Alaska

DMDMD

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#1
Anyone been to Alaska? I have up to maybe 10 days to spend there in June, what should I do, what should I see?
 

Jeremy L.

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#5
I took roughly a 10 day cruise to Alaska last August. Loved Juneau and Fairbanks!
 

DMDMD

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#6
So far I'm thinking definitely a couple days around Denali to do some day hikes and at least a night down in Seward to Kayak in Kenai Fjords. Rec's for places to stay and other things to see would be greatly appreciated. Fairbanks/Chena worth a trip? Wrangell national park?
 

CuseTroop

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#7
Let me hit this tomorrow or Monday. I just ran a 5k (haven’t ran in 4 years) so I’m drinking the pain away.

Only reason you’d do Fairbanks/Chena would be to get drunk and float the river with me. Other than that, Denali, Seward, homer, some good ideas. Depending on work, I could swing down to Denali for a couple casual cocktails.

Also, depending on the timing, got a big group planning a couple weekend canoe trips in June, we could toss ya in.

Hell yea man, I’m pumped!
 
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AlaskaSU

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#8
For bear viewing there is no place better than Katmai. To get there fly from Anchorage. Need reservations. For fishing: Kodiak is out of the way but big time, Homer spit is halibut country (on the Kenai Peninsula outside of Anchorage), as is Icy St (Gustavus/Glacier Bay/Hoonah/Elfin Cove all have charter boats and are reachable from Juneau. There is also bear viewing at Pack Creek accessible from Juneau. Permit needed. AK is a big state and each region is like its own state. Denali should definitely be on your list. If you want to spend some money, take a flight out of Talkeetna around the mtn. They fly through some pretty narrow passes. If you take a bus into Denali, no cars allowed, get the first one or two out. Animals are active in the morning. There is horseback riding out of Healy, north part of the Park. If you are traveling with a friend, a cool hike in SE AK is the iconic Chilkoot Pass. Allow 4 days and need reservations with the National Park Service. The pass (called the Scales) is nothing to sneeze at. Back to SE, my turf; whale watching all over the place but especially at Pt Adolphus outside of Gustavus. Glacier Bay is also worth seeing. Gustavus is the town at the mouth of the Bay. Juneau itself is overrun with summer tourists from cruise chips - just like the Caribbean, but a chopper or fixed wing flight over the icefield is certainly worth it. The icefield is about the size of Rhode Island. For a road trip in SE the 111 mile road from Skagway to Whitehorse is astounding, like driving over the surface of the moon if the moon had lakes. Lots of options for guided trips, everything from wilderness hiking and rafting out to the Arctic ocean from the Brooks Range to kayaking in SE.
 

ssbriefcase

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#10
If you want to spend some money, take a flight out of Talkeetna around the mtn. They fly through some pretty narrow passes.
This was one of the best things I've done in life. We flew with K2, we had an ex stunt pilot instructor. The narrow pass we went sideways through was known as the mooses tooth. When he took us sideways through that, it is known as 'flossing the tooth'.

Do you plan on fishing? If so what kind? We put about 1,500 miles on a vehicle in 12 days, fly fishing from Talkeetna, down the Kenai peninsula. If you want to fish and see bears at the same time, Russian river.
 

AlaskaSU

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#11
This was one of the best things I've done in life. We flew with K2, we had an ex stunt pilot instructor. The narrow pass we went sideways through was known as the mooses tooth. When he took us sideways through that, it is known as 'flossing the tooth'.

Do you plan on fishing? If so what kind? We put about 1,500 miles on a vehicle in 12 days, fly fishing from Talkeetna, down the Kenai peninsula. If you want to fish and see bears at the same time, Russian river.
I've also flown through that pass with K-2 in their fire red turbo props. I shot a Go-Pro video and posted it on You Tube in several stages for a total of about an hour of footage including landing on a glacier. You have not flown until you have gone cow buzzing in Texas with your crazed business partner flying the plane. The object is to cause stampedes by diving on the herd, getting as close as possible or even closer. It is a Texas sport. But definitely, put Denali and Talkeetna on your agenda. Not so much cow buzzing. But nothing was worse than flying over the brooks range in a plane with no passenger seats, sitting on our gear, with Beethoven blaring at ear splitting decibels while the dashboard ammeter warning light was lit up, indicating a short. Before the pilot pumped fuel into the plane at Mtn Village from his stashed 55 gallon drum he told us about the idiot light. Mtn Village is a Yupik village on the south slope of the Brooks Range with less than 1,000 people. They speak Gwitchin and do not always like outsiders as some of them are hunters or tourists that can interfere with the caribou migration called the Porcupine Herd. The caribou are their lifeblood. Either spend the night in a sleeping bag on the side of the runway or take the plane with the crazed pilot.

Once when I was riding a Denali bus in the Park a distinguished tall older guy boarded the bus and some idiot tourist cracks something like, 'I bet you climbed Denali', sarcastically. Well, the guy is a famous Mtn climber, first to do the North Wall, where friends of mine have been injured and killed. He was headed to Talkeetna to give a climbing lecture.

