Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29
  1. #1
    Member Skookum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Hammock
    Skookum Stealth
    Tarp
    Skookum Stealth
    Insulation
    WM Blue
    Suspension
    WhoOpie Slingz
    Posts
    85
    Images
    1

    Planning an Alaska Denali NP Trip

    Me and my bud (2P, short for 2PBR, short for "2nd Place in a Bear race" ) have decided to do Denali.

    I have been doing a ton of reading so I know the basics. I was hoping for insights and suggestions from our members that have been there or know someone that has.

    The trip is planned for July 2011 (exact date tentative) We plan on driving 3800+ miles from Indianapolis to Anchorage and flying back. The road trip is part of the appeal. 7 days including drive. Backpacking, Hiking, hammock camping, morel shrooming. I wanted to fish but read that it's not very good there.

    1. Do you suggest somewhere beside Denali?
    2. Will hammocking be an issue?
    3. Do you suggest a different time of year or is July good?
    4. Is it true about the fishing?
    5. We wanted to see Canada too. Is it a huge mistake to take the time to drive there?
    6. Any other info would be appreciated.

    Thanks a ton in advance!

    -Skookum

  2. #2
    beep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hammock
    WB BB 1.1 dbl
    Tarp
    MacCat Dlx SpinnUL
    Insulation
    Phoenix/Incubator
    Suspension
    Whoopie Slings
    Posts
    2,078
    Images
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by Skookum View Post
    Me and my bud (2P, short for 2PBR, short for "2nd Place in a Bear race" ) have decided to do Denali.

    I have been doing a ton of reading so I know the basics. I was hoping for insights and suggestions from our members that have been there or know someone that has.

    The trip is planned for July 2011 (exact date tentative) We plan on driving 3800+ miles from Indianapolis to Anchorage and flying back. The road trip is part of the appeal. 7 days including drive. Backpacking, Hiking, hammock camping, morel shrooming. I wanted to fish but read that it's not very good there.

    1. Do you suggest somewhere beside Denali?
    2. Will hammocking be an issue?
    3. Do you suggest a different time of year or is July good?
    4. Is it true about the fishing?
    5. We wanted to see Canada too. Is it a huge mistake to take the time to drive there?
    6. Any other info would be appreciated.

    Thanks a ton in advance!

    -Skookum
    If I understand your broad plan, you plan to drive 3800+ miles AND fly back in 7 days? That pretty much means your last day (flight home) is a non-driving day...and that leaves you with an average of over 600 driving miles per day. Seems to me that you won't have much time for doing a whole lot more than driving. If you commit two of your days to some non-automobile activities, you're down to four days for 3800 miles, or 950 miles per day.

    You should do what you enjoy and want to do, but spending a week making long daily drives with little time to explore what you drive past doesn't appeal to me. If I were going to Alaska, I'd spend as little time in-transit as I could afford to gain the most time "on the ground". YMMV!!

    A trip to Alaska with a friend sounds like a winner, though!
    "The more I carry the happier I am in camp; the less I carry the happier I am getting there" - Sgt. Rock

  3. #3
    Member mazz1111's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Western NC
    Hammock
    WBBBB dbl1.1 mint
    Tarp
    MacCat Deluxe
    Insulation
    3S Phoenix,DIY
    Suspension
    whoopies
    Posts
    85
    I was thinking the same thing Beep.....

    Where is the time for backpacking? maybe there is something were missing? 7 days total for backpacking AFTER you get there? or 7 days including travel?

  4. #4
    Member Skookum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Hammock
    Skookum Stealth
    Tarp
    Skookum Stealth
    Insulation
    WM Blue
    Suspension
    WhoOpie Slingz
    Posts
    85
    Images
    1
    maybe the plan was a little over zealous. We would save a couple hundred $$ a piece by our calculations if driving. We rationalized that we could drive pretty much non-stop in shifts. and get there quicker. I think part of it was just the romance of "hitting the road" and a long road trip. (i like driving so does he) neither one of us has been to any of the places we will driving through so it will all be new.. even if it is out of a car window. we were going to drive there and back

    Another friend said this....:

    "been twice to denali from chicago. Drove once, flew once. i would never drive it again. you will be exhausted once you get ther, have very little time and won't save very much money by doing it. are you renting car there? might be issues/milage fees with driving the rental into Canada. if you want to do a road trip, fly there and travel around alaska."

    maybe we should rethink this.

    Either way, Please more comments/ideas/suggestions!

