Yukon and Northwest Territories - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-30-2018, 08:56 AM   #1
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Yukon and Northwest Territories

We are planning a trip from NC to the Yukon and Northwest Territories, perhaps including Denali. One of us would like to leave around April for a four month trip or so, while the other party ( would like to leave in late July/early August as we did for our previous smoky trip two years ago up to Jasper. We have the Milepost, and some tourist packet from the Yukon government. We are in our planning stage now, hoping to have a plan within a few weeks. We'll be towing our Bigfoot 25RQ behind a Chevy 2500 diesel, with bear spray, extra tires, rock guards and a generator. Any and all input from timing to locations to routes would be much appreciated.
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:04 AM   #2
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North to Alaska

Make sure to spend some time in Whitehorse, YT, and take the side trip to Skagway, Alaska.

Both are awesome places to visit.

And one of my favorite spots to camp and take a break at is Liard River and the hot springs there!

Can't beat them!


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Old 11-30-2018, 10:06 AM   #3
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We took a trip this summer (2018) from our home in western NC to AK and back, 10,600 miles. We did not go the most direct route, as we came back through WA state.

The Yukon province parks are nice, low cost, on the basic side. We did not take extra spare tires, I did take an air compressor, floor jack and other tools so I could deal with flats. We never got a single flat tire. We took the Alcan up to Fairbanks, then went to Denali, and down to Homer, AK. Back up to Anchorage, then the Richardson Highway to TOK. We came back down the Cassiar Highway, made our way to Omak, WA, then Yellowstone, and home.

Our trip was 31 days long. We planned for one two night stop each week minimum, the other days we were covering about 500 miles a day +/-. First two night stop was Elk Island NP, outside of Edmonton, Canada.

Places I would stay longer? Liard Hot Springs, we camped there one night, could have stayed two nights. Realize if you are doing 500 miles a day, one night means arrive late in the afternoon, then leave early in the morning. If you want to really explore, two nights is much better.

We stayed 3 nights at Denali, it basically rained the entire time. From there we headed to Homer, stopped at Tenderfoot Creek Campground. I'd recommend it!! At Homer we stayed on the spit. C/G was pretty basic, but its all about the location!

We stayed at Discover Yukon campground outside of Beavercreek. I highly recommend it. We stayed both directions. We stayed at Rivers Edge C/G in Fairbanks for two nights. Decent campground, nothing spectacular.

We lucked into Concunully State Park, outside of Omak on Labor Day weekend. Got one of their full hook up lake sites. WOW! Spent two nights there.

Spent four nights at Yellowstone, glad we did. We were able to see most of the park. We have stayed there in the past, just one or two nights, where we only scratched the surface of what to see there.


Reservations were a MUST at Denali, Yellowstone, Liard Hot Springs, and Elk Island. We should have made reservations at Lincoln Rock State Park outside of Wenatchee, WA. But our Omak find was a nice alternative. We went in early August. Once my wife saw mosquitos love June and July, those months were out.

Road conditions we quite good, very little construction. Richardson Highway was the worst, still OK. Much better than my last trip in 2014, night and day really.

Milepost gas station availability was wrong. First they had the mileage off. Secondly, some stations were out of gas. We almost ran out around mile 1100. Gas gauge showed 3 miles range left, put 26.7 gallons into our 26.0 gallon tank! Next gas was about 120 miles away.
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:08 AM   #4
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I do wish I had planned on going to Haines, AK. Other than that, I was happy with my route.

My wife has a limit on trips, one month max. Otherwise, I probably would have taken 1 1/2 months, and more side trips on the way home through the western USA.
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:27 AM   #5
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I do wish I had planned on going to Haines, AK. Other than that, I was happy with my route.

My wife has a limit on trips, one month max. Otherwise, I probably would have taken 1 1/2 months, and more side trips on the way home through the western USA.
Hello Bill,
Are all the roads paved? I was thinking about a similar trip but stopped after I was told that the road is very bumpy.

Hello Bruce:
Hopefully will read your stories and wish you a wonderful trip.

