Summer in Alaska_ My ItineraryWith only weeks until I land in Anchorage, I have been busy studying my Lonely Planet and travel blogs to map out a route for my six week summer in Alaska Itinerary. I have also been squealing with excitement and jumping up and down – in private of course.

So for this long anticipated trip it would be very easy for me to give in to my control freak planning ways and to create a very detailed summer in Alaska itinerary, but I really wanted to keep things completely open and only book my accommodation and transport a few days in advance.

That would probably have been fine if I was going in late August and September like I had originally planned but now that I will be travelling to Alaska in July, this just isn’t feasible as July is the peak tourist season in the State.

Summer is the best time to visit Alaska after all – unless you are into really cold weather.

So my inner planning demon is happy that it has been let loose yet again and I have been gleefully working on my summer in Alaska itinerary. Luckily I can still change things as I go as most hostels allow free cancellation up to a few days before arrival so I do have some flexibility.

There are so many places that I would love to add to my Alaska Itinerary that are remote and hard to access, but due to timing, money and the fact that I am not comfortable travelling to some of these places by myself, they will have to wait until my next trip there sometime in the future.

I am mainly sticking to the coast on this trip, as well as spending a few days exploring Denali National Park in the interior. I have put together an itinerary with the first two weeks booked in and the rest of it as yet unbooked and more vague.

Here’s my summer in Alaska Itinerary so far:

Summer in Alaska Itinerary

Anchorage

Alaska’s biggest city and the first stop on my summer in Alaska Itinerary, I am looking forward to hiking Flattop Mountain, eating King crab at Humpy’s, and maybe biking the Tony Knowles Coastal trail during my time in Anchorage.

Descending Flattop Mountain Alaska

Seward

I want to head to this small Alaskan city for the beautiful surroundings and to explore Kenai Fjords National Park. I will be hiking above Exit Glacier and taking a long day trip deep into the fjords while I’m in Seward.

Seward Alaska Small Boat Harbour

Denali National Park

It wouldn’t be a summer in Alaska for an avid hiker like me without time in Denali National Park, so despite my nervousness of hiking among ALOT of bears I am going to go anyway. My nerves/common sense have stopped me wanting to do any backcountry camping solo but I want to do the 8.6 mile Triple Lakes trail (hopefully with new friends made at my hostel in Carlos Creek) and I will do a day trip on the park coach further into the park. This is the only way to get in there as private vehicles aren’t allowed past the 15 mile mark.

I am also really hoping to get to the 49th State Brewing Company, located 10 miles north of the park in Healy, which has a replica of the bus that Chris McCandless died in, and that was used in the filming of the movie ‘Into the Wild’. 

River valley in Denali National Park

Talkeetna

A small village with a view of Denali and popular with climbers, I wanted to spend a couple of nights in Talkeetna to stay in the iconic Talkeetna Roadhouse, explore the tiny historic town centre and just chill out.

After Talkeetna I will probably fly over to Juneau from Anchorage using my Qantas miles, maybe with a couple more days in Anchorage first if I feel the need. From here it becomes more vague and I’m not sure what order exactly I will be visiting each place in South East Alaska.

The Talkeetna Roadhouse

Juneau

I suspect I will be visiting Juneau on probably two-three different occasions as a  few of the places I want to visit can only be reached by ferry from Juneau meaning I will need to cross back through to then carry on to my next destination. That’s fine with me because it sounds like an amazing city. While there I want to hike the Mt Roberts Trail and catch the Mt Roberts Tramway back down,  visit the Mendenhall Glacier and hopefully enter the ice caves there.

Historic downtown Juneau in the rain

Skagway

As there is no hostel in Skagway I would have to camp so whether I visit or not will be weather dependent. If I do visit I want to find out more about the Yukon Gold Rush at the museums and attractions in town and I would love to take the Gold Rush era White Pass and Yukon Route railroad that takes passengers on a small but very scenic section of the original railroad used to reach Whitehorse in the Yukon.

Haines

I will probably be spending a couple of weeks in Haines, as this is where I have a Help X placement set up with a local lady who loves hosting travellers and asks for a few chores around her small farm in return. I am confirming dates closer to the time but I am hoping to arrive to coincide with the South East Alaska State Fair that runs from July 30th – August 2nd. I will have use of a vehicle so during my time off I want to do some hiking and hopefully make it up to Whitehorse in the Yukon.

