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PA12DRVR

Back in God's Country

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Posted: 08/24/22 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"It's the Alcan to those of use who have been in Alaska for a long time.

Bill"

^^^^ Bingo. That's how it was referred to in '74 and the name stuck with me anyway.

The proposed trip is too many stops and not enough days. Suggest (as others have said) doing the Western U.S. on another trip and keeping the focus on Alaska / Y.T. / BC / Alberta this trip.

The Alaska portion of the trip seems (granted, I live in Los Anchorage) to put too much time in Anchorage, unless the intent is to do stuff that involves going to i.e. Palmer, Glennallen or Seward, but those are already on your list. You might want to put some time in for the Kenai Peninsula (Slodotna, Kenai, etc) or Talkeetna instead of 10 days in Anchorage.

Weather can obscure the mountaintops, particularly Denali, but (except for June of this year), one won't escape rain in Alaska, so that should not be a go / no-go factor.

Alaska and Western Canada are great for driving and sightseeing...but I'd suggest that some thought be put into what else you might want to do (fishing, flightseeing, boat trip, glacier hikes, camping (away from pavement), hiking, etc) and slot in some days for those activities. Although it's hard to predict, some of the "tourist" activities tend to book up well in advance and that may end up being the critical path for your trip.


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Rigdon

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Posted: 08/24/22 10:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Watch the calendar for both US and Canada holidays, the campgrounds can be booked solid or no services may be available. This year some of the gas stations did not have gas only diesel or reverse the station attendant told us it could be 2-3daysbefore deliveries in the springtime.


Steve & Karen

Dick_B

Palos Heights, IL USA

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Posted: 08/24/22 10:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Devil's advocate here: We flew to Fairbanks and started a two week tour which included several days on a small cruise ship and some railroad travel. Saw a lot and it was easy on our aging bodies.
I'd start the Alaska trip with something similar then go back another time to spend more time if you want. I just noticed Viking has something similar.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 08/24/22 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are on the start of a very similar trip right now (starting from Michigan) and we've done multiple several month cross country trips in prior years.

If you stick with vacation mode and do 6 hour days, it's certainly possible with 4 months. We would find it tiring.

We have it roughed out at around 11,000 miles of towing from Michigan. Let's call it 12,000 miles from NY and 120 days. That means you have to average around 100miles per day (every day). 6hrs for us, we would be looking at around 300miles (we figure an average of about 50mph for planning).

- Rochester NY to Yellowstone is around 2000 miles. Call it 7 travel days (@ 300miles per day)...give yourself 2 weeks. (Do Badlands, Rushmore on off days)
- 1 week Yellowstone (21 days total)
- 1 week to Banff including a stop in Glacier (28 days total)
- 1 week Banff & Jasper (35 days total)
- Jasper to Tok is around 1600 miles. Call it 6 travel days and give yourself 12 days (47 days total)
- 30 days to wander about in Alaska (77 days total)
- Tok to Rochester is around 3900 miles. Call it 13 travel days or 26 days total (103 days total)

That leaves you 17 days to cover bad weather, break downs or unexpected things you want to stop and see.

So yes, it's doable and you can still see things along the way.

Our plan:
- Depart late July 2022. Get to Cascade Mt, late Sept.
- Store RV over the winter at a friends property (you could always use a commercial storage lot).
- Spring 2023, start working our way north in May, letting weather dictate how fast we get north (we are comfortable in weather down in the teens for a few days and if we have to wait a week for things to warm up we aren't bothered).
- Reach Alaska mid June
- Depart Alaska start of August.
- Back in Michigan early September.

We usually shoot for 100-200miles per travel day and only travel 2-3 days per week.

So if you are retired, is there a reason you are limited to 4 months?


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SideHillSoup

South Eastern British Columbia

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Posted: 08/24/22 12:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trackrig wrote:

enblethen wrote:

First item, don't call it the AL-Can. It is the Alaska Highway.
You will be pushing a lot even for four months. As earlier post suggests delete lower 48.
Only place you may need reservations is Denali area.
There are many campgrounds that are open later in year plus lots of places to spend the night.