Eric.
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:33 AM   #6
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In 2015 we took a month to get to Alaska from MIchigan, Spent a month in Alaska, we drove every rode that was there to the end and returned. THen we spent a month getting back home. Out of the 90 days we only were in established campgrounds about 15 nights.
Some days we did not cover 50 miles distance between camps, just so much to see. I think the longest mileage was about 350.
Never had a flat tire, nor any glass damage, though the front of the truck hood took a bunch of stone chips. Watch out for frost heaves, they are very exciting at 50 mph.
AK is a great place to explore all of the side trips, meet new folks and take in the native and local customs and traditions.
We will probably go back, possibly 2019 or 2020, there was still a lot of things we did not have time to do
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:06 AM   #7
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Go to YouTube and watch episodes of Keep Your Daydream, with Marc & Trish.

They just finished 4 months in Alaska, and a season NW including Whistler the year before. They include trip planning, and they are well spoken & entertaining. Sorry not a fiberglass egg, with 3 teens.

Here's a good planner video. Find their Season 5 playlist for all of Alaska.
Here are two links, scroll down for the second link


https://www.keepyourdaydream.com/alaska-recap/
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bruce Olive View Post
We are planning a trip from NC to the Yukon and Northwest Territories, perhaps including Denali. One of us would like to leave around April for a four month trip or so, while the other party ( would like to leave in late July/early August as we did for our previous smoky trip two years ago up to Jasper. We have the Milepost, and some tourist packet from the Yukon government. We are in our planning stage now, hoping to have a plan within a few weeks. We'll be towing our Bigfoot 25RQ behind a Chevy 2500 diesel, with bear spray, extra tires, rock guards and a generator. Any and all input from timing to locations to routes would be much appreciated.
Bruce and Kathryn
:Skagway is owned by the Shipping companies and just a tourist trap now not like it once was. WE left home May 8 from New Westminster, BC up the #1 to Cache Creek then up 97 to Dawson Creek the jump off point of the Alaska Hwy right up to Whitehorse were we stopped for a few days, also stopped at Fort Nelson and did the Museum tour there, you have to see Marl's collection of cars over the years plus trucks and bits and parts from the building of the Alaska Hwy. From there we stayed on 97 right up to Dawson City for a week or so then drove the The Top of The World Highway to Poker Creek which is the US Border then down to Chicken stayed a night there then headed for Tok where we stocked up on some Groceries, then up to Fairbanks were we also stayed for a week then down to Denali got some good Moose pictures in that area, did the Christmas thing, went to the old car museum which was out of sight as newest car in there was a 1936 Packard man those were the years for nice cars. Also went to the Moskox Preserve very interesting, saw reindeer and Santa Claus & his elves working their hearts out for presents for all the children in the world. Left there for Denali never saw the Mountain due to heavy fog right to the ground, but did see it from the hwy leaving Valdez could not stop in middle of the road but did see it man all covered in snow that is one mega large Mountain. We did a lot of side trips from Anchorage, where we saw Grizzly Bears, Moose, Wolves, while at Denali we did a Dog Sled side tour to learn all about the dogs, the mushers etc. Finally landed in Anchorage and did their tour for $20 each where we learned about the Tidal Wave there, what happened and why only 2 people died, learned about all the small planes at Fort Hood, Travelled to Holmes, AK and saw the sites in between, drove through the Mountain to Whittier AK, from there did a boat trip to see the Ice calving etc saw whales etc.
Back out through the same mountain and headed back to where ever. Valdez was a good stay with all the Water Falls, Grizzly bears etc. seeing Denali from there on the way out. back to Tok then head for Haines Alaska where we took Ferry trip to Juneau spent a day there and a week in Haines then back to Whitehorse then worked our way back down the Hwy for home.
We left May 8 and got home August 10/18. Better have lots of ready money as not a cheap trip.
Peter
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Capn.Curt.Wiebe View Post
Make sure to spend some time in Whitehorse, YT, and take the side trip to Skagway, Alaska.

Both are awesome places to visit.

And one of my favorite spots to camp and take a break at is Liard River and the hot springs there!

Curt
I believe the Liard Hot Springs are in British Columbia just off the ALCAN Highway. Yes, a definite must. To get there you walk a long board walk from the parking lot.
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:14 PM   #10
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We are planning a trip from NC to the Yukon and Northwest Territories, perhaps including Denali. ….

