We will be travelling to Alaska this September and are very excited.. I'm abit discouraged with the weather forecast of that months so I need your advice. In Ketchikan, should we do Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary or Wilderness Exploration and Crab Feed ? In Juneau: an adventure hike, photo safari by land and sea or helicopter glacier trek ? And finally, in Skagway : Glacier Point Wilderness Safari or Chilkat Rain Forest Nature Hike with lunch.. If you have ever been on any of these tours, I would most appreciate an account of your experience and your opinion.
Well, the weather can be unpredictable. Like they say in Alaska, If you see the mountain top, its going to rain. If you can't see it, it IS raining. Alaska can have as much as 12.5 feet a year! yes that's feet not inches. We had some rain on our tours, but just wear your rain gear and live with it.
In Ketchakan we did the rainforest walk and enjoyed that very much, Lots of wild life were out when it's cloudy or light rain. Also, went on the float plane to Misty Fjords. This was the highlight of our trip. Wonderful views, wildlife, whales, bears, eagles.
In Skagway we hiked to the Chillkoot trail headway, 2 1/2 miles That was the heavest rain.
In Juneau we took the whale watch trip with Capt Larry.
Coming back to the ship there was some light rain.
"If you want the rainbow, you have to have the rain"
You will love Alaska, we are looking forward to returning again.
On my first Alaska trip, in mid-Sept. of 2004, I went on the Tongass Rainforest Hike (3 hrs) in Sitka. We experienced some light rain during the hike but then it ended shortly and rest of the day was sunny and beautiful. On the 7 day cruise there were a couple of cloudy days and rainy periods but predominately sunshine and nice temps.
In Ketchikan I did a float plane excursion which I booked independently. I chose to fly with Michelle of Island Wings. It turned out to be a beautiful clear day with exceptional visibility. An experience I'll never forget.
Bottom line is don't fret about the weather cause you'll likely be too involved enjoying the Alaskan experience!
I would like a report of the wildlife seen on the Ketchikan Rainforest Sanctuary??? Historically it's a POOR choice for wildlife, extremely low percentage and now with zip lines added, will be even more less visable. Far superior are the fly in bear watches but depending WHEN in Sept, will be past peak.
By far my top recommendation out of Juneau is a glacier helicopter landing. Ideally this can be cobooked, saving an hour in shuttle time with Orca Enterprises and Coastal Helicopters. This would blow away any "photo tour" in my opinion.
Skagway- Glacier point consistantly gets raves, I haven't heard anything on the hiking?
You are wrong about the Ketchikan wild life. We saw lots of eagles, deer. It is close by the Tongass national park, we saw where there were bears on the trails (skat, claw marks on trees,etc) The guide was very good to point this out. the vegetation was one of the reasons I wanted to get close to the forest. Beautiful ferns, large leafs, wow can not describe all the things.
Some people can not afford the high cost of helocopter trips and can get just as much out of a hike.
Also, Orka was just o.k. but we did not see but one whale. Cpat Larry moved 4 times and talked to his friends on cb. they were close to the shore, and moved away from us.
Maybe the whales had full tummys and moved on, who knows.
In Ketchekan I liked the float plane with Sea Wind the best. He landed on a lake and tied up on a large rock, we were able to get out and walk around.
This was the best as we saw lots of whales, bears, birds, etc. A mother and 2 cubs in Misty Fjords. When there were wild life found he circled above, but did not disturb them by flying low. I got many great photos, I Had to use a long range lens though.
If any one wants more info, e-mail me direct.
Sorry but eagles are everywhere in Alaska and I don't think many people would consider a look at a deer an Alaskan priority. This tour may be great for the "hike" but again, plenty of hiking all over Alaska. I still say it is a poor choice for wildlife if that is the reason for taking the tour. Actually, most of the Inside Passage is the Tongass, you are in it in Juneau.
My vote is with Karen, We did the helicopter with Coastal. We flew up over Mendenhall Glacier to a summer dog camp, went on a dogsled ride, on return we flew over the Juneau Icefields. This was the highlight of our trip! The experience was awesome! To see the dogs, to see how much the young adults love what they are doing was inspiring! To be surrounded by snow covered mountians! We also did Misty Fjords with Michelle, and whale watching with Captain Larry, but the helecopter beat all that! kp.