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Wasilla, Big Lake and Mt McKinley


Karen and Mark

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I have only one day in Anchorage prior to taking train to Seward. I want to view Mt McKinley as best as possible (considering the weather, of course). I am renting a car for the day. I found 2 possibilities:1). Drive to Flat Top:

Excellent view of the entire Anchorage bowl and the upper Cook Inlet. Great for picture taking of the city with the Alaska Range and the Mount Susitna in the back ground. On a clear day you can also see distinctly Mount McKinley (164 miles North). Directions: take Seward Hwy. (south), exit O'Malley, turn left on O'Malley (East), right turn on Hillside, Left turn on Upper Huffman, right turn on Toilsome Hill Drive, keep going until the final parking lot of Flat Top.

or 2.)drive to Big Lake near Wasilla. Possibly viewing wildlife along the way.

 

I still want to make time to go to the earthquake park and buluga point and shop at 5th Avenue Mall and Walmart/ Sam's.

 

Which of the 2 options would you do?

 

Karen

 

Summit 9/3/04 Alaska Southbound

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The odds of seeing Denali from Anchorage during the summer are exceedingly low, and when you do it's just a white bump over the tops of distant trees. You don't need to go up to Flat Top to see across the inlet and/or Denali if it's out - you can see both Denali (if it's out) and the Sleeping Lady just fine from Earthquake Park. Not to say that the view from the upper Hillside isn't worth the drive, it's just not imperative.

 

With only one day I wouldn't bother with Wasilla or Big Lake frankly. In high summer the only wildlife you're likely to see around Big Lake is kids on jetskis.

 

If you want big time mountain scenery, think about going further down the Seward Hwy from Beluga Point to Girdwood, then ride the tram up to the top of the Alyeska ski resort, from which the view of the Chugach Mountains and inlet are drop-dead grand.

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Also totally agree with the above. If McKinley is a priority then take a flight out of Anchorage- plenty of good operators available. You aren't likely to see it otherwise. Also agree to skip Wasilla with only one day. Make the best use of your time.

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