As I explained in previous posts, my husband and I are newbies - really new lol, and are planning to join the Great Alaskan Holidays Spring Adventure from Iowa to Anchorage in May. I work daily on planning this trip, but your experience is so very valued.
I recently posted a question on park/boondocking safety, and have received so much support and information! You all are just fantastic.
I still am debating my second issue - do I cross into Canada via N.Dakota or should I cross at Sweetgrass in Montana. The second option is 4 hours longer - and time is so short on this trip (May12-June 1), but I understand gas is more expensive in Canada,and may not be very scenic. We traveled through Montana last year and spent time in the East Glacier area. We drove to the border just north of East Glacier (don't know the name - it was just a few miles from the Many Glacier Lodge) - but did not have our passports so we did not cross of course. That area is so very beautiful. I fear that if I get that close to Jasper, I will be tempted to detour - and I really don't have the time this trip. I want to spent my time in AK.
Any of you have any input on the road/scenery from ND thru Saskatoon to Edmonton? I really am struggling with this.
Personally, having been both ways, I would suggest the Sweetgrass crossing as it definately has more scenery. Also the roads are much better. Travelling North to Edmonton, you will have the mountains off to the west and on a sunny day it is a beautiful site. Try to avoid the rush hour going thru Calgary on the Deerfoot trail. The countryside along highway 2 is not spectacular, but it is rolling hills, and I sure like it. Macktee
I state right off that I am not able to answer your question, but in the spirit of trying to be helpful....
WOW... you must have "type-O'd" May 12 to June 1 =~19 days. Des Moines, IO (for example) to Anchorage AK is ~3400 miles. Even driving 340 miles a day it's 10 days up and 10 days back = 20 DAYS. Site seeing "along the way" is about the only site seeing you'll be doing on the trip. Or perhaps the Caraventure BEGINS in Anchorage on May 12 and ends in Anchorage on June 1?
Sorry I didn't answer your question - I must be misunderstanding something....
FIRSTNOTE: Beleive me, I am not knocking your trip in any way, shape, or form - just kind of thinking out loud is all.....
After my 1st response, I looked at the Adventure you are talking about - essentially you are transporting an RV up to Anchorage for the owner and flying back home? Correct? The outfit is giving you 11 DAYS to make the trip and 3900 miles in which to do it.
The most direct route is ~4300 miles so right off the bat, you will have overage charges on the mileage. I guess that is of no concern b/c you're going to be driving about 400 miles a day for 11 straight days.. You must love driving. 11 days - 4300 miles: that is what I call a TRIP!
I haven't driven up to AK but have quite a few windshield hours - you'll probably get "this route is best" or "that route is best". BOTH will be right! So I don't see how you could possibly choose wrong - it has got to be a beautiful ride regardless.
But because you mentioned that you are a newbie I have to say this one more time... driving an RV about 400 miles a day for 11 consecutive days is quite an undertaking.
I am concerned about the 11 days too - but GAH is discounting the rates ALOT for the next 7 days, to almost the same rate as the 11 inital days. I have always wanted to do the AlCan, but did not have the time from work to do it both ways yet. Flying is an option, but I threw a pulmonary embolism from flying last fall, so little worried about the length of an AK flight. So,..after a short flight to Minn.,MN we will drive up in a class C so I can walk around frequently, then a cruise back to Vancouver and a doglegged flight home, and blood thinners, I hope I can do this trip safely. Sure do wish I had longer, but got to work to keep the health insurance. So, I'll take what I can get. I do not plan to do long days after Dawson Creek, but am willing to make long hauls prior to that point. My hubby is a good ole North Carolina boy - experienced in small and large trucks - with a CDL license. We drove last year from Gardner - to Many Glacier in one day in a SUV, thru the St. Mary's hills/mts. - that was a bit much in the rain - so I understand what you are saying.
We've driven North Dakota to Saskatoon to Edmonton and back many times. The roads are fine. No worries.
We've crossed at Fortuna, ND. If you want to skip Regina, you can stay on 35 North all the way to Wynyard, then take 18 into Saskatoon. Wynyard probably has more geese and ducks than anywhere else in the world due to the farms, it is the only place I have ever seen a crane in the wild and there are salt lakes. You will pass through part of Qu'Appelle Valley - beautiful.
If you take 35 north to 39 west at /near Corrine, you can stop in Moose Jaw and visit the bootleggers underground caves and get some ice cream while you sit on sidewalk benches and watch the activity in the lovely little town. In Moose Jaw you take 2 up 11, then west to Saskatoon, again passing through some of Qu'Appelle Valley.*
Of course, there is always the option of highway 5 to Porta, ND then cross and take Canada's 39 to Moose Jaw, then 2 to 11 and into Saskatoon.
*Qu'Appelle Valley gets is name from an First Nation love story. If I remember correctly, a beautiful but brokenhearted young maid lost her handsome and brave love in the valley and paddled her little boat up and down the river calling out his name, echoing in the valley - maybe still to this day.
Edmonton has a huge mall. I didn't think it would be anything to see, but dang - they have a hotel and salt water, wave pool, beach inside! Edmonton is a good place to stock up on things you may need.
11 days is plenty of time. We made it from OKC to Anchorage in 11 days in 2007. That was 2 trucks, each pulling a trailer, and 2 kids (one was just 14 mths old!) and a dog. So we stopped OFTEN and we stopped pretty early most nights. There were only 3 nights we drove late and boondocked.
It may seem like you will need to rush, but it never seemed too rushed to us. We stopped for potty breaks about every 2 hours - had to change diapers! Any meal stop was a loooong stop to let everybody stretch their legs.
We crossed at Sweetgrass, and I agree with the others that the scenery is quite pretty in that area.
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