Cloudy and Wet Alaska - June 2014
The Hindu rain god Indra was not too kind to us on this trip and it was overcast during most of our Alaska trip with intermittent rain, sometimes heavy. That accounts for the pictures in this thread being not quite sharp.
Reaching Anchorage in the early afternoon gave us enough time to drive down to Seward by dinner time. The Seward Highway heading south runs through the Chugach State Park, along the Turnagain Arm sea water. Most of the time it is more silt than water, but when the tide comes in, one does see water and marine life there. The drive down is very scenic with lot of view points on the way. In Seward, the Holiday Inn Express is located at the harbor with a beautiful view of the mountains, the numerous boats at the dock and the cruise ship.
Holiday Inn Express Review
The boats of the two companies operating the Kenai Fjords National Park Tour in Seward are almost identical, as are their tours. We took the Major Marine Park Tour, but did not make it out to the open seas to access the National Park due to stormy weather. So we ended up doing the Resurrection Bay only. There was quite a bit of marine life at different places along the way. Each boat can take on about 200 people, but this being the early season we had only about 100 people on board. Everyone on our cruise opted for the buffet lunch at additional cost, but one could choose to take along their own munchies/sandwiches/soft drinks from the Safeway store in town. At the check-in window for the tours, they hand you your boarding tickets with assigned seating. In the evening we drove over to the Exit Glacier Ranger Station and hiked about a mile to get a glimpse of the glacier.
The city of Girdwood deserves a special mention; that is where we stopped over on our way back to Anchorage. It is located about 30 miles south of Anchorage and boasts of the Alyeska Resort. An aerial tramway owned and operated by the resort takes you up 2000 feet to a mountain top for a view of the seven glaciers, surrounding scenic mountains and the lush green valley below. The Seven Glaciers restaurant located at the top, is open only for dinner (after 4:30 PM) and provides a view of these glaciers on a clear day. During the day time, Boar Tide Deli is open for lunch up to 4:30 PM, and the lunch with a soda/beer can be had for $10 if purchased with the tramway ticket($25). We had a nice lunch at the Deli overlooking the valley below, but got to see only the toes of a couple of glaciers due to low clouds.
Few miles down South on the highway in Girdwood is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.
Denali National Park
Denali Bluffs Hotel and Denali Lodge also seemed to be good places to stay. Denali Bluffs hotel is situated on a bluff along the main highway and some of the rooms face the mountains of the National Park. Denali Lodge is located about 10 miles south of the park entrance and does not have any views. Princess Wilderness Lodge mainly caters to the Princess Land/Cruise tour customers. Only the outside rooms in the buildings on the back periphery have a view of the river behind the property and the mountains. For us, a motel 8 type room in Bldg. H of the lodge with no view for $350+/night was a big rip-off, even with the high price of everything in Alaska. Buyer beware!
DTWBOB, post: 2389684, member: 45967 wrote: Great Pix !
Did you hear anything about the rock slide in the park? Heard there were 100 people on the wrong side of it and some had to be flown out.
Yes, the Denali Tundra Tour guide did mention about one in the past. Not sure about the time frame that it happened in though. OR, is it another recent one that you are referring to, in the last few days? Definitely not when we were there.
Slow_Mustang, post: 2389783, member: 4637 wrote: Yes, the Denali Tundra Tour guide did mention about one in the past. Not sure about the time frame that it happened in though. OR, is it another recent one that you are referring to, in the last few days? Definitely not when we were there.
Yes -- a day or two ago.... sometimes you have to be thousands of miles away to hear about these things --
DTWBOB, post: 2389870, member: 45967 wrote: Yes -- a day or two ago.... sometimes you have to be thousands of miles away to hear about these things --
I see it here,
Flooding/landslide/road closure is unfortunate for the people in the Kantishna area which I believe is 60+ miles inside the park. But for the large majority of the people doing the Denali day trips within the first 30 miles or so, it must be business as usual.