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Old 06-16-2016, 11:48 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Minnesota
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Need tips on driving to and then camping in Alaska

We are leaving on a trip to Alaska in a few days in our 3010DS with no toad. Anyone have any tips about driving to Alaska, especially the 1500 mile Alaska highway winding through Canada and into Alaska - I have heard from some people that the Alaska highway road is really bad and other people claim it is actually not bad at all. We have purchased the 2016 version of the "Milepost" book which details the mile by mile points of interest along the entire Alaska highway.

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Old 06-17-2016, 06:16 AM   #2
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Your purchase of the Milepost will pay for itself many times over. We drove the whole Alaska Highway last summer and will cherish the trip for many years. The majority of the roads were excellent but keep in mind that since they only have three months when road repairs can be made you will find some roads have brief (a mile or so?) stretches of gravel roadbed. The exception is the Top of the World Highway which is about thirty miles long and spectacular! Drive carefully and enjoy the trip. Although fuel is frequent enough, drive on the top half of your tank and don't look at the price on the pump (you'll be shocked) ----- just fill 'er up! Cell service is spotty but available at most campgrounds. Relax, take your time and ENJOY!

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Old 06-17-2016, 06:16 AM   #3
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I was stationed in Alaska for 3 years during my time in the Army and I absolutely loved it up there but I have not been back since my military discharge back in the mid 90s. A road trip back up there is definitely on my bucket list.

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Old 06-17-2016, 06:40 AM   #4
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The road can be bad in places as they work to repair Winter damage. Just slow down to whatever the road conditions dictate and you'll be fine. Most likely you'll get you "Alaskan Badge of Honor", a broken windshield during the visit. Not to worry though, it's well worth a "badge" to spend time in "America's last frontier"! Have fun, and watch out for those large antlered guys that occasionally stray onto the roadways as they'll do much more damage than breaking your windshield.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:15 AM   #5
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We made that trip 5 years ago - LOVED IT....

you can follow our day-to day travels here:

Getting everything packed and ready to hit the road. | Alaska

AND, I also did a write-up about traveling and recommendations for those who wish to travel the Alcan:

Not your Father’s Alaska Highway | Alaska

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Old 06-17-2016, 12:38 PM   #6
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Drove up the AlCan with my parents prior to the road being paved. We could have used a couple of extra windshields from the truck traffic spewing rocks. An amazing trip.
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Old 06-17-2016, 12:45 PM   #7
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First off, good on you for going. You will always cherish the experience.

Second, the road is not a big deal. Slow down when you see the red flags and you'll be fine, along with the occasional stop for road repairs. Don't go over 55 and you'll do great. We never had a challenge with rocks flying and windshields breaking unless you opt to take the road to the Gates of the Arctic & Prudhoe Bay after you get to Alaska.

Yeah, fuel is expensive, but a) you are mainly in Canada, and b) you are mostly in the middle of nowhere.

Do NOT miss Banff and Jasper. Both places have superb campgrounds and if you book well in advance you can get a full service site. Stay there anyway, even if on the way back, just as spectacular as Alaska.

If you can, get your butt to Wrangle-St Elias National Park and take a glacier hike. Leave the RV at the small airport in Chitina and fly the puddle jumper into the park and stay at the lodge there for a night. Tour the mill; it is an awesome experience. You must book both the lodge and the glacier hike in advance.

From Homer, take a plane into Katmai National Park to see the Grizzlies. We passed on the Brook Falls experience as it is - in our minds - too touristy and crowded. Puddle jumpers leave out of Homer and will land you on a beach near an awesome glacier, at the foot of a grassy flatland with creeks and rivers flowing through it. Guides will take you to watch the bears feeding on salmon. Amazing and not too expensive.

The flight into Wrangle-St Elias is mind-boggling. It puts an "I told you so" on the promise that the best way to see Alaska is from the air.

I'm assuming you'll see Kenai Fjords, too. If you do, be sure to take the longer boat trip - far better value and you'll see more glaciers and wildlife. DO NOT SKIMP on this trip!!

Denali is also a must see, and book the bus trip into the park BEFORE you leave to drive to AK. There are some good easy hiking trails at the visitor center in Denali, too.

most of all, don't be in a hurry. The scenery both coming and going is to die for, so relax, stop a lot, and enjoy.
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Old 06-17-2016, 12:57 PM   #8
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Fabulous trip. We did it last year from White Rock BC ( two hours north of Seattle ) as far north as Deadhorse on the Arctic Ocean. We were gone 3 months and 14000KM. The Alaska Highway on the Canadian side is all excellent highway, paved shoulders etc. The exception is the last 109KM before the AK border and into Alaska. There was a complete rebuild going on in Canada and I expect a lot if it is completed. Still good but "construction" driving . Once in Alaska, the road is not as good, with LOTS of first heaves, broken pavement etc.
That being said, none of it is a problem. TAKE YOUR TIME! Don't plan huge driving days or miles. The Milepost is an excellent reference. Once your in Alaska make sure your spend some time on the Kenai Peninsula and the Denali area. Either north or southbound, plan to take the Klondike Highway loop. Leaves the Alaska Highway a few miles north of Whitehorse, through Dawson City and "over the top" to Tetlin Junction where you meet the Akasja Hwy again. As someone mentioned there's some gravel on that piece north of Dawson City but it's a Must part of the trip.
We have been traveling the Alaska Highway since 1968 ( long before pavement) and we love the north!
A couple of our favourite spots are Muncho Lake ( roughly old Mike 460) and Kathleen Lake ( 20 minutes towards Haines, AK from Haines Junction. Both offer spectacular views from Provincial and Territorial camp sights .
Boy, am I long winded....get excited just talking about that area😄
Safe travels and enjoy.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:16 PM   #9
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We did the trip in 2013 without a TOAD and had a blast. Campgrounds are plentiful and we never made reservations until the afternoon and always found space. A little hint though, the large RV Caravans stop early for the evening so if you really want a specific campground you might call early. Every place we camped would bend over backwards to get you a spot or find a close facility for you that did.

We used mostly military campgrounds in Alaska but were also able to find full hookups on Homer Spit for July 4th weekend.
Only rented a car for a week in Anchorage to go see the sights, everywhere else accommodated our 41' RV.

Lots of Bison, Bear and other wild ones all along the AlCan. Hot Springs, Museums, historical towns and very friendly people you'll encounter.

We did NC to Alaska and Back in 45 days...the adventure of a lifetime our five kids are still talking about.
Plan to do it again in 2017!
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:19 PM   #10
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Enjoy Your Trip

We did Alaska in 2013. Drove up to Dawson Creek to Mile 0 on Alcan. Stopped at Hells Gate to take tram across the river in BC. Gas and campgrounds were readily available along the way. Highest price we paid was $2.00/liter at Muncho Lake. Road was very good except for where repairs were being made due to frost heaves. What out for gravel trucks coming towards you they don't slow down to 35 mph and throw gravel. We got one star which we did an injection repair in Whitehorse. So many places and things to do. I do recommend a side trip to Haines, AK, one of the most beautiful drives. Haines is not super commercial like Skagway, they only allow one cruise ship in a week. Be sure to try the Halibut dinner at Al's trailer across from the Post Office if they are still there. We saw a grizzly bear at the state park in Haines. Other things to do; Halibut fishing out of Homer, tunnel to Whittier and glacier boat tour, Denali, Chicken, AK on Top of the World Highway, Hyder, AK and drive to Salmon glacier (photo attached).

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