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Old 02-28-2013, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,914 posts, read 8,946,118 times
Reputation: 2464

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A summer camping trip to Alaska. I'm so envious. That has been a lifelong dream of mine.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:58 PM
 
1,686 posts, read 3,094,030 times
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If you do end up going to Denali regardless if you rent a car and drive or take the train you should consider the Camper Bus back to the Wonder Lake Campground. Sounds like it may be something you’d enjoy.

http://www.reservedenali.com/play/shuttle-buses/camper-bus.aspx

Another Denali option is to pick up a Tek Pass and drive to Teklanika Campground that is at mile 29. You can't drive any further into the park but you can take the shuttle buss from there for the day. According to the park service the majority of the wildlife sightings are past mile 30.

Last edited by Chilkoot; 02-28-2013 at 09:30 PM..
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:10 AM
 
119 posts, read 234,444 times
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Thank you everyone for the advice and the links to various parks, transportation, etc.! I definitely feel like we have a good idea as to where to start now. The rental car is seeming more and more like a good idea. Other than checking hotwire.com or Enterprise, is there a better/less expensive local place to rent a car? Right now, Hotwire is pricing rentals from Anchorage around $30-$50/day for a car and around $80/day for an SUV. Since it will be summer, is there a need for an SUV in regards to safety?
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:31 AM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,721,583 times
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I'll give you method for getting the best price you can on a rental.

When I do my vehicle rentals, I check every site I can, even the rental car companies direct sites. I usually lock in a rate (for free) and then continually check prices. At times, you end up ditching the first rental quote for a much better quotes as time goes on. It just depends on how 'booked' they get. Best to lock in something though, because it doesn't always work out that way.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Inland Empire, WA
2,133 posts, read 1,699,461 times
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If you mean by "safety" regarding an SUV as per road conditions, it makes no difference whether you drive an SUV or "car". Rent what you feel most comfortable driving and feel will best accomodate you. One thing not mentioned yet about driving is that at any time, and any place, there is a possibility that a moose will step out onto the road without warning, hitting a moose is a BAD experience best avoided. Do not fear driving, just be aware that moose are common throughout the road system.

And watch out for potholes !
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Alaska
5,354 posts, read 15,905,228 times
Reputation: 3995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
I'll give you method for getting the best price you can on a rental.

When I do my vehicle rentals, I check every site I can, even the rental car companies direct sites. I usually lock in a rate (for free) and then continually check prices. At times, you end up ditching the first rental quote for a much better quotes as time goes on. It just depends on how 'booked' they get. Best to lock in something though, because it doesn't always work out that way.
I do the same. If you're a Costco member, you can usually get good deals there. I was able to cut $100 off the price of a rental for a trip to Oregon in May and that was after saving $200 on earlier quotes. In Alaska, during the tourist season, you may not be able to do as well.

Also, be aware that many rental companies have restrictions against driving on gravel roads. It may limit some of your destinations.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:07 AM
 
1,686 posts, read 3,094,030 times
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Most of the car rental companies donít allow driving on gravel roads. Thereís a tremendous opportunity to see some fantastic places in Alaska that are only accessible by a non-paved road like the Denali Highway or the Edgerton Highway to McCarthy. When making your plans if it will includes driving conditions like that you might consider going with a rental company that allows it. Getting an SUV or something with 4WD or AWD could be a plus depending on what kind of experience you want. If you do a search for rental car companies in Anchorage youíll see several that do allow driving in these conditions. How adventurous do you want your trip to be?
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,358 posts, read 32,379,110 times
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I'd also recommend the Denali Highway!







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Old 03-01-2013, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Palmer
2,518 posts, read 5,888,537 times
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Nice Pics Warpt. Denali Highway is a great road. No real need for it anymore. It was the only access to Denali Park when I was a kid. Other than the RR.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:30 AM
 
3,764 posts, read 7,227,795 times
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From what I have heard, High Country Car Rental & Go North are the 2 companies that allow their cars on the beautiful Denali Hwy.

Awesome pics, Warptman!
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