Bike to Seward
JUNE IN ALASKA! YIPPEEEE!
We are all stoked to be able to head to Seward for our Family Vacation once again! After looking at Juneau originally, we decided that flying into Anchorage and riding to Seward would be more of an Alaskan adventure than the meager riding available in Juneau (It's surrounded by water and mountains). We were also having trouble finding adequate housing for everyone and needless to say would have been great. But, by in large, Seward is one of those places often overlooked by the tourist magizines. What is lacks in corporate tourist amenities is exactly why it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. Seward offers a great launching point for endless activities and as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, there is literally breathtaking scenery right in town. So, without further suspense, we welcome everyone to join us for a real Alaskan Adventure. Please use this guide as a rough outline to daily activities on our journey to AK.
Before we get started - The gear list below is what Julian & Stephanie recommend taking seriously. The weather in Alaska is no joke and can change in a heartbeat while in the mountains. Being especially close to the Gulf of Alaska has it's advantages (stunning mountains, oceans & wildlife) as well as it's disadvantages (cooler, wetter and less services along the way). So if you don't have good hiking shoes, get them now, spend the next 4 months breaking them in. Good rain jackets keep water from coming in as well as let heat escape. They will also generally have taped seams and a waterproof zipper. Hiking pants generally have some water repelling attributes as well as being able to dry quickly. Gloves, hats and other winter wear is useful especially as we get closer to the glaciers. Temperatures will drop and the winds will get stronger. It's called a Katabatic Wind and it's a naturally occurring refrigerating system for the glacier! This is not meant to scare you. (That talk will be right before we step out onto a glacier itself!)
MANDATORY GEAR LIST - Expect and Plan for Winter Conditions!!!!
- Good, Broken-in Hiking Shoes (Waterproof if Possible)
- Wool socks of varying thicknesses
- Solid Rain Jacket
- Rain Pants
- Warm Winter Gloves (not leather & not just liners)
- Winter Hat
- Warm Puffy Jacket
- Hiking Pants
- Wool or Poly Long Johns
June in AK can be like March in Wisconsin. It could be 70's and sunny or 40's and wet. Come Prepared!
"There is no such things as bad weather ---> only bad clothing!!!" Avoid Cotton!
June 23 - Day One
Anchorage - Girdwood - 55 Miles
Mostly Bike Path Along Turnagain Arm
ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE WAY
Bird Point - Views of the largest tidal flux in the U.S.
Keep your eyes out for Belugas & Bald Eagles
Aleyska Tram - Get out & walk around with stunning views of the bay & local glaciated peaks.
More Hiking Trails of Girdwood - Map ---> LINK
First Days are about working the kinks out and figuring out your systems. Relax and enjoy the views of Turnagain Arm as you pedal away from the "Busy" city of Anchorage.
June 24 - Day Two
Girdwood to Summit Lake Lodge - 45 Miles
Wide Shoulder + 2500 ft of climbing
WANT EXTRA RIDING?
Head to Hope for lunch! Adds an extra 30 miles and +1000ft of climbing
Swim at summit lake lodge!
June 25 - Day Three
Summit Lake to Seward - 45 Miles
Ride some of the best scenery in the world!
Day Three Options
WANT EXTRA RIDING?
Take the right turn down Exit Glacier Road - Adds +18 miles of low traffic roads along the Resurrection River. Heads to National Park Visitor Center. Highly Recommended!
Spot a moose in Paradise Pond - Near Moose Pass
June 26 - Day Four - Free Day
TO RELAX OR NOT?
Seward is located right on the Gulf of Alaska, where dozens of glaciers pour over into the ocean. This habit is ripe for fantastic spectating of glaciers, whales and much more! The point is that you should do something to see the magnitude of this place.
Small AirPlane - Weather Permit ---> Adds+$150 pp
Take a ride with Julian's friend and expert pilot Andy Schafer on a 1.5 hour tour of the Harding Icefield and it's many tidewater glaciers.
Andy Shafer - LINK
Kenai Fjords Tour Boat ----> Adds $150 pp
Take a break and kick your feet up on the deck of a Kenai Fjords Glacier Explorer. This half/full day trip will blow away your senses. Expect an effort to find whales, sea lions and millions of birds as well as a stop in front of a calving glacier.
KFNP Tour Boat -----> LINK
Kayak - Tide Water Glaciers ---> Adds $400 pp
Join Stephanie's old guide buddy's on a trip of a lifetime awaits as you take a 3-4 hour water taxi ride drop your off in proximity to one of the largest tidewater glaciers in the area. Expect a smaller boat, calm water kayaking, navigating through ice, a guided interpretation of the area, and lunch in front of a calving glacier while in your kayak.
Kayak Adventures ----> LINK
Shorter and cheaper day trips are available out into Resurrection Bay - Not as spectacular - No glaciers. - $100pp
June 27 - Day Five
EXIT GLACIER - Ice Hiking on and around Exit Glacier -
Get your Cramp-On!
Hike onto the Glacier and explore the beauty and magnitude of one of Alaska's most accessible glacier hikes.
This is Julian's previous office so today we get to relive the journey of his day-to-day!
- Hike +4-5 Miles round trip - Less Difficult
- Ice Climbing +6 Miles round trip - More difficult
Gear Provided - Trekking poles, helmets, backpacks, 2L water, and crampons. (ice axes and boots if ice climbing)
Option B - Harding Ice Field Hike - 4.4 miles One Way -
Try to make it to the top while you hike alongside Exit Glacier. Stunning views of the glacier and you get to see where all of the ice comes from.
Option C - Hike to the toe of Exit Glacier - 1 mile One Way.
A nice option to meander to the glacier's edge. no significant elevation gain.
June 28- Day Six
FAT BIKE AK
Fat bike ride up Johnson's Pass
Moderate to Challenging +10 miles
Join Julian's buddy Carl and his Fat Bike Tour Company as we bike up to Johnson Lake, have lunch, then enjoy the rolling decent back to the van.
Moderate to Challenging
Fat Bike low tide around Seward.
June 29 - Day Seven
Hiking around town - or up a mountain
June 30th - Day Eight
Head back to Anchorage