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Author Topic: Alaska questions  (Read 702 times)

clockdrfla

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Alaska questions
« on: October 18, 2017, 06:41:44 AM »
Considering Alaska travel next year.  Thinking about 2-3 month stay.  What months would be best for traveling?  Have ordered Milemarker but have not received it.  Comments and suggestions please.  Thanks

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 08:07:24 AM »
July & August are prime months. Many RV & travel-related facilities close by Labor Day or shortly thereafter. And snow too.  June can be iffy, with numerous frost heaves and broken roads, and chilly or rainy weather. We spent late June in BC and the lower Alaska panhandle (Hyder area), then moved north after July 4th and stayed until 9/7 before working our way back thru Canada to the "lower 48" by around 9/22.
Gary
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AStravelers

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 07:24:00 AM »
I believe you mean you ordered the Milepost. The 2018 version doesn't come out until around March 1st.  You can get the 2017 version and use that, as they don't change a lot from year to year. 

In 2016 we crossed the border from Washington to BC on April 27th and were in Fairbanks about 3 weeks later.  Good weather all the way.  Not that we didn't have some rain, but nothing bad.  We spent 4 1/2 months on the trip from Oregon to AK and back to Oregon.

Another RV'er got caught in a snow storm about May 28th.  Part of the reason they got caught in the snow, was they had reservations and "had" to travel instead of staying put for a day or two for the roads to clear.  They got stuck on the hwy and had one of the road crew truck tow them to a wide spot where they spent a night or two.  Here is their blog entry of the event:  https://ramblingrvrat.blogspot.com/2016/05/snowbound-in-middle-of-nowhere.html?m=1

On June 15th & 16th there was a huge rain event near Dawson Creek (start of the AK Hwy) which washed out the highway. 

Bottom line, you have an exposure to good and bad weather events, whenever you travel.  Plan for bad weather and stay put until it blows over.

Also we had very good weather the last half of May and all of June.  Again some rain, but then you most always see rain in AK.  The reports I have seen talk about more rain in August than June. 

We were in Denali NP for 11 days in mid June and had 3 days full days of clear sky that we could see all of Mt Denali. 

In 1999 we flew to Anchorage about May 30th and toured AK for 11 days and had great weather.  Got to see all of Mt Denali for a couple of days then two. 

BTW, Denali NP says only about 25% of the park visitors get to see any of Mt Denali.  Either the clouds cover the bottom or the top of the mountain for 75% of the visitors.  Also only about 10% of the visitors see the entire mountain free of clouds.  The main reason we got to see so much of Mt Denali is we stayed in the park for 11 days, and had the wonderful 3 days of great weather.

If you are interested, here is a link to the index page for our blog of our Alaska trip:  http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/2017/01/alaska-trip-index-april-26september-6.html 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

Oldgator73

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2017, 08:03:01 AM »
BTW, Denali NP says only about 25% of the park visitors get to see any of Mt Denali.  Either the clouds cover the bottom or the top of the mountain for 75% of the visitors.  Also only about 10% of the visitors see the entire mountain free of clouds.  The main reason we got to see so much of Mt Denali is we stayed in the park for 11 days, and had the wonderful 3 days of great weather.

I can attest to what AStravelers statement about Denali. I did a remote tour to Alaska in the mid 80's. My wife and kids visited and we took a hop (I worked for Mark Air part time so we could fly space A) to Fairbanks and took the train back to Anchorage. As we were passing by Denali the conductor told us to look to the right and we could see where Denali is supposed to be. Of course we couldn't actually see Denali because of the fog.
One other thing that you will have to contend with are the bugs. No Seeums and white socks. Terrible.
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AStravelers

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2017, 05:27:47 PM »
I can attest to what AStravelers statement about Denali. I did a remote tour to Alaska in the mid 80's. My wife and kids visited and we took a hop (I worked for Mark Air part time so we could fly space A) to Fairbanks and took the train back to Anchorage. As we were passing by Denali the conductor told us to look to the right and we could see where Denali is supposed to be. Of course we couldn't actually see Denali because of the fog.
One other thing that you will have to contend with are the bugs. No Seeums and white socks. Terrible.
Another reason to go early i.e. May and the first half of June.  Bugs start in the last half of June and start going away in August.  We spent late June though early August right on the shoreline in Homer, Seward and Valdez, very few bugs. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

ArdraF

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2017, 06:06:33 PM »
Mosquitoes are the state bird of Alaska. ;D We bought bug hats for Alaska and now carry them in the motorhome.  Denali at Wonder Lake was especially bad that year.  Take bug spray with DEET, something for bites, and plan on covering up with long sleeves and long pants.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

missnmountains

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2017, 10:32:23 AM »
We prefer the earlier months. There are more animals and fewer bugs. We have been going every other year even years. Plan on leaving South Florida late April. Planing on three to four months again.

