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Thread: Planning the next couple of months

  1. #1
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Default Planning the next couple of months

    I think we found a travel trailer finally. It's time to compile the list of can't miss spots for the summer. Right now, we are wanting to spend 3-4 days (at least) on the Denali Highway somewhere, a few days at a beach on the Peninsula, a few days around Valdez, some time around Glenallen, and a few other places.

    Here's my question: If you could only take 8 camping trips in a summer and had a toddler and newborn, where would you go?

    PM's are great if you don't want to spill the beans on your Garden of Eden.

    Where's a good camping area on the water (peninsula)?

    Any small streams on the Denali Highway that may hold grayling close to a camping area?

    All info is appreciated!

    We cancelled the Canada trip this summer so we've got nothing that we have to do at home aside from the occasional Dr's appointment.

    Thanks
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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Wow, I was hoping for at least one or two posts to the thread. Nobody is willing to share a nugget about camping on the peninsula? Nikiski, Clam Gulch... nothing?

    Come on folks. There has to be a tidbit or two that you are willing to share.
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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    Wow, I was hoping for at least one or two posts to the thread. Nobody is willing to share a nugget about camping on the peninsula? Nikiski, Clam Gulch... nothing?

    Come on folks. There has to be a tidbit or two that you are willing to share.
    Hey Phish, bring that thing down to SE and take it out to Neets Bay!

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    Phish, I'm just an annual visitor now, but maybe a couple of spots are still good for camping with your family! I'll stick to a couple I knew and still go to when I get the chance.

    Denali - some of the prettiest country in the state in my opinion. If you go in from the Cantwell side, there's a campground at Brushkana Creek, which is about at Mile 115 if I recall (Cantwell is Mile 135 and it goes down from there, all the way to Mile 0 on the other side at Paxson). So it's only about 20 miles in, used to be a nice campground, and used to be grayling right in the creek there, not sure if times have changed to move them farther up or down stream.

    If you go in from the Paxson side, the first 21 miles of the highway are paved, and I think Tangle Lakes campground is at about mile 21 or so, a couple of lakes with fish in them, can't remember what species. Also, at mile 36 on the south side there's an ATV trail, used to be a nice place to pull over and camp, a great view of the McClaren River Valley to the west, but no fishing right there so maybe not where you want to camp. There are plenty of lakes and streams all along the Denali, and most have grayling and possibly other species in them!

    Valdez - Definitely worth a couple of days, nice little town and plenty of places to camp (although I don't know the exact names), fishing right from the side of road, and beatiful views of the mountains. Lotsa seagulls in some spots, may want to avoid those with the kids as some of the birds look pretty dirty after rousting in the mud.

    Glenallen - I love Glenallen, clear back from when I was a kid and we'd stop there on our way to the Denali Highway to hunt and fish! The one thing to consider if looking to camp for a few days, is that Glenallen is in a flattish area; if it were me I might opt to camp around Eureka, which is not as far to drive (from Anchorage) and has some of the most spectacular mountain views from the road system in the state. I can't vouch for the fishing around Glenallen or Eureka, we always went there to picnic or pick berries as opposed to fishing.

    Have a blast man, you're making me jealous!

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Our first, best camper outings...

    Our camper nowadays supports mainly fishing outings. But, at first, we just got out. Tangle Lakes, or any streamside pullout along the Denali Hwy we still enjoy. DH is a rough road to drive with any RV, but on your drive in, notice the direction that dust drifts. When you stop, be sure it's on the other side. If your children wander, I'd keep some distance between the camper and any rushing current though. Last year (May), on days we were the first vehicle on the road, we saw Mom and newborn moose calf, then caribou. We stopped for lunch at one spot right after talking about never seeing bear on DH. Of course, there was a plain-as-day bear print in the mud where we stopped. It was great.

    Montana Creek between salmon seasons. Lots of room and shallow water gravel bars (below bridge I think) for kids to explore. Lots of shade, walkways. The improved (private) campground at MC has amenities - electricity- available for a pretty comfy stay, if you want. Last year, there was also a campground on the north bank below bridge that we enjoyed, but maybe the dropoff into current from that area would be an unwanted hazard.

