THE ROAD TO ALASKA

Sponsored by Winnebago

 

Wings and Wheels Alaska

Midnight Sun Revel Meet-up 

Seward, Alaska | July 8-11th, 2022 

 

For those planning to join us for the duration of the Midnight sun Meetup we wanted to toss out this itinerary so you can plan accordingly for those who do remote work. Those who want to take a dip in the Arctic Ocean should book your tour soon. 

~ Cynthia and Jim 

 July 8-11 | Meetup near Seward Alaska (minimal Cell Service)
July 12 North to anchorage.
July 13 Talkeetna visit / Boondock next to Susitna River
July 14 Petersville road (off road)
South side Denali Park. Boondock No cell service)
July 15 Stampede road (off road)
North side of Denali park. Boondock no cell service.
July 16 Fairbanks
July 17 Dalton highway boondock Yukon river camp BLM. No cell service
July 18 Coldfoot. (Marion creek $8) No cell service
July 19 Galbraith Lake (no cell service)
July 20 Prudhoe Bay (book tour online to Arctic Ocean http://www.deadhorsecamp.com/arctic-ocean-shuttle ) and back to Galbraith
July 21 Coldfoot camp (Marion creek $8) no cell service
July 22 Yukon river camp. no cell service
July 23 North Pole

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Overview

WINGS AND WHEELS ALASKA MEET UP

Recommended Travel Websites

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Getting To Alaska 

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Road Conditions/ Expectations

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Stops Along The Way 

 

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Itinerary and Schedule

 

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Alaska From Above | Three Years Of VanLife Compilation

In April of 2019, we began this crazy adventure in our Winnebago Revel 4x4, Mercedes Benz Sprinter van. Today, we take a look back at our adventures from Above in Alaska and Beyond

Video Poster Image

Recommended Travel Websites

For Current Border Crossing Information


As lifelong Alaskans, Jim and I have an extensive amount of experience traveling to and from Alaska both by air, and land in car, on motorcycles, and our favorite way; in our Winnebago Revel 4x4 Sprinter van. We have driven the Alcan (or otherwise known as the Alaskan Highway) many times and each time we have taken a different route which has offered a multitude of experiences in a variety of conditions. We couldn’t possibly touch on all of the topics in one blog post however, there’s a few stops along the way we highly recommend and a few dangers to watch out for. 
The one thing we would recommend is taking a separate route North and South and packing in as much adventure as you can in one trip.

First, you need to find a copy of your Travel Bible. The MILEPOST. We preferred the hard copy and we held on to ours for years before passing it down to another wanderer who needed it more than we did. If you’re coming to Alaska, grab a copy today and start bookmarking all the points of interest you would find interesting along the way and start planning your route.

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Second, be flexible. I have worked in the travel industry in Alaska for many years and during that time, the number one complaint I heard from travelers is “I didn’t give myself enough time.” Alaska is a vast State with so much to see and do, we recommend you don’t put off this bucket list experience and give yourself time to enjoy it. The next complaint was weather. I spoke with travelers from all over the world who saved for years to come to Alaska, only to be rained on for two weeks straight. Expect it and plan for it because Alaska’s weather is unpredictable. The final complaint was bugs. Due to the heavy snow fall this winter, we predict this summer’s mosquito and gnat population to be greater than normal. The Mosquito is jokingly the state bird after all!

Each time we’ve driven to and from the Alaska, we have chosen a different route and each route has been a unique experience. Everything is changing even as I write this blog, gas prices, border crossings, weather and construction. It’s always a good idea to know before you go and do your research on current border requirements.

The Alaska Highway traverses a vast wilderness in a remote expanse of North America, from Mile 0 at Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Delta Junction, Alaska at Historical Mile 1422. The official end of the Alaska Highway. A trip like this requires a significant amount of planning and that sense of adventure that unites Winnebago Revel owners.

https://travel.gc.ca
www.cbp.gov



GETTING TO ALASKA

THE CASSIAR HIGHWAY

(The Least Traveled) 

The Cassiar Highway stays to the west, meandering through British Columbia until it reaches the Yukon border

THE ALCAN HIGHWAY

(The Most Traveled)

The Alcan Highway travels through more central and eastward parts of Alberta and British Columbia

Getting To Alaska

THE CASSIAR HIGHWAY (The Least Traveled)
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There are two main routes through Canada and up to southeast Alaska. The Alcan Highway travels through more central and eastward parts of Alberta and British Columbia while the Cassiar Highway stays to the west, meandering through British Columbia until it reaches the Yukon border, where both routes meet at the Alaska Highway for the final stretch. Both highways offer something different when it comes to scenery and stops along the way, and one may be better than the other, depending on your starting point. Coming from east of the Rockies? The most direct route to Alaska will be on the Alcan. If you’re starting from the west, then the Cassiar might be a better choice. Either way, you’re bound for an unforgettable road trip. Your return trip can be via the alternative.

