The second day morning, we did some souvenir shopping and had a walk in the Waterfront Park before setting off to the Exit Glacier.
Exit Glacier is the only part of Kenai Fjords National Park that can be accessed by road. It is one of tens of glaciers descending from the Harding Icefield, which covers most of the Kenai Peninsula. From the parking lot, the 3-mile round trip trail can take visitors to the edge of the glacier and the vista point that offers panoramic view of the glacier by the outwash plain. The trail is well maintained and easy to walk. My parents had no problem walking to the wall of ice.
We left Exit Glacier at 2pm and on our way to Anchorage. We made several stops, such as Bear Creek, on AK-9 and tried to watch Alaska Salmon migration, but eventually we had to go west onto the Sterling Highway until Russian River. There is a large campground by the river. . We walked down to the river level. The water is clear and the condition is excellent for sport fishing. Thousands of salmons swam up the stream to the Russian Lakes where they spawn. The part we went to might be towards the end of the salmon runs. The fish had transformed into deep red color and a lot of them were already dead.
Returning to the Seward Highway, we had no plan for the rest of the day. We drove leisurely and enjoyed the sunset on this beautiful scenic drive.
The next day morning, I got up early to try my luck of viewing Mt. McKinley from Anchorage. I drove west along the Northern Light Blvd. After passing the Earthquake Park, there was a parking lot by the Cook Inlet. It is 150 miles south to Mt. McKinley. They day was clear with a little haze. I could easily see Mt. Foraker on the left and Mt. McKinley on the right. At the height of 20,320 ft., it’s the highest peak of Northern America.
Anchorage is a not a big town. The downtown district is taken by souvenir stores, restaurants and a shopping mall. You can pretty much cover them in a half day on foot.
We had a lunch at VIP Korean restaurant. The food was excellent, especially to my parents who do not enjoy western dishes. After lunch, we resupplied at Walmart and leave for the second biggest city of Alaska, Fairbanks.