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Old 05-18-2015, 02:52 PM   #71
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Being retired I that travel time estimates don't mean nearly as much to me as they used to. Google maps says WHitehorse to Dawson City is 331 miles or 7 h 5 min without traffic. It took us a little over two days after stopping to watch a momma bear shepherding her three little cubs along the side of the road, water rushing through five-fingers gorge and many other sights along the way. We also found that the road condition can have a huge impact on your travel time. There was only one stretch of road construction but some sections of the highway were very rough with frost heaves, requiring us to slow down again and again.

We're in Dawson City now and we'll be taking the Top of The World Hwy over to Chicken, AK on the 21st, if the US border crossing opens that day as planned. Google estimates the 108 miles to take just over 4 hours but many who have travelled that road before tell us to expect it to take about 7 hours. I guess we'll find out later in the week.
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:01 PM   #72
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The Wifi is hit or miss on the free. We found that if Wifi was listed in various camping guides it was usually as Ron mentioned. The only free Wifi we have hit North of Whitehorse was at Destruction Bay RV. Unless specifically mentioned as free Wifi it will be limited, in our experience. The Wifi at Tok Rv is the same as Ron indicated 30 min free then pay for an hour, day ect. Day is $6.95, hour extra is $2.95. South to Palmer we have not found one listed as yet with completely free Wifi. Suspect more options closer to Anchorage.
Start looking for the free public libraries in each town. Even the smallest has free WIFI and just about all of them leave them on after closing. Sometimes you need to walk up and sit on the front porch but we've used them in Glenallen, Valdez, Skagway and all the way down the Kenai to Anchor Point and beyond.
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:35 AM   #73
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I am enjoying these posts as we're heading across the border at Sumas WA on the 2nd of June. Unfortunately we have just 7 weeks dedicated to this trip to AK but that means we'll just have to make another trip next year. We can do this!

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Old 05-19-2015, 08:58 AM   #74
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We have been on the road for abut 6 weeks now, and it is time to head back to our home in Alaska. We will be leaving Northern Idaho tomorrow, 20 May, going through Radium Hot springs, Banff, Jasper, Dawson, Whitehorse and then Alaska. We will not be stopping to 'smell the roses' and hope to be home in about 5 days travel time. Overall our trip has been good, but it is time to head home. Everyone have a safe, fun trip.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:05 AM   #75
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We've been in Dawson City, Yukon for the past couple of days and plan to head out on the Top of the World Hwy tomorrow, assuming that the US Border crossing on the way to Chicken, AK opens for the season tomorrow morning as planned.

We've seen several of the guys from the Yukon Gold TV show and went out on a tour of a working gold mining site yesterday. It was very interesting talking to the local miners and seeing the devastation left by the dredging machines of old. It also odd to see a town with virtually all gravel streets. The highway through town is paved by all else is gravel.


(Not my pic but one that shows a large truck for a better perspective)

We took our toad across on the ferry yesterday to see what the ramps were like in preparation for loading the coach on it tomorrow morning. It is a little rough transitioning from the gravel onto and off of the ramp but I also watched them adjust the ramp angle a bit for a large truck. Hopefully we won't drag the back end getting off. The ferry can hold rigs up to 80 feet in length. We'll go over with separate vehicle and hitch up our toad on the north bank.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:38 AM   #76
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Let us know what the road conditions are on the Top of the World route. Do you know whet the weather has been so far this spring? (wet, dry, warm cold)..We are planning our AK. for next June 1st. and are still up in the air as far as the TOW section.
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Old 05-21-2015, 02:13 PM   #77
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Dawson City is a neat little frontier town and definitely worth going - even if you don't get there or return on the Top of the World Hwy. Basically, the "highway" is just fine as long as you don't have rain a few days prior to driving it. It's a neat experience.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:18 AM   #78
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Basically, the "highway" is just fine as long as you don't have rain a few days prior to driving it. It's a neat experience.
I will have it on my bucket list, but will monitor the weather before hand. It would be maybe the middle of June by the time we get that far. Plan to take 3 weeks to get from Ohio. to Fairbanks. (4200 miles)
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:12 AM   #79
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Road Report: Top of the World Highway

The Top of the World Highway is spectacular!

The TWH (Top of the World Highway) runs for 127 kilometers (79 mi.) between Dawson City, Yukon and the Taylor Highway near Jack Wade, Alaska, about 100 miles north-east of Tok, AK. It crosses between the US and Canada at the Poker Creek - Little Gold Creek Border Crossing, the highest and most northern US/Canada road border crossing. The remaining roadway from the TWH to Tok, AK also takes you through the small but infamous town of Chicken, AK.

Its highway’s name is derived from much of its course along the ridgeline and mountaintops, often offering a 360 degrees panorama view of the wilderness as far as the eye can see.

The border crossing, TWH and the ferry at Dawson City are all closed in the winter. This year, 2015, the border and highway opened the day we journeyed over it on May 21. The ferry at Dawson opened about a week earlier to allow the road maintenance equipment to cross over.

This segment of our journey started with the ferry crossing over the Yukon River. It is a small open ferry that holds two narrow lanes of vehicles with a maximum length of 80 ft. On our crossing there was a car and a pickup truck with a utility trailer plus our 43 ft. class-A motorhome. I had some concerns about dragging our tail while disembarking but they are able to adjust the ramp angle somewhat and by taking it slow we were able to make a clean get away. Through not required, we did unhook our tow car and reconnect on the far northern bank of the river.

