Alaska-August 2016

Hyder was a great introduction to Alaska. From Hyder we drove the Alaska Hwy to Whitehorse, after refueling and restocking the fridge we continued on to Skagway. The drive from Whitehorse to Skagway was beautiful. As soon as we crossed the border the landscape changed, much more rugged, it reminded us of Newfoundland and Scotland. The weather was not great so we decided to skip the boat trip to Juneau but we wanted to take the ferry to Haines unfortunately the earliest ferry was not for four days. Thankfully Joe found a great place to camp for free for several days just outside of Skagway, Dyea Flats. The campground was really nice with great views, we saw several Bald Eagles but sadly no bears. We spent most of our time in the campground but we did drive into town to visit the Jewel Gardens & glass blowing studio. The garden was lovely and we really enjoyed the glass blowing demonstrations. The rain continued for our two days in Haines. We were hoping we would see bears in Haines but sadly it wasn’t the right time of year so we continued on to Tok.
The drive from Haines Junction to Tok especially through the Yukon, along the Kluane National Park was stunning. From Tok we drove to Valdez yet another stunning drive! We really enjoyed our three days in Valdez, even though it rained most of the time we walked the docks, visited the salmon hatchery and did a boat trip into Prince William Sound. We chose to go with Stan Stephens and did the Meares Glacier Cruise and we were really impressed. The captain was very knowledgeable and friendly. We saw plenty of wildlife; sea lions, sea otters, humpbacks, dall’s porpoise and lots of birds. The customer service was fantastic as was the boat, we would highly recommend this trip.
In Smithers BC we finally got to hike up to a glacier (Kathlyn) and touch it. Just outside of Valdez is Worthington Glacier and it was an easy half hour hike to the ice rather than the grueling two hour hike to Kathlyn. We were beginning to think it required a lot of effort or a lot of money to get to the glaciers of North America, luckily Salmon and Worthington are within easy reach.

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