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Old 10-06-2019, 09:13 AM   #1
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Alaska 2020

We are planning a trip to Alaska next year. Just wondering if anyone else is planning the same thing. What are the most popular routes ( will be leaving from Ohio). Was thinking about crossing into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie but it appears that there really isn't much to see until you hit Winnipeg. Maybe it would be best to crossover somewhere around Minnesota or North Dakota. Just wondering what others are doing.

Carl & Sandy
2005 keystone Montana 5th wheel 2955RL
2004 GMC Sierra 2500HD Diesel
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:46 PM   #2
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Stay in the U.S. as long as possible to save on fuel costs. The Plains in the U.S. are the same as the Plains in Canada.

We've used Roosville by Glacier Nat'l Park and Sumas in Washington. Both were easy.

Do a Google search for border crossings and it will list all of them with their hours. Some aren't open 24 hr.

Full-timed for 16 Years . . .
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:17 AM   #3
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Heading West

I fully agree with last post, stay out of Canada as long as possible to avoid their stratospheric gas prices. We traveled across the Northern tier states( taking Rt 2 in Montana ) and entered Canada just west of Glacier National Park. A highly recommended route.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:07 AM   #4
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We're going in 2020 - probably transit Glacier Nat'l Park to Canada. Recommend you get the 'Milepost' guide - has loads of info re: routing, fuel, CGs, etc.
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:38 AM   #5
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I have worked and lived (30+ years ago) in Alaska and in the past 5 years have made 3 trips there and spent a total of 12 months there over the past 3 years. (working for Holland America Princess Cruises)

I concur with those that say Stay out of Canada for as long as possible.

The fuel and everything else there is really needlessly expensive. On my most recent trip back to the states this September from Fairbanks I paid as much as $5/gal for diesel (this is after all conversions) And fuel prices had FALLEN from when I went north in April.

But there are some ways to save on fuel as you go.

One is that along the way you will find some unattended fuel stations that look like Shipping containers painted yellow. These can be a little complicated at first to work but they take your debit and credit cards and the fuel is cheaper than at any other station.

The "60 Degree North" station in Whitehorse is I think the cheapest and most accessible station there and it's next door to the Wal Mart.

Do not rely on the Gas Buddy app in Canada it is gamed and especially unreliable there. It is fast becoming nearly useless in many parts of this country also.

One way to cut your fuel cost is to avoid British Columbia at all costs. Fuel is very expensive there. My advice is enter into Alberta and make your way towards Dawson Creek (BC) from there. this will cut down on your miles thru BC. The fuel in Alberta is cheaper sometimes by quite a lot than in BC. However try to avoid fueling up in the "oil fields areas"

Once in Canada use Canadian Money. Do not expect them to take US Dollars. If they do take it you will get a very bad rate. Use your credit cards or debit cards. While most banks charge a small international fee it's still generally a better exchange rate than you get at the ATM's through your bank.

But DO GO the scenery especially farther north you get is truly stunning. The road is good, all paved and like any other good US highway. (even better in places)a
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Old 11-17-2019, 02:03 PM   #6
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I agree with much of BTFT's post. If fuel pricing is your primary consideration for choosing a route, stay south of the 49th until you get to Montana, then head north on 89 or I15.

We select a route based on where we haven't been before, even if it costs a few $ more for fuel. $500 extra fuel costs on $10K trip isn't worth worrying about. Today, fuel is cheap locally (near Edmonton, AB) at $0.88 for gas and $1.09 for diesel. That's about US$2.53 for gas and US$3.13 for diesel per US gallon. Who knows what it will be 6 months from now. If you really want this trip, fuel cost is an annoying detail. And yes, we do walk the walk. We spent C$5,080 for fuel in 2019 on our 12,600km/7,900 mile trip to New Brunswick, staying in Canada. See our travelogue at wwww.bobog.org/page10.html

If you have the time and are comfortable on secondary roads as well as freeways, I suggest this route northbound:
-Montana Hwy 17 across border then N on Hwy 6
-Visit Waterton Nat'l Park then continue on 6 north to 3
-West on 3 to Hwy 22, turn north until Hwy 40
-West on Hwy 40 through Kananaskis until Hwy 1 Wow!

-West on 1 through Banff then Lake Louise. Visit both!

-North on 93 Icefield Parkway to Jasper. Wow!
-E on 16 to Hinton for fuel. Lots of free overnighting here too.
-W on 16 for a few minutes the north on 40 to Grande Prairie. If you are a member, fuel up at Costco (yes, they have diesel, Mastercard only)
-W on 43 to Dawson Creek, BC then 97 north to YT and AK.

