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Old 12-04-2013, 11:01 PM   #31
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Re: Alaska 2014

I would not really consider the Juneau to Whittier run a coastal route. It's more of a cross-Gulf route and you would be pretty far from land most of the way, so its nowhere near as scenic or interesting as the Inside Passage routes. More chance for seasickness too. And it ain't cheap.

Instead, leave your passengers in Juneau for an extra day (plenty to do there) and then have them fly to Anchorage or Fairbanks to rejoin you (whichever is on your route to Denali). If the weather is clear, they will see more from the jet in an hour than they would on the whole cross-Gulf trip on the ferry.

As for you, if you drive both ways, only part of the trip north of Haines would be retracing your steps, and anyway that scenery can easily stand a second look. My suggestion would be to skip the Juneau to Whittier ferry run entirely - there isn't really much to recommend it, and there's much to like about the other options.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:54 AM   #32
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Re: Alaska 2014

Yes, thanks for the input. That's pretty much what we came up with too, and yes, spendy! Almost ready to make our reservations on the inside passage ferry stops. The wife has been spearheading the research effort and has come up with an itinerary that works for all with big help from Jeff in AMH reservations, will post up when we get things set. Hope we can somehow see or meet-up with some of you along the way. Mike, the idea of meeting up in Denali sounds like a good option for us given the dates if not earlier, sounds like there might be more options on the drive down to see some of you when we're not bound to ferry schedules.
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:12 PM   #33
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Re: Alaska 2014

We are intrigued by these short excursions on the rail out of Skagway and will be looking at booking one if anyone wants to join us. In talking to Jeff with the marine ferry reservation desk he recommended we check out Skagway, lots to do including theses historic rail rides up into the Klondike.

http://wpyr.com/index.html
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:44 AM   #34
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Re: Alaska 2014

Our trip seems to be changing daily, as we are trying to fit everything in as we discover more to see and do. Anyone else ever been to or are thinking of going to Gustavus to check out a tour of Glacier Bay from the water, a little harder to get to, although they do have air taxis and ferries that run there from Juneau, the ferry schedules will leave us there for 3 nights and the air tours that are in/out of Juneau are spendy. Thinking of just leaving the van in Juneau and taking ferry over and lodging it. Anyone else ever checked out glacier bay with some suggestions, is there enough to do around Gustavus to keep us occupied for a few days, I'm having a hard time with the idea of leaving the van and trailer and all our stuff behind but it will significantly reduce the cost of getting over there on the ferry.

Edit: It looks like flights in/out of Juneau are $100/each way and are a 25 min flight vs the 3+hrs it takes on the ferry, looks like this might be the best way to get there and spend 1 night in the lodge. Wings of Alaska. Still an expensive side tour considering flight to/from, lodging, tour, food, but hey you only live once!
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:00 AM   #35
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Re: Alaska 2014

Mike, Dave....anyone else...What dates are people thinking of being in Denali, we are looking at meeting up with some family flying in to Anchorage June 28th and then taking the train up to Denali with them for a few days then heading back down, we would be into maybe heading back up and booking the campground early July if that works for others to meet up. We may do Kenai for a few before heading back up to Denali to avoid another back/forth and then head up to Fairbanks and on to Prudhoe Bay.
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:28 PM   #36
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Re: Alaska 2014

Rick,

Right now I'm thinking July 1-4 in Denali. Might be a really cool place to spend the 4th. Probably not much fireworks, but very symbolic.

Mike
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:35 PM   #37
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Re: Alaska 2014

Rick,
We are taking a long trip through Canada to get to Alaska. The only thing that we have firmed up is our time in Denali. I just made reservations at Tek for July 10 - 13 with July 14 & 15 at Riley Creek. We are hoping that 3 nights at Tek will be enough!
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:52 PM   #38
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Re: Alaska 2014

Mike, I have been told by the planner that we will be back in Anchorage for the 4th after our train excursion to Denali June 30-July 3rd, we can be ready to head back up to Denali on the 6th (if able to meet up with you or others at that point) otherwise we will head to Kenai for the week before heading back up to camp in Denali(vs. lodge with the fam). Family leaves the night of the 5th, I hope we can make something work to meet up, that first week of July is a little booked for us with meeting up and spending time with family in Anchorage/Denali. We have some time after the 6th to meet up with people around Anchorage/Kenai. Wanting to spend some time on Kenai and around Anchorage with some friends that live there, get back to Denali and then potentially make our way up to Fairbanks and Prudhoe bay before starting our drive down around the 21st. Will hit Cassiar hwy on the way down. When are others looking at heading down?

So Far:
Prince Rupert to Juneau-leave June 7th @6:15am/Arrive 8th 9:30am(fast boat)
Juneau to Gustavus/Glacier Bay NP (flight) June 11th-12th(10th anniversary!!)/13th
Juneau to Skagway June 15th-19th
Skagway to Haines June 20th-24th
Leave Haines on the 24th/25th-Arrive Anchorage on the night of the 27th
Meetup with family in Anchorage on June 28th
EDIT:Denali w/Family at Lodge/lodge campground(family by rail, I drive)July 1st-5th
Denali at TEK campground/meet up with others July 5th-8th
Anchorage/Chugash Area July 8th-13th
Kenai Peninsula/Chugash Area week of July 14th
Wrangell-St. Elias Fairbanks/Prudhoe Bay week of July 21st
EDITMeet up with everyone on July 27th in Eagle?
Then down through Dawson City to Cassiar Hwy.
want to be in Seattle by August 1st

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Old 12-16-2013, 09:07 PM   #39
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Re: Alaska 2014

Jim, you snuck in that post while I was writing mine. It looks like we might miss you up in Denali the way our schedule is laying out. Would be great if we could pick a spot to all meet up, but looking unlikely, missing each other by days. Lets see if we can get some of us together, Posted up most of our schedule above.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:28 AM   #40
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Re: Alaska 2014

Rick,
Looks as if we will miss you in Denali. However, we plan on travelling back down the Cassier as well. It will take us some time to get to that point. We will spend some time hiking the Chugach and exploring Anchorage by bike, probably from Eagle River Campground. Then on to Homer and Valdez overland hiking and biking along the way. We all will just have to keep our postings up and meet-up as we can. The idea of travelling down the Cassier with other SMB's as companions has it's appeal. Keep posting any fixed dates as they develop.
JIM
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