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  1. Default Routes Across Montana on the way to AK

    After two years away from my home in Alaska I can take it no more. I am moving back and will be driving from D.C. to Anchorage with an old college buddy at the end of the month. I have nailed down my itinerary except for the long haul across Montana to the Sweetgrass Border. I figure I have three options:

    1) Stay on Interstate 94/90 across the state then north on I-15. Longest mileage but makes use of most interstate.

    2) Drive Across MT-200 to Great Falls then head up I-15.

    3) Head up to US-2 and across then up I-15.

    Anybody have any thoughts about the strengths and weakneses of each route? I have also attahced a draft itinereary for those interested. If you have any ideas or comments let me know.

    Friday, May 25
    Depart: BWI
    Arrive: Holiday City, OH
    Miles Traveled During Leg: 519.1 *** Miles Remaining: 4072.1
    Overnight Hotel

    Saturday, May 26
    Depart: Holiday City, OH
    Arrive: Fargo, ND
    Miles Traveled During Leg: 834.4 *** Miles Remaining: 3237.7
    Overnight Campground

    Sunday, May 27
    Depart: Fargo, ND
    Arrive: Great Falls, MT
    Miles Traveled During Leg: 738.7 *** Miles Remaining: 2499
    Overnight @ Campground

    Monday, May 28
    Depart: Great Falls, MT
    Arrive: Calgary, AB
    Miles Traveled During Leg: 315 *** Miles Remaining: 2184
    Overnight @ Hotel **** Night out in Calgary

    Tuesday, May 29
    Depart: Calgary, AB
    Arrive: Grand Cache,
    Miles Traveled During Leg: 381 *** Miles Remaining: 1803
    Overnight @ Campground plus time to wander around Banff and Jasper Parks

    Wednesday, May 30
    Depart: Grand Cache, AB
    Arrive: Liaird Hot Springs, YT
    Miles Traveled During Leg: 672 *** Miles Remaining: 1131
    Overnight @ Campground

    Thursday, May 31
    Depart: Laird Hot Springs, YT
    Arrive: Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, AK
    Miles Traveled During Leg: 771 *** Miles Remaining: 360
    Overnight @ Campground

    Friday, June 1
    Depart: Tetlin NWF @ 7:00 a.m. (Western)
    Arrive: Anchorage, AK @ 1:00 p.m. (Alaska)
    Miles Traveled During Leg: 360 *** Miles Remaining: 0

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

    Default Miles Per Day

    One thing I noticed about your itinerary is that you have several days with more than 500 miles a day. Generally, 500-550 miles a day is the recommended limit for a road trip for the traveler(s) to maintain their presence of mind. Granted, the eight days and 4000 miles averages out to this, but those long days can take their toll.

    Is there any way you can add a couple of days to this trip?

  3. Default This is basically a speed run

    While I'd love to do this trip in two weeks and meander, I have a time crunch. I admit that there are some long days in here, and I don't anticipate they will be very fun. I did try and give us a little break in the middle in Calgary and through Banff.

    Every time I've done the AK highway through the Yukon and upper BC I have always been able to put in big mileage days. Something about being in the middle of nowhere with LONG days of sun lets you go on and on. The drive is about as stress-free as they come.

    I don't know anything about the roads to Montana though. I figure the first two days will be tough to do given the realities of traffic through Ohio and Illinois. I would appreciate if anyone can advise about the legs I have proposed getting to the border in Canada, especially the best way across MT.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default 200

    I've driven 200, and its a pretty decent option, but there are still plenty of towns where you have to slow down.

    The day I drove it I was on basically a speed run, where we only stopped for gas and brief rest, and leaving in the morning from Glacier, we didn't make it to Bismark, ND until 10 pm. So you would be looking at a very long drive.

    I think you might be better off, considering the distances you aim to travel, to stay on I-90 through SD and then pick up I-15 in Montana. I-90 tends to be faster across the Dakotas and Minnesota than I-94, because it has higher speed limits and doesn't go through any major cities.

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