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Old 04-29-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
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Destination Alaska....with a toddler

My wife and i and our now 16 month old are putting together a trip north that will include the Yukon's Dempster Hwy and into Alaska to go through Denali and prob down to Homer, and on the way back we'll run down the Cassiar Highway to see Telegraph Creek and Stewart/Hyder etc.
Is there anyone out there that has done any of these areas with very young childern? I'm looking for some advice on some points of interest that might appeal to a toddler, i know this is a stretch as most will just go where ever, but wanted to know if there are any must stops that would be particularly fun for a young child?

If you have been to these spots or any others on this route but don't have any suggestions on the toddler subject, i'd still love to hear any of your opinions of must see's.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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Re: Destination Alaska....with a toddler

North of Anchorage @ Palmer there is a muskox farm. South of anchorage @ Portage on Seward Hwy is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center http://www.alaskawildlife.org with bears, moose, musk ox and caribou in separate large compounds -easy for the little kids to see and spectacular Turnagain Arm /Portage Glacier scenery for the adults. My grand kids love the docks with close supervision at Seward (put a life preserver on them - free for kids at the dock gangway) There are good child friendly National Park/National Forest visitor centers in Portage, Seward, Kenai and Homer if the weather is bit too raw. If its not, head down to the beach at the Homer Spit or just below the visitor center is some more board walks through a tidal slough (4th of July in Homer is fun)
Have a great trip!
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:37 PM   #3
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Re: Destination Alaska....with a toddler

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenard
North of Anchorage @ Palmer there is a muskox farm. South of anchorage @ Portage on Seward Hwy is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center http://www.alaskawildlife.org with bears, moose, musk ox and caribou in separate large compounds -easy for the little kids to see and spectacular Turnagain Arm /Portage Glacier scenery for the adults. My grand kids love the docks with close supervision at Seward (put a life preserver on them - free for kids at the dock gangway) There are good child friendly National Park/National Forest visitor centers in Portage, Seward, Kenai and Homer if the weather is bit too raw. If its not, head down to the beach at the Homer Spit or just below the visitor center is some more board walks through a tidal slough (4th of July in Homer is fun)
Have a great trip!
Thats great info! I'll write those suggestions down for those areas. Thanks again!
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:49 AM   #4
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Re: Destination Alaska....with a toddler

Seward has a very nice marine wildlife center w live wildlife exhibits. A 16 month child would be interested in most anything...for 3-10 minutes. If you go walking on glaciers carry the child in a pack or in your arms. If they (or you for that matter) slide into a crevasse they will probably die from hypothermia before extraction. Our trip took 2 months and 12k miles of driving. Would be good to have car toys hid way and bring out a "new" one every 3-4 days of your travels and put some away for 1-2 weeks so they are "new" when you bring them out.

Always remember that you are camping in wolf, bear, coyote country and a child that size is fair game to them. We were on Vancouver Island in 2011 and several of the parks we wanted to see were temporarily closed. A small child was attacked by a cougar. The child was WITH two adults were walking along a beach and the cougar came out of the bush and grabbed the 3-4 year old kid by the head - two skull puncture wounds. Attack only lasted a few seconds, the father and grandfather chased the animal off.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:12 AM   #5
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Re: Destination Alaska....with a toddler

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnty
My wife and i and our now 16 month old are putting together a trip north that.
We spent some of a SE Utah Sportsmobile trip with our 14-month-old, who had just learned to walk. Your toddler will be interested in stuff wherever you go, but perhaps not what you think -- poking at rocks & dirt & ants & puddles while the adults enjoy the view. We had family outings (short hikes, etc.) during the mornings, and drove the van to new destinations (or did longer kid-in-backpack hikes) while the kiddo napped during the afternoon. Evenings were spent exploring our campsite. Everything is slowed down; you can't rush a toddler. We have a waterproof cloth picnic blanket for outside playing. More playing (and sleeping) occurred behind the rear seat in our RB-50. We brought a kid-sized folding chair for eating at the RB-50 door cabinet.




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Old 04-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #6
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Re: Destination Alaska....with a toddler

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffff
We spent some of a SE Utah Sportsmobile trip with our 14-month-old, who had just learned to walk. Your toddler will be interested in stuff wherever you go, but perhaps not what you think -- poking at rocks & dirt & ants & puddles while the adults enjoy the view. We had family outings (short hikes, etc.) during the mornings, and drove the van to new destinations (or did longer kid-in-backpack hikes) while the kiddo napped during the afternoon. Evenings were spent exploring our campsite. Everything is slowed down; you can't rush a toddler. We have a waterproof cloth picnic blanket for outside playing. More playing, and sleeping occurred behind the rear seat in our RB-50.
The same more or less held true even with my 6 year old son. There's a lot to be said for slowing down, not being worried about making time to the next destination, and for playing in the dirt while trying to catch a grasshopper in your hands.

A nap on a warm summer afternoon while camping shouldn't be overlooked by adults either. I think the true value in camping with young kids is about creating enjoyable experiences, so they are more appreciating and willing to go camping later in childhood when none of their friends think it's cool, and their idea of an outdoor adventure is going to the park down the street with it's manicured lawns and spending all their time on their smart phones.


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Old 04-30-2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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Re: Destination Alaska....with a toddler

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenS
Would be good to have car toys hid way and bring out a "new" one every 3-4 days of your travels and put some away for 1-2 weeks so they are "new" when you bring them out.
I really like this idea and to be honest never would have thought of this, i appreciate the idea. I've been to Seward once and remember the dock specifically and all the fish coming in being processed. Neat experience.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:01 PM   #8
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Re: Destination Alaska....with a toddler

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffff
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnty
My wife and i and our now 16 month old are putting together a trip north that.
We spent some of a SE Utah Sportsmobile trip with our 14-month-old, who had just learned to walk. Your toddler will be interested in stuff wherever you go, but perhaps not what you think -- poking at rocks & dirt & ants & puddles while the adults enjoy the view. We had family outings (short hikes, etc.) during the mornings, and drove the van to new destinations (or did longer kid-in-backpack hikes) while the kiddo napped during the afternoon. Evenings were spent exploring our campsite. Everything is slowed down; you can't rush a toddler. We have a waterproof cloth picnic blanket for outside playing. More playing (and sleeping) occurred behind the rear seat in our RB-50. We brought a kid-sized folding chair for eating at the RB-50 door cabinet.

-- Geoff
Great pictures and tips. It looks like your daughter loved the Moab area Ya my daughter loves just being outside as well, she's found a new found freedom with the ability to walk and run. Looking at your set up i'm wishing my van had the 50 platform, that area in the back to play would be great!
I think there is a lot of truth to what you and BroncoHauler have mentioned about not trying to make time and rush between stops and that we should more or less go with the flow and enjoy the whole trip instead of having an eye on one destination. This has all help so much already. Thanks again.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:30 PM   #9
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Re: Destination Alaska....with a toddler

I am following this since we are too going to be doing the same trip in our Sportsmobile with a 10 year old and a 7 year old next year.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:35 PM   #10
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Re: Destination Alaska....with a toddler

One of my biggest challenges last year putting together a two week trip with my son, was balancing camping with conveniences (bathrooms, showers, ranger talks) with having to make reservations which ties you to a schedule.


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