DansDeals.com Forums

DansDeals Forum => Trip Reports => Topic started by: g8trgr8t on July 16, 2020, 10:15:47 PM

Title: Alaska 2020
Post by: g8trgr8t on July 16, 2020, 10:15:47 PM
Album with pics here

https://www.flickr.com/photos/85268984@N02/albums/72157714801392948

Middle of June, drove from Naples up to Tampa to use some Alaska miles and flew TPA-SEA-ANC with the family. TPA was pretty empty, SEA seemed to be at around 70% of normal which was surprising, ANC was empty. MIL lives in Wasilla so it is an annual trip to visit family. Spent 2 weeks covering some of our favorites. We all had our covid tests done prior to leaving so we didn't have to get tested upon arrival. Great deals on rental cars and hotel rooms this year. Wore masks and goggles, sprayed down all surfaces with Lysol and then wiped down. oddly enough Alaska filled first class and left middle seats open in coach. No food service other than snack pack, wine and beer only alcoholic drinks available

First night, arrived late stayed in Anchorage so everybody could shower and we could bag our clothes we wore on flights and spray down the luggage with disinfectant spray to help keep our hosts safe.

Stayed with hosts second night, caught up with family news.

Arrive late night first day, overnight in hotel in Anchorage to change clothes, shower, spray suitcases with Lysol, etc. Off to Wasilla, near Hatcher Pass, unpack wife, repack 2 kids and I for trip to Seward. 3.5 hours of beautiful driving. Saw 4 moose on the way, miles and miles of scenery. Objective, fillets for the freezer, memories. Best Western room normally $400 was $169. Big corner room with great views of Resurrection Bay. Bonus. Fishing licenses with king salmon stamp for a week for 3 of us was over $300. Bummer.

Seward allows snag fishing for hatchery bred salmon that return to the bay. June is the month for early sockeye (red) salmon. We visited the snagging grounds 4 times, found fish 1 time. We only had hip waders so we did not venture out to the mouth of the creek where salmon school up the most. 30 lb spinning tackle with fast retrieve reel. Cast out weighted treble hook and rip it through the water to snag salmon. Can snag kings too but they were not here yet. Rotten year for Kings (again). Nash Road is an interesting place with a diverse population that all share the love of fishing. Definitely a more local flavor this year. Met a lot of great people. Had a humpback feeding in the bay maybe 2 miles out from the snagging spot near the marina.

I spent fathers day halibut fishing with my son and daughter 2 (daughter 1 at home, working this year while graduating at end of summer). That was my present to myself. Limit is one fish any size, 1 fish under 32". We had 215 lbs between our three fish 78, 74, and 68 lbs, and they were fat. `108 lbs of halibut fillets. Chest freezer  now filled with halibut and sockeye (red) salmon. 3 fish boxes filled, 15 lbs of dry ice, checked as luggage on return flight to Ft Myers. Two of us flew AA ANC-DFW-RSW and two of us flew Delta ANC - ATL - RSW.

Wife came down and we went whale watching and glacier kayaking the next day. Humpbacks were around and bubble net feeding. That is cool. Got a recording of their call from a underwater microphone that I will upload to album when I can reduce it enough to upload. Orca's were not around. Sea lions were on their normal haulout. Glacier was very silent. No waterfront calving the time we were there.

Had hoped to hike up to Hubbard Ice Fields above Exit Glacier again. Was a great hike last year but we got rained out so son and I went out to Nash Road at the head of Resurrection Bay one last time and the sockeye were there and we got 11 of 12 allowed there. Picked up the frozen, processed halibut and headed to Russian River in Cooper's Landing to try flossing for the first time. Wife and daughter left early and went back to home base in Wasilla.

Hubbard Icefield hike pictures from last year in this album

https://www.flickr.com/photos/85268984@N02/albums/72157710575098011

Stopped in Cooper's Landing and dropped off salmon to get processed and picked up tackle we needed for flossing. 3/4 ounce weight, 5' 20 lb leader, Russian River fly. Pitch upstream, let drift across mouth of sockeye, rip it and hope to snag them in the mouth. I went 0 for 3 in 3 hours, lost 2 due to lack of net and my anxiety to land the fish. Wife bought us waders for fathers day but you can rent them there. Son went 1 for 2. I know many who go 3 for 3 in 2 - 3 hours but the run wasn't that thick while we were there.