THE CASSIAR HIGHWAY

The Sea to Sky highway, as many of us call it in the North, is a beautiful remote route also known as the Cassiar highway. If you are beginning your journey from the west, this is a good starting route for you. Head due North to Prince George on Highway 1 and then Highway 16 west to Kitwanga. Once on the Cassiar, you have many options for boondocking but very few fuel stops so ensure you are full on fuel in Kitwanga. When we did this route, aside from Stewart and Hyder, there is one fuel stop in the middle of the route. We were able to do this on motorcycle so no issues in the Revel. We have probably seen the most bears along this route than any other route during our adventures. You are basically driving through a valley between mountains the entire trip north past beautiful lakes and rivers until you meet up with the Alaska Highway just northwest of Watson Lake.

KAMLOOPS 

A little bit out of your way is Kamloops another small, beautiful town. Our memories of this town are the Poutine and of course the Brewery! You will have to backtrack to highway one to swing in here but if your time allows, we recommend it.

HYDER & BEAR GLACIER PROVINCIAL PAR

Traveling North along the Cassiar you can get your first taste of Alaska by veering off the main highway and traveling west at Meziadin Junction. Here you can travel to Hyder and see Bear Glacier just before reaching town. In the middle of town, is a border crossing into Stewart, Alaska.  

Getting To Alaska

THE ALCAN HIGHWAY (The Most Traveled)
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Sweetgrass Montana Boarder Crossing

Calgary

THE ALCAN HIGHWAY (The Most Traveled)
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If you’re looking for a city jaunt before heading into the wilds of Canada and southeast Alaska, stop in Calgary for city-slicking and great Canadian poutine as well as a few breweries. If you’re looking for maximum sightseeing, you could take a detour west from Calgary through Banff National Park. It would add a day at least but if time is on your side, you can’t go wrong with bonus mountain views. We stayed at the Wal-Mart parking lot in Calgary and ate Poutine at one of the local breweries.

Banff/Jasper

THE ALCAN HIGHWAY (The Most Traveled)
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Absolutely must-see National Parks. The Canadian Rockies are stunning and any trip north along the route through Calgary is a must visit. Lake Louise is along this route as well. The route is a straight shot north, so you do not have to go out of your way at all. You must use campgrounds in these parks or boondock outside of the park borders. Our favorite boondocking spot in this area was at wait a bit creek. 51.50071, -117.18398. This is a forest service campground a little out of the way (west of Lake Louise) but well worth the drive to get there. Boondocking oportunnies were limited in the Banff and Jasper area so plan accordingly. You’ll want to spend a couple days after visiting Banff and Lake Louise and then head back and visit Jasper and the Icefields.

Muncho Lake Provincial Park

THE ALCAN HIGHWAY (The Most Traveled)
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Muncho Lake will give you an opportunity to see beautiful mountain views, wonderful fishing opportunities, and wildlife galore if you are lucky. We generally see mountain goats and sheep in this area of the drive. There are places within this area available for paid camping and random boondocking areas (sometimes just pull offs on the side of the road). We found beautiful views such as this down forest service roads, just south of paid campgrounds.

Dawson Creek B.C. / Whitehorse

THE ALCAN HIGHWAY (The Most Traveled)
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Capital of the Yukon and many things to see here including the Yukon River and many museums. We restock on supplies in Whitehorse and take the time to rest here. Check out the Visitors Center! The last time we passed through we stayed overnight in the Visitors center parking lot. This is another decision point in your trip. Go west to Kluane and follow the Alcan or North to Dawson City. From Dawson City you take the Top of The World Highway across the border and through Chicken, Alaska. The road from Dawson City to Chicken is dirt but turns to pavement after Chicken. There is an offshoot here to Eagle Alaska with a rich history along the banks of the Yukon River.

Liard Hot Springs 

THE ALCAN HIGHWAY (The Most Traveled)
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Keep your eye out for a large bison herd along the highway before and after Liard Hot Springs. This is an absolute must stop to rest your weary bones and if you’re a sucker for hot springs, this stop is not to be missed. These steamy springs bubble up along the Liard River near the British Columbia-Yukon border. The springs are easily accessible by a short walk along the boardwalk. Be sure to have swimming gear and towels on hand. Stay at the Liard River Hot Springs campground for an easy night off the road. You’ll pass nearby Liard Hot Springs while on the Alcan or you can backtrack a little bit east on the Alcan if you come up the Cassiar, so put this at the top of your list. Take cash they don’t accept cards at the campground, and we didn’t find any boondocking in the area. We traded a random traveler crackers and sausage to get cash for entry. Trust us; it’s worth it to consider spending two whole days here.
*Liard Hotsprings Campground | Cash only $30.00 American

KLUANE LAKE This area is by far our favorite stop to and from Alaska. This is where the Northern Lights welcomed us to the North in late August.

