Tim’s Suggested 10 day Trip to Alaska

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10-day itinerary

Day 1:
Fly into Fairbanks and take a cab to your hotel. Some afternoon excursions in Fairbanks: Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum or the Museum of the North at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Day 2:
Rent your “one way car to Seward” from Alaska Car Rental. Head South to Denali National Park. Once at the park, you can spend the first day either rafting, hiking, ziplining or just relaxing and taking in the view. I recommend looking into local events like music at the McKinley Village or the Tonglen Lake Lodge.

Day 3:
Take a Wildlife Bus tour into the park. Bus tours commonly leave at 6am.

Day 4:
Head South to Talkeetna and begin your stay with us at the Denali Overlook Inn. On the way South you will pass by Denali State Park, a great place to hike with trails that will take you up some elevation and above tree line, amazing views of the Alaska Range if it is a clear day! I recommend that
you book a flight while in Talkeetna, the tour of the Alaska Range from the air is the best in the state and will surpass your expectations! Book it for the first day of your multi-day Talkeetna stay, to give you ample time to get a flight if the weather is not cooperating. Chances of getting a flight are better with a two day stay.

Day 5:
Choose your own adventure – Why stay in Talkeetna.  I recommend the Mahay’s riverboat tour in the morning and a 4pm flight. Mahays is a rain or shine activity, comfortable and FUN! Many of our guests add a third day for more Talkeetna fun.

Day 6:
Leave the Denali Overlook Inn and travel south to Willow Fishhook Road and go east, up and over Hatcher Pass (verify it is open for travel before leaving if in May or June.) Continue on Fishhook Road South until you intersect the Glenn Highway. Turn left and head for the Matanuska Glacier. Either hike on the Mat Glacier with your personal guide or continue to Sheep Mountain Lodge and helicopter out onto the glacier. Dine and stay at the Sheep Mountain Lodge and enjoy great food and a real Alaskan atmosphere. Comfortable and clean!!

Day 7:
1. Inland Ferry from Valdez to Whittier which leaves at 7am Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The ferry goes across Prince William Sound, one of the most pristine waterways in the world. It is a great experience that I highly recommend, it can be tricky to schedule. You would need to time
your Alaska arrival and pass on staying at the Sheep Mountain Lodge and push on to Valdez after vising the Matanuska Glacier in order to be in Valdez Monday, Wednesday or Friday nights. When you arrive in Whittier you can then drive south to Seward or spend the night in Girdwood.

2. Choose to stay at Sheep Mountain Lodge and double back on the Glenn Highway to Palmer and continue to Anchorage. Take the Seward Highway to either Girdwood. The Alyeska Hotel is there and plenty of air Bnb’s. A tram ride from the hotel to the restaurant at the top of the Alyeska
slopes is breathtaking on a clear day.

3. Hope, AK is also an option after leaving Whitter. Hope is a small town in between Girdwood and Seward, with 16.5 mile drive off the Seward Highway. Side note, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is on the highway when you leave the Whittier Tunnel, a good stop!

Day 8:
If you stayed in Girdwood last night, Visit Alaska Wildlife Center and Portage Glacier and swing by Exit Glacier before arriving in Seward. While in Seward, a must is a Resurrection Bay Tour. Seward has a very good aquarium, zip lining, kayaking…all fun.

Day 9:
See more of Seward, then turn in your rental car and take the Alaska State Railroad back to Anchorage. It is the most scenic part of the 704-mile-long Alaska Railroad. You arrive in Anchorage and you can take a cab to the airport, check in your bags and cab or Uber over to South (a very good
restaurant a short distance from the Airport). Cab or Uber back for your “red eye” flight home…or overnight in Anchorage and fly on day 10.

Day 10: Flight Home
That’s my suggested trip to Alaska. Starting in Fairbanks and flying out of Anchorage eliminates time consuming doubling back. Only a couple hour drive from Fairbanks to Denali saves 10 hours of driving from Anchorage to the park and back. To quote the gentleman from Men’s Warehouse…it’s a great trip “I Guarantee It!”.

Enjoy your trip, look forward to seeing you at the Denali Overlook Inn, Talkeetna, Alaska.

Your Host,
Tim Costello