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  1. Default Clueless Australians


    I have only posted on this once before and everyone was very helpful. We are going to be in Alaska in late August, early September next year.

    We have been getting a lot of information from our travel agent about travelling Alaska and it is not appealing to us at all!

    We are not interested in panning for gold or being somewhere for two hours and then moving on.

    We have been told that we are best to 'discover' Alaska while on a tour bus type adventure? Can anyone shed some light on this.

    In Australia we camp often but not in caravan parks. We find a spot in the bush that looks nice and survive with minimal material possessions and no toilet and shower for up to a week.

    We do not need luxury. All we want to see is the wilderness and wildlife. Needless to say we want to take photos of bears, eagles, killer whales, beluga whales, moose etc... We just want to explore!

    What is the best way to do this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome back

    Hello again!

    You may want to start by looking at the National Parks in Alaska (though it appears they are doing maintenance at the moment).

    Just pulling off the road and finding a place to camp comes up often on these forums. Of course, doing that you would be trespassing and subject to the whims of the property owner.

    The "best way to explore" is different for everyone. Do you have any preliminary thoughts on where in Alaska you'd like to visit? Tour buses have their place, but from the sounds of it, you probably wouldn't be too thrilled with the time constraints that such a tour might impose.

    What kind of information have you received so far?

  3. Default

    This is a tour we found on Trek America website. This is the type of trip we are interested in but it is probably out of our price range. Although we are playing around with costs at the moment. At the risk of sounding cliched... we want to see the real Alaska not be a 'tourist'. I.e We don't care if we don't lay eyes on the main cities like Anchorage (although that is where we are flying into)

    Trek America ITINERARY

    Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops and highlights. However, as local and operational conditions may vary and unforeseen circumstances can arise, the following itinerary should be used as a guideline.

    * Days: 1-3 Anchorage & Denali National Park

    We begin by travelling to Denali National Park where nature survives in a timeless state. Surrounding the tallest mountain peak in North America, grizzly bears, caribou, Dall sheep, marmots and wolves, all roam the park. Activities such as river rafting, dog sled demonstrations or walking on a quiet nature trail are available near our lovely campground setting bordering the park.

    The following days are free to explore the backcountry, taking the included Denali shuttle bus, which offers scenic views of the taiga and sub-arctic tundra, superb opportunities to view wildlife, and access to limitless hiking options. For a real treat why not try a scenic flight and see McKinley's towering peak... you could even opt for a glacier landing!
    Accommodation: Camping with meals included

    * Days: 4 Alaska Range

    We follow the old Denali Highway east across the foot of the Alaska mountain range where we then spend the night in rustic cabins. There you will experience the quiet lakes of the tundra, a birder's paradise, while watching for caribou, or experience excellent fishing for grayling.
    Accommodation: Cabin included. Meals paid locally.

    * Days: 5-6 Wrangell-St Elias National Park

    Next follow the pipeline south where we turn off the main highway and head into the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Camp on the banks of the Kennicott River in the shadow of Mount Blackburn with a beautiful view of Root Glacier. The next day is free to explore this vast wilderness region from the historic area of McCarthy and Kennicott. Activities available are hiking, mountain biking, sightseeing, and glacier walking.
    Accommodation: Camping with meals included

    * Days: 7-8 Valdez

    Heading further south, we climb Thompson Pass on our way to spending two nights in Valdez. Tucked away at the end of a glacier-carved fjord, this is the most northerly ice-free port in the Western Hemisphere and the terminus of the Alaskan Pipeline. The next day consider kayaking to the foot of the Columbia Glacier - it's amazing!
    Accommodation: Camping with meals included

    * Days: 9-10 Kenai Fjords National Park

    After an awe-inspiring ferry ride through Prince William Sound you arrive at the colorful fishing village of Seward for seaside camping. Choices of activities include hiking Exit Glacier, fishing the waters of Resurrection Bay, or enjoy a boat tour of Kenai Fjords National Park. Spectacular views of this rugged coastline and the Kenai Mountains, sea mammals, premier bird watching, and a visit to a tidewater glacier for the sights and sounds of icebergs being calved into the sea, are all part of this perfect day out.
    Accommodation: Camping with meals included

    * Days: 11-12 Luxury Wilderness Camp

    Then venture to the other side of the Kenai Peninsula, from Homer we will travel by boat to our luxury wilderness camp overlooking Kachemak Bay and surrounded by the magnificent Kenai Mountains. Experience a true Alaskan adventure in this remote wilderness paradise, with included activities such as sea kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, and beach combing. You'll appreciate the home-cooked meals, including a salmon bake, while basking in the breathtaking scenery.
    Accommodation: Luxury camp with meals included

    * Days: 13 Anchorage

    After a final morning in paradise, return to Anchorage to complete this tour of a lifetime.

    Tour ends at approx 17:00 hrs in Anchorage on day 13. [/I][/I]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default This seems like a simple idea: "Get out of the bus"

    Quote Originally Posted by hotdog View Post
    We are not interested in panning for gold or being somewhere for two hours and then moving on.
    Bus tours are for folks who want to see stuff but don't want any kind of risk. If you're capable of living in the bush in Oz, I sure can't imagine you'd enjoy being in tour bus. I know that I can't tour that way -- I did bus tour in Thailand a couple of years ago and I went AWOL for 48 hours much to the chagrin of the organizer, who was and sorta still is, a friend. The only way I could do a bus tour of Alaska is if someone locked me in the luggage bay.

    That being said, another of the very independent rovers who works here -- UK Craig did Alaska partly on his own and party on van tour -- you ought to look at his field reports -- he is very candid about the tour operator and what he liked and didn't like about it.

    Start here -- in the first photo you can see the van set-up! Take 30 minutes and read his trip report and then you can begin to make your own decisions!


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