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Old 03-28-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
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Red face Alaska Trip this Summer

We are planning a rv trip to Alaska starting the middle or end of May for about two months. We are thinking of going to Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone on the way up. We are located in Maryland . Am I trying to fit too much in? Also any good advice for the trip?
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #2
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Sounds great!
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:30 PM   #3
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That'll be a great trip but coming from the East coast you may want to try to add another week or so. Do you have a copy of the Milepost and perhaps Churches Alaska RV book? There are threads on this site about the Alaska trip - one I remember has a discussion about using the trans Canada highway instead of US interstates to get to the western area. Traveling from Maryland that may be of interest to you. As far as time on our last trip leaving from Oregon we went Dawson City, Eagle, Fairbank, Anchorage, Homer, Hyder and many other places before heading down into Glacier and then Yellowstone and back to Oregon - that was about two months but should have been longer.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:38 PM   #4
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I'm leaving from So Cal at end of May for Alaska. I thought the same too about trying see too much as we will be back So Cal by first week of August. I really want to see Glacier National Park but it won't be open by then . But it's not going anywhere and I will be back someday.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:50 PM   #5
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I suggest you add a week, go straight to AK, and THEN find out you have to go straight home.
My folks went to AK after they retired for 6 weeks. Not nuff. 2 years layer, 3 months THERE.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:37 AM   #6
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Well, you have to stop someplace to rest occasionally so you might as well pick places like Yellowstone and come up through Grand Teton Nat'l Park, too. It's an easy drive from the south to the north and that's the direction you'll be heading anyway. If you've never been there, just hit the highlights (Old Faithful and the geyer boardwalks). You will have traveled a long distance by then and you'll have thousands more miles to go. You could just view it as a passing through place - and a nice one. Personally, I'd skip Mt. Rushmore. Have a great trip!
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:27 AM   #7
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I suggest you add a week, go straight to AK, and THEN find out you have to go straight home.
My folks went to AK after they retired for 6 weeks. Not nuff. 2 years layer, 3 months THERE.
I've been there twice good advice above. The other post on the Milepost all I can say don't leave home without it. Enjoy your trip and have safe trouble free travels.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:01 AM   #8
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I'm sure Denali is on your bucket list. Be sure to catch the earliest shuttle bus possible. In June and July I believe the earliest one leaves at 5:15 am. and are spaced about 20 to 25 minutes apart. It takes 3+ hours to reach the 2nd visitor center (Eielson Visitor Center) at mile marker Mile 66 inside the park. That is a great place to view Denali. The reason is, by noon time the clouds roll in and the view of Denali may be lost.

You can only drive your vehicle inside the park to mile marker 15 (Savage River). So you can either use the narrated tour bus $$$$ or use the shuttle bus.$$

Using the plain shuttle buses you can get on and off at each stop along the way. If you see something that looks to your liking to explore, get off and catch the next Shuttle bus about every 10 or 15 minutes. With the tour buses you are stuck at their pace. And the narrated tour buses were packed. The shuttle buses were maybe 1/3 full. Here are a few pics

We plan to take our RV up in 2016 when I retire. I plan 2-1/2 months. My Sister - N - Law lives in North Pole AK. which is just outside Fairbanks. We plan to park in their drive for a few weeks.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:56 AM   #9
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My question is after traveling all the way thru Alaska sightseeing is Denali really any different scenery ? Yeah a 20,000' high mountain is majestic but so far away not that photogenic .
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:25 AM   #10
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Short answer. Yes it is different. It is one place where because the road is as good as it is, you can experience true wilderness in relative ease. Our last trip there, we were able to drive our private vehicle in and even avoid much of the bus congestion. Seeing a brown bear with no sign of any other human or modern thing is something difficult to explain and wonderful to experience.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:26 PM   #11
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We are planning a rv trip to Alaska starting the middle or end of May for about two months. We are thinking of going to Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone on the way up. We are located in Maryland . Am I trying to fit too much in? Also any good advice for the trip?
2 months from Maryland... IMO..not enough time. Plan mid May thru at least the end of August... there is so much to see and do, you will want to stay a week and some places and just over night in others... you'd probably want to spend a week to 10 day at least in the Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone parks. that burns up at least 2 -3 weeks alone just getting there from Maryland.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:04 PM   #12
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Yes, Denali is just so big....At least try to take a shuttle to the 2nd visitor center Eielson Visitor Center There is a federal campground right next to main visitor that has 100+ sites. Just about everything is off the main park road up to mile marker 89. Remember only the first 15 miles in (paved) you can drive your own vehicle. I would give it a 3 day stop to #1 take a shuttle to at least Eleison VC, #2 drive to mile marker 15 and explore the Savage River area and #3 spend the day at the main visitor center and do a hike or two in that area. Remember always have your camera ready.

Thru out AK. there are may places to pull off and explore. You can be as far off "The Grid" as you would like, or stay in the comfort of full service campgrounds. Just north of Fairbanks there is Chena Hot Springs Rd. At the end (55 miles or so) there is the hot springs resort. But along the way there are 3 state parks and great fishing along the whole route, either the river or lakes. Its a nice flat 2 lane paved road (45 or 55 mph) in most places with many pull-offs.

In June you can pick blueberries to you hearts content. August is for Rosehip, Cranberries and Salmonberries. Also in late June you have summer solstice which especially up north in Fairbank you can have a midnight golf tee time...
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:11 PM   #13
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My question is after traveling all the way thru Alaska sightseeing is Denali really any different scenery ? Yeah a 20,000' high mountain is majestic but so far away not that photogenic .
Yes..it REALLY is different!! Just the immense wilderness is impressive not to mention how easy it is to view many species of animals, birds and plants. There's only one road through the park. Several times we got off the shuttle bus and just took a hike. There are no trails in the park. After the bus pulled away and we were the only ones out there we realized what wilderness really is. It was so silent and we knew a grizzly could be so near. We walked on the tundra which is very spongy and difficult to hike on. We viewed millions of alpine flowers in bloom. It was truly an awesome feeling. When we finished our walk we just went back down to the road and caught the next bus coming our way. It's a pleasant way to experience this wilderness on our own. We spent 10 nights in Denali - five at the farthest campground you can drive to - Teklanika and 5 at Riley Creek campground in the front section of the park. We were totally busy all day long doing different things. We saw 'the mountain' 7 sunny days out of 10 so we were so fortunate. Even though it's not right along the highway, it doesn't seem far away at all because of it's massive size. It's just out there! Words cannot describe Denali N.P. you have to see it for yourself.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:50 AM   #14
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Alaskan Trip

We traveled to Alaska and back to NY in 2012. The trip took 4 months witch included The Top of the World road in the Yukon, grand tour; plane ride through Denali landing on Eldridge glacier, fishing in Homer for Halibut, cooking school a Tutka bay Lodge, Bears in Valdez, traveled on the Alaskan Marine Highway form Haines to Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Prince Rupert. Saw may sights on the way home.

See our blog. RVGR8escape

Take your time and have safe trip.
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