Canada/Alaska trip advice requested - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 11-24-2013, 07:55 AM   #1
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Canada/Alaska trip advice requested

We are planning a trip from Virginia in mid May 2014. Plans are to enter Canada from Montana about June 1 and travel up to Banf, Jasper, and on up to the AlCan highway.

We anticipate leaving Alaska in early September. Current thoughts are to come back down the Casiar highway. We are trying to determine how much time to allot to Banf/Jasper, British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska. So much to see and so little time.

Any suggestions as to how much time would you allot, areas to not miss, campgrounds, and things to do and see? Would it be better to allow the time to explore the Canada portion of the trip at the beginning or end of the three month visit?

This is our first trip to BC, YT, and AK. We did a short (4 day)visit to Banf/Jasper 30 years and really enjoyed it. I doubt we will be able to go back so we want to use our time wisely and make this once in a lifetime trip special. I expect that because many of the Escape Forum members live in this part of the world there is a wealth of first hand knowledge. Any suggestions from "locals" or anyone else on any of this would be greatly appreciated.

Fred
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
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Any time after Labour Day campgrounds will be closing and services will get hard to find - it's not the time I would pick to camp anywhere in Alberta, in the BC interior or in the Alberta/BC mountain parks. Maybe the warmer south Okanagan and lower mainland would be worth checking out on the way south, with Banff and Jasper on the way north in June?
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Old 11-24-2013, 02:24 PM   #3
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I am not as sure about BC and AB, but certainly coming through Yukon in September will get dicey for open campgrounds and RV parks. I suggest making sure you head out of AK and Yukon before the end of August. Also, it can already be quite chilly in Sept -- snow is not uncommon. I remember waking up to 4 inches of snow on the ground one September long weekend!
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:04 PM   #4
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A couple of campgrounds in the Banff National park are open all year and you'll have lots of company right up to the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in early October. The hiking in the Banff area is fantastic in all seasons if your properly equipped and you can always drop into town if you need to warm-up with some indoor pursuits. Tunnel Mtn campground in Banff has a bus stop in the campground to take you down into town if you want to give the TV a break.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:00 PM   #5
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We are planning a trip to Alaska as well. The post just below yours, One suggestion that was given was to get the book Mile Post. I have ordered it but it has not arrived. We go camping around the Banff area into September.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:20 PM   #6
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We did the trip last year, crossing the Canadian border northbound on May 15th via the Okanagon to Banff. We were too early for the river crossing at Dawson City so missed the whole Dawson City / Chicken loop. Yukon could easily be the highlight of a future trip for us. We were ahead of some of the RV parks and nearly all of the public parks once we got north of Lake Louise, but we prefer boondocking so it worked for us. Your September suggestion will play well if you enjoy boondocking but you'll have very limited options for full hookup parks.

Pictures and trip report are on the blog at Just Finding Our Way

John
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:18 PM   #7
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A ways after you pass through Johnsons Crossing, Yukon, on the Alaska Highway you might consider taking a left at Tagish Lake and go through the little town of Carcross. Then you take the Klondike Hwy to Skagway. A beautiful, beautiful road. Skagway is historic, though it is a your boat stop. There is a good RV park there. Then take the ferry to Haines. It's only an hour or two, and you are on the scenic Haines Highway along high treeless ridges and connect back to the Alaska Highway. This loop adds a day or two to the trip, but a great drive down to tidewater, and a short jaunt on the inside passage.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burloak View Post
A couple of campgrounds in the Banff National park are open all year ...
According to the Banff National Park camping page, those are Tunnel Mountain Village II and Lake Louise Trailer. Both have sites serviced with at least power.

Jasper National Park, in contrast, has only one year round campground, and it is open only in the winter.

Both parks have campgrounds which - although not open through the winter - are open at least to the end of September.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:42 AM   #9
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I'm not sure which direction you're heading when you reach the end of the Cassiar Hwy but if you head west you can grab a ferry down the coast to Vancouver Island and would get a chance to see Victoria and take another ferry to Vancouver. If you head east, Smithers is a fun alpine town. BTW if you are heading north west from Jasper, you'll be going through a corner of BC that 90% of BC residents will never see.
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by davescape View Post
BTW if you are heading north west from Jasper, you'll be going through a corner of BC that 90% of BC residents will never see.
Would that be the Peace River country?
Beautiful country, that is where I grew up.
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