As for fishing, the Kenai rivers are what we call combat fishing. If you are in the Kenai area, and have the cash, opt for charter out of Homer or Seward. The rivers are crowded with Anchorage folk. Seward is big water. DMD, if you are in Juneau I'll take you out in my boat.
 

DMDMD

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#12
You guys are awesome. So we decided to rent a camper van and camp in Denali at Teklanika River for 3 nights. We'll take the bus around and hike for a few days. We'll then drive south to either Talkeetna and stay a night or keep going down to Kenai area and camp in some combination of Whittier/Seward/Homer areas, total of 4 nights. We haven't planned out exactly what we'll do after Denali. Probably try to kayak one day in Kenai. Maybe go fishing another, maybe try to get one of those flights and buzz Denali. We'll finish with a day in Anchorage before flying out. AlaskaSU, thanks for the offer! Unfortunately, no trip to Juneau this time around, trying not to spread ourselves too thin, which is a mistake we have made a few too many times.
 

CuseTroop

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#13
You guys are awesome. So we decided to rent a camper van and camp in Denali at Teklanika River for 3 nights. We'll take the bus around and hike for a few days. We'll then drive south to either Talkeetna and stay a night or keep going down to Kenai area and camp in some combination of Whittier/Seward/Homer areas, total of 4 nights. We haven't planned out exactly what we'll do after Denali. Probably try to kayak one day in Kenai. Maybe go fishing another, maybe try to get one of those flights and buzz Denali. We'll finish with a day in Anchorage before flying out. AlaskaSU, thanks for the offer! Unfortunately, no trip to Juneau this time around, trying not to spread ourselves too thin, which is a mistake we have made a few too many times.
Ahh shoot, sorry I totally spaced this. My memory has been shot lately.

I've heard some good things about the campground at Teklanika river. Don't worry about the whole "once you park the camper, you can't drive it out of the park again until you leave" thing. Shuttles run all day throughout the park. You can literally just start walking down the road, toss a thumb out, and the next bus will pick you up. If you do a bus tour of the park, make sure to sign up for a narrated bus. My 2nd time in the park we accidentally signed up for a non narrated bus, and it was horrrible.

Salmon bake is a great place to eat, right there in Denali Village. Met a few board members down there last summer for dinner. If you get a craving for pizza, Prospector pizza is the way to go. Lynx creek pizza (I think it's the name) is garbage lol.

Depending on your crew, 49th state brewery is a must. Great food, great beer, and a ton of whiskey. Hang by the fire outside, or the fire inside, normally always live music. It's about 10 minutes out of town but again, shuttles will get you there, and I believe they have uber running down there. 49th state has the bus used in the movie "Into the Wild" Swing by in February/March sometime and I'll take you to the real one.

Denali village has a ton of activities. 4 wheeler adventures, jeep adventures, white water rafting, ziplining, heli tours, flight tours, and a ton that i'm forgetting.

Denali village now has a marijuana dispensary!

Let me know your dates, and I might be able to swing down and grab a cocktail with ya. We shoot down there quite a bit for music/camping at the brewery

Talkeetna is a real cool little town to check out. We swung in there to do some ziplining a few years ago.

I don't know much about Whittier/Seward/Homer, as I still need to get down there for the first time myself.
 

AlaskaSU

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#14
Ahh shoot, sorry I totally spaced this. My memory has been shot lately.

I've heard some good things about the campground at Teklanika river. Don't worry about the whole "once you park the camper, you can't drive it out of the park again until you leave" thing. Shuttles run all day throughout the park. You can literally just start walking down the road, toss a thumb out, and the next bus will pick you up. If you do a bus tour of the park, make sure to sign up for a narrated bus. My 2nd time in the park we accidentally signed up for a non narrated bus, and it was horrrible.

Salmon bake is a great place to eat, right there in Denali Village. Met a few board members down there last summer for dinner. If you get a craving for pizza, Prospector pizza is the way to go. Lynx creek pizza (I think it's the name) is garbage lol.

Depending on your crew, 49th state brewery is a must. Great food, great beer, and a ton of whiskey. Hang by the fire outside, or the fire inside, normally always live music. It's about 10 minutes out of town but again, shuttles will get you there, and I believe they have uber running down there. 49th state has the bus used in the movie "Into the Wild" Swing by in February/March sometime and I'll take you to the real one.

Denali village has a ton of activities. 4 wheeler adventures, jeep adventures, white water rafting, ziplining, heli tours, flight tours, and a ton that i'm forgetting.

Denali village now has a marijuana dispensary!

Let me know your dates, and I might be able to swing down and grab a cocktail with ya. We shoot down there quite a bit for music/camping at the brewery

Talkeetna is a real cool little town to check out. We swung in there to do some ziplining a few years ago.

I don't know much about Whittier/Seward/Homer, as I still need to get down there for the first time myself.
Whittier, give a pass. Too strange and always raining. Seward is also most always rain. Nothing worse than pitching a tent in the rain. Out of town fishing licenses are not cheap. Lots of charters out of Homer. Famous for halibut.
 

rrlbees

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#15
I might suggest catching a ride on one of the Deadliest Catch boats. :)
 


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