Before we make it to Anchorage we stop for a quick visit to Hope, off the Hope Highway, it is an old mining town. It’s cute, but not much here and not much parking for RV and toad unless staying at a campground. We walked around a bit, the cafe didn’t even open till 4:00 pm.
We found a perfect spot on Hope Highway to boondock for the night, mile 11, with great views of Turnagain Arm.
The next day we drive towards Anchorage and dry camp at Bird Creek Campground about 20 miles outside Anchorage. It is 20.00 for the night and nice. We had no cell phone service and just hung out for the day.
Drove to Cabelas and spent the night here. Yes you are allowed one night even though says No Overnight parking. We drove to the visitor center
Ship Creek to see the salmon, unfortunately there were none. They are closing Ship Creek for 2 weeks as there are no fish. They have only tracked two fish to the hatchery and this time last year there were tons. 🐟
July 3rd we checked into Golden Nugget RV in Anchorage. People warned about staying in Anchorage, but we needed conviencence and full hook up’s as our daughter and grandson are coming tomorrow. It was nothing special but clean bathrooms and good location. We paid 45.00 per night, good Sam rate. They also had wifi, laundry.
Bob golfed today at Moose Run in Anchorage, a gift from Jessica
Happy 4th of July 💥 🇺🇸, so excited Jamie and Jaxson fly in today.
In the evening we drove to Potter Marsh, they have a viewing boardwalks where we saw Moose.
Then onto Kincaid Park, nice park and this area is known for wildlife. We did see a bull moose in the area.
Off to Girdwood, about 45 minutes from RV park to Crow Creek Mine and historic buildings, to try and find some gold.
Adults -$24.00 and Jaxson $12.00. No luck but fun times, and cute place.
Right from the parking lot we walked to the trail for Lower Winner Creek Trail. It is about 1 mile each way to the hand tram. The tram, you pull yourself across to the other side, quite fun.
Walk about five minutes more to a beautiful bridge and gorge.
Now we are hungry so drive into downtown Girdwood. We stop at the Bake Shop for dessert and next door is a cute gallery shop. Bought myself some silver earrings.
On way back we stop for the views of Turnagain Arm.
Well today is a bucket list of mine and didn’t disappoint. We head back to Girdwood for our Helicopter ride
with glacier landing and dog sled ride on Punchbowl Glacier. We did this thru Alpine Air Taxi.
The dogs belong to Mitch Seavey, the 2017 Iditarod champion.
This was the most awesome day and worth the money.
Adults were $529.00, and Jaxson was $499.00. Total time with check in was about
2 hrs 45 minutes.
Afterwards we drove 20 minutes to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, non profit for orphaned and injured animals. Adults -$15.00 and Jaxson was free. No fee to park and you walk around to see the animals. Also have a nice gift shop.
Today we shopped downtown Anchorage and on weekends was the Anchorage Market and Festival, with food and crafts. Had lunch here and bought some crafts, nice stop. From here we walked over to the ULU factory, nice knifes and kitchen ulu and bowl set. Also other souvenir type gifts. Had Moose Ala Mode Ice cream 🍦 , yummy. There is coupon in the Northern Lights Book for buy one get one.
July 8th we leave Anchorage, but on way out stop at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
Coupon also for buy one get one in Northern Lights book and Tour Saver book, so saved $25.00. You walk around the village outside and then inside is more Museum type stuff.Nice place and worth a visit. There is RV parking here.
From here it is 45 minute drive to Big Bear 🐻 RV in Palmer. We will stay 3 nights, at 36.00 per night for just W/E. they do also have full hookups. Nice showers and big laundry room, wifi. Also have grass for the dogs at the sites.
In Palmer is the Reindeer Farm, and we head there today.
There is coupon for buy one get one in Northern Lights Book, saved $11.00. They give you a tour and you get to feed the Reindeer. Allow and hour and worth the visit.
From here we head to Wasilla to the Iditarod Trail Sled Headquarters. It is free to the small museum, video and gift shop. You can spend $10.00 for a dog cart ride.
