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Planning a Trip to Alaska

Cauffield

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I am sure there are some of you all out there that have previously make the trip to Alaska. We live in Florida and would like to find a route from here to Fairbanks. I talked to a couple last summer in South Dakota
that traveled through I believe he told me Montanna into Canada. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Lex and Karen Cauffield
Lake Placid, Florida
Gulf Stream Tourmaster Constellation 45g
Jeep Grand Cherokee

medic103b@gmail.com



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Lex & Karen,

You might try logging onto NorthtoAlaska.com. Alaska is a destination we would eventually like to travel to via our MH so I ordered the Ultimate Road Trip guide from the website.

Yesterday it came in the mail. Included was a brief guide that describes the road trip through Alaska, Alberta, British Colombia & the Yukon. Also included was a very nice map.

The guide was free and I'm sure would help you with your planning.

Happy Holidays and Safe Travels!

Blake

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Have not made the trip yet but planning on doing it in 2017. We live in the Florida Keys and will be traveling in a Fleetwood Excursion. I will keep checking back to see what information you receive and look forward to seeing your experience on the trip.

John & DONNA

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We went in 2015 from Florida. It was the Adventure of a lifetime. Drove up through Shelby Montana into Canada, then headed for the Alaska Highway which we took all the way into Alaska. From there we headed to Fairbanks. You should get the latest copy of the Milepost, it helped us a lot by telling us what to look for before we got there. Be prepared for VERY slow travel (bad roads) when you get about mid-way of Alcan.

On the way back we took the Cassiar Highway into Washington-Oregon-California then down across I-40 and I-10 back to Florida.

The whole trip took about 3-months, we saw a lot and wish we had more time. We started our trip early mid-May. We think that this was a great time as it put us ahead of the rush and the caverns. We hope to go there again in the next few years.

George

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Drove to Alaska last summer from Oregon.  The drive from Lake Louise to Jasper (British Columbia) thru Banff and Jasper National Parks was very pretty.  

Most small 'towns' in Canada and Alaska have visitor centers, RV friendly parking and lot of local info.  

The National and Provincial Parks in Canada (one we stayed at) were nice, no hook ups, pit toilets.  

The Alaskan State parks we looked at/stayed at were not very good (poor roads, small spaces, no hook ups).  Stayed as several US Forest Service camp grounds in Alaska, very nice, but no hook ups.  If you are old enough, be sure to get a US government 'senior pass'.  Half price camping at Forest Service and National Park camp grounds, as well as BLM and other Federal camp grounds.

 From what I remember there are not a lot of pull outs or wide spots along the road to pull over (lunch, etc).  

Get a copy of Milepost, it takes awhile to figure out how to use the guide.  We had no problem getting fuel, gas, but we filled up at almost every small town,  We did not travel later in the day.   We did not run into a bug problem, but have talked to people that said the bugs (mosquitoes) can/will keep you inside.

peteinlapine

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We did this trip in 2006.  We were coming from visiting family in California so went through Washington.  We spent most of the month of June in British Columbia, traveling slowly and stopping for sites of interest along the way.  We've traveled up the eastern side of the Canadian Rockies and that is a beautiful route also.  Once you get to Dawson Creek, you pick up the Alaska (AlCan) Highway.  At Whitehorse we went north to Dawson City and spent several days there. 

From there we drove to Inuvik in Northern Territories.  It is an Inuit village inside the Arctic Circle so we had that experience.  Being near the summer solstice we experienced the midnight sun, stayed for a night and then drove back.  The road is 465 miles of gravel road with two river crossings on ferries.  We didn't take the motor home on that trip, that was for the toad.  From Dawson City the Over the Top Highway takes you into Alaska north of the town of Chicken.  It is gravel from Dawson City to Chicken, pretty good gravel in Canada, pretty rough and narrow in the US.  From Chicken we went south to Tok which is on the Alaska Highway. 

From Tok, you can travel a circular route in either direction, we went to Fairbanks and stayed for several weeks.  We flew from there to Barrow, AK, a one day round trip flight, Arctic Ocean, Inuit village, native dances, touring, and return.  It was a small plane (twin engine) and the flight was at low level (2500 to 5000 feet above ground) so it gave us lots of sightseeing from the air.  We celebrated July 4 at the city park with thousands of Fairbanks residents.  Then south to Denali NP, Anchorage, a week down the Kenai Peninsula, back to Anchorage and then east along the Athabaska Valley and Athabaska Glacier to Valdez, several stops in Wrangell-St. Elias NP, then back to Tok and on to Whitehorse.  This pretty much covered all the main roads in mainland Alaska.  From Whitehorse we went south to Skagway and stayed several days, a train ride, museums, and an RV park in the shadow of the cruise ships.  Returning to Whitehorse we then went south to Stewart, CA and Hyder, US to see the bears along Bird Creek and the Salmon Glacier.  We were not disappointed in either of these attractions.  Returning to Canada Hwy 37 we made a side trip to Prince Rupert on the Canadian coast.  Then it was back to the Alaska Highway and on south into Washington.   I've deviated a little from your initial question to give you an idea of the possibilities for covering almost all of the roads that can be traveled in the trip to/from Alaska. 

