DW and I are planning to head to Alaska next year from Maine. We have up to 6 months to spend on this trip. I do plan to pick up a copy of the Milepost and other guides. I have some questions of anyone who has driven from Northern New England. 1. Which route did you travel, and total number of days on the road including layovers or rest days you took to get to Danali.
2. Any recommendations for exceptional CG and places to stop?
Thank You all in advance.
Pete and Di
Wildcat 28RKBS, F250 V10, 6.9L extended cab
Enjoying life, retired and on a long road trip, finding new mountains to hike, new trails to bike, and new water to kayak.
Get a copy of MS Streets & Trips. Set Maine as start. Set Maine as end. Set Denali in between. Update route. Look for POIs in between. Set your preferences for driving style. Enter POIs, allocate time & keep updating. Before you know it 6 months will not seem like enough time.
Boat: 32' 1996 Albin 32+2, single Cummins 315hp
40+ night per year overnighter
Your six months will be plenty of time for a leisurely trip so don't rush it by driving day after day. There is much more to see along your trip than just heading straight to Denali. Fuel will be more expensive across Canada so you might want to travel across the lower states across the Plains, at least to Saskatchewan or Alberta and then head north. That's not to say there wouldn't be things to see across Canada but the cost would be significant. Going up by way of Banff, Jasper would be a very scenic way to head north. Again, don't just stop in Denali. Tour every road in Alaska that you can. It's all gorgeous and you will have traveled many miles so reward yourself by taking it all in!! There will be many wonderful Provincial campgrounds in Canada and the Yukon so take advantage of some of them. You'll also find many beautiful boondocking spots to take advantage of for cost savings. Be sure to get Mike & Terri Church's Alaskan Camping book. You'll use it soley for your camping ideas. The Milepost will be great for the history along the way but not for campgrounds. Have a great one!
Extremely Happy Full-Timers for 16 years
.... now trying to adjust to 3-season traveling - and it isn't easy!
2004 40' Newmar Dutch Star Diesel Pusher
2004 Jeep Liberty
Why would someone from Maine want to drive through Toledo and Chicago, as opposed to the north shores of Lake Huron and Superior, just to save some gas money? Especially on a 6 mth trip? If saving gas money is important, avoid both Canada and Alaska.
But for the OP - once you are in Alberta, the same choices apply to you as anyone else on this forum - some mix of the original Alaska Hwy, a drive through Banff & Jasper, the Cassier in BC, the Top of the World loop through Dawson City. With 6 mths, you'll have time to drive all the paved highways in Alaska, and then some.
Your Maine start just adds the question of how you are going to enjoy the first 2500 miles of your trip. If you choose to stay in the USA as much as possible, then threads on Roads & Trips about going to Glacier NP apply, including ones about US2. Otherwise you might ask specially about travel through Ontario.
We too are plannning a trip to Alaska and Denali this summer, although we only have three months and our starting point will be upper New York State. We plan to start out on Interstate 90 and then go on west in the States to Great Falls, Montana and then proceed north through Cananda to Fairbanks then south to Ancorage and will stop at Denali on our way by. We bought the Good Sam's trip planner to help but also use DeLorme's product. Minimally it will take us 8 days to get to the Alaskan border. We have traveled to Maine many times and depending on the area it takes us between 3 hours to get to Wells, Me and 12 hours to get to Acadia,ME. We made the westward trip two years ago and found Interstate 90 to be a good road to travel. But when going thru Illinois there are numerous toll booths and we found it to be rather expensive. We understand that the roads in Canada and the Alaskan highway can be rough so we planned to stay in the lower 48 for most of our trip west. Also we plan to take more than the 8 days to get to Alaska but wanted a starting point to plan. Don't forget to plan some down time as you travel. You still need to do laundry and get groceries and cannot drive ten hours everyday. Good Luck and maybe we'll see you on the road.
Whenever we head into Alaska, we make a decision at the junction in Tok whether to proceed towards Valdez (southwest) or Fairbanks (northwest).
If the weather is looking nice around Valdez, we head that way first. Clear weather in Valdez is a bonus and not always available. If it isn't clear, then we head towards Fairbanks and hope Valdez will be clear when we next pass.
The Richardson Highway into Valdez is amazing but not in the rain & fog (which is all too common on that coastline). And it can rain HARD & long in Valdez, making camping not all that pleasant.
McCarthy is also an interesting visit too, but not a drive I'd want to make in the rain. Some folks take the tours into McCarthy rather than drive on their own.
Whether one goes clockwise or counterclockwise through Alaska doesn't really matter unless there are plans for specific days.
BTW, we drove south from Yukon to Vancouver Island in early April ... the roads were fine all the way. No rougher than Hwy 2 across northern USA. The Alaska Highway is easy driving now, compared to decades past. Even so, we took three days to drive the 2,700 kilometre distance, towing just an unloaded flat deck car trailer.
The first hundred and fifty miles in the Yukon (as you leave AK) are very rough. It's paved, but lots of frost heaves. Just drive slow (45mph) and you'll be fine. Other than that, we encountered good roads in Canada. (Got as far east as Banff/Jasper.) Even some of the "gray highways" were fine.