Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-25-2013, 01:17 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 25
Alaska next fall

Planning on going to Alaska from Washington state, probably for the entire month of September. From all I have read, it appears that it is a bit of a toss up between Denali National park and Chena Hot Springs for Northern Lights observation. Thinking about staying somewhere between them, since it's 60 miles north of Fairbanks to Chena and 120 miles south of Fairbanks to Denali. Looking for some help here on; 1. Do I have any of this right? and 2. Recommended places to stay or itinerary?

Thanks for any input you can provide.
__________________

__________________
Quinten is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-25-2013, 04:01 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Papawto5's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,270
Northern lights in September

We were in Alaska in 2013 (mid June to late July). Seems like all of the talk about the northern lights was centered around the winter months not early fall.

You might want to check with someone at the university in Fairbanks to get the lowdown on viewing this event.
__________________

__________________
2011 Coachmen SportsCoach
Living Our Dream One Mile at a Time
Steve & Mary Ann (RVM5 & 5A)
Papawto5 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 05:46 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
TdogKing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Small Town USA , California
Posts: 1,349
If Chena and Denali advertise Northern Lights then staying in Fairbanks is between them. I drove to all if that this past summer but have plans to go back and see the Lights . Awesome countryside !
__________________
TdogKing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 05:49 PM   #4
Alaskan Member
 
bikermike's Avatar


 
Vintage RV Owners Club
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 128
Make sure to check with the camp grounds you want to stay at as most of them close the day after Labor Day.
__________________
Mike, Liz and Zeeva (Chihuahua) in a 1993 Fleetwood 29 foot Coronado, living the RV life in the Great Land of Alaska
bikermike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 06:09 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,707
Quote:
Chena Hot Springs for Northern Lights observation. Thinking about staying somewhere between them, since it's 60 miles north of Fairbanks to Chena
Going up in Sept. you will have to watch the weather very closely. Sis-in-Law had snow Sept 15th. in North Pole which is just east of Fairbanks. We were up there in August (non-RVing). The road to Chena has 2-3 state park campgrounds. Two of the 3 they had just finished updating, the 3rd Rosehip they were still in the process of finishing up. All three are dry camping. But if you want to be away from the city lights Chene would sure do the trick. The paved road along Chene Hot Springs is fine, easy to average 50-55 mph with a few small hills. We did the Hot Springs this year. To see the Northern Lights they are more prevalent during the colder months. There also a cycle as to when during the month there is a higher occurrence of seeing them. But once you do....All I can say is WOW.....

There are also some pull-offs along Chene Hot Springs road you can dry camp at. PM me and I'll give you my favorite stash location large enough for MH's..

Also going up in Sept. FYI The low bush cranberries and Rosehips will be ready to pick in Sept. High Bush Cranberries are good in mid Aug till early Sept, Blueberries are good July thru mid Aug. And Raspberries are good up to mid Aug.

Alaska 2013 pictures.

We plan a 2016 RV trip...
__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2018 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 24 RKS
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 06:34 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Steve Ownby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cosby, Tn
Posts: 6,396
If you can possibly go earlier you will have a better experience. The distances are pretty large and many of the roads are not what you are accustomed to. The mountains will start get a dusting of snow by late Aug.

The Northern Lights are always there but viewing depends on a dark night sky and the Alaskan summer night sky is not dark enough. We left Alaska on Sept 1st and viewed the Lights just north west of Whitehorse. There is a campground in Fairbanks (I think Rivers Edge) that may stay open until mid Sept. Other wise there is the big Pioneer Village in Fairbanks where you can dry camp in the parking lot. I would stay in Fairbanks and take the towed out to Chena Hot springs. Soak in the hot spring and then view the lights on the way home. Your biggest issue may be a cloud free night.
__________________
Steve Ownby
Full time since 2007
2003 Monaco Signature
Steve Ownby is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 07:47 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
R2Home's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Palmer Ak
Posts: 1,124
Sept can be a 'give or take' month. If you are here then make sure that you are ready for most any type of weather. As far a viewing the Northern lights, I would suggest Chena Hot springs. It is an interesting place with several different activities to do. This will also be the time when the leaves are turning colors and worth seeing. They are not as good as the East coast but still nice for Alaska. Have a safe trip and part of the fun is in the planning.
__________________
2009 38' Diplomat
CSM- retired, wife as co-pilot
Reka & Ali providing security (our 2 labs)
R2Home is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 07:54 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,707
While up there Aug 1 - 18 the birch leaves were just starting to change color. I couldn't see traveling anytime after Sept 15 down the Al-Can...Could be fine, but then things can get messy in a RV. In-Laws have traveled the Al-Can in the dead of winter, but that was in a SUV or car.

While we were up there in August, brother-n-law said so or so nights were good for Northern Lights, but it was still fairly light out till 11pm...Never saw any this trip.

