We boarded a bus from Seward for an eight-hour tour that would bring us to Anchorage with scenic stops along the way. Our first stop was at Exit Glacier, which is known for its accessibility and hiking trails up to and above it. In fact, up until about five years ago it was possible to walk right up to it. President Obama was there shortly after our visit and used it as a backdrop to illustrate the extent of climate change in Alaska.
From there, we went to Girdwood, a world-class ski resort located at the base of Mount Alyeska. It is part of the Chugach mountain range and is the largest ski area in the state.
The tour included a 2,300 ft tram ride to the top of the mountain. The views from the observation deck were astounding—majestic mountains, hanging glaciers, a huge lake, and towering trees. We even saw a hang glider on her voyage.
Our next stop was at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a nature conserve for rescued wildlife. As it turned out, this was most of what we saw of any wildlife close up—later in the trip there was one moose at a very long distance and some eagles, also from a distance.
From there, the bus drove to Anchorage where we got a city tour before being dropped off at our hotel.
About Anchorage from Alaska Railroad’s Panoramas magazine:
“Located between Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountain Range, Anchorage stated as a tent city, servig as a railroad costruction base. It saw boom times through World Ware I and II as a military staging citiy. Anchorage has grown to become the state’s largest city with nearly 300,000 people and is now the finance and industry center of Alaska.”
We settled into our hotel and ate in their restaurant that evening. We were a bit travel weary, but looking forward to the next part of our adventure tomorrow: taking a bus to Talkeetna where we would be spending the next three days.