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Old 01-21-2016, 04:39 PM   #43
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My guess is it would be OK. We were through there heading north in 2012 late April early May and the road was clear and dry from one end to the other. However, all the lakes were still frozen over and lots of white on the mountains. The Columbia Icefield Visitor center parking lot was only partially plowed but enough so we could stay the night.

We went through there this past fall about the end of September heading south and for me it was the best time of year to see and do stuff that we had missed in 2012.

Lots of photos every time we go through there.

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Old 01-21-2016, 04:58 PM   #44
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I like it when there is still some snow still around at the higher elevations. It will be a "play it by ear" to how I travel thru the Banff / Jasper corridor.

My camping plans to AK. are to do a combination of "pull offs" "Provincial parks" and a few private campgrounds.

Will there be issues getting a electric site at some of the private campgrounds along the Alcan with all the caravan groups?

Would calling earlier in the day say 10am / noon and reserving a site at a private campground maybe 100 miles ahead work?
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Old 01-21-2016, 05:43 PM   #45
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My two cents. Visited Banff end of May 2015 and travelled up to Jasper first week of June. It was simply gorgeous. Clear blue skies, crystal waters and snow capped mountains. Both towns were busy but not overwhelming with tourists. Lots of room to maneuver, walking and driving. On the return trip from Alaska in late August, not so much. Jasper was so crowded with traffic and sidewalks crowded, couldn't wait to get out. Tourist information had long lines, gas stations were backed up. Banff was not quite as bad. But we loved both places....just love it more in the spring.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:03 PM   #46
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Will there be issues getting a electric site at some of the private campgrounds along the Alcan with all the caravan groups?

Would calling earlier in the day say 10am / noon and reserving a site at a private campground maybe 100 miles ahead work?
Your plan would definitely work. No need to make advance reservations except perhaps for the July 4 weekend or Denali Nat'l Park. We only made those about 3 weeks prior when we could better judge when we'd be there. Have a great trip! It's a very easy one to do - only long. Don't think about the total miles until you're back home.
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:05 PM   #47
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No site availability problems until you get to a city where there's things to do and see, or a tourist attraction; caravans normally coordinate with each other to avoid hitting the same park at the same time. Last time we went, our SMART caravan and another caravan were always back to back or together in the same RV parks.
I think there are 10-12 caravan companies, with many running more than one AK caravan a summer.
Discovery RV tours
Fantasy RV tours
Adventure RV tours
Adventure Treks
RV West
Alaskan RV tours
RV Alaska Tours
WinnegaGOLife tours (operated by Winnegago Itasca Travel = WIT club)
SMART military veterans AK caravan
and more I can't remember.

So you can see how RV parks are full at times, they only have about 3 months to get all these caravans through AK RV parks.
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Old 01-23-2016, 06:49 PM   #48
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Your plan would definitely work. No need to make advance reservations except perhaps for the July 4 weekend or Denali Nat'l Park. We only made those about 3 weeks prior when we could better judge when we'd be there. Have a great trip! It's a very easy one to do - only long.
Plan to be parked in my sis-n-laws drive in North Pole during the 4th. Last time we flew up to visit in 13' I was already "scoping out" her nice double wide driveway knowing in 16' I would be retired and doing the RV trip up north.

What is the average size of a caravan group? 10, 20, 30 rigs?
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:33 AM   #49
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Most that I had come across in all my travels in Alaska were between 10 and 20.

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Old 01-24-2016, 07:00 AM   #50
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10 or 15 in a group wouldn't be too bad...Until we actually start our voyage to AK. not sure how many miles we'll do a day. A point was made in order to have a better chance of getting a campsite at some of the little more popular Provincial parks or private campgrounds, you may want to plan on arriving around 3 in the afternoon.

I would prefer to do no more than 250 miles in a day. We have done 550 in one shot when we return from Vermont to Ohio on past trips, and that is a long day, and your traveling at 65mph. I'm going to suspect I'll average much less than that especially between Whitehorse and Tok which from some Youtube posters this past year showed can be crappy.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:51 AM   #51
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On my three trips to spend four months of the summer in Alaska, 2010, 2012 and 2015, I have pinpointed many favorite locations to stay at both on the way up and on the way back to the lower 48.

I use both the Alaskan Highway and the Cassier Highway taking one going up and the other going back.

I also don't drive like a bat out of hell each day and usually drive 250 - 300 miles each day. I normally spend 9-10 days driving through Canada before I cross the border into Alaska and generally the same going the other way. I have used crossings at Sumas, Sweet Grass and White Horse so it just depends on the route and travel plans.

There are only two RV Parks that I have always used when going in both directions. One is in Prince George BC and the other is in Watson Lake Yukon. The balance of the trip we stay for just one overnight at places that I have picked out for my distance that I like to travel each day. They are usually rest areas or good large safe places to pull over and park for one night.

Another place I try to stop at for one night is Liard Hot Springs PP either going up or back.

There is only one segment of the trip where I find it difficult for a good overnight location to stay at between Fort St John BC and the PP in Liard Hot Springs . That segment is way too long of a drive for one day.

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Old 01-24-2016, 10:58 AM   #52
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We had 13 rigs in our caravan, and it got to be cumbersome at times, even though we traveled is groups of 4; of course the first group (5) included the wagonmaster-no permanent tail-gunner.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:56 PM   #53
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I may be wrong but I don't think the caravans stay in the Provincial parks or even in Denali itself. They stay at hookup places.

As far as hours of driving per day....we didn't make it a point to drive a certain amount of hours. Sometimes we'd only move 50 miles or so....just depended on if we wanted to explore more of an area. That's why we choose not to make reservations. We've never been without a spot to stay yet!
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:23 PM   #54
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Could you share the names of the two campgrounds in Prince Heorge and Watson Lake. We are heading up the middle of June.
Thanks
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:04 AM   #55
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Watson Lake Downtown RV Park in Watson Lake Yukon. Waking distance to the Sign Post Forest.

Photos below.

Southpark RV Park, Prince George BC

There is another one that is much larger called Snitch RV Park which is just down the road.

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Old 01-25-2016, 10:17 AM   #56
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We went in 2014. I would get the latest Milepost, Church's Camping book, and an Alaska Tour Saver Book. To get some ideas where to go and what to do check out our blog.
https://jtappen.wordpress.com/2014/05/Scroll to the bottom to start.
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