ALASKA IDEAS

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ALASKA

Anthony, 

Please find some recommendations for travel to Alaska.

The state is so massive that to enjoy a trip it is best to pick an area and concentrate your activities to avoid the time and expense of getting from one area to the other.  Some ideas for concentration:

Wrangell St Elias National Park 

This is the largest national park in the US and it is a great way to get away from everyone.  Mountain climbing, glacier hiking and climbing, packrafting, and extreme remote camping.  McCarthy and Kennicott are the best access points to remote areas.   We used Kennicott Wilderness Guides for ideas and to prep access.   They have unique packrafting support and can get you up the flow from under the glaciers https://kennicottguides.com/  Beth is whom we worked and travelled with - I believe she still works there. McCarthy is very Leadvillian and there should be a hostel option - Kennicott has a lodge that is a nice stay.  This is also a good spot to launch for day hikes and climbs.  You also have access to The Root glacier from there.  

Palmer

Palmer is a great spot to launch from as well.  Affordable hotels and with a rental car, bike or bish plane access to a lot very quickly.  This is only 45 minutes to an hour north of Anchorage.   You can bike up to the Knick Glacier and packraft back to town.  There are also countless climbs and hikes near Palmer and some amazing lakes.  There are great mountain choices south-west and south-east of the town.  An hour and a half drive north will put you close to the Matanuska Glacier    Here's one video of ours from the area.

Seward

Seward is a fishing town and the drive from Anchorage is beautiful with many places to stop - endless lakes to paddle and good roadside motels to launch from.  In Seward are private water taxis which can drop you and your raft off at amazing places.  Fjords to paddle, under glaciers etc.  You can schedule drop-offs and pick-ups.  Good fresh fish restaurant options.  Lots of hotel options.  Our son and his wife live about 30 minutes west of Palmer in Wassila.  

Kenai

The Kenai is a large area to cover but there are lots of options from biking east from Soldotna and packrafting back to other river options in the area (check for river permits).   The area has endless lakes and trails outside of the city of Kenai.  A Road trip from Kenai to Seward making stops to hike bike and paddle would make for some great experiences and epic photos. I recommend a flight at some point in your trip.  It's not cheap but it offers a lifetime memory.  Kenai is a good spot for this - This is one of our videos from that area.  

Here's a flight-only video

Denali

I've not spent any time up toward Denali.  This area is highly trafficked and I'm not sure of current national park entrance requirements.  You must take a bus into the interior. 

It is hard to make a mistake in Alaska because there is so much to see and do and adventures to just fall into. People are kind and helpful.  

I've used Turo to rent cars in Anchorage - a little cheaper and a sharing economy program so you work with a local who often can help.

My son is Don Owens so easy to remember the name, his number is 817 694  9430.  I told him about you so feel free to reach out.  He may be able to connect you with some outfitters or offer more advice.  Call me anytime as well.