    Thanks Guys!
    Last edited by Skookum; 07-26-2010 at 21:12.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bradley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    West Kootenay, BC
    Hammock
    NX-150 TX-150
    Tarp
    Vertex-Camo
    Insulation
    Z-Liner & DIY Pads
    Suspension
    Clark
    Posts
    1,672
    I don't know about the USA but in Canada,
    BC and Alberta there are likely 384,962 trails that could be considered for your trip.

    Here is a map from travel math
    The blue is their road
    the red is mine; for BC it is a little more accurate
    as there is no road like that in Alberta and BC

    Looks like 1/2 the trip is in the USA.

    I would say find a good/awesome location to hike, or two/three
    Fly there
    rent a car
    pack, trek, spelunk, etc
    fly home.

    That's this year,
    Repeat yearly if necessary . . .
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bradley SaintJohn
    Flat Bottom Canoe
    Start A Biz

    The Transition from Ground Sleeping to Hammocks
    is the Conversion from Agony To Ecstasy,
    and Curing Ground-In-somnia.

    "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show you great and mighty things . . ." Jeremiah 33:3
    ΙΧΘΥΣ

  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tupelo, MS
    Posts
    8,466
    Images
    353
    Quote Originally Posted by Skookum View Post
    .................

    1. Do you suggest somewhere beside Denali?
    2. Will hammocking be an issue?
    3. Do you suggest a different time of year or is July good?
    4. Is it true about the fishing?
    5. We wanted to see Canada too. Is it a huge mistake to take the time to drive there?
    6. Any other info would be appreciated.

    Thanks a ton in advance!

    -Skookum
    I just got back from Alaska (including Denali) and the Yukon. Needless to say, it is vast. And as has already been pointed out, you are going to be doing a ton of driving, more so than hiking. But, when I was younger we used to do a lot of fun trips like that. One or two guys sleeping while another is driving, covering over 1000 miles a day. But after a couple of days trapped in the vehicle, WhooBuddy! Starts getting rough. But, might be fine if you can add a few more days to the trip.

    Hammock hanging may indeed be an issue. Depending of course on where you are. But, what I mostly saw was endless forests of mostly black spruce, very often in trees and underbrush almost too thick to walk through with out a Machete for chopping a path. I spent a lot of time, during long days covering lots of miles, looking for forest suitable to hanging, and seeing darn little of it, believe it or not. Then again, there might have been lots of areas- places where we were not at- that would be fine. Most of what I was seeing was either from a bus or a ship. So, who knows about other areas.

    The opposite of the very thick, jungle like areas was Tundra, with no trees visible for many miles. Especially in Denali. I remember there were some ok trees/forest near the park entrance, but it wasn't long before we were into the Tundra. The first picture is of Denali from maybe 60 miles away, the others about 36 miles from Denali, so you can get an idea of how hangable trees are not easy to come by. I don't mean to be negative, but you are going to have to know about where you plan to camp and whether or not there are hangable trees far enough apart, without too much jungle in between the trees, and not in bare open Tundra.

    I saw 5 Griz in one afternoon in Denali. 4(counting two cubs with Mom) were out on the Tundra, in the wide open. One was just as we got back to the thick forest near the park entrance. This was a great big Griz, crossing the road in front of us, apparently coming out of a camp ground. So stay alert and do things right! I suggest bear spray for you and your friend! Just in case, though the man/bear incidents are very low, amazingly, in Denali.

    Blow the 2nd pic up some and you can make out one of several herds of Dall sheep we saw. Not to mention Caribou, lot's of Eagles and wolves. What incredible country in many different ways. Have fun however you decide to do it. You will never forget it!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 07-26-2010 at 22:44.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  7. #7
    New Member Jason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Antelope, Ca
    Hammock
    WBBB DL 1.1
    Tarp
    MacCat Deluxe
    Insulation
    Yeti 3 Season Set
    Suspension
    Standard webbing
    Posts
    18
    I don't know much about Denali, but I did the drive from Sacramento, Ca to Anchorage, Ak shortly after returning from Saudi Arabia in '91. A buddy of mine and I tag teamed the drive, and didn't sleep much. We did the inside passage by hanging a left at Prince George, a bit slower, but an amazing drive.

    The trip was a little over 3,000 miles. Our trip up took about 54 hours, and back home in just 47 hours. Needless to say, we were pretty much useless for a day and a half recovering once we got there.

