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Best Way To Go To Alaska?


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#1 Larry196

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 05:45 PM

Heres your chance to share your knowledge.


I am planning a Class A Diesel trip to Alaska in the summer of 2014.


I live full time in a 40 foot Class A Pusher, at this time I am not planing on towing my car but that might change.


We are in the northwest south of Seattle, WA.


I have heard about putting the rig on a barge to Alaska and driving from the coast, need someone that has done this in the recent past, to chime in and let me know about costs and time. (Don't care about your trip 10 years ago.)


Where did you get on the barge and how much will it cost ?

 

Or should we just drive ??????


Larry & Rita


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#2 wolfe10

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 06:18 PM

Larry,

 

You are probably thinking of the Alaska Marine Highway, not a barge for going to Alaska by water with a vehicle:  http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/

 

Though it is expensive, I highly recommend visiting Alaska by water-- on a Marine highway vessel or cruise ship.

 

BTW Dianne and I honeymooned on the Malaspina (Alaska Marine Highway Ship) in 1975.


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#3 charles10

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:11 PM

Larry...

 

We are envious of you two,  we have been trying to get to Alaska for 3 years,  haven't made it yet.  Something always happens.  Maybe a cruise in the future as  we feel that long trip in our motor home may be to much for us old folks.


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#4 DickandLois

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:28 PM

Hi Larry,

 

Been there and have used the Marine Highway and the roads.

 

Putting a coach on a Ferry is costly, but you get to see all the small towns only accessible by water or float plane in many cases. The other is the coach is exposed to a lower chance of stone damage. Cost goes up each year and they go by $$$ per number of feet long.

 

We have spent the entire summer there and driven as many roads as possible in 7 to 8 weeks. Would go back again should things line up for us. Mainly time and commitments.

 

Our first trip was planed over a year ahead so we could line things up with all the kids that we took along, best trip we ever had and well worth all the time invested..

 

To get the dates we wanted on the ferry we made reservations on January 2nd of that year so we could get all the dates and stops we wanted.

A copy of the Mile Post is a must from our travels and information from all the Provinces. We have traveled in all of them except the new one split off of the Northwest Territory a few years back. Not many roads that one could drive on with a larger coach !!!!

 

Rich.


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#5 desertdeals69

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:09 PM

When we looked into the marine highway we thought it was too expensive so we left our motorhome in a campground in Burnaby and they shuttled us to the cruise dock in Vancouver.  We did the inland passage for 7 nights and then the campground shuttle picked us up.  We then left for Alaska for 5 weeks of driving and sightseeing.


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#6 Keggar

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:43 PM

If you go to Alaska, then you might think about towing a small, covered trailer to hold all the gas-money you will need.   lol   I talked to a fellow today at a gas station (the Pilot station at Stanfield, Oregon) who went to Alaska (last year, was it?  Not sure.) and he said the gas cost was about $8.50 per gallon... and diesel was even more.  That might make the cost of ferrying the coach a bit more acceptable.  Just a thought... and no stone chips, eh?


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#7 desertdeals69

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:10 PM

From Bellingham to Haines is $69.10 per foot and maybe a surcharge for over 96 inches wide.  They measure from the very front to the rear of the toad.  50 foot would be about $3500 plus passengers about $337 each.


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#8 alkaren

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:56 AM

We have driven twice to Alaska from southwest WA. The first time in a 25' class C, the second in a 30' class C. We do not tow a vehicle. We want to drive up again after we have revisited all the other states. The drive through British Columbia and Yukon are just as scenic as Alaska is. One trip, we drove into Skagway and ferried to Haines. Then we also ferried from Valdez to Whittier. You do pay by the foot for ferries but that trip had to be made in 3 weeks total and we were able to drive the main circle route through Alaska that way. We even drove up to the Arctic Circle.

The second trip we were gone 2 months. We again drove the main circle route through Alaska but were able to get down the Kenai Pennusla and other side trips. This trip we drove all the way up to Fort McPherson in Northwest Territory. That was a rocky, bumpy road but we are glad we can say we did it. If you feel like you need to get out into the water to see the wildlife, we took a half-day bay cruise out of Seward. We prefer the independence of going on our own to see the sights we want to see at our pace, rather than in a tour group.

 

We are now considering a one week cruise through the inside passage to get to visit Juneau and Ketchikan, which you can't drive to.


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#9 rogelling

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:02 AM

Larry, there is no "best way". It just depends on what you want to do and see. We are driving up in June of 2014 also which will be a new experience for us. My wife is from Alaska and we have traveled up by cruise ferry or our own boat several times but never by road. I would not take the ferry unless I was short on time or wanted extra time in Alaska or was planning to move up there. On the Alaska ferry you do not "cruise", you go from Bellingham to Haines in 3 days! Then you still have to drive to Haines Junction and up to Tok. If you have the time, take the road!


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#10 lschirm4

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:46 PM

I'm interested in taking my 40' diesel pusher MH to Alaska some summer soon. But I have an issue. Like so many Americans, I do own a couple guns for self defense. And I have heard that those who are visiting Alaska's bush areas are well advised to carry heavy duty weapons (like large caliber handgun, or high power rifle, or shotgun with slugs) as a defense from bears primarily, but also wolves. But getting there by ferry costs thousands, and Canada doesn't like people bringing guns into the country. So how do we get around that issue?


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#11 DickandLois

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:02 PM

Ischirm,

 

One should be able to travel through Canada with long guns with the proper paper work and safety requirements,  but things change and I have not transported one in a few years. I have taken a long gun to Alaska because you are not at the top of the food chain in that part of the country. The black bears will stalk you just like the polar bears in Alaska, not like our black bears in the lower 48. You move, you are food.

 

The locations that I have flown into, the outfitters left you with a 30cal. long gun to protect your self with, but just fishing on your own, you are on your own.