Son's birthday the next day, 17, and we spent the morning fishing Ship Creek in the middle of Anchorage industrial district for kings. Hatchery run fish so no escapement required. Creek runs through middle of industrial district with a 14' tide. Fishing salmon roe behind a spin and glow weighted to the bottom here. No kings for us. Average king salmon caught there is 15 - 25 lb.

Did some hiking at Hatcher Pass  (between Palmer and Wasilla) and up to Rabbit Lake just outside of Anchorage. Visited our friend Pablo at bike rental shop in ANC and biked the Tony Knowles trail. Did some more king salmon fishing at Eklutna Tailrace outside of Anchorage and got one king that we grilled up.

Secured a pass to be able to drive halfway into Denali park the day before they resumed the bus tours. It was eerie being in there and nobody there. Most everything was closed and the hotel I stayed at (McKinley Creekside cabins) was around 50% full with most people being from Alaska. Didn't see much wildlife first day but it is hard to drive and spot at the same time. Spent 8 hours in the park and only saw 2 moose. Took the bus into Eilesen visitor center the next day on the first day they ran busses. Partly cloudy day so the mountain wasn't out but saw lots of brown bears, caribou, dahl sheep (far away), mountain goats (further away) and some moose. No wolves this year as they had chosen den locations far away from the road this year according to the ranger I talked with.

While there, they increased allowable limit for sockeye in Seward area to 12 each so son and I drove back down to Seward and added some more salmon to the freezer. Had to abandon our fishing spot to a black bear but we were getting tired and still had 3 hour drive back to Wasilla. That is the quickest 3 hour drive anywhere to me. Love the scenery and if I have to drive 3 hours somewhere that would be at or near the top of the list.

Spent last day going out to Matanuska Glacier and hiking around with MICA guides.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50073644968_7c1cc79a32_b.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50042538956_5796c2e3f4_b.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50044739998_b6a7e53870_b.jpg])

many more pics at album link

didn't exactly make up for our lost trip to London and Scotland but it was a great time and happy to be out of the heat for a while
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: g8trgr8t on July 16, 2020, 11:13:10 PM
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50060061483_859a59257d_b.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50077077521_6d53297712_b.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50067727046_4b3b261580_b.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50095960316_3f4b906153_b.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50095385628_8bac73908e_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: g8trgr8t on July 16, 2020, 11:27:34 PM
https://angelsrest.com/ 
our favorite place in Seward but the cabins on the bay were already booked

https://auroracharters.com/

https://www.sunnycove.com/grand-day-wildlife-cruise-glacier-kayak-tour

https://micaguides.com/

http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/hatcherpass/hatcherpass.htm

https://www.mckinleycabins.com/en-us
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: KSMH on July 16, 2020, 11:49:50 PM
Pics are amazing!! takes some time to view all.
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: g8trgr8t on July 17, 2020, 12:02:51 AM
Pics are amazing!! takes some time to view all.

thanks. Sad realization was that my Samsung s20 ultra was producing higher quality landscape pics than my Canon 6d. Canon had advantage of circular polarizer for sunny days but just not the resolution that the Samsung has now. Started out carrying a 7D with 100-400, 6D with 16 - 28 and phone for backup but quickly realized that phone was doing better than 6D. 7D gave me another 40% on the zoom so stuck with that for the wildlife pics. Some whale pics were pics extracted from high res video shot with phone. Albums aren't going anywhere, other albums at the flickr account include our trip to Barcelona, Norway, and Ireland last year if you would like to see more
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: SSLPhD on July 19, 2020, 03:01:32 AM
Gorgeous pix!
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: lovealaska on July 21, 2020, 05:44:21 PM
Beautiful pictures!  I'm glad you got to go this year.  We were going to pick up a new RV in Indiana for Great Alaskan Holidays and drive it to Anchorage for them in May, but with the Canadian borders being closed, that got cancelled. Spent a year planning and making reservations for the trip but OH WELL.  Maybe next year! 
When I saw that Denali was issuing passes to drive the park road, I was SO tempted to fly in just to do that, but decided against it in the end.  That must have been amazing, even without a lot of animal sightings. Slightly jealous!
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: g8trgr8t on July 21, 2020, 11:41:52 PM
Glad you enjoyed the pics. Pass holders only allowed to drive into Teklanika but it was surreal being out there with nobody else around in several places. Practically everybody I met was from Alaska. They would usually be working during the summers and wouldn't typically book the campgrounds as far in advance is required to get the spot sin the park so the "locals" were taking advantage of the absence of tourists.
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: thaber on July 22, 2020, 02:12:38 AM
Loved this. Thank you
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: Abey on July 23, 2020, 09:46:03 PM
How feasible would it be for an inexperienced hiker to do Hubbard Icefield ? Which other scenic hikes would you recommend?
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: Traveler718 on July 23, 2020, 10:17:50 PM
It depends on your definition of inexperienced. I did 2/3-3/4 of the trail with my (then) 13-year-old son, until it started raining and he couldn't go any further. You don't need any specific hiking skills or experience, as there's nothing technical about the hike. It's not terribly long, but it is steep and rocky in parts. If you're in good shape and have okay weather, you should be fine. And it's Harding Icefield, not Hubbard.
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: Abey on July 24, 2020, 09:47:58 AM
https://angelsrest.com/ 
our favorite place in Seward but the cabins on the bay were already booked

