Alaska Road Trip July 4-16

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by javago, May 5, 2011.

  1. javago

    javago New Member

    Hi Alaska-trippers
    Would be cool to get together a group of motivated travellers,
    to organize a D.I.Y. low-budget summer-itinerary in the largest state in the Union!
    departing in Anchorage July 04 - back in Anchorage July 16, 2011
    ->Homer->Seward->->Valdez-->Wrangell/St-Elias NP->Anchorage
    Now public transport is not frequent and expensive,
    so if there's 4 of us, the most affordable way is to rent a car
    + couchsurfing, hostelling or camping.
    Looking 4ward to creative ideas or suggestions by interested fellow-nomads
    ThanX 4 your attention + CYA ;-)
    Jan, Belgium
    ps if you want to get to know me better you can check my profile at:
    -the couchsurfing site, username javago
    -facebook (search me via my email vagoja@hotmail.com)
     
  2. VacationBuddy

    VacationBuddy Administrator

    I'd suggest the following:

    -a trip into Denali National Park to see great views of wildlife like bears, lynx and foxes, and of course Mount McKinley.

    -going up the west coast via ferry and seeing the Inside Passage and some of the Alaska coast that way.

    -Hiring a car and drive doing a loop from Anchorage to Juneau via Whitehorse, Dawson, Tok, Fairbanks, Denali, Wasilla, Seward and back to Anchorage.
     
  3. Ruby

    Ruby Guest

    have worked out a solid itinerary plan? what's your budget in mind?
     
  4. javago

    javago New Member

    Hi Ruby,
    Budget estimated at 1000 usd max.
    Itinerary:
    I arrive in Anchorage July 03 after a 27d Greentortoisetrip from SF.
    So the dates for the DIY-road trip are:
    July 03 - July 16 (when I fly back from Anchorage)
    Here’s the sketch of a possible itinerary, as copied from # travel companies:
    1.Departure July 03 from Anchorage-> visit Girdwood Forestfair
    2.July 04: ->Hope (1 of Alaska's 1st gold rush towns around 1889, with charming gold rush buildings)
    3.July 05: ->Kenai (city-good views, a bit Russian history)+ Soldotna ->Homer
    4.July 06: Homer (options: sea kayak trip to Kachemak bay state park)
    5.July 07: Homer + Seldovia (awe-inspiring mountains & glaciers)
    6.July 08: ->Seward
    7.July 09: Seward (options: glacier boat trip, Kenai Fjords National Park, hiking up exit glacier to Harding ice field...)
    8.July 10: Seward
    9.July 11: Seward ->Whittier ferry -> To Valdez aka “Switzerland of Alaska†= beautiful crossing of Prince William Sound, on the lookout for whales, bald eagles and other wildlife/ Columbia Glacier.
    10.July 12: Valdez: magnificent coastal Alaska. The young and geologically very active Chugach range rises up literally out of the sea, ringing super-scenic Prince William Sound (some of the best sea kayaking: Shoup Bay+Glacier/huge waterfalls/ or wildlife/glacier-viewing cruise, or Salmon and halibut fishing)
    11.July 13: -> Wrangell/St-Elias national park along the heavily glaciated Chugach Mountains. At alpine Thompson Pass we can hike up the lateral moraine of Worthington Glacier to a dramatic view of the ice field that feeds this very blue "river" of ice.-> the copper rush village of McCarthy (pop. ~25), everyone's favorite Alaskan ghost town! # Options to explore the volcanic and glacier-clad Wrangell Mountains, into immense Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the largest in the USA, and a United Nations World Heritage Site.
    12.July 14: another day in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park / McCarthy & Kennicott
    13.July 15: via Chitina ->Glennallen ->Matanuska Valley & Glacier ->Palmer back to Anchorage
    14.July 16: 1 day to explore Anchorage

    Transport options:
    ***********************
    a. the least attractive option is the public transport one:
    reason: local shuttle buses are still quite expensive, connections are poor and not frequent,so freedom to move is very limited, esp. the Valdez to Wrangell/St-Elias NP connection is not possible at all.

    b. a much better solution: renting a car
    advantages:
    - budget-wise: according to calculations on following 2 websites, renting a car would only cost between 300 -400 USD for all of us, all included: rent, full insurance and gas;
    - .alaskagasprices.com/TripCalculator
    - economycarrentals.com
    of course the more participants, the lower the transport cost , max. 4 persons, I guess;
    - flexibility: a high degree of freedom in schedule
    disadvantages:
    rental cars at economycarrentals.com are not allowed on ferries nor on gravel roads, which makes it impossible to take the ferry from Whittier to Valdez and to enter the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park via its 60mile gravel road ; how to solve this, still remains to be researched?

    c.The best but least likely solution: one of the participants driving his/her own vehicle: this would possibly solve the 2 disadvantages of a rental car, namely the ferry and the gravel road exclusion, provided that the owner of the car does agree with this, of course. Next to sharing the gas costs, the others may want to pay a contribution to the owner for letting his vehicle be used. We could ask an Alaskan whether his/her car is available (there is at least one guy from Alaska on the lonely planet forum, travelling in South America now, who might be interested to join our trip)

    budget accomodation would be preferably camping, or if available couchsurfing or hostelling.
    Anyway, I got response from about 5 people on different travel sites, showing interest.;
    If I only can convince 3 other travelers to join, that would be enough for the car rental scenario ;-)

    Hoping to hear your advice/opinion,
    Cheers !
    Jan
     
  5. Jenna

    Jenna Moderator

    That's true about driving through gravel roads, though car rental companies will still allow to go on gravel roads but they won't do it for a low price. When I rented, they made me sign a contract in which I was committing myself in not driving trough any road not included in their allowance (basically, almost every gravel road). I did it anyway, but I knew that I had to assume all my responsibilities.
     
  6. Ruby

    Ruby Guest

    How about renting a 4wd guys? that should sort out the problem right?
     

Share This Page