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Must see in Alaska?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Bad Wolf, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    512
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    I'm heading out Thursday for a conferance in Anchorage. I'm already set up to fly into Fairbanks, and take the train down to Denali for two nights. I'm taking the bus to the end of the park and back which will take a whole day. So I have Friday afternoon and Sunday morning free in Denali and all day the following Thrusday in Anchorage.
    What things do I have to see/do that I have time for?

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Time for BogyDave to chime in here. Calling Dave....

    I'll send him an email to make sure he gets to answer this. However, he very well may be out at camp hunting moose right now.
  3. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    16,193
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    If I had only one day to spend in Anchorage what I would do is this . . . rent a car and drive down the Seward Highway along Turnagain Arm -- honestly it is one of the most scenic drives I have ever seen (and if you're lucky along the way you may spot some Dahl Sheep, Beluga whales or the famed Bore Tide . . . but even if you don't see all of those, or any of those the view of the water and mountains is incredible.)

    You could drive all the way down to Seward or go to Homer . . . but that would be a helluva long drive for one day. Instead I would go to Portage . . . visit the Beigich-Boggs Center and learn about glaciers and then take the short tour by Gray Line of Portage Glacier as it is both informative and interesting. If you have some extra time you may also want to take one of the short hikes nearby to some of the other glaciers in the area.

    If you like wildlife and want to get some good close up shots of some of the critters you could only see far away in Denali you might want to go the Wildlife Conservation Center (formerly Big Game Alaska) in Portage . . . many of these animals are being rehabbed.

    In Anchorage itself I highly recommend the Alaska Native Heritage Center or the Anchorage Museum -- both are good places to visit on crappy weather days.

    In Wasilla I enjoyed a brief stop at the Iditarod headquarters . . . even though I'm not at all interested in huskies or the Iditarod I found the history interesting and I enjoyed speaking with the son -- or maybe it was the grandson -- of the guy who started up the modern Iditarod race.

    I also liked visiting Independence Mine above Palmer . . . then again I really like historical locations and this place was pretty cool . . . also great views in the mountains.

    To be honest . . . maybe I'm in the minority . . . but I did Denali twice and it didn't thrill me. I remember both trips as being a very, very long bus ride in with a few moments where you could see critters in the distance and a few picturesque shots from time to time. Maybe if I had got out and hiked some it would have been a different experience, but honestly I was pretty bored by the time the bus got to the destination and then back.
  4. TheMightyMoe

    TheMightyMoe Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    565
    Loc:
    Fairbanks, Alaska.
    I spent most my life in Anchorage...

    If I had one day,

    I would drive down the Seward highway (If you like scenic views) and go to the sea life center as mentioned above.
    Hike Flat top for a amazing city view (hour up hour down maybe 2-4 hours total if you are unfit/slow)

    Denali - Your only get out of it what you put into it $$$ wise... If you like hiking, hike for 2 days straight.

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