https://auroracharters.com/

https://www.sunnycove.com/grand-day-wildlife-cruise-glacier-kayak-tour

https://micaguides.com/

http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/hatcherpass/hatcherpass.htm

https://www.mckinleycabins.com/en-us
Thanks for all the links !! Which kayak tour did you do ? And which hike are the foxes and bears from ? Stunning!!
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: g8trgr8t on July 24, 2020, 11:56:29 PM
We did the full day wildlife and glacier kayak tour. Bears and fox were on the shuttle bus out to Eieleson  and back at Denali
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: g8trgr8t on July 27, 2020, 11:05:51 AM
How feasible would it be for an inexperienced hiker to do Hubbard Icefield ? Which other scenic hikes would you recommend?

Hubbard Icefield hike is not a technical hike but it is long enough with enough elevation gain that you would need to be in decent physical condition to do it or have enough time to go slow. We have done that hike several times and my youngest was 8 the first time. I have seen people 7 to 70 do the hike.

Just outside Seward, Lost Lake is a great hike. Little bit longer than Hubbard Ice field hike

At Hatcher Pass, Reed Lake (upper and Lower) is one of my favorites but it was too wet for us in middle of June to do without waterproof boots. Rabbit Lake just outside of Anchorage is one of our "tune-up" hikes that is a fairly easy hike with nice scenery
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: sam28 on July 29, 2020, 11:32:34 AM
nice TR and Amazing pictures .thanks for sharing .
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: HappyJulie on September 05, 2020, 03:04:39 PM
This is truly amazing! I always wanted to go there!!
Title: Re: Alaska 2020
Post by: mrteethcentury21 on October 15, 2020, 02:54:54 PM
Album with pics here

https://www.flickr.com/photos/85268984@N02/albums/72157714801392948

Middle of June, drove from Naples up to Tampa to use some Alaska miles and flew TPA-SEA-ANC with the family. TPA was pretty empty, SEA seemed to be at around 70% of normal which was surprising, ANC was empty. MIL lives in Wasilla so it is an annual trip to visit family. Spent 2 weeks covering some of our favorites. We all had our covid tests done prior to leaving so we didn't have to get tested upon arrival. Great deals on rental cars and hotel rooms this year. Wore masks and goggles, sprayed down all surfaces with Lysol and then wiped down. oddly enough Alaska filled first class and left middle seats open in coach. No food service other than snack pack, wine and beer only alcoholic drinks available

First night, arrived late stayed in Anchorage so everybody could shower and we could bag our clothes we wore on flights and spray down the luggage with disinfectant spray to help keep our hosts safe.

Stayed with hosts second night, caught up with family news.

Arrive late night first day, overnight in hotel in Anchorage to change clothes, shower, spray suitcases with Lysol, etc. Off to Wasilla, near Hatcher Pass, unpack wife, repack 2 kids and I for trip to Seward. 3.5 hours of beautiful driving. Saw 4 moose on the way, miles and miles of scenery. Objective, fillets for the freezer, memories. Best Western room normally $400 was $169. Big corner room with great views of Resurrection Bay. Bonus. Fishing licenses with king salmon stamp for a week for 3 of us was over $300. Bummer.

Seward allows snag fishing for hatchery bred salmon that return to the bay. June is the month for early sockeye (red) salmon. We visited the snagging grounds 4 times, found fish 1 time. We only had hip waders so we did not venture out to the mouth of the creek where salmon school up the most. 30 lb spinning tackle with fast retrieve reel. Cast out weighted treble hook and rip it through the water to snag salmon. Can snag kings too but they were not here yet. Rotten year for Kings (again). Nash Road is an interesting place with a diverse population that all share the love of fishing. Definitely a more local flavor this year. Met a lot of great people. Had a humpback feeding in the bay maybe 2 miles out from the snagging spot near the marina.

I spent fathers day halibut fishing with my son and daughter 2 (daughter 1 at home, working this year while graduating at end of summer). That was my present to myself. Limit is one fish any size, 1 fish under 32". We had 215 lbs between our three fish 78, 74, and 68 lbs, and they were fat. `108 lbs of halibut fillets. Chest freezer  now filled with halibut and sockeye (red) salmon. 3 fish boxes filled, 15 lbs of dry ice, checked as luggage on return flight to Ft Myers. Two of us flew AA ANC-DFW-RSW and two of us flew Delta ANC - ATL - RSW.

Wife came down and we went whale watching and glacier kayaking the next day. Humpbacks were around and bubble net feeding. That is cool. Got a recording of their call from a underwater microphone that I will upload to album when I can reduce it enough to upload. Orca's were not around. Sea lions were on their normal haulout. Glacier was very silent. No waterfront calving the time we were there.

Had hoped to hike up to Hubbard Ice Fields above Exit Glacier again. Was a great hike last year but we got rained out so son and I went out to Nash Road at the head of Resurrection Bay one last time and the sockeye were there and we got 11 of 12 allowed there. Picked up the frozen, processed halibut and headed to Russian River in Cooper's Landing to try flossing for the first time. Wife and daughter left early and went back to home base in Wasilla.

Hubbard Icefield hike pictures from last year in this album

https://www.flickr.com/photos/85268984@N02/albums/72157710575098011

Stopped in Cooper's Landing and dropped off salmon to get processed and picked up tackle we needed for flossing. 3/4 ounce weight, 5' 20 lb leader, Russian River fly. Pitch upstream, let drift across mouth of sockeye, rip it and hope to snag them in the mouth. I went 0 for 3 in 3 hours, lost 2 due to lack of net and my anxiety to land the fish. Wife bought us waders for fathers day but you can rent them there. Son went 1 for 2. I know many who go 3 for 3 in 2 - 3 hours but the run wasn't that thick while we were there.

Son's birthday the next day, 17, and we spent the morning fishing Ship Creek in the middle of Anchorage industrial district for kings. Hatchery run fish so no escapement required. Creek runs through middle of industrial district with a 14' tide. Fishing salmon roe behind a spin and glow weighted to the bottom here. No kings for us. Average king salmon caught there is 15 - 25 lb.

Did some hiking at Hatcher Pass  (between Palmer and Wasilla) and up to Rabbit Lake just outside of Anchorage. Visited our friend Pablo at bike rental shop in ANC and biked the Tony Knowles trail. Did some more king salmon fishing at Eklutna Tailrace outside of Anchorage and got one king that we grilled up.

Secured a pass to be able to drive halfway into Denali park the day before they resumed the bus tours. It was eerie being in there and nobody there. Most everything was closed and the hotel I stayed at (McKinley Creekside cabins) was around 50% full with most people being from Alaska. Didn't see much wildlife first day but it is hard to drive and spot at the same time. Spent 8 hours in the park and only saw 2 moose. Took the bus into Eilesen visitor center the next day on the first day they ran busses. Partly cloudy day so the mountain wasn't out but saw lots of brown bears, caribou, dahl sheep (far away), mountain goats (further away) and some moose. No wolves this year as they had chosen den locations far away from the road this year according to the ranger I talked with.

While there, they increased allowable limit for sockeye in Seward area to 12 each so son and I drove back down to Seward and added some more salmon to the freezer. Had to abandon our fishing spot to a black bear but we were getting tired and still had 3 hour drive back to Wasilla. That is the quickest 3 hour drive anywhere to me. Love the scenery and if I have to drive 3 hours somewhere that would be at or near the top of the list.

Spent last day going out to Matanuska Glacier and hiking around with MICA guides.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50073644968_7c1cc79a32_b.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50042538956_5796c2e3f4_b.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50044739998_b6a7e53870_b.jpg])

many more pics at album link

didn't exactly make up for our lost trip to London and Scotland but it was a great time and happy to be out of the heat for a while
Amazing trip! A dream