It's the Alcan to those of use who have been in Alaska for a long time.

Bill


[emoticon] my Uncle was a Canadian who helped build the Hwy during the war. He lived and raised his family in Whitehorse for the remainder of his life ( Uncle Jack) he called it the Alaska Hwy. [emoticon]


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SideHillSoup

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Posted: 08/24/22 12:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

enblethen wrote:

Need to go to "acceesCan.ca".
Need to follow instructions to make it easier even though there is no guarantee on entrance to Canada. Must be done within 72 hours of border crossing.


It’s called the ArriveCAN App.

Needed to enter Canada as of August 24/22

Wadcutter

IL

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Posted: 08/24/22 02:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Places you didn't name but we enjoyed.
Carcross
Whitehorse
Watson Lake
Muncho Lake
Dawson Creek
Skagway
Haines
Valdez
Stewart-Hyder
Top of the World Highway - Chicken
From Haines take the ferry to Juneau.
Take your time. Drive slow for a couple of reasons.
1) Frost heaves. They'll usually be marked with a flag on a stick or a cone. But sometimes not. These are not bumps. They are BUMPS! and DIPS! You may see vehicles on their tops next to these heaves. They can be a serious problem.
2) Critters. Drive fast and you'll miss seeing a lot of critters. Drive slow and you'll miss a lot of critters but get to see them. Animals like moose and caribou can cover a lot of ground fast. They'll be out of the brush and in the road before you can stop.


Camped in every state


PA12DRVR

Back in God's Country

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Posted: 08/24/22 03:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For the OP, I'd second most of the destinations suggested by Wadcutter as good places to visit. It is beautiful country around Chicken, but (IMHO) that's the draw, not the town itself. Similarly in my view, Valdez and Juneau are scenic spots and great starting points for "adventures", but I believe the "adventures" can be duplicated in other parts of AK. If one catches the right combo of weather and seasons, the drive from Glennallen to Valdez can be spectacular in late summer / early fall.

I've always enjoyed Whitehorse, Watson Lake, Muncho Lake, and Dawson Creek. It is striking to me how much all of those have changed since '74.

One should be cautious about frost heaves, but..again opinion...the biggest concern is if one is trying to flog a big MH or 5th wheel along the Alaskan / Canadian roads like they were on a freeway in the L48.

...and you neither want to hit a moose in AK nor a buffalo in Canada. 'nuff said.

And not to further pound the horseflesh, but: My dad worked on the road during it's construction for a few months as a catskinner, called it the "Alcan"; in '74, my first trip, it was referred to, in Alaska anyway, as the "Alcan"; upon entering Canada (if coming from Alaska) or entering Dawson Creek otherwise, the road was referred to as the "Alaska Highway" on road signs, billboards, sign forest, etc; and, sometime in the early '80's when there were enough roads that I had to look at a map, the Alcan / Alaska Highway had road numbers, either "BC #xxx" or something similar. The nomenclature doesn't really matter, but in my 7th decade now, I've become habitual about calling the road the "Alcan".

Veebyes

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Posted: 08/24/22 03:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All to often people have no idea just how big Canada is or how much great scenery it has to offer.

For distance reference, NY is not much different, MD to Homer AK, Edmonton AB is only half way.

By the time side trips are added in you can total 17,000 miles quite easily.

This is no 2 week jaunt.


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enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 08/24/22 04:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP: you may want to reverse your trip. Travel westbound in Canada using CAN 11, CAN 17 and CAN 1. There is lots to see crossing Canada. In Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon, there is many places to visit.
Don't miss Laird Hot Springs.
Make sure you watch for milepost adjustments in the Milepost. Highway has been rerouted shortening distances.
Then come back eastbound through your planned lower 48 locations.


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