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  1. #1

    Default NY to Alaska, Input needed!

    Hey guys, I need some input and figured you all would know best. Although this is my first post, I have been a frequent visitor to this site for the past few years. I am a recent college grad and a frequent traveler. I want to take one last adventure before I enter the 9-5 world, and what better way than a nice long road trip.

    I plan on driving from New York State to Alaska. On the way there I want to cover the northern US, hitting a little of the west coast and then going north to Alaska. The way home will include southern Canada all the way back to NY. A few details for the trip are as follows: I have two months of time set aside and can even (if necessary) go into a third month, so time should not be an issue. I plan on roughing it as much as I can, camping, cooking out, etc. I have some destinations set in stone but really want to leave a chance to explore and do the unexpected. I am leaving the first week of May, and am traveling alone.

    So here is a rough/open itinerary and list of destinations:

    -Leave NY and basically head straight for South Dakota
    - Badlands, Rushmore, Black Hills, Sturgis, Rapid City, Deadwood

    - WY -Yellowstone, Jackson, Grand Tetons

    - ID -I wanted to stop in Stanley, as I heard the hiking is very good.

    - OR -Crater Lake NP

    - CA -San Francisco is a must for me. If I am going that far south, should I go the extra bit for Yosemite NP? I donít know how far out of the way it would be, and I see it as another trip through the southwest US.

    - OR -heading north along the coast. Astoria (Goonies), Portland

    - WA - Olympic NP, Mt. Rainier NP, Seattle,

    - British Columbia -Vancouver, Dawson Creek

    - Alaska -Fairbanks, Deadhorse, Denali, Anchorage, Katmai (hopefully)

    -After Alaska in Canada
    Edmonton, Calgary, Banff, Jasper, Medicine Hat (worldís largest Teepee), Winnipeg, and going as far east as Montreal, Quebec City and it would be cool to go as far East as I can, possibly Nova Scotia? and heading back to NY from the East.

    Well thatís just a quick overview. Is there anything important between NY and South Dakota that I NEED to do? Otherwise itís going to be a straight shot to SD. Extensive time is planned for Yellowstone, and all of Alaska especially Denali. Anywhere I might have missed or any special treasures I should see/enjoy? Comments/suggestions/criticisms much desired. Thanks in advance for all your time and assistance.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Congrats

    Jason, welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! As a long-time lurker, I'm sure you know that we'd be able to EASILY give you enough suggestions for points of interest to completely fill your three month time frame -- for each and every state and province on your planned trip. So, in round numbers, if you really wanted to see everything "major" along your intended path -- such a trip would require and consume... ~113 months or nearly 9.5 years...

    Congratulations on your recent graduation and a great idea to take a three-month road trip!
    - CA -San Francisco is a must for me. If I am going that far south, should I go the extra bit for Yosemite NP? I donít know how far out of the way it would be, and I see it as another trip through the southwest US.
    It's really hard to figure out what to say here -- given your time frame -- I think it would be wiser to save San Francisco & Yosemite NP for your next trip. Plus, you are bypassing some of the most "fertile" areas of the USA in terns of national parks -- (Colorado and Utah) -- Hiking opportunities in any national park are rather awesome.

    I think it would be helpful if we knew what kinds of things and places attract you by this adventure -- and then we can narrow our suggestions a bit to accomplish those goals.


  3. #3


    Thanks for the welcome. San Fran was something I did really want to see, but you make some solid points about missing the Southwestern national parks and such. So I will be putting that on hold until my next trip.

    Things that attract me to this type of adventure are seeing the country (or part of it) and being on the open road alone and just seeing where it takes me. I'm always looking for a good trail to hike, or even to make my own route. I am a mountain lover for sure, just being around them is amazing. Kayaking or canoeing, and just enjoying the outdoors are all things I am planning on doing on this trip.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are going up via Seattle and Vancouver, can I suggest you take the Cassiar and take the Alcan on the return trip?

    Take 99 up through Whistler, then 97 to Prince George. Take 16 to 37, which is the Cassiar. Make sure you buy a recent copy of the Milepost, and if you don't have it yet, get your passport.

  5. #5


    That sounds very interesting, I will definitely look into this more. I figured the Alcan was the only way to go! I actually have ordered a Milepost, but am still waiting on it to be delivered... And as for a passport, I got in my designated trip room with all my other stuff I am slowly preparing. Thanks for the input and ideas!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    There are even more options if you don't insist on paved highways. I believe the Cassiar is almost completely paved now, but from its junction with the Alcan there are unpaved alternates into Alaska.

  7. #7


    taking an unpaved highway into/out of Alaska are definitely fine with me, I do want to experience the Alcan at least one of the ways. I am generally up for anything, I want to experience as much as I can.

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