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  1. #1

    Default Michigan to Juneau, Alaska - help us plan our trip!

    Hello all. I am active duty U.S. Coast Guard, and we are transferring from Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan (in the U.P.) to Juneau, Alaska this June. We've got a few decisions to make, and I'd like to get some outside opinions, if you don't mind.

    We are going to be taking the ferry from Prince Rupert, B.C. to get to Juneau. We are driving a 1994 Chevy Astro ext AWD minivan w/130,000+ miles, towing a 5'x8' utility trailer with 1 motorcycle on the trailer.

    Our trip will actually be starting in Traverse City, Michigan...both our parents live there.

    We have to deliver our car to St. Louis, so it can be shipped from there to Juneau. We can drop it off anytime...either before we leave for the trip, or St. Louis does NOT need to be included in the route.

    We want to consider all route options...with one requirement: that we take NO or very few interstate freeways. We want to enjoy the trip (this is our 8th transfer, we've always drive!!!), and not rush. We have plenty of time...2-3 weeks if need be. We plan on tent camping 90% of the time, with a hotel thrown in here and there for good measure.

    We are thinking about doing US-2 across to just W of Glacier, then heading up towards Jasper Park/Banff area, and then W to Prince Rupert. Of course, we would make a stop in Glacier. We also were considering the Tetons and Yellowstone, but that was mainly going to be if we were to drop the car in St. Louis and then head to Prince Rupert that way.

    We don't want to over-tax our van too much...we've already taken care of the major maintenance issues prior to the trip, to get it ready. We know we'll be in the mountains (this is our 4th time driving to Alaska...!).

    We are very interested in hearing the thoughts and opinions of the best route(s) to take. Also, interesting stops (restaurants, interesting things to see and do) along the way.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    I would try to fit Yellowstone in, it's definitely worth the trip.

    One concern I would have if I was worried about overtaxing my vehicle would be taking secondary roads in some of the more mountainous areas. I think the Interstates are given a bad rap, because in some of these situations, this is where an Interstate would be ideal.

    (apparently a DropKick Murphys fan? )

  3. #3


    Hey Tim. Thanks for the welcome.

    I should have added that we have been to both Glacier and Yellowstone before (on our last trip N to Alaska in 2001).

    Specifically what portions would you suggest we take Interstates vs. secondary roads on? You are dead-on that we don't want to overdue it...!


    Yup - HUGE Dropkick Murphys fan! Flogging Molly fan, too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Daydreaming

    This is the best - what would I do if I had your time and inclinations - a chance to daydream an idealized RoadTrip. So Here's a few things I'd try to fit in. Some because I've done and enjoyed them, and some because they're still on my 'To Do' list.

    Starting from Traverse City, I'd head west across the UP on MI-28 skirting the southern shore of Lake Superior with a stop at Apostle Islands National Seashore, probably even taking the ferry over to whet my appetite for the big ferry ride up to Juneau. Then from Duluth, I'd cut southwest across Minnesota, basically following MN-23 just enjoying the small towns, lakes and farms. At. Florence, MN US-14 would become my main drag west for a while. Parts of this highway in South Dakota are included in the Native American Scenic Byway, and it will take you to Badlands National Park, Wall Drug and lots of other stuff in South Dakota.

    Then it would be on to Belle Fourche, SD and using SD-34 and WY-24 make the pilgrimage to Devils Tower National Monument. Since you've already seen Yellowstone and Glacier, I'd hop on I-90 for a change of pace and make my next stop at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and then at Billings use US-87 as a shortcut up to Great Falls. One more stretch of Interstate (I-15) would take me on up into Canada and AB-4, AB-3, and AB-2 would be my routes of choice up to Calgary where I'd pick up the Trans-Canada up through Banff and AB-93 through Jasper National Parks before making the final run into Prince Rupert on the Trans-Canada (BC-16).

    At a shade over 3200 miles, that's not the shortest route, but it is a very interesting one, avoids Interstates for the most part, and can be done in 2 weeks while only covering 250 miles a day on average, or in 3 weeks at the very leisurely pace of 150 miles a day.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-08-2007 at 08:02 AM. Reason: Correct Alberta highway designations

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