    Quartz Creek and Crescent Ck campgrounds, on Quartz Ck Rd, beginning at MP 44.9 of Sterling Hwy-are favorites.

    We enjoyed Seward everytime. Just beautiful there and we were lucky with the weather. Last couple of times, we favored Miller's Landing --ladies really appreciate hot showers. Plenty to do in town too. Ak SeaLife Center, Kenai Fjords tours... Prob best to reserve a campsite in advance.

    We've taken the bikes for a weekend or two at Eklutna. They do get black bears wandering through occasionally. Not problem bears in our experience. There's mud on the lake shore. Plan for cleanups.

    Don't know what your power requirements are, but if self-contained, half the fun for us was just stopping where we wanted to. Once you can park halfway level, poof-you're done with these campers. Have a great time in yours. They're just the thing for parents!

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Are you going to check out McCarthy on your way to/from Valdez? I've never been there so we're going to take a little (95 miles one way) side-trip to McCarthy. I can't wait to do it actually; I want to bike around McCarthy and go see the Kennicott mine. Going to fish the Klutina coming and going. Don't what fish will be in there late July/early August though.


    BTW, where do you plan on accessing the beach on the Kenai Peninsula? Are you gonna pull the trailer down the beach or something? I know the beach at Anchor Point is accessible and driveable with a trailer/rv/or truck camper.

    Also, I'd take the two kids to the Santa Clause House and Pioneer Park, maybe hit the hot springs too.

    Tim
    Last edited by tccak71; 06-26-2009 at 10:01. Reason: Addition

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    I wish I could stay in Neets Bay for a while. The shrimping there was great last time I went out. My mom's planning a trip out to Traitor's Cove for a few days. That's one of my favorite spots in all SE.

    Denali's a definate. We put in for the resident pass in September, don't know if we'll get it or not.

    We broke out the map last night. It sounds like a trip up the Glenn, heading down to Valdez, spending a day floating around the Gulkana, then up to the Denali HWY, then looping back down might be our big trip. I'll have to talk to the Mrs. about tacking on McCarthy while we are out that way. It sounds like a cool place. I've seen a few pictures of the old mine, great photo op.

    My wife wants to hit Quartz as that's where most of her friends camp. I've driven by but haven't stopped yet. Maybe we'll head that way on Sunday, then over to Seward for some pre-fourth madness

    Thanks for the tips. Please keep them coming.

    Can you get a travel trailer into the Swanson River/Lakes area?
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    Default Anchor River/Homer

    There is a state campground at the end of the road at Anchor River/Anchor Point. It is very close to beach, we couldn't stay as it was full but it looked really nice. Easy access to the beach.

    The city of Homer has a campground up on the hill near the hospital that I loved. It is primative, (take lots of leveling blocks) but it didn't have the wind and crowds from the spit. Lots of trees and space and there is a playground for the kids. And you're only a 5 minute drive from Bishop's Beach and the best bakery in the WORLD. Two Sisters Bakery - YUMM. The Islands and Oceans Center is free admission.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quartz creek is a sweet place. Make sure you drag a fly pole with some egg patterns if the salmon are in the spawning. That was one of the last trips my dad and I took up there before I left for the military and he moved out of state. We did run a brownie off the creek though so they are there and I would recommend you take what precautions you feel most comfortable with in that regard.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    I wish I could stay in Neets Bay for a while. The shrimping there was great last time I went out. My mom's planning a trip out to Traitor's Cove for a few days. That's one of my favorite spots in all SE.

    Denali's a definate. We put in for the resident pass in September, don't know if we'll get it or not.

    We broke out the map last night. It sounds like a trip up the Glenn, heading down to Valdez, spending a day floating around the Gulkana, then up to the Denali HWY, then looping back down might be our big trip. I'll have to talk to the Mrs. about tacking on McCarthy while we are out that way. It sounds like a cool place. I've seen a few pictures of the old mine, great photo op.

