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  1. #1
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    Mar 2006
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    What would you do with a week around Anchorage?

    The wife suggested going to Alaska for our anniversary. I couldn't argue with that. We haven't bought flights yet but are looking at flying into ANC on 8/31 and out on 9/9. Mostly looking to relax, do some sight seeing, some day hikes. check out some shit that we don't have near us in SLC like glaciers and whatnot. If the weather cooperates we are planning to bring stuff to do a couple of days of backpacking and hoping to car camp the rest of the time. Is it pretty easy to find places to pull off a road and setup camp, BLM style?

    To save money we're planning to just rent some normal 2wd car, unless that's a huge mistake and we need 4wd?

    Right now we are kind of looking at spending most of our time around Chugach SP/NF. I've got some info for possible backpacking around crow pass/resurrection pass/lost lake. Most of the cabins look to be booked up already but there are some still available for crow pass but that's not really a requirement. We also were looking into some glacier tours out of Whittier and maybe the Exit glacier.

    I've been looking into going up to Denali as well but wasn't sure if that would be too much driving to cram into a week?

    I did find some old posts on here that suggested skipping the Chugach and heading out to McCarthy and the Wrangell-St Elais NP. Is that something I should be looking into?

    Any help would be much appreciated. Seems like there's a million things to do up there and obviously we can't do them all but hoping not to miss any must see/do/eat/drink things.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2004
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    my travel advice has been questioned. however if you want some hiking and couple night backpacking hit Hatcher Pass there are huts and no reservations needed. the road trip I recommend is Palmer, Mcarthy, Valdez ferry back to Whittier. Roadside camping off the main highways is not like BLM Utah style. Problem with Kenai direction is you have to backtrack so drive the Seward Hwy twice. Plenty of glaciers without going to Exit or the cruise. the ferry gets you on the water and you can see some spectacular scenery in a relaxed setting. If the weather is good.
    off your knees Louie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    The rental car companies universally forbid driving their vehicles on gravel roads specifically the road to McCarthy, as well as the Denali, Dalton, and Top of the World highways.
    If the weather is good.
    Apparently We've entered the "rainy" season! Maybe look into this: https://www.trickstertrips.com/ Enjoy your Week.
    Scientists now have decisive molecular evidence that humans and chimpanzees once had a common momma and that this lineage had previously split from monkeys.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2010
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    Some here might suggest spending that entire week at the ABC.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svengali View Post
    The rental car companies universally forbid driving their vehicles on gravel roads specifically the road to McCarthy, as well as the Denali, Dalton, and Top of the World highways.
    Apparently We've entered the "rainy" season! Maybe look into this: https://www.trickstertrips.com/ Enjoy your Week.
    Good to know about the rental cars. Not sure yet if it's a big deal to disregard that or not. How bad are those roads, specifically the one to McCarthy? Just checked availability for those vans, no dice.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2016
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    I enjoyed Whittier; did a glacier boat tour out of there that was a lot of fun. I'd probably skip Denali - quite a ways out of your way and easy to get skunked by weather and not be able to see anything.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    I'd go to Denali and skip the rest. Drive to the park. Take the bus thru nthe park and get off where you want to backpack.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2004
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    The road to McCarthy is built on an old railroad bed, so there are always a few artifacts turned up by the occasional grading of the road. Flat tires are so common that local legend has it that a ghost in Chitina was thought to shoot at your tires as you drove by. There are no vehicle services available at the end of the road (Glenallen is probably your best bet). I haven't been to McCarthy since the Papa Pilgrim manhunt.
    McCarthy is Scenic and the entire Wrangell-St Elias area is spectacular; The Kennicott mine is sort of depressing. At first its impressive that it all was constructed by the toil of thousands of hard working souls, then the realization that its essentially a giant dump maintained by the National Park Service. There is a Shuttle service available that takes the risk of destroying your rental car away. There is also lodging in McCarthy
    http://www.kennicottshuttle.com/ https://www.kennicottlodge.com/getting-here/by-road
    Scientists now have decisive molecular evidence that humans and chimpanzees once had a common momma and that this lineage had previously split from monkeys.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2014
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    Hikes in Anchorage, Flattop, OíMalley, Williwaw valley loop to Powerline, Wolverine, Peak2-flaketop traverse, Rabbit Lakes. Both Williwaw and Rabbit lakes are nice spots to camp. If you donít do BFDís loop then at least go to Whittier and stop by portage on your way (a short hike will get you on a glacier). ABC, King St brewery, Middleway Cafe, Mooseís Tooth, Kincaid, Midnight Sun, Coastal trail are all worthy stops in the Bowl. Girdwood has a hand trolley which is always a fun way to burn some time in Girdwood. Even though your rental might forbid it, I always liked the driving up and over Hatcher Pass to Willow. Independence Mine can easily be a day in itself. I prefer Seward over Homer, but Homer has way better food and a trip out for lunch in Halibut Cove is pretty cool.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2004
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    good links especially regarding the rental cars. Haven't been to Mcarthy since pre park. Hasting"s magazines and stuff were still in his house. Hope the park reserved them. Been full on monsoon since Sunday here.
    off your knees Louie

  11. #11
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    Mar 2006
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    Yeah, I've been keeping an eye on it. Sounds like this isn't usual for this time of year? Hoping it does its thing now and then dries out at least a little in a couple weeks when we are there. If it keeps pissing then our backup plan is to just find air bnbs along the way.

  12. #12
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    Oct 2003
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    写道
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    You can one-up those posers in Yellowstone and engage in some polar bear baiting.
    °”rale, vato!

