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Alaska vacation

WarbirdsWarbirds Member Posts: 16,867 ✭✭✭✭

My boys want to see snow & like many people we really haven’t been on a vacation in a few years.


Amy creative ideas on how to spend a week or so in Alaska somewhere between May and August?


I have 3 boys, 12, 10, and 8 who would love to see snow if possible. ( we live in FL).

I think time is a bigger factor than budget, 9-10days tops including flights to and from.

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    GTRiemGTRiem Member Posts: 308 ✭✭✭

    Cruise?

    Have not been to AK yet, it is on our list.

    We took a cruise over Christmas on Holland America. I was interested in that particular cruise because it is the ship they use in AK during the summer.

    I like cruising because it is so easy. I get to enjoy the vacation too. No driving, figuring out lodging, eating, etc.

    GTR

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    Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 14,271 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2023

    You know it would be a whole lot simpler to just come to Utah right now, right? It's 45 minutes from plane seat to ski lift.

    You won't find much snow in Alaska when there's 22 hours of sun every day. Some cruises will take you up to the face of glaciers, and some will have excursions to walk on a glacier. But snow? Nope.

    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
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    fatcat458fatcat458 Member Posts: 390 ✭✭✭

    00PS! You said Alaska. Sorry, wrong State. Without prairie dogs, there is NO VACATION

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    4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 3,321 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2023

    Warbirds, time frame good but not nearly enough time to see the "Last Frontier."

    In 1989 i felt sorry for the people that pulled up beside me in a tour bus. No one wants to load up again when you want to hang out for a while in a great place. The way to enjoy Alaska is to drive it. In 1989 but not sure about today, don't go to Alaska without a copy of "The MIlepost" book. There is also a "Wilderness" version. They have anything and every thing about Alaska in them. Where is next gas station, what kind of fish in next stream you cross. You get the picture.

    Before I left to cross North America I had the good fortune to meet a Sgt. in the 57thMP's at West Point. He was a walking dictionary on Alaska. He was headed for his last tour as a game warden at Ft. Richardson. ---------------------------------------Ray

    PS: On the way down from Fairbanks I came around a curve and their she was. The grand old lady Mt McKinley (Denali) with a few clouds and a plane below her snowy peak. The hair on my arms stood up straight and i could not breath for a few moments.

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    Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 14,271 ✭✭✭✭

    The question is do the kids want to see snow or see Alaska?

    It's going to be darn hard to find snow during the summer except on mountain tops.

    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
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    bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,664 ✭✭✭✭

    Go as early as possible. Rent a motorhome take the Parks to Fairbanks and back down the Richardson to Valdez, back to Glenallen then to Anchorage. Lots of snow to see lots of caribou, see the Alaska pipeline, dry camp along the road just about anywhere, it is free. From there you can go to Anchorage get provisions, through the mountain to Whittier, then down to Seward. If time permits head to Homer stop in Kenai for some king salmon fishing on the way. Hit homer for a halibut charter and back to Anchorage for the flight home. Should be doable in 9 days or so depending on how much gaping and gawking you do on each leg. My recommendation is to save a few extra bucks for a full two weeks and you still will miss most of Alaska.

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    Toolman286Toolman286 Member Posts: 3,042 ✭✭✭✭

    When you go, fly the longest leg first. Otherwise it's 20+ hour red eye flights back to Fla., when you're worn out. Not much in Fairbanks and Denali is in the clouds most of the time. Cruising the Gulf of Alaska was great & the train from Skagway to Whitehorse was exceptional.

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    Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 66,372 ******

    What sort of activity do you want to do in the snow? Just playing around and building snowmen and such is really only possible/desirable in fresh snow. Snow that's been around for a long time such as you will find in May thru August will be very crusty and not much fun unless you're really high in elevation where some fresh has fallen. There are some places to go sledding and innertubing and even skiing on Mt. Hood in Oregon that late in the year (Timberline lodge) but everywhere else ConUS shuts down before that. I don't know about Alaska but my bet is there are some mountain locales what would work. A cruise is NOT going to be something you want if you want snow time.

    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
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    4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 3,321 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2023

    I found quite a bit in Fairbanks. Hope my memory is not failing. I believe University of Alaska has a huge Museum there. A stuffed monster grizzly on display. Lots on history of Alaska. At Delta Junction end of Alaska Highway i think the pipeline starts? Use to be in Fairbanks a huge barbeque pit (Alaska Land) salmon or steak.

    It is true, you have to be lucky to catch Denali in all her Glory. No guard rails back there and we rode on school buses. Pretty scary coming back down with no guard rails on right and looking straight down about 6,000 feet I guess. Back then was a Ranger Station at end of the road. ---------------------------Ray

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    asopasop Member Posts: 8,928 ✭✭✭✭

    I was in Anchorage at Elmendorf AFB and left in 71. Heard it turned into a 2 mile long bar after the oil companies took over. Was real rural prior to that! "Hippies" lived in the old abandoned gold mines back then.

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    Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 14,271 ✭✭✭✭

    Record snowfall in Utah this winter. Your kids could be frollicking in falling snow almost every day.

    Just saying...

    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
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    WarbirdsWarbirds Member Posts: 16,867 ✭✭✭✭

    I looked a little at Utah, what do you think Park City, UT would be like in late May?

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    Ruger4meRuger4me Member, Moderator Posts: 3,436 ******

    Park City is for snobs, Your Family would have more fun Closer to Salt lake places where the locals go like Snowbird or Alta imho, we used to visit with family that lived in Sandy a suburb of Salt lake area and they would take us there. Although I believe May will be too late in the season for Utah. Did a quick search and that time of year it will be tough to find snow anywhere at least places that are family friendly resorts.

