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Old 02-28-2014, 01:42 PM   #1
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Rv trip to Chicken, AK

Has anyone made the trip from Dawson City to Chicken, AK on Hwy 9. Mapquest says it 109 miles but would take 4.45 hours. That's about 20 - 25 miles p/hr. What can anyone tell me about this route? I am driving a 36' Gas RV pulling a Jeep classic 3600 lbs. Thanks for any input. Bruce H.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:46 PM   #2
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In 2004 it was the worst road that I had ever driven on . It's dirt/ washboard but I'm glad I did it. You'll need to go real slow and it will take a few weeks to get the dust out of every draw and cabinet in the RV . I don't drink during the day and I don't drink beer . I did both when we arrived in Chicken.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:21 PM   #3
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The road condition changes daily. It seems to be better in the beginning of the season - June rather than in Sept. Gravel roads do get washboardy after a lot of traffic. It's nothing like some of the lower 48 mountain roads we've driven. There are no steep inclines, downhills or switchbacks. It's all at a gradual pace. It is narrow so you'll have to be alert for oncoming vehicles and don't pull too far off to the side. There are no shoulders and the sides will be soft. That's why it takes so long to drive it - you're going slow. Many, many RVers drive it so you won't be alone.

I will say, however, if it's been raining for days on end that's not a good time to drive it. If it has rained the day before you plan to drive and you have the time, wait for it to dry out for a day or two if the forecast is good or return back to Tok the opposite route on pavement although it will be longer. It's a fun trip and Dawson itself is worth going to. If it's just to Chicken that you want to go, you can do that from Tok without having to drive the whole circular distance. You could even leave your motorhome in Tok and take your toad for that short trip. Have a great trip!
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:41 PM   #4
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We made the trip from Dawson City to Chicken in 2010 pulling a 41 ft Titanium 5th wheel. Adventure of a lifetime and I would do it again ... but this time I would use our Jeep from Chicken to Dawson City (stay at a bed & breakfast or hotel) and back. 4.5 hours might be a bit quick depending on your comfort level. I think it took us more like 7 hours. Here are some photos ...

Dawson City and the Yukon River from Midnight Dome



Ferry at Dawson City to cross the Yukon River - I didn't think I would fit on the ferry



Gravel road all the way



Top of the World





USA Customs



Chicken Alaska ... That's it!! That's ALL there is ...



RV park at Chicken. That's the rig we traveled the road with. You should be able to navigate the road OK. Just take it nice and slow ...

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Old 02-28-2014, 08:35 PM   #5
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We did it from Tok to Dawson City in Aug 2012 with three RVs. Lots of scratches on the toads from gravel, even with screens, etc. am I glad I did it? Yes!
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:36 AM   #6
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Great section of road for the views and the experience. Slow and steady gets you there. A bit after Chicken there is a nice BLM campground right on a river. Can't remember how far, but it was a great spot to camp.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:17 PM   #7
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Great info from everyone, thanks. I would still like to know if there is any place along the way to pull off and take a break before I get to Chicken? Bruce H
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:19 PM   #8
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I'm thinking 10. Great pictures Papa Peter!! Bruce H
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:35 PM   #9
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We traveled the TOW hwy. June 22, 2011. It had been raining for almost two weeks solid. I renamed this ribbon of mud(from the US border into Chicken) the "Forest Gump" hwy - 'you never know what you're gonna get'.

The Canadian side is paved with the occasional gravel break, but on the US side, it was a mud hole. It took us almost eight hours and a lost mud flap to get to Chicken from Dawson City. The road had lost all but a little of it's road bed...had wheel spin going up the slight grade on the other side of Boundary so I had to stayed on the crest of the road to keep from sliding off to one side.

Before getting on the Klondike hwy. to Dawson City, I'd check the area weather while in Watson Lake for the TOW hwy conditions. If it's bad news, just continue on the Alcan into Tok and then do a toad daytrip into Chicken and on to Dawson City for an overnight stay when conditions warrant. "Chicken, where the 'odds' are good and the 'goods' are odd".

If tempted to take the short cut from Watson Lake to the intersection of the Klondike via the Campbell Hwy., it's 360 miles of 40% paved and 60% gravel. When we were there, local knowledge dictated that we bypass because of all the rain.

Anyway, that year(at least in June)was very rainy...it finally stopped when we left Fairbanks on July 7th. Clear sailing into Denali and for the rest of the trip. We were privileged in that we saw 'The Great One' three days in a row.

The first part of our trip was a little on the rough side but after all...Alaska IS billed as the last frontier. And yeah, we'd do it again too...and again. I'd seen the pictures, knew of all the beauty that was there...but one can not grasp the SCOPE of it all until you experience Alaska.

EDIT: Yes, there are places you can pull off for breaks and a few you could probably stay the night boondocking. I've heard of camper's doing this with no hassles.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:56 PM   #10
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Great over-view of the TOW route. Here is another blogger link for that section of road I found helpfully. Sue Thomas Photo's

I have a few questions here:

~ On the gravel sections, do you have to worry about stones getting kicked up from approaching vehicles that will crack your windows on you RV trailer? Do approaching vehicles slow down as they pass, or do the "locals" put the peddle to the metal?

~ Do I need to protect my tow vehicles headlight lens covers. I ask because Toyota makes a film for the lens covers and the leading 8" of the front hood for my Tundra.

~ At any pull-off are there signs that state you are allowed to over-night here.

~ At any of the private campgrounds along the TOW route (Dawson City, Stewart CR., Polly Crossing, Carmacks) do they have Wi-Fi?
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:21 AM   #11
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Thank you Superslif for the Sue Thomas site. Wonderful site, if you can't find your answers here you got a problem.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:26 AM   #12
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Here's what my tow car looked like when I got there.



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Old 03-02-2014, 11:00 AM   #13
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Thanks for the picture. How fast were your driving? Was your RV covered with dirt and rocks too? Would you recommend the drive?
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce H View Post
Thanks for the picture. How fast were your driving? Was your RV covered with dirt and rocks too? Would you recommend the drive?
You must drive very slow. The MH was quite dirty and as I posted above , the dust gets into everything inside the MH as well. Dawson City was worth going that way as well as the experience and my short visit to Chicken. My memory of the trip will not wash off as quickly as the dirt from that road did. I'm happy I went that way and most are as well.
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