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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 03 Oct 2012 (Wednesday) 08:09
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Alaska Roadtrip Ideas -- Thoughts?

 
kforde
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Oct 03, 2012 08:09 |  #1

Hey folks,

Just hoping some of you might be able to use your experiences to give me an idea of a solid 3 week itinerary in Alaska next July. The idea will be flying into Anchorage and renting an RV to a) drive back down to Vancouver [well WA as the RV cannot be returned to an American Company at a Canadian partner company it seems]; b) circuit within Alaska and fly back out of Anchorage.

I would like to get to Denali and Kenai as priorities for photography. For myself I would like to get to a couple of overnight hikes (which will likely turn into photography expeditions).

Any and all ideas are appreciated at this initial planning stage. Any suggestions for campsites, guides, or off the beaten track once in a lifetime locations would be amazing.

Thanks,

Ken


Kf
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Brasher
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Oct 03, 2012 08:53 |  #2

Ok, bear with me. First, I went during the winter so some may not apply. I was also with my family (brother and sister, parents) so there was no camping. Did I mention it was winter? Second, I might mix up some names but...

You have to drive the Kenai Peninsula. There you'll find...
Homer. It's a small coastal town with rocky beaches. 100's of Bald Eagles.
Seward has some amazing scenery as well. There is a neat little aquarium. Nothing huge, but they have some interesting exhibits there. Lots of seals nearby too if I remember correctly.

The entire Kenai peninsula is gorgeous.

After we drove the peninsula and saw Anchorage, we took the train from Anchorage to Fairbanks. Here we viewed the Northern lights on top of a mountain. We also visited Chena hot springs. Not sure if that would be worth it in the summer.

We drove to Denali, but couldn't see much. The park is closed in the winter, with the exception of few areas. Seeing the largest mountain on the continent was still awesome.


That's my super short synopsis.




  
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kforde
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Oct 04, 2012 07:14 as a reply to  @ Brasher's post |  #3

After reading your opening line I thought you were going to be making a nice little Grizzly bear pun!

Thanks for the info, that is exactly what I was looking for. I will be going with my wife and her parents, luckily for me all are very understanding that I will be walking around with a tripod for a bit each day.


Kf
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Brasher
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Oct 04, 2012 07:48 |  #4

Never saw a grizzly, but we did see plenty of moose in Anchorage.




  
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TsPhotoSpot
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Oct 05, 2012 13:00 as a reply to  @ Brasher's post |  #5

My wife is from Alaska so it has become an annual trip for the last 4 years or so.

Denali is fantastic but you only drive 15 miles into the park so you need to ride the bus. However, if you camp at the Denali Teklanika campground you can drive 30 miles into the park.

There are several advantages to Teklanika. First you cut something like an hour off the bus ride in the morning and afternoon. Second the bus ticket is a “tek pass” so you have a reserved seat on the bus your first day and then can ride on a space available basis the rest of your stay. I recommend staying at least three days in the park if you want to go that route.

The views are spectacular but the animals tend to be a long ways away unless you get lucky. Don’t plan on seeing the mountain because chances are it won’t be out unless you are very lucky. I have only seen it from a long distance away.

If you want to see a grizzly up close and personal I highly recommend the bear viewing trips from homer. I have a YouTube Slide show from our grizzly bear daytrip (external link)that can give you an idea of what you might see depending on the season.

Also in Homer I recommend taking a water taxi across to Kachemek state park if you like to do some hiking.

A Whittier boat tour or Alaska Rail road to Seward is also great.

If you are really into hiking I can give some good suggestion there too.

The Alaska.org website (external link)can give you some great information on things to see on your drive to different locations.

What else would you want to know?


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Scrumhalf
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Oct 05, 2012 13:04 |  #6

Some of my family members took a small 10 seat plane up to some glacier at 5000 or 6000 feet in Denali. The plane lands on the glacier and they got spectacular Everest-esque photos of the glacier and the windswept rock faces around it, albeit with a Nikon D7000 :D


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Bub
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Oct 05, 2012 13:06 |  #7

If you go to Homer there is a charter service there that will take you on a day cruse to Saldovia. This is a great way to see some of the aquatic life. They take you past bird island with thousands of sea birds, you may see humpbacks, orcas, sea otters,seals and other creaturs. There is a hiking trail that takes you to the coast for some diffrent types of photos. This trip is well worth the $50.00. Remember to take a long lens for the bird island as you can't go ashore there. Take rain gear and a jacket always in Ak. You will want to go back, because it is a big place and a photo op is around every corner. I have been there three times and can't wate till I can go agian.




  
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TsPhotoSpot
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Oct 05, 2012 13:20 as a reply to  @ Bub's post |  #8

Just reread your OP and saw you do like hiking and even an overnight as well.

If you go to the Alaska State Park’s website (external link)you can down load maps for various hikes. Also check out the wilderness cabins that are available. The cabins are high on my list for a coming trip.

I recommend the Rabbit Lake trail for a day trip out of Anchorage. Winner Creek trail near Alyeskal is also very nice.

The Crow Creek trail head to the pass is also nice but a pretty hard effort. This can also be turned into a multi-day hike.


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kforde
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Oct 05, 2012 22:52 |  #9

Thanks for all the advice folks! @TSPhotoSpot - the slideshow is great, that location is definitely on the list.

The cruise to Saldovia sounds great as well, will likely have to do it a couple of times. Does anyone have experience renting RV's? Any company recommendations, or road trip routes?

Thanks,

Kf


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Talaska
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Oct 05, 2012 23:39 as a reply to  @ kforde's post |  #10

As far as rv check out cruise america and abc rental, doing the rv thing is the best way to go since you are not tied to a schedule. When inWhittier or Seward take to boat trip out to the fjords and glaciers. What everyone has said about the Kenai, Homer, and Denali are correct. Would recommend either going to Fairbanks or take the Denali highway across to the Richardson Highway down to Valdez. The Denali highway is a dirt road not really a highway you must go slow. The drive from Glennallen to Valdez is spectacular one of the prettiest drives I have ever seen if its clear and not fogged in. Plenty of hiking all over the state, but make sure to buy some bear spray just in case. To see bears up close the best is to plan a day trip like others have mentioned, plus the flight is worth it.


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TsPhotoSpot
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Oct 06, 2012 16:12 |  #11

I thought i would post a couple photos of some of my favorite places in Alaska.

This is Rabbit Lake near Anchorage.


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TsPhotoSpot
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Oct 06, 2012 16:16 as a reply to  @ TsPhotoSpot's post |  #12

Winner Creek


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Tom S
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TsPhotoSpot
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Oct 06, 2012 16:18 as a reply to  @ TsPhotoSpot's post |  #13

Crow Creek Pass


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Tom S
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kforde
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Oct 10, 2012 04:39 |  #14

Well thats just not fair, now I won't be able to focus on work for the next 8 months!


Kf
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Alaska Roadtrip Ideas -- Thoughts?
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