Gustavus (Glacier Bay)

Kayaking with glaciers calving off and crashing into the sea around me (at a safe distance), that’s what I want from my time in Glacier Bay. Maybe some whales too.

Sitka

Sitka first appeared on my radar when I watched the movie ‘The Proposal’ a few years ago. Although the film is actually filmed in Rockport, MA, it was made to look like Sitka and I thought it looked incredible. Photos I have seen of the real Sitka since have only made me want to go there more. I am looking forward to checking out the Russian heritage of the city that is still seen in a lot of buildings that have remained, as well as doing lots of hiking as there are heaps of scenic trails close to town.

Ketchikan

If I have time I would like to visit the rainy city of Ketchikan and the nearby Misty Fjords National Monument. Hiking (of course), checking out the totem poles, and maybe bear watching would all be on the cards.

From Ketchikan I will be taking a ferry on to Prince Rupert in British Columbia where I will spend a night or two before my overnight ferry to Haida Gwaii for my Help X placement there.

I am so unbelievably excited to get up to this amazing State!

Have you been to Alaska? Have you got any tips for a summer in Alaska Itinerary and is there anything that I shouldn’t miss?

23 comments on “Summer in Alaska Itinerary”

  1. Alaska is an incredibly beautiful state – I only spent a week there, but Seward was my favorite – we stayed out at Miller’s landing ,and watching the sunset over the fjord, behind the mountains, was magical! Enjoy!

  2. I just have to say I am completely jealous of this itinerary! I have a dream of visiting Alaska, hiking around and seeing the extraordinary landscape there. I can’t wait to follow your journey and read all about it! Have an exceptional time.

  3. I don’t really have any tips per se, because my visit to Alaska was so long ago. However I do remember driving outside of Anchorage and seeing a huge rift caused by an earthquake where homes were half-sunk into the ground. I remember riding the chairlift at Mt. Alyeska and the incredible views. And I remember the Santa House in “North Pole” outside of Fairbanks, I think. Magical place!

  4. Your entire trip sounds SO ridiculously exciting. Alaska is one of those places I’ve always wanted to go to, and hopefully I’ll be able to visit one day. I’m sure you’ll have the most incredible time!

  5. Ahhh! This is so exciting! I can’t believe your big trip is going to kick off so soon, and in Alaska of all places! You are going to have so much fun, and it sounds like you are striking a good balance between not planning enough (potentially a costly mistake when traveling somewhere in high season) and overplanning. I definitely loosened up on the “plan every detail” front the longer I traveled, but when we wound up in places that were quite expensive (like the U.S. & Europe) I definitely found myself slipping back into that mode, simply because I knew we couldn’t afford to just hang around a place for a couple of days if the things we wanted to do were already booked as we otherwise might in Asia. I say if you’re going to go into planning mode, the start of your trip is the best time to do that and then as you get more comfortable, wing more things as you go along.

    ANYWAY, I haven’t been to Alaska (I used to have no interest, but a few bloggers I know have been and their pictures have been so gorgeous I’ve changed my mind!) so I’m really excited to see it through your eyes. Safe travels!

    • Thanks so much Steph! On our last big trip I had planned a lot if the first month then winged it the rest of the way too and it worked out well. When I get to Asia I definitely want to keep things looser and I will be travelling with friends most of the time I am there which will make me feel more comfortable to do so. I hope you guys are loving Mexico and are feeling like you are in the swing of things now, it is one of my favourite countries and somewhere I am looking forward to getting back to as we only spent 5 weeks there the first time 🙂

  6. I jump up and down with excitement, too when planning a trip! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. 😉 Alaska is so beautiful! Sounds like a great trip!

  7. I would love to see Alaska. I can’t wait to read about your trip. Seeing the replica of the bus from into the wild would be very cool-a little morbid-but cool. Good luck on your trip!

  8. Sounds wonderful! My family were planning a trip to Alaska for June/July this year but our plans fell through, though in a very fortunate way – my brother was given the opportunity to go on a history tour to Europe with his school instead. Now we’re all going to Europe instead of Alaska! I do hope to visit Alaska sometime in the future though. Have a wonderful trip!

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