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Old 09-13-2007, 01:41 PM   #21
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OK, so I've been doing some reading online about the interior part of the trip, and I think I have a change in plans. I'm now thinking I'll do the cruise with my aunt and uncle, but then leave them and tour the interior part on my own.

I don't like the idea of being herded around on a bus (did it with my aunt in Italy, and it's not my favorite thing to do). Plus, I'd love to spend a few days in Denali and even maybe camp there.

So, now I'm thinking of a week going from the cruise to Seward/Kenai to Denali back to Anchorage.

Not sure of the logistics of having my camping stuff and cruise stuff all with me, but I'll worry about that much later! I'm a light packer (even though I know I need layers in Alaska) and was able to bring my tent sleeping back from DC to Utah last year without too much of a problem.

I'll have to call my aunt this weekend and see if she would be really upset if I did this. I doubt it though - she knows I'm an independent spirit!

Karen

If you want to spend a few days in Denali, camping, you will need to do some planning in advance. I don't know what the routine is now but a few years ago you had to be there to sign up for a camping spot because you need to watch the safety video and get the bear proof container. There are only certain campgrounds you can use and you have to take the campers bus.

Alternatively, you can stay in a lodge and go on day hikes with the rangers. This is big fun. But you also have to be there to sign up in advance.

Also, if you take the bus tour, you can get off and on at your leisure, although it might be a long wait for another bus. Many photographers do this. Frankly, I wouldn't do it by myself. There's bears out there! I'd do the group hike with the rangers. Have a great time! You've made me want to go back.
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:04 PM   #22
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If you want to spend a few days in Denali, camping, you will need to do some planning in advance. I don't know what the routine is now but a few years ago you had to be there to sign up for a camping spot because you need to watch the safety video and get the bear proof container. There are only certain campgrounds you can use and you have to take the campers bus.
As I recall, they also have very strict limits on the number of people who can camp in the park. It was something like 32 or 48 people per night (in an area the size of Connecticut). We stayed in the lodge, hiked in the nearby part of the park and took the 8 hour bus ride into the center of the park and back (we saw probably 20 grizzly bears along the way)
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:56 PM   #23
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Sounds like a great trip!

We took a 2 week Alaska vacation in July that is similar to the one that you posted however we did our 7 day land portion first, figuring that it the cruise at the tail end would be more enjoyable and restful. Alaska is truly the last frontier and we plan on returning in a couple of years.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:54 AM   #24
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Oldbabe and Gumby - thanks. I spent some time at the Denali website this weekend and learned all about the camping options. I'm also hoping that I won't end up going by myself - I've been talking to a few friends and may be able to convince some to come with me.

Sweetana - cruisecritic is great! Thanks for that (I am not usually a cruiser...).

Karen
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:08 PM   #25
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Just finished basically the reverse trip in August . It was Dh's 50th state to visit. We had eight in out group Including MIL a SIL and our two Kids ages 25 & 22. Alasaka was BIG and the weather wonderful. Cruise critic was very useful.( We were on Celebrity) We were glad we did the land portion first- it was a tiring &busy trip.

Side trips of note : Took the optional excursion from Fairbanks to north of the Artic circle and of course a glacier landing . $$? Yes . (Some things are a calculated ER trade off) Sometimes a change of pace and a family experence is the priority.

Group took over 2500 photos. This month I did a lot of work editing and posting them online to share prints (680 of the best posted )

No, I don't subject others to the show....

Just the two of us - St Lucia this comming March.....ahhhh
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:31 PM   #26
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Kaudrey, you are building a great trip, Kenai is wonderful and Seward is one of the most striking places I've seen. It is so cool how abruptly the terrain changes.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:18 AM   #27
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Thanks for the continued input! I booked my flights because I'm using FF miles to get there and I wanted to make sure I had something. I can change them later as needed if I want to stay longer for $75 (booked for 2 weeks apart). I figured that was worth it.

I am doing the land portion after the cruise because the cruise is from Vancouver to Whittier.

Question: I was originally thinking I'd use public transportation from Whittier to Seward, tour around there, train to Anchorage, and then pick up car for Denali. Anyone know how it is getting to Seward from Whittier, and then around Seward without a car? I want to go to Exit Glacier for hiking and will probably stay in cabins or campgrounds. If I get a car right away, I think I have to go to Anchorage to do that anyway...

Thanks,
Karen
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:36 AM   #28
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Karen,

Just wanted to pop into this thread and say that I hope you have a great trip!

2Cor521
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:09 PM   #29
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Thanks for the continued input! I booked my flights because I'm using FF miles to get there and I wanted to make sure I had something. I can change them later as needed if I want to stay longer for $75 (booked for 2 weeks apart). I figured that was worth it.

I am doing the land portion after the cruise because the cruise is from Vancouver to Whittier.

Question: I was originally thinking I'd use public transportation from Whittier to Seward, tour around there, train to Anchorage, and then pick up car for Denali. Anyone know how it is getting to Seward from Whittier, and then around Seward without a car? I want to go to Exit Glacier for hiking and will probably stay in cabins or campgrounds. If I get a car right away, I think I have to go to Anchorage to do that anyway...

Thanks,
Karen
Karen:

Have you thought about taking the train from Anchorage to Denali? It is really quite a nice trip and you won't have the hassles of driving all that way.
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:50 PM   #30
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I am doing the land portion after the cruise because the cruise is from Vancouver to Whittier.

Question: I was originally thinking I'd use public transportation from Whittier to Seward, tour around there, train to Anchorage, and then pick up car for Denali. Anyone know how it is getting to Seward from Whittier, and then around Seward without a car? I want to go to Exit Glacier for hiking and will probably stay in cabins or campgrounds. If I get a car right away, I think I have to go to Anchorage to do that anyway...

Thanks,
Karen
Karen, you can take the train from Whittier to Anchorage and Anchorage to Seward. Or there is likely a shuttle. I know there is a shuttle from Anchorage to Seward. But it sounds like you need a car if you're going hiking and staying in campgrounds. The drive to Seward is fabulous and you'll want to stop here and there along the way.

If you can, take the train from Anchorage to Denali. It is wonderful! One of my favorite highlights.
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:03 PM   #31
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My sister and & took a Royal Caribbean cruise along the Inside Passage in 2004, and it was spectacular. We took just the cruise, no land tour except what we did in port. We saw MANY bald eagles, whales, harbor seals, even grizzly bears along the coast. The ship goes very close to the coast, so you have a great view of the countryside, plus a very smooth ride (I get seasick!).

We were there in June around the Summer Solstice, so it never really got dark...very interesting!

Have a great time, and take LOTS of film/data card space!
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