    I agree with the others, you're looking at burning up 3 to 3 1/2 days driving, and another day or so to recover. Not much time to hike.

    With that said, the drive up is one of my most fondest memories. Let's see there was the insane idea that a mini truck could make the trip in the first place. We got stuck in the mud in Canada in a work zone, and as I jumped out in my Birkenstocks to help the work crew pull us out, the look on their faces was priceless. Or my buddy responding to the US Customs officer's question "do you have anything else in the truck" with the most sarcastic reply of "nothing but dirt" resulting in a drug dog tearing apart our gear while we were detained. Then there was the arctic fox we saw, and the biggest bear I've ever seen run across our path in a rain storm with about 50' visibility at night (we were terrified we'd hit it, and piss it off). Plus, the views were amazing, and difficult to share with words.

    I've often thought about taking two weeks to make the drive up on motorcycles and an RV following behind with a trailer. We'd use the time to explore a bit more, rather than flying by so fast. We'd then put the vehicles on a train down to the ferries, and from there float back to Seatle for the rest ofmthe drive home.

    I don't want to discourage you on the trip. The drive is worth it, but you might want more time for hiking. Try to remember, if you cut Alaska in half, Texas is the 3rd largest state. It takes a long time to get anywhere in Alaska. Best of luck.

    ~ Jason

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,650
    Wow. Ambitious amount of driving. I visited Alaska in May. We flew into Anchorage and spent 12 days driving an RV to Denali->Fairbanks->Valdez->Homer->Seward->and back to Anchorage. I think we put on close to 1500 miles in this loop and there are still TONS of things I wish I could have seen. In the effort to see all this, we only really spent one day of hiking in Denali. Personally, (IMHO) if I only had 7 days, I would consider flying or consider a shorter road trip. The Canadian Rockies are only half the distance and amazing scenery as well. Heck there are a lot of awesome places to see in the lower 48 if time is short!

    More Alaska pictures to whet your appetite. (previously posted on an older thread--nothing new)

    BillyBob--nice photos of McKinley!
    Last edited by BER; 07-27-2010 at 03:56.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,650
    One other question: Drive one way, fly one way??? Who's car are you leaving in AK? If it's a one way rental you will pay more than round trip (usually), and if you fly one way you will amost assuredly pay more than a round trip (though why that makes sense, I have no clue).

    You were kidding about the fishing in AK, right? Maybe Denali fishing is limited, but the rest of the state, especially the Kenai, is a fishing Mecca (but out of state fishing licenses are Expensive!)

    Hope we are not discouraging you. Really, if I had 7 days and the readily available resources to get there, I'd not hesitate a minute.
    Last edited by BER; 07-27-2010 at 04:38.

  10. #10
    Member Skookum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Hammock
    Skookum Stealth
    Tarp
    Skookum Stealth
    Insulation
    WM Blue
    Suspension
    WhoOpie Slingz
    Posts
    85
    Images
    1
    Wow, great info. That's what I was hoping for! I just think so highly of our members here. I brag to people I know about it but they don't get it. Kudos to you.

    You were kidding about the fishing in AK, right? Maybe Denali fishing is limited, but the rest of the state, especially the Kenai, is a fishing Mecca (but out of state fishing licenses are Expensive!)
    "Denali National Park is not noted for its fishing. Most streams and lakes have a high glacial silt content resulting in poor fish habitat. However, for those willing to scout out the occasional clear creeks and ponds deep enough not to freeze solid during the winter, a few fish may be caught. No license is required inside the old mckinley park boundries"
    I am a serious fisherman. My buddy, not so much. I have wanted to fish Alaska all my life. Yeah, I realize it is the fishing mecca. That's why I am so bummed. He wants to go to specifically to denali (who wouldn't).

    Is there somewhere as "Grand as denali" with better fishing that you might suggest anyone?

    One other question: Drive one way, fly one way???
    The idea was to rent car & drive it there and drop it off. Catch the train and then the shuttle bus into and back from Denali. We could get a return trip ticket for $277 each.

    Part of the reason we were considering the drive was because of the cost. Tickets are expensive and their is big fee to check in our gear. It's like an additional $100 each. I'm not going without a good knife, a multi-tool and bear spray. Maybe we could ship our stuff there ahead of time? is that possible/realistic? What did you guys do?

    Me and 2P are gonna sit back down and rehash the drive/fly idea. I'll let you know what we decide.

    please keep the opinions coming!

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •