20 Alaska Adventures in 4 Weeks

This summer was a pretty good one!  There were a few places I didn’t get to that were on my list but I did get out quite a bit and got to see some new places.  I always love when people come visit us because I get to be a tourist undercover as an Alaskan. 🙂 lol

It’s been three years since we moved to Alaska from Missouri and while we saw my family for a brief time in October it was awesome that 3 of my younger siblings got to come up and stay with us for just under 4 weeks.

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite go according to plan.  Within the first week of them being here my baby girl got sick with a terrible stomach bug.  Well as you can guess, one by one fell ill to that nasty virus.  Nothing says family more than sharing all your yucky germs with each other!  It was terrible.  The sickness  lasted for about 2-3 days per person.  I’ll spare you all the gross details. 😉

That ate up a good week and a half to two weeks that most of us weren’t feeling well.  I was pretty stressed out since this was most likely a one time deal of them being up here.  I was so frustrated that we were missing out on time that we could be out exploring.  To make matters worse, don’t ya know,  the weather was perfect while we were all sick inside.  Of course.  ugh.

Here is the good news!  While going through my photos of this summer, I realized that we managed to fit in 20 places within that short amount of time!  Not too shabby when you look at it that way!  So if you ever come to Anchorage, here is a list of places that are really close by so you can make sure to jam pack your visit!  Hopefully the weather will be good for you!

 

 

1. Anchorage Overlook
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This is probably our favorite spot to go for a quick escape out of the city for some mountain views since it’s super close.  It’s at the top of the Flattop / Glen Alps Trailhead Parking Lot.  There is a little loop to walk around and on a clear day you can see down over all of Anchorage as well as the Turnagain Arm.  Then behind you can see the mountains like in these photos!
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To find how to get there click here.
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2. Power Line Pass
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The Power Line Pass trail is a very wide and flat trail.  I’ve not made it the whole way down but it is a good one to take kids on and is stroller friendly.  There are lots of trails that go off of it but it’s fun to go off trail down in the middle to explore by the little stream.  Just be bear aware!
You get to this trail from the same parking lot as the Anchorage Overlook from above.  To find out more about this trail click here.
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3. Flattop Mountain
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you can climb the very popular Flattop Mountain!  When we went it was cloudy so we didn’t get to see much of the mountains around us but it was still way cool to see how huge and indeed flat, Flattop mountain is!  Click here to see info about this hike.
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4. Beluga Point
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Beluga Point is also one of our favorite close by spots to drive to for a quick escape out of the city. (I need those a lot. lol)  It’s a very popular spot along the Seward Highway but it’s well worth it with it’s beautiful views.  If it’s not too cold or windy (which it is often) you should definitely venture out onto the big rocks and go explore a bit!
Just be careful and don’t go out on the mudflats if the tide is out!
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5. Alaska Wild Berry Products
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Forgive me for mentioning a more tourist trap / gift shop location, but I truly love this shop!  It’s rustic decor and not to mention fantastic candies are right up my alley.
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What makes this place even more neat is right beside it, it has a bunch of old looking buildings and one of then is actually a Church.  It’s just a really neat area to explore and some neat backdrops for photos!
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6. Point Woronzof
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Point Woronzof is the place you want to go if you love to watch airplanes take off and land!  It’s also a neat beach spot depending on the tides.  Whether it’s high tide or low tide, this is always an awesome spot to visit.  Just keep in mind it can be extremely windy and cold here!
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7.  Merrill Field / Lake Hood
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This one is a little special for us as my husband is a Pilot so we got to go in and watch my husband take my siblings on a little flight,  but you can definitely drive around Merrill field and Lake Hood to check out all of the cool airplanes and floatplanes!
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8.  Campbell Creek Estuary
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This is a fun little trail and is kid friendly.  On our visit out in the field were a couple of cranes that were talking to each other so it was really neat to watch them and listen to the echos they made out there in the beautiful peace and quiet.  Something I love about Alaska is all of the wildflowers and there were plenty here.  Don’t worry, Arrow left some for everyone else to enjoy too.  🙂
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9. Thunder Bird Falls
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Venturing North of Anchorage is Thunderbird Falls.
It is a fairly kid friendly trail (has some big hills) that is about a mile hike to the platform where you view the waterfall.  If you are willing to go a bit further and down a little more difficult terrain, it’s well worth to go to the bottom where you can get close to it.  Arrow was ecstatic to be by the waterfall!  She thought it was SO COOL, and it was! 🙂
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10. Eklutna Lake
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Not too far from Thunderbird Falls is Eklutna Lake.  It has an awesome wide trail that runs all along side it that is great for biking and is stroller friendly.  It was rainy when we went out there and was right after we had hiked to Thunderbird Falls so we didn’t stay for long but I certainly wasn’t going to be that close and not take my family to see it!
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11. Winner Creek Trail
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Making our way down South of Anchorage now, we went to Winner Creek.
I have to be honest, this one scared me a bit.  Taking my babies over this gorge in a rickety hand tram made me very nervous while we were waiting!  (Very popular trail)  Ok ok, so it wasn’t rickety, and if I was by myself I would have no problem getting on that thing.  I was just unsure how I was going to fit all of us in there.  I tried to wear Piper at first but the pack was too big, there was no way that was going to happen.  So I took her off and set her on the floor of the cage and she barely fit, but fit she did.  So that made me glad.  lol  Just getting on and off was a bit of a Tetris game. (while everyone was waiting and watching me. hahaha)  Then I told Arrow to stand real still and hold on and off we went!  It was really cool.  Wish I could have gotten a video and some pictures but with all those people waiting that just wasn’t going to happen.  I bet this would be super cool in the fall!
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This bridge also made me nervous but everything was ok.  Just way too big of spaces for my liking!
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Besides being nervous a few times (and yet we climbed down to the waterfall which I probably shouldn’t have done with Piper on my back.  haha) this was a beautiful trail!  Kid friendly for the most part as well.  Arrow did amazing.  There are lots of little spots to go to the creek and we had to stop at EVERY SINGLE ONE so she could throw a rock in.  I didn’t mind though, it was super cute.  🙂
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12. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
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I have to be honest, I really only come to the Conservation Center for the views.  If you are out there on a clear day, it’s magnificent.  It probably didn’t help that when we went it was the busiest it’s ever been while I was there and it wasn’t fun at all.  But as far as animals go, I like it better than the Anchorage zoo.
Just take my advice and don’t go on the weekend, unless you don’t mind going in circles to find a parking spot trying to avoid running over people.  🙂
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13. Byron Glacier
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Byron Glacier was a super easy short trail that takes you through grassy / woody areas at first but when you get through to the end it opens up to a neat stream of snow melt and a huge pile of snow.  Pretty cool to see in the middle of summer.  Just be careful walking though it because you could fall and sink in since it’s melting.  There really isn’t much of a glacier to see except the one up high on the mountains but perhaps if you explored more climbing over the rocks you could find something neat.  We climbed up on the rocks a little ways but it was pretty hard and a little too unstable for me so we came back down.  My Dog loved it though.  Definitely will go back next year with him and my girls since they didn’t get to come on this trip.  (They were sick)
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14. Portage Lake
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Since it didn’t take very long to hike the Byron Glacier Trail, we hopped on over to Portage Lake on the way back to take a look.   This place does not disappoint!  Bring your jacket though!  That wind blowing off of the Portage Glacier is frigid!  We didn’t stay there very long and went on the other side of the Visitor Center where there was less wind.  This is what we saw.
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The color of the glacier water is my favorite.  It never gets old.
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15. Trail of Blue Ice
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On the way back from Portage Lake we also stopped along the Trail of Blue Ice Pull Out.  Alaska never seems to disappoint no matter where you go.  If you see a pull out and you are curious but don’t know if you should stop or not, STOP!  You almost always won’t regret it.
To see where we stopped click here.
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16. Bird Point

