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Southern BC to Alaska Road Trip

AridholAridhol Daddliest CatchRegistered User regular
edited December 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Hello everyone, I'm planning a road trip to Alaska in July and as I have never done a road trip (more than 600KM anyway) I am looking for some seasoned traveler advice.

Victoria BC, Canada
To: Alaska - Anchorage or some other relatively populated area for 4th of July celebrations!
When: Late June, early July
Time to journey there and back: 10 days
Method: Driving trusty Toyota 4 runner.
Who: Myself and 3 friends.
Budget: Minimal (we have plenty of cash if needed)- We plan on tenting / couch surfing as much as possible, no hotels etc.. Food / Beer / Gas is the only thing we'd like to pay for.

Since we do not have a lot of time we'd like to take a decent scenic route with some cool things "along the way" but I can't find an online trip planner or even a blog from someone who has done this and has detailed advice. What's a good route? Trip stories / experiences would be great!

How abundant are provincial / state parks that allow camping for minimal $$?
What essential gear would you recommend beyond the normal spare parts, bug stuff, first aid, extra gas can(s) food/emergency supplies.

What's the weather like? I am not a huge fan of sweltering heat but summer days are ok.

Is 10 days a rediculous timeframe to be able to see some good stuff? We are all in it for the "driving far together" aspect really but it's also nice to "do" something.

The truck will be tuned up and gone over in the weeks prior but should anything happen are there any reliable mechanics/garages to know about on the route up?

What else should we know, see, do? Anything incredible along the route that is a "must see"?

Aridhol on


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    ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    Whitehorse is an awesome city. I went from Edmonton to there this last summer.

    At the time you are planning to go it will be in the long daylight phase of the year. This means if you plan to drive, remember to watch the time because it will be very easy to forget that you have been driving for hours on end. The sun being up almost the whole day will screw with your head.

    There is really only one way up, and from Victoria, it will be a bit of a pain in the ass to do a 10 day trip, there and back. From the looks of it, you will need to head up Highway 97 to Dawson Creek, then follow the Alaska Highway. There is a place between Dawson City and Whitehorse that serves absolutely massive cinnamon buns, they are really damn good too, called Braeburn Lodge.

    If you plan on camping, avoid Liard, at least last summer it was absolutely infested with bears and probably will be this next year too. Also, no matter where you stay, invest in bear bangs/pepper spray, just incase.

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    EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    The Alaskan Highway would be the only way to go. will have all the info you need. It's expensive, but you can always find an edition that's a year or few old for cheap.

    I've gone from Vancouver Island to Dawson City and back twice on the Alaskan Highway.

    I suggest you add a few days or else you'll end up in Anchorage just in time to a U-turn back to the Island.

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    NoquarNoquar Registered User regular
    Avoid the Cassiar. The roads sucks the closer you get to Alaska, I mean they really suck. Take your time, keep your eyes open and you'll see plenty of stuff. Once you get into Alaska unless you REALLY want to see Fairbanks you'll want to take the Tok highway towards Anchorage.

    Anyhow - if you want a serious granola fest on July 4th, plus the Mt. Marathon race - you need to head to Seward for July 4th. There is Homer as well, and of course some events in Anchorage, but Seward is really the hotspot.

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    AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    After some feedback here and elsewhere Juneau seems to be the better bet in terms of the time we have. I was also told the cassiar is a very cool drive. Noquar are the roads just poorly maintained or dangerous or something else that makes them suck. We're primarily interested in some cool scenery and maybe wildlife as we rumble on by. We'll have a decent 4x4 with good tires.

    edit: thank you for all the advice!

    Aridhol on
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    ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    The cost to ferry to Juneau is very high... Like in the range of a plane ticket...

    After a quick check with some booking services, you are looking at the trips costing around $250-$400 per destination.

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    AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    yeah not a fan of a $400 ferry trip really.

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    ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    Unfortunately, I believe that is the only way to reach it from Victoria/B.C.

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    AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    Damn, I didn't know that. Plans might have to change again. Maybe whitehorse then skagway and back?
    I am glad I posted, I had no idea you can't drive to Juneau.
    victoria-fort nelson-skagway-victoria.

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    ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    Your best bet would probably be to stay in Whitehorse and do a day trip to Skagway, it is only about an hour and half away. I didn't find there was a whole lot to do there, but then again I am not a huge fan of touristy areas.

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