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  1. Default Trip from Texas to Anchorage,Alaska

    Hi everyone Im am planning a move from the Texas panhandle to Alaska for my job. I googled the directions from my house to the house im thinking about renting. Anyways the drive has me starting out on US 287 N, then I-70 W to Colo. Springs, then on to E-470 N, then I-25 N to Wyoming, then on to US 87 N, to I-90, to MT-200 W, to I-15 into Canada, to AB-4 N, to AB-2 N, to AB-216 W, to the Trans-Canadian Hwy, to AB-43 S, to AB-43 W to BC, then to Hwy 2, to Alaska Hwy/BC-97 N to Yukon Territory, to Alaska Hwy/YT-1 W, on to AK-2 E, to AK-1 S, to AK-1 S/AK-4 S/Richardson Hwy, and finally to AK-1 S/ Glenn Hwy/State Hwy 1-S for Anderson. My question is how many mountain passes will I come across on this path? I know it will take about a 3-4 day drive since how I have kids but my oldest isnt to fond of heights yet so I want him to be prepared for them. Thanks for all the help you can give me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default More concerned about time.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I can't comment on how many mountain passes there will be on your route, but Interstates are built with gradual curves and gradients, guard rails etc where you won't feel that you are on the edge, or high up, and it's uncommon on main Highways. I'm sure someone will be along if there is anything to worry about for someone with a phobia on heights.

    For now I would be concerned with the time it will take you to drive this route. There is absolutley no way you could do this trip by road in 3-4 days, NO WAY. The bare minimum would be 6 days to do it safely, but that would feel like torture for the Kids as they would be couped up in the car for 10 hours plus every day with the minmium of breaks for food, Bathroom visits and to stretch those limbs and let off steam. That might be OK for 2 or 3 days but for 6 in a row things could [and most likely will] get pretty tense and put more pressure on mum who needs to concentrate on driving. You really need a week and if you can spare an extra day or 2 and have a bit of an adventure along the way all the better but I repeat, You will need a minimum of 6 days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default not even close

    I'm really curious where you are getting the idea that you could ever do a trip like this is 3-4 days?

    Its a nearly 4000 mile trip! You'd have to be driving non-stop without so much as a bathroom break, much less a night of sleep, to cover that kind of ground in that time.

    Frankly, I don't think you can even do it in the 6 days that Dave suggested when you consider that much of the trip is going to be on the Alaska Highway. Its 3 hard days of driving just to get to the Alaska Highway, and even then you're only halfway to Anchorage. The Alaska Highway itself is well traveled, but it is a slow road. Its 2 lanes with limited opportunities to pass, and where you'll have frequent slowdowns for traffic, construction, and wildlife.

    The Milepost is an absolute must purchase for your trip, as it will provide nearly everything you could ever need to know about the Alaska Highway, but first you need to understand that you're going to need about 8-10 days for this trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-04-2012 at 04:29 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default The best advice.

    Michael is spot on with his advice, get The Milepost, and start reading. It is the bible of all those who take the trek north, for whatever reason, and in whatever season.

    Dave is quite right about the mountain passes, but that is in the US. Do not expect that in Canada. And even though there will not be any 'scary' passes, they are sometimes steep and often without guard rails.

    Another important thing you need to take into account is that you will not be travelling at the speeds to which you are accustomed in TX. The speed limit in Canada is mostly between 85 and 100 kph (50 - 60 mph). I have not seen any over 100kph. Frequently it is much less, 45 - 55 kph is not uncommon, especially in areas where wildlife is prolific - some of which is endangered. (It is estimated that there are a mere 200 Canadian Bison - different from the US Bison - left in the wild, with motorists killing on average 20 each year.) Hence the slow speeds. Besides that, if you were to hit a bison (or moose), you would definitely come off second best.

    The roads up there get a battering with the weather, and are nowhere near in the condition of the Interstates. All through summer construction is everywhere. During this time there are often long sections of gravel road, frustratingly long delays - 45 mins is not unusual - and many miles spent driving behind pilot cars.

    This is not to say that it is not a drive worth doing. It is just that you need to be realistic in your expectations. When there is a long line of vehicles stopped to view wildlife, you wait in that line, whether you are interested or not. You would endanger your family by not doing so.

    Driving the Alaska Highway is a life changing experience, if you appreciate the road and all its surroundings; why it was built and those who laboured to make it happen. It can also be life changing for those who drive it recklessly and live to regret it.

    Have a safe journey.

    This is coming from Prince George BC where I am on my third trip north.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Everyone has given you the exact advise that I would. I've driven much of that road, as well. It is worth taking the time to enjoy the view -- the scenery is gorgeous, and there ARE some places worth stopping at! The MILEPOST is the best guide -- even AAA will tell you to buy a copy. (Don't buy a used one. The most up-to-date version will be appreciated and have up-to-date information.

    BTW, Alaskans are far more used to highway names (Glenn Hwy, Richardson Hwy) when you speak of them, than numbers. Numbers (AK-1, etc) are used on the roads themselves.

    Some worthwhile stops: Dawson Creek's Alaska Highway visitor center/museum, to see the movie and artifacts about the history of the highway. Watson Lake's signpost forest (it's fun to see if your hometown sign is already there, or bring one to put up like we did). Whitehorse's Yukon River viewpoints. If you're there for the night (it's a good overnight stop), the kids might enjoy the old-fashioned show. (Our girls, both early teens at the time, sure did!)


    Donna

  6. Default

    Hi,

    What an exciting move but it sounds like an awful lot of driving. I know this a road trip website but will still ask if you have considered taking the ferry for part of your trip? You might enjoy the break from driving and your kids might enjoy being on the water.

  7. Default

    To be honest I didnt know the exact amount of time it would take heck the farthest north I have been is Fay Lake, Wisconsin. So if it takes 4 extra days then I thought thats fine with me I love sight seeing and I know my kids would too. But going through google maps I noticed that there arent a whole lot of little towns along that path. And from one town to another is like 318 miles and my car only gets 215 out of a tank around town.

  8. Default

    Where would I catch a ferry at?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    There are towns much closer than 350 miles apart, but that really is something you'll see in more detail when you get a copy of the milepost. Finding gas won't be a problem.

    The ferry is also known as the Alaska Marine Highway System. You can either get on at Bellingham, Washington or Prince Rupert, BC. Its about a 5 day trip if you take it all the way to the Whittier, the closest port to Anchorage.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    I think the furthest stretch without fuel is 100 miles, or thereabouts. You learn to fill up when you pass through the larger towns, using the teeny-tiny towns as back-ups (because the price is usually a lot higher and less choice). You'll also learn to do several things, if you don't know how now: convert kms into miles, convert price per liter into price per gallon, and convert Canadian dollars into American dollars. All are only for comparison purposes. Many maps, plus the Milepost, have conversion charts for km to miles and liters to gallons on them already. The last one may not even be needed.

    Once you're settled in Anchorage, you'll find loads of opportunities for road trips -- taking your kids to Denali, up to Fairbanks, down to the Kenai Peninsula, over to Valdez.


    Donna

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