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Alaska Trip Summer 2017


Jemstone

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We are planning a trip to Alaska next summer. We would like to travel with one or two other HDT/5th Wheel folks. We are planning a longer trip, with a fair amount of time spent in the Yukon. We love Fairbanks and plan to take the bus into Denali National Park. Nothing is firm yet, but there is plenty of time to plan. More than three parties traveling together makes finding an RV park more difficult. There are a number of RV caravan trips to Alaska, in which people pay a very large fee and then have most travel decisions, including overnight stays, taken care of. They hit the parks with long standing reservations, leaving few openings for individual travelers.

 

I first drove the Alaska Hwy in 1969. I last drove it in 2010. What a difference. The first trip was slow and the vehicle was hit several times by large rocks thrown by speeding trucks. Only broke a windwing. The last trip was over a paved road with far more services available. No adventures.

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We are planning an extended trip (stay) in Alaska for 2017. The topic was brought up in the 2016 Alaska Trip part of this forum in the past with a few people that were planning the trip. We would be spending a good portion of the summer nearer the Fairbanks area where we could be closer to our daughter & SIL. If you are going to the National HDT Rally in Hutch I am hoping to get a conversation going there about this topic. We'll be coming North out of Florida the 1st week in April and heading to WI as the weather dictates, to visit family. Then to the West and onward to Alaska. If your link here stays active I will continue to monitor and stay abreast of the topic as others chime in. PM's are welcome, as well.

 

Todd & Beth

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  • 2 months later...

We are also planning a 2017 Alaska trip. We will leave from the ECR and cross into Canada around May 20 via Bellingham, Wa. We will take a trip up to Prudehoe Bay during the Summer Solstice (June 20) and Denali around July 4 for 9 days (planned). We don't plan to return to the lower 48 until Sept 1. We hope to have one or two HDT's with us in a "loose" caravan formation (LOL).

Starting the research and getting excited about the adventure.

David

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I have dragged travel trailers up and down the dalton for work, even took a Class A once. Not a drive I would want to take with my 5th wheel. Its bumpy and to much gets bounced around. There are next to no services in deadhorse for an RV other than a dump station. But it is definitely a worthy trip. Take lots of bug dope. A CB is worthless on the Dalton, even thou DOT requires their use for oversize permits they are rarely turned on as everyone has moved to business band 2m. Plenty of places to pull off and spend a few days boondocking along the road. I can point out a few good spots on google earth if you would like, most of them are spots I found while working on the pipeline. I could not camp on the pump stations as I usually had my dog or some other "prohibited" items with me.

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I rode my motorcycle to AK in 2006 and all the way up the Dalton to Prudhoe Bay. It was the trip of a lifetime and I can't wait to go back. I agree that I don't think I would haul a 5th wheel up the Dalton. The only campers I remember seeing that far north were the truck campers or camping vans. I would think just going bobtail in the HDT would be the best option and just camp out in the back if you want. It only needs to be a couple day trip and way less to worry about if you aren't hauling our 5th wheel behind you. Rooms at either Cold Foot or Deadhorse are very expensive too.

 

It is definitely worth seeing though and I would definitely do it again. The only thing I would add is be prepared in case anything goes wrong and try to be as self sufficient as possible. You are very remote and getting help to you could take awhile and is expensive for sure.

 

From the Dalton

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Look for my buddy ahead of me. It gives you an idea of just how vast and huge this area is

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You spend a lot of time with the AK pipeline in view
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You get to see this sign

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Weather can vary a lot among the 500 mile route

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Most of the way, it was smooth sailing. I was running a good pace here.

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Top of Atigun Pass

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Truck coming up the pass

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The accommodations at Cold Foot

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One of the accommodations in Dead Horse

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Dead Horse

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Fuel Station

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The Arctic Ocean

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Your vehicle will definitely need a bath when you get back

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My windscreen

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The Caribou inn is hands down the worst place to stay in deadhorse. As seeing where you fueled up you must have missed the colville fuel station. That NAPA is one of a kind, and the general store upstairs is nifty as well.

 

Well this was 10 years ago. I'm not sure I things have changed since then or not? I certainly don't feel like we got to see much of the town other than our hotel and the post office to mail some post cards. I really do want to go back and make that trip again. There was definitely nothing attractive about staying at the Caribou Inn, it was just a place to sleep. IIRC, there were only 2 places to stay at that time and the other one was full. As for fuel, I think we just asked around and that was where we got directed to go. I always wondered if there wasn't a real fuel station?

