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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
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    1,598

    AK in the Summer... when to go and what to do.

    Wife and I are planning a summer road trip in Alaska. It’s been of those bucket list things we have been wanting to do for a while and I think we are gunna pull the trigger next summer.

    Aside from logistics of making that road trip (that will be tackled here in a bit). When is the ideal time to go? Our itinerary will be primarily filled with hiking (no backpacking as we will have a 6 month old kiddo), fishing, and just taking in the sights.


    Planning mid August, but honestly not tied to that.

    Any must see areas we should put on the itinerary?

    Looking at this company as they have some 1 - way road trip options.

    https://gonorth-alaska.com/portfolio...yukon-11-days/

    Thanks for any recommendations


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Cackalacky
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    1,073
    Quote Originally Posted by SkiLyft View Post
    Planning mid August
    I would have to recommend August as a good time to go. I was up near Denali a few years ago during late june-early july and the mosquitos were almost unbearable. Mid august should be good, though.
    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    2,906
    I would avoid that company. They do not even know the road from Talkeetna to Palmer. It is the Parks hwy not Glenn. Big red flag.
    off your knees Louie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    121
    August is rainy season. But, good salmon fishing and the day length is nice if you're not used to midnight sun

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    the gach
    Posts
    5,589
    I’d avoid gonorth unless you like riding in a van with 15 other people everywhere. You’d be way better off to fly up and rent a sprinter or RV and buy a milepost. Mid August would not be my first choice of time to visit. Weather, fishing, and access will be better at the end of June to the middle of July. Mid August at least near the coast get shitty, think all the rain western WA gets, happens in a month and a half.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    the gach
    Posts
    5,589
    Quote Originally Posted by stealurface831 View Post
    I would have to recommend August as a good time to go. I was up near Denali a few years ago during late june-early july and the mosquitos were almost unbearable. Mid august should be good, though.
    They’re just as bad in August. The mosquito season is from snowmelt to snowfall.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    5
    Seconding late June or early July, around summer solstice. The downside is that it's peak tourist season. September is really nice too, even though it's not summer and there's no fishing it's still good temps and there's a chance to see aurora.

    Some friendly hikes for young parents around Anchorage include Independence Mine and the Hatcher Pass area, Lost Lake and Crescent Lake down on the Kenai Peninsula, Winner Creek in Girdwood, and maybe Crow Pass. More if you're willing to carry the kid!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maine Coast
    Posts
    3,075
    Took trip with wife a few years back.

    I would do pretty much everything again the same just with lots more time

    Canoe and cabin at Denali Lake state park is prime. Cabin did have a mosquito problem. Nothing like sitting in a canoe with no one else on the lake looking up at Denali to decompress Great hiking just up the road

    We like to backpack and staying in backwoods cabins is cheap and wife felt safe from bears Great hike and a bit more civilized, caught a shuttle. Ran into people on trail but not bad

    Meal at Alyska hilltop restaurant was well worth it hike afterwards watch paragliders in evening light

    Denali in one direction and Seward in the other makes for a full trip. I would spend as little time to n Anchorage as possible

    Fishing on the Russian river looked like a cluster

    Good time fishing out of Seward

    Wife is a knitter and liked the musk ox farm north of Anchorage

    Bakery outside Talkaneka and beer in town

    We saw little wildlife despite hiking. Buy the big canister and be bear smart. If you want the Yellowstone experience ride the bus in Denali national park

    Check Denali state park and state website for bc cabin rentals. Reserve as soon as you can as an out of stater

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...ghlight=Alaska

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    907
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    12,195
    Quote Originally Posted by gverbeek View Post
    Seconding late June or early July, around summer solstice. The downside is that it's peak tourist season. September is really nice too, even though it's not summer and there's no fishing it's still good temps and there's a chance to see aurora.

