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 > Advisability of late summer Alaska drive up

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Charlie Bravo

Holland, Michigan

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Posted: 09/09/18 07:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello, we’re retiring next year and planning on Alaska for our sixth time in our fifth wheel.We’ve flown a small aircraft up twice, once on a motorcycle, and twice with a slide in truck camper. All the trips have been in June and a little of July.
This time we’d be Leaving Michigan the first of August, Alaska about the 10th and headed back about September 10.
The hope is for less crowds at the usual attractions, more wildlife, and maybe some northern lights.
Comments of later season weather, campground availability, and whatever else would be appreciated.

rag-ftw

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Posted: 09/09/18 07:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can only speak for 2016 and 2018. We did Taylor/Top of the World in 2016 the second week in September and the road was frozen but no snow. So it was perfect travelling. Spent one night on the side of the road on Top of the Road in the snow but bynon the next day everything was great.

This year we are still in Valdez and the temp is currently 63 at 6:00pm! So far so good.
IT's a roll of the dice this late in the season for snow. I don't think you have to worry about getting snowed out and having the spend the winter in the Canadian Rockies, BUT, be prepared to wait two or three days for a storm to blow through and the roads to clear.

Probably not much help but that is what we have experienced, anyway.

Many campgrounds close after Labor Day but there is usually spots available in the places that are still open. Parks here in Valdez are running about 25% currently.


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mockturtle

AZ

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Posted: 09/09/18 07:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It tends to be rainier later in the summer.


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MDKMDK

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Posted: 09/09/18 07:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Was there in 2016 late August to about September 10 and the weather was perfect. Mix of sun and rain but no freezing temps.
As for crowds we thought it was pretty busy at most attractions that weren't closed down. Camping was wide open about everywhere. No problems.


Mike.
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rag-ftw

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Posted: 09/09/18 08:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mockturtle wrote:

It tends to be rainier later in the summer.


I agree that is the normal trend but this past 10 days has been "Chamber of Commerce" weather days. Bright sunshine, no clouds, light winds, with temps in the upper 60s! Other that the week of July 4th this has been the best weather all summer for us.

Scottiemom

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Posted: 09/10/18 04:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we went in 2013, we left in May and went up returning the first of August. We did not experience big crowds anywhere. We were told numerous times that we were about 2 weeks ahead of the caravans.

We had a great time and the potential for bad weather, i.e., snow, was not likely since summer was approaching.

Dale


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lucy6194

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Posted: 09/10/18 06:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We went two years ago 3rd time. Rain everything closed would never go that late again.

Grit dog

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Posted: 09/10/18 10:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Late summer (fall weather for the rest of us, haha) is a great time of year up there.
You’re from Michigan so what’s a little snow here or there? Cold hasn’t set in yet and really not much/ any snow except in the interior and north.


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Posted: 09/10/18 11:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This year, the past week has been spectacular around Southcentral Alaska.

Over the past 20 years, September can be crappy or it can be beautiful....IMNSHO, it hits one or the other of those extremes.

Late August - mid-September sees a significant reduction in bugs and tourists although not entirely void of either. The tourist facilities start closing by late August and are almost entirely shutdown by mid-September, but stuff can be found through the 1st week or so of September.

IMNSHO, Fall is the most spectacular time in Alaska: What constitutes "Fall" varies by location, but would be "September" around Los Anchorage to Squarebanks. My particular favorite time of year is mid-September to mid-October...but that's for hunting/flying/fishing. For a RV trip, I'd think 10-August to 10-September would be great, although one would need to focus on sightseeing (on your own) rather than "catered" activities.


CRL
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cross21114

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Posted: 09/10/18 06:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In 2005, I took my TC up arriving in August. Stayed until the 1st week of October fishing and bird hunting mostly ptarmigin and grouse but also some ducks. Outbound took the Top of World and made it the day before it was closed for the season. No problems with weather.

My wife and I are planning a similar trip in 2019. Want to spend September hunting birds while I can still do it. Will probably go up using the Top of World and return via Alaska Hwy though.


Chris
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