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georgelesley

Tennessee

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Posted: 12/31/17 11:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are beginning to plan a trip from TN up I-75 to Sioux St Marie in Canada then west to British Columbia. I have just read all the great tips about Banff, Jasper, Lake Louis, etc and plan a major stop there.

Then on to BC for a month or whatever works time wise. Some side trips we would like some info on if anybody has ideas. We would like to cross into Alaska, the part that touches BC. Just so we can say we were there. The same for the Yukon and Northwest Territories if that is possible. We would plan those areas as day side trips

My wife’s 95 yr old mum will be with us so hiking is out. She and her late husband always dreamed fo seeing the Canadian Rockies via train. We do not wish to do the train but we do have our motorhome and plan to use it and our toad.

We do plan to do a separate trip to Alaska, but a short day trip just into it would be nice. What route from North West BC actually goes into Alaska and what route would take us into the Yukon. Is there a route that would cross into the NWT?

We expect to leave TN in late April, spend some time driving the North shore of Lake Superior, then to where we used to live in Northern MN and leave there and cross back into Canada near International Falls perhaps in mid June and go West to BC from there ideas?


George & Lesley
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romore

Okanagan valley British Columbia

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Posted: 12/31/17 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That is a lot of driving for a 'short day trip'. [emoticon] B.C. is huge, I have still not seen anywhere near all of it. There is a lot of information here regarding travel on the Alaska highway. If you want to set a toe in the Territories turn north to Ft Liard then go back to the main highway to continue north west into the Yukon to Whitehorse.
Now you need to make some decisions. You can carry on to Alaska if time permits or go north to Dawson City. If time is short return to Watson Lake then turn south back into B.C. At Meziadin junction go into Hyder so you can say you haave been to Alaska. Watch out for the local adult libation, that stuff will curl your toes.[emoticon]

GordonThree

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Posted: 12/31/17 11:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My five cents of advice, travel west in the US. Two reasons: faster speed limit and cheaper gas (a lot cheaper)

Manitoba and Saskatchewan are a lot of flat land, farms and fracking. Kinda the same for Minnesota and North Dakota.

If you make it about half way west through Montana and then cut North you'll be better off.

The first time I made the drive from Calgary into Banff was amazing, you're in for a real treat.

You mentioned a brief trip into Alaska from BC, so you're talking Stewart and Hyder. Both towns are very isolated, fuel and food are expensive, plan ahead. The drive into Stewart is amazing, and if you have a capable toad, drive the mining trail up through Hyder to the Salmon Glacier overlook.


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MDKMDK

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Posted: 12/31/17 11:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Parroting some of what romore suggested, you could try the Cassiar Highway (37) up through central BC to Meziadin Junction, then 37A west to Stewart BC/Hyder AK. As for YK/NT toe dipping, Fort Liard NT would be the closest point in the Northwest Territories, and then west towards the Yukon, but you might have to back track to Fort Nelson and then northwest towards Watson Lake and Whitehorse. Or you could go north from Jasper to Fort Liard NT, then do the back track to Fort Nelson and head north and west to Whitehorse and Haines Junction, then take the Haines Highway south to Haines AK.

I wouldn't think any of these routes are a "day trip", though. The highways in northern BC and the Yukon last year were usually 2 lanes wide/one in each direction, posted at 90kph mostly, with slower "pilot car" guided one way travel through regular construction zones, that could be miles in length on gravel or worse, and not many amenities in some stretches. There are no interstate type highways up there. Be forewarned.


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georgelesley

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Posted: 12/31/17 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

romore wrote:

That is a lot of driving for a 'short day trip'. [emoticon] B.C. is huge, I have still not seen anywhere near all of it. There is a lot of information here regarding travel on the Alaska highway. If you want to set a toe in the Territories turn north to Ft Liard then go back to the main highway to continue north west into the Yukon to Whitehorse.
Now you need to make some decisions. You can carry on to Alaska if time permits or go north to Dawson City. If time is short return to Watson Lake then turn south back into B.C. At Meziadin junction go into Hyder so you can say you haave been to Alaska. Watch out for the local adult libation, that stuff will curl your toes.[emoticon]


Sorry i was not clear on what we want. We plan to find someplace in NW BC camp several days and day trip from there if possible. I do not expect to drive the mh each place if it can be avoided. We just want to stick our toes into Yukon, Alaska and NWT. Major exploration of both Yukon and Alaska will happen on a later trip, just want to show mum as many provinces as we can this trip. I will have to wait until we dig out a decent map of Canada to track all of these great suggestions, the map I have now is not detailed enough. I would love to make it to the artic circle, but it looks like that will have to wait until a later trip.

