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Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..
  
 
abhisheks77
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


Hi,
We are heading to Alaska end of this month. We will be taking RV, which will allow us to give more flexibility to be at good locations at sunrise or evening time (though there are no golden hours, when sun sets at 11:30). We have less days, so trying to skip one of route, to save a day.
We will drive slow from Anchorage to Whittier and taking cruise to Blackstone Bay. After cruise, we can head back towards Denali NP same evening, considering that I have already seen good part from Anchorage to Portage to Whittier. Alternatively, I can drive towards Seward (or may be stay at Portage only) and leave that place next day evening.
If I skip Seward as per first option, it will allow me cover Glennallen - Valdez part. If I consider to spend one more day in Portage/Seward area, I will skip Valdez. From photographic value (landscapes), what is suggested, in comparison to other areas, I am driving ?
As I am taking cruise at Whittier, so purpose of driving till Seward would be only phonographic value.
My tentative route is, Anchorage - Portage - Whittier - Talkeetna - Cantwell - Denali Hwy - Paxson - Valdez - Glennallen - Hatcher Pass - Anchorage. If you have any recommendation/suggestions for me, please give. It will be always helpful for me.
Regards



Jun 10, 2017 at 06:35 PM
bflood
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


My recommendation is to go with the tentative route you have now. The scenery around Seward can't compete at all with what you'll find in the Valdez-Glennallen area. The best values of going to Seward (my opinion) are a chance to walk up to and touch a glacier (Exit Glacier is small, but easily accessible) and the day-long cruises from Seward into the Kenai Fjords National Park. That cruise is excellent, but I can't recommend doing cruises from both Whittier and Seward at the expense of missing the Glennallen part.

For your RV travels, I suggest you get a copy of Milepost, a guidebook for driving in Alaska. It has the most amazing detail of everything along the roads in Alaska - every gas station, restaurant, convenience store, motel, campground, important stops along the road - it is amazing. If you can't find one locally, you can get it online. It's published annually, so make sure to get the 2017 edition.



Jun 11, 2017 at 04:20 AM
abhisheks77
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


Thanks. Your response was helpful and gave me more confidence.
One more thing, if you are know about Hatcher Pass area. I was going through different posts and I am getting mixed reviews about it.
If it is worth, I will take this extra loop on my last day, or else I will skip it.



Jun 11, 2017 at 04:51 AM
stanparker
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


I agree with your planned route. I would not skip Valdez to see Seward, as Whittier is much the same. Exit Glacier, in my opinion, does not compare with Worthington Glacier, seen on the way to Valdez.

I have visited Alaska in an RV and drove the AlCan to Alaska, but returned via the Cassiar Highway, stopping at Hyder. This was one of our favorite stops of the entire trip. Bear watching on Fish Creek is great, and Salmon Glacier is one of the best views you'll find. There are other glaciers, as well. If you can, do it.



Jun 11, 2017 at 03:29 PM
abhisheks77
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


Thanks stanparker.
Did you go to Hatcher Pass/Independence Mine as well ?



Jun 11, 2017 at 05:03 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


Valdez is an incredible area. I had it listed as a back up area on my trip, fortunately one of my planned stops fell and I went to Valdez. I would say easily it was one of the highlights of my trip. Tons of great Landscape opportunities on the drive into it, and also the bay/marsh area surrounding it.

Valdez is highly recommended.

Jim



Jun 11, 2017 at 08:44 PM
abhisheks77
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


Thanks Jim. Now I am getting interested in Valdez. I already have few places in list - Worthington Glacier, Solomon Gulch Trail and occasional stops on Glenn Hwy. Would you like to give any more suggestions and recommendations ? Accordingly, I will leave other places, so that I can sufficient time in Valdez area.


Jun 11, 2017 at 08:50 PM
Michael H
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


Just wanted to add another thank you for these suggestions. I'll be up there later this summer with three free days to kick around. Probably based in Anchorage but that's not even locked. Thinking a day in Denali, a day in and around Valdez and maybe a day around Homer.


