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Old 09-20-2022, 09:44 PM   #1
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Average Daily Distance along ALCAN

Everyone emphasizes the need to drive slow. I'm all in favor of that. So what should I expect as an average daily distance, 200 miles? If I average 45 mph, it will take 4 1/2 hours to do 200 miles.
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Old 09-20-2022, 11:18 PM   #2
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You first need to study the route (Milepost) to see what interests you and what you want to stop for and explore. Sometimes we drove only 50 mi. for the day because we wanted to stop. I'd advise to do some siteseeing as you travel during the day. Distances are usually too far to park and then backtrack to see something. It really should be a very casual trip. If you stop for the day around 2-3pm you'll get a campsite. Then you have lots of time to do some siteseeing. Otherwise, there are many, many lovely boondocking spots.

The only reservations we made were for the July 4 weekend and 5 nights in Denali's Teklanika campground and we just made those about 3 weeks prior when we could better judge when we'd be in the area.

As it turned out, we were early for Denali so we boondocked nearby at a lovely spot and drove in early the next morning. We easily secured an additional 5 nights in Denali's front campground, Riley Creek. We spent 10 nights in Denali and had beautiful weather for viewing 'The' mountain 7 of 10 days. Our days were full with things to do.
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Old 09-26-2022, 04:06 AM   #3
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Do not depend on Milepost magazine for anything but routing, all the eateries fuel stops etc change from year to year. Some close for various reasons, some open.
Only the roads remain the same. Keep in mind Milepost data was collected last year and published this last spring for summer use.
We went with a caravan in 2012 and drove between 300-450 miles a day, depending on attractions on the calendar and if some were closed, fuel stops busy or open, etc. Fuel stops take a while when there are 20 rigs within 10 minutes of each other (driving 3-4 in a sub-group). That made for some long driving days.


If you are traveling alone or with 2-3 other rigs, driving distance really has no meaning, it's the journey IMO, since you do not have a schedule to follow.
Driving speed; most of the Alaska highway is 50 mph doable, but some repair stretches slow you down to 20-30 mph if you value your rig.
Frost heaves are a misnomer; when the road-bed freezes it humps up/frost heave, but when it thaws it becomes a depression about 2-4' wide and a foot deep from sideditch to sideditch.

Most are marked with small red flags, but those not marked can be spotted ahead by watching the side of the road. It will be wavy where there is a frost heave.
Drive off the top half of your fuel tank, always have half a tank in reserve JIC a/some fuel stops is closed.
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Old 09-26-2022, 06:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by RoadEyePie View Post
Everyone emphasizes the need to drive slow. I'm all in favor of that. So what should I expect as an average daily distance, 200 miles? If I average 45 mph, it will take 4 1/2 hours to do 200 miles.
The 2X we went up to Anchorage from GA we could average 200-350 miles per day depending on road surface and and weather conditions. Took us 21 days each way from Georgia at our pace. Sometimes we'd poke along, other times we could do the speed limit depending on conditions. It worked well for us, got to see a good bit and stopped for longer periods at Whitehorse, Watson Lake and Liard Springs and a few other spots. We enjoyed overnight camping at Toad River Lodge, Ft St John and Discovery the best for FHU stops. Others were not as good. On dirt stretches sometimes we could only go 20 MPH sometimes 50- depending on how well the road was graded. Frost heaves were the worst the last 150 miles before the Alaska border.

We really liked using the most current edition of Mile Post each time we drove up and found it helpful. Cinnamon Rolls are the best along the Alaska Hiway. We put on 20 pounds every time we stopped to get one! Always drive on the top half of your fuel tank. Always have a camera and binoculars handy and ready. Wildlife is awesome as is the scenery. But some sections can be long and somewhat boring. I think we saw the same pine tree 2000 times-- but it was absolutely worth it! By all means stop and see everything that interests you.
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Old 09-26-2022, 02:30 PM   #5
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Do not depend on Milepost magazine for anything but routing, all the eateries fuel stops etc change from year to year. Some close for various reasons, some open.
Only the roads remain the same. Keep in mind Milepost data was collected last year and published this last spring for summer use.
I would change this statement a little bit.

Don't rely on the Milepost for the 'ads' for campgrounds & eateries.

Rely on it for the road maps and the narrative history along the way.

We each took turns driving each day so the other could enjoy the scenery. The other would read from the Milepost as we past by the things mentioned. It was a very informative way to learn while driving.

We also used the Milepost each evening to plot out our next day's trip. We noted what was along the scheduled drive and what we wanted to stop for and perhaps even spending the night.

Fuel station ads are not reliable as stated. So always drive on the top half of your tank and don't try to shop for best prices. Stations are not close together until you get in a larger city. Locals needs fuel, also, so just know that it's available.
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Old 10-05-2022, 06:57 AM   #6
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I'm guessing you're trying to 'budget' your time for driving up the Alcan. When we budgeted the time for our trip up, I looked at the distance from Grand Prairie (just south-east of Dawson City) to Wasilla (outside Anchorage). If I remember right, I used 250/day and then added an additional 10 days to account to stops, days-off, etc. It was a good thing I added those extra days, as we were impacted by the giant wash-out last July that closed the Alcan for several days.

Also, here's a specific real-trip example from our return trip, which for us was mostly "just making progress towards home". After completing a boondock experience on the Nabensa Road (65 miles south of Tok):
- 2 day drive to Whitehorse (470 miles)
- 2 nights in Whitehorse (wash the RV, laundry, shop, rest)
- 1 day drive to Watson Lake (270 miles)
- 1 extra night in Watson Lake - see the Sign Forest
- 3 day drive to Grand Prairie (680 miles)

Believe me, a 250 mile drive on the Alcan is an all day experience. Take your time, stop to see the sights, remember to take days off for the necessities, and enjoy the incredible vistas. In many ways, the trip thru Canada is just as epic as Alaska!
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Old 10-05-2022, 04:40 PM   #7
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I'm guessing you're trying to 'budget' your time for driving up the Alcan. When we budgeted the time for our trip up, I looked at the distance from Grand Prairie (just south-east of Dawson City) to Wasilla (outside Anchorage). If I remember right, I used 250/day and then added an additional 10 days to account to stops, days-off, etc. It was a good thing I added those extra days, as we were impacted by the giant wash-out last July that closed the Alcan for several days.

Also, here's a specific real-trip example from our return trip, which for us was mostly "just making progress towards home". After completing a boondock experience on the Nabensa Road (65 miles south of Tok):
- 2 day drive to Whitehorse (470 miles)
- 2 nights in Whitehorse (wash the RV, laundry, shop, rest)
- 1 day drive to Watson Lake (270 miles)
- 1 extra night in Watson Lake - see the Sign Forest
- 3 day drive to Grand Prairie (680 miles)

Believe me, a 250 mile drive on the Alcan is an all day experience. Take your time, stop to see the sights, remember to take days off for the necessities, and enjoy the incredible vistas. In many ways, the trip thru Canada is just as epic as Alaska!
Very accurate. Bottom line.... don't rush this trip. It's not at all like driving in the lower 48.
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Old 10-23-2022, 09:15 AM   #8
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Just do the drive, there is plenty of spots to park for the night, especially if you are able to boondock. You need to go slow because you can come around a corner and a herd of Buffalo/elk/caribou/sheep or bears will be standing in the middle of the road. The only part of the drive that sucks is from Beaver, in Canada, to Tok.

We tow a 45 foot GD Momentum back and forth plus all around alaska.
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