Maps for British Columbia, Alberta, Alaska, NWT? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-11-2019, 03:37 PM   #1
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Maps for British Columbia, Alberta, Alaska, NWT?

We plan to go to Alaska next summer (probably all summer) we'll be mostly wandering, but have a reservation for Denali for a few days as the centerpiece of the trip. We prefer dry camping, but will need to find full services about once a week for laundry, etc.

I found the https://www.backroadmapbooks.com/bac...undle?___SID=U Backroad Maps but it's ~$150 just for BC. Seems a bit steep.

Has anyone used these maps? Is it really worth it? What cheaper options are there, and what is the tradeoff?

I don't plan on having reliable cell service. I do have a Garmin RV GPS, but it's not really conducive to browsing for the next stop on a wandering type trip.

BTW I already have the milepost. Just looking for an Atlas to supplement the route guide.
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:43 PM   #2
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I'll ask a friend that might know as he has something similar and travels backroads/ forest service roads he also lives in the mountains.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:26 PM   #3
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For just road maps try AAA if you are a member and also stop at the first info centre as you enter each province and grab maps and info for private and provincial campgrounds there. I am no help as to where to camp for free though.

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Old 08-11-2019, 07:12 PM   #4
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My friend suggested.


there are 5 or 6.. Okanagan, Kootenays, Thompson, etc.. But there is no way I would pay that much for the backroads maps.

He could try the PDF download however

https://www.google.ca/search?dcr=0&q=ba ... 17&bih=873

http://backroadmapbooks.com/media/downl ... v8-opt.pdf
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:44 AM   #5
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I have done a lot of travelling by van and or camper in North America and despite using a Garmin find that I like the Rand McNally map book for North America the best for planning. It is affordable and available at AAA CAA or Wal-Mart and has really nice maps.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:01 AM   #6
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Regular roadmaps will not have the information he is looking for that's why they are called back roads maps. In BC there are many forest service type roads that the locals know to get from point A to B and they do have sign posts along the way but without the maps its easy to get lost. Cell service is spotty as well.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:18 AM   #7
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Something along the lines of the Atlas & Gazetteer maps from DeLorme (part of rand mcnally?) would be great. They make one for Alaska, but so far I haven't seen one for BC or Alberta. And for the states they are much cheaper than the backroad map books. It's not so much that I'll be taking a forest service type road from city to city, but to spot that primitive campsite thats 30-60 minutes off the main road for a couple nights of seclusion.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:22 AM   #8
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Daniel you are right about these back road maps not being easily available and that is for a reason! I have traveled on some of these and you should also warn them that they better travel them with vehicles with proper ground clearance and engine/tranni protection and adequate supplies and survival gear just in case. Also ample water, gas and food.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokra View Post
I have done a lot of travelling by van and or camper in North America and despite using a Garmin find that I like the Rand McNally map book for North America the best for planning. It is affordable and available at AAA CAA or Wal-Mart and has really nice maps.
Thanks I'll check one out. My National Geographic atlas is way too zoomed out (all of BC on one page).

And yes the TV is a RAM 3500. We do primarily forest service camping thus far, and really enjoy it
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:41 AM   #10
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Backroad Map books

I've been to Northern B.C, and Yukon 3 times now. Twice on a motorcycle so I know a little about about dry camping. The Alaska Highway (starts in B.C.) has lots of opportunities. During the construction the road builders needed gravel and needed it near to the Highway route. Bingo! Great dry camping sites. In my case if there was no gate then I just went in and set up camp. As a safety precaution I always set up camp in the middle of the area. No surprise visits from curious bears. Often there have been people there previously so for my 'rent' I'd clean up the area so it's a bit more pleasing. Please don't dump your grey & blackwater tanks here!

With our little Bigfoot I'd go to an RV park, charge the batteries, dump the tanks, laundry, showers, wifi etc every four or five days.
Get your big map out, eyeball he towns and villages you'll pass through and Goggle the town's names. There was a load of relevant info there.

