Alaskan Diaries

Hello guys! Happy weekend y’all 🙂 Today I’m going to talk about the most beautiful place that I’ve visited till date – Alaska! With miles and miles of untouched wilderness and snow-capped mountains and streams as far as your eyes can see, this place is a wonder which everyone should witness at least once in their life 🙂 I will start off by giving our itinerary and I will later give you guys some tips based on my experience there.

Itinerary – 5 day trip

Day 1 – Arrive at Anchorage. Exit Glacier hike, Moose Pass and Kenai Lake

Day 2 – Kenai Fjords cruise

Day 3 – Matanuska Ice Fall Trek

Day 4 – Denali National Park tour

Day 5 – Talkeetna river, Mount Denali and depart from Anchorge

Day 1 – Seward, AK

We flew to Anchorage from SFO via Seattle. The tickets were around $385 (a pretty good deal I guess!) in the last week of June for the September long weekend. We landed on Thursday morning and rented a RV for the 5 of us!! Guysss, that was the best decision ever! Since you would be driving around a lot, taking a RV is perfect because you don’t have to worry about lodging at any part. Alaska is very RV-friendly with plenty of RV parks in every city, which was very convenient for us too! Plus, renting the RV costed us around $1400 for 5 days, and that’s your car rent + hotel cost. And we also checked in a suitcase with dal and spices so that we could cook in the RV( Yes, we are THAT indian :D) So all in all, it was a great experience ❤ If you are traveling in a group, definitely check this option out!

So the first day we picked our RV and headed to the Exit glacier Hike. The hike is about 2.5 miles and it is an easy-moderate guided hike. It was the first time I was looking at a Glacier and it was pretty fascinating! We later stayed at  Stoney Creek RV park near Seward that night.

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Ice pebbles at the mouth of the Glacier
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Exit Glacier 
 

Day 2 – Kenai Fjords cruise

The second day, we took the Kenai Fjords cruise. It was a very unique experience where we got to see abundant wildlife that included sea lions, seals, otters, grey whales and puffins and a bunch of alpine and tidewater glaciers. It was a guided tour and we got to spend a lot of time very close to a dying tidewater glacier and we witnessed a huge chunk of ice falling down and creating massive waves in the ocean. It was one-of-a-kind experience and I would definitely recommend it if you want to see wildlife and some glaciers. There are other tours that have more wildlife or more glacier, depending on your preference. That night, we stayed at Mountain View RV Park.

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An alpine glacier
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When a huge chunk of ice fell onto the water!
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The Fjords
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Look at them posing for the pictures 😀
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Basking in the alaskan sun!
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An Otter and its cub! 
Day 3 – Matanuska Ice Fall Trek 

This was one of the best days of the trip where we did a trek on a glacier! We took the guided tour from MICA that started around 11.20 am. We were provided with all the gear needed for the trek and we were dressed up in layers thinking it was going to be very cold. To our surprise, it was pretty pleasant and so we ended up trekking with just our sweaters on! 😀 It was pretty exciting and a little scary because there was a bunch of super deep crevasses that we crossed on our way! Once we got to the top of the glacier, the ice was shining under the sun and it looked that someone had carved the entire glacier! It was soo gorgeous and we had a great time there! That night we drove to Denali and guess what we spotted in the sky – The NORTHERN LIGHTS! Words cannot describe the beauty of these and we casually spotted them when we were driving on the freeway. They were putting up a stunning show and we saw all the possible colors – pink, white and green! We stopped at some points on our way so that everyone could get a good view and later got to Denali RV park for the night.

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The famous Icefall at Matanuska Glacier
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At the top of the glacier!
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A huge crevasse with a thin sheet of ice over it
 

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Rocks embedded in the ice!

Day 4 – Denali National Park tour

We booked the Denali Bus tour very late and everything pretty much got sold out except for the Tolkat shuttle tour, so we had to take that. That was the shortest tour (Mile 53) and there are a bunch of longer tours which you can choose from. This one lasted for about 6.5 hours which we felt was pretty long. The road was pretty rough and the shuttles are the only way to access the park. You can also pick a bike and bike in between different view points and get on the bus if you feel tired. We spotted a bunch of Grizzly bears on the way and so it’s a little scary and thrilling to bike with so many bears walking around 😀 The views were breathtaking and the park itself was soo vast and outworldly! We were pretty exhausted at the end of the day but the best was yet to come! That night at the RV park, around 12am, the entire sky was lit up by the northern lights! We just sat there outside our RV looking at the sky and completely awestruck! It was hands down the best night of my life! ❤ The aurora lasted for about 2 hours and I just wanted to freeze time and stay there looking at them for the rest of my life! Well life had to move on, so the day ended with all of us ticking off an item from our bucketlist ❤

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Mt. Denali
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Look at those clouds ❤
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A grizzly casually crossing a river 
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Toklat river
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Hello there!
Day 5 – Talkeetna River and Denali National Park 

The last day we drove down to Anchorage since our flight was that night. On our way, we stopped at different view points at Denali National Park and along Talkeetna river. We took a bunch of pictures and were trying to take in the beauty of this breath-taking land as much as we could before we left for California that night. And the best trip of our lives came to an end and all we were left with we were a bunch of beautiful pictures and unforgettable memories that we made along this trip! 🙂

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Fall colors!
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Rows and rows of trees
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Talkeetna river
Tips – 

  • September is the best time of the year to go to Alaska in my opinion. It’s not too cold (more like California in winters) and you have really good chances of seeing the Aurora! So it’s the best of both worlds!
  • If you are traveling in a group, definitely take an RV. It made our trip so much more fun and adventurous!
  • Book the Denali bus tour tickets well in advance.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading this post 🙂

Until next time –

Mal

 

 

 

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