My Take on DIY Land Tour

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#1
SE Texas
151 Posts
Joined Jun 2018
We had booked the add on land tour Grand Mountain Marvels with our 7 night southbound RCI cruise. After spending a whooping number of hours and days at the computer, we decided DIY. For ~$400 more we can do one hell of a lot more "stuff" plus have the freedom of a rent car. What the $400 more gets us....

Talkeetna Air Taxi Grand Denali w/glacier landing

Bus trip into park road as far as mile 53

Denali Jeep Excursion (private 100 mile trip)

Prince William Sound Glacier Surprise from Whittier


We'll be spending 2 days each @ Talkeetna Alaska Lodge, McKinley Chalet Resort, Alyeska Resort, & 1 day @ Seward Windsong Lodge prior to the cruise out of Seward.


With a rent car, we'll have the freedom on days between excursions to explore on our own and that list can be long. Check out http://www.alaska.org/assets/content...d-Map-Book.pdf
#2
Las Vegas
12,176 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by masterdrago
We had booked the add on land tour Grand Mountain Marvels with our 7 night southbound RCI cruise. After spending a whooping number of hours and days at the computer, we decided DIY. For ~$400 more we can do one hell of a lot more "stuff" plus have the freedom of a rent car. What the $400 more gets us....

Talkeetna Air Taxi Grand Denali w/glacier landing

Bus trip into park road as far as mile 53

Denali Jeep Excursion (private 100 mile trip)

Prince William Sound Glacier Surprise from Whittier


We'll be spending 2 days each @ Talkeetna Alaska Lodge, McKinley Chalet Resort, Alyeska Resort, & 1 day @ Seward Windsong Lodge prior to the cruise out of Seward.


With a rent car, we'll have the freedom on days between excursions to explore on our own and that list can be long. Check out http://www.alaska.org/assets/content...d-Map-Book.pdf
I would strongly consider the transit bus that goes as far as the Elison visitor center. Also, when you are at Denali, you might consider staying at Healy. It is only 17 miles from Denali and I am sure that you can save some more money.

DON
#3
Wasilla, Alaska
1,155 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by masterdrago
Bus trip into park road as far as mile 53
Denali Jeep Excursion (private 100 mile trip)
We'll be spending 2 days each @ Talkeetna Alaska Lodge, McKinley Chalet Resort, Alyeska Resort, & 1 day @ Seward Windsong Lodge prior to the cruise out of Seward.
I think it's a good choice to do Alaska DIY. So congratulations on that. Some thoughts...


Take a look at the shuttle to the Eielson Visitor Center at Denali National Park: https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/shuttles.htm It's cheaper and you go further into the park.

Keep in mind your Jeep excursion doesn't go into Denali National Park. Still a great trip though.

You've picked some high end lodging, which is fine if that's what you'd prefer. All good places. But, here's some other options:
Denali: http://www.denalichamber.com/denali-member-directory/
Girdwood: https://www.vacasa.com/usa/Alaska/Gi...?partnerid=103
Seward: http://cmdev.seward.com/list/ql/where-to-stay-28.htm
#4
SE Texas
151 Posts
Joined Jun 2018
The issue with making it to Elison is that we will be there prior to June 1. It just was not in the cards on this trip. And Yes, Joy tends to go for the higher end chateaus, chalets and lodges. I was pushing for any of the B&Bs. We are giving up Fairbanks to get more time at Denali and time spent at Alyeska gives us time to do the full day glacier cruise from Whittier and have dinner at Seven Glaciers (yep, another high end eatery). While at Talkeetna, we have time for the air flight around Denali (cross your fingers for good weather). Then have time to drive 360 east to Wasilla, Palmer & Glennallen. We're pretty set up on all the spending already but are still flexible due to early look-see. Lots to study still.
#5
SE Texas
151 Posts
Joined Jun 2018
[quote=AKStafford;56999003]I think it's a good choice to do Alaska DIY. So congratulations on that. Some thoughts...


Take a look at the shuttle to the Eielson Visitor Center at Denali National Park: https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/shuttles.htm It's cheaper and you go further into the park.

/quote] That's the bus (green) I was wanting to take. Get out. Play with the bear!! Thanks.
#7
SE Texas
151 Posts
Joined Jun 2018
The day we pick up our rent car in Anchorage we may have time to go there b4 check-in at Talkeetna or after the Denali flight-seeing the next day. That drive looks simply bristling with "stuff" to explore. That's the kind of "Stuff" one finds in the Ultimate Alaska Road Map Book referred to above.
#8
Tennessee
17 Posts
Joined Apr 2018
We did DIY with Anchorage as our base. We drove north to Talkeetna one day (diverting to Palmer and Wasilla on the way up). The Talkeetna Alaska Lodge is beautiful. We stopped there at the suggestion of the lady who works at the Palmer visitor center. Another day we drove south to Alyeska. We ate dinner at the Boar's Head Café - it was very good. I had debated the "do the package or do it on our own", and was encouraged by others to DIY. I do not regret it for one minute. We had beautiful weather (which no one can predict or control, we were just blessed) and were able to see Denali from Talkeetna (the lodge and the town) AND from Earthquake Park in Anchorage. If you have time to spend in Anchorage, I recommend the trolley tour. Donna was our guide and she was fantastic.
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#9
Lovely Northern New Jersey
726 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
One of our highlights was taking the train from Seward to Anchorage (or in your case vise versa). If you do the Goldstar class you have amazing views from the floor to over the ceiling windows and from an open air balcony type thing in the back. THen we picked up our car in Anchorage and toured around. Not sure where you were planning to pick up and drop off the car, but doing it this way might save you some $$.....or it might not. The goldstar tickets are not cheap, but sooo worth it!
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