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Old 04-21-2014, 08:24 AM   #1
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Top of the World, Yukon to Alaska

Has anyone driven the Top of The World highway, from Dawson City Yukon to Tok Alaska last year or the year before.

I took it 10 years ago and from the Alaska border to Chicken Ak it was really very bad. Planning a trip this summer to Alaska and wondering what are the road conditions on that portion of the road.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:47 AM   #2
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We went the other way around the year before, and had an easy drive with almost no oncoming traffic - but a week before it was chaos. However, even if it was last week, my report wouldn't really be helpful, simply because it doesn't take much rain to change it from an easy drive to a quagmire - and that change can happen in hours.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:47 AM   #3
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I call the Top of the World Hwy. the 'Forest Gump Hwy'..."like a box of chocolates, never know what you're gonna get".

When we went, it had been raining for two weeks, but coming from Florida, we were not, not going to drive the TOW. It's one of those things that, if you haven't done it, ya just have too...ONCE!

I would suggest that you check the TOW road conditions in Whitehorse and make up your mind whether or not to attempt. This will avoid backtracking from Dawson City. If local knowledge dictates, you can always continue on into Tok, camp for a couple of days and then take a toad trip to Chicken and on to Dawson City for an overnight stay. It is a great drive.

Too late for this year, but would love to have another go at Alaska.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:43 AM   #4
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Guess I have been lucky, took it 3 time in last 7 years(twice by motorcycle). Just a nice drive on hard pack gravel and fairly smooth. Now the section between Whitehorse and Dawson City had large sections of loose gravel got my motorhome windshield chipped in 3 places. Anything towed had real damage. Saw the big boys taking carpet runners out of mh to protect car windshields but it was already too late. Just a luck of the draw. Either way you will have something to talk about.
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:51 PM   #5
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As others have stated, you really don't know the condition until you get there. It changes daily. I would just advise not to try it if there's been a few days of heavy rain prior to your drive or during rain. If the weather's been good then it will by o.k. Just take you time and don't let anyone rush you, although I've never seen any one driving fast on that road! Have a great trip!!
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for your replys.

Seems to me that nothing has changed on that road since I drove on it in August of 2004. At that time the road was extremely dusty, but it was in good conditions from Dawson City to the Alaska border. But because of numerous forest fires, lots of smoke, we could'nt see the scenery, visibility was a few hundred feet.

But from the Alaskan border to chicken the road was like a washboard and I had to drive around 15 mph, pulling my 32 ft FW with my F-350 dualy.

After Chicken the road was in much better conditions but there were several spots where the fire was only a few feet from the road.

I think that this year I'll drive from whitehorse directly to Tok, where I will leave the motorhome in a campground than drive with my car to Dawson City and spend a night or two there.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:59 PM   #7
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I agree, it is a once in a lifetime trip, at least for me. We are very glad we drove from Tok (short for Tokyo until Pearl Harbor attack) to Dawson. Stayed overnight at Chicken and took pictures.
The gravel road from Chicken to the border crossing requires very slow driving, and staying away from the very soft road shoulder. It is so soft you can step in the gravel at times, and sink to your knees. Once you allow a steer tire into this very soft gravel, all is lost. You will be pulled off the road. We saw 2 MH's while in Tok that strayed into the shoulder gravel, one was a total loss, one side and rear split open (full-timers), the other was damaged but repairable.
The George Black Ferry crossing the Yukon river is an exciting experience, especially in a large RV.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
we could'nt see the scenery, visibility was a few hundred feet
Tell the truth, you didn't miss a lot since there are stretches where the scenery is pretty bland compared to the rest of the trip to and from.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:45 PM   #9
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I kind of think that depends on the definition of scenery. You can look out there for miles and see nothing or you can look out there for miles and see the mountain ranges in the distance. At least that's the way I remember it.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:16 AM   #10
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we took that route 3 times 2005 2008 and 2012. rough all 3 times. However I have heard that some major work is being done the U.S. side and that was the worst section.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:05 PM   #11
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We were in Dawson City this past summer and it had been raining lightly for 2 days. I fretted over driving the TOW and we drove to the ferry and looked at vehicles coming off and that made my mind up. I'll be honest and say even if it was dry I wasn't going to drive 80 miles of dirt/gravel road. We just gassed up and headed back to Whitehorse and continued on our way to Tok and beyond. Just driving a few miles on the Alcan that were under repair was enough for me to know 80 miles of that was out of the question. I've looked at many pictures on the net that people took on the TOW and I don't feel I missed anything. I've been all over the San Juan mountains in our Jeep in Colorado and the High Sierra in California and it's much the same but way higher in elevation. Anyway that's my opinion on the TOW and understand everyone will make their own choice.
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