2001 - Alaska

Introduction

Cycling route map

This holiday is completely different from all the holidays that we have had before: This holiday we did not go cycling but we took our backpacks and went walking through Alaska. Not that we did not like to go cycling, but just to try something completely different for a change. On friday 20 July 2001 we went by plane from Amsterdam via Detroit, Minneapolis to Anchorage. Because our luggage did not arrive with us, we'll have to wait 2½ hours for it to arrive with the next plane. Now we were ready to start our walking trip.
(All mentioned distances are walked distances).

Anchorage - Four Corners: 18.62 km.

First we walk from Anchorage airport to Anchorage down town to get the Parks Highway Express bus to Palmer. At the Palmer Meridian Highway we do some shopping and enjoy a nice breakfast. After this we start our alk to Palmer. Because we're already 42 hours on our way, we stop early to put up our tent.

Anchorage
First campsite

Four Corners - Chickaloon river trail: 12.94 km.

In the morning we continue our walk to Palmer. After 2 km. we receive a lift from a one-armed Alaskan, who drops us of at a store in Palmer (after 5 km.). After some shopping we start walking towards Chickaloon. A priest gives us a lift to the Chickaloon river trail. We follow this trail, which is sometimes very hard to follow. We find a nice camp place on a island in the Chickaloon River.

Chickaloon trail
Chickaloon trail  Chickaloon trail
Chickaloon campsite

Chickaloon river trail - Palmer RV Park: 15.97 km.

We wake up early and search for the way how the trail continues. But after one hour we still do not know how the trail exactly should be followed. So we decide to do the smart thing and return to Chickaloon. From here we get a lift to Palmer.

Backroad break

Palmer RV Park - Talkeetna: 11.67 km.

We stay at Palmer for one day because of the rain and to relax our walking muscles. The next day we walk the Glenn Highway towards the Parks Highway. On the Parks highway we get lifts from 6 different people, which each brings us further to Talkeetna (- Wassila - Big Lake (many firework stands) - Houston - Willow - Talkeetna Junction - Talkeetna). We walk along the Talkeetna River to the camping. After puuting our tent up, we walk to the Talkeetna airport and take a scenic flight above Denali Park and near Mount McKinley (a very beautiful flight). After this we have a delicious dinner at the Swiss Alaska Inn.

Denali flight
Denali flight  Denali flight
Denali flight

Talkeetna: 21.31 km.

We make a long walk along the railway.

On the Chase Trail
On the Chase Trail

Talkeetna - Denali Park (Riley Creek camping): 4.90 km.

We take the bus to Denali Park from the "Talkeetna Alaska Inn".

Denali view

Denali Park - before Kantishna: 1.94 km.

We received a permit and a BRFC (Bear Resistant food Container) at the "Parks visitor center". We take the bus almost all the way into the park and then walk into the wilderness to find a spot out tent. Today we saw cariboes and two bears.

Denali view

Before Kantishna - Kantishna Roadhouse: 7.39 km.

We walk to the top of Busia Mountain. We return early so we're able to reach Kantishna. We cross the Moose Creek. We receive a cheap cabin at Kantishna Roadhouse. We also visit here a very nice storyteller about the Alaskan natives. A super day!

Kantishna Roadhouse - Morino Campground: 1.00 km.

At 6.45 hours we take the Kantishna bus. We see a lot of wildlife on the way. The bus has a leaking cooling system, which halts the bus. We help moving the luggage to the rescue-bus and can continue the trip again soon. We get big cheers for helping when we enter the rescue bus. We visit the sledge dog demonstration which was very nice to see.

Kantishna rescue bus

Morino Campground - Fairbanks: 4.10 km.

We take the Park highway Express bus from the Denali Visitor Center to Fairbanks. We pitch our tent at the Norlite Camping.

Fairbanks

Fairbanks - Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse: 2.40 km.

At fairbanks we take one day rest and visit the "Alaska Land" park. The next day we take the early bus towards Prudhoe Bay. We cross the Arctic Circle. We go accross the beautiful Brooks Mountains (where we also see a wolf). At Prudhoe Bay we visit the Arctic Ocean and the beginning of the "Alaska Pipeline". We take a room at the "Arctic Caribou Inn" for the night.

Arctic Circle
Deadhorse
Alaska pipeline start

Deadhorse - Fairbanks: 0.50 km.

The next moning we see that is has been snowing on the northern side of the Brooks Mountains. On our way back to fairbanks we see a lot of wildlife again.

Nice view

Fairbanks - Valdez: 2.85 km.

Because we are late at Fairbanks (1.30 hour in the moring) we wait in the Springhill Suites Hotel for our bus to Valdez. At 8.10 hour we leave with the bus. After stops in Delta Junction and Glennallen) we reach Valdez where we pitch our tent at the Sea Otter Campground.

View from Valdez

Valdez - Whittier: 4.37 km.

We take the "Cugach" to Whittier. We visit the Columbia Glacier (through the icebergs). Also we see a sea lions, sea otters, bald eagles and dolphins. At a abandoned camping we pitch our tent.

On the ferry

Whittier - Anchorage: 41.75 km.

The first day in Whittier make some big walks along beautiful waterfalls and some "salmons runs" (we saw not any salmon). The next day we walk the Portage Pass trail (very nice). When we return we take the train to Anchorage. Here we go to the "Ship Creek landings" camping.

Portage Pass gletcher
Portage Pass gletcher
Returning to Anchorage

Epilogue

We stay in Anchorage for a few days before we fly home again. we visit the Anchorage Visitor Center and Down Town. We also go to the Omnivision film (180 degrees view) "Alaska the Greatland", which is very nice. The last day we walk the Tommy Knowles Coastal Trail to the Anchorage International Airport. On the way we visit the Earthquake Park. (in total we walked 42.12 km. in Anchorage). After a long flight we arive safely at our home in Oegstgeest, Netherlands.

Current weather

Current Anchorage weather
Current Deadhorse, Alaska weather