Another nice ride, this is your toad, I wouldn’t recommend motorhome is the Hatcher Pass drive to Independence Mine Historical Park and Summit lake. It is a 40 minute drive from RV park with beautiful scenery along the way.
We first stop at Summit Lake,
2 miles past Independence Mine. It is a glacier fed lake with great views. There is a small parking area here. Also The highest point on Hatcher Pass at 3886 feet.
Independence Mine has a $5.00 parking fee which includes the entrance fee for the driver. All others is $2.00 per person. You walk around yourself to the different historical buildings and old mine shacks.
It also has beautiful views from here. It is definitely worth a visit. It is only open till mid-June- early September, due to snow.
The mine started in 1906 and had 10 miles of tunnels. Millions of dollars worth of gold was extracted from here. Miners worked and lived here until abandoned in 1951.
Great drive and place.
Off to The cute little town of Talkneeta, a 75 mile drive from Palmer.
We stay 3 nights at Talkneeta Camper Park with W/E only but they do have a dump station. The cost is 43.00 per night. There is laundry and pay showers, gravel lots and not much privacy but good location, can walk 10 minutes to town. There is propane at the Tesoro gas station ⛽️ where you will turn off for Talkneeta. Also at that corner is a IGA grocery store as there are none in Talkneeta.
After checking in we drove back to the grocery store, also stopped at Alaska Wild Harvest store to get some birch syrup -Mile 1 Talkneeta Spur Road, and little further to the Flying Squirrel Cafe to get some dessert.
We walk around town and eat some pizza at Mountain High Pizza Pie 🍕 which was good. Then walked to Riverfront park in downtown Talkneeta where three rivers meet, it’s also where on clear days you can see Denali.
Super fun day today with Talkneeta Air Taxi for our Denali flight with glacier landing.
Bob was co-pilot
on the way there and Jaxson got to be co-pilot on the way back.
We went up 9,000 feet to see Denali, it was awesome.
Denali is 20,310 ft tallest peak in North America.
We then landed on Pika Glacier at 7,000 ft.
This was a highlight of our trip, with beautiful scenery along the way.
Regular price was $385.00, we had coupon for 25% for 4, so we each saved $ 95.00.
Coupon was in Northern Lights Book.
After this great flight we walked downtown only 10 minutes and shopped the cute little stores and got some coffee and snacks.
Nagleys General Store is from 1921.
We also walked to the local cemetery on 2nd street to see the Mountain Climbers Memorial,
a dedication to those who lost their lives on the mountain.
Full bellies today after our huge breakfast at the Roadhouse (1917).
The climbers hang out here and eat before their journey to the mountain.
Just pick a seat, long tables and will probably sit with others you don’t know. Good way to chat with others.
Definitely recommend eating breakfast 🍳 here.
Jamie and Jaxson went on a float trip, and Bob and I drove to Christiansen Lake so he could fish 🐟.
Short drive today only 63 miles to mile 147 of the Parks Highway to Denali State Park, and the Byers Lake Campground .
On clear days (unfortunately not today), they say the views of Denali might be better here then in Denali National Park. It is 20.00 to dry camp and they also sell 🔥 firewood, yummy s’mores coming up. We hiked 1 mile each way to a bridge over Byers Creek.
Nice little campground, would recommend.
July 14th we drive 1 1/2 hours from Denali State Park to Denali RV and Motel, 8 miles north of Denali National Park. 2 night stay with Good Sam discount totaled $104.00.
They have laundry and pay showers, nothing special but good location. After getting settled we drive into Denali and take our pictures in front of the sign,
stop at the visitor center and pick up our pre ordered bus tickets for tomorrow. I highly suggest getting your tickets the day before if possible as we waited 1/2 hour in line. Then we drove to mile 15, Savage River, the farthest you can drive your vehicle into the park.
We hiked 2 miles round trip on the Savage River Loop trail which follows the river, nice short and easy hike.
Outside the park are the shops and restaurants, there is also a Harley store. We ate at Prospector Pizza and had sandwiches were delicious .