Ken
Ken & Chris

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Ken & Sheila

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2017, 10:18:05 PM »
This year we made another trip to Alaska. Our first stop was Wrangell (via the Alaska Marine Highway, aka the ferry) on 6/13 and we left Alaska for the Yukon on 8/4. We left the lower for for Canada on 6/7 and re-entered the lower 48 on 8/30.

I only remember a few mosquitoes at Juneau and we had good weather. Our only real issues were the fires in BC and Alberta on the return portion of the trip.

ken
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thomasamski

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2017, 08:48:36 PM »
We did Alaska in 2011 ... from Florida. It was a loooooong trip, but rewarding. Saw lots of animals and it was cold in June and July. Snow never goes away and the temps can drop into the 20s and 30s during the summer months. The Alaska Highway is rough, sometimes like a washboard for hundreds of miles. It just beat up our rig to the extent that we traded it in. Expect high gas, food, other prices and not the best RV park facilities in some areas of Canada and Alaska. Oh, and don't forget your passports to get into and out of Canada and up to date shot record if you're traveling with pets.
2011 Fleetwood Southwind pulling a 2010 Chevrolet HHR

Tom and Margi

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2017, 09:39:43 PM »
We did the Alaska trip in 2000.  Always intended to go back.  Life interrupted.  We left Montana the end of May and entered Idaho the middle of August.  Would have stayed longer but had a previous commitment.  Yes ... the roads were rough at times.  Yes ... it rained some.  Yes ... it was expensive.  BUT, BY FAR, the most memorable trip we ever took in the motorhome, and we traveled plenty and covered a lot of ground.  We were "on the road" in the motorhome for about twelve years before we settled down and hung up our keys.  If health permitted I would take that trip all over again in a NY Minute!

Oldgator73

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2017, 07:55:18 AM »
I had the rare pleasure of seeing most of remote Alaska by air back in the mid 80's. I had a remote assignment to King Salmon, AK. We flew out of Anchorage in a small two engine prop plane and headed north to Galena, AK which is located on the the north bank of the Yukon River. They had to drop some troops off at Galena, AS. We flew over some of the most beautiful and scary terrain I had ever seen. I kept thinking if we went down there wouldn't be any chance for survival in this type of landscape. Folks need to add a trip to Alaska on their bucket list. You won't be disappointed.
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clockdrfla

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2017, 09:14:08 AM »
Was concerned about the roads.  Will be pulling a 39' fifth wheel hoping it won't get beat to hell.  RV Park reviews has been helpful but surprised of the low ratings for many of the parks.  Do most people stay in between Anchorage and Fairbanks areas? 

UTTransplant

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2017, 11:34:27 AM »
We are joining a caravan group for Alaska next summer. We start in mid June in BC and get back to BC in early August. We chose that time because it works better for other schedule issues we have. We live in the west and we are young enough to plan a second trip by ourself in a few years. We look at this one as a sampler, letting us figure out where we want to spend our time on the later trip. We are already working on getting our trailer up to speed. While it isnít too old, we do a lot of traveling so it probably has 40,000 miles on it. We replaced all the tires this spring, and we just got it back from the shop with new shackles and bushings. While it was there we had them repack the bearings and adjust the brakes, something DH generally does himself. We also plan on buying an additional spare tire and wheel, giving us 2 spares.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
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AStravelers

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 09:41:37 AM »
I guess things have changed between 2011 and 2016.  We found very little road in Canada or AK that was worse that many 2 lane highways in the lower 48. 

There is always some construction going on.  We did find a 15 miles section in Canada about 50 miles S of the AK border on the AK Hwy.  We drove that section at about 20-25 mph. 

There are always frost heaves on the highways.  You need to keep a close eye out for them.  Most are marked with flags. 

Because of the frost heaves you don't want to be driving at 60-65 mph.  50-55 mph is much better.  Besides you are here to see the scenery not to see how far you can drive in a day.  Plan on 100-200 miles in a day you you will enjoy the trip much more.  Trying for 350-400 miles in a day is asking for problems. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

AStravelers

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Re: Alaska questions
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2017, 09:47:52 AM »
Was concerned about the roads.  Will be pulling a 39' fifth wheel hoping it won't get beat to hell.  RV Park reviews has been helpful but surprised of the low ratings for many of the parks.  Do most people stay in between Anchorage and Fairbanks areas?
Yes, many of the RV parks are gravel parking lots.  Many don't have sewer hookups, but do have a dump station.  Keep in mind your RV is self contained so why do you need sewer hookups.   

Keep in mind you are here to visit the sights to see and places to visit, not to stay in a really nice RV park. 

Your RV won't get "beat to hell" if you keep your speed down, and watch for frost heaves.  Plan on 100-200 miles in a day and you will be happier.

Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

 

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