Our trip to South Alaska in 2013

These are my favorite photos from our trip to Alaska in the summer of 2013. We spent a week and a half exploring the Last Frontier, the first time either of us had been to the 49th state. We had a special emphasis on looking at glaciers, wildlife and hiking. It was a great trip. Other than some heavy clouds on top of Crow's Pass, and a good deal of clouds and rain while in Valdez, we had some pretty good weather and were able to see some spectactular vistas. We brought some mosquito nets, which we wore on some hikes, so the mosquitos did not turn out to be a huge problem for us. We signed up for a few guided hikes, and they all turned out well (except for the fact we could not do the ice climbing on the Worthington Glacier due to the fact there was too much recent snow on top of the ice).

Alaska is a huge state, so we only saw a portion of it. We could easily return for two or three more trips and see entirely new wonders. I hope we can return soon.

Sunday June16

Monday June17

Tuesday June18

Wednesday June19

Thursday June20

Friday June21

Fly 3.5 hours to Anchorage, arrive 10 PM

Stay in Anchorage at America's Best Value Inn

Saturday June 22

Drive 60 miles (1.5 hrs) from Anchorage to Portage Glacier

Boat ride to see Portage Glacier

Hike 1.6 miles roundtrip to Byron Glacier

Drive 225 miles from Anchorage to Homer (5 hrs plus photo stops)

Stay in Homer at Crane's Rest Bed and Breakfast

Sunday June 23

Water taxi across Kachemak bay to Kachemak State Park (LP 295)

Hike Sadie Knob

Skyline Drive above Homer

Stay in Homer at Crane's Rest Bed and Breakfast

Monday June 24

Water taxi across Kachemak bay to Kachemak State Park (LP 295)

Hike Grewingk Glacier Trail

Stay in Homer at Crane's Rest Bed and Breakfast

Tuesday June 25

Drive 170 miles from Homer to Seward on scenic Seward Highway (4 hours plus photo stops)

Kenai Fjords National Park

2.5 mile round trip hike to Exit Glacier

Stay in Seward at Hotel Seward

Wednesday June 26

All day boat cruise with Major Marine to Holgate and Aialik Glaciers

Visit safe/bank at Brown and Hawkins Store

Stay in Seward at Hotel Seward

Thursday June 27

Kenai Fjords National Park

Hike 8.2 miles roundtrip to Harding Ice Field

Alaska Sea Life Center

Stay in Seward at Hotel Seward

Friday June 28

Drive 167 miles from Seward to Palmer (3.5 hrs)

Hike 8 miles round trip on Beyond Crows Pass to Raven Glacier

Stay in Palmer at Rivercrest Manor

Saturday June 29

Drive 260 miles on scenic Glennallen Highway from Palmer to Valdez (5.5 hrs plus photo stops)

Matanuska Glacier Ice Fall Trek (3 hours)

Bridal Veil Falls and Horsetail Falls in Keystone Canyon

Stay in Valdez at Wild Roses by the Sea Bed and Breakfast (pay w/ check or cash)

Sunday June 30

10 hr kayak trip to Columbia Glacier

Stay in Valdez at Wild Roses by the Sea Bed and Breakfast (pay w/ check or cash)

Monday July 1

Hike 6.5 miles roundtrip Shoup Bay trail to Gold Creek

Valdez Museum

Stay in Valdez at Wild Roses by the Sea Bed and Breakfast (pay w/ check or cash)

Tuesday July 2

Visit townsite of Old Valdez

Thompson Pass and Worthington Glacier

Liberty Falls

Drive 30 miles to Chitina and Copper River

Drive 87 miles (1.5 hrs) to Copper Moose Bed and Breakfast

Wednesday July 3

Drive 200 miles from Copper Center to Anchorage (5 hrs)

Hike Thunderbird Falls 1.0 mile one way

Hike Flattop Mountain 1.8 miles one way

Earthquake Park

Thursday July 4

Fly 3.5 hours from Anchorage to Seattle, arriving at 5 A.M.

Friday July 5

Saturday July 6

I tried to keep a detailed record about how much this trip cost us. Here are the totals.


