Jump to content
Turlockbill

Alaska - Canada - Yukon, 2020

Recommended Posts

Planning a solo Alaska trip in 2020 is this a wise choice? I like to travel at my on pace! What is a good book or publication can I get to help with the trip? Best time frame to start? best crossing? Camp grounds to stay in? Realistic distances per day? 

Thanks 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are in Alaska now and have been for 2 months. I don't see any problem going solo. Mileposts is a great item to buy but make sure you use it, lots of info tucked away in the book. There is no need to stay in a commercial campground, lots of stops along the side of the road, and state and fed campgrounds. Petro Canada and Tesoro(AK) almost all have dump, water and propane. We belong to Elks and have used numerous Elks lodges when available. Some are boondocking and some have electricity. 

There are several threads going on Escapees, Irv2 and other sites on Alaska. Start reading. I also recommend getting on the list for onlyinyourstate.com, great site for random info.

Don't plan on any distance per day, just go with the flow. We have traveled 20 miles one day and the longest day has been 150. We like to start early, stop by 1ish(or earlier) and then tour in the car for the afternoon(or collapse).

Don't forget you are going through Canada which invites a lot more touring, both going and coming. WE crossed into Canada in mid-May and felt comfortable with that date.

Make sure you do all the touristy things, gold-panning, boat rides, museums, rafting etc. Take your time and don't rush.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get the Milepost for maps and history.

Get Mike and Terri Church's book 'Alaskan Camping' which includes Canada and the Yukon.  They lived in Fairbanks and traveled to the lower 48 all the time so they know the highway stops. They give RV parks, campgrounds and great boondocking spot.

If you have unlimited time I'd suggest you plan to spend at least 3 months once you cross into Canada.  There's no particular crossing to begin the trip..... just depends where you're coming from and how you'll get to the beginning of the Alaska Highway.  We crossed at Sumas, Washington and finished at the Roosville crossing near Glacier Nat'l Park.  Try to incorporate stops at Banff and Jasper Nat'l Parks.  Canada and the Yukon are just as beautiful as Alaska so plan to spend time.   Many return via the Cassier Hwy. Both routes are great.  Crossing around the third week of May is good.  If you do so any earlier you may encounter things still closed and ice on the lakes.  We enjoyed the Provincial Parks of Canada and the Yukon.

Plan to sitesee as you travel.  Don't go to one campground and backtrack 50 miles to see something.  You're not going to go expressway speeds.  Some places have a long section of frost heaves and you'll be going at 20-30mph., if that.  Other places you'll encounter gravel construction areas.  Others you'll have good roads and can go faster.  Every day is different.

Plan to stay IN Denali Nat'l Park for the best experience.  The only two reservations we made for the whole trip was for the July 4 weekend and for 5 nights in Denali's Teklanika campground - the farthest you can drive.  These were only made about 3 weeks prior when we could better judge when we'd be in the area.  Don't load yourself down with reservations. It's not necessary.

There are RVs of all sizes on the roads and people of all ages and marital status.  You'll be just fine.  It's not a difficult trip; it's just a long one.  Break it down in your mind to small sections and it won't seem so overwhelming.  Have a good one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Turlockbill said:

Planning a solo Alaska trip in 2020 is this a wise choice?

You're used to traveling solo, right?  Then a trip to Alaska will be no different than traveling solo to other places.  As 2gypsies said, it's not a difficult trip, it's just long.

15 hours ago, Turlockbill said:

What is a good book or publication can I get to help with the trip?

The two books 2gypsies mentioned:

https://www.themilepost.com/

http://www.rollinghomes.com/alaska%20book.htm

Both of these books can be bought on Amazon.

15 hours ago, Turlockbill said:

Best time frame to start? best crossing? Camp grounds to stay in? Realistic distances per day?

The best time from to start depends on how long you plan for the trip.  The last time we went to Alaska, we crossed over the border at the end of May and didn't return to the lower 48 until the first part of September.

