The 'Mountain Biking' excursion from Skagway was not so hot. Techincally, we were riding Mountain Bikes but the riding terrain was anything but mountainous although there were mountains all around. I was just looking for a more challenging ride, disappointed to say the least...
Most of the Horse Riding activities that are available from the excursion lists are meant for those of all ages, so if you are dreaming of galloping across the wilds and rivers, forget it unless the advertisement explicitly states that the ride is for advanced/expert riders. Not that I am an expert rider by any means, I think I would have gotten more action from the ride if I were on a merry-go-round.
If you want souvenirs of Alaska, you can get them anywhere. But be warned, almost all of the tourist places sell the exact same thing. So buy what you want, and be done with it. We spent the entire week watching for something 'better', but it was all the same.
Sled Dogs! You do not have to pay money just to SEE the sled dogs from a commercial enterprise. Denali National park offers a free tour and exhibition of the sled dogs. Of course, if you want a sled dog ride, that's another story.
Bristol Bay doesn't have a whole lot of Tourist Traps for right now. Stuff is pricey wherever you go, but that's the way it is out here. Just shop around if you want to fly out to Katmai or elsewhere, prices can vary a bit.
Backpacking in Denali National Park - All of Alaska is beautiful, there is no need to hike here just because it is in the park. All backcountry users must stay in predetermined quadrants while they are in the backcountry because there are so many visitors.
Skagway seemed to be a genuine place. Though loaded with souvenir shops, many had quality Native American art, jewelry and of course, salmon. As with any place, know your prices and then decide what you're comfortable spending.
We took a raft trip by the Mendenhall Glacier, and I do mean 'BY'. We were under the impression that the rafting would be more of sightseeing up close and personel of the glacier. We got all suited up, got in the raft, and then we kept going past the glacier down stream. And did more of a sightseeing of the neighborhood. Don't get me wrong it was a nice trip but it was long and not much at all to do with seeing the glacier.
Any souviner shop within walking distance of a cruise ship dock. Grossly overpriced, the exception is if your traveling late in the season when venders will put stock on sale to clear merchandise. I bought some gold at very good prices this way.
there are no tourists traps in alaska. although, alaskaland near fairbanks is free and is fun for a look into old alaska. it's fun for all ages. you have to get a t-shirt at Dick's Halfway Inn. or at least get your photo taken in front of the sign there. it's located at the halfway point between anchorage and fairbanks. get it?
Anchorage has turned into a city fueled almost entirely by tourism revenue. This means there is a lot of competition for your dollars, so most people are honest. Just shop around a bit, but again, most prices are the same.
Not much to see but the dogs are great.
Unique Suggestions: Take a good photo of the dogs.
Fun Alternatives: It is intersting & fun, not much to see.
You don't have to take an expensive tour to see the glaciers...in Juneu the local Blue bus will take you from down town for a dollar to a glacier park ask at the pier.
The Red Dog saloon in Juneau is a bit of a trap, but what the hell, you're gonna have a beer somewhere. Great wildlife photography.
The Salmon Bake in Denali Nat'l Park. I just ate there for the first time and it was a ripoff. The food was not good at all. The Fairbanks Salmon Bake is a million times better.
Excellent amenities, with an excellent outlook. The higher the room the better the view, always ask...more
We stayed twice in the past month for a couple of days each trip and found the front desk staff...more
We stayed at Sophie Station as part of our package tour and one night before the tour. It was clean...more