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Old 10-19-2010, 11:38 AM   #15
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We are also planning (I'm using that word loosly as we've done none yet) to go to Alaska this next season. So we will be following all the advice and must see's on here from all of you veterans who have already done the trip. Hope people continue to add there two cents. So far, I have three absolutes that come through loud and clear everywhere---two "bibles" are the "milepost" and the "Church Alaska book" (new edition of the Church book due out in Nov)---and GO SLOW-GO SLOW-GO SLOW. The tour saver book also sounds like a worthwhile investment as we will want to do some tours. But hope you'll keep them coming. Thanks
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:03 PM   #16
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On the Milepost book I was told to wait until March of the year you are traveling to get the new book as they update it each year. If you want to do some planning and get ideas they have quite a lot of info at their web site or borrow someone's old one. I also plan to get the Church's book.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:26 AM   #17
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Dave,

Got to agree that you should not try to take a handgun into or thru Canada. They will make your life @#$% and it's not worth it. Also, about Top Of The World Highway.....This summer 2010, it rained so much that some of the TOTWH was washed away resulting in several one lane only spots, one lasting over 30 miles long. They had Escort Cars available and you had to get in line and wait, sometimes more than an hour, before the Escort came back to your end of the one-way. Also, they stopped escorting at sundown so you were stuck there overnight. Other than that, it's a neat s-l-o-w dive to Chicken and finally Tok. Good Luck.

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Old 11-04-2010, 10:40 PM   #18
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I highly recommend a stop at Banff National Park Canada just west of Calgary. It is Canada's first National park. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!

We are beginning our plans for 2011 as we close on our Louisiana house this month. We did 92 days in 2005. Traveled every highway in AK and the 92 days were not enough.

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Old 11-05-2010, 09:09 AM   #19
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I highly recommend a stop at Banff National Park Canada just west of Calgary. It is Canada's first National park. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!

We are beginning our plans for 2011 as we close on our Louisiana house this month. We did 92 days in 2005. Traveled every highway in AK and the 92 days were not enough.

Rich
This raises a point I am curious about as we began to plan.

What is the general time frame one can reasonably expect to head up, with out running into snow and ice storms on the road? I know that the weather can vary year to year, so I'm not looking for an absolute. But we want to maximize the time we have for the trip and the sights. We will be leaving from NM or AZ. We're not really concerned about the temps, but don't want to deal with snow and ice storms if we can avoid it.

Thanks
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:01 AM   #20
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Since we will be ending the trip in Sedona AZ, we will come back into the US via rt 93 near Glacier National park.
Well, .... in that case - if you have not already seen Glacier NP, you cannot pass there without spending time to visit!! Camp in the Whitefish or West Glacier area off of US 93.
Believe me! You must experience the Going To The Sun Road! Check it out.

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Old 11-05-2010, 12:56 PM   #21
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One of the rules of thumb I have seen for traveling the ALCAN is no sooner than Memorial Day, no later than Labor Day. If you are planning to use Provincial Parks most of them in BC and Yukon are only open between 15 May and 15 Sep.

Spike
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:12 PM   #22
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If you are comming North On I5 I would suggest Going into Canada At Lynden Wa. It is a stright shot North Of Bellingham .. On meridian ave. That goes right in to Canada.. No backtracking We've taken that road it's the best..
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:42 PM   #23
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Might have been said before, but you have to stop at Denali NP 125 miles south of Fairbanks. One tip here: In general Denali is only visible 25% of the time because it is in the clouds. Once in the park you can only drive our vehicle the first 15 miles of the park road to the Savage River. You have two options: #1 use the park service narrative shuttle service or the regular shuttle service. There is the main visitor center at the entrance of the park, and another visitor center (Eielson Visitor Center) at mile marker 66.

**Very important here** In order to get a better chance of a cloud-free view of Denali you need 3 - 4 hours of travel time on the regular shuttle service to reach the visitor center at mile marker 66. By noon the clouds will have rolled in. The first bus leaves at 6 or 6:30am and every 15 minutes. Be on one of those early buses. We didn't know this and 10 miles from the 2nd visitor center the clouds came in. Here is a pix from mile marker 55 We had picked up a 8am bus. We took the regular shuttle service, where you can get on and off the bus at any of the stops like Polychrome lookout , Toklat River pix 1 pix 2 pix 3 and more. The bus will wait of 5 or 10 minutes or catch the next shuttle bus every 15 minutes.

