Request Canada and Alaska Info - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-21-2010, 10:54 AM   #1
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Request Canada and Alaska Info

We are beginning to plan a trek across Canada - maybe will continue up to Alaska? We would appreciate feedback from other Fiberglass RV members - maybe some trip stories - tips - 'don't miss' sites, etc.

We like to do road trips, stop for the night and move on until we find a beautiful wilderness area in which to camp for a few nights. Does western Canada allow travelers to 'sleep over' beside the road at turn-offs or picnic areas? We don't find it necessary to locate a campground for each night - sort of like 'WalMart stop-overs in the wild'. I haven't been able to find much about casual, nightly stop-overs in Canada - but many have said it certainly should not be a problem in Alaska?

We have a Honda gen and are self-contained. Do Canada parks have dumping facilities rather like the states or is it necessary to use 'truckstops' or other resources?

Look forward to some of your tips and stories!

Bill and Nancy
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:57 PM   #2
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Dear Bill,
Your public profile indicates that you are in Michigan. we have made many quick trips between B.C. and family in Windsor, Ontario so we have our favorite spots if you are making a quick trip. we find I94 to be the quickest amd most interesting route. We like Mirror Lake state Park at wisconsin dells, Lincoln State Park at Mandan South Dakota and there is a road sidecampground/rest area about an hour west of Missoula Montana. It all depends on how fast you want to travel and what you want to see. B.C. provincial parks do not have services in most parks but huge campsites in many parks. If you have an idea of the route I can offer more responses as i suspect others. Many Canadians will make the trip north of Sueperior once, and then swear off, rocks, and trees and choose south route in the USA. Some travel I80, some I90, Some I94. If you have never been to Rushmore then travel I-90. And from Soiux Falls on, count the number of signs advertising Wall drug. It something to distract from the long, road through the plains.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kent I View Post
Dear Bill,
---->snip Many Canadians will make the trip north of Sueperior once, and then swear off, rocks, and trees and choose south route in the USA. Some travel I80, some I90, Some I94. If you have never been to Rushmore then travel I-90. And from Soiux Falls on, count the number of signs advertising Wall drug. It something to distract from the long, road through the plains.
Yup rocks and trees, and trees and rocks and really big...

YouTube - Arrogant Worms - Rocks and Trees

video may be a bit longer than necessary, but boy, it is Canadian...
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #4
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ahhhh...ya' gotta love the arrogant worms! rocks and trees!

as for a trip thru the glorious western parts of canada, i'll defer off to those forum members more close in proximity to the area..however, my one comment is that if you like the idea of an adventure along a huge zipline, check out the one at whistler!
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:26 PM   #5
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Kent - thanks for your response it should help me fill in some voids...

We do live in Michigan and have traveled extensively to the mountain states in the US. We are thinking of extending those travels into the Canadian Rockies - - and beyond to Alaska. Don't plan on making it a quick trip - we love poking along and checking out beautiful side roads when and if they are available.

This spring we were driving beside the Wyoming Wind River Range - set the cruise on 45 mph and enjoyed all the beautiful snowy peaks. We stayed in the snow at Fremont Lake - above Pinedale - the nat park was not open yet (May) but the ranger told us to have fun. Fremont Lake was still frozen to within about 150' of shore, during the night it re-froze all the way to shore. Next day was a leisurely drive to Jackson Hole - enjoyed rocky mountain sheep and antelope on the way with many stops...

That's pretty much how we like to travel and would like to do the same in Canada, but not sure what is allowed and not allowed. Most likely we would take the TransCanada highway all the way to Alaska, but again that is open for discussion - literally. Is there a better or different way to go from - - let's say, North Dakota to Alaska?

We like 'rocks and trees' - IF they are inspiring and pretty with snow and waterfalls mixed in ;-)

Again, we don't travel fast and like to see exception sites that most 'tourists' would miss. We also like a really good meal along the way - I know some of you have found your favorite, fish, steak or burger - don't keep it a secret!