2013 Alaska pics
__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2018 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 24 RKS
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2013, 11:05 PM   #9
Member
 
Borderbuster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NW Washington State
Posts: 73
Alaska Mountain WebCams

Web site you Alaska bound guys might be interested in. Suggest looking at it about noon Alaska time to get daylight pics
__________________
Randy, Karen and a couple of mangy cats
93 Hawkins 36DP, 03 Explorer
Borderbuster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 08:17 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
AKJohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Wasilla Alaska
Posts: 284
If your goal is to see the Aurora in mid September then you should go as far north as you can. North of Fairbanks around Chena would be a good area. Denali NP closes down in mid September. The exact day the road closes varies depending on when it snows. If you want to see the Aurora, stay at one of the campgrounds in the park. The RV parks outside the NP will have too much ambient light and will most likely be closed then anyway. Most of the services outside Denali NP will be closed by mid September. Gas stations on the highway in Cantwell an Healy will are open all winter. You might also try the Taylor Highway (also called the Top of the World Highway) north of Tok. There are some state campgrounds on that road. Those campgrounds will not be full but there will be some hunters staying in the campgrounds that time of year. I've spent a fair amount of time wilderness camping in that area in September and have often seen the Aurora. That is an unpaved road, it can be rough and muddy.

Having said all that, I would not make an RV trip in Alaska in late September. You should expect cold rain, freezing temps at night, with occasional snow and ice. The highways will remain clear of snow and ice but your RV may be iced up overnight. Expect temps down into the teens. If your going to drive back down the highway through Canada you will almost certainly encounter some bad weather at the end of September. I would plan on getting through the Yukon southbound by mid September.

If your goal is to see the Aurora you might consider flying to Alaska in January. Airfares from Seattle are pretty reasonable that time of year. There are hotels that specialize in Aurora viewing. The nights are so long then that you would have a much better chance of seeing the Aurora.
__________________
John and Karen
2012 Thor Challenger 36FD
2013 Fiat 500 Toad
AKJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 09:48 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 443
To get a proper perspective of traveling the Al Can highway in the latter part of the year, you need to read the tale of one RVer coming from Alaska in the late Fall/early Winter.
It is on the RV.net website in the RVing in Alaska & Canada Forum. The topic is; North Star Trek-Captain's Log-A Winter Exodus. It has pictures of the highway as well as of the camping spots.
It is a little later than you are planning on coming back but it will give you an idea of what can happen if the weather turns for the worst in late September.
Good Luck,
Indiana Journey
__________________
indiana journey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 10:49 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
lakewoodpaul's Avatar
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 476
We spent a week at Denali N.p. last year in late August. 5 days at Teklinika and the rest at Riley creek campgrounds. We did see the northern lights about 2:00am while at Teklinika cg. Got some pics but not very good ones. there was a motohome parked between us and the area of the lights and they must fave fallen asleep with their interior lights on[not good since they had no hookups] anyway it was distracting. There is a campground at Chena Hot Springs. No hook ups but water and dump available and when we were there they did not take reservations, I would advice going there during the week as the locals from Fairbanks fiied it up on the weekend. Also you can pick up publications locally that will rate the chances of the viewing the lights for the next week and where. Good Luck.
__________________
WIT# 34347
lakewoodpaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 12:06 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,707
As long as were talking about travel to and from AK. If I'm coming up from the Great Lakes area to AK., when should you hit the Al-Can. I was thinking June 1st would be a good starting date. Maybe take 3 weeks to travel the 4200 miles (Ohio to Fairbanks) and return say the first week in Sept and take 2 weeks to return. Was planning to do the the "Top of the World" highway either coming or going. What kind of weather should I expect the first 3 weeks in June going thru BC, the Yukon and then AK. Temperature wise?, bugs?, We will be traveling in a hybrid trailer...Planning this for 2016 the year I retire.
__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2018 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 24 RKS
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 07:33 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
AKJohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Wasilla Alaska
Posts: 284
The weather in June is usually very nice, normally the best time of year. Unless your just wanting to fish, it's the time of year I normally recommend visiting Alaska. The Taylor (Top of the World) Highway should be open all the way to Dawson City by the first week of June. You should check with both the Alaska and Yukon DOT about the condition of the highway and Yukon river ice conditions (ferry crossing at Dawson City) before you leave Whitehorse. Plan on taking lots of time on the Taylor Highway. I've driven that road many times. Sometimes it's in pretty good shape, sometimes it has a lot of washboard.

Assume your windshield will not survive the Alaska trip without being broken. If your the type that's going to worry about your windshield every day, I have a suggestion. Stop at Dawson Creek, Mile 0 of the Alaska highway. Find a rock and just throw it into your windshield and crack it yourself. That way you can relax and enjoy the trip.
__________________

__________________
John and Karen
2012 Thor Challenger 36FD
2013 Fiat 500 Toad
AKJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.