Jun 15, 2017 at 10:55 PM
 

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JimFox
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


Michael H wrote:
Just wanted to add another thank you for these suggestions. I'll be up there later this summer with three free days to kick around. Probably based in Anchorage but that's not even locked. Thinking a day in Denali, a day in and around Valdez and maybe a day around Homer.


I would recommend 2 days in each of the places you mentioned as opposed to 1 day. Also bear in mind that there are long distances between all of those places with normally most of a day spent in just driving.

Jim



Jun 16, 2017 at 08:10 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


abhisheks77 wrote:
Thanks Jim. Now I am getting interested in Valdez. I already have few places in list - Worthington Glacier, Solomon Gulch Trail and occasional stops on Glenn Hwy. Would you like to give any more suggestions and recommendations ? Accordingly, I will leave other places, so that I can sufficient time in Valdez area.


The whole area and drive to it is just amazing. I don't have anything specific to add, but you will find yourself stopping multiple times as the scenery is just so amazing. So leave time in your driving to account for stops.

One other note I would add. Not sure if you are going to take any of the boat trips out to the glaciers. But what I found worked best was 2 boat trips. The first one I took was the bigger boat that fits 80+ (?) they do a more general view and take of the bays and glaciers. Then what I did was the 2nd day take the smaller tour boat that fits about 8 people. On the smaller boat you can tell the captain where you want to go, and he will take input from all 8 people. The idea being that places you either cruised on by, or didn't spend enough time on the big tour boat, you can now ask of the smaller boat. Which this gives you a more personal tour, and one based on your education from the day before to see what you would like to see.

Jim



Jun 16, 2017 at 08:15 PM
abhisheks77
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


That was great idea. Thanks Jim for all your help here.


Jun 16, 2017 at 08:34 PM
Michael H
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


JimFox wrote:
I would recommend 2 days in each of the places you mentioned as opposed to 1 day. Also bear in mind that there are long distances between all of those places with normally most of a day spent in just driving.

Jim


Thanks Jim, as I look at the logistics a bit more, I was starting to feel the same thing. I will have 3 days free. No plans to have campaign gear or anything with me but the idea of renting a small RV for the three days instead of an AirBNB in Anchorage is appealing.

I think I'll leave Valdez off the list. Just too far away. Denali for a day, and then maybe just hang around Kenai/Homer/Seward/etc.

I'm used to whirlwind visits as I try to squeeze in as much as possible during my business travel.



Jun 16, 2017 at 09:11 PM
stanparker
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


abhisheks77 wrote:
Thanks stanparker.
Did you go to Hatcher Pass/Independence Mine as well ?


I did visit Hatcher Pass and the mine, both worthwhile. Also along Glenn Highway, Thunderbird Falls and the village of Eklutna , where the Orthodox Church is very colorful. Around Valdez, several waterfalls, glaciers, seascapes and mountains. Great thing about AK in an RV is you can be very flexible about where you stop. It's common for RVs to just find a place along the road and pull over for the night. When you need a campground, there are a few around.

Scenes along Richardson Highway are outstanding, and Denali Highway as well.



Jun 19, 2017 at 01:03 PM
abhisheks77
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


Thanks stanparker. Your reply gave me confidence to take detour to Hatcher Pass.


Jun 20, 2017 at 12:15 AM
dbehrens
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


Hatcher's Pass is not bad - at least for the Palmer half up to the summit. I would take Valdez any day over Seward or Homer. Homer in particular is a long drive with lots of traffic. Going through Thompson Pass is awesome and passing by Worthington Glacier (you can walk up to the glacier), Bridal Veil and Horsetail falls to Valdez is very special. Be sure to go to the port side of Valdez as well as there are tons of pink salmon there (in July/Aug they are stacked up by the thousands at the hatchery) - and there are excellent opportunities to see black bear feeding on the salmon as well.
Dave



Jun 20, 2017 at 01:43 AM
abhisheks77
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Seward or Valdez ? Seeking suggestions..


Thanks dbehrens


Jun 21, 2017 at 11:10 PM







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