We had stayed in an RV park in Dawson the night before crossing the TWH but there are also two Yukon Government Campgrounds ($12/night) nearby. One is located just south of Dawson City and the other just north of where you get off the ferry. Both have pull-thru sites that can accommodate a large rig such as ours, without unhooking the tow car.

We had heard many horror stories about the deplorable condition of the road. Much of this proved to be an exaggeration though some sections were a little rough, some were narrow with a steep drop-off along one side and it was very dusty. On our day, it was dry and sunny resulting in a fine dust that found its way through every crack and crevice in the skin of our motorhome. If the weather had been wet it would have made for a good deal of mud and a very different experience. Generally, I was comfortable travelling at around 60-65 kph on the unpaved sections from Dawson City to the US border. Of course, you do have to keep a sharp eye on the road surface and slowdown when you spot soft spots and other roadway flaws. On the US side of the border you find a nice, newly paved section which allows you to relax just a bit before you hit the worst section taking you west to Chicken. This section is gravel and narrower that the actual TWH. Its surface is rough so you’ll have to slow down to avoid loosening the bolts and screws in your motor coach. There were few big potholes; just a rough gravel surface and a narrow roadway that required you take caution with approaching traffic. There were also some steep drop-offs along the roadside accented by “soft shoulder” warning signs.

Chicken turned out to be a bit of a disappointment for us. We had planned on spending the night here but that got narrowed down to a short stop for a beverage in the Chicken Saloon. The first of Chicken’s two RV parks was having technical difficulties – no water or electricity – and their restaurant would not receive its initial grocery order until late the following day. We then went to the second RV park but found their pull-thru sites had a significant slope in excess of what our rig could level on and poorly located service outlets that would have required an extension to connect our electrical.

After a refreshing beverage and chatting with some fellow RV’ers we continued on toward Tok, AK. A few miles into this stretch the road changed from gravel to pavement though its condition suggests a less flattering term for the road surface. This last 80 miles was often slower than our initial miles of gravel on the TWH due to frost heaves and broken pavement.

At last we joined onto the Alaska Hwy 14 miles south of Tok and enjoyed a great dinner at Fast Eddies, including a piece of Silk Pie for dessert.
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:22 AM   #80
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Northern Weather Report

First let me state that the weather in northern areas is different each year. This year and during an earlier trip up here in 2008 the May weather was great. Other years this same time period has seen early season travellers hunkered down, waiting out snow and inclement weather conditions.

We left the Vancouver, BC area on May 4, 2015 and came up to our current location in Tok, AK through Prince George, BC, up the Cassiar Hwy, through Whitehorse and up to Dawson City and across the Top of the World Highway. During this time we had a freek bit of rain and snow south of Prince George that lasted for about a mile and then was gone with the temperature jumping back up to the mid 60s. Other than that we've enjoyed never ending sunshine and temperatures mostly in the mid to high 70s and low 80s. We head up to Fairbanks today where the high is expected to be 85 degrees.
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Old 05-23-2015, 02:10 PM   #81
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We spent two days at Lake Kluane in very early June about seven years ago and there was no snow there; however, a week before, most of the CGs in Banff were full of snow.

Thoroughly enjoyed the Cassiar and would plan to spend several weeks wandering about next time we go to BC and perhaps Alaska. However, we are most interested in spending two to four weeks on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). We ran into a guy in Prince George, BC, seven years ago who was returning from Haida Gwaii where he had spent six weeks and was ecstatic. It was his third trip.
Reed and Elaine
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:05 PM   #82
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I was noting diesel pricing as we came north and discovered some interesting information and identified one location that is clearly taking advantage of unaware travellers.

Note that the following prices are in Canadian dollars and liters. To enable a relevant comparison, 1 Canadian Dollar currently equals 0.83 US Dollar, so fuel at $1.129/lt. Canadian equals $3.55 per US gallon.

Canadian cost per liter for diesel:
$1.129 – Vancouver, BC
$1.029 – Quesnel, BC
$1.089 – Prince George, BC
$1.219 – Dease Lake, BC
$1.379 – Hwy 37 & Alaskan Hwy Junction
$1.129 – Watson Lake, YT
$1.259 – Whitehorse, YT

Fuel prices in Vancouver are higher due to an additional regional transportation tax but were surprisingly low in Quesnel. The price in Prince George was as expected as was the higher price in Dease Lake due to its remote location. The real surprise was the station conveniently located at the junction of the Cassiar Hwy (Hwy-37) and the Alaskan Highway. This location is a mere 20 kilometers from Watson Lake yet they charge 25 cents per liter more for their fuel – gouging expecting travellers. I was very happy I drove into Watson Lake, even though it was not the direction I was going, as I took on nearly 100 gallons of fuel.
thanks for the tip
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:17 PM   #83
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We are currently in Fairbanks and have been surprised on the "reasonable" price for diesel on our travels. However in a weak uninformed moment when we arrived at the Petro station on the south end of Whitehorse we were charged $1.38 per ltr. I made the mistake of stoping at the first station we came to. The price in town was much cheaper. Glad I only took on 35 gal to top off.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:26 PM   #84
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Thanx for all the road info. For Whitehorse, Dawson, Chicken and Tok. Plan on a 2016 trip. Alcan up maybe Cassiar back.
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