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Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)

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Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage
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Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)

Please use this for information only. Ask questions in a new post so readers/posters can address you individually.

Feel free to add links (new, changes, updates), ideas, and other fun things to do.

I love the Girdwood/Portage/Whittier area.

Just an hour (or so) drive from Anchorage; it's all Alaska, yet without the city (& I love the city of Anchorage). The drive south (along Turnagain Arm) is one of the most scenic drives in North America. 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.


Google map link:


Turnagain Arm drive:

- scenery, hiking, Dall sheep, mountain goats, tidal bore, beluga whales, salmon fishing


- hiking, mining, dining, accommodations, glacier dog sledding


- hiking, glaciers, camping, salmon viewing


- hiking, day cruising, glaciers, kayaking


- AK Wildlife Conservation Center (wildlife)


- Crow Creek Mine (historic and pan for gold)


- Crow Pass (adventurous hike with great mountain scenery, glaciers, and wildlife)


- 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)


- Portage Glacier cruise/boat ride


- Begich Boggs Visitor Center


- 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)


- Whittier Tunnel


- Portage Pass hike (Whittier side of the tunnel)

www.fs.usda.gov/detail/chugach/learning/… and www.alaskahikesearch.com/Hikes/portage-pass/

20 replies to this topic
Houston, Texas
1 post
1 review
1. Re: Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)

Is there a bus from Anchorage to Whittier?

Destination Expert
for Alaska
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2. Re: Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)

Thank you. This is an awesome post!

Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage
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183 reviews
3. Re: Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)

I personally don't know of any; but if you google/search: bus anchorage to whittier, several search results that may be worth investigating come up.

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage
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8,932 posts
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4. Re: Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)

Girdwood Restaurants...

If I'm driving by Girdwood, I always like to stop in and get something to eat. I don't think any of its restaurants are bad. I prefer some over others, but for the most part one sees really good reviews for all of them.

These are the Girdwood restaurants I've eaten at:

Bakeshop (http://www.thebakeshop.com/)

Chair 5 (http://www.chairfive.com/)

Double Musky (http://www.doublemuskyinn.com/)

Jack Sprat (http://www.jacksprat.net/)

Seven Glaciers (alyeskaresort.com/dining/seven-glaciers-rest…)

Silvertip Grill (http://www.silvertipgrill.com/)

Jack Sprat & Silvertip are my 2 favorite.

San Francisco...
6 posts
1 review
5. Re: Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)

Hi Sdpryde,

This is a great itinerary you have listed.

a.) What would be your recommended number of days to complete the circuit?

b.) If I wanted to do this circuit over 3-4 days, where would you recommend I spend the nights (aka cheaper accommodations or more scenic mornings)?

c.) I wanted to do Denali NP by road along with this circuit. Is it doable?

We are going to be a group of 4 - will be renting a SUV from ANC.

Expected length of trip - 15 days

Expected time frame - late-Aug.

Will be doing a trip to Brooks Fall also, probably around late-Aug, early-Sep to get some good bear sightings.

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage
Level Contributor
8,932 posts
183 reviews
6. Re: Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)

Hi anoorag_saxena,

To keep this particular post as "clean" as possible, could you open up a new thread/post so I (& others) can answer your questions there.



Lake Tahoe...
Level Contributor
8,127 posts
60 reviews
7. Re: Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)

Regarding bus service to Whittier I remember when booking a Phillips cruise they offered various package deals, either bus or train along with their tour.

As for eating at Girdwood we like Double Musky Inn, especially if you have a cooler in your car as the portions are rather large

San Jose, California
1 post
8. Re: Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)

Hi Sdpryde,

this is a great post. Thank you so much. I've been reading only a little bit about Alaska so far,

but we're traveling in August for about 11 days and the more I read the more I think: less distance is probably better. Would you mind if I'd ask you a couple more questions once our itinerary gets more precise?


Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage
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8,932 posts
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9. Re: Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)


I agree that 'less can be more' and, 'that you can't do it all'.

Feel free to ask more questions; but please put them in a separate post so all of the readers/posters can help out. There's a bunch of people here far wiser than me. Each of us has our favorites and you will only benefit from the broad knowledge base.


Edited: 5:39 pm, May 13, 2015
10. Re: Girdwood/Portage/Whittier activities (information)

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Removed on: 5:36 pm, May 26, 2015
Edited: 5:36 pm, May 26, 2015
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