Alaska? Where are the good spots???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ChristenaTN, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    Where would you tell a vacationing family to go,see,visit,etc... There are so many citys and places and I was just wondering where are the less frequented and prettyest , neatest places up there ? :cool:
     
  2. reitenger

    reitenger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    We always loved the off the beaten path guidebooks. Little off from what you are looking for, but try this website for kicks. The guy here just kind of wandered around for a bit on his trip and kept a good photo log of most of it as well as a diary. I will have to look, I am a member of one of their major offroad boards up there, so if I can find the link I will post it as they can answer a lot of questions for you. We are trying to put together a trip in the next few years up there for a few months.

    www.earthroamer.com Just look for the links to his Alaska trip
     

  3. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    329
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Get The Milepost directory. Maps alone are worth the price.

    Themilepost.com
     
  4. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    It was a long time ago, but I took a road trip through Yukon, Alaska, and British Columbia for 7 weeks.
    The Milepost map book was worth following. Some places of note that I remember passing through Alaska was obviously the visit to Denali Park. In Sepetmber it was sparse with visitors. From Fairbanks going towards Anchorage and a place called the Norh Pole has a lot of christmasy stuff if you like that sort of thing for shops and what not.
    From Anchorage driving the Kenai Penninsula was memorable and a beautiful trip to the Homer Spit. That's on Katchemak Bay. Lots of beauty and snow covered mountains, lakes. Just so much to take in. There's Palmer with a glacier very close to the highway to see, and if you can go to Stuart you'll see more and more of that ice stuff. Beautiful.

    I would suggest also that if you drive is to take in a good part of the Yukon. Kluane Park is among my favourite National Parks that is outside of Whitehorse. Rugged and the mountain range has some of the highest peaks seem to go on endlessly.
    Watson Lake, Yukon is famous for the sign 'forest'. From there you should head south along the Cassiar Highway to Northern British Columbia where it's famous for the Jade rocks. The rugged beauty and peaks of that area are breathtaking. We saw fall salmon runs unlike I never expected to see there.

    Make sure you take plenty of time to take in your trip. Plan ahead if you drive, as they say...it's 'miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles'. and the Alaskan drivers are a crazy fast highway driving lot of people, just so you'll be aware of that.
     
  5. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    thanks everyone. I saw some mention of some hot springs that looked very neat. Anyone ever visited those spots? I didn't realize how big Alaska was. I guess for us we'd probably use a camper and want to use good roads while traveling with the children. One could take months to visit all those many places advertised but alas we'd only have a couple weeks so I was searching around for a couple places. I like the educational aspect of a trip like this and would like to take the children to a museum or two and mayby those hot springs . Ummm..seeing bears and the like from a distance is o.k. I guess but not big on my todo list. LOL! I'll be researching this adventure over the next season or two. Might be best to wait till August for our first trip up there :)
     
  6. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    That might be Liard Hot Springs. I don't think it's in Alaska, though. It's on the Alaska Highway near Yukon/N. British Columbia. Well worth the stop when I remember goiing there. Don't wear your watch while in the hot water! :haha:
    I believe also that in recent memory that Liard springs had a visit and attack from Grizzly bears. There is a boardwalk that I remember was a walk about a mile to the springs which was tucked in a wooded area. To be honest, I don't know if that area is open nowdays.

    Be very careful of any brown bears that take any interest in you whatsoever out there. They don't mess around, but just keep it in mind of the hazards when camping and such.

    Rich
     
  7. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    If you don't want a crowd, avoid the Kenai pennensula. My SIL lives there and says the tourists have taken it over. Bumper to bumper traffic all summer.

    If you go, try to do the Alaska RR. When I worked for them it took 12 hrs to go from Fairbanks to Anchorage. You could park in Frbnks, rent a car in Anch, spend a couple days in Anch and return to Fairbanks, stopping at Denali (they have tourbuses that meet the train). Stay a nite in Denali and return to Fairbanks, then go on to Circle or Manley for the hotsprings.
     
  8. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    Oh, thanks for the bear warning:) I am hoping to keep those lovely creatures at a good distance. I am more looking forward to the scenic drives and the tame museums and such. Might do a spot of fishing somwehres if we can find a self serve spot.LOL! This website also had western Canada on there so you are probably correct about that springs site. Anything like that in Alaska? Might not be. I wanted to avoid Canada actually becuz it would just be a pain to cross lines and deal with customs. So, I"m thinking of ferrying over if possible out of Washington into Alaska and then travling to a couple places get a few pics and then turn aorund and head home. A lot of driving for us but it sounds like it might be worth it :cool:
     
  9. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    We looked into the ferry. It's a nice option, but probably you'll want to look into booking in advance.
    As for museums, don't miss out on the University of Alaska museum in Fairbanks. It was surprisingly interesting.

    Like I said, it's been quite a few years since I been there, but also it was in the early fall because I love fall vacationing to avoid crowds. We booked a fishing trip out of Homer at that time and had no problem with crowds or accomodation. Caught some nice big shiny Steelhead out of rivers on the Kenai Penninsula that impressed even the locals there. :D
     
  10. DreamingBig

    DreamingBig Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    MA
    Years ago I read a fascinating book about women in the Klondike gold rush. I hope I'm remembering the right one; I think it's called "Klondike Women: True Tales of the 1897-1898 Gold Rush," by Melanie J. Mayer.
     
