Arrive in Anchorage - Day & Overnight in Anchorage
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Today was all about food, as we hopped around trying to fill our bellies with fresh seafood and local brews. My favorite spot was 49th State, where you can sit on a roof deck overlooking the water, stuffing your face with fresh king crab and washing it down with locally brewed beer. It was a sunny day, so we drove around to the various viewpoints in Anchorage to take in the scenic vistas.
Drive to Seward - Day & Overnight in Seward
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From Anchorage, we drove South to Seward, where we hiked the Harding Icefield Trail, climbing 3,512 feet through the most beautiful landscape. We walked through lush vegetation and past waterfalls created by melting snow on our way up to a glacier, where the summit was completely covered in the most pristine snow. We rewarded ourselves with fresh King Crab legs and clams at the Salmon Bake before heading back to camp.
We camped along the water at the Alice Campground, with views of the numerous bald eagles fishing and resting on the beach.
Day in Seward, Overnight in Eagle River
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Today we took a boat tour through Kenai Fjords National Park. We joined about 50 other passengers and were delighted with front row seats to the most beautiful and rugged landscape filled with wild animals. We saw humpback whales, sea otters, Steller sea lions, seals, tufted and horned puffins, bald eagles, orca whales, and numerous species of birds. We packed up camp in Seward and made the 3-hour drive north to Eagle River, where we camped for the night before heading to Denali.
Drive to Denali - Day & Night in Denali
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We drove north 4 hours toward Denali, where we set up camp at Carlo Creek Campground, just outside the park entrance. Our creekside campsite gave us the most relaxing background noise to fall asleep to. It was a rainy, cloudy day with little visibility, so we enjoyed driving through the park looking for moose and other wildlife. We enjoyed great pizza and karaoke that night at the Panorama Pizza Pub, across from our campsite, where we got to know some locals.
Day & Night in Denali
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Today we took on another big hike, following the Mount Healy Overlook Trail to the summit. We traversed through Denali’s vast landscape, climbing higher and higher along the spine of the mountain. Locals told us to keep hiking past the “end of maintained trail” sign, for views that are hard to beat. They weren’t lying!
Day & Night in Denali
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As someone who has read and watched the movie “Into the Wild” countless times, I had a strong desire to hike along the Stampede Trail. It was mostly washed out from heavy rains, but we followed the trail a few miles into the wild, as Chris McCandless did many years ago. We ended up wandering around the area and noticed a mother and daughter picking something from the ground and filling large, 5-gallon buckets. They were harvesting salmon berries and told us the white ones tasted better than the red ones. We enjoyed snacking on the berries as we continued to roam through the wilderness on our last full day in Alaska. We ended the day at 49th State just outside Healy and saw the recreated bus that was used to film the movie. Inside were old photos, journal entries, and tools that Chris had left behind.