If you need free wifi I found that it was often available in the restaurants, nearly always at the Town Library and often Banks. Just park outside and scan for wifi!

Be aware that you can drive for hours with no cell service. That's why you're there right? On my motorcycle I took a satellite comm device. They're not expensive but poop happens.
Bug net hats, DEET and bear spray for an enjoyable time.
And BTW I have the BC Backroads book and digital maps but if you're not an avid hiker, fisherman or hunter you don't need them.
I bought a hoodie in Whitehorse, Yt - got a logo and the line 'North of Ordinary' on it. Pretty much sums it up.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by burrorojo View Post
.... On my motorcycle I took a satellite comm device. They're not expensive but poop happens...

Garmin InReach Explorer+, full featured handheld GPS with satellite messaging and tracking, $450 + about $250/year for mid level service (40 send/receive messages per day, 10 minute+ interval tracking included, extra messages are $0.50 each). Note thats NOT a road routing GPS, but its got a topo map of all of North America built in.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:52 AM   #12
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I have an app for my iPhone called Gaia which I use for hiking. The reason I mention it is that with the premium account ($36) it includes Backroad Mapbooks. The downside is that you likely have to download the specific area where you plan to travel unless you have tons of memory to download all at once. Most likely it would mean knowing where you plan to travel and downloading the data whenever you have a connection. Here's the url:

https://www.gaiagps.com

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Old 08-12-2019, 11:31 AM   #13
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We really like the DeLorme Gazatteer. Have one for all of the states we camp in. They show hi-ways, gravel roads, forest service roads, hiking trails, bird trails, boat launches, ferries, fed and state campgrounds, etc. Usually about $20 per state. If you order a gazatteer make sure it is the most recent version. Used ones are real inexpensive but they most likely are not the latest version. They do have one for Alaska but not sure about Canadian provinces.
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SnowballCamper View Post
We plan to go to Alaska next summer (probably all summer) we'll be mostly wandering, but have a reservation for Denali for a few days as the centerpiece of the trip. We prefer dry camping, but will need to find full services about once a week for laundry, etc.

I found the https://www.backroadmapbooks.com/bac...undle?___SID=U Backroad Maps but it's ~$150 just for BC. Seems a bit steep.

Has anyone used these maps? Is it really worth it? What cheaper options are there, and what is the tradeoff?

I don't plan on having reliable cell service. I do have a Garmin RV GPS, but it's not really conducive to browsing for the next stop on a wandering type trip.

BTW I already have the milepost. Just looking for an Atlas to supplement the route guide.



You can buy individual backroad maps too. We are in the Cariboo (BC) and use them for work, service calls in the bush. I find them awesome and well worth the 30 or so bucks. Down side every region has its own book. They are pretty up to date, at the time of printing. Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SnowballCamper View Post
We plan to go to Alaska next summer (probably all summer) we'll be mostly wandering, but have a reservation for Denali for a few days as the centerpiece of the trip. We prefer dry camping, but will need to find full services about once a week for laundry, etc.

I found the https://www.backroadmapbooks.com/bac...undle?___SID=U Backroad Maps but it's ~$150 just for BC. Seems a bit steep.

Has anyone used these maps? Is it really worth it? What cheaper options are there, and what is the tradeoff?

I don't plan on having reliable cell service. I do have a Garmin RV GPS, but it's not really conducive to browsing for the next stop on a wandering type trip.

BTW I already have the milepost. Just looking for an Atlas to supplement the route guide.
You say you already have the Milepost. Sorry to tell you but by the time you go next year it is so outdated that it can't be trusted. That is how fast places close and could leave you stranded so to speak. Wait until the 2020 book comes out and get it. We've driven to Alaska twice and got the newest book both times. Compared them and so much had changed it was amazing. In Canada you cannot dry camp along the roads. You have to stay in some kind of park. Forest or Provincial campgrounds are great. Usually about $20 a night Canadian money. Get money exchanged at the border and you'll save a lot. There's not a lot of back roads that I'd go on. You can order a free map of Alaska from them by Googling free Alaska maps. Sometimes it includes BC and part of Alberta. When we went we checked online for campgrounds but found many to be closed when we got there. They don't open sometimes until July and not at all. In Alaska you can camp anywhere along the road in wide pull outs if you want to except for within 100 miles of Denali. We didn't have any plans to camp anywhere special and just drove until we found a place. Maps of Canada do show the campgrounds on the main roads if you get them as you enter at visitor centers. Have fun. We want to go again sometime.
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:19 AM   #16
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On your computer and phones or tablets bookmark these websites. Check whenever you can while driving through Canada and Alaska.