  13. #13
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    Mar 2006
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    On a one week vacation I was able to do a circular route that included anchorage, Homer, Seward, Denali, Fairbanks, Valdez, McCarthy, Kennecott Mine, Plamer, all the Glacier stops/hikes along the way, a one day bus ride to Fish Creek and back, 2 whale watch tours, and some camping. No traffic and long days (I went the week of Solstice) so I was doing stuff even at midnight many nights.

    It was a lot of driving, but the available daylight made up for it really so there was no missing out on sites or hikes.

    Road to McCrathy was a breeze - no worries and no roughness just a graded gravel road. Road to Arctic I didn't attempt as it seems your odds of a flat are high from what they tell me.

    If you are into long hikes sure you will have to reduce your range and being August no midnight sun, but the possibilities are endless if you want them to be.

    TIP: Copper River Princess Hotel - $99 Wednesdays...no cruise boats on that day so big discount.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post
    Some here might suggest spending that entire week at the ABC.
    Just what I came here to post

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post
    Some here might suggest spending that entire week at the ABC.
    Wife could probably pay for the entire trip in a couple of nights.
    Pics would help determine earning potential.

  16. #16
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    Whatís the draw of McCarthy? I see quite a few people suggesting it but am not sure what there is to do out there.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfinn View Post
    What’s the draw of McCarthy? I see quite a few people suggesting it but am not sure what there is to do out there.
    McCarthy? Nothing for the town itself. Its just at the end of the road. Being in the national park itself is the draw. Just past McCarthy is the Kinnecott Mine and buildings (which as a ghost town buff - I felt was interesting) and the Root Glacier.

    https://www.nps.gov/wrst/learn/histo...c-landmark.htm

  18. #18
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    McCarthy is one of the few road accessible destinations in Ak. that hasn’t completely whored itself out to the cruiselines.
    Scientists now have decisive molecular evidence that humans and chimpanzees once had a common momma and that this lineage had previously split from monkeys.

  19. #19
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    Oct 2008
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    Iím kinda the fng around here, but Iíll add a couple suggestions. What do you guys like to do?

    The weekend you get in is mountain bike fest in girdwood. Pick berries when your down there.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Some hike to cabins with availability while your there are China Poot Lake cabin in Kachemak sp
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    Or Caineís head state park out of Seward.

    Crow pass crossing is beautiful, a great day through hike or overnite.
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    Taking the portage whistle stop train to spencer glacier with a float out placer river is fun if you like floating.
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    If the weather is clear up north denali state park in particular kesugi ken campground is great with the potential for some killer Denali views on the ridge above the campground
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    If glaciers you want to see, portage is pretty awesome, this is a mile walk in.
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    Really a shit ton to do/see. Try not to spend the whole time in a car.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
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    honor veterans. wage peace

  20. #20
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    ^fukn great! now where are us locals going to go?
    Scientists now have decisive molecular evidence that humans and chimpanzees once had a common momma and that this lineage had previously split from monkeys.

  21. #21
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    Been mentioned already, but the hiking on the ridge at Denali State Park has fantastic views across to Denali if the weather is cooperating. Shorter drive than going all the way up to the national park. If you go that way the Flying Squirrel Bakery is worth a stop in Talkeetna on the way up or back. Denali Brewing in Talkeetna had some good brews.

  22. #22
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    Mar 2006
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    Awesome pics rockcreek, thanks! I'll check out some of those cabins you mentioned. Crow pass is on the possible to-do list, good to hear I'm at least looking in the right directions. I'm trying to not make too many set plans yet, in general that's how we prefer to travel but also because it sounds like a lot of things are going to be weather dependent (going up to Denali, the ferry ride from Valdez to Whittier...)

    As far as what we are looking to do, mostly looking to see some cool shit and spend some time outdoors. Definitely planning on a lot of day hikes and hoping to do an overnighter or 2 out on the trail if the weather permits. I recently broke my collarbone and am just a couple of weeks out from getting a metal plate and 7 screws so I'm still healing from that so it kind of depends on how that is feeling as well.

    I checked out some of the things to do around McCarthy and am pretty excited about that area now. Hoping to do some kind of adventure with Kennicott Wilderness Guides if weather and shoulder permit, maybe some beginner ice climbing (we both rock climb but have never done any ice) or at least a glacier hike.

    edit: just added the float from Spencer to the list. sounds touristy AF but also really fun, as long as it's not cold and rainy I think the wife would really be into that.

  23. #23
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    I'm not planning on spending any more time in ANC than I need to.

  24. #24
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    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by cat in january View Post
    Been mentioned already, but the hiking on the ridge at Denali State Park has fantastic views across to Denali if the weather is cooperating. Shorter drive than going all the way up to the national park. If you go that way the Flying Squirrel Bakery is worth a stop in Talkeetna on the way up or back. Denali Brewing in Talkeetna had some good brews.
    It is called Kesugi ridge if OP wants to look that trail up. Very scenic, has an actual trail and signage, no major planning required. Northern part (Coal Creek to Ermine Hill) can be done in a day (nicer to hike up to the ridge in the evening and camp imo) and arguably the prettier part.

    got lucky w weather a couple of weeks ago:



    Quote Originally Posted by sirbumpsalot View Post
    Road to McCrathy was a breeze - no worries and no roughness just a graded gravel road. Road to Arctic I didn't attempt as it seems your odds of a flat are high from what they tell me.
    Dalton is also just a graded gravel road, alternating with bad pavement, which often seemed worse than the gravel. Road is not particularly terrible but if you do have a mechanical issue, help is far away and potentially hard to contact. Doesn't make sense for OP imo, way too far.
    Ich bitte dich nur, weck mich nicht.

  25. #25
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    Mar 2006
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    Are you saying McCarthy is way too far? Or Dalton?

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