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Old 01-08-2014, 07:04 AM   #15
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Trip to Alaska (or anywhere)

Microsoft Streets? The All-Stays app? I'd go with the spiral bound Rand McNally book just because it can be opened and closed very easily, and it has all the States. Much better than carrying 50 individual maps.

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Old 01-08-2014, 03:06 PM   #16
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The best maps are in the Milepost. Once you get to the Yukon there really aren't a lot of roads to drive - just the major roads that everyone else is driving. You can't get lost!

Get Mike & Terri Church's Alaskan Camping book and don't rely on the Milepost for camping information - they're paid advertisers. The Church's have in their book all the public, private and good boondocking spots. They lived in Fairbanks and make the trip often to update the book. However, each year things close so no reference is 100%. You have to be flexible on the trip. Boondocking places are gorgeous and numerous - even for our 40' motorhome.

Also get the TourSaver 2/1 coupon book online before going. One glacier cruise will pay for it and you definitely need to take a cruise!

You might also want to go to the Woodalls forum on Canada/Alaska. There is a huge ongoing post on those going this year. Also, at the top of the page you'll see a 'Sticky' for very helpful hints (attractions, campgrounds, etc.) that folks submitted last year on the forum.

One hint is to drive only on the top half of your fuel tank because stations are far apart and some even run out of fuel toward the end of the season and you'll find some closed altogether. Fuel up when you see it.

Reservations aren't necessary for the most part. The only ones we made for the whole summer were for the July 4 weekend and Denali. For those we only made them three weeks out when we were more confident of when we'd be there. We don't travel on schedules.

Denali: A wonderful experience is staying in the park's Teklanika campground - the furthest one you can drive. Definitely have reservations for this one. Once there you park your rig and you can't move it for the rest of your stay. However, the free shuttle stops at the campground. You purchase the TEK pass and you can ride any of the busses that come by whenever you want and as far as you want. Sometimes we went out 2-3 times a day for short periods. We saw a sample of all the 'big' critters in the park. Awesome! We spent 5 nights at Teklanika - no electric, water or dump so come in prepared.

We actually got to the Denali area a little early for our reservations at Teklanika so on a whim we boondocked nearby the previous night and drove into the park early morning. We easily secured a non-reservation site at the front campground - Riley Creek and stayed 5 nights there. Our days were filled just doing things within the park.

Our 40' motorhome fit in both campgrounds.

Have a great trip everyone! Wish we were going again....

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Old 01-09-2014, 05:21 PM   #17
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I have Question re: Denali Teklanika campground

I went to the website which indicated the campground accommodates 40ft RVs, which I assume means just the RV.

We have a 5th wheel towed by a pickup a total of 46ft long hooked up.

Was there room in the campsites for a 35ft 5th wheel unhitched from an 18ft pickup truck?

Did you note any size restrictions on the road in there?

Thanks for sharing about Teklanika.

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Old 01-09-2014, 05:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by deSanford View Post
............ Caught the marine "ferry" at Prince Rupert and got off at each of the towns on the way up North to Alaska. Stayed a few days and caught the next ferry going North ................
Sounds like a great way to go!

Was it difficult / time consuming getting on an off the ferry so many times?

Were there any additional charges for doing that way or was each stop and departure treated as a new trip?


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Old 01-09-2014, 10:23 PM   #19
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Pozo: There aren't a lot of big sites at Teklanika. We were staying in the park's Riley Creek campground the previous night and were told to start driving to Teklanika around 9am - about and hour's drive - in hopes of snagging a site that someone just vacated. We didn't have a problem finding one to fit our 40'.

You can't reserve a specific site so you really don't know what's available until you get out there.

Motorhomes aren't allowed to bring their towed vehicle to Teklanika. Instead, there's a separate parking lot near Riley Creek to park during the stay. Those with 5th wheels naturally will be bringing their truck but once parked you won't be able to drive it again until you leave. There were a couple areas where, if both wouldn't fit on the campsite, you could park the truck elsewhere I would imagine. You'd have to call the park directly for a direct answer.

The road is very good gravel and no vehicle restrictions. The tour buses drive the road. There's only one road out there!! Good luck!
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:18 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by taylorgso View Post
We're joining a caravan - 60 days leaving late June from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, I can't remember how many times I drove thru Coeur d'Alene, Idaho when I drove over the road (Semi). But Coeur d'Alene, Idaho was the highlight of the many trips to Seattle, Tacoma. It's beautiful thru there. The Lake looks great, Now I can stop and spend some time there before contuing to AK.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:10 AM   #21
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For those planning a trip to Alaska. I live in Alaska 62 years (born here).
Everything in Alaska is a long drive, you can drive 5 hours from Anchorage and not be to the park even at highway speeds, take your time look around stop in some of the small communities. I canít call them towns because most of the time everyone lives out in the woods, only to come in if they have to.

Fuel right now in Anchorage is $3.51 for gas, $3.98 for diesel, prices always go up in the summer. If you break down it is expensive to repair in the outlying communities. Try to have temporary repairs made and get to Fairbanks or Anchorage for full service repairs.

The best time to be in Alaska is May thru July, after that the weather here is mostly wet.
It doesn't rain hard but it is over cast most late summers. If we have forest fires Fairbanks is usually right in the smoke.

