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Top of the World Hwy-


jhayes

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We are headed back to Alaska and was wondering if anyone knows the average closure date of the TOTW highway? We plan to reverse our normal travel pattern and find a great place (we hope) to see the Northern Lights on the way out.

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Basically, when the river freezes they haul the ferry out. This is usually mid to late Sept. It would be a beautiful time for the drive. Here's a good web site: http://www.explorenorth.com/library/roads/topofworld.html

 

Here's are some wonderful photos by 'Sue' who is a popular poster over on the Woodalls.com Alaska forum. She lives in Whitehorse.

 

http://yukonsights.ca/TopOfTheWorld.html

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  • 3 weeks later...

In our 2014 travel year to Alaska, the TOTW was still in pretty rough condition as it was very early in the season. Due to our planned route, we elected to go back from TOK, to Chicken on then a very slow and rough ride in:)! We had just got unhooked and parked in Chicken, when a 45 minute thunder storm and strong winds blew thru. Once it stopped, we took our CRV and drove South on the TOTW. We counted over 30 trees close to the road blown down from the storm. One section we had to off road to get around a group of 6-8 pine trees that were covering the road. We were OK doing this, but no way we cold have taken our coach in either direction. Though I believe a mid size 5th could have got thru the offload section we did.

 

We did not go all the way to the river, we elected to go 90 minutes, and then find a place to turn around and head back to Chicken. So we can say we drove the TOTW, some to it anyways, and we did not abuse out coach doing so:)!

 

On Edit: This was Sunday afternoon, and as we went back to Chicken, the crews were already removing down trees. They don't seem to fool around, doing what needs to be done to keep the route open.

 

Again, this was early in the season, as we crossed over the Canadian border going North on 5/1.

 

I suspect you'll be hitting the TOTW at a good time - enjoy!!!

 

Best,

Smitty

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We left Alaska coming home the end of August and the colors were already changing and snow was moving down the mountains. We were able to see the Northern Lights in Whitehorse YT two night 8/25 & 26 from around 1-2 am, we do not know if they were out the 27th as it rained.

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Good info about the TOTW hwy. It opens this Thursday, 5/19. We are currently in Whitehorse and are heading up the Dempster hwy to Tombstone Territorial Park on Thursday for the weekend. Probably head across the TOTW about 5/25. We are planning on boondocking one night on the TOTW hwy if the weather is suitable for nice views.

 

If it is dark at Tombstone we'll look for the Northern Lights.

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Good info about the TOTW hwy. It opens this Thursday, 5/19. We are currently in Whitehorse and are heading up the Dempster hwy to Tombstone Territorial Park on Thursday for the weekend. Probably head across the TOTW about 5/25. We are planning on boondocking one night on the TOTW hwy if the weather is suitable for nice views.

 

If it is dark at Tombstone we'll look for the Northern Lights.

We didn't take the TOTW hwy after all. DW had a non urgent medical problem which was lingering, so we headed directly to Fairbanks to get it taken care of. All is OK. We'll take the TOTW hwy in late Aug, hopefully when the fall colors are in full splendor.

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First trip was Dawson City then TOTW. This time we are going Al's route and save it for the going south route. Hadn't thought about the color as it will be mid August. Maybe we'll luck out.

 

In Chetwynd, BC today 5/24. Worth the extra miles to check the chain saw carvings. They are all over town and look great. We came Banff/ Jasper then Prince George. Scenery from the border crossing in Idaho all thew way to Chetwynd has been great. Had a snowstorm on the Icefields Highway, enough to pile up on the windshield. I don't know how many times we've crossed the Rockies. I'm guessing at four times. Sometimes the snow line was a couple of hundred feet higher.

 

Bill

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  • 1 month later...

Bigboomer, that's the way to drive the TOTW, nice and slow. I took my triple axle 5th wheel and MDT across it in 2007. Road was rough in a few places, all on the Alaska side, but we left early and took our time and had no problems. In fact, the entire 15,000 mile trip was one of the most trouble-free I have had. No broken glass, no dings in the paint, no flats, no nothing! Very enjoyable trip, especially if you learn to slow down in the bad places, road construction and frost heaves! One bit of advice. If the road is dusty and you have a generator, turn on your air conditioner(s), fan only, and close all windows and vents. The A/C air pressure will keep the dust from entering around the slideouts, etc.

Jerry

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After the trip from Destruction Bay to Tok on the Alaska highway, we are seriously considering returning via the TOW. If memory serves, it wasn't any worse. Sometimes the more 'civilized' route required speeds less than 5 MPH to keep the rig together.

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