US dollars


Round trip tickets to Anchorage$606.00Alaska Airline to Anchorage, United for return
Shuttle Express$55Shuttle to airport with AAA discount, includes $8 tip
Checked bag fee$20Check green duffle bag ~40 lbs
Petro Express$40Cash to fill up with gas in Homer
Seward Sav-On Parking$5All day parking
Tesoro Gas$49Fill up the tank in Palmer
Tesoro Gas$39.01Fill up the tank in Valdez
Chevron Gas$45.14Fill up the tank in Anchorage
Thunderbird Falls Access Fee$5Day use charge for Chugach State Park
Flattop Mountain Access Fee$5Day use charge for Chugach State Park
Compact car rental$930.76$78 per day. A total of 1462 miles driven.
Shuttle Express$45Shuttle from airport with AAA discount, includes $8 tip

Transport Total


America's Best Value Inn$152One night in Anchorage, with AAA discount
Crane's Rest B & B$422.30$137 per night for 3 nights in Homer, plus tax
Hotel Seward$362.97$109 a night for 3 nights in Seward plus tax
Rivercrest Manor$115One night in Palmer
Wild Roses by the Sea B & B$508.803 nights in Valdez
Copper Moose B & B$135One night in Copper Center

Lodging Total


Portage Glacier Boat ride$58.00Two tickets for hour long boat cruise to the glacier
Water Taxi across Kachemak Bay$160.65$75 each, plus tax
Water Taxi tip$20.00Cash tip for showing us sea otters on return trip
Water Taxi across Kachemak Bay$160.65$75 each, plus tax
Water Taxi tip$20.00Cash tip for taking us by Gull Rock on return trip
Kenjai Fjords cruise$409.32Major Marine Tours cruise to glaciers, plus salmon/prime rib dinner
Blackberry Tshirt$21.35Tshirt of a black cat, matches Willis shirt
Alaska Sea Life Admission$37.44Seward aquarium, includes sea birds display
Mica Guides$138.003 hour Ice Trek adventure on Matanuska Glacier
Mica Guide tip$20.00Cash tip to Katie, our guide on the Matanuska
Matanusak Glacier Access Fee$40.00Additional glacier access fee
Sea Kayak to Columbia Glacier$498.00All day boat trip to glacier
Pangae guide tip$20.00Cash tip to Zach, our guide on kayak to Columbia
Valdez Museum Admission$14.00
Alaska Tshirt$18.00Souvenir

Entertainment Total


Finn's Pizza$18Dinner first night in Homer
Fat Olive's Pizza$35Dinner second night in Homer - 18" pizza + pint of ale, includes tip
Fat Olive's Pizza$35Dinner third night in Homer - 18" pizza + pint of ale, includes tip
Terry's Fish & Chips$58Dinner first night in Seward - 4 piece Halibut & chips + pint of ale, includes tip
Muffins & bananas$11.16Breakfast foods from Safeway for 3 mornings in Seward
1 pint Ben & Jerry's$4.27Pint of mint choco cip from Safeway
Eureka Pizza$23.00Dinner third night in Seward
Dairy Queen$17Dinner & desert in Palmer
Mike's Palace$37.00Pizza dinner first night in Valdez. Includes tip and 1 pint Beavertail blonde
Totem Inn Restaurant$40.00Alaskan chicken sandwich + halibut sandwich + tip
Old Town Burgers$39.00Dinner third night in Valdez - Salmon & chips, Halibut & chips
Hotel Chitina Restaurant$40.001 yak burger and 1 cheeseburger + tip
Dairy Queen$5Chocolate Xtreme Blizzard in Palmer
Burger King$14.30Dinner & desert in Anchorage

Food Total


Grand Total


We always try to find the Moon and Lonely Planet guide books for the places we visit.

We rented a car and use the AAA maps for getting around, but there aren't too many roads to choose from - getting lost would be hard. The map of Anchorage was handy though.

The Alaska websites give some excellent and detailed maps, but nonetheless I ordered these hiking maps. They aren't really necessary if you use the web maps. Follow the links in our itinerary.

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All the graphic images are my own, but the textured background is taken from a site, EOS development, that offers non-profit users free use of their graphics. Click below to visit their site.

Eos Development

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Portage Glacier / Sterling Hwy

Homer Photos

Grewingk Glacier Photos

Seward and Exit Glacier Photos

Kenai Fjords Photos

Harding Ice Field Photos

Crow Pass Photos

Drive to Valdez Photos

Columbia Kayak Photos

Valdez Photos

Richardson Hwy Photos

Anchorage Photos