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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
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    653

    Default

    Peter:

    Everyone has different priorities, but for me, Anchorage was the most expensive and the least interesting place that I visited in Alaska. The setting is spectacular, surrounded as it is by snowy mountains, and right on the water (the Cook inlet). There is history in the city, and a museum or two, but honestly, (and this is strictly my opinion), a single full day should cover the highlights, and you're not likely to miss anything important if you leave it at that. There's so much to see in the rest of Alaska, your time would be better spent on the road.

    Rick

  2. #22

    Default

    Thanks Rick

    I know we should always be positive and open minded (particularly me as I've never been there), but this confirms my suspicions.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Thody View Post
    After years of procrastination, we have finally bitten the bullet and booked flights to Anchorage (Aug 7-29) and now find ourselves in the slightly uncomfortable position of planning an adventure through a region entirely unknown to us. Advice, suggestions and other input from those with knowledge and experience would therefore be very much appreciated!

    My vague outline plan for the trip is to spend a few (3-4 days exploring Anchorage and environs (incl. Matanuska Glacier Hike, Independence Mine) before heading north on the George Parks Highway (i.e. via Talkeetna) to Denali NP. From here we are considering two options:

    1. Head north to Fairbanks / Cheena Hot Springs, then south on the Alaska / Richardson Highways to Chitina / Wrangel/St Elias NP / Kennicott mine, then take the ferry to Seward to start exploring the Kenai Peninsula.
    2. Head east across the Denali Highway, north to Fairbanks then back to Anchorage via Talkeetna. We would then head east to Chitina etc via Glenallen.

    We are aware that some of these routes (Denali Highway / McCarthy Road to Kennicott) probably require 4x4 vehicles approved for non-paved roads so are prepared to factor in the extra cost if these drives are recommended.

    A major objective of the trip is to get close to brown bears (Mark / Megan: yes, this is that Carole). As I understand it, mid/late August is not peak bear viewing season at Brooks Falls so we plan to take a day trip flight out of Homer to either Lake Clark or Katmai. If early August is better than later in the month, we could obviously switch things around. Again, we’re aware that this doesn’t make it a budget trip.

    In round figures, it currently looks like we’d be allowing a week for the area north and east of Anchorage, then a week on the Kenai Peninsula. If this results in us having a spare day or two at the end of the trip, that’s all well and good as it would allow us to take in the Alaska State Fair.

    We obviously want to do and see all the highlights (e.g. Denali, Kenai Fjords, bear viewing) but are also keen for advice on possible lodges / cabins (whether these be rustic / self catering or 'you're only here once' treats). Key interests are photography, wildlife, and breweries. It would also be great to take in a train journey but I don't see how this could be built in at the moment. Suggestions for 'experiences' would also be appreciated, but without necessarily including the 'white water' aspect of 'rafting'.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
    I have always wanted to see Alaska, but as I have aged I think an Alaskan cruse will have to be my site seeing trip for Alaska. Your journey sounds amazing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have always wanted to see Alaska, but as I have aged I think an Alaskan cruse will have to be my site seeing trip for Alaska. Your journey sounds amazing.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default Sightseeing on day trips near Anchorage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Quinn View Post
    Peter: ..... Anchorage was the most expensive and the least interesting place that I visited in Alaska.

    There's so much to see in the rest of Alaska, your time would be better spent on the road.
    I heartily agree. But if you want to base yourself in Anchorage, especially if you have already booked your accommodation, there are some wonderful day trips out of Anchborage to help you see some of the best the State has to offer.

    In less than two hours you could drive down to Portage and then to Hope, a lovely small town with a few shops, (maybe a good place for lunch) and right on Turnagain Arm. It will take you through parts of AK which not many see, quite remote but beautiful. If the volcanoes across the water are smoking (or more), should make for some good photos. As a day trip it would give you lots of time to stop off at all the points of interest around/along Turnagain Arm.

    Heading the other way, out along highway 1, you have a two hour drive to the Matanuska Glacier, where there is a walk to the glacier face. I have not done the walk, as the distance (short as it was) was beyond me. On your way to Matanuska Glacier near Palmer, also a nice town, there is a non-de-script roadside stop on your right. When you get out of your car and walk , on a small path, up to the top of the embankment you get the most magnificent view over the Matanuska morains.

    On the left side of the highway in the same area, is Fishook Willow Road, which takes you to the glacial Sistine and Little Sistine Rivers which have several information points explaining their origins. This road also leads to Hatcher Pass, (whiich was all snowed in when I was here). You can then return to Anchorage via Wasilla, the State Capital.

    The routes to these places are all clearly marked on the map which comes with The Milepost book.

    Lifey

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,103

    Default

    ?

    The state capital is Juneau.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
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    653

    Default

    Which can only be accessed by boat...

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,103

    Default

    Or aircraft.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    653

    Default

    Or dogsled ;-)

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,169

    Default You're so right!

    Yeah! of course.

    But I do so recall someone telling me - back in 2004 when I stayed there - that it was the capital in place of Juneau, as they had to have a main centre of administration (or something like that) on the mainland. Not sure how correct that was, and have never questioned it.

    Lifey

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,103

    Default

    https://ballotpedia.org/Alaska_State...asure_3_(1994)

    They tried to move it in 1994, but the ballot initiative failed.

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