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Denali vs Matanuska?

Sacramento...
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Denali vs Matanuska?

Two questions:

Is 2-full days in Denali too much? After day 1 of taking shuttle bus up to Eielson and Wonder Lake, what more to do? Should I save for a day somewhere else?

Matanuska, we will have grandma in tow who won't be ice hiking the glacier, is it worth the day stop or should save for somewhere else?

8 replies to this topic
Winnipeg, Canada
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1. Re: Denali vs Matanuska?

"Is 2-full days in Denali too much?"

For some it would be, for others it wouldn't be enough. If seeing wildlife is a priority, we advise taking a second shuttle at least as far as Eielson. The cost is only $34, so if you decide after the first trip you've had enough, you can shorten the second one or skip it entirely to do other things, such as: alaska.org/destination/…things-to-do

Most people do enjoy the hike at Matanuska. Can you re-work your itinerary so that you arrive for an afternoon ice hike and stay the night nearby? It's a beautiful area and while you're busy with the hike, grandma would likely enjoy sitting on a porch somewhere taking in the view.

Lake Tahoe...
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2. Re: Denali vs Matanuska?

Well, you don't have to ice hike to enjoy the glacier. When we (wife and I) did our big trips we had grandma in the back seat (my mother-in-law) who was in her 80's. She was happy as a clam.

During our recent visits to Denali we always spent one day on a shuttle. I'm grandma's age now and one day is enough. We also plan for a day driving to, another from Denali

Anchorage, Alaska
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3. Re: Denali vs Matanuska?

Good suggestions from previous posters.

Denali...

- I like to offer to travelers that day 1 be used for shuttle/park road investigation. On day 2 get off shuttle for walks/hikes of places you saw from day 1 that interested you.

M.Glacier

- if one is not going to hike/trek the glacier I don't see a whole day being used.

- is there enough people in your party where a couple of them trek and another takes the grandmother on a nice drive on the Glenn Hwy for site-seeing?

ANCHORAGE
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4. Re: Denali vs Matanuska?

Mantanuska glacier...not worth the day trip, especially if you have already seen glaciers on a cruise or on a Kenai Fjords trip.

Winnipeg, Canada
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5. Re: Denali vs Matanuska?

You don't get to walk on glaciers or look down a crevasse, etc. while on a Kenai Fjords trip or other cruise. Totally different experience from watching glaciers calve.

Edited: 24 June 2017, 20:50
Duluth, Minnesota
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6. Re: Denali vs Matanuska?

As for Matanuska...I like sdprydes suggestion of splitting up...the ice hike is very cool if you can pull it off. If not, that drive is one of the most scenic I've seen in AK, so just spending part of a day to do that would still be a good idea.

For Denali...he's right again! If you're going to Denali, give it 2 days. We did one shuttle trip all the way to wonder lake, then a second to Eielson. We ended up staying on the bus much of the time both days, seeing different wildlife, and noticing different things day 2 that we missed on day 1.

Anchorage, Alaska
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7. Re: Denali vs Matanuska?

"Mantanuska glacier...not worth the day trip, especially if you have already seen glaciers on a cruise or on a Kenai Fjords trip."

- I completely disagree. For a guided trek (even the most basic 3 hr trek) I think it's amazing.

- if one is not able to do the trek, the state recreation area is a beautiful spot to go for site-seeing, the interpretive trail, and a picnic.

- if not trekking, the site-seeing is great, especially if combined with some other nearby activity; perhaps Independence Mine.

Edited: 24 June 2017, 21:20
Sacramento...
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8. Re: Denali vs Matanuska?

Sounds like I will keep both on the list, 2-days in Denali, one day for shuttle and Day for re investigating hikes etc, and grandma slightly mobile will love the walk around Matanuska, thanks all

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