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Another neat place to stop along he Seward Highway is Bird Point.  Not to be confused with Beluga Point even though Bird Point has Belugas and Beluga Point doesn’t.  Confused yet?
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Anyway, this is an awesome place to come watch the Bore Tide!  We actually got to see it driving back home to Anchorage and it was a really good one so I was extremely happy my siblings got to see it!  (Well not my brother, but he was coming back home with my husband from hunting because they got a bear.  So I don’t think he cared. 😉 )
So keep this spot in mind and check out the Bore Tide times here.
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17. Trail River Campground
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Trail River is one of our favorite Campgrounds with amazing views!  We have done most of our camping here actually.  Our girls love this little beach and it’s awesome when we get a spot right on Kenai Lake!
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It can be really windy and chilly here but it can also be very sunny and hot.  So we especially love it here when we catch it on a hot day!
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18. Seward
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Seward is a cute little town not too far down the road from Trail River.  We love exploring the beach and walking along the sidewalk in town.  Again, it can be very cold and windy here so just be prepared for anything!
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19. Alaska Sea Life Center
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The Sea Life Center is a neat little aquarium in Seward.  They also rescue animals.  While we were there we got to see a baby Walrus and Arrow just fell in love.  We heard about her baby Walrus for a very very long time after that.  🙂
While expensive, if you plan to come here it is a neat place to visit once to see all the neat cold water sea creatures.  They truly fascinate me how different and weird looking they are!
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17. Whittier
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We are very blessed to have been able to get our own boat while we are up here so we went on an awesome adventure and played on our own private beach!  But for those of you who are visiting up here the glacier cruises are really neat as well as the fishing charters!  You should definitely try one if you can!
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If you choose not to go on a cruise it’s fun just to come to Whittier to experience driving through the Whittier tunnel that goes through the mountain and just check out the boat harbor.  I love walking around boat harbors.  At the end of the day you can watch as the fishing charters come in with everyone’s fish and hang them up for pictures then they clean them right on the dock.  Pretty cool!
There are also other spots to hike in Whittier but I haven’t gotten to them yet….
Until next year!!!
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P.S.  Be ready to pay $5 for parking at any of the hiking parking lots.  They have envelopes for you to put cash in and some have kiosks where you can pay with a card.  If you plan to do a lot of hiking or checking out a lot of places a parking pass might be a good idea to get.  You can find where to get one here and you can look at the chart for fees here.

 

 

 

4 Comments

    1. Thank you so much! Whittier is very small but still neat in my opinion! And I love that photo of her footprints in the wet sand! Thank you! I really hope you get to come visit someday!

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