Bill and Nancy

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Originally Posted by Kent I View Post
Dear Bill,
Your public profile indicates that you are in Michigan. we have made many quick trips between B.C. and family in Windsor, Ontario so we have our favorite spots if you are making a quick trip. we find I94 to be the quickest amd most interesting route. We like Mirror Lake state Park at wisconsin dells, Lincoln State Park at Mandan South Dakota and there is a road sidecampground/rest area about an hour west of Missoula Montana. It all depends on how fast you want to travel and what you want to see. B.C. provincial parks do not have services in most parks but huge campsites in many parks. If you have an idea of the route I can offer more responses as i suspect others. Many Canadians will make the trip north of Sueperior once, and then swear off, rocks, and trees and choose south route in the USA. Some travel I80, some I90, Some I94. If you have never been to Rushmore then travel I-90. And from Soiux Falls on, count the number of signs advertising Wall drug. It something to distract from the long, road through the plains.
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:15 PM   #6
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A group of SOI members made a trip to Alaska this summer. In the fall newsletter they had an good article describing their trip. I think they will cover more of the trip in the Winter newsletter. I don't think you have to own a Scamp to be a member of Scamp Owners Int. They have four good newsletters a year and they are a point of contact for the Scamp camps. I deleted my last news letter but if you joined I'm sure they would send you a copy of the fall newletter if requested.
Eddie
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:39 PM   #7
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We flew to Alaska several years ago, and rented a small RV. It was a most enjoyable trip.
I'll follow this thread with interest, as we also plan to drive thru Canada to Alaska one day (soon, we hope!).
We have thoroughly enjoyed our trips camping in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Our neighbors to the north were fine hosts in each of these provinces!
Sherry
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:22 PM   #8
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One can cross the border west of Minot and travel north to Estavan sask, a very pleasant municipal campstie in Estavan. and onto the Trans canada heading west to Calgary. Or on the Trans canada, stay South at medicine Hat and stay on #3. Then one can go north at #2, or #20 into Black Diamond or for a slow route take the Foresty Trunk road west of #20 and head up through to an area called Kananaskis country. If you want you can cross at Galcier National Park and enter Waterton lakes national Park. There are lots of opportunities for campsites in Kananaskis,in Banff, we prefer Two jack Lake rather than tunnel mountain which is a huge campsite almost in Banff. There is so much in the Canadian rockies. I think the columbia icefields Parkway, on a clear day, one of the most spectacular road in the world. Campground is large at the Whistlers in jasper. you can travel #16 west to Prince George and then continue north to Fort St. john, Fort Nelson and onto the Alcan highway. Another route is stay on #16 to Kitwanga, west of Hazelton and go north to Dease lake and join the alcan at Watson lake.

I suspect others will also add to the suggestions
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:00 PM   #9
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Now I need to get out the maps to see where you are talking about... This is great! Much appreciate help from all of you - keep it coming! I can take it!

I like suggestions for specific roads and campgrounds...
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bill Robison View Post
...Don't plan on making it a quick trip...

Bill,

the above snipped quote is key... you want to budget PLENTY of time as Western Canada and Alaska is big territory... especially if you like to take the 'side roads' as you also noted. Once you get far enough north there are fewer of those but still loads of places to seek out. Once you get to the Alaska/Canada border and proceed to Tok Junction, you still have about 320 miles to go to reach Anchorage south or about 200 to Fairbanks north if you plan to hit a major population center (and about 350 miles between Anchorage and Fairbanks). If you have the time to make the full circuit I would recommend it - you just have to decide which way to go, and what side journeys to make along the way.

I do highly recommend you pick up the Milepost book for Western Canada and Alaska trip/highway information. http://www.milepost.com/

it is updated annually and truly is the book to have for such an adventure. they sell them on the website for $29.95 + postage, but they can be had locally here for around $17.00 (Costco/Sam's Club). Take a look at the site and if interested I could pick one up and send it on to you for cost and save you a bit over $10.00 after postage (or anyone else that might be interested, for that matter).

I last made the trip up in Spring of '09 when I flew down then brought my Burro back from Ohio - we were on a tight deadline to get home so cannot offer much in the way of up-to-the-minute places to stay between there and here as we played a lot of it by ear. Our route was I90 west to Seattle to visit family then up through B.C. from there. Stayed at a few private campgrounds but we were ahead of the actual 'tourist season' and all the Canadian government run campgrounds were not open yet. We got no hassles the few times we did pull over in a rest area to get a cat-nap.

I will say the highlight of our trip was stopping in to meet Reace and Tammy and their crew at Escape in Chilliwack! If I were financially independent I would have been towing home a new Escape rather than a used Burro. Some day... ya gotta start somewhere.

At any rate, and to wrap up this rambling, as noted in other replies there are quite a few posts on this site of those making Alaskan journeys of many types (flying up and renting, ferrying up and driving, or driving all the way) and they are worth searching for and reading. The planning and anticipation is half the fun!

reinhold
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:20 AM   #11
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Thanks Reinhold -

Appreciate the offer to send Mileposts - we found it on Amazon for less than $20 w/ free s/h. I found out my brother-in-law had a copy from 2006 - so will use it for trip planning then order the newest version before heading to Alaska next year.

