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Backpacker Magazine – May 2003

Alaska Made Easy

Just minutes from Anchorage lie dozens of world-class hiking and paddling trips. This guide gives you the best, plus gear and travel tips to smooth the way.

by: Steve Howe


Expedition Planner: An Insider's Guide to Anchorage

TRANSPORTATION

Bus and van lines Anchorage Public Transit, (907) 343-6543; www.peoplemover.org

o Parks Highway Express, (888) 600-6001; www.alaskashuttle.com (for Parks, Glenn, and Richardson Highways)

o Seward Bus Lines, (907) 563-0800 (Seward, Homer, Anchorage, and more).

Ferry Alaska Marine Highway, (800) 642-0066; www.state.ak.us/ferry

Train Alaska Railroad, (907) 265-2494; www.alaskarailroad.com

BEST DIGS

o Super 8, (907) 276-8884; www.super8.com; $130 to $150, summer rates. Convenient location, large rooms, continental breakfast, one block from car rentals, airport shuttle.

o Microtel Inn, (907) 245-5002; www.microtelinn.com; $140 to $150. Near the airport, large rooms, continental breakfast, airport shuttle.

o Arctic Bed and Breakfast, (907) 272-1853; www.arcticbb.com; $45 to $65. Near bus and train, refrigerators, laundry.

o Jewel Lake Bed and Breakfast, (907) 245-7321; www.jewellakebandb.com; $99 to $125, summer rates. Tranquil surroundings, close to the airport, knowledgeable hosts, kitchen, freezers, laundry.

BEST HANGOUTS

Day

o Kaladi Bros Coffee Co. & Internet Cafe: Between REI and a used bookstore in the Northern Lights Mall.

Night

o Bear Tooth Theatrepub & Cafe, (907) 276-4200. Cheap, healthy, food (try the halibut tacos) and microbrews, plus $3 feature films at 5:30 and 10 pm.

o Chilkoot Charlie's, (907) 272-1010. Cranks up late. Not for amateurs. Bring earplugs and cab fare.

LAST-MINUTE SUPPLIES

o REI, 1200 W. Northern Lights Blvd., (907) 272-4565

o Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking, 2633 Spenard Rd., (two blocks north of REI), (907) 972-1811; www.alaskamountaineering.com

BEST INFORMATION

General

o Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking (see Last-Minute Supplies, above).

o Alaska Public Lands Info Center, (907) 271-2737; www.nps.gov/aplic

o USGS Earth Science Info Center, (907) 786-7011; http://mapping.usgs.gov/

Chugach

o Chugach State Park, (907) 345-5014; chugach_state_park@dnr.state.ak.us o Eagle River Nature Center, (907) 694-2108; www.ernc.org

o BLM Alaska State Office, (907) 271-5076; www.ak.blm.gov o Chugach National Forest, Seward District, (907) 224-3374; www.fs.fed.us/r10/chugach/seward

Talkeetna

o Alpine Guides Alaska, (907) 373-3051; www.alaska.net/~alpineak/

o Nancy Lake Ranger Station, (907) 495-6273; www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/units/nancylk/nancylk.htm

o Parks Highway Express, (888) 600-6001; www.alaskashuttle.com

o Alaska Division of Mining, Land, and Water, (907) 345-5014

o Denali State Park, (907) 745-3975; www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/units/denali1.htm

Prince William Sound

o Alaska Sea Kayakers, (877) 472-2534; www.alaskaseakayakers.com

o Honey Charters, (907) 472-2493; www.honeycharters.com o Alaska Marine Highway, (800) 642-0066; www.state.ak.us/ferry

o Anadyr Adventures, (800) 865-2925; www.anadyradventures.com

Kenai

o Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, (907) 262-7021; http://kenai.fws.gov

o Kachemak Bay State Park, Homer Ranger Station, (907) 235-7024; www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/units/kba/kbay.htm

o Kenai Fjords National Park, (907) 224-3175; www.nps.gov/kefj/index.htm

o Chugach National Forest, Seward District, (907) 224-3374; www.fs.fed.us/r10/chugach/seward

CABIN RENTALS

Most public cabins sleep 4 to 10 people and are outfitted with stoves, bunks, first-aid kits, and fire extinguishers. Reserve 3 to 6 months in advance; $25 to $50 a night. The Mountaineering Club of Alaska also maintains several huts (join for a small fee).

o State land cabin rentals: Alaska Department of Natural Resources Public Information Center, (907) 269-8400; www.alaskastateparks.org

o Forest Service cabin reservations: Reserve USA, (877) 444-6777; www.reserveusa.com

o Mountaineering Club of Alaska; < a href="http;//www.mcak.org" target="new">www.mcak.org

GUIDEBOOKS

o 55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska, by Helen D. Nienhueser and John Wolfe Jr. ($17)

o How to Rent a Cabin in Southcentral Alaska, by Andromeda Romano-Lax ($16)




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READERS COMMENTS

Sean Lowther
Jul 14, 2011

A correction to the Bomber Traverse

After going over Backdoor Gap you are on the Penny Royal Glacier not the Mint Glacier.

webb
May 29, 2010

james.lingebach@do.treas.gov
May 13, 2008

Any directions to these trailheads?

Thanks!

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