Alaska travel during late May/early June

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Issy

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Feb 9, 2006
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Hello, would appreciate any experiences of travelling through the Canadian Rockies (Edmonton-Banff-Prince Rupert) during late May/early June timeframe and then into Alaska.  We have a 37 ft. motorhome - any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Cheers,  Issy
 

cheryl

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Issy, don't have any information for you but we are planning a trip up to AK crossing over July 11 or so.  We plan on staying as long as the weather will allow us to see the northern lights!  I had posted andgot some good information on a trip so you may want to check the replys from that.  If we find any good information will pass on.  We also have a 37 ft motorhome (dolphin).
Cheryl
 

Tom and Margi

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We left Great Falls, MT on May 23 and returned to Idaho in mid-August.  We had terrific weather and really enjoyed the trip.

Margi
 

rhmahoney

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The lady at the Alberta booth in Quartzsite last month said no snow problems in Banth Jasper in late May.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Should be no problems, but that doesn't necessarily mean no snow. And you will likely have some rather cold nights, but the days should warm up nicely. Scenery will be spectacular with lots of snow on the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Rivers will be high and running wild with the spring melt. Wildlife will most likely be skinny after the winter, though. They look much better in the fall when they are sleek.

We traveled across BC and up the Casiar Hwy in early June and encountered no snow on the roads (but there was evidence of it in every shady nook). Good fishing that time of year too.
 

Chet18013

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We crossed the MT, Alberta boarder on June 1st, 2003 on our way to Alaska. When we started the Alaska Hwy, we encountered some 80 deg weather in Dawson Creek on June 5th.  In the three weeks we took to get to Anchorage, We got snowed on--lightly (2 days)-- encountered rain (6 days) , otherwise the trip was great. 

However, when you are traveling in the rain and you encounter road work, things do tend to get a little muddy. The atached was taken on June 3rd, 2003.

Chet18013

 

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Terry A. Brewer

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Chet

>>When you and Russ enter the Yukon, on the Alaskan Hwy, I expect you to stop and take the same picture and post it<<

I will...as long as Russ tells me where it is.<BG>

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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That route pretty much covers everything you ought to see. Some of the areas you may breeze right through and others you may stay awhile - depends on your likes/dislikes and the total amount of time available.  It doesn't make much difference if you travel that route in the direction their arrows indicate, though. Do whatever seems best to you.

What that route doesn't say is how you get to/from the ends. There's a lot to see and do in lower BC (e.g. Smithers to Prince George, Prince Rupert, Vancouver area, etc.) and in Alberta too - I strongly encourage you to see the Canadian Rockies (Jasper & Banff, AB) on your way to or back from the tour route.
 

Chet18013

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Hi  Phil,

Remember there is only one road driving in and out of Alaska and that goes through TOK. So unless you take the ferry one way, you'll see TOK twice--which is OK.  I'd forget the Caravan route and just be guided by what interests you.

Your first purchase should be the 2006 Milepost. A must for the Alaska trip. See:

http://www.themilepost.com/

Here's a link to some photos I took during our Alaska trip in 2003.

http://photobucket.com/albums/v512/ChetParks/

The first thing I would  recommend you do is purchase an Alaska discount tour book. See:

http://www.alaskaone.com/toursaver/list.html

We used this as the basis to plan our trip and it paid for itself in the first week.

Our first real stop was in Skagway for several days. The White Pass railroad is a must?half price with the tour book. We then took the Ferry to Haines?1 hour ride. In Haines stay at the RV park on the water. We were able to sit in the RV and watch the whales in the sound in front of us. Take the one day ferry ride to Juneau. We didn?t and regret not doing so.

We drove from Haines?through Tok?to Valdez. Take the Glacer and whale watch cruse on the LuLu Belle, half price again with the tour book. We then stopped at Chitina and drove the Jeep to McCarthy?not for the faint of heart, but well worth the drive. From here we went to Anchorage and stayed at the RV Park-two nights for the price of one from the tour book.

From Anchorage we slowly went to Seward, arriving on June 30th and stayed over the 4th of July. Seward is crazy over the 4th and a must visit on these dates if you can. The city runs some first come first serve RV sites on the water front that are great?if you can get a space. We did.

From Seward  to Cooper River with a stop here for a River Raft trip?right ? price again. Then around to Ninilchik. I would recommend staying at the state park on the beach here and then driving to Homer, rather than try to stay on the Spit.

From Ninilchik we went back to Anchorage for 2 more days, half price again from the tour book. From Anchorage on to Denali for several days, before going up to Fairbanks. Stayed at Fairbanks at the Chiena Marina RV park, right on the float plane take off and landing area. Watched the planes out the front window of the RV.

Be sure and do the Gold Mine tour while in Fairbanks. Forget the Gold dredge?there?s a better one in Dawson City.

From Fairbanks, back to TOK and then the Top of The World HWY through Chicken to Dawson City. See the Dredge here and be sure and take the walking tour of town. It?s memorable.

Drove south from Dawson City to White horse, crossed the Alaska Hwy and went down the Cassiar to Prince Rupert, with a side trip of a couple of days in Stewart.

We went on to Jasper and down the Icefield Parkway to Banff. Stay at a campground in Jasper and drive the Parkway both ways. You will not regret it. From here you have the option to go east to Calgray or down the parkway-again.

That was our trip. After you drop down to the states again, Go through MT and stop and see Ron Ruward. He?s a good host.

If you have any questions, ask away.

BTW we are starting to plan to do the trip again, in the reverse direction in 2007.

We didn't make any RV campground reseverations, except at Fairbanks and had no problems. I suspect the price of fuel will cut into the number of RVs in Alaska this year.

Chet
 

rhmahoney

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Paul: "Has anyone tried to copy the route the Tour companies drive ?"

Au contraire, the tour companies have copied MY route of 4 years ago, but left out a very enjoyable drive down to Haines and 15 mile ferry ride over to Skagway.

I took 3 months to travel 11,000 miles from and to Des Moines Iowa.

The current year edition of the Milepost comes out on March 1st.
 

BernieD

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UK-RV said:
Has anyone tried to copy the route the Tour companies drive ?

We are heading to Alaska in mid-May and are thinking of driving the following route (or one of their others)
What are your thoughts please?

Paul

Marlene compared our route to the Tour company routes and found that they were similar. You could use them as a starting point. I would recommend using the new edition Milepost when it comes out in a month or two and download the trip reports by Forum members in the Forum library.
 

UK-RV

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Thanks Guys

I already had the 05 Milepost delivered to us in the UK.

Im thinking of trying some of the 'scenic drives' listed on the weatherchannel.com

I just typed in one destination and selected one of 4 scenic drives for it, which even stated that RVs were restricted for one side-trip.

Paul
 

Chet18013

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Hi Paul,

Thanks for mentioning the Weatherchannel travel guides. I was not aware of this link. After checking it out, we are impressed with what they have available. We have already planned two short trips this summer using this guide.

Chet18013
 
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