We spent most of the time boondocking, but between the two books mentioned above, you'll find lots of campgrounds/RV parks.  If you are an Escapee, I highly recommend paying the nominal fee for the Day's End Directory which has lots of listings for free or inexpensive places to park throughout Canada and Alaska.

https://daysenddirectory.com/#/

Don't be in a hurry...for one thing, there are places along the road where you're going to have to go slow (the aforementioned frost heaves and road construction) and you're going to want to stop and see stuff along the way.  Take some time to go through both the Milepost and Mike & Terri's books finding out what's along the road and stuff you might want to stop and see.  We rarely drove more than about 150 miles in a day and often a lot less...it took us nearly a month to traverse through Canada before getting to Tok.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has been a few years since we traveled to Alaska and the suggestions given here worked well for us.  However, the best information we received came from other campers.  Each time we came to a new place we would talk with fellow campers and share experiences.  It completely changed our itinerary.  As others talked about their experiences it wasn't difficult to find things we wanted to do.  I think we were also able to help others with what we had done.  We struck up a conversation with the people next to us one evening and they said their trip was kinda boring.  We began talking about things we had done and suggestions from others.  The next morning they packed and headed out.  They originally planned to stay the week but the things we talked about changed their minds.  Alaska is an exciting experience for most everyone and getting people talking about what they had seen and done was easy.  Listening to others and having a flexible schedule made our trip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies! I am all in but when I told my wife that it would be a few month trip she is now having second thoughts!! I am not sure she can stay away from the grand babies that long! I have time to convince her maybe take our oldest with us!

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought you were going solo, only yourself. If it is the 2 of you, double the fun!!!! I would also recommend getting the Toursaver.com coupon book. If you buy it via the website and keep you eye on the pricing the normal price is $99 and drops(it seems on Sundays). We bought ours for $69.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have her tell the grandbabies they'll get a special souvenier from the trip!  Three months really isn't that long.  They'll appreciate her more when she returns.!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is what we are doing. We had been to Alaska before on an RV tour 17 years ago, it as great, tiring but you didn't miss anything important and did things you would never do.

This time we are going at our own pace, left Phoenix on 4/22. W might be back in the states by 9/22. So much more relaxing.

The other day we drove 20 miles, pouring cats and dogs, just pulled over at a pull-out and called it a day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/28/2019 at 1:11 PM, Turlockbill said:

Thanks for the replies! I am all in but when I told my wife that it would be a few month trip she is now having second thoughts!! I am not sure she can stay away from the grand babies that long! I have time to convince her maybe take our oldest with us!

Thanks

Grand babies are the reason why we went from the class of 2017 to 2022. we have 4 and one on the way at 55 years old. when the oldest graduates high school in 2022 we are out. We can always come back and visit. It will be hard but I'm not postponing anymore.

An Alaska trip would be awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are on our way back home now, left Louisiana on May 13 and entered Alaska on June 11.  The only reservation we made before leaving was at Teklanika inside Denali.  Everything else we either just pulled in or called a day ahead.  Keep in mind that most commercial campgrounds in Canada and Alaska are gravel parking lots with few amenities.  Some are pretty narrow but doable.  We have a 36' motorhome towing a truck.  We traveled solo since our traveling companions had to cancel, but we had a great time by ourselves.  Lots to see and do.  We did the Alcan going up and the Cassiar coming back.  The northern part of the Cassiar is mostly narrow chip seal with no lane markings.  Below Jade it gets better.  Pay attention to frost heaves, you'll quickly learn how to spot them.  Very few are marked and can cause damage.  We've seen a number of trailers and even fifth wheels with suspension damage, but I would imagine they were driving much faster than we did.  We drove mostly 50mph and down to 30 or so when in an area with many frost heaves.  We also found 45 was a good speed when in heavy heaves which allowed us to slow down quicker.

Keep in mind that you can always park the RV and fly home for a week or 2 if needed.  Get the Milepost ahead of time to learn how to use it, it is somewhat confusing and not totally accurate.  We found numerous errors, but it's still the best guide around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...