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GREAT RV TOURS>TRIP PLANNER ALASKA :: ANCHORAGE-FAIRBANKS
 

TRIP PLANNER ALASKA

North to Alaska - The Great Alaska RV Travel Adventure

6-9 action-packed days of fun and adventure.

Click here for our Trip Planner Alaska route map

Every great Alaskan trip start with a great travel plan. The trip planner Alaska below, describes the first part of my great Alaskan adventure. Its hard for words to do justice to this great state, but if you love travel, and RV travel especially, then this trip is for you. (Click here to find the best Alaskan deal, compare prices and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor)

To me, Alaska was like a great wine - best savored slowly. If you are pressed for time, though, just break the trip into two seperate segments.

If you are familiar with this site, you know CamperTrails' FREEDOM, FLEXIBILITY & FUN travel concept plays a big part in our RV travel philosophy. You can choose to take Alaska in short doses, a few days at a time, or easily combine it with a stay in Fairbanks and perhaps a trip into the Yukon Territory

Our senses were completely inundated on this trip. Everywhere we looked was awe-inspiring - majestic mountains, diverse wildlife - nature at its finest.

When to go?

Alaska is great all year round, so take your pick.

In summer, Alaska has 24 hours of daylight. The best months
climate-wise for visiting this fantastic part of the world is mid/late
May to late August/early September. In general, June is less
crowded than the summer vacation months. In late August/early
September the tundra turns rich tones of red, orange and yellow.

Winter is also a very popular travel period. The days are very
short but there is a lot of activity, especially in the Fairbanks area.
One of the main attraction is the Aurora Borealis, the Northern
Lights, which people come from far to see and of course to
photograph.

Anchorage to Fairbanks 6-9 days
===============================================

Set against the backdrop of one of nature's pinnacles, the Chugach Mountains, Anchorage is a bustling, modern city with a modern, aggressive skyline and relentless urban development.

But the real Alaska is only a 20 minute drive away, where you can be amongst glaciers, mountains and whitewater rivers. It was in 1913 that five settlers occupied Ship Creek, the point on Cook Inlet where modern day Anchorage now stands. Two years later, Congress passed the Alaskan Railroad Act naming Ship Creek as the major staging post for workers and supplies. Within a month, a tent city of nearly 2000 had sprung up and within a year the new township of Anchorage had been born complete with water, telephones, power lines, sidewalks, and schools to support the
population of approx. 7000. The city is now home to over 270,000 people, about half the State's population.The trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks is one of breathtaking fun and adventure. You can enjoy a variety of sport activities, hiking, mountain climbing, canoeing, fishing, cross-country bicycling . . the list goes on. On top of that, the stunning views of glaciers, mountain ranges and rivers present all the rugged outdoors you expect in an Alaskan adventure vacation.

Departing from Anchorage, we set out on the first leg of our trip northwards to Fairbanks, traveling mainly on the George Parks Highway (I-3).

Our first stop was at the MUSK-OX Farm, in Palmer. Well worth your time, the farm is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the (you guessed it ) Musk-Ox, one of the oldest surviving Arctic mammals.

The goal of the Musk Ox Project, begun in 1954, is to introduce a gentle, non-intrusive form of agriculture to the Arctic. These animals form the basis of an Alaskan cottage industry for natives living in remote coastal villages. The soft under-wool of the musk ox, qiviut, is harvested once a year and delivered to Oomingmak, an Alaskan native knitter's co-operative. The knitters work at home in Eskimo villages throughout Alaska creating scarves, nachaqs (Eskimo smoke rings) and luxurious caps. Each village has it's own signature pattern derived from traditional designs. It is a real pleasure to see these animals in their original habitat.

After about an hour we continued north to Talkeetna. This is a preserved frontier town, with renovated trapper and miners' cabins used as shops and restaurants. We took a flight out to Mt. McKinley which was awesome. The best time to climb the mountain is late May-early June, as avalanches threaten after then. Many mountain climbers fly out from Talkteena in ski-planes to land on Kahiltna Glacier for a climb to the summit of Mt. McKinley which may take up to 30 days. The surrounding rivers also offer excellent fishing as well as guided rafting and riverboat tours.

Our next stop was further north on the George Parks highway, at Trapper Creek. Formerly a Dena'ina Athabascan Indian territory, Trapper Creek serves as the southern entrance to Denali Park. From here, we took the Petersville Road, driving approximately 40 miles into the Dutch Hills. The drive was much worthwhile and we were tremendously rewarded by the magnificent and spectacular views of Mt. McKinley. The dirt road is ideal for mountain biking, and we took a shot at that as well (not for the entire 40 miles, though).

From here we entered Denali State Park which spans over 325,000 acres (about half the size of Rhode Island) and is situated between the Talkeetna Mountains to the east and the Alaska Range to the west. Denali attracts more visitors in it's 114 day season than the entire state has residents. The park's shuttle-bus service gives easy viewing of the spectacular scenery as well as the plentiful wildlife. The park is home to 37 species of mammals, the big four being: bear, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep. The park is also the habitat for an especially rich bird community with more than 130 species calling the park home.

Denali Park is basically divided in half by the George Parks highway. The terrain varies from meandering lowland streams to alpine tundra, and there are stunning views of Mt. McKinley along the way. Formerly known as 'Denali' which means 'The High One' in the Tanaina Indian dialect, Mt. McKinley is the highest mountain peak in North America. It towers over south-central Alaska from its base in Denali National Park and completely dominates the skyline. The best views (and they are absolutely stunning), are signposted along the highway. Perhaps the best roadside view is at mile 135.2 on the Parks Highway.. Other excellent views of Mt. McKinley along the highway are at mile 147.1, 158.1, and 162.3.

During the early 1900s, when the train journey from Anchorage to Fairbanks took two days, visitors would sometimes stay over at Curry to climb the east side of Curry Ridge to gaze at the wonders of Mt. McKinley from Curry Lookout. The small building is still there, weathering storms on the ridge. The many animals that thrive in the park are a wonderful attraction. The most visible are moose and black and grizzly bears (don't get too close!). Many other animals abound in the park, among them seldom seen wolves, lynx, coyote, red fox, land otter squirrels and more.

If fishing is your game, Denali is for you! The clear plentiful streams are an absolute delight. You can fish for Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, arctic grayling and other species. The Chena River has great fishing too!.

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