  11. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,286
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    WV
    I really like the Kodiak Island area.
     
  12. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Christena, have you figured out how long it will take you just to drive TO Alaska? From Tennessee to Seattle is a four or five day trip, unless you have multiple drivers and can go round the clock. If you drive north from Washington you are looking at another three or four days just to get into Alaska, let alone see anything. From the Border to Anchorage is a long day's drive; it's about ninety miles from the Border to Tok (where my dad and brothers live), and from there it's still three hundred miles to Anchorage. There is some spectacular scenery you would probably want to stop and see, so add some 'looking' time onto all sections of your trip. What I'm getting at is that you'll need more than just a couple of weeks to do the whole trip. If you take the ferry up, you'll see a lot more spectacular scenery, but the trip still takes about as long as if you drove, it's expensive, and you need to make reservations way ahead of time. If you haven't already checked on them, better do it -- it may be too late already. If you DO take the ferry up, stop at every town in SE Alaska -- they are all interesting. If you drive up, a place you might want to stop is up the Fortymile -- the road that goes up to Eagle. Go past Chicken, and you'll come to a campground on a creek -- can't remember the name of the creek, but if you are interested, PM me, and I'll e-mail one of my brothers. We camped there for a couple of weeks one year in late August/early September. The tourists and the mosquitoes were both mostly gone, the cranberries were ripe, and there were still some blueberries. We picked berries, made jam and jelly and pancakes and syrup and even cranberry sauce sandwiches, LOL!! My husband and the girls played in the creek (he was panning for gold). My mother and grandmother have stories about hunting trips up in that area back in the 'fifties. Tok is the sled-dog capital of the world, with probably more dogs than people. Fast Eddy's, in Tok, has the best pizza almost anywhere. (You may meet some of my family if you stop there to eat, as not only my Dad and my two brothers live in Tok, but also in the area are a bunch of cousins. :) ) Farther up the road towards Fairbanks, at Delta Junction there are herds of bison (keep your eyes peeled, because almost every year someone gets killed when they hit a bison on the road). There is Rika's Roadhouse, and at least one campground on Clearwater Lake, the lake I grew up next to.

    DO get a copy of the Milepost, as it has almost everything in it. It is very accurate, though of course they can't know about businesses that have closed, opened, or burned down since that issue went to print. But they cover just about everything else.

    If you go, take lots of mosquito repellant, and maybe those headnets that you wear over a broad-brimmed hat. It is seldom really hot anyplace in Alaska, though the Interior can get quite warm during the brief summer, but you will frequently find you need warm jackets and hats. Gas stations can be rather far apart, so keep an eye on your Milepost and make sure you don't run out fifty miles from the nearest gas. It's wise to carry a gas can, actually.

    Before you travel, you might want to check local news for reports of forest fires. There were a lot of bad ones this year, and if the weather remains warmer than normal, there may be more bad ones this coming year.

    Any more questions? I'll try to help.

    Kathleen in Oregon
     
  13. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    thanks. might not pan out.get it pan out as in goldrush?LOL! Bad humor eh?Oy! I reaaaaaalllly wanted to see up there but alas it probably aint happening. Seems I"m not gonna be able to swing it in two weeks. Gotta be abel to do more than drive solid there and back and see everything from the winder in passing.LOL! Thanks ya'll!
     
  14. Anataq

    Anataq Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    I have an offer for you ChristeniaTN. If you would like to visit Alaska and only have a few weeks, you are best to pick a destination and stay there for a week. The best part of Alaska in my mind is not in its towns, or cities but in the Bush, the last frontier. Now flying to Alaska is not that expensive if you book in advance say $450 per person. Flying out to a bush village can run anywhere from $200- 1000.00 per person and staying at a bush lodge or camp can run you between $2000 and $8000.00 per person per week. Now that can really add up for a family of four you're looking at a min of around $11,000.00 for about a week trip into the bush. WOW that's a lot of $$ for a week.

    So here you go,... We are headed out to live year round at our remote homestead in one of the most pristine areas in all of Alaska, maybe the world, we are also inviting guests up in 05 and 07 an on... 2006 we will be very busy and may have a week or two open. If you would like to come out and visit for a week we can arrange this at the cost of food and gasoline. Your lodgings would be primitive though, we have canvas tents on wooden platforms with wood stoves, cots etc. The journey itself is spectacular and exciting, bush plane and boat. If this intersts you feel free to send us an email. Figure that a family of four by the time you factor in flight from the lower 48 will run you about $6000.00 plus any odds and ends you buy. That's figuring about $750.00 round trip to the bush from the lower 48 and about $750.00 per person for a week with us, could be less depends on how much fuel we use and where we go. Imagine that just driving back and forth from where you live to Alaska and back would be several thousand dollars anyway.

    Just an idea for you anyway,

    www.pawcreekhomestead.com
    Best wishes,
    Anataq