Last May my husband and I had a month to remember in Alaska. We ferry hopped without a car from Bellingham, Washington and made three day stops in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Juneau and then Skagway. Then we returned to Juneau to take the ferry to Whittier. From there we took the train all the way to Fairbanks stopping in Anchorage, Talkeetna and Denali.
We made our ferry and train arrangements with All Alaska Tours and they also suggested several day tours along the way, including the train tour from Skagway up to White Pass, a jet boat ride in Talkeetna, the National Parks tour in Denali and in Fairbanks the Chena River riverboat tour and the gold mine. We flew back to Anchorage and took the train to Seward where we took the KenaiFjordsNational Park boat tour. Now we had to get back to the East Coast of the lower 48 so we took a cruise back to Vancouver, BC and flew from there to the East Coast. We made all our arrangements for lodging ourselves staying in hostels except for staying in the Grand Denali Lodge in Denali so we would be ready for the park tour at 6:30 AM.
Highlights: What can I say? Alaska is a gem and we found May a great time to be there. The Inland Passage was spectacular with its wispy clouds and gorgeous snow covered mountains. The little towns tucked in crevices of the mountains such as Wrangell and Petersburg had their own traditional flavors. In Juneau our hosts met us at the ferry and we visited the Mendenhall Glacier on our way into town. They also took us up in the mountain and we caught glimpses of black bears on the hill side. The salmon fish hatchery was very interesting and the town itself with museums to see and shops to look in were interesting. Petersburg with its Norwegian flavor and great fishing tradition and hikes on the Muskeg was interesting.
Seeing Mt. McKinley (Denali) on a clear day from the train coming into Talkeetna was certainly a highlight and seeing bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep in abundance and a wolf eating his breakfast of a hare right near the bus and the fantastic scenery on a wispy morning were certainly highlights. The Kenai boat trip with whales, sea otters, glaciers and porpoises also. I can't say enough about our trip.