Bruce and Kathryn
I guess you know that DENALI is in Alaska.
The drive over the Top Of The World Highway from Dawson City to Chicken Alaska is fun. Gravel, but well maintained. You can Pan for gold at Chicken.
A tour of Dredge #4 south of Dawson, is very interesting.
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:27 PM   #11
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Yes, the main Alcan, the Cassiar, and the Richardson are all paved. If you want gravel, go to Chicken, AK, if you want mud, try the Dalton Highway or some other roads (with the assistance of mother nature (rain)).

I have driven to AK five times in the last 40 years. It used to be quite an adventure, given mediocre road conditions, lots of construction, mud, and more. We did the Cassiar on our Goldwing motorcycle in 2002. We had over 100 miles of thick MUD. We returned on the Cassiar this summer, there was less than 1/2 mile of road construction, and it was gravel. What a difference!

In 2014, I went up the Alcan on my motorcycle again. Lots of construction, at least six areas with pilot cars, often running you down in the culvert while they built the new section right next to it. This time, just one section with a pilot car, it was gravel (no mud), not a big deal at all.

I routinely have seen worse roads around here! Now once you get off the main highway to secondary roads (highways), sure you can find gravel. And if it has been raining, you will find mud too. While we were camping in Fairbanks, another camper came in with his 4WD pickup with a pickup camper. Couldn't help but notice he had the camper chained to his truck. He had just gone up the Dalton Highway, about 300 miles of gravel and mud each direction. The mounts on his camper BROKE OFF. Fortunately he noticed it and quickly chained it down in place. He will have some serious repairs to do to that camper!

Whitehorse to me was just another big town. I'm not really into big towns, so I didn't spend much time there. The shorter your trip in days, the more selective you have to be in your long stops. I didn't spend any time in Edmonton or Saskatoon either, or Spokane, WA or Missoula, MT, although I camped nearby.
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:45 PM   #12
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Laird Hot Springs

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I believe the Liard Hot Springs are in British Columbia just off the ALCAN Highway. Yes, a definite must. To get there you walk a long board walk from the parking lot.
:Yes Laird Hot springs are just north of Fort Nelson, watch out for the Bison wandering on the road so go slow and you might get some pictures. Yes but you have to pay for parking at the Hot springs but we parked in the overflow campsite where you do not have to pay. We then walked across the hwy and up the wooden boardwalk to the Hot springs but as we were not prepared for a dip we only went up to our knees, water was quite warm. Lots of bugs in May but we had Mosquito netting face masks to protect us. When and if you go back via Alaska Hwy from Tok you stay on AK Hwy to Haines Jct. you then follow it back down to Dawson Creek. We drove down to Haines and saw the area, did a boat trip from there to Juneau AK, good trip.
Peter
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Old 11-30-2018, 06:32 PM   #13
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Don't wait too long, global warming is melting the permafrost and many Northern routes are going to have to adjust. We drove up to Inuvik last Summer and it is in our top 5 road trips taken.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:21 AM   #14
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Don't wait too long, global warming is melting the permafrost and many Northern routes are going to have to adjust. We drove up to Inuvik last Summer and it is in our top 5 road trips taken.
:Yes it is way worse up there the land is slipping into the ocean, the town will have to be moved southward soon. We went about halfway for a day drive and got as far as the Visitor's centre along the way or maybe 20 more miles up from there but as the day was actually getting dark and starting to rain heavily we decided to turn around and head for home, which was at the time Whitehorse.
You can see just about everywhere how much the glaciers are receding to be come hanging Glaciers. Salmon Glacier at Hyder, AK was the only one that visibly still looked somewhat normal but it to is melting. Our temperatures in the Vancouver, N.C. area are the warmest it has been in years 15*C is warm for us here.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:35 AM   #15
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Don't wait too long, global warming is melting the permafrost and many Northern routes are going to have to adjust. We drove up to Inuvik last Summer and it is in our top 5 road trips taken.
Having driven up to AK over the last 40 years, I can only say despite global warming during that time, the roads have gotten tremendously BETTER. I will predict that two years from now, the roads will once again be better.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:41 AM   #16
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Thanks all for the planning tips. Yup, we do know that part of our trip will be in Alaska if we decide to include Denali. This is really excellent input and we are most grateful. It's a long long way....but we are really looking forward to the voyage.
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Old 12-01-2018, 08:20 AM   #17
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Better in two years? ...Likely. In two weeks? ...Nope

Looks like quite a shaker up there. Reviewed a lot of pics. Somehow I recall the coverage from 1964 newspapers. Still on my to do list.
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:41 AM   #18
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While I took the Milepost book, I also carried Church's Alaskan Camping, a more useful book with less advertising. While titled Alaska, it also covers the Yukon.

