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 > Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

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jukes

Aptos

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Posted: 09/30/19 02:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thanks everyone! okay, so we did something unexpected and booked a cruise from Vancouver to Seward for the first week of the trip!! it actually didn't cost too much more than renting an RV/or hotel costs/food/gas etc for that week... we have airmiles for the diff one way flights..
Then we need to figure out spending a few days in Seward area for the shore fishing and getting an RV from Anchorage.. and continue on up from there! May send my husband on a shuttle bus up to anchorage to get the RV and bring it down to us in Seward so we can stay it in there somewhere and then head off... shuttles for all 5 of us etc or one way car hire is expensive.
never saw myself as doing a cruise, but it's actually kind of exciting!

ppine

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Posted: 09/30/19 05:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take the State Ferry from Bellingham. It is a whole different trip than a cruise ship. You can rent a state room. There are good restaurants. You get to stop in places like Wrangell and Petersburg. The ship is full of Alaskans. No formal night, no Broadway shows, no crowds from Los Angeles.

I have taken the ferry twice and a crusie ship once.

PA12DRVR

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Posted: 09/30/19 06:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I suspect you'll enjoy the scenery on the Vancouver - Seward cruise: have had guests that arrived from (I suspect) that same cruise and they liked it. Accommodations might be cramped....if it's the same line as some.

I'd recommend looking into your lodging in Seward ASAP. Hoteling it during tourist season will be pretty spendy even if available. Would suggest possibly a VRBO or similar...should be able to lock that in now and (maybe!) miss the to-be-expected price bump for summer.

Another alternative to get to Los Anchorage is to take the train. It's a pleasant ride and in my not-completely-informed-opinion (I've taken the train but not the shuttle bus) appears much more enjoyable than the bus.

Good optics (binoculars and camera) are a must for any voyage on the water. Good to have in general in AK.


CRL
My RV is a 1946 PA-12
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jukes

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Posted: 10/01/19 08:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi thanks. I think we will somehow get the RV from Anchorage the day we arrive in Seward. Perhaps sending my husband up to get it and then bring it down to us, we like the look of Cooper Landing as an area to spend the first few nights. bit of a pain having to waste a day getting the RV but the alternative is a rental cabin and one way car hire which costs a lot more.. then we plan to head up to Denali NP, then need to figure out the rest...
Fairbanks area??
then Valdez?
then drop RV in Anchorage and fly home... should have about 2 weeks for the RV part..

jukes

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Posted: 10/01/19 08:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ppine wrote:

Take the State Ferry from Bellingham. It is a whole different trip than a cruise ship. You can rent a state room. There are good restaurants. You get to stop in places like Wrangell and Petersburg. The ship is full of Alaskans. No formal night, no Broadway shows, no crowds from Los Angeles.

I have taken the ferry twice and a crusie ship once.


already booked the cruise part, although this sounds interesting...

PA12DRVR

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Posted: 10/02/19 10:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FWIW,

I'd suggest a day or two in Seward, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards, so would suggest the following:

1st day in Los Anchorage arranging the RV (This will be a bit of a challenge: not sure how often the shuttle runs or if it's feasible to get the RV the same day your cruise ship arrives.) You might double check with the cruise line. Most of them that come into Seward provide or at least offer transport to Anchorage

Night 1: Los Anchorage
Night 2 -3: Cooper Landing (Personal opinion is unless one is fishing, there are better places to visit; and this is backtracking from getting the RV in Anchorage, FWIW)
Night 4: Willow ? Talkeetna? (It would not be a relaxing drive to go from Cooper Landing to Denali / McKinley in one day...but can be done if needed)
Night 5: Denali
Night 6 Fairbanks
Night 7 Valdez
Night 8 Anchorage

^^^ Of course you won't stay just one night in Denali, but the reason for listing the above is that if you're planning "2 weeks" in the RV, that's 14 days/nights..not very long to do the Seward-Anchorage-Cooper Landing- Denali-Fairbanks-Valdez-Anchorage route.

I'd suggest skipping Cooper Landing, taking the 1 day / 1 night (possibly 2 days 1 night) it will take to get the RV and get headed out of Anchorage, spend several days in Denali; take the Denali-Fairbanks-Valdez drive for the scenery (possibly spending 2 days 1 night in Fairbanks), then return to Anchorage.

The Museum of the North and Chena Hot Springs are cool to see in the Fairbanks area, maybe take a riverboat cruise.

...but I'd suggest with two weeks to make Denali the focus of your trip while allowing some decent time to drive the remainder of the road system and see the scenery. Use the next trip either for a different part of the state or for activities in Fairbanks-Valdez - Kenai Peninsula.

jukes

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Posted: 10/02/19 10:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,
thanks for this itinerary suggestion. So my husband REALLY wants to do some fishing... not from a boat, but from shore. river, ocean, lakes, anything. That's why we were thinking Cooper Landing... and from there could check out Seward too. After being on the cruise we are happy to be away from the crowds for a bit, just enjoying fishing, nature, RV camping..
So, an alternative could be to skip that and head straight up as you suggest. WE looked at getting an Air b+B or hotel and car hire in Seward but it works out a lot more costly than getting the RV and staying in that, even (getting all 5 of us up to Anchorage to get RV seems so expensive!!) but we could have say 2 nights in Seward in a rental apartment and then go get the RV and head north. would we need a car in Seward, is there fishing accessible without a car, or husband could go with a guide that day on the river.
Is the fishing good elsewhere? Campgrounds actually on a river perhaps? our 8 year old enjoys this too. See the Salmon which should be running at this time.

Grit dog

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Posted: 10/03/19 03:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"Night 2 -3: Cooper Landing (Personal opinion is unless one is fishing, there are better places to visit; and this is backtracking from getting the RV in Anchorage, FWIW)
Agree, and I think a bunch of the immediate scenery is burned up this year. Only go if fishing. If you hit the Reds, park at the confluence of the Russian and Kenai Rivers and hike up the Russian (big trail, can't miss) far enough until you start running out of people to fish with. 2-3 miles will doo it. Same fish, less combat)
Night 4: Willow ? Talkeetna? (It would not be a relaxing drive to go from Cooper Landing to Denali / McKinley in one day...but can be done if needed)"
Take Fishook Rd from Willow up to Hatchers for the day/night. 1/2 to 1 hr off the Parks puts you up in the high country.

Or go up to Hatchers from the Palmer side. 1/2 hr out from town and you're in the pass and take the Fishook road down to Willow to the Parks Hwy on your way out and on up towards Talkeetna and Denali.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

Grit dog

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Posted: 10/03/19 03:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you want the most ridiculous trout fishing you've ever done and can handle the cost of a guided trip, highly recommend Middle Kenai/Skilak Lake day trip. 4 of us caught probably 25-30 rainbows with the biggest being about a 10 pounder and the "small ones" 3 pounders started getting boring! lol

Grit dog

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Posted: 10/03/19 03:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Didn't do much lake fishing while up there and AK is big place, lol.
Few good spots were. Ponds around Lake Louise. Ponds along the Mac Carthy Rd. Cooper Lake outside of Cooper landing. Killed the dollys and rainbows there from the banks.

And every one was also a "campsite"....bonus.

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