* This post was edited 12/31/17 12:24pm by georgelesley *

MDKMDK

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Posted: 12/31/17 02:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

georgelesley wrote:

romore wrote:

That is a lot of driving for a 'short day trip'. [emoticon] B.C. is huge, I have still not seen anywhere near all of it. There is a lot of information here regarding travel on the Alaska highway. If you want to set a toe in the Territories turn north to Ft Liard then go back to the main highway to continue north west into the Yukon to Whitehorse.
Now you need to make some decisions. You can carry on to Alaska if time permits or go north to Dawson City. If time is short return to Watson Lake then turn south back into B.C. At Meziadin junction go into Hyder so you can say you haave been to Alaska. Watch out for the local adult libation, that stuff will curl your toes.[emoticon]


Sorry i was not clear on what we want. We plan to find someplace in NW BC camp several days and day trip from there if possible. I do not expect to drive the mh each place if it can be avoided. We just want to stick our toes into Yukon, Alaska and NWT. Major exploration of both Yukon and Alaska will happen on a later trip, just want to show mum as many provinces as we can this trip. I will have to wait until we dig out a decent map of Canada to track all of these great suggestions, the map I have now is not detailed enough. I would love to make it to the artic circle, but it looks like that will have to wait until a later trip.


If you want to do AK, YT, and then NT, I would say there isn't really a good central spot to drop your motorhome, and reach them all in day trips in your toad. This is just my opinion, but I was there last year, and travel isn't easy once you get north of Dawson Creek near the BC Alberta border, or Prince George in the BC interior, not that it's high speed freeway style driving getting to those places either.

That said, if you want to get your mum to see all of them, and your starting point is the Jasper/Banff Alberta area, I would head north and pick up the Alaska Highway (97) at Dawson Creek then on to Fort Nelson. The distance from Jasper to Fort Nelson is 600 miles.
Use Fort Nelson as your base to get to the Northwest Territories at Fort Liard, 130 miles one way, do your tourist thing and then backtrack out of there to Fort Nelson again.
Then pick up 97 again and head north and west towards Watson Lake YT. You will actually enter and exit BC/YT along that route several times due to the physical routing of the Alaska Highway. There's a BC provincial park at Muncho Lake with a self serve campground (C$20/night for pit toilets only), called Strawberry Flats that is very nice, quiet, and picturesque, with water access, if the drive to Watson Lake becomes a slow one. It was for us last year. Hwy 97 is very winding in spots. Few places to pass slower vehicles, and you will encounter a few.
From Watson Lake, home of the sign forest, pick up the Cassiar Hwy 37 south and keep going until you reach Meziadin Junction in central BC, then 37A west to the BC Alaska border towns of Stewart BC and Hyder AK.
Back track out of there, to Meziadin Junction, and the rest is up to you.

Some of the roadways south from there through central BC have some spectacular views. All of it is fantastic scenery, but the driving is challenging in places.
It would be a great trip if you can pull it off.
Good luck.
p.s. You mentioned Arctic Circle? There's a new highway that should be open next year, called the "Inutuk". It's actually built on top of the muskeg and perma-frost, and runs from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean. It should be passable next summer.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/new-arctic-coast-highway-opens-up-remote-tuktoyaktuk-1.4363029

GordonThree

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Posted: 12/31/17 02:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP can you clarify what part of Alaska you want to visit?

The distances in that area are vast.

John & Angela

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Posted: 12/31/17 02:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn’t avoid the prairies to save on gas. The gas in the prairies right now is about a 1.03 per litre (Canadian) or about 3.08 per gallon (American funds American gallon). That’s not far off of what gas is in the west coast states right now. Paying an extra 10 percent for fuel to explore another country seems worth it to me. We like travelling in the prairies.


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MDKMDK

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Posted: 12/31/17 03:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

John & Angela wrote:

I wouldn’t avoid the prairies to save on gas. The gas in the prairies right now is about a 1.03 per litre (Canadian) or about 3.08 per gallon (American funds American gallon). That’s not far off of what gas is in the west coast states right now. Paying an extra 10 percent for fuel to explore another country seems worth it to me. We like travelling in the prairies.


Gas prices in Canada may become more "volatile" in the very near future (tomorrow in some places) when some provinces institute their own, or the newly federally mandated, carbon taxes or cap and trade systems. Not just gas prices, but anything that burns carbon will have prices adjusted upwards. )

* This post was edited 12/31/17 09:05pm by an administrator/moderator *

georgelesley

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Posted: 12/31/17 03:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GordonThree wrote:

OP can you clarify what part of Alaska you want to visit?

The distances in that area are vast.


as mentioned in my post, the part that borders BC, the long skinny part. Just to be in AK for now. Another trip will do AK proper.

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