Why This Trip?
This trip, which you can take by train or rental car, takes you to two stunning towns full of adventures. Girdwood may be famous as a winter ski area, but it also offers amazing adventures year-round. And Whittier is your gateway to the glaciers and wildlife of Prince William Sound.
Arrive in Anchorage - Day in Girdwood
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After arriving in Anchorage, make the 40-mile drive to Girdwood or take the train; both are incredibly scenic and offer a great introduction to the beauty of Alaska. Look for Dall sheep and beluga whales along the way. Once there, visit the 1898-era Crow Creek Mine, where you can pan for your own gold; go for a hike; or ride the Alyeska Resort Aerial Tramway for a spectacular panoramic view!
Day & Overnight in Girdwood
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If you didn't have the chance yesterday to take the tram ride, definitely carve out some time today to make that happen. But your focus today is on the Spencer Glacier, and the only way to get there is by taking a fun, whistle-stop train. Then explore this river of ancient blue ice that climbs 3,500 feet as it ramps upward. Go for a hike on your own or take a tour and really explore the crevasses. You can also take an amazing (guided or unguided) kayak trip that takes you paddling around icebergs.
Day in Whittier - Overnight in Girdwood
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Whittier's just 24 miles away, so take this opportunity to head there and spend the day exploring the shimmering waters of Prince William Sound. Be aware that you'll pass through the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel; because it's only one lane, you'll want to consult the traffic schedule. Once in Whittier, take a half- or full-day cruise, or opt to go out in a kayak or on a Jet Ski. Then make the drive back to Girdwood.
Day in Girdwood - Depart from Anchorage
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Enjoy your final day in Girdwood! One fun activity to try is glacier dog sledding: You'll take a scenic helicopter ride, land on a glacier, meet some excited dogs, and then get on the sled and feel the thrill of this very Alaskan experience. After that, spend some time at the 200-acre Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where you'll get an up-close view of some of the state's unique creatures. Then it's time to make the scenic drive back to Anchorage.