Now the narrative shuttle buses you have to stay with your bus, and those buses are packed to the hilt and move at a slower pace. The regular shuttle buses are only 25% full, so can move around and explore where you want and spend as much time at each stop as you want.

There is a park service campground next to the entrance visitor center called Riley Creek that has about 120 sites. They have 20 sites set aside for longer RV's. They also have 6 campgrounds inside the park where 2 of those are for RV's and the rest for tents only.

This publication called Alpenglow will give you all the info you need for Denali. It is a PDF
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:43 AM   #24
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Here is my 2 cents worth concerning a clear cloud free Denali photo. Like someone said, the odds are against you on this. We took the tour and watched the clouds cover the mountain. I said ''shux''. We went on south toward Valdez and enjoyed our trip shooting about forty million pix. On the way back up we stopped on the side of the road and waited. In about an hour the mountain cleared and we got a perfect pix of the ''Great One''. Absolute blue sky and not a cloud in sight. ''The luck of the draw''. May you get ''luckey''........
Lets all remember our Veterans on Nov 11 and tell them THANK YOU......
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:55 AM   #25
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Just one more little biddie thingie about Glacier. When you head north, LISTEN TO THE SNOW FORCAST and the ''Conditions inside Glacier''. I have seen it when you had to wait till JUNE to get over Logan Pass In Glacier National Park. Yep, JUNE, and then there was snow banks and snow drifts over fifteen feet high. and remember this ,,,,,, there is always snow banks on Logan Pass, all summer long for that matter. TAKE A COAT ALONG.... The trick to Glacier is that they can scrape the road this week and it can be ''snowed in'' next week. I am refering to Logan Pass on this. Be sure to stop on top and see the mountain sheep that roam around everywhere up there. You may have to make a ''special trip'' to hit Glacier at the ''right time''..........
ps. I have ridden thru Glacier on a motor cycle. UNBELIEVABLE.

Nuff said .......
Me.....
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:43 AM   #26
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Dave & Jeri:

One thing ya might think about with regards to suggestions about not missing Banff/Lake Louise, and/or Glacier Natl. Park. Since you indicated you'd like to spend as much time as possible up in the Yukon and in Alaska proper, ya might want to consider by-passing Glacier Park and the Banff area on THIS trip and just head er on up the Alaska Hwy. Ya see, that Banff region (and Glacier to a lesser degree) are BOTH extremely beautiful places to visit, BUT, they're are definitely worth separate visits on another excursion. You're likely going to find that your Yukon/Alaska time will go too quickly as it is. Save Banff/Lake Louise and Glacier for another adventure or for your 2nd trip up to Alaska, AND, you definitely WILL want to go again !!!!

Steve & Lynette
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:46 AM   #27
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The ideas and suggestion you guys are providing are great. Luckily we were at Denali in 2003 (Princess cruise) and saw the mountain 3 days in a row without a cloud the sight is awesome. As for Glacier we were there in June last year (Columbia Falls) and were able to take the Going to the Sun road almost to the pass. It had been opened but a heavy snow the week before had closed it again. This time I think we will stay on the East side and take the road the other direction.

For any of you that are looking at doing Alaska next year our current plan is to enter Canada the first week of June and come back to US last week of August. So if your timing and route are similar perhaps we can see one another along the way.

Keep the ideas coming
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:25 PM   #28
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In Valdez, you can either camp at one of the few campgrounds in downtown Valdez ($32 -40 elect.), the military park just out side of town Valdez Glacier ($10 dry / $20 elect.). Or go across the bay to Allison Point ($12) dry camping. Here you are right on the waters edge if the salmon are running.....When we were there back maybe 8-9 years ago, we caught our fill of salmon, but one evening the Northern Lights were great.....just couldn't believe it. That was in late Aug. The snow was already half way down the 4000' mountains behind Valdez. Each day the snow level got lower and lower. We spent 5 days in tents.....On the way back to Fairbanks, we ran into a snow shower going over the Alaska Range....Now this is in late Aug......
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