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Old 01-02-2016, 10:53 AM   #1
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What's the latest on the Alcan Highway?

I'm considering a trip and was wondering about possible problems I might encounter. I understand to expect challenging road conditions. What might I expect if I need a tire or service?
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:19 PM   #2
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The Alcan is normally not challenging. For the most part it's a very good paved highway. There are always areas of construction just like in the lower 48. These areas change depending on the winter effects or scheduling. Thousands will be traveling with you.

I'd highly recommend that you begin your trip with a complete good check of your vehicles. If things seem 'iffy' then repair or replace them now. The same goes for tires. If they're around 6 or 7 years old, replace them. That's what we did. Repairs are available but you'll probably wait longer than you would in your home town unless you're near one of the bigger cities. Carry some minor things like belts or filters. Travelers and locals are all willing to help due to some remote circumstances. I wouldn't worry about it.

We absolutely had no repair issues or tire issues on our all-summer trip. We didn't receive any rock damage. We just drove slow and enjoyed the scenery. If you get into construction areas and you see an oncoming vehicle, pull over to the side of the road as far as you can. Many times we would just stop if no one was behind us.

Drive on the top 1/2 of your fuel tank. Don't try to hold out for a better price. Some stations close without warning. This is especially true on your return if it's late in the season. When the smaller stations run out of fuel they'll just close.

Again, there are many travelers each summer along with the locals and truck drivers. Everyone seems to get by just fine. Just have patience and a great trip! It's really an easy trip to do - but a long one. Don't look at it as total miles. Just go day by day and don't rush. Before you even get to Alaska there are wonderful things to stop for and explore in Canada and the Yukon.

Also, don't lock yourself into reservations. We only made 2 for the whole summer - one for the July 4 weekend (Alaskans like to camp, too) and the other for Denali Nat'l Park's farthest campground you can take an RV - Teklanika for 5 nights. We only made those about 3 weeks prior when we could better judge when we'd get into the area. As it turned out we were a little early for our Denali reservation so on a whim we boondocked outside the park at a lovely area and drove into the park early morning. We easily secured an additional 5 nights in Denali's front campground, Riley Creek. Our days were full. We saw 'THE' mountain 7 out of our 10 days and we saw every big animal living in the park over and over again.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
The Alcan is normally not challenging. For the most part it's a very good paved highway. There are always areas of construction just like in the lower 48. These areas change depending on the winter effects or scheduling. Thousands will be traveling with you.

I'd highly recommend that you begin your trip with a complete good check of your vehicles. If things seem 'iffy' then repair or replace them now. The same goes for tires. If they're around 6 or 7 years old, replace them. That's what we did. Repairs are available but you'll probably wait longer than you would in your home town unless you're near one of the bigger cities. Carry some minor things like belts or filters. Travelers and locals are all willing to help due to some remote circumstances. I wouldn't worry about it.

We absolutely had no repair issues or tire issues on our all-summer trip. We didn't receive any rock damage. We just drove slow and enjoyed the scenery. If you get into construction areas and you see an oncoming vehicle, pull over to the side of the road as far as you can. Many times we would just stop if no one was behind us.

Drive on the top 1/2 of your fuel tank. Don't try to hold out for a better price. Some stations close without warning. This is especially true on your return if it's late in the season. When the smaller stations run out of fuel they'll just close.

Again, there are many travelers each summer along with the locals and truck drivers. Everyone seems to get by just fine. Just have patience and a great trip! It's really an easy trip to do - but a long one. Don't look at it as total miles. Just go day by day and don't rush. Before you even get to Alaska there are wonderful things to stop for and explore in Canada and the Yukon.

Also, don't lock yourself into reservations. We only made 2 for the whole summer - one for the July 4 weekend (Alaskans like to camp, too) and the other for Denali Nat'l Park's farthest campground you can take an RV - Teklanika for 5 nights. We only made those about 3 weeks prior when we could better judge when we'd get into the area. As it turned out we were a little early for our Denali reservation so on a whim we boondocked outside the park at a lovely area and drove into the park early morning. We easily secured an additional 5 nights in Denali's front campground, Riley Creek. Our days were full. We saw 'THE' mountain 7 out of our 10 days and we saw every big animal living in the park over and over again.

I agree with this excellent post. I don't think I would call it "a very good paved highway" but if you don't try to judge it by lower 48 US highway standards it's certainly fine. Also, slow down.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:26 PM   #4
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1 July is a Canadian holiday and Canadians just like Americans like to camp as well.
Enjoy...and welcome.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:32 PM   #5
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Nice road, had no problems when we drove up. Just keep your camera ready for some wonderful views.

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Late May - snow along road just like here in CO. Most campgrounds do not open until late May.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:42 PM   #6
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Drove up this past summer (2015) No serious problems. Watch and slow down for frost heaves/dips in road. The worst roads are in the Yukon between Whitehorse and the Alaskan border. We plan on doing the trip again in a couple of years. Very accurate post by twogypsies.
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:52 AM   #7
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As no3putt said keep the camera on the dashboard or you'll miss some great pics. The snow pic was taken last week of May outside Destruction Bay, Yukon Territory.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:51 PM   #8
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I will second what others have said about maintenance.
Tires and belts for sure.
Depending on when you go it makes a difference.
After Mid May the chance if ICE lessens but it can snow anytime from Ft Nelson to Toad River. Several 10% grades in this 75 Mile stretch.
If you go earlier have chains. The pucker factor will go up without them.
The last 200 miles or so after Haines Junction can be slow going.
Just take your time and it will be OK.
But don't think about getting over 35 MPH or so without damage.
The ice heaves can be deceiving and sneak up on you.
We have made the trip 3 times in the last 3 years and will be heading back up on the 20th of May ourselves after we finish work. Great trip that everyone should make!
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