    Some friendly hikes for young parents around Anchorage include Independence Mine and the Hatcher Pass area, Lost Lake and Crescent Lake down on the Kenai Peninsula, Winner Creek in Girdwood, and maybe Crow Pass. More if you're willing to carry the kid!

    Lost lake is 16 miles, then another 16 miles back to the car any way you slice it. Crow Creek is 23 miles, and about 45 back to the car if you go back by road. Lower Winner Creek will put you back on a road only a couple miles from where you start... But OP's kiddo will be 15-18months old next year, right? "Leaving it all on the hill" takes a different meaning when you have a child who still needs looking after when you're smoked after a long day with lots of vert.

    OP -
    Happily, for every one of those famous trails there's a dozen day hikes that aren't in the guidebooks [although most are out & back]. Just ask around once you get here.
    Jed gave you your best timing for a first visit. You should definitely book a trip with him if you like halibut.

    Anchorage is a place to get supplies rather than hang out, unless you want expensive hotels and taxis. You'll see. There's a couple campgrounds in town, but one is surrounded by ghetto and the other one will be full. There's plenty of things to do and some of it is clustered downtown in walking distance, but it's a city - A 70s boom town at that.
    Eagle River to the N, and Bird Creek to the S are the closest decent campgrounds. Anchorage's burgeoning homeless population has dibs on any clump of bushes big enough to hide a tent in town. You can boondock an RV at Dimond Walmart, just watch your shit or it might disappear.

    Even if ppl are active and are focused on an endeavor like climbing or skiing. I still recommend a big road trip on their first visit here. Take about 10 days to drive around and car camp - Denali NP area, cross the Arctic Circle and see a touch of the Brooks Range, the Eastern Alaska Range from the Richardson, see Thompson Pass & Valdez, the Kenai Peninsula...Oh man yeah.


    Bring the best camera gear you can lay your hands on.
    30% of the restaurants are surprisingly good, some are incredible. The other 70% range from "disappointing" to "dangerous". If you want to do a roadside foodie tour, try to get local reccos before you pop in!
    Always have rain gear and be well shod.
    Native art makes the best gifts and souvenirs.
    Get the 2021 Alaska Milepost, and the Alaska Atlas and Gazetteer if you don't already have digital topo maps of the state.
    Last edited by highangle; 10-14-2020 at 12:01 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by stealurface831 View Post
    I would have to recommend August as a good time to go. I was up near Denali a few years ago during late june-early july and the mosquitos were almost unbearable. Mid august should be good, though.
    But! August is no longer “summer” once you get up into the Arctic Circle. We’ve spent some extra nights out when the plane couldn’t fly to pick us up...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    4
    Another thing “to do” is get your wife and kid mosquito net hats! No matter how uncool you think it is, it can be a mental lifesaver for you.

    Our trips have been fly in and float trips so hopefully you get more chiming in on hiking... Spending some time in Denali I’d recommend the tour bus that drives through the park and talk to a ranger before you hike - you do not want to pull over because something looks cool and start hiking toward it!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Linn, OR
    Posts
    90
    I second the mosquito netting. Some years it’s not bad. But if you happen to hit it when the mosquitos are raging it’s brutal.

    I love the Lake Clark National Park area. Been going up there for quite a few years now. Requires about an hour bush plane flight from Anchorage but it’s epic. Glaciers, volcanos, fishing, hiking, bear viewing. All the stuff you hope to experience in the Alaskan wilderness. We stay at The Farmlodge in Port Alsworth. Awesome family friendly place. Amazing food, etc. You can floatplane trip out of there, but it isn’t necessary to as you can do quite a bit by just going on a boat day or hiking locally. Even if you only zipped out there for a couple days I think it’d be totally worth the experience.

    thefarmlodge.com

    Here’s a video of my climb up Tanalian mountain which can be reached on foot directly from the lodge.

    https://youtu.be/nN5b9QcGt_o

    And a few pics of the area.

    Click image for larger version. 

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