Visiting Alaska

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Has anyone ever traveled to Alaska? Any info would be great, espicially if someoen can recommend a US based tour company to book through.

Thanks

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I went there a few years ago on a tour with Midnight Sun, which was great because we did quite a bit of hiking. Unfortunately they don't seem to offer that tour any more, so that's that. However, to give you an idea of what we saw, the itinerary started and finished in Whitehorse (Yukon). We first went to the old mining town of Kennicott in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, which was extremely beautiful. Then to Valdez for a glacier cruise, then on to the must-see of Denali National Park. A brief stop in Fairbanks was followed by a night in Dawson City (Yukon), which was a lot of fun.

 

The reason I went on a tour was that public transport was extremely slow and expensive, so if you don't want a tour then do sort yourself out with a car. The tour stayed in the bottom-right quarter of Alaska, but the state is so huge that unless you have several weeks it's unwise to try and see more. I went in late August, which was ideal – the midges were all dead but the days were still relatively warm.

 

Denali was very busy of course, but it's very easy to escape the crowds. There's only one road and it's closed to private vehicles; you have to take one of the Park buses. They'll stop at various points when there's wildlife or a nice view to be seen, and 99% of the people don't move from their seat. However, you are free to get out anywhere you want and catch a later bus onwards. We jumped out when we saw a cool mountain, hiked to the top and back down again and then caught a bus back. Only if you want to camp out overnight does it get complicated.

 

The next day we joined the masses and, partly thanks to my telephoto lens, got some great photos of elk, beavers, a brown bear and a load of other wild animals.

 

Enjoy – Alaska is gorgeous and on my "Must return to" list. There used to be a direct Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Whitehorse; worth looking into that one.

 

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Hallo erdbeere how many weeks do you want to stay in Alaska? You plan to sleep in a tent or hotels? In tents in can get a little cold. Also in summer expect 0°C during the night. (not every night, not everywhere). I did two organized tours that started in Canada and only touched Alaska. Some years later we booked a rental car, the flights and did Alaska on our own. I would recommend an RV since the nights can be cold and wet. However, if you have your own tent you can hop on the bus (if you have a reservation) and camp on the campground in the Denali park. If you should rent a normal car, be sure that you are allowed to drive on gravel roads!

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Hi Erbeere, been to Alaska many times over the last 14 years and love it there. Alaska is amazing!!! When I'm there I'm cruising.

 

This summer I will return to cruise Alaska for two months leaving from Vancouver. When I'm in Alaska I've seen sightseeing tours set up by Greyline Tours. This company is one of the more popular and reputable tour companies in Alaska. When I'm cruising I don't take the tours, but the cruise line uses this company for their tours in the ports of call. I prefer to do my own thing such as hiking, glacier watching, kayaking, or bicycling or just hanging out eating seafood. I plan my activities using Frommer or Fodor books or going to the local tourist information and finding out interesting things to do in the ports of call. Or I just hang out with the locals and find out interesting things to do from them.

 

Here's the link for Grey Line. http://fairbanks-alaska.com/gray-line-tours.htm

 

What part of Alaska are you going to and is this your first time there?

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Thanks for the advice so far!! I am really clueless about Alaska and am trying to read up as much as I can..just seems like so many things to see and its such a huge state there is no way to se it all in one shot! We'd probably only go for a week or 10 days, and we don't have a huge budget (the weak dollar helps, but still...)

We definitely don't plan on sleeping in tents but we don't need 5 star hotels either. I wonder if it would make any sense to just go and rent a car and not do a group tour? I kind of like the flexibility of doing our own thing, but I'd be afraid to miss out on somethign because we didn't know about it or got lost or something.

 

Maybe I should also look into Alaskan cruises...they seem wonderful, along as thay offer excursions on land.

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I kind of like the flexibility of doing our own thing, but I'd be afraid to miss out on somethign because we didn't know about it or got lost or something.

If you decide to do your own thing, you might want to read Into the Wild beforehand...

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Having lived there when I was younger, I don't think you will have to worry about staying in 5 star hotels :)

 

Driving on your own is plausable, but there is a whole lot of nothing out there in the little small towns, it would probably behoove you to do a cruise or something like most of the pukers (tourists) do to get your moneys worth out of it.

 

Dont eat the yellow snow..

 

And if you do rent a car, be carefull when you go sports fishing, i've known locals who slashed sportsfisherman's tires on multiple locations...

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I think you'll probably find a cruise a little constraining. Firstly, there will be two to three thousand other people on the boat, so even when they do let you off, you're not exactly going to be enjoying the peace and solitude that is otherwise fairly easy to find in Alaska. Secondly, by definition, the cruise can't go inland.

 

I would suggest you hire a car and stay in budget motels. This gives you much more flexibility than a cruise and will cost less as well.

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I've been many times to Alaska (summer and winter).

The hotels are expensive during the short summer.

Best thing to do, rent a motor home. With hotel bookings you are on a schedule and have no flexibility.

Try to go the latest by the end of July, August starts already to rain more frequently.

 

PM me if you need more details, also have maps and photos.

 

I always rented from:

Alexander's RV Rental & Full Service Center

2241 Cinnabar Loop

Anchorage AK 99507

Phones:(907) 563-5178

Fax: (907) 563-5154

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You asked: Has anyone ever traveled to Alaska?

The answer is NO. The Gold rush never happened.

There are probably 20 flights per day departing for Alaska. They all leave without a single passenger. IMHO

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We have been to Alaska before ( in june) next year we are planning on going back in September but on a lot of info sites we have read that everything closes around the 15 th,anyone been there in september?would be nice to receive any advice

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Went there in the first week of September I think. A great time of year to go: autumn colours, the first dusting of snow on the mountain tops. Didn't encounter any problems but then again it depends what you want to do. We had a car and a tent and we drove around and went hiking, so there wasn't much that could be closed. Denali NP was still in full swing (i.e. the buses were still running) and the campsites we stayed in were obviously all still open.

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