This is the Canadian version of the DOT and it gives the up to date information about the road conditions on that travel route.
Text Report | Government of Yukon


The state of Alaska also has the same type of website
Alaska 511 - Transportation & Public Facilities, State of Alaska.
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:07 PM   #17
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Jann,
Thanks for the input. I'll be sure to take into account my milepost might be outdated.

For Alberta, they have a clear policy listed on the provincial website about camping on Crown Lands: https://www.alberta.ca/camping-on-public-land.aspx

I don't find a corresponding policy for BC, but I can't imagine that it's much different. I'll keep looking.

Thanks.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:47 PM   #18
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If you are going to go the trip donít go both ways on the Alcan. Either take the Cassiar up or back south. Iíve done this trip a lot. I quit counting at 20 moved to Alaska in 1979 and always enjoyed traveling both highways. Sadly the Cassiar is losing itís gravel and dirt road to more and more pavement or chip rock surface. If youíre going north on the Alcan be aware that big horn sheep will appear on The Highway around Muncho Lake (BC) and again at Kluane Lake(Yukon). Also youíll find woodland bison on The Highway between Pink Mountain and Liard River. Donít miss out on the Laird Provincial Park and itís hot springs to soak in. The next hot springs thatís a fun stop is Takhini Hot Springs resort in the Yukon north of Whitehorse.
If you decide to use the Tok Cut Off road in Alaska be aware that itís usually in horrible shape. Huge pot holes limit yourself to 30-35 mph for at least 30 miles of its length. A very nice drive but very dirty and rough is the Denali Highway. It cuts across from Paxson to Cantwell,135 miles between the Richardson and Parks Highways.
A real nice and clean RV stop near our hunting cabin on the Glenn Highway is the GrandView.

https://www.grandviewrv.com

The Cassiar is the other road. Itís our favorite trip provincial parks are uncrowded(usually) with lakes, ponds and rivers everywhere. The fueling stops are about 200/250 miles apart you donít skip them. If you arrive before they open go to sleep in your rig and fuel up when they open.
My idea of fun is to be traveling along look for signs of no humanity pull over brew up an espresso, sit in the dirt or on a log/rock and listen to Nature.
Iíve lived in Alaska since I was 28 and Iím not going anywhere else.
Make sure you bring a good tool kit, things you think might be useful in a pinch for repairs etc. If youíre going to be in Alaska during a salmon run bring appropriate fishing gear. License isnít cheap but itís worth it to work the waters. For the small streams try fishing for grayling and dollies. (make sure you have a fish and game rule book)
Also as a warning Alaska like other places has a serious drug addiction problem so LOCK everything.
Iíll be happy to answer other questions if you have them. Also going fast on chip rock surface roads eats tires so take your time.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:56 AM   #19
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Hi Sisu. For what it's worth I think you info is right on. I was there and in the eastern Yukon in '14 and '15 on a small motorcycle then again in my 17' Bigfoot last year.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:20 PM   #20
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Thanks Sisu for the detailed information. Yesterday reservations opened for Denali, and we got ours made today (whew!). The kid finishes school about June 11, and the reservation starts July 1. So I'm thinking to use cassiar on the way up (because its shorter/faster?) and then take Alcan on the way back at a much slower pace, and going along the Canadian rockies down to ID/WA border to cross back to US. My thinking is that there are more activities on the Alcan (history, small towns) route than the Cassair (mostly just enjoying nature).

As for my original question, the Gaia GPS sounds promising (maybe with an extra memory card...).
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