This certainly isn't the most direct route but is, I think, the prettiest. We have done all these roads in our 35' class A plus Toad (54' end to end) so you'll have no road problems in your 5er.

Returning on the same route looks different but you should consider taking another route, especially if this is going to be the only time you get to this part of the continent. Here's my recommendation for a route, again based on personal experience:
-From Watson Lake YT turn south on 37, the Cassiar Hwy Fuel up in Watson lake!

-South on 37 to 16 at Kitwanga.
-East on 16 to Prince George. Decide on route for the next leg south
-choices are 97 to Hope via (Fraser River Canyon) then cross into Washington, or
-Hwy 16 east to Hwy 5 then south to Kamloops and Hwy 1, then east to 97, south to Oroville, Washington.

If you are pressed for time but determined to do it next year anyway, check your distances carefully and budget for slow average speeds once you get past Dawson Creek. You are looking at 10,000 miles or so. There is lots of good advice out there on vehicle preparation and things to see and do in YT and AK. Buy the latest copy of the Milepost.

Since I am on a roll, here are a few visiting Canada comments:

-Don't forget emergency road service membership,

-your medical insurance provider probably wants more money from you,

-you need a "pink card" proof of vehicle insurance. Talk to your broker.
-your cell phone won't work without a roaming plan. Talk to your carrier.
-Foreign currency (US$, Pesos, Euros) are generally not accepted by merchants except at a big discount. Can I spend twonies in Ohio? Get C$ at any bank or ATM. Private ATMs charge fees on top of your bank fees.

-make sure you understand what you can and cannot bring into Canada. Too many horror stories about trips ruined because someone didn't understand and follow the rules. In both directions.

Remember that Canada is a foreign country (for you) and you will be a visitor. Sometimes it will feel like home and other times you will shake your head in amazement at how we can be so different than Americans. We tend to be a friendly bunch who will be happy to help out visitors. Especially RVers! Happy planning; I'm sure you will have a great trip.
Greg & Tess Harrison, Maltese X named Camper
'04 Bounder 35E on W22, '10 Honda CR-V toad
Near Edmonton, Alberta
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Old 11-17-2019, 02:21 PM   #7
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As a trucker I have crossed at Sweetgrass Montana several times without any issues, easy drive up to Edmonton,AB
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:48 PM   #8
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The PM didn't say he was concerned about fuel costs, so personally, I would not miss western Ontario. In fact, we just did a circle around Lake Superior in May-June and it was gorgeous. We stayed in provincial parks on the lakeshore with electric hookups and water and dumps available in the campgrounds. On a previous trip we stayed at Lake of the Woods--a beautiful blue lake with a rugged, tree-covered, very rocky shoreline. And there is so much history that can be learned about the early explorers and fur traders who traveled that area in the 18th and 19th centuries in the numerous historic sites around the lake.

Riding Mountain National Park northwest of Winnepeg is also a "must-see" sight! It has the clearest lake I have ever seen (and I live in Colorado and have worked all over the West and Alaska). The park also has lots of wildlife--moose, wood buffalo, elk, bears, etc.

When you leave Manitoba, is driving through North Dakota and eastern Montana really more interesting than Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta? If I were doing your trip, I would go north on the Canada route and come home on the U.S. route.
Retirement is the best job I ever had!

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Old 11-18-2019, 05:39 PM   #9
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Is anyone from the northeast Ohio area making this trip next year?
Carl & Sandy
2005 keystone Montana 5th wheel 2955RL
2004 GMC Sierra 2500HD Diesel
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:08 PM   #10
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A little additional perspective: In the last year and a half we've made 4 trips up and down the Alaska Highway, mostly in the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alberta, and on the last trip home to Anchorage from Indiana this year via Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, BC, and Yukon.

We can agree wholeheartedly about the high cost of fuel, but the other side of that coin is the good to excellent condition of Canadian roads, particularly the highways, and lots of new highway construction. The highest price we encountered was in Muncho Lake, BC about a year ago at $1.99 Canadian per liter. A favorable exchange rate lowered that some, but the final bill was nearly $200 US because we had gone below our usual half tank fill up point. (55 gallon tank)

In comparison, it seems we Americans want cheap fuel but at the same time loath to pay for the upkeep of existing highways and construction of needed additional roads.

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