Today is our Denali day and it has been raining off and on since yesterday. We did the green shuttle
to Eielson Visitor Center , 8 hours round trip.
You choose where you want to go and pay for that stop. It was $40.00 for adults, children free, and you need to pay $10.00 National Park fee, or America the Beautiful pass. You can ask to get off the bus at anytime if you want to hike, etc. they stop about every hour for bathroom break. Bring your own food and water as there is none available. The green shuttles are not required to narrate along the way, but our driver Wendy has worked at the park sine the 70’s and narrated the whole time, she was great.
Because of weather we didn’t see Denali (luckily we saw it few days ago in our Denali flight) but we saw 3 moose
wolf and wolf pup
1 bull moose and a marmot. Great day even with the rain. ☔️
Long driving day today from Denali to Chena Hot Springs, 175 miles about 3 1/2 hours.
We dry camp there for $20.00. A must see is the Aurora Ice Museum
tours daily every other hour and last about 30 minutes. The cost for adults was $15.00, kids $10.00. You can also order a Appletini 🍹to drink at the ice bar,
They also give you jackets to wear inside since it’s a mere 25 degrees .
Also here are the Hot Springs,
hot tub, heated pool. Must be 18 for hot springs, but kids can use the hot tub and pool.
Adults were $15.00 for Springs and pool, and can come and go through out the day. So relaxing and fun.
Off to Fairbanks, about 1 1/2 hrs from Chena Hot Springs. We stay at Rivers Edge Rv, for 6 nights. Nice park on the river. Sites have some grass near them. FHU! Laundry, showers, wifi, cable, gift shop, free coffee ☕️. Cost is $53.00 per night, Good Sam rate. While Bob and Jaxson 🐟 fished in the river,
Jamie and I went to the Tanana Valley Farmers Market (food and crafts) nice stop, Great Alaskan Bowl Company(very nice wood bowls, and of course I bought one. Then stopped few shops in downtown, nothing special. In the evening we all drove to the Silver Gulch Brewery for dinner.
Very good food, would recommend a stop here. On the way to the brewery you can stop at see and touch the pipeline and read about its history.
It is free and worth a stop.
Jamie and Jaxson leave us today after spending 16 days with us. Before they go we make a stop at the North Pole, about 1/2 hour from RV park.
You can pay to visit the Reindeer Academy. There is a 42 ft fiberglass 🎅 Santa you can take pictures.
Then the Santa Claus House which has everything 🎄 Christmas and lots of gifts and souvenir items. Santa is there and can visit with him. Also can mail a letter from the North Ole and have it sent now or at Christmas. Definitely cute stop, especially for kids.
Off to the airport, Goodbye Jamie and Jaxson, we will miss you.
Couple days to relax, and our last adventure near Fairbanks is the drive to the
Artic Circle. It is a 198 miles each way from RV park. You start on the Elliott Highway,
The first 12 miles has some dips, go slow and then the rest of Elliott is good. mile 73 starts the Dalton Highway aka the Haul Road (Ice Road Truckers)
and it is gravel, then some good paved portions, gravel again and last 10 miles has potholes.
At Mile 56 of the Dalton is ⛽️ gas, on left hand side after pass Yukon River. Gas was $5.49 gallon.
You will see the pipeline most of the drive, pretty cool.
Once you arrive at the Artic Circle sign
there is a BLM volunteer to get your certificate.
Watch out for the truckers as they have the right of way.
Fun day and a must do. It took us 10 hours round trip.
Happy Birthday 🎊🎂🎁 to me, a day to hang out and relax 🍷
Departure day from Rivers Edge and we drive to Delta Junction, 99 miles and about 1 1/2 hours. This is the historical mile 1422 and the end of the Alaska Highway, yipeee.
We started Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway back on May 13th. In Tok we took the Tok Cutoff and traveled thru most of Alaska before finishing the Alaska Highway. I can’t believe our time in Alaska is almost over.
From Delta Junction we will head to Haines, Skagway and maybe Juneau.
Safe travels 🌎 and stay tuned.