My cousin lives in Fairbanks and I want to try my hand at Halibut fishing in addition to lots of good eating and site seeing!
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:50 PM   #12
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Once in Alaska, make sure to go all the way into Denali NP. It is a 12 hour drive in and out in one day or you can stay at the camp (you can't drive your own personal vehicle in). Visit Chena Hot Springs. I rode the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Fairbanks and flew back to Anchorage. I enjoyed it; the lady traveling with me (we were on a work trip) not so much. Definitely make it down to Kenai and Homer. If you are looking for a road least travelled... plan a day drive out to Circle (do not take the camper). Not much to do there, but the Yukon River runs through down town. Tok had a dog sled demonstration that was cool. We did the riverboat in Fairbanks and that was neat. I enjoyed the inner passage we visited from a cruise ship... you can't drive there.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:32 AM   #13
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Most but not all Provincial Parks that allow RV camping in BC do have sani-stations and charge a fee of $5 to use. Most do not have electrical or water at each camp site. They normally have a water station located around the campground that you can fill up at before going to your site and use to top up using water jugs while you stay. Most if not all that have RV camping will also have showers. The use of generators is restricted to between 9-11 AM and 6-8 PM. Our slogen is Super Natural BC, that is why we dont have water or electricity at camp sites - thats our story and we are sticking to it. :-) Here is a link to the Provincial Parks:
Things to Do and See - BC Parks - Province of British Columbia

Links to most of the parks in BC can be found here by region:
BC Parks: Provincial, National & Regional Parks, British Columbia, Canada

We also have what are called Forest Service sites and they are very primitive and some of them can be gotten to with a trailer. No electrical or water or washrooms or sani dumps - sometimes not even an outhouse. You can not reserve the Forest Service sites so you need to get there early. The roads into them can be a little rough. Locations for them and other BC parks can be found through this site:
Recreation Sites and Trails BC

If you are going to make it all the way out to the West Coast then I would suggest that you actually get to see the real West Coast and spending the money and time to go to Vancouver Island its a must do/see. The two most popular west coast parks on Vancouver Island are Rathtreavor Provincal Park at Parksville and Pacific Rim National Park - Long Beach (Tofino).
BC Parks - Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
BC Parks - Pacific Rim National Park, Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

If you are wanting to spend some time in the Vancouver area we do not have any Provinical camping spots real close to the city but there is one commercial campground located in North Vancouver beside the Capalino River and located under the Lions Gate Bridge - a 5 min trip to downtown Vancouver. If fact you can walk over the bridge to Stanley Park and downtown Vancouver from the campground: Capilano RV Park - Capilano RV Park.
The closest Provincal camping is located about 35 km north of Vancovuer up Highway 99 or that we call the Sea to Sky Highway at a place called Porteau Cove Porteau Cove Provincial Park - BC Parks
If you follow Sea to Sky Highway which is an amazing drive there are also Provincal Parks in Squamish - ones called Alice Lake. If you are into rock climbing Squamish is a must see spot. Further up the Sea to Sky Highway is the town of Whistler. Resort Municipality of Whistler - About Whistler.
From Whistler you can keep going north and find some nice sites to camp in the Pemberton area (Provincal and Forest Service) and then carry on on what is known as the Duffy Lake Road - be warned from this point on it is not a super highway :-) but very driveable. That will take you a little off the beaten track up through the Fraser Canyon - an amazing sight. Information on doing the Duffy Lake (or loop as its often called is here: Duffy Lake Loop and Coast Mountain Circle Tour - Travel British Columbia, BCLCA. If you are coming from the Rockies this is also an off the beaten track way to get to Vancouver.

You will find that pulling over and staying in rest stops (which are few and far between) should not be an issue outside of large urban areas. When in smaller communties the locals should be able to point you in the right direction for unoffical camping spots some of them may be up old gravel logging roads.

Feel free to PM me if you would like more information on my area or Vancouver Island.

Carol

PS if you head to the Island (Tofino) or up into the Sqamish/Pemberton and into the Rockies you will need to be what we call "Bear Aware". You should have no problems or issues with them as long as you do not leave coolers or dirty campstoves out on the tables etc.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:43 PM   #14
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Now I need to get out the maps to see where you are talking about... This is great! Much appreciate help from all of you - keep it coming! I can take it!

I like suggestions for specific roads and campgrounds...
I am planning a similiar venture, my criteria is to visit as many National Parks as possible, without going more than two days with out a shower (my wifes..lol). Starting point is Toronto area, time frame from June 2013, for four months. What I got so far.. TransCanada Hwy to YellowHead Hwy, to MacKenzie (see Deh Cho Travel) to Liard Hwy to Fort Nelson on Alcan. Working on The `MilePost` into the Yukon back into the NWT and Alaska right now. Kinda stuck after that because I must get to Vancouver Island (sister-in-law and her kayaks). Thinking of returning via the Crowsnest Pass (never been that way before) to TCHwy and picking up the border parks (Waterton Lakes, Grasslands etc.) that way.

please post your trip and good luck .. bill
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