The park (Denali) is full every summer so make reservation early. The shuttle system works well in the park, you can get off and catch the next bus with an empty seat, (sometimes not the next one) or you can ride in fancy tour buses. Eielson is usually our last stop in the park. Our local comment on the last leg to Wonder lake is I wonder why I went. With luck you will see Caribou, Moose, Bear (Brown and Black) birds of all kinds
Marmot, Goat, Sheep (Mt. variety) if real lucky Wolves everything else is a bonus keep the cameras out.

If you plan to drive on the Dalton High way use a car it is not a place to take a motor home. Big trucks on a gravel road (broken wind shields are the norm). Try to make reservation at a lodge, we like Wiseman, nice people comfortable place to stay.
If you stay at a lodge or some other accommodations donít expect the Hilton, these are generally small family owned establishments, if you are friendly and out going you will be welcomed warmly. Act like a jerk and they will be talking about you for a long time.
My wife was in Kaktovik on a Polar Bear trip this last fall and several of the lodges weíre still going on about some lady they just could not satisfy, donít be that person.

There are to many things to see so use the mile post and plan carefully, donít try to take it all in it is just to much. Fairbanks Ė museum is interesting, Authentic Sternwheeler Tanana Chief! a paddle wheeler on the river.

Anchorage - I spend most of my time around Anchorage in the mountains.
Anchorage is the largest city and thatís what it is a city with the good and bad.
Hatcher pass is North of Anchorage an hour and a half, the road over the pass doesnít open until after 4th July, it is a great place to spend a day hiking.
Homer, Seward, great places to take a day cruise or go fishing. Seward has a great hike ďLost lakeĒ about 16 miles takes about 6 hours. Start at the North end at Primrose trail head, it is the easiest hike up. It isnít difficult and it takes you into the wilderness quickly.
Leave a vehicle at the fire station so you can get back to Primrose.
South East is all about the scenery, take a cruise or ride the Ferry one way.

Coming or going to Alaska take the Tailor Highway to Dawson Canada. It is one of our favorite trips. Stay in Dawson at least a day or two to take in Diamond Tooth Gerties and see some real time gold mining operations, it is about 15 hours to White Horse.

Everything for me is about being in the backcountry I like to hike and climb so we donít spend much time in museums. You wonít see it all and to be honest youíll be seeing only that which is along the highway system 99% of Alaska is seen flying.

Come on up and enjoy.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:53 PM   #22
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JMHO - - - Don't make some awesome, fancy dancy schedule. Let the journey be the destination. Be prepared to stay longer once you see the beauty of a certain area (like most areas in Alaska). As stated make reservations only at Denali NP and 4th of July week. Simply "drift" from area to area.

Question for those that know - - - - Last summer we passed numerous places calling themselves campgrounds but the sign pointed down some gravel road to who knows where. Withthe frequency of places closing from year to year, how do you know if you should drive down the gravel road. We never dared to do it and we weren't going to unhook the toad to do it.

Enjoy yourselves. You will say "It's the most beautiful place you have ever visited".
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:00 PM   #23
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We are going to Alaska this year with our trailer. Plans are in the making. I will post them when they are done. Rich and Mary
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:19 PM   #24
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If you have specific questions about Alaska or tvl here ask, if I don't know I will try to find an answer. Send me a private email, if it is something others might be interested in, with your permission I will share the question and answer.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:39 AM   #25
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One question I have is about the TOW - if the weather is good, is it worth the trip? I have seen mixed reviews. I want to do it, the others in our group are on the fence.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:48 AM   #26
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Thanks AKBradley. We have a lot of friends that have been giving us a lot of information. So much maybe we don't have to go. It seems like we have already been there. A lot of pictures and CD's they made. NOT REALLY. Many questions seem to pop up. We have a TT. A picture is in my profile. Of all the pictures I see I don't see many Travel Trailers. A lot of truck campers and MH's. Do they come through the trip OK? I would like to drive the Dalton and Dempster for just a few miles. Thanks again Rich and Mary
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:39 PM   #27
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I saw many travel trailers and 5th wheel trailers enroute to, and in Alaska. We took our 5er to AK in 2012, broke a spring hitting an unmarked frost-heave too fast, entirely my fault. moral= drive slow! Buy a good quality road map of North America, compare what your GPS displays to the hard-copy road map for every route. A GPS is not always accurate or reliable the further North you travel. One of the RV's we were traveling with ignored that and relied on the GPS only. Turned onto a gravel road that turned into dirt, then narrowed to an off-road trail. He had to un-hook and back his MH about a mile until he found a place large enough to turn around. He re-joined the caravan that night at the CG.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:25 PM   #28
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We did Top of World Highway in our motor home a couple of years ago. While the scenery was beautiful, it wasn't anything we hadn't seen before or after. It's an 80 mile windy skinny dirt road with big vehicle traffic. Months after the trip, we were still cleaning dirt out of everything. We had a cooking pot with a cover on it inside a closed drawer. Somehow dirt got inside the pot.

Dawson City is worth seeing. If we go there again, we'll leave the coach in Tok or Chicken and drive the toad to Dawson City.

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