Beautiful downtown Talkeetna, Alaska. (photo courtesy Gray Line Tours)
There are endless opportunities for exploration in Denali National Park.
These guided excursions are NOT included in conference registration fee but we do need a head count. You can indicate your interest when you complete the registration form (Registration begins March 1). Any associated fees will be between the attendee and the trip lead and will be taken care of once we know who is interested in the trip.
Interested parties will work with their guide to organize and coordinate these day trips, including logistics, timing, transportation, fees, etc.
Please note: These activities are extra-curricular workshop events and wiill happen either before or after the workshop depending on interest. Participants are responsible for their own expenses.
Talkeetna: Classic Alaska
Logistics: Monday, May 1, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM.
The drive is 2 hours each way with a stop for pictures in Willow, one of Alaska’s dog mushing towns, if Denali is visible. Dress for similar weather as Anchorage.
Talkeetna is a quintessentially Alaskan town filled with history and character. Located north of Anchorage in the Susitna River Basin, the town established along the railroad in the early 20th century is a historic district that features log buildings from this era, a museum, air services for Denali climbers, the confluence of 3 major rivers, local-themed restaurants, an incredible view of Denali and the Alaska Range on a clear day, and Alaska’s second largest brewery.
Join guide Davin Holen — a part time resident of Talkeetna who was raised in the Susitna River Basin and who has worked extensively as an anthropologist in the region — on a tour of the area.
Denali National Park
Logistics: May 5 or 6 - Be prepared for a 12+ hour day starting at 7:00 AM.
This trip is limited in size so will be filled on a first come first serve basis determined by date and time of registration.
It's a 4-hour drive from Anchorage to the Denali National Park entrance, longer with any significant stops on the way. Most of Denali National Park is above 2000' elevation, so a jacket and other cool weather clothing may be needed, even in mid-afternoon.
Denali National Park is regarded by many as the crown jewel of National Parks. For those who can't let a trip to Alaska go by without a visit to this gem, Rick Thoman of NWS Alaska Region and 29-year Alaska resident will lead a day trip to to the Park. While not all visitor services are operating in the Denali Park area in early May, every visit to Denali is worthwhile, with a high likelihood of wildlife sightings and, if the weather cooperates, spectacular mountain scenery views both on the way to and in the Park.
Suggested Independent Sightseeing Trips around Anchorage
If you have any questions about things to do don't hesitate to ask. Alaskans love to show off our beautiful state and point our friends and colleagues to those hidden gems that will make your visit truly memorable.
Alyeska Resort and Portage Glacier Visitor Center
A trip down the Seward Highway offers many sightseeing and visiting opportunities. Alyeska Resort, located in the town of Girdwood, is a 45-minute drive from Anchorage. Another 15 minutes down the road brings you to the turnoff to the US Forest Service's Begich, Boggs Visitor Center in beautiful Portage Valley (note: Portage Glacier has retreated so far that it is no longer visible from the Visitor Center). You can continue driving to the coastal town of Whittier through a tunnel. Note for climate geeks: a drive from Anchorage to Whittier will take you from an area with an annual average precipitation of 15" to an area with more than 200" per year, and you'll never be more than 150 feet above sea level!
Alaska SeaLife Center
You can continue south on the Seward Highway, about 2 hours beyond Portage Valley, to Seward. Seward lies at the head of Resurrection Bay and features spectacular mountain and ocean scenery. A highlight of any visit to Seward is the Alaska SeaLife Center with exhibits of North Pacific birds, mammals and benthic species; and information on Gulf of Alaska ecosystems. The headquarters of Kenai Fjords National Park is also located in Seward, and Exit Glacier (also retreating dramatically) is just a short drive out of town.