    My wife wants to hit Quartz as that's where most of her friends camp. I've driven by but haven't stopped yet. Maybe we'll head that way on Sunday, then over to Seward for some pre-fourth madness

    Thanks for the tips. Please keep them coming.

    Can you get a travel trailer into the Swanson River/Lakes area?
    Hey Jamie the Denali hwy can be very tough on trailers... it is NOT typically bladed more then once a year...if you hit it wrong you can have 136 miles of pure punishment.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    ...if you hit it wrong you can have 136 miles of pure punishment.
    Dude, I'm a glutton for punishment
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    Hey Jamie the Denali hwy can be very tough on trailers... it is NOT typically bladed more then once a year...if you hit it wrong you can have 136 miles of pure punishment.
    I seem to recall another thread on here saying they've been doing maintenance on the Denali this year, and the road being in better shape than other years. Agree that it can be tough when the road is bad, but man it sure is pretty country.

    Good advice on here earlier to pull off the upwind side of the road, dust from passing cars builds up fast.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    We just returned from our first trip.
    Quartz was a nice, well maintained campground with lots of places for the toddler to play.

    I wrangled up quite a few fish in the little time spent fishing. We're resetting and heading to Girdwood on Friday. We'll probably head down towards Homer next week.

    Camping in a travel trailer is definately the way to go with little ones. Hot shower, warm bed with a thermostat, warm water for dishes, and storage for one man cataraft... sweet!
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default What trailer did you get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    We just returned from our first trip.

    Camping in a travel trailer is definately the way to go with little ones. Hot shower, warm bed with a thermostat, warm water for dishes, and storage for one man cataraft... sweet!
    Guess I missed the thread or post where you bought a trailer. What did you get?

    Tim

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    I picked it up on Friday. We pulled out of town Sunday and returned yesterday. It's an older ('97) '23 Wilderness. I paid for it out of my gun safe so that's a bonus and everything is in great shape except the paint on the doors. I don't care about paint on doors.

    We spent the last few days at Quartz Creek. Here are a couple of pics:
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Is that the one I sent you a link too from Craigslist or a different one? Nice job man, ahving a warm place to hang out when it's raining or cold is great and there's nothing better than a warm shower after a full day on the water.

    If you want to try a place to just hang out and camp, maybe do a short hike, try Ptarmigan Creek on the Seward Highway, just a short ways past Moose Pass. That was our very first camping trip in the rv and it was a lot of fun, hanging out, drinking a cold one and listening to a Sox game.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    It showed up on craigslist without a number. I ended up driving around until I found it. There were no negotiations. I handed the cash over after using Tim's checklist, then hooked it up.

    Funny side story, I went to hook the anti-sway hitch up. My receiver had a notch in it. I had to run around to find a file to put the hitch in. I purchased the trailer from a dude that runs an oil rig in Scotland. He didn't have a file. I ran all over frantically trying to find a file to remove the notch. Ace hardware was open. Problem solved.

    It may not sound funny but I was red faced looking for a **** file.
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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    We spent the last few days at Quartz Creek. Here are a couple of pics:

    Nice that you get your kids in the outdoors. Not enough folks doing that these days.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default Ditto

    I agree with mdhunter on the Denali Hwy. Just go in from the Cantwell side. I also like Homer and Seward on the Peninsula. We tent camped on the spit in Homer. Very nice. When the tide's out, take the toddler down and look for starfish. They'll love it. I have four kids and it's a favorite activity. Seward is nice too, you can go to the end of the road there and walk the beach also. There's several camp grounds down there. I want to try out Valdez this summer/fall.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    I picked it up on Friday. We pulled out of town Sunday and returned yesterday. It's an older ('97) '23 Wilderness. I paid for it out of my gun safe so that's a bonus and everything is in great shape except the paint on the doors. I don't care about paint on doors.

    We spent the last few days at Quartz Creek. Here are a couple of pics:
    Good looking set-up. Momma must like that more than doing the pop-up thing too.

    Tim

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