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    FrogdogFrogdog Member Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭

    I’m sure your boys are tough, but by the time you get from FL to AK, y’all are all gonna be whooped for a couple days, which will eat into or otherwise affect the trip. Might want to find something a bit closer, as some have noted. As a bonus, you’ll save some money on travel that you can spend on more activities.

    Also, with younger kids, you might want to find the snow without finding the super extreme cold. Snow when it’s 30 degrees is fun. At -30, it’s going to be a lot less fun and the boys won’t last too long out there (especially being from FL).

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    NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 16,812 ✭✭✭✭

    " At -30, it’s going to be a lot less fun"

    But it's a dry cold...

    Literally. The moisture is pretty much frozen out of the air when it's that cold and it can be a mite uncomfortable to breathe.

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    roswellnativeroswellnative Member Posts: 10,141 ✭✭✭✭

    When I went the most memorable thing was the train from Fairbanks to anchorage

    it passes Denali


    also we had some good memories on the kenai peninsula. Rent an RV and take off for a few days freestyle

    Although always described as a cowboy, Roswellnative generally acts as a righter of wrongs or bodyguard of some sort, where he excels thanks to his resourcefulness and incredible gun prowesses.
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    hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 14,215 ✭✭✭✭

    If it is just snow you all want to see, try Easter break and drive few states away, may have to watch the weather but some of the surrounding states should have some snow in April even if it would only be in the mountains of North carolin or tennessee, day to drive up, stay day, drive back 3 days most

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    KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 12,054 ✭✭✭✭

    Crested Butte, CO. was one of the favorite places I have been. (And I have been all over.) It used to be "Free Skiing in April." Some of their runs top out at 14,000'+ (Hike to the top and ski the "Bannana Coulior," (SP?) One of the toughest Ski Runs in the lower 48. Crested Butte has hosted the World Extreme Steep Skiing Competition several times. (Like Chugach, AK.) There is No "Out of Bounds." I was skiing with a bunch of Former employees that now worked for the Mountain, all Expert Skiers. Trying to keep up and not knowing what to expect on the runs. It was exhilarating. Broke my collar bone towards the end of the trip. 🤕 Excruciating.

    *Flew back East from Gunnison, sitting beside Mary Ann from Gilligans Island. What a Sweetheart. ❤

    Pretty sure you would find snow there in May. Horse riding the Mountains etc. avail. The Town of Crested Butte is small town friendly. I LOVED it there. Fly in to Gunnison, then drive about an hour North. Absolutely Beautiful.


    Beyond that, I would recommend the Banff/Lake Louise area. Absolutely Gorgeous. Heck of a lot closer than AK.

    My two cents. (Worth what you paid for it.)

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    nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,881 ✭✭✭✭

    Royal Carribbean has a great cruise, but the best is a combination land/sea 12 day trip.

    If you strike out on your own, you will find few commercial amenities. You need to plan every meal & have reservations for every night. And, don't try to pet the bears or moose.

    Neal

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    asopasop Member Posts: 8,928 ✭✭✭✭

    We skied Taos NM which I thought was a great experience.

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    montanajoemontanajoe Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 58,202 ******

    A winter vacation during the summer is going to be a challenge

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    NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 16,812 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2023


    Here's some snow for ya, @Warbirds ! That taller hill on the right has a ski resort on the other side of it.


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    drobsdrobs Member Posts: 22,553 ✭✭✭✭

    Dave,

    Do your boys know how to water ski? Down hill skiing uses all the same concepts as water skiing. I learned to down hill ski 1st and then was instantly able to pickup water skiing.

    I skied Utah (Snowbird and a few others) over Spring Break in College way back when. We also avoided Park City as it was expensive 25+ years ago. At the time, my sister and brother in-law lived in / near Salt Lake and my college buddies and I stayed with them. It was a lot of fun with deep snow.

    I also would like to visit Alaska in the next year or 2. A co-worker of mine in Iraq and Africa lives there and has invited me to stay someday. I don't need to see snow though. I would like to do some fishing, 4 wheeling, and maybe hunting. My buddy is gun nut, I figure he'd loan me a 12 gauge if I brought some slugs with me + my 10mm.

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    4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 3,321 ✭✭✭✭

    More and more I see people raving about Utah. My Army buddy in Piedmont, SC takes his wife to Las Vegas for doll shows. She is a collector and buys an sells. My buddy takes off and heads for Utah. He has done it three times now. He is in poor health now so I can't ask him to go with me to Utah and my sweetheart is in Heaven now. I tell you fella's/ladies, life is hard sometimes. ----------------------Ray

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    Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 14,271 ✭✭✭✭

    Utah is not a four-letter word.

    I'm waiting for the sun angle to change a little bit to post a picture of the canyon I wrote about some posts above. Stand by...

    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
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    jltrentjltrent Member Posts: 9,238 ✭✭✭✭

    My son went with a group in 2019. It was 90 degrees the day they got there (set a record) None of the businesses had AC and everybody was miserable.


    Anchorage Hit 90 Degrees for the First Time in Recorded History | GQ

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    Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 14,271 ✭✭✭✭

    Warbirds kids want to see snow? Okay...Taken from my driveway just now. The peak is Mt Ogden, with SnowBasin ski resort on the opposite side, and the valley in front of it is the canyon he could drive up - if he were here.



    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
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    dcon12dcon12 Member Posts: 31,968 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2023

    Maybe he wants to let his kids see Alaska and snow. Most people never get up to Alaska but will travel most of the rest of the US. Snow would just be the icing. Don

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    Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 14,271 ✭✭✭✭

    Well, he twice said his kids want to see snow, and I think he mentioned Alaska just thinking it's a cold place. I therefore assumed that snow was the priority.

    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
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    Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 66,372 ******
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
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    montanajoemontanajoe Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 58,202 ******

    Utah would be a gorgeous option.

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