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 > Alaska Sept 2022

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zb39

slippery rock

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Posted: 08/05/21 09:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We last went in 2003 in the summer. We want to go next year but with a wedding in Brazil the end of July we can't leave until Aug 1. Wondering how things are in Sep in Alaska. I checked weather and looks good. we can handle 30 to 50's. Are campgrounds still open, Lots of places to boon dock even in a large rig. My wife does want some shopping, touring, etc. I would guess that all the places are still open in Sept, but not sure. Head home Oct 1 or so. Not really on a schedule .


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PA12DRVR

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Posted: 08/05/21 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

zb39 wrote:

We last went in 2003 in the summer. We want to go next year but with a wedding in Brazil the end of July we can't leave until Aug 1. Wondering how things are in Sep in Alaska. I checked weather and looks good. we can handle 30 to 50's. Are campgrounds still open, Lots of places to boon dock even in a large rig. My wife does want some shopping, touring, etc. I would guess that all the places are still open in Sept, but not sure. Head home Oct 1 or so. Not really on a schedule .


Personal view is that mid-September to mid-October is some of the best time Alaska has to offer....but that's for scenery, temps, hunting, stuff like that.
Most of the campgrounds are shutting down shortly after Labor Day; many of the dedicated tourist attractions stop at that time as well.

There will still be some tourist activities but pretty few and far between after September 15 or so...particularly if the COVID thing means there are the reduced #'s of visitors as we've had for the past 18 months. You'd probably have to, for example, hook up with Joe the Bush Pilot to fly around McKinley rather than booking a standard tour with R***'s or *2.

Boondocking opportunities will be the same as earlier in the year...although comparing 2003 to now, there are far more signs on the wide spots about "No overnight stays" or "No camping"...don't think that's actively enforced.

Temps will be right within your range (30 - 50) for much of Alaska: warmer, perhaps, in SE, cooler (possibly much cooler) up North of Fbks.

If you can make it for any part of August, there will be more opportunities.


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Posted: 08/05/21 09:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Travel occurs year round but be prepared. On 8/21/13 we stopped at a CG/store/fuel on the Alaskan highway. Very little traffic and one other camper. I asked when they would close - When we run out of fuel in about a week

From our trip report: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
To Hyder
From Skagway we traveled about 200 miles to White River. The tourist season is almost over and many places are closed for the season. The next day we continued east on the Alaskan Highway and then turned south on the Cassiar Highway.


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Posted: 08/05/21 11:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've had some nice weather and gorgeous fall colors driving down from Alaska through the Yukon and BC during September. But as others have said, many of the tourist oriented services are already shutting down for the season. Don't plan on provincial parks or all of the private RV parks to be open. Pick up fuel before you get low.

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Posted: 08/05/21 12:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As PA12DRVR said, expect most campgrounds to be closed after the Labor Day weekend. There are a lot of places to boondock if you're used to it.

Also be aware that when you head back south, you'll be crossing the Rockies a couple of times going south in Canada. You'll run into snow and colder temps there in late Sept and Oct. Be ready to winterize, carry what you need to do it with you.

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Posted: 08/07/21 12:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So would it be correct to say that you really have to be heading south in the first week of September in order to avoid serious snow in the Rockies?

I'm ok with some flurries but do not want to tow a trailer in heavy snow.

On a related note, I wonder if there is a listing somewhere of the closing dates for the gas stations on the road back to the lower 48.


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PA12DRVR

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Posted: 08/07/21 02:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just off gut instinct (I haven't taken the trip for a few years now), I'd think that leaving AK by mid-September would be pretty safe for snow issues....and I believe if one is flexible in routes, once at Whitehorse, one could start looking for the least "snow-likely" route and be even more likely to avoid serious snow. I believe that going into BC one can stay ahead of the inflection point of the "It's snowing / I'm further South" curve by heading South / West ....but again, fading memory.

Unless things have drastically changed, though: a late fall / early winter trip is very do-able from a fuel perspective. As noted above, just need to fuel up early and often. Run off the top 1/3 of the tank.

SideHillSoup

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Posted: 08/07/21 02:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A little info on the Fall in BC:
I can’t speak for Alberta, however usually when BC sneezes, Alberta wipes it’s nose when it comes to weather in the fall and winter, and 99 times out of 100 it’s worse in Alberta.
Now the weather and snow can happen anywhere in BC and western Canada any month of the year, and usually doesn’t stick to the roads longer that 24hrs until later in the fall... usually....
But, there have been occasional snow storms in August and September, for those you can “usually “ just stay putt for a day or two at the most and it will clear up.
However.....
BC has some pretty strict winter tire requirements that start October 1st
Winter tire requirements in BC
Now, if the roads are dry and the sun is shining there won’t be a road side check for tires.
However, I live 3 hrs north of Spokane Washington and only 30 minutes from the Highest mountain pass open year round in Canada and 10 minutes from #5 & #7 of the highest passes in BC open year round, and if the weather does take a turn for the worst and that weather person says there is a heavy snow fall warning, the RCMP and or DOT will put up road blocks and check the tires on vehicles before they will allow them to pass. Most people around here have the correct tires on by Oct 1st but a few don’t. Those are usually the people that will get turned around, and sometimes get a fine. Truck drivers that don’t have their chains hanging / with them will get a fine at those roadside checks.
So know the rules, if it snows hangout and read a book until thing clear up and carry on.
I don’t winterized my camper until mid October when I park it for the season. If it gets super cold, run all the water for a bit, turn on the Fce in your rig for a bit and our heat up the hot water tank before you travel.
We came back from Nevada a few years back on Dec 1st and we had snow and freezing temps from just outside of Ely Nv. all they way home to BC. I didn’t have a problem with anything freezing after using those tricks above.
Also think about heading straight south on Hwy 97 from Prince George into Washington state at Osoyoos and then join up with I-90, there are no mountain passes South of PG on Hwy 97.
So head north to Alaska on the Alaska Hwy and then south on Hwy 37 ( The Cassiar) to join up with Hwy 16 east to PG where you join up with Hwy 97 south all the way.
Weather is always a good thing to check anytime you travel especially in the fall and winter in northern BC.
Have Fun.
Soup.

* This post was edited 08/16/21 01:42pm by SideHillSoup *


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zb39

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Posted: 08/09/21 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the reply. We have a 150 gal tank in the coach. I can easily do 1000 miles on a fill up. But normally fill at the 750 point. Looks like I should think about leaving around sep 15. I think we can get there aug 15 so we would have 4 or 5 weeks there. Longer than we had last time. Great info in this thread.

Thermoguy

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Posted: 08/10/21 08:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We did a cruise up the inside passage a few years back in late September. Went all the way to Skagway and drove up to Canada. Beautiful weather the entire trip. The captain said it was the driest trip of the year. So, you never know. I would say from my experience in AK, which I have been all over, mostly in the winter, it is still early enough in the year to be OK, just plan to stop if weather ahead gets bad. It won't stay long.

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