If you stop in Dawson Creek at the start of the Alaskan Highway on your way heading north, go to the visitor center and ask for their camping & fuel stop list. Very up to date, and free. Covers the Canadian part of the highway.

Here is a journal of our 2015 trip in June & July.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:58 PM   #19
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In Northwest territories. Go up the Dempster Highway Access to the Arctic Circle, a very well maintained. very smooth dirt highway it goes North to Indian Village on the Ocean (there are many dirt roads; very smooth to established town sites ) A very nice campground is "up the road a piece." Tombstone Territorial Park and campground. ( Make Motel and camp reservations while in Dawson ) Leave trailer in campground. drive a few hrs up to a motel ( Eagle Plains ) near the Circle. Stay the night. gas available at a Lodge along the dirt graded highway. Great views and many animals to get excited about. Beaver ponds at the camp ground. When driving up to Watson Lake I think on Highway 1. We had a tire damaged could not find a 13" tire. could have one trucked in or flown in. Drove with spare to Anchorage. Some say they don't carry a spare. ? Went another 10,000 miles. Had very large cow eye rock damage to the windshield. occurred on paved road. I had a small extra propane tank. Once needed to drive to the next town and back needed gas for tow. not able to pull trailer, so close to being out of gas. Get gas, even if you think you have enough. I would carry extra can and gas next time. I bought a 1 gallon can, cost a fortune. As much as a 5 gal Plastic in US.

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Old 12-01-2018, 11:51 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bruce Olive View Post
We are planning a trip from NC to the Yukon and Northwest Territories, perhaps including Denali. One of us would like to leave around April for a four month trip or so, while the other party ( would like to leave in late July/early August as we did for our previous smoky trip two years ago up to Jasper. We have the Milepost, and some tourist packet from the Yukon government. We are in our planning stage now, hoping to have a plan within a few weeks. We'll be towing our Bigfoot 25RQ behind a Chevy 2500 diesel, with bear spray, extra tires, rock guards and a generator. Any and all input from timing to locations to routes would be much appreciated.
Bruce and Kathryn
Some of the roads are great, others are so so and some bad. On the bad areas go very slow because it doesn't last long usually. We ran into one bad area of 10 miles that took a long time but we saw moose, etc on that stretch. Don't try to cover very many miles in a day. Why go if you're not going to see the sights. One person said they covered 500 miles daily. Really? We're they racing? We drove about 45-50 most of the time and saw more than most see. Places to go to are Haines-the drive getting there is amazing and the campground on the water was awesome, Liard Hot Springs, White Horse-museums and visitor center, Watson Lake-sign post forest, Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Peyto Lake and many other places. If you have really good newer tires you only need a spare and if you want another unmounted tire. If you see signs about 18 inches tall with 3 wiggly lines on them slow down for the frost heave ahead. If you get to a pavement break that is gravel stop if someone is coming at you if you can. Then the gravel will go under your vehicle and not hit it. We've been there in 2008 and 2015 and spent 80 and 77 days on the road. Get the 2019 Milepost. Much of what was open last year may not be there any more and there may be new places open. We never had a campground reservation and provincial parks usually have overflow areas. Johnston Canyon said full but they had 5 handicap spots open and put us in one. So don't always believe the full signs. Fill up with gas at 1/2 tank unless you are going to a city and can get that far. Don't leave until at least mid-May. It is cold and snowy and places don't open that early in some areas. We found closed campgrounds in June and had heavy snow in June in BC. Depends on the year. Just go, have fun and take your time. Watch for animals everywhere. They are in abundance in June.
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