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Thread: Best places to visit in AK

  1. #21
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Mr Grayling:
    I just pulled out of the water today.
    Send me a PM.
    Float-CFI, Photo Guide, Fishing Guide, Remote Kayaking
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  2. #22
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    The hardcore guys will say that Anchorage is a couple hours away from Alaska...and there's some validity to that. However, Anchorage is arguably the easiest place to get to and base from, so if you can't base from Fairbanks or Juneau

    - A day-cruise (i.e. 26 Glaciers, Kenai Fjords, etc) out of Whittier or Seward shows the glaciers, saltwater, wildlife, etc.
    - Lots of local opportunities for flightseeing if you're able to rent a plane by the time you get here: Knik glacier area; Talkeetna's generally; Chugach Range; hop over to Seward, etc.
    - Lots of commercial day trip options from Los Anchorage: Bear viewing, sightseeing etc
    - The drive to Valdez is nice;
    - As mentioned above, a good 1/2 + day can be spent just wandering around the Lake Hood area. The Aviation museum is neat as part of that.
    - I personally think Anchorage is lacking in interesting things for visitors but I may be jaded: there's all sorts of hiking, one can visit Girdwood and take the tram, enjoy a libation on top of the mountain; ATV tours of the Knik glacier are available; glacier hikes on Matanuska are available, etc
    - Fishing? Depending on the time of year, trips are available from nearby areas from Anchorage (Mat-Su, Whittier or Seward for saltwater, lots of fly-outs from Lake Hood area
    - As noted by IOT, Talkeetna has become disgusting IMNSHO.....but it's close to Los Anchorage and a good spot to go for a commercial flight around McKinley.
    - If it otherwise fits, going to either Fairbanks or Juneau and doing the available stuff from there will probably give a bit more "real Alaska" feel...but it may still be "touristy" and may take a bit more logistics effort.
    Back in AK

  3. #23
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I'm glad some of you find us disgusting. Not much you can do when folks come to town and we need to make a living. Talkeetna is still a great time and over 40% of our traffic still comes from DIY tourists and Alaskans. You can still get first class scenic flights, a very decent zip line, a good jet boat ride, good food and decent beer. Yes, it's crowded, but the locals (maybe only the ones IOT knows) don't hide. We have softball tournaments, a thriving music scene, and some quality entertainment at the Sheldon Hanger.

    If you're into aviation, come in May. You can catch the Great Alaskan Aviation Gathering in Anchorage, then the Valdez Fly In and Stol competition, and then top it off with the Talkeetna Fly-In.. all on consecutive weekends in May. May is an awesome month, and the tourist traffic is much less. You could drive to all three, no need to fly. You can fill in the weeks in between with visits to the Kenai, the Mat-Su and the Copper River Valley very easily.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WannaBfromSC View Post
    My checkride is scheduled for October 25th.
    Rootin’ for ya!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by downeast View Post
    Rootin’ for ya!
    Thank you. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. This DPE is super busy and getting another time slot will be a pain..

  6. #26
    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    WannaBfromSC,

    Today’s the day, did you take your checkride?
    "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Grayling View Post
    WannaBfromSC,

    Today’s the day, did you take your checkride?
    No.
    Marginal VFR all around the area so I could not get it in.

  8. #28

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    And don’t forget, you can ride on Ravn to all of weastern Alaska!! Lots of cool villages they fly to, many several times a day.

  9. #29
    Supporting Member akaviator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WannaBfromSC View Post
    No.
    Marginal VFR all around the area so I could not get it in.

    Did you get your checkride rescheduled?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by akaviator View Post
    Did you get your checkride rescheduled?
    Found another DPE with time available..Went last Thursday and got through Oral before clouds got too low..Went back on Saturday and did flying portion at 8am..only to mess up all of the easy stuff. All of my landings were hard...short field, soft field, cross wind, emergency landing, etc. So, gotta go back and do about 30% again.
    I am ready to be complete with this portion so I can do more flying/learning and get started on IFR..

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by WannaBfromSC View Post
    ...So, gotta go back and do about 30% again.
    I am ready to be complete with this portion so I can do more flying/learning and get started on IFR..
    Well, I was finally able to get back in and complete my PPL. So, I am now a pilot!! (Beginner anyway). Plan to start my IFR training at the end of the month. Probably too soon, but PPL took longer than I expected and I want to get done with IFR as soon as I can. Already been studying and doing online practice for the written. We will see how it goes.

  12. #32
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    Congratulations on your PPL. I know for me that was a real milestone for many adventures ahead. IFR rating is something you will never regret also, even if you just use it for personal use. 👍👍

  13. #33
    Member Mr. Grayling's Avatar
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    WannaBfromSC,

    Congrats on your license.
    "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by WannaBfromSC View Post
    It would be my wife and I.

    What about the Alaska railroad? Is that a good way to see very much? Or just a touristy waste? I like trains and it'd allow me to focus on the scenery rather than the road..
    Anchorage would still be your best bet even for a train trip to Denali with a stop in Talkeetna. There are a greater variety of scenic places and communities to drive to from Anchorage in my opinion, than any other drive-from location in Alaska. You can even drive to Whittier from Anchorage through the train tunnel. The drive to Seward, then Homer is spectacular. Both towns are on the ocean with Seward on the east side of the Kenai peninsula and Homer on the west side at the lower end of Cook Inlet.

    For a day trip from Anchorage, Hatcher pass is great for scenic vistas and photo ops etc. Another day trip on the highway to Seward and Homer would be a stop in Girdwood and a ride up the chairlift to the restaurant at the top. There are many options out of Anchorage.

  15. #35
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    How hard would it be to "play it by ear" in Alaska? I guess that depends on the time of year. Basically, if I drove from Anchorage to Seward or Homer, and then decided to stay a night would there be hotel room availability? Same question with Talkeetna..if I take train from Anchorage through Talkeetna to Fairbanks, but decided to spend additional time in Talkeetna, or Denali area would there be accommodations available without reservations?

  16. #36

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    Get a copy of the MILEPOST. https://www.amazon.com/MILEPOST-2020...dp_ob_title_bk This has great information about every major road and places to see, food, lodging, along the way. You can call ahead before you go and track down a bed. Most hotels/motels will know who has an open bed. It can be a bit hard to find a bed on busy weekends if an event is going on especially in small town. Just bring a small tent and sleeping bag, you can always find a place to camp. For a new pilot the Airmans show and Valdez airshow would be like the first time you had sex and another person was involved!! Swing down to Talketna, Seward, or Homer during the week drive to Valdez friday morning and try to hop a ride on the poker run. It can be cold and wet but what a show bring good rain gear. That trip would not be the hard bush Alaska but it is a major part of the state that things revolve around you can branch out form that. If you are thinking of coming up to fly in the future this is how I would start. Lodging that time of year is not that hard to find. Milepost is still recommended as a resource/study guide.
    DENNY

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