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Darla

Alaska

Alaska end of June 2017, what to pack, places to see, things to do?

I am headed on a solo adventure to Alaska for about a week at the end of June this year. Flying in/out of anchorage. I don't have many concrete plans yet for things to do. I have booked a rental car (I know I will be driving a good bit), and air bnb's (3 nights in talkeetna, then 2 nights in Valdez, and finishing w/ 2 nights in Homer). He only things I know I definitely want to do are the Denali end of the road bus tour and some kayaking out and around some of the glacier... I would also love to do one of the flightseeing and glacier landing trips, but all I have found require 2 people minimum... or maybe some whitewater rafting... (are there any places that might accommodate a solo traveler? ) Basically, I am in search of ideas? What should I do, and see in Alaska? also, what should I pack? I am trying to pack as light as possible (would prefer not to have to check bags, so carry on only if I can make it work) I know I should bring a light wind/water resistant jacket and good hiking shoes.... would I need winter boots and a sturdy jacket for June, or just layers? I feel like Denali and maybe some of the glacier tours might be cooler but everywhere else not so much.... any insight is greatly appreciated!


3 Answers

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answered by
Doug from Saint Augustine

Both answers below are comprehensive and loaded with good advice.  If at all possible, try to extend your trip to at least 10 days.  If you like animals and want to learn about sledding, you must go to the Husky Homestead right outside Denali National Park.  The owner, Jeff King, is a 4 time winner of the Iditarod.  About a two hour tour and a highlight of our trip to Denali. Also, the Anchorage Museumor the Alaska Native Heritage Center will teach you more about the history and culture of the peoples of Alaska than you could ever learn from books.  And it's a lot more enjoyable.  Time out from physical activity (you can hike, raft or kayak other places around the lower 48 if you don't do it in Alaska) to really absorb the culture.  You will be fascinated.  Then, for eats, try Moose's Tooth Pub & Pizzeria.  Great pizza and homemade brews.



Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Husky Homestead (attraction)
  2. Denali National Park (park)
  3. Anchorage Museum (attraction)
  4. Alaska Native Heritage Center (attraction)
  5. Moose's Tooth Pub & Pizzeria (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (2)


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answered by
Matt from Allentown, Pennsylvania

Hi!

I'm heading to Alaska June 28 for ten days. Starting out two nights in Anchorage, then taking the train up to Denali National Park for two nights there, doing the full day park tour, then motor coach back to Anchorage, picking up a car and overnighting at Alyeska where we may hike the Winner Creek Gorge Trailhead (Lower Winner Creek Trail) if time and energy allow. Next morning heading to Whittier to catch a day cruise into Prince William Sound. Then one night at Cooper Landing, two nights in Seward with a day cruise to Kenai Fjords national park and Fox Island. 2nd day we'll visit Exit Glacier and maybe venture out for some sea kayaking. I'm bringing my full camera kit and planning for a lot of photo ops. Definitely checking bags as I want to make sure I am prepared with the right clothes and gear. If you have good hiking shoes I don't think you'll need winter boots. But rain gear, definitely. I may pack my ski jacket – will serve as rain / wind protection, has a hood and removable liner plus lots of zippered pockets. Out on the water and on the glaciers I think it can get quite chilly. Current temps are daytime highs of 50° - not sure how much warmer it will be in 9 weeks. We are spending quite enough money on accommodations, etc. so probably will forego air tours. Maybe I'll see you out on the trails!


Edit 7/19: It was an AWESOME trip. Here are some highlights:

Alaska Railroad train ride along the Nenana River, Anchorage to Denali.

The peaks of Denali are visible in the photo above, just above the top of the clouds near the center. This was the best view of the mountain we had all day.

The Seward Highway along Turnagain Arm, south of Anchorage.

Three glaciers at College Fjord, Prince William Sound.

Spotting humpback whales in the waters off of Kenai Fjords National Park.

The Chiswell Islands, Kenai Fjords National Park.

Tufted puffin bobbing in the waters of Aialik Bay.



Mentioned in this answer:

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VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Alaska (attraction)
  2. Anchorage (city)
  3. Denali National Park (park)
  4. Winner Creek Gorge Trailhead (Lower Winner Creek Trail) (attraction)
  5. Prince William Sound (attraction)
  6. Cooper Landing (city)
  7. Seward (city)
  8. Kenai Fjords (attraction)
  9. Fox Island (attraction)
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answered first by
Chad from Anchorage

Hi,


A week isn't much time to do everything you want.  From Anchorage to Talkeetna is about a 2.5 hour drive on a good day. Then from there to Valdez is another 6 hours or so. Then from Valdez to Homer is about a 10 hour drive with another 4 hour drive back to Anchorage.

My suggestion: Anchorage to Talkeetna (do Denali from there), Then up to Fairbanks (take a day tour to the Arctic Circle, DON'T drive it). From there head East back to Anchorage stopping at the hot springs then check some of this out:  https://www.anchorage.net/discover/glaciers/matanuska-valley/   Then if you have time drive down to Seward for the day.  June is our busiest month so the roads will be busy and slow moving.

It still gets cool at night here so a light jacket would be good, layers are always best. Carry a small day pack so as it warms up to can put the extra clothes in it. Also some water and food!

Hope this helps. Have fun and enjoy our great state!


Mentioned in this answer:

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VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Anchorage (city)
  2. Talkeetna (city)
  3. Valdez (attraction)
  4. Homer (city)
  5. Fairbanks (city)
  6. Seward (city)
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