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  1. #1

    Default Alaska - Summer, 2015

    Hi! This summer, after spending some time in Seattle, I'm heading north. Studying routes now - looking for back roads for wilderness camping along the way. I have the Milepost, the Gazetteer & LP guide. Planning on parts of marine highway from Haines on the return - but don't want to pay the $$$ to land on an island where there are no roads!

    Any route suggestions & tips are appreciated!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    That will be a wonderful trip! How long do you plan to spend? As far as back roads are concerned, there are plenty of them. If you've got The Milepost, you've got a good start on the planning.

    A couple of tips:

    *Alaska Highway and its tributaries are not super-high-speed. There are so many places where you will do 20mph. Besides, it's absolutely gorgeous all the way from Seattle to Fairbanks, that you won't want to "speed along". I think one day we moved about 50 miles, stopping at a lot of pull-outs along the way. We had a few places where we just sat for a few days -- Denali, Fairbanks/North Pole, Anchorage, Seward -- once we were up there. Whitehorse was another place, so that we could spend a day in Skagway.

    * Plan for rain. It rains a lot up there. On our trip, it rained on us every day from Hope, BC all the way to Ft St John.

    * Even if you're camping all the way (we towed a 5W), plan on a restaurant meal or two. I loved the seafood up there, and am glad I got to enjoy it at that point! (Can't eat it now.)


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Just Some Random Thoughts

    As long as you're leaving from Seattle, taking the land-based roads north, and have a bit of time for the journey, you might want to consider heading a bit farther inland than you might otherwise and visit Jasper National Park. Including this 'little' side trip would only add about 250 miles to your overall drive and would be well worth it.

    As for the return trip, I'm going to suggest that you spend more time on the boat. If you head all the way up to Fairbanks on your outbound leg (recommended) then come down through Denali and Talketna to Anchorage and Seward (also all recommended), then driving all the way back to Haines to catch the ferry home doesn't make a lot of sense. I think you'd be far better off leaving from Whittier, with a stop-off in Juneau (only reachable by ferry) and then continuing on to Port Hardy at the northern end of Vancouver Island. Then you'd just need a final ferry ride from the southern end of the island to either Tsawwassen BC or Port Angeles WA to complete your journey.

    Such a return journey would maximize the number of new sights you get to see including the chance to drive through a railway tunnel (the only way to get to Whittier). see the Mendenhall Glacier, and drive the entire length of Vancouver Island. Anyway, as I said, just some random thoughts.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Backroads and camping.

    You're well set up for a fantastic trip if you have already studied The Milepost. Refer to it often along the way.

    Over my three trips to Alaska, I have driven most of the highways between the Alcan and the West Coast, including many sidetrips. You may get some ideas from my 2009 trip and my 2012 trip to Prudhoe Bay.

    The drive from Whitehorse to Haines is an incredible drive, and I would not miss it, for catching the ferry from Whittier. You won't miss the best of the inside passage by driving to Haines through the lovely historic goldmining town of Skagway, and over the spectacular White Pass.

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.

    Enjoy the planning.


  5. #5


    Thanks for tips - I know I'll have some specifics before departure. Am planning at least 2 months.

    I may do that inland route on the way up. And on the way back I am thinking of getting the BC Ferry in Prince Rupert to Bella Coola, and then to Vancouver Island.

    Donna: with my cooking I'll be stopping more than once or twice - more like stopping once or twice per day:)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by icoffeeus View Post
    I may do that inland route on the way up. And on the way back I am thinking of getting the BC Ferry in Prince Rupert to Bella Coola, and then to Vancouver Island.
    The highlight of the Alaska Marine Highway (the ferry) is the inside passage, between Haines/Skagway and Prince Rupert. Spectacular scenery.. Not anything much south of Prince Rupert.

    Two months is a nice bit of time, but don't go too late in summer. By the end of August many services start to close down, just as much does not open till late May.


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