 

Regarding hand guns, you would need the proper paper work and would need to ship them between registered gun dealers to get them up there and back the last I knew. Being in Alaska during the summer and around wolves has never been an issue for me. They can find food easier then during the winter. However ! again there is always that what if issue. The big Brown bears, for there size are for the most part less of a threat; but things can change in the blink of an eye and they are really really big along the coastal areas.The best fishing is often only accessible using outfitters. Many wonderful memories to be had, just stay alert at all times.  You might want to check on regulations regarding transporting some items back to the lower 48 from Alaska. There are a number of items one can not carry personally through Canada, you need to ship them back by airfreight in some cases.

 

Rich.


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#12 wolfe10

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:20 PM

OK, I'll be the first to admit that "best" is a lot opinion rather than fact-based.

 

Background:

 

Lived in Juneau AK for 2 years.

Have driven the Alcan 3 times.

Have cruised (inside passage, etc) 8 times beginning in 1975 for our honeymoon.

 

There is NOTHING that will beat the scenery of cruising (by water) to Alaska. Bald eagles, whales, sea lions, sea otters, bears, etc and snow covered mountains until mid summer.  Temperature on the water does not vary that much early to late season.  The Japanese current pretty well keeps temperatures constant (and cool).

 

However, if your plans are to spend an extended period in Alaska, I would sure take the RV.  This is particularly true if you are a fisherman and want to do some great fishing.


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#13 rogelling

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:55 AM

OK, I'll be the first to admit that "best" is a lot opinion rather than fact-based.

 

Background:

 

Lived in Juneau AK for 2 years.

Have driven the Alcan 3 times.

Have cruised (inside passage, etc) 8 times beginning in 1975 for our honeymoon.

 

There is NOTHING that will beat the scenery of cruising (by water) to Alaska. Bald eagles, whales, sea lions, sea otters, bears, etc and snow covered mountains until mid summer.  Temperature on the water does not vary that much early to late season.  The Japanese current pretty well keeps temperatures constant (and cool).

 

However, if your plans are to spend an extended period in Alaska, I would sure take the RV.  This is particularly true if you are a fisherman and want to do some great fishing.

++1


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#14 lmsooter

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:51 PM

If you go to Alaska, then you might think about towing a small, covered trailer to hold all the gas-money you will need.   lol   I talked to a fellow today at a gas station (the Pilot station at Stanfield, Oregon) who went to Alaska (last year, was it?  Not sure.) and he said the gas cost was about $8.50 per gallon... and diesel was even more.  That might make the cost of ferrying the coach a bit more acceptable.  Just a thought... and no stone chips, eh?

I don't know where the guy you talked to filled up but we were in Alaska last summer and we did not pay anywhere near that for diesel - some places $3.85 others a little over $4.  You will find Canada will be higher - I think we paid as much as $5.25 there for diesel.  Right now diesel on Gas Buddy, Prince George, BC is a little over $5 and the Alaska average is about $4, Anchorage varies from $4.15 to $4.39.


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#15 tjwentling@astound.net

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:06 PM

The best thing to do is to get me to go with you......however thats not going to happen. 

Been three times and the last two were super. Went in 1973, 2008 and 2012. 

It is what everyone says....A real trip of a lifetime. My opinions might not be best as I am more than  biased about Alaska. Love it love it love it !!

Been on both the ferry and highway.. For me the highway is the only way. Up the Alaskan and back on the Cassiar. 

Took about two months each time and they was plenty. 

We drive a Monaco gas rig. Costs......for what ?  Fuel is a bit more but did not  break the bank. RV parks are a bit difference and not the same quality as the lower 48....for the most part. For us the round trip was about 7000 miles. 

On last trip we got stuck at Toad River for about 5 days because of road outages. A real way out place that we learned to love as we enjoyed watching the evening Moose in the ponds along with Beaver, Ducks and Buffalo just up the road.

Bear....bears...and more bears on this section of the Alcan. Took short rides on our folding bikes and found a wonderful and out of the way place. Never heard of it prior. 

Camp grounds at the Laird hot springs were fine and the pools were much fun. 

We have been doing the RV gig since 1970 so have seen more than a few places. 

If you have any direct questions please let me know as I would be glad to assist if wanted. 

Have a great trip.....you will love it.....guaranteed !!

 

:)   Tom W. 


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#16 mleckstine

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 03:23 PM

Good information Tom, Thanks!

We are heading to Alaska June1, 2014. We will be crossing into Canada at Oroville, WA. We have a 40ft Diesel pusher and will be towing my Tahoe. My brother from Fresno, CA will meet us before we cross into Canada. They have a travel trailer and pickup. Since it is so far we have allowed June and July for our adventure. 

I am most concerned about Canadian Customs.  Since we are on the road so long I am bringing frozen meat and prepared and frozen dinners. Can you tell me what to expect as far as bringing food through Canada? Not much of the meat will be in the original containers as I shrink wrap it to conserve space.

Any information you or anyone else can share will be most appreciated.

Thanks,

Linda


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#17 BillAdams

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 07:12 PM

This might give you a pretty good idea of what you can bring into Canada from the US.

http://www.inspectio...389648516990#a1


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#18 huffypuff

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 12:10 AM

Linda

I live in WA and been across Canada border many times and  the biggest thing they look for at the crossing is fresh fruit and vegetable. They are very worry about fruit flies and for good reasons.  See Bill's list as you said you be crossing from Washington into B.C.


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#19 mleckstine

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 11:25 AM

Thanks to you both, Bill that was the clearest list I have seen yet.  At this point I am just taking what I think we need and heading for the border! We are getting so excited about this trip. It will be the longest we have taken since we retired.  Hope it won't be our last!

Linda


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