay at Denali Park Resort ($310)

Cabin night dinner show (8:30 pm show) (2 for 1) ($57)

Day two

Denali Shuttle bus

Fish Creek Turnaround 63 Miles One Way, 8 hours Round Trip Adult: $25.00 (6:30 am tour)

Rafting THE CANYON RUN (2 for 1) ($80)

6:00pm

Another night at Denali park resort (Free night)

Day three

Denali - Anchorage

(when should I start?)

Anchorage - whittier (shuttle bus start at 1:30 pm)

Whittier (7 days cruise)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Choice 2

or

Day 1

Anchorage

horseriding 2 hrs ($75)

Anchorage-Mt. McKinley Princess spend a night ($200)

Day 2

Drive to Talkeetna (when should I start? Tour start at 7am)

Talkeetna Aero Denali Day Trip (2 for 1) ($375)

Drive back to Mt. McKinley Princess (free night)

Day 3

back to Anchorage

Anchorage - whittier (shuttle bus start at 1:30 pm)

Whittier (7 days cruise)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Choice 3

Day 1

Anchorage - Talkeetna

Talkeetna Air Texi ($235)

Stay Mt. McKinley Princess

Day 2

Drive to Denali National Park

Morning Shuttle Bus

Afternoon Rafting (maybe not)

Drive back to Mt. McKinley Princess

Day 3

Back to Anchorage

Anchorage - whittier (shuttle bus start at 1:30 pm)

Whittier (7 days cruise)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Which one is better?

Is the first one too much for people like my parents?

Thank you all for all your help and replys are welcome for other option.

As far as lodge, we are traveling in a group of four. I try to book B&B or cabin in the area. But cost for 2 nights for 4 adults runs higher than 2 for 1 deals for these two resorts.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
37,546 posts
44 reviews
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1. Re: Too many things to do.....so little time...HELP!!!

Hello there! I would choose #1 for a few reasons - #2 skips Denali, which I think is well worth your time, though I am biased. #3 would be too much driving - Mt. McKinley Princess is several hours from the park entrance . . . So I think #1 is your best bet, though I am sure several others would have different opinions.

I would choose to raft with Denali Outdoor Center as they have the best reputation/gear on the river. As far as the resorts go, they are both nice, though I haven't stayed in either. Princess has more amenities, if that helps.

The posted speed on most of the Parks hwy is 65mph, though it slows as you go thru several towns - some people drive faster, and then you also might get stuck behind an RV going 40 for awhile. I always tell people about 5 hrs+ from Anchorage, as you have to stop to eat and there are several photo ops that most people stop for, but it's less if you actual drive straight thru.

Let me know if I can help with anything - sounds like a great trip for all of you! :)

Dallas
6 posts
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2. Re: Too many things to do.....so little time...HELP!!!

Actually,

The option including a 6 hrs bus ride in Denali.

7am board from Talkeetna

Danali bus tour +lunch

flight back to talkeetna

but is Rafting worth the additional 250 miles drive?

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
37,546 posts
44 reviews
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3. Re: Too many things to do.....so little time...HELP!!!

opps, sorry - didn't notice that it included a bus trip - thought you just meant a fllight around Denali. No, I wouldn't come back here for a raft trip, but if you are already staying here, you would enjoy it. Sorry for any confusion! :)

4. Re: Too many things to do.....so little time...HELP!!!

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