 

We did the entire ride from Fairbanks to Dead horse in 1 day and planned to return to Fairbanks the 2nd day which meant 1000 miles in 2 days. That also included the time it took the morning we were leaving to go do one of the "tours" to actually see the Arctic Ocean. Then on the way back 60 miles out of Dead horse I had a puncture on my rear tire. It was bad enough that a single plug wouldn't stop the leak completely. I basically could ride for about 45mins or so, tire would go flat, stop, pump it up, continue. Repeat over and over again. I had to leave my bike running when I would pump it up and ended up going through both my extra gas and my buddies extra gas. Sometimes we would try to change the plug, but we'd only make it worse. Both of our air pumps gave up tho ghost before we even made it back to Cold Foot. My buddy left me on the side of the road hours from cold foot while he went to find an air pump. I ended up buying one from a passing p/up truck that stopped to check on me. Then out of sheer bad luck, while my buddy was in Wiseman trying to find assistance, I unknowingly rode past him to Cold Foot. I of course didn't find him there only to finally get word by the truckers he was headed north again going back to where he had last left me. I finally got word through the truckers to him that I had made it to cold foot. While I was waiting in cold foot, a trucker helped me plug my tire with this stuff they used on truck tires. It made my tire extremely out of balance, but it held. My buddy finally showed up (many, many hours after we had separated from each other) and we decided to just continue south. The ride back took us 24hrs and we rode through the night (although it was still light out that time of year). We were exhausted by the time we got off the Dalton and ended up sleeping on our bikes in a parking lot for a couple hours before continuing back to Fairbanks.

 

At the time, it was the trip from hell. Looking back, it was just all part of the adventure! :)

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We had a great trip up the Dalton to about MM230, May 29-June 1, 2016 in our 29' Class A MH. Over all the road was in good condition, but where and when it is wet, it really gets slippery. We had thoughts of driving the full 430 miles of the Dalton to Deadhorse, but stopped at about MM230 when the road was getting very rocky and our beautiful sunny weather was getting cloudy.

 

Here is a link to our blog of the trip: http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/2016_06_01_archive.html

 

Here is a link to a couple who took their 23' travel trailer the full distance on the Dalton in June 2011: http://www.mytripjournal.com/travel-608614-arctic-circle-summer-solstice-highway-road-dalton-day

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Beautiful pictures. I failed to mention that I will NOT take my fifth wheel up the Dalton Hwy. I am going to rent a car and stay in Cold Foot and Deadhorse. Try to take the Arctic Ocean "tour" and return to Fairbanks. I am planning on 4-5 days for this trip.

I can't believe the muck and mud.

David

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Standard rental companies do not allow their cars to be taken up the Dalton. However there are a couple of companies in Fairbanks who specialize in renting something like Jeep Cherokee's complete with some safety equipment, extra spare tires, specifically for driving the Dalton.

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A-1 car Rental Anchorage www.anchoragea1carrental.com 1-907-929-1222
Go North Car & Camper Rental www.gonorth-alaska.com
High Country Car Rental email hcwes@gci.net 1-888-685-1155
Levi Car Rental www.levicarrental.com 907-563-2279
Valley Car Rental www.valleycarrental.com

Alaska Toy Rental www.alaskatoyrental.com (trailers and ATVs)
Payless Car Rental www.paylesscarrental.com

Airport Equipment Rental(Fairbanks) http://www.airportequipmentrentals.com/vehicle_rentals.html These guys are mostly commercial but they rent full sized truck to people and contractors working on the dalton and in prudhoe.

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A-1 car Rental Anchorage www.anchoragea1carrental.com 1-907-929-1222

Go North Car & Camper Rental www.gonorth-alaska.com

High Country Car Rental email hcwes@gci.net 1-888-685-1155

Levi Car Rental www.levicarrental.com 907-563-2279

Valley Car Rental www.valleycarrental.com

Alaska Toy Rental www.alaskatoyrental.com (trailers and ATVs)

Payless Car Rental www.paylesscarrental.com

Airport Equipment Rental(Fairbanks) http://www.airportequipmentrentals.com/vehicle_rentals.html These guys are mostly commercial but they rent full sized truck to people and contractors working on the dalton and in prudhoe.

I have also spoken with NorthernAlaska.com company about the trip and they rent vehicles for the Dalton portion.

Thanks for these other companies. I will review them too.

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  • 1 month later...

We are planning to be in Alaska and Western Canada this Summer! Currently Raymond and I are in North Ranch, Congress, AZ until the end of March. We'll start a slow, sightseeing along the way while we head North probably 1 April. Stopping in Rollins, MT to drop off some forbidden items before we cross into Canada. So many areas we didn't see in 2014, that we hope to see this time. We plan to exit via Chicken, AK to Dawson City, CA in September. Hoping to linger up there long enough to catch Northern Lights, but that depends totally on the weather. Hoping to see lots of HDTers along the way. Safe Travels to All.

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