ANOTHER ALTERNATIVE TO ALASKA

Alaska Marine Highway
We have used the Alaska Marine Highway as a form of transportation but not with our Winnebago Revel. We prefer the drive. For those short on time and willing to pay a little more, this is the route to consider. The benefit of this route is you disembark in the city of Homer, or Whitter which is a short drive to the small town of Seward. This option saves the wear and tear on your van and the high cost of diesel however, we believe that the best part of traveling to Alaska is the journey getting here. This option gives you the views from the sea instead of land and saves a significant amount of time. You get to visit many of the coastal towns that you will not see simply by driving. Pet Owners beware… your pet must stay in the vehicle and you are given visitation times for walking your pet.


Check out the following link for more information about this option. 
www.dot.alaska.gov

Road Conditions and Expectations 

Road Conditions and Expectations

You will come across gravel breaks” that are anywhere from a few feet to a few miles long—where road repairs are under way. Road construction is a fact of life here in the summer, although delays are usually minimal. The asphalt surfacing of the Alaska Highway ranges from poor to excellent. Much of the highway is in fair condition, with older patched pavement and a minimum of gravel breaks and chuckholes. There’s a lot of straight roads the first 300 miles of highway, between Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson. North of Fort Nelson, the Alaska Highway crosses the Rocky Mountains: Expect about 200 miles of narrow road with curves and hills with 10 percent grades and few passing lanes.

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This stretch of road crosses Summit Pass (Historic Milepost 392), highest summit on the Alaska Highway at 4,250 feet elevation. You may experience an odd snowstorm here, even in July. We felt like we were in another world on this section of the highway! After winding through the MacDonald River valley—few guardrails and watch for caribou and stone sheep on the road—the highway straightens out again for the next 140 miles into Watson Lake, Yukon Territory.

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The stretch of road between Watson Lake and Whitehorse, approximately another 300 miles, is in fair to good condition, with easy curves through wide river valleys and along lakes. From Whitehorse to Haines Junction, 100 miles, it is straight road with poor to fair surfacing with gravel breaks and frost heaves.

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The next 200 driving miles, from Haines Junction to the Alaska border, consists of long straight stretches of improved highway with wide lanes and generous shoulders; an improved section that winds along the shore of Kluane Lake followed by a long, often bumpy, frost-heaved stretch of road—in various stages of improvement—from Destruction Bay to the Alaska border. The Kluane Lake area is where we often find ourselves resting for days and enjoying the solitude.

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From Tok, Alaska to Anchorage, you pass through a narrow winding road paved road through past sheep mountain and find yourself on a four-lane highway about 45 miles outside of the city of Anchorage and a sense of returning to civilization creeps back in as soon as you hit Palmer, Alaska.

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Celia and John from THE REVEL CLUB are coordinating an informal group heading up to the Midnight Sun Meet-up.
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Recommended stops along the way to Seward, Alaska  

From Tok, Alaska to Anchorage, Alaska
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Glenallen Gas Station – “The HUB of Alaska” Here you will find clean bathrooms and great gifts in the gift shop. This is where you will also find the famous “Tok Thai” you have seen in many of our videos. We consider this little kiosk to be the Best Thai in Alaska. 

Sheep Mountain Lodge

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Sheep Mountain Lodge Mile 113.5 of the Glenn Highway. Fabulous views and great place to stop for lunch with a helicopter ride from the lodge owner, Mark. This is a must stop at www.sheepmountain.com
(Their Apple Pie is World Famous)

Matanuska Glacier Park -Sutton, Alaska  

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Matanuska Glacier Hike – Drive back to this beautiful, guided glacier hike. You can go as an individual or with a group. This is a MUST STOP on our list for new visitors to Alaska. Don’t forget to cover your face in that glacial mud and send us a picture!  www.glacieraccess.com

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
Anchorage, Alaska – Anchorage is a typical metropolitan city with a population of over 300,000. Overnight stays in the city are safe and comfortable at Cabellas. We don’t recommend overnight stays Walmart Parking lots in Anchorage. We recommend allowing for a day or two in Anchorage to rest and restock supplies as this is where you will find the cheapest amenities. IOVERLANDER provides great locations to fill up on water in Anchorage.

TURNAGAIN ARM DRIVE to SEWARD ALASKA
Turnagain arm is one of the most scenic drives in Alaska. It’s also one of the most dangerous roads in Alaska. Take your time, enjoy the scenery and utilize those slow-moving vehicles turn outs if you get caught up in the scenery and find the cars piling up behind you. This section of the highway is a common commuter route for Alaskans mixed with out of state visitors and turns into a deadly combination in the summer.

SEWARD, ALASKA
Seward, Alaska – Approximately a three-hour drive South of Anchorage including scenic stops along the way. This is a narrow two-lane highway with a combination of local Alaskans and visitors.

Our final meeting destination in Seward is BREATHTAKING off grid location with unbelievable views. There are zero amenities in this area and is 100% off grid camping. We will expect you to come Bear Aware and haul your own trash and waste to a local area we will recommend. 

We couldn’t possibly share all the information we wanted in one post, so please stay tuned for future informational posts about this exciting event in Alaska. Our goal is to make this an annual event so this is a great way to begin your planning now for 2023.

You can find us on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram @ WingsandWheelsAlaska

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Got questions for Cynthia or Jim? 

Email us at [email protected]