Your best guide to all these places including the various routes to Dawson Creek and the Alaska Highway is as mentioned above, The Milepost.  It is updated annually so you will want to get the current edition.  It costs about $35 which sounds expensive until you consider what you are going to spend on this trip.  The Milepost will be your constant reference on this trip.  You can make your decision on exactly where to cross the border based on the information in The Milepost.  It has information on road conditions, where to find fuel, attractions all along the route including the various routes to and from the Alaska Highway.

It is truly the trip of a lifetime though we met people who make the trip every year.  Take your time and explore everything you are interested in along the way.

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Because we felt this was a once in a lifetime trip, we wanted to see as much of Alaska as possible, so we left Prince Rupert, BC on the Alaska State Ferry with our 30' motorhome on board. They charge by the foot so we even took our bikes and rack off and put them inside the RV for the ferry trip. We planned and reserved with the Ferry service in Dec for a May 5th departure so that we could set our own particular itinerary. The National Park service offered educational talks while on board. We took our motorhome off at every stop possible for 3-5 days so we would have time to explore:  We watched whales from an overlook while sitting at our campfire in a National Forest  campground in Wrangell, hiked up to the Mendenhall Glacier, explored the Capitol, watched Eagles in Petersburg, and felt sorry for the many cruise ships' passengers as they made a few hours stop in Ketchican, Juneau and Skagway while we had the luxury of thoroughly exploring for 3 or 4 days each. About three weeks after leaving Prince Rupert we left the ferry at Skagway, drove north to explore mainland Alaska, then back by way of the Alcan Hwy with the ultimate guidebook, the latest edition of "the milepost".

So much to see! Beautiful vistas at every turn! Indeed the trip of a lifetime.

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We did Alaska in 2001.  Cruised the inside passage first out of Vancouver then went north in the motorhome.  Ran the full length of the Alcan highway  Went to Fairbanks down to Homer, up through Chicken and out. Saw most of the sites in between.  Spent 6 weeks, could have been a bit longer but had to get my daughter married in Portland Or in Aug.

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A year ago we crossed the border into Alaska, after driving from FL...  Some elements to consider, your cellphone will be useless for much of the journey north of Edmonton until you get into a town.  As out trip happened in July, the gravel used in the road that they call a highway was not as sharp, therefore our tires remained intact, however we did have a full size spare mounted on a rim and a properly sized bottle Jack, impact wrench and a torque wrench.  On the topic of tires, we also have the Flow Through TST507 kit installed to help monitor and avoid any issues with the tires.  If your rig does not have an air compressor, get an air comressor kit that is rated for the big RV tires, as this will save a lot of time searching for an airpump OR waiting for that $40 walmart pump to bring a 22" tire to 80PSI under a load...  Ensure you have a good working knowledge of your rig and its systems, because you are your support.  Bring tools, glues, sealants, windshield repair and roof repair equipment and ensure you can work all of them in case you need to.  We tend to drive great distances which is fine in the lower 48, but up there the summer sun stays up later than the gasstations, so fill up like we vote in FL, Early and often.  In Canada you will get sticker shock at the pump because of the cost and unit of measure (liter), but to help defray some of that, get a costco membership and plan as many gas stops around those locations when possible.  On our trip, Costco was 10cents a liter cheaper than any other gas station throughout most of our trip in Canada.  Milepost as ealrier mentioned is a GREAT resource, because their POIs while still not 100% are WAY better than the POIs in my updated garmin RV unit.  Check your fridge door hinge, if it is a Norcold with a plastic hinge, buy the $30 kit to add a metal reinforcement to it.  Ours failed at the Arctic Circle, many hours from civilization...

On the Dalton Highway, we paid over $5 per gallon at the Yukon River camp.

In Canada, you should use your debit or credit card to pay to avoid issues with conversion rates at banks and by local store owners.  Way easier...

Check out the Wynn's series on Youtube about their alaska travels as well as Chris & G travels on youtube.

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Use your credit card not your debit. The reason is the debit will pay strait across. If the bill is $50.00 Canadian it will pay $50.00 US. With the credit card (call and tell them you are traveling to Canada so they don't shut it off) it will pay the $50.00 Canadian and then bill your account at the exchange rate. Right now it is $1.00 US = $1.30 Canadian.

Bill

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We traveled to AK this past summer. It was the trip of a lifetime! We traveled with a caravan company.

If you want a stress free great time consider Adventure Caravans.

We live in FL as well.

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Agree with pvgsma -  we went in 2013 with Fantasy RV Tours - 60 days, 5700 miles and unlimited memories - established great friendships, saw things we probably would not have done by ourselves, traveled with very experienced RV's who could fix almost anything that broke during the journey -  would highly recommend this way of seeing AK and western Canada - the Calgary Stampede was one of the highlights of this Caravan -  I could go on for hours re the enjoyable time we experienced -  Time and $$ well spent !!

We also now live in FL but left SC in 2013 to catch the Caravan tour which started in ID --

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