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Old 11-29-2015, 04:11 PM   #11
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Mary, early May thru late September very doable. We just try to avoid the Kenai Pennisula during the last two weeks of July when everyone is trying to fill their freezers with Sockeye's. Like everyone else said the Milepost is a wonderful resource. During the last couple of years we have been spending most of our camping season over in the Yukon and Northern BC. Enjoy, I have been living up here for thirty years and there are still many places that I have yet to visit. Scott

Scott and Lori
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:31 PM   #12
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Oh, and another good resource is the Alaska, Canada sub forum at Open Roads. (Hope I'm not breaking any rules). Scott

Scott and Lori & a exhausted white schnauzer after a twelve mile bike ride
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:38 PM   #13
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Mary, I had friends leave from Ohio about the middle of April this year, they took their time and probably didn't actually start for Alaska till about the end of April. They didn't really have any trouble with the weather, but that's always subject to change. By the time they started back they said it was a solid stream of campers going north, they were glad they went a little early, they were going to leave around the middle of May originally. I don't know if this helps.
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:43 PM   #14
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Mary, I had friends leave from Ohio about the middle of April this year, they took their time and probably didn't actually start for Alaska till about the end of April. They didn't really have any trouble with the weather, but that's always subject to change. By the time they started back they said it was a solid stream of campers going north, they were glad they went a little early, they were going to leave around the middle of May originally. I don't know if this helps.
Good info from all, appreciate your input.
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Old 11-29-2015, 06:02 PM   #15
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About 10 years ago we did a 7 week bicycle tour starting from Anchorage and riding home to Canmore Alberta. Because I wasn't able to get that much time off in prime vacation season we had to go early, we flew up early May. We were wondering if we were nuts to go to Alaska and the Yukon so early with just our bikes and a tent! Our guide books did show that May was the driest month up north so that did make us feel a little better. Other than having to hole up for three days in Denali while it snowed we only got rained on twice. Otherwise beautiful weather and no mosquitos!
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Old 11-29-2015, 06:08 PM   #16
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Mary,
i have lived in Southeast Alaska for the past 52 years and I would recommend May or June to see Southeast. The weather can turn wet anytime after fourth of July. Further north the weather is much fairer.
I would recommend getting a Milepost. I also would recommend going via the Cassiar Highway one way and going the Alcan the other way. Don't miss Laird hot springs (about 125 miles east of Watson Lake). That way you can go to Stewart/Hyder one way and Laird Hot springs the other. Actually there are three hot springs on the Alcan (I liked Laird the best). I still have not made it to Denali yet. It's on my bucket list.
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Old 11-29-2015, 06:36 PM   #17
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One of my favorite places to take visiting relatives was Childs Glacier outside of Cordova. We would load the camper on the fast ferry out of Whittier. My relatives would set up chairs alongside the Copper River and spend all day just watching the glacier calve. At night you could feel the ground shake when a large piece of ice would hit the river. Alas, the bridge, possibly two bridges washed out so you can't drive back to the campground anymore. I heard that there is a shuttle service barging people across, spectacular if you find yourself in Cordova. Scott

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Old 11-29-2015, 06:44 PM   #18
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Mary,

I would recommend getting a Milepost. I also would recommend going via the Cassiar Highway one way and going the Alcan the other way. Don't miss Laird hot springs (about 125 miles east of Watson Lake). That way you can go to Stewart/Hyder one way and Laird Hot springs the other.

Cody
I'll second the comments about Milepost. Really accurate and useful.

The Alaska ferry is also an alternative to creating a route that doesn't visit the same places twice.

We went from Dawson Creek, Laird hot springs, Whitehorse, Dawson City and the Top of the World hwy. to get to Alaska.

The lower loop on the map isn't really quite complete. We drove "down" to Skagway on the way North. Later, on the way South we caught the ferry at Haines. Even though they're very close, only a few miles apart, there's not road connection.

We didn't have a reservation for Denali but that's not a problem unless you want to stay in the Park overnight. Lot's of parking in Alaska, love it.

