We are planning our first trip to Alaska for summer 2018. There will be three couples, mid-50s to mid-60s in good health and reasonable shape for adventures. We are so excited about seeing and experiencing the natural beauty of Alaska! I would appreciate comments and advice on the following itinerary. Is it realistic or too ambitious? Recommendations?
I've checked the tide tables and there's a good chance for a bore tide on Turnagain Arm. I'm not sure about the ferry schedule for next summer so that our timing would work out for viewing bore tide one day when near Girdwood and then catching the ferry from Whittier to Valdez the next day.
One couple volunteered to drive the rental vehicle from Denali back to Anchorage to allow the other couples the opportunity to ride the train. Is it worth the money to ride Alaska Railroad from Denali back to Anchorage for scenery/experience or just ride the rental vehicle back with whole group?
Day 1, Fly to Anchorage
Day 2, Anchorage to Seward: pick up rental vehicle and buy supplies, drive Seward Hwy., (stopping for sights), hike Russian River Falls (Lower Russian Lakes Trail at Cooper Landing) to see salmon and possibly bears!!!, drive to Seward
Day 3, Seward: Kenai Fjords Tours, National Parks Tour, 8 am – 2 pm or 11:30 am – 5:30 pm
Day 4, Seward: Kayak, Resurrection Bay (Sunny Cove Kayaking), 9 am – 3 pm, visit Alaska SeaLife Center
Day 5, Seward to Girdwood: Hike Exit Glacier (if haven’t yet), drive to Girdwood, if clear day ride Tram at Aleyska Resort (lunch at Bore Tide Deli), Hike Winner Creek Trail (hand tram), watch Bore Tide on Turnagain Arm (if timing is right)
Day 6, Girdwood to Whittier to Valdez to Glacier View: through tunnel at Whittier, Alaska Marine Hwy. Ferry to Valdez (Prince William Sound), scenic drive up Richardson Hwy to Glenn Hwy to Glacier View
Day 7, Glacier View to Talkeetna: Matanuska Glacier hike (MICA Guides or NOVA), drive Hatcher Pass, Parks Hwy to Talkeetna
Day 8, Talkeetna to Denali: Denali Flightseeing (K2 Aviation), drive to Denali (stopping for scenic views), introduction to DNP (visit Visitor Center, explore first 15 miles by car)
Day 9, Denali: Bus to Kantishna, (Denali Backcountry Adventure or Kantishna Wilderness Trails or NPS Shuttle Bus)
Day 10, Denali: Explore DNP, Hike (Savage Alpine Trail or Mt. Healy Overlook Trail or Ranger-led Discovery Hike), visit sled dogs, or other Denali area activities (possibly buy NPS Shuttle tickets for 2nd day for better chance to see Denali)
Day 11, Denali to Anchorage: drive back to Anchorage/part of group ride Alaska Railroad Denali Star Train (noon to 8), return rental vehicle
Day 12, Fly from Anchorage to home