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Old 12-23-2016, 05:50 PM   #1
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Top of the world highway

I am planning a trip to Alaska in 2017 and wanted to know if anyone has driven the Top of the World Highway from Dawson City to Tok. The Milepost description is not encouraging, but it would save hundreds of miles. However, safety comes first.

We driving a 31 Sunstar 30T towing a CRV.

Thanks,

David


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Old 12-23-2016, 06:25 PM   #2
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We drove it in June this past summer. We boondocked at the WalMart in Whitehorse. Then drove up the Klondike route to provincial park called Moose Creek about hour or two east of Dawson City for one night. There were sections of the first 200 miles you had to watch for the frost heavies. The last 100 into Dawson are flatter without the frost heavies. I would call a few days ahead for reservations if you plan to stay in a Dawson City campground. I would do at least 3 nights there. Diamond Tooth Gerties has a seasonal show pass for $12 (Canadian) that you can see up to 3 shows a day. ( the later the show, the high the skirts )

The free ferry crosses the Yukon River which there was about a 20 minute wait. The first 5-6 miles of the Top of the World route (Tow) are uphill and paved. The next 60-70 miles were gravel that was well maintained. You could average 40-45 mph. Once you reach the gravel and are above treeline, you will see why they call it top of the world. That is the only words to describe the views.

After the US border you will have the best paved road you will ever see for the first 13 miles to Jack Wade Junction. After that all hell breaks loose...Yes, it's a crappy gravel road. Narrow at spots, large rounded 4-6" stones half sticking up, no guardrails. It is bad from Jack Wade Junction to Chicken AK. which is about 30 miles. We stayed in Chicken for two nights. There are only two campgrounds in Chicken right next to each other. Population 4. From Chicken back to the Alcan is called the Taylor Highway. From Chicken you start to get pavement again, but there will be sections of gravel maybe for 500-1000' at a time. The road improves the closer to the Alcan you get.

We traveled in a 26' travel trailer with a truck. I did get two screws in my one tire. Glad I had bought a good 12 volt air pump. Was able to fill the one tire up once a day till I made it to Fairbanks a few days later. I did not see many large motorhomes doing this route. Yes, I saw some class C's and 5ers.

During the 30 mile "bad" section (Jack Wade to Chix) my wife was spilling out her fair share of 4 letter words, and she's a church going person....I'll leave it at that.

Would I do it again....I think so...but I have not asked the DW yet. We plan to go back up in 19'.

Did gold panning and prospecting in both Dawson and Chicken.
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:29 PM   #3
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We drove it on 2006 and it was gravel but no problem. Took us about 3 hours to do about 40 miles. A 10 year old review is probably of little help as conditions change season to season.

However, depending on your itinerary, you may want to consider going west to east rather than east to west. The reason is the Customs point on the border doesn't open until 8 a.m. (at least it was that way back in '06). If you leave early going east from Chicken around 4:30 a.m. (it'll be light out) you can do the whole trip without the concern of tour buses and other large vehicles coming from the other direction. We had the road to ourselves and enjoyed it.
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:38 PM   #4
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Thank you for the information. Lots to consider. It may be worth doing. I'm new at this and haven't spent but about 21 days camping in the motor home.

By the way, what does DW stand for? I've seen it in reference to wives. Just can't figure it out.

Merry Christmas to both of you,

David


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Old 12-23-2016, 07:50 PM   #5
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Nope but I have gone to the sun.
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:59 PM   #6
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I did the "Top Of The World" in 1976 with my trusty 1957 Ford and 8 foot camper. Worth the trip just to see the scenery. Also, take a side trip up the Dempster Highway to get a feeling for the true North. It's the journey, not the destination.
Happy Trails.
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Old 12-23-2016, 08:22 PM   #7
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We're going to Inuvik on the Dempster Highway. Sounds like a great trip.

Happy holidays,

David


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Old 12-23-2016, 08:57 PM   #8
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DW = dear wife

We've driven the highway and it was in good condition for us. It varies year to year so don't believe what you read. It's slow-going and it's not meant as a shortcut. It's meant as an 'experience;'. It's great if you have good weather. Stay put for a couple days if it's raining or in the forecast.

You said you're 'new' to RVing. By the time you get to the Top of the World Hwy you'll be a pro!!
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
By the way, what does DW stand for?
Yup Dear Wife

Quote:
We're going to Inuvik on the Dempster Highway. Sounds like a great trip.
As a day trip we drove about 50 miles up the Dempster to Tombstone Territorial Park. The gravel was graded very nice. We were able to drive 55 mph with ease. Not sure how further north will be. Next time we will at least stay at the Tombstone campground. The visitor center there is brand new. Here is a picture of Tombstone and my other AK. trip pictures. There are a few of the Tow. The pictures that used "zoom" are a little grainy. Only used my IPhone 6. which was great except if I zoomed out too far.
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:29 AM   #10
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We did it a few years ago with a 11.4 Caribou TC without incident. I don't know the direction, but we spent several days panning for gold in Chicken before arriving at Dawson City. There is a large campground across the river from Dawson City that we used for the time we were there. It was interesting there because there isn't a bridge, but a ferry that just keeps going back and forth across the river. Downstream a short distance from the campground is a "steamboat graveyard" where the remains of several steamboats that were lost in a storm are. We explored that. There are a number of primitive campgrounds scattered along the road that we used for a night or two. We enjoyed the trip, especially Chicken and Dawson City. The scenery goes without saying.

Best of luck.

Steve
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:35 AM   #11
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It was safe but very dusty ( muddy if you catch rain ) and washboard surface. Here's a photo of my toad upon arriving in Chicken. Take it slow and plan on a few hour clean up inside and out. The dust got everywhere .

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Old 12-24-2016, 12:26 PM   #12
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I've driven it three times in our motorhome and had no problem. On the first trip we detoured up to Eagle and that was a good visit. If we travel to Alaska again we'll cross the Top of the World highway again. We have a pug dog and kids in Eagle were fascinated, they had never seen a pug dog before - all they had was those huskies and sled dogs.
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Old 12-24-2016, 06:10 PM   #13
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Great information. I'll plan to give it a go. Looking forward to the trip.


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Old 12-25-2016, 11:17 AM   #14
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Get a good 12 volt air pump. VIAir is what I bought off Amazon. And just have a good assortment of tools and things like: zip-ties, tire repair kit, windshield repair kit, duck tape, Gorilla glue, strong rope, box of assorted fasteners....

Like I said, I did get two screws in my rear truck tire. Was covered under a tire and rim warranty I bought.

I did have a RV window knocked out on the return trip in a construction zone near Destruction Bay on the Alcan. Got into Whitehorse and patched it up. Drove 4000 miles and bought a replacement back in Elkhart IN.
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