Ron
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:51 AM   #19
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Escape just moved our pickup date from Aug. 13 to May 12! Now we are really under the gun to start planning. We had wanted to go from picking up the 21 to a long trip through BC, and up to Alaska. Figured we'd not go all the way from Colorado up there again. So, too early in the season? We could stay around BC for awhile, at least on the coast. I'm going to get Milepost and start looking. I know there are some out there who'd be glad to give some newbies some advice. We have lots of time, being retired, and not having other commitments. So how about it? Of course, have to check on license plates, and hear that's not easily done.

Hi Mary,
As someone who has lived in Juneau for 35 years, I have made a number of driving trips between the lower 48 and Southeast Alaska. This Spring I cleverly misread my Alaska Ferry schedule. The plan was to board the Ferry in Juneau and end up in Bellingham, Wash. Well .... I arrived as the ferry was in the process of untying and they wouldn't let me on. The alternative was to catch a ferry heading north to Haines 4.5 hours ... it was leaving in ten minutes ... I took it. But that meant a 2000 + mile drive to Seattle where I planned to meet up with friends for another 2000 mile planned car camping trip through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and back to Washington. Fortunately my car was outfitted for camping and in good shape. Except for my marginal tires ... no flats. Back to Alaska ... it was the last week in April. Adventure is good.

Drove backwards to your trip but anyway all the way I was almost the only vehicle heading south. More were heading north with many pulling U-Hauls. Traffic moved both ways along very well. Translate: If you should need help there would be others around for assistance.

They only area I had trouble with the weather was before and after a community called Toad River. A snow storm came through and left a significant amount of snow. There was a good 8 - 10 inches of slush on the road making driving very difficult to steer. I suspect that the storm was unexpected cause I drove through I'd guess 150 miles of it without a plow truck in sight. I was driving just my Cherokee (never in 4WD) .. no trailer but I was very jealous of those who had trailers. All along you'll find very wide pull outs and in this terrible weather area those with trailers simply pulled over and set up camp to wait for the roads to get plowed. Lucky smart folks!

The benefits to going early is the traffic is lighter before school is out, The snow has melted away from the shoulders which allows the first greens of spring to come up AND this attracts all kinds of animals to graze. Up close for good viewing .... slow down as animals may be on the road. I got to see herd after herd of Wood Buffalo near Whithorse, moose, elk, caribou, lynx, black and brown bears and more.

Almost the whole trip I had sun, clear skies, and dry pavement... well sometimes snow melt draining across the road but never deep. There were tons of access roads that were plowed a couple hundred feet back off the main road and then snowed in. Pulling in on one of those would be a great place for a roadside camp and cause the road behind was snowed in, you wouldn't block anyone's 'driveway'. The Yukon, in my book, take Good House Keeping 1st prize award for the best privy's. Both in frequency and condition.

I better quit ... but one more comment. When I had my sailboat and was cruising BC and Southeast waters, my philosophy was to get up North as fast as I could, as early in the Spring as I could get away. Once North chill out and soon the weather will warm and weather improve .... then its time to really take your time exploring while heading back south as Fall comes on. I think the same applies to RVing.

Good Luck,
Tom

Sorry I don't have any maps where I'm writing this to give more accurate references.

Like any good party ... come early and leave late.


Another side note: The last two winters have been exceptionally mild in Juneau and perhaps most of BC too. This winter has also been very warm so far, but I have seen it stay warm until Christmas or New Years and then have it turn very cold with deep snows. I know you wouldn't head north THAT early but a cold snowy winter can delay the start of spring.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:12 PM   #20
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The Yukon, in my book, take Good House Keeping 1st prize award for the best privy's. Both in frequency and condition.
We had the same thought. They were so consistantly clean, definitely a cut above others.

We liked the Alaska policy of " if you can get your vehicle off the road it's OK to overnight". Very handy sometimes. Yukon is much stricter, no pulling into gravel pits etc. but the parks are very inexpensive and the facilities are so good, who cares.

Ron
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